Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Life Is A Good Thing! (Repost from 11/7/09)

"... Life is a good thing ..." How true does that line ring with the news of mass shootings,  murder, rape, and government arbitrariness for a backdrop?

If we all could stop a moment and reflect on how quick our lives might change -- forever -- through a traumatic event that scars our minds and souls seriously enough to completely erase happiness from our lives.

None of the victims and their loved ones -- I'm quite sure of it -- did ever imagine to be touched by these tragedies. And yet, it happened to them. It scares me to think that we all are so vulnerable and completely exposed to the whims of the evil in human disguise.

So, let life be a good thing -- at least as long as we are in the driver's seat ourselves.

A good advice: Alexander Patton -- Make The Best Of What You Got


Don't forget that you would not know how good the sweet tastes, if you didn't know how bad the bitter tastes. The Bitterness of Life -- Bruce Ruffin.


Teddy Pendergrass wraps it up with Life Is A Song Worth Singing


With that in mind, I wish everyone a very happy new year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Timmy Shaw -- "Thunder In My Heart"

Give me a nice deep soul track, and I am a happy gal ... Don't ask me what it is about deepies that make me love them. It's probably the genuineness and lack of pretentiousness in these songs that attract me. Anyway, when I first heard this tune, I knew exactly that I would love it enough to be included in my favorites play list ... And there it stayed for good.

Timmy Shaw was born Jake Hammonds (Hammond) in Detroit September 13, 1938. He is another talented artist who would have vanished into oblivion if there weren't such sites as Sir Shambling's. 
He recorded for different labels between 1960 and 1967 and was a protege of  Detroit legend Johnny Mae Marhews'. (In 1961, the two recorded the single "I Don't Want Your Loving").

Timmy Shaw was an excellent singer with a heavy dose of gospel fervor and RandB grit in his voice. He should have been a successful star ... Yet despite such good material as "Throw It Out Your Mind", for example, and "Can't We Make This Love Last," he never managed to receive the recognition he deserved. 

Timmy Shaw died in March 1984.

My favorite tune is "Thunder In My Heart," the A-side (b/w "No More") of a 1963 release for BON 003.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Reggae Sunday at SOTS (repost from 11/21/2010)

SOTS Sundays belong to Reggae


Ernie Freeman --- Live It Up
The Skatalites -- Latin Goes Ska
Roy Bennett -- I Dangerous
Dave Barker -- Loneliness


Saturday, December 28, 2013

L.J. Reynolds and The" Dramatics" live (parts 1 and 2)

My chief music scout, Dr. C., once again dug something out for me I really, really love. Over the holidays, we indulged in strolling down memory lane, stopping here and there and finally hanging out at this Dramatics live concert for the rest of the evening. (The introduction, by the way, was done by Maurice "The Voice" Watts. Maurice is the host of New York City's radio show "The Love Zone.")

L.J. Reynolds and the guys' voices simply defy age. Perfect harmonizing, great band -- fantastic performance. Thanks Dr. C. for contributing this to SOTS3.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Hermon Hitson -- "Too Much For The Human Heart"

According tohermonhitson.com, "Hermon Hitson has played with some of the biggest names in music history such as Bobby Womack, Wilson Pickett, Major Lance, Jackie Wilson, The Drifters, The Shirelles, Joe Tex, The Midnighters and others."

I had no clue Hermon Hitson was an accomplished guitarist and stumbled across his story while researching him in connection with the beautiful song I found by him.  Apparently, he recorded an entire album which was credited to Jimi Hendrix who allegedly didn't even play on it. The original album, "Free Spirit" (Phoenix 10, 1980) had been shelved for years and was released after Jimi's death.
You'll find an interesting track and Hermon Hitson's story here.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Soul Stirrers -- "Christmas Means Love"

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas. Give love for Christmas and enjoy the love you receive. Thank those who shared their lives with you and made your days merry and bright throughout the year -- not only for Christmas.

merry christmas photo: Merry Christmas a12.jpg

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

All I Want For Christmas ...

All I want for Christmas is -- again and still  -- Peace on Earth.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Tony Fox -- "I Wanna Get Next To You," "There's Something Else I Wanna Do," "Why Did You Lie"

Here's a title from yet another obscure artist named Tony Fox. I've never heard of him until I found this album on the Here Only Good Music blog. Tony Fox was neither his real nor his only name. Born as Larry Vivio Capel, he also used the aliases of Larry Hale and Larry Cappel. He released most of his recordings as Tony Fox, however. Other than that, there is not much biographical material available.

Besides his only album, "The Beginning," (Blaster Records, 1981), he recorded several singles between 1966 and 1981 -- not only as a soloist but also as the lead singer of a group called The African Beavers. In addition to that group, Discogs shows him as associated with the Jerry Coombs Band. I never heard of any of these bands.

 "I Wanna Get Next To You"

As I said, I first heard him on his 1981 album from which the latter track is taken.
While I was researching this under-appreciated artist, I found some early tunes by him that showcase Tony's great voice much better than the later recordings. His style ranged from the Latin tinged tunes reminiscent of the Drifters  through deep/southern soul to gritty funk. Tony Fox was quite versatile -- and good at all of the different styles.

"There's Something Else I Wanna Do" (as Larry Hale, Fontana)

One of My favorites "Why Did You Lie" (Tri-Spin, 1966)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Joy of the Season: "Joyful, Joyful" by the London Community Gospel Choir

To be honest, I am getting a bit tired of all the Christmas carols that are played to death. No matter if they're sung by the most famous, most accomplished singers -- they just are annoying. So I thought I should venture out and find some fresh material. And here we go with The London Community Gospel Choir. Fresh, enthusiastic and joyful music of the season.

