Saturday, August 18, 2007

BlushRadio 8 - Fooling Around

Well, here we are again with another batch of fine old soulful sounds. Thanks as ever for all the feedback on the last couple of podcasts - it's always very much appreciated. This time out I've added links wherever possible to point you at where these tracks can currently be bought on CD - it's pretty much the only way we can support these artists who were often very under-appreciated when their work was originally recorded. Anyway, without further ado, on with the show.

Freddie Scott - I'll Be Gone (Shout)
Freddie Scott had a lengthy career recording for a number of mostly New York based labels, including a spell on Shout from 66-68 that also yielded the classic "Are You Lonely For Me?" LP, but unfortunately the only CD collection from this period of his career is no longer available. There's a really comprehensive biography and career retrospective on his own website, so I'll just mention that this is a belting up-tempo tune to kick us off - it's quite uncharacteristic of most of his work, which tends more towards smooth and emotional deep soul, but even on a stomper like this his nuanced delivery manages to come through.

Johnny Moore - What More Can I Do (Larry-O)
Off to Chicago now for this fine track. Like an awful lot of soul singers he recorded for quite a number of labels, including Chi-City and Brunswick, although this appears to be his only release on Larry-O - and a great two-sider it is too. There's a quite comprehensive compilation of his work available which spans his recordings on a host of labels throughout the 60s. Quite a prolific songwriter, Moore's songs were recorded by Tyrone Davis and Syl Johnson, among others.

Jamo Thomas - I'll Be Your Fool (Chess)
Well, we're still in Chicago for this one - sort of... Although Jamo Thomas recorded his soul sides in the windy city, he is in fact the same Bahamian Jamo Thomas who recorded "Bahama Mama" on Sound Stage 7. He later came to the States and recorded with Jerry Butler before recording possibly his most famous track, "I Spy For The FBI" . This cut on Chess is very different, being far more moody and blues tinged. I don't know of anywhere this track is compiled, although the flip side of this single "Must I Holler" can be found on the excellent "Chess Club Rhythm & Soul".

Soul Sisters - I Won't Be Your Fool Anymore (Sue)
The style and sound of this track will come as no surprise to anyone who's already familiar with the Soul Sisters from their hits like I Can't Stand It or Good Time Tonight, with really powerful vocals and some great call and response accompaniment. A great tune with a really gutsy sound.

Marvin & Johnny - Baby You're The One (Kent)
Marvin Phillips and Johnny Dean had quite a lengthy recording career, starting out on Specialty in the early 50's, so it's no surprise that the feel of this track harks back to the vocal group style of the 50's. You can find a copy of this on Kent's fantastic New Breed R&B CD - and surely I can't be the only one reminded of "Love Is Strange" when hearing this?

Entertainers IV - People Don't Look No More (Temptation Walk) (Dore)
I think this is a fine example of just how incredibly influential the Temptations were. Not only was their sound the inspiration for the reinvention of vocal group singing at least twice, but even their dancing spawned its own mini-genre between Jackie Lee's "Do The Temptation Walk" and this wonderfully classy number on the Dore label from Los Angeles. There is a very extensive Dore compilation available if you'd like to hear more.

Tammi Terrell - Just Too Much To Hope For (Motown)
I'll say straight away that Tammi Terrell is pretty much my favourite Motown singer, and this is pretty much my favourite of her songs. It's a lovely Harvey Fuqua production, and like many of her tunes features the Spinners on backing vocals which only serves to add even more class to a wonderfully touching song. There's been quite a bit of controversy about some aspects of her life, so I'll point you to this bio rather than try to abbreviate here. There is a nice collection of her Motown recordings available - try it, it's all good.

Sam Waymon - You Can Count On Me (Ninandy)
Quite apart from being an enjoyable piece of up-tempo soul, I find this record to be a fascinating piece of history. It's one of only five singles released on Ninandy, the label owned by Nina Simone and her husband Andy Stroud. Making the family connection even closer, this is the same Sam Waymon who is also Nina Simone's younger brother (Nina was born Eunice Waymon) and who wrote "It Be's That Way Sometimes".

Nina Simone - Save Me (RCA)
...and so I had to include something from the High Priestess of Song herself. Probably one of the most important musicians of the 20th century, it's always very hard to pick out one of her recordings to put alongside other peoples' as she tends to rather stand out on her own. This is a most enjoyable outing, though, and it can be found as one of the bonus tracks on the CD release of her "Silk & Soul" album.

Vontastics - Why Must We Part (Chess)
Back to Chicago for this one. A great uptempo dancer written by band member Bobby Newsome. This was their only release on Chess, although they put out several singles on other Chicago labels - you can read more about them over at Funky 16 Corners.

Little Eva - Stand By Me (Amy)
Yes, the same Little Eva who sang the Loco-motion. I've used this to finish sets off many times over the years, and thought it was about time to include it in a podcast. Roger already wrote about it a few months ago, so I'll send you there for more info.

Well, that brings us to the end for this time - hope you enjoyed it!

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