3 Great Records from Bands with Just One Release

by Administrator 29. March 2018 09:47

A lot of the records we put out come from extremely well-known artists. Some of them come from artists who released two or three records and then vanished. Today, we found three records from unknown artists to feature.

The records we have lined up today are the only ones of their kind. They are the only records released by the groups. You might expect that they would be low quality because of that, but they’re actually quite good. So, sit back and enjoy these three records that you probably would never have heard otherwise—you’ll be glad you did!

Pop Corn by Jimbo Jackson & Violators – Brainstorm 124 (Released 1969)

 

Label owners: Leo Austell, Hillery Johnson, and Archie Russel. 1809 South Indiana. Chicago, IL (1965–1972).

Side A: Pop Corn Pt. 1

Side B: Pop Corn Pt. 2

Not only was this Jimbo Jackson & Violators’ only 45, we couldn’t find any information out there about them. The only thing we know for sure is that they’re from Chicago, and we only know that because they say so in the song.

This record by Jimbo Jackson & Violators bring to light a little bit of trivia about 45s, which are 7 inches in diameter and named for the speed at which they spin, 45rpm (which stands for rotations per minute). Most 45s can only hold about 3.5 minutes of song. That mostly has to do with the diameter of the record (and 45s are pretty short) and the size of its grooves. And sometime in the ‘60s, the size of those grooves grew. That’s because of the shift from mono (one source) to stereo (two sources). The grooves in newer 45s had to be etched so that there was a separate wavelength for each end of the stereo. So that’s why almost all songs on a 45 are similar in length.

A notable exception to this is Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” which fans demanded exist in it’s full 6-minute glory on one side of the 45. So, the reason “Popcorn” is split up into 2 parts like it is is because of the physical limitations of the 45.

The whole point of this song is to accompany a dance, also called the popcorn dance by the group. Unfortunately, the dance seems to be lost to history. The song doesn’t do a great job of providing instructions for it, and there aren’t any videos demonstrating it online (though there are lots of other fun results if you search “The Popcorn Dance”).

Despite the loss of the accompanying dance, the song stands up well on its own. Jimbo Jackson & Violators were ahead of their time, and the song sounds very much like rapper DMX stepped back into the ‘60s. This is a hard one not to love.

Silly Savage by Golden Toadstools – Minaret 138 (Released 1968)

 

Label owner: Shelby Singleton. Nashville, TN (1961–1969).

Side A: Silly Savage

Side B: Weeping River

Even less is known about Golden Toadstools than Jimbo Jackson & Violators. Speculation has it that they’re from New York. People don’t even agree if the groups members are white or black. Take a listen yourself and you’ll agree that it’s a tough call.

Silly Savage is so good that it’ll probably take you about two listens to realize that the only actual lyrics of the song are the odd lines the singer reads, such as “Chuck Berry, strawberry, cranberry and dingleberry, baby!” followed by whistles and laughter from the other members of the group. The whole thing is so good-natured that it’s tough not to laugh along. In fact, the song only has three lines despite being a little over two minutes long. What fills most of its time is a hypnotic mix of drums, electric organ, and smooth guitar solo. Give it a listen; you’ll be glad you did.

The record’s B side takes a long departure from the records we usually show. This one is pure blues, with the singer’s deep southern voice taking center stage. If you like the Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun,” you’ll love this one. The two songs share extremely similar chord progressions and strumming patterns, so sit down and get ready for some blues.

I Cried Boo Hoo by Willie Gresham and the Free Food Ticket – Majesty 1040 (Released 1970)

 

Label from Los Angeles

Side A: I Cried Boo Hoo

Side B: Step by Step

We have a confession to make: Willie Gresham did go on to appear in a few more records. However, he did so as Reverend Willie Gresham, a moniker he wouldn’t adopt until years later in 1984. Furthermore, all the records he appeared in weren’t individual releases. They were compilations, mostly of gospel and traditional songs. So even though Willie Gresham wasn’t a one-release artist, Willie Gresham and the Free Food Ticket only have this 45 to their name.

“I Cried Boo Hoo” oozes ‘70s despite having been released right in 1970. Despite the bluesy sound and topic of the song, it’s hard to describe it as anything other than funky. Give it a listen and Willie Gresham’s bouncy voice will have you tapping along.

“Step by Step” is even funkier than the 45’s A side, with groovy guitar effects and an electric organ backing the whole song.

Put These Lesser-Known Artists on Your Record Shelf

Pricing, details (grade, side A/B, quantity) and sound clips for each of the above records can be found via the following links:

 

Pop Corn – Jimbo Jackson & Violators

 

Silly Savage – Golden Toadstools

 

I Cried Boo Hoo – Willie Gresham and the Free Food Ticket

 

We provide a simple online ordering form for all of our records. Enter your billing and shipping information, provide details about the record you’re requesting, hit submit, and sit back.

Tags:

Blog

3 Records with Killer Saxophone Solos

by Administrator 28. February 2018 21:50

The saxophone is a few decades shy of its 200th birthday, having been invented in 1842 by Adolphe Sax. That’s pretty young, depending on where you stand. Classical music as we tend to think of it didn’t begin until the Renaissance in the 1400s. For reference, many of the instruments that we are familiar with didn’t arrive until the 1700s or later, most notably the piano, which was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori sometime around 1700.

The saxophone is best known for its role in jazz. Saxophones and jazz are woven so tightly together that you basically can’t have one without the other. However, the saxophone also features prominently in both soul and funk. This is partly because the three styles all have their roots in African American music, and also because the dividing line between the styles are often blurrier than their titles would make them seem.

To illustrate this, we’ve collected three 45s that will blast you out of your seat with their punchy sax solos.

I Found Out by Bobby Byrd – Federal 12486 (Released 1963)

Label owner: Sydney Nathan. 1540 Brester Ave, Cincinnati, OH (1955).

