Friday, May 23, 2014

From The Chief Music Scout's Desk: Simply Red live

Amazing voice after all those years. Great music and lyrics that will live on.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Dee Dee Sharp -- "Touch My Life"

Dione LaRue, better known as Dee Dee Sharp, was born September 9, 1945 in Philadelphia. She began singing in the early 60's mainly as a background singer.  Her early solo hits were "Mashed Potato Time" and "Do The Bird."
During the seventies, Dee Dee Sharp was married to Ken Gamble, and today's song is the B-side of "Happy "Bout The Whole Thing" (TSOP, 1975)
Great singing and the pleasing sound of Philadelphia ... I just love this track.

Dee Dee Sharp, "Touch My Life"

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Happy B-day Joe Cocker!

Joe Cocker turned 70 today! Congrats. 

... love ya, Joe! Keep singing!

John Baldwin -- "Stop This Crying"

crying eyes photo: BLUE EYES blueeyescrying-1.gif

Alright -- Tuesday seems to be perfect for a deepie. I keep wondering how it is possible that a song with such a sad theme manages to make me dance and float on cloud 10 ... I guess this just goes to prove that music is capable of reconciling the sad with the happy.

Unfortunately, not much info available on this sweet-singing artist.  All I could find out was that John Baldwin has recorded this beautiful deepie for Juca Records in 1973.

I'm hoping for Marc, the rescuer, to pop up with some info ...

Monday, May 19, 2014

Earl Hooker -- "Wah Wah Blues"

Hello and a happy Monday to all.

I started the day with the Temptations, continued with some reggae, and finally arrived at the blues ... Don't have the blues, though. There's nothing blue about today's track. Blogging from my patio again,  I can't believe how amazing this track sounds outdoors with trees rustling in the background and birds "whistling" along.

Whoever listens to Earl Hooker 's guitar must admit that many a popular blues guitarist has been hopelessly overrated. B.B. King considers him the "best of modern guitarists," and what else is there to be said? Except maybe that I consider Albert King the absolut greatest of them all. But that's, of course, only an amateur's choice ...

Earl Hooker, cousin of John Lee Hooker, was born January 15, 1929 near Clarksdale, MS (of course, it was Mississippi). His parents moved to Chicago when he was one year. He died in Chicago at the early age of 41 of tuberculosis which had plagued him since childhood. He also was afflicted by severe stuttering which kept him from singing, it is said. I can imagine he compensated for this handicap by becoming the virtuoso on the guitar he undoubtedly was.

According to Wikipedia  Earl Hooker began recording in 1952  "for several independent record companies. His early singles were often credited to the vocalist he recorded with, although some instrumentals(and his occasional vocal) were issued in Hooker's name. Songs by Hooker and with blues and R&B artists, including Johnny O'Neal, Little Sam Davis, Boyd Gilmore, Pinetop Perkins,The Dells, Arbee Stidham, Lorenzo Smith, and Harold Tidwell were recorded by such labels as King, Rockin', Sun, Argo, Veejay, States, United, and C.J. (several of these recordings, including all of the Sun material, were unissued at the time). The harmonica player, Little Arthur Duncan, often accompanied Hooker over this period.[8]
Among these early singles was Hooker's first recorded vocal performance on an interpretation of the blues classic "Black Angel Blues". Although his vocals were more than adequate, they lacked the power usually associated with blues singers.[9] Hooker's "Sweet Angel" (1953 Rockin' 513) was based on Robert Nighthawk's 1949 "Black Angel Blues" and showed that "Hooker had by now transcended his teacher".[10] (B.B. King later had a hit in 1956 with his interpretation, "Sweet Little Angel".) One of Hooker's most successful singles during this period was "Frog Hop", recorded in 1956 (Argo 5265). The song, an upbeat instrumental, showed some of his T-Bone Walker swing-blues and chording influences, as well as his own style.[11]

So here is "Wah Wah Blues," one of my favorites by Earl Hooker.

And just in case you can't get enough, this is a fantastic Earl Hooker Youtube clip. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Carl Anderson -- "Fooled Myself Again"

Here's a song I fell in love with the first time I heard it. Okay, okay, it sounds like a Lionell Richie composition -- I was convinced it was. But it turned out it wasn't the great Lionell. "Fooled Myself Again" was composed by Eric Kaz and Tom Snow.
The song is from Anderson's album Absence With Out Love (Epic, 1982.) Carl Carlton had a somewhat longer version on his Bad CC album, also released in 1982. I like the Anderson version better, however.

For an absolutely beautiful biography and more info about this versatile artist, please visit the website a devoted friend of his has dedicated to him.
Carl Anderson left this earth on February 23, 2004. May his soul rest in peace.

You all have a great Sunday!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

E(a)rnest Jackson -- Why Can't I Love Somebody

(Picture from Ernest Jackson's website.)

According to Sir Shambling's,  Ernest Jackson most likely came from the same place he produced all his recordings: Baton Rouge. His late 60's material was released by BOFUZ, while it was the Stone label that released his 70's cuts. In the 80's, Ernest Jackson had signed with Royal Shield.
Despite his obvious talent, he never made it to the top -- where he definitely belonged. Alas, listen yourself and tell me why a voice like Ernest's should be known only to a few lucky music lovers?
Apparently, the artist is working at a restaurant in Baton Rouge, where he's not only waiting but also singing.
Today's pick is from 1974.

"Why Can't I Love Somebody"  (Stone Records 1974)

And here's his version of the Al (Ever)Green "Love And Happiness"

Discography at Discogs

Friday, May 16, 2014

"Sir" Joe Quarterman and Free Soul -- So Much Trouble In My Mind / You Know It's True

Today's post is a repost from Jan. 2011. It is so funny. Back then I still used paper to take notes -- nowadays I use my memo pad on the phone.

