Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Chitlin Circuit

"The "Chitlin' Circuit," like "Tin Pan Alley" and "Motown" and other legendary music locations, is both a real and symbolic term for the on-and-off-again venues--shoebox-sized bars, clubs, cafes and increasingly in the 21st century, casinos-- that support traditional rhythm and blues in a tenuous but tenacious thread through America's mostly rural (or low-profile urban) Bible Belt." Daddy B. Nice

" A circuit of nightclubs and theaters that feature African-American performers and cater especially to African-American audiences.

When Jim Crow and segregation were even more prominent in the United States, the Negro race, freed through emancipation, did not have equal access to public “White Only” places. The Chitlin’ Circuit - a connected string of music venues, diners, juke joints, and theaters throughout the eastern and southern United States that catered primarily to African American audiences was created.

The Chitlin’ Circit was the only option for touring Black entertainers such as Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Etta James, Billie Holiday, Ike and Tina Turner, B. B. King, Bobby “Blue” Bland, T.D. Bell and the Blues Specialists, Roosevelt "Gray Ghost" Williams, Eubie Blake, Robert Shaw, Big Joe Williams and many others begin touring in an effort to “eek” out a living when Jim Crow and segregation was even more prominent in the United States.

Historically, Baltimore was the first city on the Chitlin' Circuit. The Chitlin’ Circuit stretched through the South, bending Westward throughout Texas, extending Eastward on through Chicago, offering continuous opportunities for black entertainers." Urban Dictionary

"The "Chitlin' Circuit" is the collective name given to the string of performance venues throughout the eastern and southern United States that were safe and acceptable for African-American musicians, comedians, and other entertainers to perform in during the age of racial segregation in the United States (from at least the early 19th century through the 1960s) as well as the venues that contemporary African American soul and blues performers, especially in the South, continue to appear at regularly. The name derives from the soul food item chitterlings (stewed pig intestines) and is also a play on the term "Borscht belt" which referred to a group of venues (primarily in New York's Catskill Mountains) popular with Jewish performers during the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

Noted theaters on the Chitlin' Circuit included the Royal Peacock in Atlanta; the Carver Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama; the Cotton Club, Small's Paradise and the Apollo Theater in New York City; Robert's Show Lounge, Club DeLisa and the Regal Theatre in Chicago; the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.; the Uptown Theatre in Philadelphia; the Royal Theatre in Baltimore; the Fox Theatre in Detroit; the Victory Grill in Austin, Texas; the Hippodrome Theatre in Richmond, Virginia; the Ritz Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida; and The Madame C. J. Walker Theatre on Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis.

The second historic marker designated by the Mississippi Blues Commission on the Mississippi Blues Trail was placed in front of the Southern Whispers Restaurant on Nelson Street in Greenville, Mississippi, a stop on the Chitlin' Circuit in the early days of the blues. The marker commemorates the importance of this site in the history of the development of the blues in Mississippi. In the 1940s and 1950s, this historic strip drew crowds to the flourishing club scene to hear Delta blues, big band jump blues and jazz." wikipedia

Much love to Wikipedia on this project, they have saved enormous amounts of time for me and most of what I've found so far is pretty informative and reasonably accurate. Believe me, I'll cheerfully point out where they got it wrong and do my own writing where necessary but the point of an encyclopedia is a place to cite information from and in this function they have been invaluable. On the music side I am deeply indebted to "Unky Cliff" for a huge portion of what appears here and for the books I am educating myself with as well. My morning discussions with him will often filter into the blog. The files here that do not come from actual rips or itunes, likely originated on other blogs through the years, thanks to all of them as well, your generosity to me is being passed on.  kc 

Shares and Requests

Here is a place to drop both your own shares and requests for shares in a central place everyone can check - you know how this works by now.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Jimmy Holiday - Spread Your Love: The Complete Minit Singles 1965-1970

"A soul singer whose success as a recording artist never matched his success as a songwriter, Jimmy Holiday is best-known for penning "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" along with Jackie DeShannon and Randy Myers. By the time that song appeared in 1969, Holiday had been grinding away at the soul circuit for over a decade, a trek that culminated in a hit in 1963 with "How Can I Forget" and then a contract with the New Orleans-based R&B label Minit in 1966. Despite strong work, Holiday never became a star and faded away in the '70s.