Side A: I Found Out

Side B: They Are Sayin’

Bobby Byrd’s claim to fame in the music industry comes chiefly through his associations with James Brown. That said, his contributions to soul are often understated. In fact, he is credited with having discovered James Brown himself. Another little known fact is that Byrd actually founded soul supergroup The Flames and has songwriting credits for many of their hits, including “Get up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine” and “Lost Someone.” All of these contributions got him posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

In fact, Brown and Byrd pioneered the funk genre as a whole, though Byrd often gets little credit for this.

If you’re expecting “I Found Out” to feature a story of negativity that’s being “found out,” you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you’re met with the opening lines of “I found out / that you really love me.” Despite not being one of Byrd’s commercial successes, “I Found Out” is a great song that shows that Bryd is more than just a good songwriter.

The B side of this 45, on the other hand, is nowhere for listening on the internet. If you want to hear it yourself, you’re best off just placing an order with us.

Out of the Pan (Into the Fire) by Al “TNT” Braggs – Peacock 1936 (Released 1965)

Label owner: Don D. Robey. 4104 Lyons Ave, Houston, TX & 2809 Erastus St, Houston, TX (1949–1968).

Side A: Out of the Pan (Into the Fire)

Side B: Joy to My Soul

It’s tough to say whether Al Braggs was a better singer or songwriter. Overall, he had much more success as a songwriter, being credited with Maxine Nightingale’s “Lead Me On” and Bobby Bland’s “Call on Me,” both of which reached gold status. He also co-wrote “Share Your Love with Me,” which enjoyed many weeks at the top of the charts. However, he also wrote and recorded his own songs. The closest Braggs ever got to a hit of his own came from his 1966 song “Earthquake,” which struck a chord with the UK’s northern soul scene, something which we’ve written at length about in the past.

After listening to “Out of the Pan (Into the Fire),” you’ll find yourself wondering how those few minutes passed by so fast. The song is very smooth, and it sounds way ahead of its time at 1965. It still retains the traditional rhythm and call and response that indicate soul music, but it incorporates an energy that takes it above many of the more generic songs of the genre. This is exacerbated because not just one saxophone, but an entire brass section seems to be backing Braggs and his backup singers.

Just like before, the audio for this 45’s B side is nowhere to be found on the web. The only way to hear it for yourself is through its printed vinyl form, which you can get through us.

Give It Up by Richard Berry – Paxley 751 (Released 1961)

Label owners: Label owners: Kim Fowley, Gary ("Alley Oop") Paxton & Bobby Rey (Note: Kim Fowley, Gary ("Alley Oop") Paxton both records records). 6365 Selma Ave, Hollywood 38, CA (1960-1961)

Side A:  Give It Up

Side B: I Want You to be My Girl

Richard Berry, not to be confused with the actor of the same name, is a soul singer and songwriter from Louisiana. His claim to fame was the song “Louie Louie,” which remains one of the most recorded songs of all time.

If you didn’t’ know what you were listening to beforehand, you might be fooled into thinking this was Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.” We don’t know for sure whether or not Richard Berry took Chuck Berry’s hit for inspiration, but we feel pretty confident that he did. That’s okay, though. Chuck Berry himself took the iconic opening for Johnny B. Goode from a 1946 song called “Ain’t That Just like a Woman.” Give it a listen to see how similar the songs are. In fact, “similar” doesn’t do it justice. The two songs are a few notes shy of identical. Despite the similarities in openings, “Give It Up” stands up all on its own. It’s more traditionally soul-y than the other entries on our list, but it’s no less enjoyable because of it.

Even the B side of this 45 is primarily defined by it’s incredible brass section, which takes the spot that a rhythm guitar would typically occupy. While being a little less energetic than the A side, this sultry song is sure to delight.

Add Some Sax to Your Collation

Pricing, details (grade, side A/B, quantity) and sound clips for each of the above records can be found via the following links:

 

I Found Out – Bobby Byrd

Out of the Pan (Into the Fire) – Al “TNT” Braggs

Give it Up – Richard Berry (1st entry on the page)

 

We provide a simple online ordering form for all  of our records. Enter your billing and shipping information, provide details about the record you’re requesting, hit submit, and sit back.

Tags:

Three Records at the Intersection of Soul and Pop

by Administrator 26. January 2018 10:45

Pop and soul don’t have much in common, but there is one thing: they both originated in the United States around the 1950–1960s. Because of the widespread popularity of each, the genres blended together some. Pop music borrowed soul’s background chorus (which soul got from its gospel roots), and some soul songs borrowed pop’s verse-chorus structure and upbeat progressions.

Since soul with pop conventions isn’t something you hear every day, we wanted to share some of our favorite examples of the style.

Hey There You Girl by James Bryant – Renee 108 (Released 1964)

 

Label owners: Leo Austell & Bob Lee. Chicago, IL (1962–1964 & 1973).

Side A: Hey There You Girl
Side B: Three Step

Not to be confused with Jimmy Bryant, the singing voice of Tony in West Side Story, James Bryant is a little-known singer/songwriter who got his start in Wisconsin and later moved to Chicago. According to On That Wisconsin Beat, one of the only books that mentions him, his real name was James Bartleme, and he had several other releases under several different names. Unfortunately, not much is known about those other names or releases under them. His only release under the name “James Bryant” is the one we’re writing about now.

With his songs “Hey There You Girl” and “Three Step,” Bryant unknowingly became a member of an underground English music and dance revolution called northern soul. In fact, the northern soul movement as a whole tended to reject the more popular Motown releases and focused on a particular style of music that had a heavy beat and fast tempo, a style which Bryant embodies perfectly.

With its quick-but-danceable beat, subtle guitar riffs, and Bryant’s smoky voice, this record is sure to keep you humming along the whole way through.

Got to Get A Hold of Myself by Chuck Bernard – Zodiac 1050 (Released 1973)

Label owner: Ric Williams. 1345 Diversey Parkway Chicago, IL (1966–1976).

Side A: Got to Get A Hold of Myself
Side B: Everybody’s Got Their Own Thing

In an industry dominated by separate singers and songwriters, Chuck Bernard stands out as an artist who wrote most of the songs he performed. It was common practice during the time for producers or dedicated songwriters to write a song that would later be assigned to a singer. This might seem strange to some, since the tradition has since shifted to artists mostly performing their own original work.