Oy! I think it's time for me to quit this blogging thing. I keep finding notes all over the house (and now in my purse, too) with artists and song titles I've heard somewhere, sometime. I must have heard this title  when I was on the go. But I'm not sure, I think I actually heard it at Felix Hernandez Rhythm Revue ...  Taking notes at home, maybe while I am on the computer is okay. But jotting names down while I am "away from my desk" is a borderline obsessive, I fear.

Nevertheless, I followed up on the note: Joe Quarterman/So Much Trouble -- and was rewarded with a great find. I found an album, vintage 1973 by an artist that deserves attention. This is some fine Funk with its roots in James Brown's work.

This album addresses the social issues of the seventies, presenting modern American history in a package with contemporar music history. The group and album need to be re-introduced to today's Soul/Funk scene!

 So Much Trouble In My Mind

You Know It's True

Doing my little research thingy, I found out that the group has a few more albums out. From their How High CD is the title You Know It's True, which could/should have been a dance hit. How High has some   outstanding material to offer besides a handful mediocre recordings. Occasionally, you'll find a song like You Know It's True where you may wonder if it's a remake or just a sound-alike. Do I know that song from KC and The Sunshine Band? Kool and The Gang? 
That said, however, all in all the group is definitely underrated. Yours old Raggedy says: Get their albums!

A group named Fred Leslie's Missing Link has recorded So Much Trouble ... Does anyone around here has a copy of their version, maybe? I also think I have heard Eli Paperboy Reed performing the piece -- not sure about it though, and I can't find anything by him. Help! It's driving me crazy not to know. 

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tee Fletcher -- "All Because of You"

Again, there's only the sparsest of information on Thomas"Tee" Fletcher available. He is described as a  "brilliant songwriter" located in the Atlanta area. He spent a short time at Wendell Parker's Shurfine label. (Parker was producing The Mighty Hannibal on Surfine Records and later Josie Records.)
Tee Fletcher has also been writing for local artists as Larry James, the Barons, Richard Marks, and Jimmy Tig.
His vocals were neither highly impressive nor unimpressive, so to speak. And of all the tracks I've heard so far, today's pick is my favorite. For those who love the Northern Soul sound, though, it is worthwhile to check on his other releases. They are, btw., sold for big bucks on Gemm.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bits and Pieces -- "I Betcha Don't Know"

Today's song I found on a mix tape a while ago. There's not much info available about the group.
"I Betcha Don't Know" was released as the B-side of "You Should Have Told Me" for the Paramount label in 1974.
I do love both songs -- but the B-side is definitely my favorite.
There are a few more releases by what could be the same group. Derek's Daily 45 , for example, features a title named "Did I Scare You" (NASCO, 1973). I can't help but compare the lead vocals to Curtis Mayfield's ...
Also, there is another NASCO release, "Keep Running Away," that appears on a Kent compilation and is on the tube.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Soul Generation --" In Your Way," (The Citations "Hey Mr. Love")

I thought I should eventually post a track by Soulgeneration I have saved on my desktop for quite some time now. I also found Hey, Mr. Love in my library from a group named The Citations. I think it might be a song by The Soul Generation from their early days when the called themselves The Citations. So, I will post that one too.

In Your Way

Hey Mr. Love

Get their Collectables album here.

Here's a newer version of "Your Way" that is pretty darned nice, in my opinion. Fantastic singing and nice background harmonizing.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Jackie Opel Special

Barbados native, Dalton Sinclair Bishop alias Jackie Opel, is known as the Jackie Wilson of Jamaica -- and deservedly so. In addition to being powerful his voice had quite an impressive range. And Jackie Opel, it is said, had the moves too.
Jackie Opel invented spouge, the combination of ska, calypso, and gospel music (as well as other genres). The characteristic spouge instrumentation included the cowbell, bass guitar, trap set and other percussion instruments. Saxophone, thrombone, and trumpet were added later.

Example of a "cowbell" 
In the early 1960s, he was discovered by Byron Lee, the band master of the Dragonaires, who brought him to Jamaica. There, he started performing with the Skatalites as one of their lead singers. He recorded as a solo artist first on Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label, and afterwards on Justin Yap's Top Deck label and Edward Seaga's Wirl label. His styles included ska, R&B, soul, gospel, and calypso. He is credited with inventing spouge music, a fusion of ska, calypso, and R&B music. Opel performed duos with Doreen Schaffer and Hortense Ellis, and in 1964 was backed by WailersBob Marley and Peter Tosh on "Mill Man", "Hairy Mango" and "A time to cry" and maybe some others like "I Don´t Want Her".
Opel eventually moved to Trinidad and then subsequently to Barbados. On 8 March 1970, he died in a car crash in Bridgetown, Barbados.      


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Super Sunday Patio Mix

Happy mothers day to all the mothers out there -- biological or not! Enjoy your special day.


I am just back from a short trip to South Beach, Miami where I had a fantastic time. The crowd was crazy, the food fantastic, and the sightseeing tours amazing ...

Back home, I have to adapt to the sight of rolling hills again, imagining the view of the sparkling ocean ... Life can be so hard. Instead of the fresh seaside breeze, I have to make  do with the ceiling fan's breeze. Nevertheless, the music I was listening to this morning at breakfast made the transition to life-as-usual a lot easier.

So here is the Super Sunday Patio Mix

African Music Machine -- Tropical
Richmond Extension -- Everything's Coming Up Love
Rose Royce -- Water
Keni Burke -- Keep On Singing