Born on July 24, 1934 in Durant, Mississippi, Jimmy Holiday was raised in Iowa. After flirting with a career as a boxer, he devoted himself to music, first playing alto saxophone in jazz combos before transitioning to writing and singing R&B. He released his first single, "Voice of the Drums," on the Los Angeles-based Four Star in 1958, but it stiffed and it took him a while before he wound up on Everest Records in the early '60s. Everest put out Holiday's "How Can I Forget" in 1963, and it unexpectedly took off, climbing all the way to eight on Billboard's R&B charts while reaching 57 on the Hot 100. Further singles for Everest didn't go anywhere and he hopped around recording for a number of smaller imprints -- KIT, Tip Records, Diplomacy -- before signing with Minit in 1966.

Minit was where Holiday recorded the bulk of his catalog. "Baby I Love You," his first single for the label, wound up peaking at 21 in 1966 and while that wound up being his biggest hit at Minit, his work at the label is generally held in high regard among soul aficionados. A full album called The Turning Point showed up in 1966 and it went to 25 on the Billboard R&B charts. In 1967, "Everybody Needs Help" went to 36 and the funky "Spread Your Love" did one better in 1968, peaking at 35, but by that point his career was starting to slow. Worse, his health was starting to go: he collapsed after a concert in June 1968 and needed to have open heart surgery. He wound up spending much of the next year writing instead of performing, but he returned to recording in 1969 with "I'm Gonna Use What I Got," while continuing to work with DeShannon and Myers. Holiday's final single for Minit, "A Man Ain't Nothin' Without a Woman," showed up in 1970 and, like his 1969 sides, it failed to do business so his time with the label came to an end.

Holiday next recorded for Dial, releasing "Save Me" in 1971 and when that didn't catch, a fallow period followed before he showed up in the mid-'70s on Ray Charles' label Crossover. His single for the label, "When I'm Loving You," also didn't catch attention so Holiday decided to concentrate on writing. Eventually, he moved back to Iowa, where he died of heart failure on February 15, 1987. His Minit recordings have showed up on budget-line CD compilations over the years, but Ace's 2015 set Spread Your Love: The Complete Minit Singles 1965-1970 collected them all and offered the first biography courtesy of Tony Rounce's liner notes." Allmusic Guide

Friday, February 16, 2018

B.B. King - The RPM/Kent box

This is a one time post, when it is gone, it is gone...uploading something this big is a lot of work,

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Kingcake's Real Mardi Gras

Album : Kingcake's Real Mardi Gras

Track : 1
Title : Carnival Time
Length : 2:41
Artist : The Wild Magnolias

Track : 2
Title : Mardi Gras In New Orleans
Length : 2:56
Artist : Professor Longhair

Track : 3
Title : Bourbon St. Parade
Artist : New Orleans Nightcrawlers

Track : 4
Title : New Suit
Length : 3:07
Artist : The Wild Magnolias

Track : 5
Title : Mardi Gras Mambo
Length : 2:47
Artist : The Meters

Track : 6
Title : La Chanson Du Mardi Gras
Length : 3:00
Artist : Sunpie & The Louisiana Sunspots

Track : 7
Title : Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Length : 5:26
Artist : Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Track : 8
Title : Hey Mardi Gras Here I Am
Length : 4:11
Artist : Chuck Carbo

Track : 9
Title : I Know You Mardi Gras
Length : 4:56
Artist : Bo Dollis

Track : 10
Title : Do Watcha Wanna
Length : 4:29
Artist : Rebirth Brass Band

Track : 11
Title : Beau's Mardi Gras
Length : 3:28
Artist : Beau Jocque

Track : 12
Title : At The Mardi Gras
Length : 2:27
Artist : Huey Piano Smith

Track : 13
Title : Dat's Mardi Gras
Length : 2:36
Artist : Jake The Snake

Track : 14
Title : All On A Mardi Gras Day
Length : 3:36
Artist : Wild Magnolias

Track : 15
Title : New Orleans Mardi Gras
Length : 2:52
Artist : Rosie Ledet

Track : 16
Title : New Second Line
Length : 2:39
Artist : Olympia brass Band

Track : 17
Title : Sew-Sew-Sew
Length : 5:15
Artist : The Golden Eagles

Track : 18
Title : Take Me Back To New Orleans
Length : 5:05
Artist : Big Al & The Heavyweights

