Two Heartbreak Records (and a Lovesick One)

by Administrator 1. June 2018 13:21

Where would music be without love? Love, in all its forms, has been a prominent theme in music since, well, forever. Although there are no statistics per se, it seems plain to everyone that love and the excitement it brings (not to mention the heartbreak that comes when it goes) have directly (and sometimes indirectly) influenced music and musicians for as long as music has existed.

Today, we are bringing you records that cover all sides of the spectrum. From love and lust to heartbreak and denial, here are two heartbreak records (along with a lovesick one).

It Won’t Stop Hurtin’ Me by Jean DuShon – Lenox 5568 (Released 1963)

 

Label Owner: Bill Simon. 157 West 57th St., New York, NY. (1962-1963).

Side A: It Won’t Stop Hurtin’ Me

Side B: Look the Other Way

Jean DuShon had influence far outside the worlds of R&B and soul, which was rare for a singer at the time. In addition to her soul contributions, Jean was famous as both a jazz singer and a stage actor. Her singing career began at the early age of 15 when she took to singing at nightclubs. Her next stop on her road to fame was as a featured vocalist in Cootie Williams’ band, which got her the attention of product Phil Spector. Together, they recorded a version of Little Willie John’s “Talk to Me, Talk to Me,” which, despite being unsuccessful, marked her entrance as a solo performer. DuShon stopped recording forever after her recording of “For Once in My Life” flopped because Berry Gordy asked that it not be promoted due to it’s association with Ron Miller. The song went on to be covered (and better received) by more prominent artists such as Stevie Wonder. Defeated by the flop, DuShon swore off recording, claiming she no longer “[had] the song.”

If the title wasn’t indication enough, Jean DuShon’s “It Won’t Stop Hurtin’ Me” has a heavy heartbreak at its center, despite the upbeat tempo and bright sound. Interestingly enough, this song has been classified as “Northern Soul Popcorn” by some, and they’re not talking about the movie snack. Popcorn music, also called Belgian popcorn or Belgian northern soul, is music that was frequently slowed down and played on a Belgian radio station called The Popcorn. These songs typically had a very specific groove. Today, popcorn music is more commonly called popcorn oldies. One last fun fact: The Popcorn took it’s name from James Brown’s The Popcorn LP.

DuShon’s “Look the Other Way” has also found itself in popcorn oldies collections. The bounce typically associated with popcorn music is much more pronounced on the record’s B side. If the first song was sad and self-pitying, the second one marks progress. The singer acknowledges that her ex-love has hurt her and that she should “look the other way” to avoid hurting herself. Though she knows this, she can’t bring herself to do it.

One Heart Lonely by Walter Jackson – Okeh 7263 (Released 1965)

 

Label Owner: Label Owner: Otto Heinman. 1473 Barnham Ave. Bridgeport, Ct & 799 Seventh Ave, New York, NY (1951-1970).

Side A: One Heart Lonely

Side B: Funny (Not Much)

Walter Jackson was an inspiration to many. A severe case of polio as a child left him crutch-ridden for the rest of his life. Despite that, he went on to have one of the deepest, richest voices in soul. Unfortunately, Jackson died young. At only 45 years, he passed due to a cerebral hemorrhage, which is bleeding that happens within the brain. However, his music carries on his legacy.

“One Heart Lonely” begins with a powerful opening that doesn’t let up. Trumpets and snare drums blast into the forefront before taking a backseat to Jackson’s booming voice. Despite being sad at its core, the upbeat tempo of the song and the lift of Jackson’s voice leaves you feeling a sense of hope and resilience after everything.

At first listen, you might think “Funny (Not Much)” that this song is less about love and more about having moved on. And it’s true that the song features lyrics such as “I can pass you on the street and my heart don’t skip a beat” and “Now that you’re standing here, darling, I don’t shed a tear.” However, give this one a few more listens (or maybe read the lyrics) and you’ll see that the song is actually the singer’s halfhearted attempt at veiling their hurt. Three things give this away. First, the singer is actually crying when he insists he doesn’t. The lyrics that follow “Darling, I don’t shed a tear” are “This is just the rain in my eyes,” which is clearly untrue despite the singer’s insistence. Second, the song is descriptive enough that it’s clear the singer is thinking very much about the things he purportedly doesn’t miss, such as in the line “And it’s funny I don’t miss all the heaven in your kiss.” Finally, the song’s message isn’t “I don’t love you,” it’s “I don’t love you that much.” The singer constantly tries to downplay that parts of himself that don’t love someone anymore through his inclusion of “not much” throughout the song, but this only highlights how much trouble he actually has letting go of his former love.

Love What You’re Doing to Me by Janet & the Jays – Hi 2129 (Released 1967)

 

Label Owners: Joe Cuoghi, Nick Pesee, Willie Mitchell & Carl McVoy.
425 Commerce Title Building, Memphis Tn. (1958-1977).

Side A: Love What You’re Doing to Me

Side B: Pleading for You

Of the three 45s in this article, this final one is the most obscure. This was one of Janet & the Jays’ three releases, and not much about the group is known (aside from their individual names). They only recorded over the course of three years. Still, Janet & the Jays put out some music that stands with the other 45s on our list today.

Where the other songs in this article deal with heartbreak, “Love What You’re Doing to Me” is an exultation of the thrill of new love. The more cynical among you might note that, because this is a song about new, not established love. Perhaps the sort of heartbreak expressed by the other artists isn’t too far off. Either way, it’s difficult not to tap your foot while listening.

If “Love What You’re Doing to Me” carried sexual undertones, “Pleading for You” takes things five steps further. “You know I need your kiss” is one of the first lines of the song, and that was a much stronger statement in the ‘60s than it is today. Faint electric guitar and quick, hard bursts of trumpets decorate this song while Janet and her background singers fill the remaining space.

Add Some Love Songs 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:

 

It Won’t Stop Hurtin’ Me – Jean DuShon

One Heart Lonely – Walter Jackson

Love What You’re Doing to Me – Janet & the Jays

 

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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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.

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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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