Sunday, June 30, 2013

Dramatics feat. Ron Banks -- Beautiful Feeling

"Beautiful Feeling," written by Fred Bridges, Richard Knight, and Robert Eaton, The Brothers of Soul. Before they formed their own group, however, they were writing and producing songs for a Detroit label. Darrell Banks recorded the song for Volt in 1969. (His version is absolutely gorgeous.) The Dramatics version appeared on their album Dramatically Yours (Volt, 1974.)

Here's Darrell Banks

And here's the Dramatics version

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Let's All Get Mixed Up (repost from 10/8/2010)


The Real Thing -- You To Me Are Everything (The Decade Remix)
George Chandler -- This Could Be The Night  (Special Remix)
Teddy Pendergrass -- Joy (Extended Remix 1988)
Manzel -- Midnight Theme (Dopebrother 7 inch Remix)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Don Bryant -- Just The Touch of Your Hand (Hi unissued)

Don Bryant is yet another Memphis based singer/songwriter who deserved the attention of a much wider audience. He was writing songs for Willie Mitchells' Hi label for such greats as Al Green, Otis Clay, Syl Johnson, and, of course, his wife Ann Peebles. But he was himself a talented singer.
His voice reminds me a bit of Same Cooke's ...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Look at this!

K-Ci, Jojo, Harry, Otis, Ron, Bo, and Terry singing "My Girl." Bo is killing it!

Alice Clark -- The Charms Of The Arms Of Love

Alice Clark recorded some outstanding music from the mid 60’s to early 70’s. “Charms Of The Arms Of Love” is only one of her many, many excellent recordings. I strongly recommend buying her Complete Studio Recordings 1966-1972. Firstly, so you can add this outstanding artist’s work to your collection and, secondly, so you won’t miss out on a musical pleasure.

Her music is the perfect flawless blend of moderate jazz, soul, and gospel.   You will hear great horn sections ranging from an polished orchestral sound to the raw southern soul style. Add Clark’s vocals, and you’ll have the perfect combination.

Picking today’s song was pretty difficult. I love “I Keep It Hid,” written by Jimmy  who wrote such classics as “By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” for example. Then “Looking at Life,” came up in my library -- and I thought I should post that song because the intro is so great ... 

Here we go!

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

GQ -- Star In Your Eyes

This song is so beautiful it stabs you right in the heart. GQ's tribute album  to Billy Stewart and Marvin Gaye was realeased in 1999.
GQ started out in 1968 and performed with different formations and names unto the 80's. Their lead singer, Emmanuel Rahiem LeBlanc must be considered one of the finest singers in Soul. In 1979 the group landed a #1 on the R&B charts with "Disco Nights (Rock Freak)."
Everyone with a taste for the smooth, silky, and dreamy kind of music will definitely fall in love with this track.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Clyde Dean -- Can You Keep A Secret

Re-Post from Feb. 21, 2011
Clyde Dean probably has only released one single of which he wrote both sides. Today's track came up on my playlist, and I thought I should share it. Such umistakable Southern Soul tracks as Can You Keep A Secret always have me hum and dance along. 
Clyde Dean wrote the songs on the Black Jack release. If you like the gritty, raw style of early Soul -- you will like this track.

Roy Abernathy -- Come On And Love Me

I think I am getting deeper and deeper into the Deep Soul genre. Just can't help it. It's just the right music that keeps you from becoming gloomy while you get all nostalgic ... And that ol' guitar is warming my heart through and through.

According to the one and only authority in all things Deep Soul, Sir Shambling, Roy Abernathy recorded only two  45's for the Paradox label. This one b/w "Love Is A Cheating Game" in 1971 and "Lonely Room" b/w "If You Leave Me" a year or two later.