Track : 19
Title : Indians Got That Fire
Length : 4:29
Artist : Cyril Neville

Track : 20
Title : Mardi Grass In New Orleans
Length : 2:16
Artist : Fats Domino

Track : 21
Title : Shallow Water Oh Mama
Length : 4:56
Artist : The Wild Magnolias

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The 5 Royales - All Righty ! & The Very Best Of The 5 Royales

The "5" Royales was an American rhythm and blues (R&B) vocal group from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States, that combined gospel, jump blues and doo-wop, marking an early and influential step in the evolution of rock & roll music. Most of their big R&B hits were recorded in 1952 and 1953 and written by the guitarist Lowman "Pete" Pauling (July 14, 1926 – December 26, 1973). Cover versions of the band's songs hit the Top 40, including "Dedicated to the One I Love" (the Shirelles, the Mamas & the Papas),"Tell the Truth" (Ray Charles), and "Think" (James Brown & The Famous Flames). Brown modeled his first vocal group after the "5" Royales, and both Eric Clapton and the legendary Stax guitarist Steve Cropper cited Pauling as a key influence. Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger covered "Think" on his 1993 solo album Wandering Spirit. 
The "5" Royales were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. (Wiki)







These 2 albums give you the essence of this great influential group, the early R & B hits on Apollo and the later classics on King. The track 'Think' on the King label is one of my favourite R&B tracks and was the template for a certain Steve Cropper, who I had the pleasure to meet and discuss the Lowman Pauling guitar style . - Gus 


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Lord Have Mercy - The Soulful Gospel of Checker Records

"A much-needed look at an under-exposed side of the legendary Chess Records – the label's incredible run of gospel records, most of which were every bit as great as their Chicago soul sessions! This package is the first to really dig into that rich history – and has a wonderful focus on the grittier, funkier, groovier side of the label's catalog – served up here in a mix of rare album tracks, from records that have never been reissued – plus more stunners from funky 45s, most of which have been overlooked by soul collectors over the years. And yes, there's a spiritual message to these tracks, but it's often delivered with a very secular style – both in the vocals and instrumentation – as you'll hear on "Lord Keep Me Day By Day" by The Gospel Six, "Trying To Get Ready" by The Violinaires, "Soon I Will Be Done" by East St Louis Gospelettes, "Please Lord" by The Messiahs Of Glory, "Crying Pity & A Shame" by Salem Travelers, "It's So Good To Be Alive" by The William Singers, "Troubles" by Estella Burke, "The Whole World Is Watching" by Charlie Brown, "Same Old Bag" by Stevie Hawkins, and "Bless Me" by The Inspirational Singers.  © 1996-2018, Dusty Groove, Inc."

Bless The People Everywhere - Gospel Funk of Peacock & Songbird

"The famous Duke/Peacock label was one of the most important forces in gospel music during the 50s and early 60s – home to some of the hippest, most soul-drenched acts – especially the male vocal groups that were helping transform the genre, and pave the way for lots of soul artists to come! Yet by the time of these sides, Peacock was also picking up a lot of influence back from soul music too – using funky currents to help sell a spiritual message – all at a level that never got in the way of the vocals at all, and in face only seemed to inspire the singers with a more righteous sound overall! Once the label merged with ABC Records in the early 70s, things got even cooler and groovier – but even on the cuts before those numbers, there's a funky soul vibe that resonates throughout this collection – and makes the whole thing one of the most badass gospel sets we've ever stocked. Titles include "Where Could I Go" by Pilgrim Outlets, "Try Again" by The Loving Sisters, "Generation Gap" by Paul Owens & The Capital City Star Singers, "Something For Nothing" by Carl Bean & Universal Love, "This Is Not The First Time I've Been Last" by Inez Andrews, "Voo Doo Ism" by Spirit Of Memphis, "Bless The People Everywhere" by Liz Dargan & The Gospelettes, "What's Wrong With People Today" by The Sensational Williams Brothers, "Games People Play" by The Salem Travelers, "Living A Saved Life Now" by Josh Albert Hailey, and "Crying Won't Help" by Pilgrim Jubilees.  © 1996-2018, Dusty Groove, Inc."

Mardi Gras Krewe

I'm thinkin' that I have found my Mardi Gras Krewe. I'm guessing that I...unh...qualify!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Ray Charles - A Message From The People (1972)

'A Message From the People, Ray Charles' 1972 classic, is finally available after being long out of print. As part of Concord Music Group's reissue series, the album has been digitally remastered and the results are fantastic. This is a very special album in the Charles discography, with each of the ten songs carefully chosen by the artist to express his feelings about the state of society. Never heavy-handed, the album's focus is squarely on social consciousness. Many of the sentiments expressed in these songs ring very true in these economically-challenged times.

