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.

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Make Your Record Collection Unique with these 60’s and 70’s Hits

by Administrator 14. June 2017 13:43

What makes a song a major hit?

While the 60’s and 70’s saw the debut of many unique and undeniably talented singers, only a few songs reached the level of enduring, mainstream success that made them a “major hit.” This, of course, does not make the contributions of the countless other songs that were released during the period any less valuable—and certainly not any less enjoyable! On the contrary, the funk/soul genre, in particular, was full of less prominent but extraordinary songs that would excite and inspire audiences just as well as any recognizable title of their day.

The truth of the matter is that a major hit is whatever you decide it to be. And that’s great because you’re your record collection should be a reflection you and your personal favorites—no one else’s. If you’ve never ventured beyond the classics, we invite you to explore something new. At Parker’s Records, we have over 100,000 records so we know firsthand the joy that comes in discovering a new favorite artist or song. Here are just a few of the less known but exceptional songs that have become major “hits” with us.

Nothing I’d Rather Be (Than Your Weakness) by M-W-T Express feat. Marva W. Taylor – Forte 6045 (Released 1975)


Label owner: Eric Taylor, Kansas City, MO (1967-1980)

Side A: Nothing I’d Rather Be (Than Your Weakness)
Side B: (Hey, You And You And You And You) I’ve Lived The Life

Love songs are, of course, all about couples. It isn’t until you listen to the eponymous track, “Nothing I’d Rather Be (Than Your Weakness)”, that you realize this 70’s classic offers something unique–and surprisingly absent–from other songs of this style: harmonious vocals between a lover and their beloved. In short, “Nothing I’d Rather Be” isn’t just a song about couples. It’s one meant to be sung by couples, too. Without a doubt, you’ll want to sing along with the person closest to you.

The second song on the 45, “(Hey, You And You And You And You) I’ve Lived The Life”, switches the tone from smooth and easy going to strong and confident. Just one listen and you’ll agree that “I’ve Lived The Life” is quintessentially Marva Whitney and all of the vocal power and style that she represented. And as much as the song is centered on her own life and her struggle to become a better woman, you’ll be convinced that she wrote this song solely for you.

I’ve Got Another Mule by Paul Martin – Ascot 2190 (Released 1965)

Label owner: Max Youngstein, New York, NY (1962-1967)

Side A: I’ve Got Another Mule
Side B: Don’t Hustle Me

United Artists Records was founded under its parent company, United Artists, in 1957 and this relationship continued until the label was acquired by EMI in 1978, and ultimately absorbed into Liberty Records in 1980. From the late 50’s to early 80’s, many subsidiary labels emerged from United Artists Records, including Unart, Musicor, Ultra Audio, Veep, and—most notably—Ascot. The multitude of labels housed beneath United Artist Records not only made it one of the most eclectic music companies of the time but also allowed it to give a wide variety of artists the opportunity to prove themselves.

Paul Martin is one such artist to emerge from the Ascot label. And despite being one of the more obscure funk/soul singers of his day, his music is immediately familiar. With every word he sings, Martin exudes confidence—and it’s contagious! In many ways, Martin’s easygoing but self-assured tone is very reminiscent of Marva Taylor. So much, in fact, that you may just wonder why Martin didn’t receive as much recognition in his day as he often does with today’s listeners. The truth of the matter is that Paul Martin’s “I’ve Got Another Mule” is a record that is owned by few but desired by many. Once you listen to it, you’ll understand why it needs to be in your music collection.

As Long As Your Mine by Bette McLaurin –Pulse 1004 (Released 1965)



Side A: As Long As You're Mine
Side B: Never

From the start, it was clear that Bette McLaurin was extraordinarily talented. Shortly after her R&B debut with “Crying My Heart Out Over You” in 1950, she was signed to the Derby label. Derby 790, which featured “I May Hate Myself In The Morning” and “I Hear A Rhapsody”, not only succeeding in winning over the public, but was covered by other major labels of the time.
As anyone who has ever had the pleasure to listen to “As Long As You’re Mine” would agree, McLaurin deserves all of the acclaim she receives. Her voice is gentle at times but strong at others, perfectly moving between the two to create a balance. And while her vocal talents are certainly impressive in and of itself, it’s McLaurin’s style that truly makes her worth talking about. McLaurin grew to prominence at a time during the 50’s when R&B and pop music were so influential on one another that it was difficult to see them as distinct. “As Long As You’re Mine”, which was released near the end of McLaurin’s career, is a prime example of just how harmoniously these two genres could blend together—especially when brought to life by an exceptional singer.