Paradox label co-founder, Bill Coffield "was a saxophonist who had played with Jimmy Johnson in the 50s as well as featuring on several Quin Ivy sessions including Percy Sledge’s “When A Man Loves A Woman.” Together with Jim Thomas, he recorded a handful of soul titles on the label that was specializing in Pop and Country music. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Candle For Bobby Blue Bland (Jan. 27, 1930 - June 23, 2013)

My heart is truly aching today. My all-time favorite blues singer, Bobby "Blue" Bland is dead. May his soul rest in peace. He and his music hold a very special place in my heart.

burning candle photo: candle burning candle.gif

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Great Big Love -- Old School Love Songs

This is a repost of songs for Valentine's Day 2011 on my blog "Soul of the 60's and 70's: Sounds Of The Soul." Is there anything more beautiful than an Old School love song? I can't imagine ...
But -- you listen to this episode and judge yourself!
My Love Is True (Truly For You) -- The Temptations 
Wrapped Up In Your Warm and Tender Love -- Tyrone Davis 
Oh My Love, Sweet Love -- Hill Sisters 
Baby, Baby, Baby -- Percy Sledge 
So Deep In Love -- Eddie Giles 
No Stronger Love -- Floaters 
I Will Love You Always -- Stylistics 
Without Your Love I'll Be Nothing -- Lavorn Smith 
Love Is Magic -- Greg Perry

Wishing you a happy weekend filled with that old school lovin'

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lovers Rock Friday

Friday! Time for you guys to throw that tie into the next best corner and for the ladies to leave those high heels where you took them off -- two steps into the hall way. Now all that's missing is an ice-cold drink and some Reggae music. Don't be stingy with the volume. Turn it up!

Today's set contains two all time favorites of mine. First, "Teenager In Love" by Bob Marley and The Wailers. It is a cover of the Dion and The Belmonts song composed by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. The original was released in 1959 (Gosh, I was a teeny tiny baby then). The Wailers' version came out in 1965. If you're able to focus on anything else while you are moving to the beat, try to listen to that saxophone part, and if you happen to know who plays that sax, please, please let me know. 

Second, Desmond Dekker's "My Precious Love." All I can say is that this song is hauntingly beautiful. Desmond Dekker, the man with an angelic voice definitely has conquered my heart. "My Precious Love" was released in 1969 as the B-side of "It Miek." In my opinion, it should have been the other way around, though.


Moonlight Groover -- Winston Wright
Teenager In Love -- Bob Marley & The Wailers, 1965 
All My Loving -- Prince Buster  All Stars
What Dos It Take -- Alton Ellis 
Spanish Lace -- Byron Lee and The Dragonaires
My Precious Love -- Desmond Dekker and The Aces,, 1969


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blues Thursday

Albert King was the first Bluesman STAX Records signed after Prince Conley had joined the label when it was still Satellite Records.  

Prince Conley, "I'm Going Home," (Satellite Records, 1961)

His first single came out on the Parrot label in Chicago in 1953, and was, well, a nice try. But even the greatest genius needs to be discovered. So he moved to St. Louis in 1956 where he formed a new band. From that time on, he primarily used the Flying V guitar.

It took until 1959 to score a minor success with "A Lonely Man." The song was written by Little Milton and appeared on the Bobbin label.

His first major hit, "Don't Throw Your Love on Me So Strong" (live recording)

"If you don't dig the blues [,] you got a hole in your soul"

(Albert King)

Albert King was born Albert Nelson on April 25th, 1923 in Indianola, MS. A heart attack ended his life in December 1992 while he was headed for an European tour. 

He was nicknamed "Velvet Bulldozer" because he was of an impressive stature and, during his early career had to make a living by driving a bulldozer. Playing left-handed on a guitar for right-handed players, with his guitar upside down, he has created the absolutely distinctive sound that set him apart from any other blues man. His focus was on "tone and intensity more than flash" as the source article states. 

"He was a master of the single-string solo and could bend strings to produce a particularly tormented blues sound that set his style apart from his contemporaries." (STAX site) Albert King's sound was not only idiosyncratic but also influential to such blues artists as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton, for example.  



Overall Junction
Drowning On Dry Land (instrumental)
Can't You See What You're Doing To Me

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Deepies Wednesday s.e.