Charles' vocals throughout are among his most passionate ever committed to tape. His frustration is palpable in "Hey Mister," a funky work-out with lyrics imploring politicians to bring aid to the needy and poor. There is jubilation in his reading of what is often referred to as The Black National Anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing." Speaking of anthems, over the years there have been occasional attempts at replacing "The Star Spangled Banner" with "America the Beautiful." That's unlikely to ever happen, but Charles' version (which closes the album) can arguably be considered the definitive reading of that classic patriotic song.' (Internet Source)

I orginally posted this in the comments of KC's first posting of 'Ray Charles - Doing HIS Thing'  below, where I said =   Here is Ray Charles - A Message from the People (1972 Reissue 2009) ... It's mainstream corny and over done...but any song by Brother Ray is worth a listen ...perhaps the greatest African-American voice ever...And the most influential and exciting Black artist...in my time.
There was also a request from 'rntcj' for a re-up so I thought I'd post it upfront. - Gus

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Ray Charles - Doing HIS Thing

Do you like Ray Charles? (If not what the hell are you doing here?) Well unless you got this here more than 2 years ago, then you do not have THIS Ray Charles album, I can pretty much guarantee.

For some reason the Tangerine ABC recordings of Ray Charles have languished in obscurity due to lack of reissues for the entire digital age. Some of the other early ABC era stuff can be found, but the Tangerine albums have never been re-issued. Somehow I think Rhino or Bear Family will do a box someday soon, but until then we will have to be content with my digital transfer and restoration of this LP gem, kindly provided by our favorite Unky Cliff.

Unlike the majority of ABC material that I have heard, this is not over produced and dripping syrup, but is much more a continuation of the Atlantic years. The album is painfully short, but All Killa, No Filla!


George Jackson - The Fame Recordings Vol. 1-3

A repost by request:

George Henry Jackson (March 12, 1945 – April 14, 2013) was an American rhythm & blues, rock and soul songwriter and singer. His prominence was as a prolific and skilled songwriter; he wrote or co-wrote many hit songs for other musicians, including "One Bad Apple", "Old Time Rock and Roll" and "The Only Way Is Up". As a southern soul singer he recorded a mere 15 singles between 1963 and 1985, with some success.

Jackson was born in Indianola, Mississippi, and moved with his family to Greenville at the age of five.  He started writing songs while in his teens, and in 1963 introduced himself to Ike Turner. Turner took him to Cosimo Matassa's studios in New Orleans to record "Nobody Wants to Cha Cha With Me" for his Prann label, but it was not successful. Jackson then traveled to Memphis to promote his songs, but was rejected by Stax before helping to form vocal group The Ovations with Louis Williams at Goldwax Records. Jackson wrote and sang on their 1965 hit "It's Wonderful To Be In Love", which reached no.61 on the Billboard Hot 100 and no.22 on the R&B chart. He also wrote for other artists at Goldwax, including Spencer Wiggins and James Carr, and recorded with Dan Greer as the duo George and Greer. After the Ovations split up in 1968, he recorded briefly for Hi Records, and also for Decca using the pseudonym Bart Jackson. As a singer, he had a versatile tenor that was influenced by Sam Cooke, and released many records over the years, for a host of different labels, but his recordings never made him a star.

At the suggestion of record producer Billy Sherrill, Jackson moved to Rick Hall's FAME Studios at Muscle Shoals in the late 1960s, Alabama, where he wrote for leading singers including Clarence Carter - whose "Too Weak To Fight" reached no.13 on the pop chart and no.3 on the R&B chart in 1968 - Wilson Pickett, and Candi Staton. Some of Jackson's songs for Staton, including her first hit in 1969, "I'd Rather Be An Old Man’s Sweetheart (Than A Young Man’s Fool)", are "widely regarded as examples of some of the finest southern soul ever recorded by a female artist, with lyrics that were full of meaning and innuendo, a hallmark of Jackson’s best work." Jackson also recorded for Fame Records, and had his first chart success as a singer in 1970 with "That's How Much You Mean To Me", which reached no. 48 on the R&B chart. The Osmonds visited the FAME studio in 1970, and heard and liked Jackson's song "One Bad Apple", which he had originally written with The Jackson 5 in mind. The Osmonds recorded the song, and it became the group's first hit, rising to the top of the Hot 100 in February 1971; it also reached no.6 on the R&B chart.