Grow 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:

Nothing I’d Rather Be (Than Your Weakness) – M-W-T Express

I’ve Got Another Mule – Paul Martin

As Long As Your Mine – Bette McLaurin

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.

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60’s Records That Will Make You Feel Good

by Administrator 19. May 2017 13:06

Research suggests that we are most likely to remember events when they are tied to strong emotions, particularly pleasant ones. Of course, you don’t need to be a scientist to know just how true this is. As we’ve all experienced at one point or another, music not only allows us to reconnect with fond memories, but an especially heartfelt song can even help us relive these moments as if it was happening all over again.

So if you could relive any type of memory, which would you choose? Your happiest ones, of course! At Parker's Records, we have a number of records that will put you in a great mood. Whether you want to relive the exhilaration of a brand new love or fond memories of an exciting night out, here are just a few records from the 60’s guaranteed to make you feel good.

Pic 1 126 record

At The Party by Lee Maye – Pic 1 126 (Released 1965)

LabelOwner: Huey P. Meaux, Ville Platte, LA (1964-1966)

Side A: At The Party

Side B: Stop The World

Many singers strove to prove themselves in the 60s but few ever achieved the level of success that makes them still worth talking about today. Rhythm and blues artist Arthur Lee Maye was an extraordinary case. Not only did he achieve a level of musical success that many could only dream of, he also established a career on the field as a Major League Baseball player. While it’s easy to focus on what made Maye unique, it’s perhaps most worthwhile to focus on what made him distinct – his talent as a tenor.

Maye’s 1965 record “At The Party” features an uptempo rhythm and lighthearted lyrics that are certain to inspire some fun in your day. But, without a doubt, the defining feature of the record is Maye’s own bold, powerful voice. In fact, Maye’s voice is so good at getting people on their feet that you may just want to throw a party every time you listen to him.

Music City 856 record

Let Our Love Go On by The Music City Soul Brothers – Music City 856 (Released 1964)

Label Owner: Ray Dobart, 1815 Alcatraz Ave, Berkeley, CA (1954-1975)

Side A: Let Our Love Go On

Side B: Every Night I See Your Face

What could create a better listening experience than the sound of a gifted tenor? The perfect harmony between two extraordinary tenors, of course. And, just as you would expect, the unison of two distinct and powerful voices will do more than just move it – it’s bound to blow you away. That’s exactly what the Music City Soul Brothers offer in their 1964 album “Let Our Love Go On”.

Not to be misunderstood, just the lyrics and the music of “Let Our Love Go On” and “Let Our Love Go On” alone are enough to leave you enamored with the album; but it’s the perfect harmony of tenors Freddie Hughes and Ken Pleasants that elevates this listening experience from just “great” to absolutely “incredible”. This may be unsurprising to many, however, considering the enormous vocal talent and rich history of both Freddie Hughes and Ken Pleasants offer as individual artists. Both Hughes and Pleasants had a voice that was undeniably meant for Soul and, while only together for a short time, the amount of talent they offered as a duo is as hard to come by today as it was back then.

King 6068

Lookie, Lookie, Lookie by The Jewels – King 6068 (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: Lookie Lookie Lookie

Side B: Smokie Joe’s

The Jewels (alternatively spelt “The Jewells”) was a female group who began as The Impalas and later became The Four Jewels before finally establishing themselves as the group they are known as today. As artists, they made a name for themselves with Soul-, Rhythm-, and Blues-inspired music. More than anything, however, the group was best known for music that will make you feel good. Both the eponymous song “Lookie Lookie Lookie” and “Smokie Joe’s” have all of the makings of a guilty pleasure: an upbeat rhythm, vocal harmony, and a story about self-indulgence.

Let’s Throw a Party

Want to take your day from “good” to “extraordinary”? Then all you need to do is put a record on. Parker's Records has the songs that will make anyone feel good.

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

At The Party – Lee Maye

Let Our Love Go On – The Music City Soul Brothers

Lookie, Lookie, Lookie – The Jewels

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.

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