Being from the 70’s, “Got to Get A Hold of Myself” has a much more electronic, synth-y sound than many of the other 45s we feature. Despite being classified as soul, “Got To Get A Hold Of Myself” is a balancing act between pop, soul, and funk. With the help of a nylon-string guitar (like the kind used in mariachi music), these three styles come together beautifully in Bernard’s hit.

“Everybody’s Got Their Own Thing,” on the other hand, kicks things up a notch. Immediately when you put on this record, you are punched with a blend of trumpet lines and electric piano/organ. With the power and energy that flows from this song, it’s surprising that it isn’t the record’s A-side.

No matter which side you prefer, Bernard’s record is certain to delight.

It Doesn’t Matter How I Say It by Florence Ballard – ABC 1104 (Released 1968)

 

Label owner: Samuel H. Clark. 1501 Broadway, New York, NY (1955–1979).

Side A: It Doesn’t Matter How I Say It
Side B: Goin’ Out of My Head

Florence Ballard is one of the few female soul singers that we feature on this blog. It was unfortunately the case that, in general, fewer women recorded records than men. Despite that, Florence is probably the most famous of any singer we’ve ever featured on this blog.

Ballard was a founding member of The Supremes. You’re probably familiar with them if you’re reading this blog, but The Supremes were national megastars. In fact, during their peak years in the mid-1960s, their worldwide popularity rivaled that of the Beatles.

As The Supremes went through their career, tension grew between Ballard and Diana Ross, another member of the group who producer Berry Gordy was presenting as the leader. Eventually, this tension lead to Ballard’s depression, alcoholism, and subsequent expulsion from the group. After she recovered, she went on to pursue an unsuccessful solo career, which spawned this record.

Ballard’s record was a commercial failure, true, but that had more to do with the changing tides of musical taste rather than bad singing or poor production. By the time this record hit the shelves, the world preferred more traditional gospel-inspired soul over soul-pop infusions. It was the shift in fads that made Ballard’s 45 a bust.

Despite the commercial failure, “It Doesn’t Matter How I Say It” features all of of Ballard’s soft-spoken, feminine singing that she was known for during her time with The Supremes. Many fans of the song refer to it as “cute,” and that’s exactly what it is. With lyrics like “If I was a pillow, I’d want to be the one you’d rest your head on / And dream on,” “It Doesn’t Matter How I Say It” oozes cuteness. With the right promotion, this one could have been a hit.

“Goin’ Out of My Head, on the other hand, is a slow tune with maracas and tambourines leading the pace. In this one, Ballard ditches the cutsey tone and lays down deep, sultry vocals that match the theme of the song.

This record showcases some of the best Ballard had to offer, and it’s a shame that it never got the attention it deserves.

Add Some “Pop” to Your Collection

Pricing, details (grade, side A/B, quantity) and sound clips for each of the above records can be found via the following links:

 

Hey There You Girl – James Bryant

Got to Get a Hold of Myself – Chuck Bernard

It Doesn’t Matter How I Say It – Florence Ballard

 

We provide a simple online ordering form for all  of our records. Enter your billing and shipping information, provide details about the record you’re requesting, hit submit, and sit back.

 

 

Tags:

Three Records That Blur the Line Between Funk, Soul and R&B

by Administrator 29. December 2017 16:07

It’s no secret that funk, soul and R&B music all have their roots in African American gospel music. But too often, those associations get lost in the hard lines of a genre. Today, we’re breaking out of that mold.

So, we lined up some records that really highlight the shared roots of these genres. Check them out!

Mr. Cool by Charles Spurling – King 6077 (Released 1967)

 

Label owner: Sydney Nathan, 1540 Brewster Ave, Cincinnati OH; 1255 South Wasbash, Chicago IL; & 2131 South Michigan Ave, Chicago IL (1943–1973)

Side A: Mr. Cool
Side B: You’d Be Surprised (The Way I Love You)

Charles Spurling is an artist who got his start right here in Cincinnati. Despite having recorded a few records of his own, Spurling is best known for his prolific songwriting. He was the driving force between megahits such as the oft-sampled “Unwind Yourself,” “Ball of Fire,” and “The Boy Needs Someone To Love.” Spurling also was involved with the legendary James Brown, known as the “Godfather of Soul,” all the way until the 70s, working as both a songwriter and later as head of the artists and repertoire department for King Records. There, he was in charge of discovering and nurturing new talent for King Records. As a part of his pursuits, he discovered artists who would later become legendary, most notably Bootsy Collins.

One of Spurling’s favorite parts of King Records was that they would allow him to record his own records from time to time. “Mr. Cool” was born out of that arrangement. “Mr. Cool” is the soul record of our arrangement, with a true call-and-response that echoes the actual words Spurling sings. Despite being soul, “Mr. Cool” does not stray far from it’s blues roots, featuring a classic blues progression in the song’s background.

The record’s B side is a stark contrast to its A side. The song begins with a beat and bassline that can only be described as intense. Listening to it feels as though you’re about to charge into battle. Suddenly, the instruments unleash the song’s true melody, and the intensity fades into an upbeat soul tune with background singers echoing Spurling and frequently drawing out other parts of the song.

Fool, Fool, Fool by Elliott Shavers – Magnum 718 (Released in 1964)

 

Label owner: Roger Davenport & Hunter Hancock, Los Angeles, CA (1964-1968)

Side A: Fool, Fool, Fool
Side B: A Swingin’ Party

Elliott Shavers is a Texas-born musician who got his start as an R&B singer after he moved to Los Angeles. He was only active for six years between 1961 and 1967, but in that time he recorded over 30 published songs for smaller labels such as Imbo, Ellen, and Magnum, the latter being where this record came from. Several times he garnered near-national attention and got picked up by a bigger label for national releases, which happened with “Scratch That Itch,” which he released on King Records under the name “Elliott Shavers & His Blazers.” Shavers kept a low profile after those 6 years in the industry. In fact, nobody knows if he is even still alive.