Some people consider Deep Soul a lower form, so to speak, of true Soul. Sure, there's a rather heavy dose of Country involved in most of these songs. On the other hand, that's actually where Soul music has its roots. 
No matter what -- if you love deeply felt presentations and that sweet feeling of indulging in both unpretentious singing and music, you'll enjoy this post. 
My favorite on this compilation definitely is Robert Earl's "Love Will Find A Way." How he managed not to become a famous singer, is beyond me. 


Try Love -- Joe Perkins
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye --Rose Davis
These Feelings -- Phil & Dell 
Love Will Find A Way -- Robert Earl
My Darling, My Darling -- George Freeman

(Image: Steve Cropper guitar, STAX Museum, Memphis, TN.)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Paul Kelly -- Don't Burn Me (album review)

Paul Kelly, "Don't Burn Me" (Warner Bros., 1973)


A1 Come Lay Some Lovin' On Me 3:41   
A2 (You Bring Me) Joy 2:57   
A3 I Wanna Get Next To You 3:20   
A4 I Could Never Love Nobody Like I'm Lovin' You 3:21   
A5 Come With Me 2:30   
A6 Love Me Now 3:22   
B1 Wrapped Up In Your Love 4:21   
B2 Sweetness 3:24   
B3 Come By Here 3:26   
B4 My Love For You Won't Die 3:20   
B5 I'd Be Satisfied 2:41   
B6 Don't Burn Me 2:55

Paul Kelly was born June 19th, 1940 in Miami, Florida. Before he joined Clarence Reid’s Del-Mires  in the early 60’s, Paul Kelly had already had his own — albeit short-lived — group. In 1956, Paul’s brother Henry asked him to join his own group, The Superiors. That came as a “super-surprise” to Paul who said in an interview with the Basement magazine that  Henry had told him he couldn't sing and that he “never was going to be a singer.” Henry’s Superiors, however, didn’t stay together for very long either because Henry left Miami to go to college. The rest of the group formed first the Spades and later the Valadeers. 

In 1960 Paul eventually went solo. His first recording attempt for the Dade label resulted in a disagreement over money, and the record was not released.
His debut single for the small Lloyd label “The Upset” b/w “It’s My Baby” (1965), co-written by Clarence Reid was, compared to his later recordings, a typical middle-of-the-road 60’s release. As was his rather successful “Chills and Fever” — another Northern Soul title that did not even come close to doing justice to the artist’s talent. “Sweet Sweet Lovin,” written by Kelly himself and released in 1967 for the Philips label, came much closer to showcasing the full potential of Paul’s vocal abilities. Compared to this release, his 1965 recordings sounded feeble and uninspired.
The 60‘s were over, and with the start of the new decade, it seemed, Paul Kelly had found his artistic identity. In 1970, he released the song that would forever be tied to his name: “Stealing In The Name Of The Lord” (Happy Tiger).  The song pilloried the hypocrisy of dubious preacher tactics to swindle their faithful followers out of their money. Paul Kelly wrote the song for Sam and Dave. But Sam Moore, it is said, found the theme objectionable.

Obviously, at the start of the new decade, Paul’s music had begun to change. The aggressive anti-church-corruption song had started a blaze within Paul Kelly. A new kind of urgency and passion pervaded both his compositions and deliveries.

When Happy Tiger records closed shop in 1971, Warner Bros. signed him up. Between 1972 and 1977 he released 4 LP’s for the new label.
Although “Dirt”, his first album, probably got the lion’s share of attention, his second album, in my opinion, deserves a closer look. “Don’t Burn Me”, was released simultaneously in the U.S. and Great Britain. All 12 songs are written by Paul Kelly himself and produced by Buddy Killen whose heavy slant towards country music becomes quite noticeable in some of the recordings. Nevertheless, the album offers an astonishing variety of musical arrangements and is inspired by various musical genres.
Nothing  is left to be desired on this album. From the the singing and lyrics to the participation of such choice musicians as Chips Moman and Reggie Young, everything provides a pleasant experience. Both the strings and horn sections are nothing short of superb. Paul Kelly’s singing has matured from the early, rather streamlined approach to  his idiosyncratic style. He sings with genuine passion, emotes without theatrics. The rawness of 60’s Soul is still present; the roughest edges, though, have been smoothed out.