Special greetings to my friends  in the U.K. Have a merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tim Maia -- "Nobody Can Live Forever"

 Sebastiao Rodrigues Maia, a.k.a. Tim Maia, was born September 28, 1942 in Rio De Janeiro. Known as the father of Brazilian soul, he left his mark on other genres also. Brazilian funk, pop, rock, jazz, bossa nova and disco music received the Maian touch, so to speak, consisting of a heavy dose of his "iconoclastic, ironic, outspoken, and humorous musical style." (Wiki)
He began recording in 1970 and released an impressive number of albums. Maia is said to have had considerable health problems and died march 15, 1998 during a concert at the Municipal Theater of NiterĂ³i.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Reggae Monday at SOTS#: The Techniques

I remember this time of the year as being tranquil and serene ... this year, however, the christmas season was anything but quiet and contemplative. Don't know why ...
I had planned a reggae Sunday yesterday --  it was not supposed to happen. So I told myself to do it today. And what happened? The day is almost over and there's still not a sound from SoundsOfTheSoul.

Here we go with the Techniques, the Jamaican rocksteady group that was founded in the early 60's by Winston Riley. The group saw many a lineup featuring amongst others Lloyd Parks, Bruce Ruffin, and Dave Barker.
Their most recognized songs were "My Girl" and "Run Come Celebrate." Don't expect the Techniques' "My Girl" to be yet another cover of the Tempts song; contrary to what some articles claim, it definitely is not the Temptations' signature song. 

My Girl
I'm In Love
Run Come Celebrate

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Warming Up with Rose Royce, Percy Sledge, Love Unlimited, Tyrone Davis

This morning my patio was covered with a layer of ice, so I needed some music to warm things up around here. Here's something to make your day warm and cozy and happy ...

Safe and Warm -- Rose Royce
Warm and Tender Love -- Percy Sledge
It May Be Winter Outside -- Love Unlimited Orchestra
Wrapped Up In Your Warm And Tender Love -- Tyrone Davis


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Calvin Scott -- "I've Made A Reservation"

A couple years ago, I was posting a series of songs by singers with creamy, soft and velvety voices. Included were Brenton Wood, Eddie LeVert, Percy Sledge and other singers with unforgettably warm voices.
When I listened to Calvin Scott the other day, I was reminded of these posts and how much fun it was to find images to match the texture of the voices. Joe Simon's voice, for example, reminded me of whipped cream. Calvin Scott's voice reminds me of creme brulee. It's soft and smooth qualities lie hidden under a crunchy surface ... almost as if he was trying to hide them.

What do you think?

Before Calvin Scott went solo, he had partnered with Clarence Carter. In the early sixties, the duo Clarence and Calvin, released several 45's of which the ballad “Step by Step” seems to be the best known. (Sorry can't find it.) I only have  "I Don't Know" and "Somebody Better Get Here Quick" on file. I like the latter one better, so I post it here. It was the B-side of I Like It" released in 1963 on the Duke label.

"Somebody Better Get Here Quick," Clarence and Calvin

The two met at the school for the blind they attended. Calvin played piano since he was 5 years old. By the time he met Clarence Carter he played several instruments and was a member of the school band. They formed a band of their own and played together until Calvin got seriously injured in an accident on the way home from a show. He sued Clarence Carter for assisting him to pay the medical bills he had incurred following the accident. Well -- and that was the end of the duo.

Once recovered, formed his own band and between 1968 and 1969 recorded four singles for Atlantic Records. In 1971, he signed with Stax where he released his only full-length album "I’m Not Blind, I Just Can’t See." Today's pick is from this album. 
Discouraged by the lack of promotion for the attendant singles “Shame on the Family Name” and “A Sadness for Things,” Scott quit the music business and returned to Alabama, where he took a job with the state government and continued to perform on a local basis. Scott’s son, Calvin Scott Jr., went on to become a smooth jazz saxophonist. (allmusic.com)
"I've Made A Reservation" Calvin Scott

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Hues Corporation -- "How I Wish We Could Do It Again"

Republic Wireless tweeted this yesterday: "We love our phones, but love our families more! RT this if you'll give thanks and turn it off. Happy Thanksgiving!"
Even if you are not happy with your family dynamics at the moment, remember that there may be a time ahead when you wish you had not answered that phone while you had the chance to talk to your sister, mother, father, brother or child ... 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Radio Raggedy: High on Hi: Al Green, Ann Peebles, Otis Clay and more

Al Green -- Unchained Melody
Ann Peebles -- I Needed Somebody
Otis Clay -- I Die A Little Each Day
Don Bryant -- Cloudy Days
Syl Johnson -- Anyone But You

The Unmistakable Sound of Hi Records:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Gladys Knight and The Pips: "Midnight Train To Georgia"

Today is Dr. C's and Raggedy's 33rd wedding anniversary. We've seen good times and sad times. There were times chock full of joy. There also were challenging times testing our resilience ... But -- always -- we'd rather wanted to live in each others' world than anywhere else.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Anita Baker -- "No More Tears"

Anita Baker, without any doubt, is one of the greatest singers of our times. today's pick is a song was released in 1983 on Beverly Glen Music. I love the passion in her delivery ...
And, of course, I wish everyone a "tearless" happy Sunday.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dobie Gray, Walter Jackson: Soul or Pop?

Dobie Gray und Walter Jackson sind zwei Saenger, die m. E. nicht ins Genre Soul gehoeren. Trotzdem mag ich ihre Musik aber.

Drift Away ist eine gelungene Mischung aus Rock/Pop/Country und Soul. Musik kennt eben keine klare Grenzen.

I Want To Come Back As A Song gesungen von Walter Jackson ist ein Song, der mich immer wieder tief beruehrt. Walters sanfte und samtige Stimme fasziniert mich immer aufs Neue.