At first listen, “Fool, Fool, Fool” is as bluesy a song as they come. A 12-bar progression, distorted guitar riffs, and a simple beat all call forth the essence of sadness that started on plantations so long ago. However, the piano and saxophone featured in “Fool, Fool, Fool” from pure blues into a place where mournful vocals share the spotlight with background instruments: rhythm and blues. Whether you feel that Shavers’ hit is pure blues or R&B, it’s blues all the same, filled with mournful lyrics like “Things ain’t what they used to be/And your love for me is not the same.”

The record’s B-side picks up right where the A-side leaves off. Despite “swing” being included in the title, “A Swingin’ Party” is a pure blues instrumental where a saxophone takes the spot that a singer ordinarily would. Also, a piano takes on the role of rhythm guitar, playing the 12-bar progression that signals blues.

Let’s Get Nasty by Chuck Stephens – East Coast 1001 (Released 1975)

Label Owner: Roy Charles, Hammond, Jamaica, NY

Side A: Let’s Get Nasty
Side B: Girl, I Want To Make Love To You

Both Chuck Stephens and East Coast Records are shrouded in mystery. Both are obscure, and there’s next to no information out there on either of them. East Coast Records only ever published one record: this one. And Chuck Stephens only ever recorded three records. Whatever caused Stephens to give up recording after only two years, we can be thankful that he left us the funky recordings he did.

“Let’s Get Nasty” came out in the middle of the 1970’s, when the Sexual Revolution was at full swing, and it shows. Whereas other records that we’ve featured on our blog make various references to sex and sexuality, none is so plainly explicit as “Let’s Get Nasty.” The song features (what appear to be) violins that have a sound to them similar to that of an electric piano, placing it in a place somewhere in between soul and funk.

The record’s B-side is as obscure as Stephens himself. There are no recordings of it publicly available. The closest you can get is to listen to the sample on our website (link). If you want this B-side for yourself, you had better order the record!

Diversify Your Record Collection

Pricing, details (grade, side A/B, quantity) and sound clips for each of the above records can be found via the following links:

Mr. Cool – Charles Spurling

Fool, Fool, Fool – Elliott Shavers

Girl, I Want To Make Love To You – Chuck Stephens

We provide a simple online ordering form for all  of our records. Enter your billing and shipping information, provide details about the record you’re requesting, hit submit, and sit back.

Tags:

Three Soul Records from Non-Soul Artists

by Administrator 30. November 2017 13:55

As a musician grows and gains notoriety for their music, they often get shoehorned into a specific genre. They become known for their jazzy voice or bluesy style, and all of a sudden their audience gets surprised if they release any music that is different from the kind recorded in the past.

Because of that, it’s difficult for musicians to break free from the mold they cast themselves in. But musicians are artists! Most of the time, they want to make music that expresses themselves. Most of them don’t enjoy being stuck in one genre. That’s why you get records where an artist has a completely new sound.

To give you a taste of how it feels when a musician embraces their role as an artist and breaks free of the restrictions that genre imposes upon them, we’ve gathered a few incredible soul records from artists who weren’t known for their soul singing.

Answer to the Want Ads by Bobo Mr. Soul – Ovide 252 (Released 1968)

Label owner: Skipper Lee Fraser, 4406 Reed Rd., Houston, TX & 1831 Southmore, Houston, TX (1967-1971)

Side A: Answer to the Want Ads
Side B: H.L.I.C.

We’re starting off the record with Beau Williams, also known as Bobo Mr. Soul. His name suggests that he’s most soul-focused artist on this list. However, he isn’t. Mr. Soul has an interesting history. Despite focusing on soul under his alias, he is most commonly known for his gospel song “Wonderful,” which stayed in the top ten charts for two straight months. In fact, Wikipedia only mentions Williams’ time as Bobo Mr. Soul in passing.

Williams recorded “Answer to the Want Ads” when he was only 18 years old. Despite his young age, and record captures perfectly the essence of soul. Bobo Mr. Soul shows us that age is only a number when it comes to soul music.

The A side of this album, “Answer to the Want Ads,” puts the soul in “Bobo Mr. Soul.” The song features the claplike rhythm and chorus sound. that are so typical of soul. Instead of the typical call-and-response that soul typically features, the trumpets and guitar in the backround boom with their light, treble-y sounds and fill the role that background singers would have played. If you try, you could almost imagine those trumpets in the background as high-pitched singers.

The B side has a distinctly funkier sound, with a hard beat and the guitar laying down a backing that seems to bounce. Whereas the first was more desperate and pleading, this song is confident and authoritative.

96 Tears by Big Maybelle – Rojac 112 (Released 1967)

Label Owner: Jack Taylor. 115 West 116th St., New York, NY; 417 West 126th, New York, N.Y.; 112 West 78th St., New York, N.Y., & 129 Lenox Ave. New York, N.Y.

Side A: 96 Tears
Side B: That’s Life

Big Maybelle, full name Maybel Louise Smith, went by another name: America’s Queen Mother of Soul. Despite her title, she is known mostly as a R&B singer. Her most popular song, “Candy,” (recorded in 1956) is a sultry blues song that received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999.

Big Maybelle didn’t get her name from her large size. She got it from her deep, rich, and booming voice. Listen to anything—anything at all—of hers, and you’ll understand. She could fill any room with her voice.

Big Maybelle’s recording of 96 tears was her only single that ever reached the Billboard Pop charts, and it was her last hit before she died. It’s also a cover of the same song by ? and the Mysterians. The most interesting thing about this recording of 96 tears is that Big Maybelle completely transformed the song from garage punk (early punk from the 60s) into a deep, soulful song. This is especially surprising considering Maybelle’s upbringing as a gospel singer and her prominence as a R&B singer.

But don’t sleep on the B Side! It’s also very soul-like, a saxaphone playing in quick, short bursts, resembling hand claps, indicative of the typical call and response that features in soul music.

How I Feel About You by Frank Butler – Space Age 260 (1960s)

Side A: How I Feel About You
Side B: Some One Outside

Like the rest of our featured singers, Chicago-based Frank Butler was much more of a blues singer than a soul one. In fact, this record in particular seemed to have struck a chord with soul fans in northern England during the ‘60s, becoming one of the earliest entries of the rare genre known now as northern soul.