In 1972 he briefly rejoined the Hi label, and had his second and last solo recording success with "Aretha, Sing One For Me", an answer song to Aretha Franklin's "Don't Play That Song"; Jackson's song reached no.38 on the R&B chart. He then released several singles for MGM Records, while continuing to write for other artists. In the early 1970s he began working as a songwriter for the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and, with Thomas Jones III, wrote "Old Time Rock and Roll" which Bob Seger recorded in 1978; Seger's version reached no.28 on the pop chart. While with Muscle Shoals Sound, he also wrote "Down Home Blues", recorded by Z. Z. Hill, which became a theme tune for Malaco Records in the 1980s; "Unlock Your Mind", recorded by the Staple Singers and a no.16 R&B hit in 1978; and "The Only Way Is Up", originally recorded by Otis Clay in 1980. A version of "The Only Way Is Up" by Yazz & The Plastic Population reached no.1 on the UK singles chart, and no.2 on the Billboard dance chart, in 1988.

In 1983, Jackson formed his own publishing company, Happy Hooker Music, before joining Malaco Records as a staff songwriter. There he wrote hits for Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Bland, Latimore, Denise LaSalle, and Z.Z. Hill. He recorded an album of his own songs, Heart To Heart Collect, in 1991 for Hep' Me Records. In 2011, a compilation CD of his FAME recordings, Don't Count Me Out, was released.

Jackson died on April 14, 2013, at his home in Ridgeland, Mississippi, from cancer at the age of 68. He left a son and two grandchildren.

Otis Clay & Johnny Rawls - Soul Brothers

"Given their styles and similar backgrounds, one might assume that Clay and Rawls might have been friends from ages past. As it goes, nothing could be further from the truth. While they travelled in the same circles for some 40 years or so, it was only about 10 years ago that they really got to know each other. Hot on the heels of Johnny Rawls’ recent tribute to O.V. Wright, “Remembering O.V.” on which Clay contributed in honoring the soul icon and Johnny Rawls mentor and friend. That album met with rave reviews and helped to form a bond between the two giants of soul and blues who had so very much in common. Soul Brothers, their latest collaboration features primarily original tunes contributed by the band as a whole with some classic covers, familiar to most of us, thrown in for good measure. The result is a delightful album which blends blues, classic soul, and gospel for what should certainly be yet another award winning album for the duo that shows us that old school soul still has great appeal and that you can teach a couple old dogs new tricks. Soul Brothers is one or those albums with a timeless sound and feel that will appeal to music fans across the board, whether their preference is blues, soul, gospel or just good music whenever and wherever they find it. Soul Brothers certainly fills the bill. This is a beautiful collaboration that this old man hopes will result in further collaborations between the two giants of soul. Between the obvious vocal talents of the two men who could easily have been brothers separated at birth there is a band that is tight, well schooled in the genre and love what they do so well…the Rays. The band consists of Richey Puga on drums, Bob Trenchard on bass, Johnny McGhee on guitar, Dan Ferguson on keyboards, Andy Roman on sax, Mike Middleton on trumpet, Robert Claiborne on trombone, nick Flood on sax and the Iveys- Arlen, Jessica and Jillian on background vocals. Also adding his talents to the effort was percussionist, Jon Olazabal. What might well be considered the ultimate band fronted by two of the best vocalists in the business make for an album that you will most assuredly want to add to your collection. This is as good as it gets." September 2014 – by Bill Wilson

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Chick Willis - From The Heart And Soul

"Cousin to the late blues ballad singer Chuck Willis, Robert "Chick" Willis is primarily beloved for his ribald, dozens-based rocker "Stoop Down Baby." The guitarist cut his original version in 1972 for tiny La Val Records of Kalamazoo, MI, selling a ton of 45s for the jukebox market only (the tune's lyrics were way too raunchy for airplay).

Willis left the military in 1954, hiring on as valet and chauffeur to cousin Chuck, then riding high with his many R&B hits for OKeh Records. At that point, Chick's primary role on the show was as a singer (he made his own vinyl debut in 1956 with a single, "You're Mine," for Lee Rupe's Ebb Records after winning a talent contest at Atlanta's Magnolia Ballroom), but he picked up the guitar while on the road with his cousin (Chick cites Guitar Slim as his main man in that department).

