Monday, May 28, 2007

BlushRadio 4 - this time it's personal!

This time it really is a collection of personal favourites with few surprises - particularly for those of you who've heard me DJ over the last few years!

Houston Person - Hey Driver
A bit of a change of style from most of the tunes on the BlushRadio so far, but this jazzy boogaloo groove from 1969's 'Goodness!' LP is a real winner. Earlier in his career Houston Person was probably best known as the tenor sax man playing with Johnny 'Hammond' Smith, and he later formed a lasting musical relationship with the great Etta Jones. Finally, a classic Houston quote from around the time this track was recorded. On being asked about the constant presence of his sax at his side he replied, "Man, I always have my horn with me... then no matter what happens I know my horn is with me."
Words to live by, I think!

James Bounty - Auction On Love
Not a tune I know an awful lot about, although I believe Red Dog was a Detroit label. This was another of the first few tunes that got me into the whole Northern soul sound and has stuck with me ever since.

Otis Rush - Homework
Pure R&B gold! Otis Rush is best know as a Blues singer and guitarist, with a unique guitar style arising through his use of a typical right-handed guitar played upside-down and left-handed without restringing it. Homework was his only release on the Duke label in 1962 (his earlier successes being on the Cobra label in the mid to late 50's) and is an absolute classic.

Debonaires - Headache In My Heart
Wow, what a great tune! A brilliant, moody atmosphere, some great girl group vocals and a really clever lyric make for a winning combination. The very fine Soulful Detroit website has an excellent article on the history of the Debonaires, so I'll point you in their direction rather than pinching their research here!

Moses & Joshua Dillard - My Elusive Dreams
Moses Dillard had a long career in music as both the leader of his own bands (including the Dynamic Showmen and the Tex-Town display) and as a guitarist working out of Muscle Shoals. His duo as Moses and Joshua (with James Moore) was short-lived, but did manage to produce this cracking dance tune on the Mala label.

Dynamics - Misery
Another early 60's classic melding the earlier vocal group style with the more soulful trends of the 60s. Once again, there's atmosphere to spare. Tight drumming holds this one together as the melody is driven by a glorious guitar riff and the vocals duck and soar all over the place. Oh, and you can dance to it, as well!

Jackie Edwards - Come Back Girl
A bit of a departure from the so far entirely American cast of these podcasts is the great (and greatly underrated) Jamaican soul singer and songwriter Jackie Edwards. Perhaps best known as the songwriter of some of the Spencer Davis Group's biggest hits. This is a storming uptempo number, but he really ran the whole gamut wonderfully well - check out 'Put Your Tears Away' for a much more emotional offering, very likely coming to a podcast near you soon.

Irma & the Fascinations - Lost Love
A towering piece of soul from Philadelphia's Dynodynamic production team. Irma was Irma McDougal, also of the Four Larks. Despite the tremendous music surrounding it, this tune really is all about the vocal - sit back and enjoy.

Volumes - Gotta Give Her Love
Lovely tune, and another that harks back to the vocal groups of the 50s with its close, intricate harmonies. It also has an irrepressible joi de vivre which to me is the essence of soul music and always keeps me coming back to it.

Incredibles - Another Dirty Deal
Almost Principle One in reverse... the flip side of this record is 'There's Nothing Else To Say', a much played song which in all honesty isn't among my favourites as it always seems to be trying a bit too hard... This smashing tune couldn't be more different, though. A sweet, gentle melody and a clever, inventive lyric combine to produce a truly memorable song which, to my mind, deserves far more attention than it gets.

Toussaint McCall - Nothing Compares Yo You
And once again, one to really let you know it's the end of the night. A truly wonderful ballad sung in McCall's rich baritone, this one never leaves you...

Subscribe to the podcast with iTunes or Download this podcast as mp3

Monday, May 14, 2007

BlushRadio Volume 3

Roscoe Robinson - What Makes A Man Do Wrong
Miller Sisters - I'm Telling It Like It Is
Pearl Woods - Sippin Sorrow
Jackie Ross - Jerk & Twine
The Shirelles - Baby It's You
Jackie Wilson & Linda Hopkins - Say I Do
Martha Jean Love - How To Succeed In Love (Without Really Trying)
Mamie Galore - It Ain't Necessary
"Little Esther" Phillips - Wile It Lasted

Ed’s posted a couple of fantastic podcasts over the last month or so and I thought that it was about time that pitched in with my own. As it is my first attempt, I plead with you to be gentle with me, whilst I find my feet. Having said that, I hope that you enjoy what I consider to be some fantastic tunes. I have tried to select a broad spectrum of sixties soul, taking in a bit of r&b along the way. I have also picked a couple of tracks that I have written up on here before, because it'll all make so much more sense when you hear them.

Roscoe Robinson – What Makes A Man Do Wrong

This is the first of the tracks that I have previously written about on this blog and the full entry can be found here. I love this track, it has energy in abundance and the raw backing really gets me.

The Miller Sisters – I’m Telling It Like It Is

I don’t know a great deal about this track, there was a country act also going by the name of the Miller Sisters around the same time, were they the same band (answers on a postcard please)? Anyway, this is top quality up beat dance floor soul with to die for backing vocals. Great stuff.

Pearl Woods – Sippin Sorrow

The second of my old post retreads for this podcast. A real r&b scorcher, with Little Richard’s band, the Upsetters, providing the backing. The original post can be found here.

Jackie Ross – Jerk and Twine

I’ve had a bit of thing for Jackie Ross for a long time. She was featured on some of the first northern compilations I got my hands on and I just love her voice, the further I’ve delved into her catalogue the more smitten I’ve become. I’ve Got The Skill is also well worth checking out, as to is her version of Take Me For A Little While.

The Shirelles – Baby It’s You

Does music get any more perfect than this? I know that this song is well known but you’d have to be a fool or a liar not to love it. This is girl group perfection of the highest order and the organ solo gets me every time. Baby It’s You was written by Burt Bacharach, Barney Williams and Mack David. It has been covered by Elvis Costello, Cilla Black, Loleatta Holloway, Foxy Brown, Cliff Richard, Nick Lowe and most famously by the Beatles but sod them, it’s this version that you need in your life.

Jackie Wilson and Linda Hopkins – Say I Do

My copy of this is the UK issue (the US issue was on Brunswick). Say I Do is the b side to Shake A Hand and as Ed has pointed out several times over his podcasts, shows the value of flipping the disc.

Martha Jean Love – How To Succeed In Love (Without Really Trying)

This is a wonderful slice of northern; a great up beat track, with hand claps galore and a sing along chorus. This should get anyone with a heart beat up and heading for the dance floor.

Mamie Galore – It Ain’t Necessary

Mamie Galore was born Mamie Davis in Mississippi in 1940. She joined the Ike and Tina Review before hooking up with Little Milton, which brought her to Chicago and in tern St Lawrence. She recorded a number of sides for St Lawrence, notably the Bond cash in Special Agent 34-24-38. This fantastic northern dancer was produced by Monk Higgins.

“Little Esther” Phillips – While It Lasted

Little Esther was born Esther Mae Washington in 1935 in Galveston, Texas. She was originally noticed by Johnny Otis and joined his review in 1949. Before signing to Lennox in 1960 she recorded for Savoy, Federal and Decca. While It Lasted is a wonderful mid paced moody number and has always gone down really well when I’ve played it out.

Subscribe to the podcast with iTunes or Download this podcast as mp3