Little is known about the Space Age label. In fact, the only other record released by Space Age was another Frank Butler single. We don’t know where they came from or where they went, but we’re grateful for the records they left us with.

“How I Feel About You” is definitely the fastest-tempoed soul record on this list. It’s also the only one to feature an organ. Like the other tracks in this list, the trumpets take the role of background singers and call forth the image of a chorus singer in church. One listen to this track and you’ll with Frank Butler had stuck around to sing some more soul.

The B side, Some One Outside, is just about impossible to find on the internet. To give it a listen, you can check out the sample on our site! Of course, you could always buy the record and listen to the whole thing yourself.

Add Some Soul to Your Collection

Pricing, details (grade, side A/B, quantity) and sound clips for each of the above records can be found via the following links:

Answer to the Want Ads – Bobo Mr. Soul

96 Tears – Big Maybelle

How I Feel About You – Frank Butler

We provide a simple online ordering form for any of our records. Enter your billing and shipping information, provide details about the record you’re requesting, hit submit, and relax knowing that your ears will have all the soul food they could want.

Tags:

60’s Soul Records about Love and Loss

by Administrator 27. October 2017 15:54

Soul and funk are two distinct musical styles that often get lumped together. That’s because the two genres have a similar sound and share roots in R&B and gospel music. However, by treating these two genres as the same, the nuances of each become lost.

So, today we are going to step away from our typical funk/soul roundups and give soul the spotlight it deserves.

Soul music is gospel music without religious lyrics. However, soul retains much of the characteristic elements of gospel, such as a call-and-response format and the utilization of a chorus.

Here are some soul artists that sing about love and really show what soul is all about. These songs will make any casual soul listener an instant fan.

The Clock by The Contenders—Java 101 (Released 1966)

Label owner: Val Shively & Jack Strong. Philadelphia, Pa. 1966. (Only 3 records were released on this label all by the Contenders.)

Side A: The Clock
Side B: Look at Me

Both sides of this record feature an accompaniment by a little known band called the Rouges. The record released one year after The Contenders formed in 1965. In previous years, the band had recorded the same songs under different names—The Lyations, The Kaptions, and the Zippers. However, the 1966 Java release is universally recognized as the definitive one.

The epitome of Philly doowop, “The Clock” opens with a bassy vocal rhythm and an emphasis on the downbeat, a common element of the doowop style. You feel that downbeat every time you tap your feet to the thud-THUD that carries the music along. “The Clock” compares the progression of a budding romance with the progression of a clock moving through the hours. Anybody who has ever been in love can relate to the feeling of growing excitement and the agony of parting that’s captured in this hit.

Compared to the energetic opening of “The Clock”, “Look at Me” opens with mellow, thoughtful vocals. The entirety of this track is a sort of self-pitying lamentation about heartbreak. In a way, it’s appropriate that this track exists on the opposite side of “The Clock,” since heartbreak constantly looms on the other side of love.

Teacher of Love by Melvin Carter—Peacock 1938 (Released 1964)

Label owner: Don D. Robey. 4104 Lyons Ave, Houston Texas & 2809 Erastus St, Houston Texas 1949-1968.

Side A: Teacher of Love
Side B: Something Reminds Me

Melvin Carter, often confused with Cincinnati singer Mel Carter, was a man who understood what soul was all about. His most popular song, “Love is a Sacrifice”, wouldn’t be released until 1973. Until then, he was busy recording music that captured the essence of southern soul, taking notes from gospel, blues, country, and even early rock. By publishing through Peacock Records, Melvin Carter joined the ranks of other defining funk and soul musicians like James Booker and Memphis Slim. Peacock Records most famously released Big Mama Thonrton’s “Hound Dog,” which would later be covered by Elvis Presley himself. By grabbing this record, you’ll get an essential piece of southern soul that your collection wouldn’t be complete without.

“Teacher of Love” features an energetic electric guitar backing Carter’s rich voice. He expresses his frustration on school’s focus on impractical subjects, instead wishing school would teach about romance, an important aspect in anyone’s life. Is the woman he longs for his teacher? Or is it just a girl in his class? Give the track a listen and decide for yourself!

Compared to “Teacher of Love,” “Something Reminds Me” features a more somber sound. The electric guitar of the first song is replaced with a piano, which helps the song achieve the melancholy effect it doubtlessly strove for. If the first track was about love to come, the second touches on the pain and loneliness felt after that love departs. It makes a perfect counterpart to the record’s A side. Together, they paint a clear picture of the excitement, confusion, and calamity of young love.

Life by Cortez & The Entertainers—Your Town 711 (Released 1969)

Label owner: A product of Jacomil Ent. Inc. 80 McClellan St, Bronx, N.Y. 1962. (Only 2 records were released on this label. The other one was by the Johnson Brothers. # 712)

Side A: Life
Side B: I Sent Her Back (To The Home She Loves)

Both Cortez & The Entertainers and Your Town Records were short lived. The former only ever released the record we’re writing about today, and the latter only published two records before disappearing completely. Despite their short time here, they both made a big impact. Give it a listen and we guarantee you you’ll wish Cortez & The Entertainers had stuck around.

“Life” is a hit of a song that opens with fanfare-esque trumpets. While the song chronicles a man’s journey from love to heartbreak, the true message of the song seems to center around the importance of pushing forward after hardships. No matter the heartbreak, life goes on.

“I Sent Her Back” takes the message from the first song and applies it to the singer’s own life. Despite the harrowing situation, Cortez recalls the story in an upbeat way and shows how willing he is to take his own advice. Once you hear the blaring trumpets, quick basslines, and solos, you won’t be able to keep from smiling. If you’re down and looking for a bit of soul infused motivation, you need look no further than Cortez & The Entertainers.