The album balances more or less upbeat titles with slower ones. There are no unwelcome surprises having you wonder how they ended up on an otherwise wonderfully balanced, harmonious selection of songs.

The songs on the upbeat side “Come Lay Some Loving On Me,” “I Could Never Love Nobody Like I’m Loving You,” “You Bring Me Joy,” and the title song “Don’t Burn Me” have all made it into the favorites section of my i-tunes library.  

The opening song,”Come Lay Some Lovin’ On Me” utilizes a generous dash of psychedelic sound and leans heavily to the funky side. The emphasis on the bass as well as the interaction of guitar- and horn parts give the title a well-rounded sound. For those who love some nice drum work: Hayward Bishop is cited as being on the drums.

On “I Could Never Love Nobody Like I’m Loving You” the theme is joy and happiness. Hearing the unburdened organ, easy-going drums, dancing guitar, and smiling strings, I feel like greeting spring after a long and dull winter. Flamboyant and invigorating, this song never fails to induce a surge of endorphins.

“You Bring Me Joy”  and  “I’d Be Satisfied” keep the guitarists busy. You will love the bass guitar on both songs. Paul, so tot speak, joins Juanita Rogers in the background vocals. On these two titles, the horn section and strings remain in the background, providing  the canvas on which Paul’s vocals splashes the colors.

His ability to express and evoke emotions shows again — and best — in the slower titles like, for instance, “I Wanna Get Close To You” and “Come With Me”.  These songs also impress with the muted, understated horn section. Paul shows his expertise in switching from soft and silky-romantic yearning to excited and impatient passion. “Come With Me” is reminiscent of 60’s folk music.  

“Wrapped Up In Your Love”, “Sweetness” and “My Love For You Won’t Die” are simply beautiful and deserve to join the ranks of classic soul songs. They incorporate a moderate amount of both country and deep southern soul.

Now, the big surprise to me was “Love Me Now”.  I only knew Johnny Adams’s version before I came across “Don’t Burn Me.” This title owes much of its hauntingly beauty to the sophisticated instrumentation — especially the almost etherial strings. They seem to be meant to be felt, not heard. The horns are swaying like gentle waves that carry you to a place where nothing but bliss and joy do rule. I can’t get enough of that song. If you know the passionate version of Johnny Adams, it may take a few listenings to fully appreciate the understated sensuous quality in Paul’s version. It’s like comparing two different lovers: one whose fire might burn you, the other one whose longing envelopes you with the warmest glow … This song is a gem.
All in all, “Don’t Burn Me” is an album of a homogeneously high quality. You will enjoy it.

by Raggedy

A Trip To Memphis ...

... reminded me of the good old days when I called myself an avid music blogger. First, I must admit that sometimes things just happen because they are supposed to happen. Hubby and I actually wanted to go to Charleston, SC -- but bad weather kept us from going.  So, Memphis was the next best destination that sprung to mind.
And what a great time we had ... Music all over the place, although I suspect that the Beale Street bands actually were not what the locals have in mind when they talk about listening to the Blues.

Of course, we visited the STAX museum where I exhausted my camera's battery. So the pics from the Civil Rights museum turned out to be of a lousy quality. A crying shame.

I probably don't have to tell you that yours old Raggedy was in music heaven. (Hubby was very patient and waited for me while I was wandering around, lost in and soaking up the atmosphere of the place.)

Most info, however, wasn't really new to me because I've already read "Soulsville U.S.A. The Story of STAX RECORDS" by Rob Bowman.

And all the time I was thinking about my blog ... If I still were blogging, I would ... My heart was aching, my fingers twitching.
So, what the heck, I still have the skeleton of Sounds of the Soul on Blogger, I thought. And voilĂ ! Here we go. 

Here's a sampler of Stax songs I called Raw, Pure, Ingenious: The Soul of STAX