When Chuck died of stomach problems in 1958, Willis soldiered on, pausing in Chicago to work as a sideman with slide guitar great Elmore James. A few obscure 45s ("Twistin' in the Hospital Ward," cut for Alto in 1962, sounds promising) preceded the advent of "Stoop Down Baby," which Willis has freshened up for countless sequels ever since (he developed the song by teasing passersby with his ribald rhymes while working in a carnival variety show).

Risqué material remained a staple of Willis's output in recent years. He cut several albums for Ichiban, notably 1988's Now!, Footprints in My Bed in 1990, and Back to the Blues in 1991." Bill Dahl

William D. Smith - A Good Feelin'

This is an mp3 dl of my 24/48 lp rip.

"An overlooked chapter in the mainstream rise of New Orleans soul in the 70s – and a great little set arranged and produced by Allen Toussaint during his years on Warner Brothers! The album's got a similar feel to Toussaint's own albums for Warner, although perhaps a bit mellower and more personal overall – with a style that shifts between some sweet mid-tempo funky numbers and even better ballads and love songs – all sung by Smith with a sweetly crackling voice that we really like, and served up in that "New Orleans via LA" style of Toussaint's later 70s productions. Smith plays piano and sings, and the band includes Toussaint, James Booker, and Leo Nocentelli. Titles include "I'll Be Rolling (With The Punches)", "Take Your Pick", "We Flew Away", "Fooled Ya", and "What Am I To Do"."  © 1996-2015, Dusty Groove, Inc.

Lattimore Brown - Nobody Has to Tell Me

"A singer, songwriter and band leader active on the "chitlin' circuit" of the eastern and southern United States between the 1950s and 1970s, Brown shared a stage with the likes of Etta James, Jackie Wilson, Muddy Waters and Otis Redding.
His 17 singles on seven labels, made between 1960 and 1975, were minor hits. But wider recognition was not encouraged by the online All Music Guide's declaration that he had "retired from music in 1980 and passed away in Arkansas in the subsequent decade".
Certainly fortune did not smile on Brown. When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005 he was badly injured and his home in Biloxi was destroyed; shortly afterwards his wife died of a heart attack, news of which took five months to reach him. Reduced to living in a trailer home, in 2007 he was stabbed, robbed of his Veterans' Association benefit and left for dead. But these were merely the latest in a series of disasters to which he was prone throughout his life.
He was born LV Brown at Mound Bayou, Mississippi, on August 20 1931, and brought up in cotton fields by his sharecropping grandfather, having never known his parents. While attending a local church he formed a vocal group, The Shady Grove Specials. But after one too many beatings from his aunt, he left aged 12, beginning an itinerant life. By 15 he had married and at 17 he enlisted (illegally) in the Army. The registration process obliged him to invent a full name, and he chose "Lattimore Vernon Brown".
After three years in Korea and Vietnam (before the latter war had officially started), he returned to Mississippi to find his wife pregnant with another man's child. In disgust, Brown again went on the road, in 1953 ending up in Memphis, where the music scene was beginning to boom.
He joined a traveling minstrel show touring the South, and in 1957 met Jimmy "Buzzard" Stewart, through whom he signed with Zil Records, which in 1960 released his first single, Somebody's Gonna Miss Me. After two more, unsuccessful, singles he moved to Dallas, where he set up a club called the Atmosphere Lounge and put together a band. Renowned for their rare ability to read music, they were frequently booked on chitlin' circuit tours.
Brown's extensive contacts helped to keep his club busy until disaster struck in 1963, when his "sleeping" business partner, Jack Ruby, shot President Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, live on television. Eventually resettling in Nashville, Brown secured a deal with the label Sound Stage 7, and recorded with the producer Willie Mitchell in Memphis.
In 1966 he added "Sir" to his name and the next year signed to Otis Redding's touring agency RedWal, only for the star to die in a plane crash shortly afterwards. Brown's tribute Otis Is Gone (1968) was his most successful recording, but if he thought his fortune had changed, he was wrong.
In the early 1970s he moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, and remarried, setting up The Silver Slipper club with his new wife. It was a successful business, but once again bad luck intervened when she died after unsuccessful heart surgery. Brown drifted back to Little Rock, Arkansas, where he married again. But his new wife died of lung cancer, so he returned to touring the South.
In 1974 an up-and-coming pianist called Benny Latimore shortened his name to "Latimore", and when his fans mistakenly bought tickets to Brown's gigs, there were riots. Work began to dry up for Brown and he was forced to stop performing when he heard that the southern mafia (who owned most of the venues he played in) were furious about the costs of the concert mix-ups, and had put out a contract on his life.
Unsurprisingly, Brown thereafter kept a low profile. A compilation appeared of his work, This Is Lattimore's World (1977), but he never received any royalties.
In the early 1980s he opened Owl's Club in Little Rock, which became a popular after-hours hang-out for local musicians, including one Bill Clinton, who played sax there in his brother Roger's band. But by the end of the decade business had declined and Lattimore once again hit the road.
It was during his convalescence from the mugging in Biloxi in 2007 that a nurse put him in touch with the vintage soul enthusiast and blogger Red Kelly, leading to Brown's first recording in 33 years, Pain In My Heart. The next year he returned to performing, and in 2009 Nobody Has To Tell Me – a remastered collection of his recordings – was released, with liner notes by John Ridley and Red Kelly.
In 2010 Kelly helped to reunite Brown with his children, grandchildren and first wife – all of whom survive him. A deeply religious man, Brown reflected on his misfortunes: "God has blessed me. I've been through many trials and tribulations in life, but so many of us have. The greatest thing in life is to let your heart be kind and respect others as you would have them to do unto you."
Lattimore Brown died on March 25. He had found a new home at Pensacola, Florida, only to be struck by a car