Fall Into Your New Favorite Record

Pricing, details (grade, side A/B, quantity) and sound clips for each of the above records can be found via the following links:

The Clock – The Contenders

Teacher of Love – Melvin Carter

Life – Cortez & The Entertainers

We provide a simple online ordering form for any of our records. Enter your billing and shipping information, provide details about the record you’re requesting, hit submit, and relax knowing that good times are on their way.

Tags:

Essential Soul and R&B Records of the 60’s

by Administrator 14. September 2017 09:41

When we think of “essential” soul and R&B records, we tend to think of classic 60’s songs that every fan should have in their collection. But at Parker’s Records and Comics we know that essential means much more than just must have—we’re talking about records that are quintessentially soul and R&B. Once you listen to one of these records, you’ll understand. All it takes is a strong, rhythmic sound and smooth, harmonizing vocals and you’ll find yourself saying, “Now that’s soul music.”

I Paid For The Party by the Enchanters – Loma 2012 (Released 1965)

Label owner: Mike Maitland & Bob Krasner, 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbaznk, CA (1964-1968)

Side A: I Paid For The Party

Side B: I Want To Be Loved

Originally led by influential soul and R&B singer Garnet Mimms, The Enchanters set out to make a name for themselves after Mimms left the group in 1964. Sam Bell led the group which also included Zola Pearnell, Charles Boyers, and William Gilmore.

“I Want To Be Loved”, a classic mid-60’s love song, was the first single that the group recorded with Loma, a California-based R&B label. Prior to Loma 2012, the group had recorded “I Wanna Thank You” with Loma’s parent label, Warner Bros. Records, in 1964 and eventually went on to record two more singles—“We Got Love” and “You Were Meant To Be My Baby”—for Loma 2054 and Loma 2035, respectively. Of the four singles that the Enchanters recorded, however, Loma 2012 stands apart as the group’s definitive example of northern soul.

I Need Your Love by the Egyptian Kings – Nanc 1120 (Released 1963)

Label owner: Howard Ransom & James L. Turner 124 East, 101st St., Los Angeles, CA & 138 1/2 S. Florence, CA (1957-1963)

Side A: I Need Your Love

Side B: Give Me Your Love

The Egyptian Kings, along with the Egyptians & King Pharaoh, were a splintering of the Four Pharaohs, a top R&B vocal group in Columbus. While both incarnations of the group were led by Morris Wade, the Egyptian Kings featured Paul Moore, Pete Oden, and Leo Blakely.

While “I Need Your Love” is the song that lends its name to this 7” vinyl record, it’s “Give Me Your Love” that truly defines Nanc 1120. “Give Me Your Love” is a smooth, soulful love song that features tenor Morris Wade at his best. Nanc 1120 marks the third recording of the song. Previously, the group released versions of the song for both Ransom and Paradise in 1958. With Wade’s natural talent and a harmony that has been absolutely perfected, it’s difficult not to give Nanc 1120 your love.

Write Your Ticket by Element Experience – Green Eagle 314 (Released 1970)

Side A: Write Your Ticket

Side B: Make Yourself At Home Honey

“Write Your Ticket” would be both the only single released by Element Experience as well as the only single released by the Green Eagle label. But neither the artist nor the label needs a backstory—GE 314 can speak for itself! All it needs is your undivided attention.

“Write Your Ticket” features all of the elements you would expect from the turn of the 60’s funk and soul: the intense groove of strong guitar riffs and bass lines and a driving rhythmic feel. We’ll never know what could have been of Element Experience or the Green Eagle label, but we do know one thing—GE 314 is a truly elemental experience.

Add Essential Soul and R&B to Your Music Collection     

Pricing, details (grade, side A/B, quantity) and sound clips for each of the above records can be found via the following links:

I Paid For The Party– Enchanters

I Need Your Love – Egyptian Kings

Write Your Ticket – Element Experience

We provide a simple online ordering form for any of our records. Enter your billing and shipping information, provide details about the record you’re requesting, hit submit, and relax knowing that good times are on their way.

Tags:

Blog

Distinctive Funk/Soul Records of the 60’s

by Administrator 22. August 2017 07:56

Funk and soul are among the most distinct genres of music. But even among these already highly unique styles, there’s a broad range of variations and traditions that every kind of music listener can appreciate.

At Parker’s Records and Comics, we’ve had the pleasure to experience some of the most unique forms of funk and soul music that emerged during the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. From the cultural phenomenon of northern soul to the California-influenced style of Los Angeles R&B, we’ve experienced every variation that you can imagine. That’s why we’re delighted to share with you now our list of some of the most unique funk/soul records of the 60’s.

Let Me Be A Part Of You by Exotics – Excello 2292 (Released 1968)

Label owner: Ernest L. Young, Nashville, TN (1952-1970)

Side A: Let Me Be A Part Of You

Side B: Let’s Try To Build A Love Affair

The Exotics originated from Orangeburg, South Caroline, but like many great funk/soul groups of the time, they were destined to make their way to Music City. It was there in Nashville, Tennessee, that the group recorded two records with Excello, an independent blues record label that was building a music empire on hits such as “Got Love If You Want It” and “I’m A Lover Not A Fighter”. With their Excello 2284 (“Boogaloo Investigator”) recording in 1967 and their Excello 2292 (“Let Me Be A Part Of You”) recording in 1968, the Exotics joined an elite group of blues singers, songwriters, and musicians that included greats such as blues Slim Harpo and Lazy Lester.

From start to finish, “Let Me Be A Part of You” is everything you would expect from a popular 60’s funk/soul song. The song features an uptempo beat, high-energy vocals, and lyrics that you’ll find yourself singing along to. That’s why, when it comes time to listen to the other side of the 45, most listeners are pleasantly surprised by what they hear! “Let’s Try To Build A Love Affair”, the second song on Excello 2292, slows down the tempo and puts the astonishing vocals of lead singer John Riley at the forefront. Even after just a short listen, you’ll understand why “Let’s Try To Build A Love Affair” is a classic example of northern soul.

