Thursday, July 26, 2007

BlushRadio 7 - A New Batch

After a month away, it's time to the seventh edition of Blush Radio. This selection of songs all came in a bundle of records I received earlier this month. They had all been sitting on my wants list for a while and comprise of tracks that I had heard, read about or were intrigued by and, I think, all of them are absolutely fantastic. In a break from our normal “strictly sixties” rule, I have included a handful of seventies sides, I hope that you like them.

Roy Lee Johnson – Boogaloo #3 (Josie)

We’re starting off the seventh volume of BlushRadio with a real rip roarer, if this doesn’t wake you up and get you moving, then we might as well stop now. Lead by a fantastic sax line, with nice choppy guitars and funky drumming, this is powerful stuff.

Lula Reed – Baby, Baby (Your Love) (Tangerine)

Lula Reed came to prominence with I’ll Drown In My Own Tears released on King in 1951, the track was a big hit for Ray Charles three years later. She went on to record for Argo, Laurel and Federal before joining Ray Charles’ Tangerine label in 1962. Baby, Baby (Your Love) was released in 1964 and is a great mid-paced slice of R&B.

Jackie Day – Long As I’ve Got My Baby (Modern)

Jackie Day makes the cut for the second time running in my podcasts, like last time this is a beautiful up beat soul dancer. Jackie delivers a sultry lead vocal with great girl group backing vocals in support, which builds to a call and response crescendo.

Jimmy Bee – Wanting You (Kent)

Another northern stomper, the organ in the background of this one really makes the track for me. I know little about Jimmy Bee, I believe that this track was also released on Kimberly but that’s the extent of my knowledge. Anyone care to clear things up?

Du-Ettes – Please Forgive Me (One-derful)

I’ll lay my cards on the table, I’m in love with this song. The Du-Ettes are probably best known for Every Beat Of My Heart (which featured on the second BlushRadio podcast). Like Every Beat Of My Heart, this is girl group perfection.

Betty Everett – Trouble Over The Weekend (VeeJay)

Betty Everett is best remembered for the Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss), which has sadly overshadowed a number of other great tracks which she recorded. Betty was born in Greenwood, Mississippi in 1939 and like a great many soul singers came through the church singing and playing gospel. In 1957 she moved to Chicago and stated recording for a number of local labels through the late fifties and early sixties. In 1963 she was spotted by A&R man Calvin Carter and signed up to VeeJay Records, where this side was released in 1966.

Ray Agee – Your Precious Love (Celeste)

Ray Agee is another artist I know little about, so I’ll cut the history lesson and head straight to the track. Your Precious Love is an upbeat R&B monster, with a stomping beat, great organ and some saucy horns.

Bobbettes – Tighten Up Your Own Home (Mayhew)

The Bobbettes formed in New York in 1955 under the name the Harlem Queens. They signed to Atlantic in 1957 and changed their name to the Bobbettes, where they immediately had a big hit with Mr Lee. They left Atlantic in 1962 and moved around a number of labels for the rest of the decade without securing further hits. In 1971 the group now comprising of Reather Dixon, Emma Pought, Laura Webb, and Jannie Pought signed for Mayhew and released Tighten Up Your Own Home in 1972.

The Fantaisions – That’s Where The Action Is (Satellite)

This is the flip to Unnecessary Tears and is produced and co-written by the great Monk Higgins. I think that the track is reminiscent of Dancing In The Street, let me know what you think.

Alice Clark – You Got A Deal (Rainy Day)

We’re finishing off the podcast with a couple of funky numbers. First up, we have Alice Clark, who shamefully (yet again) I know little about. This track has some great rolling guitars, chunky funky drums and some nice girly back vocals.

Jo Armstead – I’ve Been Turned On (Giant)

Josephine Armstead was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi in October 1944. In 1961 she joined the Ike and Tina Review as one of the Ikettes along with Eloise Hester and Delores Johnson. In 1965 she moved to New York and teamed up with Ashford and Simson, with whom she co-wrote Ray Charles’ hit Let’s Get Stoned. She also had a hand in penning 'Casanova (Your Playing Days Are Over) for Ruby Andrews, Garland Green’s Jealous Kinda Fella and The Real Thing for Betty Everett (more by accident than design, it’s all links up today).

In 1965 she moved to Chicago and formed Giant Production Company with her husband Mel Collins. They went on to form the Globe, Giant and Gamma labels and signed Ruby Andrews, Garland Green, Fenton Robinson, Little Jimmy Scott, Shirley Wahls, Smokey Smothers and Jo, herself.

I’ve Been Turned On was released on Giant in 1970 and has swooping strings, a driving beat and soaring vocals.

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