Huff And Puff by The Electras – Lola 001 (Released 1962)

Label owner: John Marascvalo, Los Angeles, CA (1962-1964) & New Orleans, LA (1966)

Side A: Huff and Puff

Side B: Mary Mary

By the time the Electras recorded Lola 001, the group already had several successful releases under their belt—albeit under a few different names. The group’s history begins in Los Angeles, California in 1959 when The Valiants, a 50’s rhythm and blues group, added several new members. In doing so, the group made the transition towards doo-wop and R&B and renamed themselves the Untouchables. They recorded “Poor Boy Needs a Preacher” and three other records for Madison Records, a New York-based label, in addition to two records for Liberty. Eventually, the group changed its name to the Electras in 1961. With such a rich history and a diversity of talents, it’s no surprise that Lola 001 features a unique blend of doo-wop, funk and soul that can only be called Los Angeles R&B.

S.O.S. by The Extremes – RCA 9009 Promotional Copy (Released 1966)

Side A: S.O.S.

Side B: Hide The Moon

By the 1960’s, Nashville was already a hive of activity for both up-and-coming and renowned blues and R&B artists. Needless to say, while countless hopefuls flocked to Music City in order to achieve their dream of music stardom, not every artist became the household name they would have liked. And while the Extremes may remain a band that is known to only the most diehard 60’s funk/soul enthusiasts, RCA 9009 itself is a piece of music history. “S.O.S.” is perhaps one of the earliest examples of blue-eyed soul, a genre that was being pioneered by groups like The Extremes. In fact, the term “blue-eyed soul” wasn’t coined until about the mid-1960s, around the time that RCA 9009 was released. Of course, aside from its historical value, the record itself is a rare and highly sought-after item among funk/soul record collectors and those who enjoy collecting promotional copies.


Expand Your Music Collection                          

Pricing, details (grade, side A/B, quantity) and sound clips for each of the above records can be found via the following links:

Let Me Be A Part of You– The Exotics

Huff and Puff– The Electras

S.O.S.– The Extremes

We provide a simple online ordering form for any of our records. Enter your billing and shipping information, provide details about the record you’re requesting, hit submit, and relax knowing that good times are on their way.

Tags:

Blog

1960s Soul & Funk Music that Defined a Generation

by Administrator 25. July 2017 07:37

Music is an essential piece of the human experience. It not only gives us a way to express our identities, but it also allows us to step into roles that we may otherwise never get to experience. In many ways, a song is an open invitation into the both the personal experiences and historical period that influenced its artist.

The 1960s was truly one of the most fascinating decades in music history. While both soul and funk were still newly emerging music genres, they had already established themselves as symbols that defined a new generation of Americans. While not all of us had the honor to live through this exciting time of musical—and social—change, the music of individual artists like Otis Clay and groups like The Cadillacs the opportunity to travel back in time and see the world from their perspective. All we have to do is put their record on.

Here are three funk and soul records that will make you see the 60s with new eyes.

White Gardenia Capitol 4825 Record

White Gardenia by The Cadillacs – Capitol 4825 (Released 1962)

Side A: White Gardenia

Side B: Groovy Groovy

 

“White Gardenia” was recorded towards the end of a long series of releases by The Cadillacs, an American rock and roll and doo-wop group from Harlem, New York. While many groups of the time focused on domestic love stories, the eponymous song offered something novel: the story of a matador who searched for his love in the crowd as he squared off a bull during his last performance. And instead of the usual dance-inspired beat or vocal harmony that the band was known for, the lyrics of “White Gardenia” are set to an awe-inspiring funk / soul melody that truly brings the story to life. You’ll have to listen to the song yourself to know how the story ends but, like many songs released by The Cadillacs, it is one that universally attracts an audience.

Of course, one can’t talk about The Cadillacs without also clarifying just which of the many versions of the group is being discussed. After all, between 1953 and 1962, the group reinvented itself over a handful of times, beginning as The Carnations in 1953 and eventually becoming The Four Cadillacs, Earl Carroll and the Cadillacs, and Jesse Powell and the Caddys over time. Over the nearly decade long history of the group, 19 men in all could claim that they were part of “The Cadillacs” at one point or another. Roland Martinez, Curtis Williams, Ray Brewster, and Irving Lee Gail were the members of the then-current iteration of the group who recorded Capitol 4825. Both “White Gardenia” and “Groovy Groovy” also seem to be strongly influenced by The Coasters, a blues/rock and roll vocal group that The Cadillacs tried to emulate at the time. Pulling from such a rich and extensive history of talent, it should come as no surprise that Capitol 4825 is standout example of American rock and roll and doo-wop.

That Kind of Lovin' Cotillion 40009 Record

That Kind of Lovin' by Otis Clay – Cotillion 40009 (Released 1968)

Label owner: Ahmet & Jerry Wexler, 1841 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (1968-1972). Label distributed by Warner Bros from 1976-1982.

 

Side A: That Kind of Lovin’

Side B: Do Right Woman, Do Right Man

Otis Clay is a name that is immediately recognizable as much today as it has ever been. Clay charted R&B and soul singles from 1967 to 1980 and remained popular throughout the world over the following decades, leading up to his 2013 induction into the Blues Hall of Fame. Even now, his mastery of the blues genre continues to attract listeners from all walks of life and will continue to do so long into the foreseeable future.

“That Kind of Lovin’” was recorded by Cotillion, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records, on the heels of Clay’s 1967 Billboard hits “That’s How It Is (When You’re In Love)” and “A Lasting Love”. While Clay had been recording secular music for close to three years by this time, his early history as a traditional gospel singer still heavily influenced his style. “That Kind of Lovin’” artfully blends together elements of traditional black gospel music—a catchy rhythm, call and response, and a beat that you’ll want to clap your hands to—with Clay’s remarkable voice and talent for the funk / soul genre. Simply put, “The Kind of Lovin’” is a song about a man testifying to the love he has found with a woman.

My Baby's Gone Away Down to Earth 71 Record

My Baby's Gone Away by The Chymes – Down To Earth 71 (Released 1970)

Label owner: Walter & Burgess Gardner, 746 East 75th St, Chicago, Ill. (1970-1973).

 

Side A: My Baby’s Gone Away

Side B: Where I Come From

 

The Chymes, also known as the Star-Tells, consisted of harmonizing brothers Victor, David, and James Martin. For their Down To Earth 71 recording, the group also received support from the Burgess Gardner & The Soul Crusaders Orchestra, a Chicago based soul group who served as the house band for Down to Earth as well as Lamarr and More Soul.

"My Baby's Gone Away" is both a fine example of 70's funk / soul music as well as a thoughtful commentary that reflects on the everyday experiences of young black men of the time. Released near the end of the Vietnam War, the eponymous track derives its name from the experiences of soldiers who have returned home only to find that their "baby's gone away."


Own a Piece of Music History

Pricing, details (grade, side A/B, quantity) and sound clips for each of the above records can be found via the following links:

White Gardenia – The Cadillacs

That Kind of Lovin’ – Otis Clay

My Baby’s Gone Away – The Chymes

We provide a simple online ordering process for any of our records. Enter your billing and shipping information, provide details about the record you’re requesting, and hit submit. From there, sit back, relax, and enjoy knowing that your records are on their way!

Tags:

Blog

3 Records That Will Make You a Fan of 60’s Soul Music

by Administrator 26. June 2017 12:13

Whether you identify as a casual music listener or a dedicated music collector, at the end of the day we all have one thing in common—we’re music fans. But what exactly draws us to a particular artist? If you ask someone why they enjoy their favorite artist so much, they may start to describe the artist’s vocal talents. Or perhaps they’ll describe the style in which they perform. But, at Parker’s Records and Comics, we’ve found over our long history that people’s attraction to a particular artist is often based on something much simpler—the artist just “gets” them.

At one time or another, we’ve all encountered an artist who immediately resonates with us. And when this connection happens, it’s often one that lasts a lifetime. Artists like Nancy Marano, who has won over countless fans from around the world, are a prime example of this. Even less prominent artists have proven their ability to attract their own dedicated group of fans.

Here are three soul artists we’ve become fans of over the years. We know that with just one listen you’re certain to become a fan, too.

Columbia 44820 Record

Keep Your Hands Off My Baby by Nancy Marano– Columbia 44480 (Released 1969)

Side A: Keep Your Hands Off My Baby

Side B: Faces

It’s hard to imagine “Keep Your Hands Off My Baby” as anything but the perfect mix of 60’s jazz, soul, and pop music. That’s exactly why so many record collectors are surprised to find out that Nancy Marano’s classic wasn’t originally her own! The Orlons recorded the original version of “Keep Your Hands Off My Baby” in 1968 but it largely went unnoticed. A year later, the song was recorded again but this time it was infused with extraordinary vocal and a distinct jazz style from a then up-and-coming Marano. Both “Keep Your Hands Off My Baby” and “Faces” were a success!

While her ability to transform a relatively unknown number into a recognized classic seemed like nothing short of miraculous at the time, this early feat of hers is not all that surprising to the fans who have witnessed her growth over the past few decades. Marano was raised in a musical family and it was clear from early on that she had all the makings of an excellent jazz singer. Today, she even teaches a new generation of jazz singers on top of a busy performance schedule. This makes Columbia 44480—“Keep Your Hands Off My Baby”, in particular—not only an important milestone in the singer’s career, but an invaluable record for both jazz collectors and fans alike.

Black Falcon 19101 Record

 

 

Most Of All by The Montegos–Black Falcon 19101 (Released 1968)

Label owner: Bill Seabrook, Freeport, NY (1968-1975)

Side A: Most Of All

Side B: Theme Of A Broken Heart

Not much is known about The Montegos. The band only recorded three albums: “Take It Easy” with Joy in 1963; “Most of All” with Black Falcon in 1968; and “The Montegos” with ABC in 1968. But, while the band may not carry a recognized name, it offers a sound that is certain to be appreciated by 60’s soul and funk enthusiasts. And, of course, it’s difficult for anyone not to relate to the themes of longing and heartbreak that the band touches upon so eloquently.

“Most of All”, as it was recorded for its Black Falcon 19101 release, features a style reminiscent of Philadelphia soul. With smooth, beautiful vocals and subtle funk influences, the song conveys the feelings of a man and woman who miss each other dearly. “Theme Of A Broken Heart”, by contrast, slows down the tempo and shifts to a much more subdued tone. Just like its counterpart, however, the song still features elements of Philly soul. In fact, at some points you may even think that The Montegos were ahead of their time by the way they incorporate subtle elements of jazz and pop into the song. Today, the band still has quiet the following making Black Falcon 19101, as well as their other releases, popular with collectors.

Equator 1401

Send My Baby Back To Me by Majestic—Equator 1401

Side A: Send My Baby Back To Me

Side B: How Long Will I Love You

Like The Montegos, Majestic didn’t have many releases but what they lacked in numbers they undeniably made up for it in quality. This all-male harmony group epitomizes northern soul, a style of black American soul music that was heavily based on Motown’s sound in the mid-1960s. “Send My Baby Back To Me” exemplifies northern soul at its best. With an upbeat tempo, it’s not just a song that is fun to listen to but one that will also make you want to dance. “How Long Will I Love You” also showcases the group’s talent for crafting a slow, harmonious ballad. By all accounts, Majestic is a rare, one-of-a-kind group that represents some of the most unique musical styles to emerge during the 60’s. Of course, the same could be said for the band’s only known recording—Equator 1401—making it a must-have for a variety of music fans.

 

Show Your Fandom

When you’re a fan of someone’s music, the best way to express your enthusiasm is by making it a part of your collection! At Parker’s Records and Comics, we have records from hundreds of artists in stock. We’ll reconnect you with your old favorites and help you make new ones.

Pricing, details (grade, side A/B, quantity) and sound clips for each of the above records can be found via the following links:

Keep Your Hands Off My Baby – Nancy Marano

Most Of All – The Montegos

Send My Baby Back To Me – Majestic

We provide a simple online ordering form for any of our records. Enter your billing and shipping information, provide details about the record you’re requesting, hit submit, and relax knowing that good times are on their way.

Tags:

About the author

Something about the author

Month List

Page List