Sam Baker - I Believe In You

Another smoking singer from the vaults of John Richbourg's Sound Stage Seven label. JR clearly had some superior taste in singers!

"He was born in Jackson, MS on 14 June 1941, and unlike many of his contemporaries in the music business went straight to professional secular singing rather than graduating from a gospel group. His influences were bluesmen as well as gospel singers, and he did early gigs with people like Jimmy Reed and Clyde McPhatter which must have been an education in itself.

Apart from Joe Simon, Baker had more 45s issued by John Richbourg on his SS7 label than any other artist – a tribute to both to his talent and Richbourg’s enduring good taste. His second 45, the outstanding Sometimes You Have To Cry, may just be his best ever release. Cut at Stax with the house band in superlative form, Baker is simply unstoppable on his first pure soul effort. The Nashville recorded beat ballad “You Can’t See The Blood” was a good follow-up, but the deep “Let Me Come On Home” and the excellent “Just A Glance Away” were superior. Even better still was the Memphis session that produced That’s All I Want From You and “I Believe In You” with the AGP band doing their usual high quality job in the background.

After a artistic dip, Baker returned to scratch with the lovely, well crafted slowie “I Love You” in 1969, and his best uptempo song for Richbourg “It’s All Over” later the same year. Throughout his stay with SS7 Baker reportedly had many personal problems and Richbourg and he parted company before the last 45 was issued." From Sir Shambling's Deep Soul Heaven

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Nolan Struck - I Got Bills To Pay +

"Nolan Struck was born in the heart of Creole Country near Lafayette, Louisiana. At a young age, Nolan left home and was drawn to the exciting music and dance clubs in Port Arthur, Texas. One night Nolan's performance caught the attention of the talented guitarist/vocalist, Lonnie Brooks. A few weeks later, Lonnie called Nolan to Chicago to join his band.

In 1967, Nolan formed his own band called "The Soul Brothers" where he played bass and sang along with his guitarist/vocalist brother King Edward. Reflecting the influences of B.B. King and Little Walter, (and maybe Joe Tex?) Noland released his first original recording titled, "The Fire Don't Burn All The Time," which received a great deal of attention both Overseas and in the United States.

Nolan had several successful releases in the 70's and 80's on Retta Records including the single, "My Nerves Gone Bad", "I'm Falling In Love", and the album "I Got Bills To Pay". He and his American blues legends toured extensively in France, England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and throughout the Southern and Midwestern United States. During his tours, Nolan Struck has appeared with artists such as John Lee Hooker, Albert King, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Koko Taylor, Tyrone Davis, Artie "Blues Boy" White, and the late Johnny Taylor."

The links contain the album and the mentioned singles in a separate package.

Eddie Hinton - A Tragic Deep Soul Genius, part 1

 Peter B. Olson, University of Memphis and Mississippi State University

"Edward C. "Eddie" Hinton (1944-1995) was a guitarist and singer-songwriter whose career spanned the most vital part of the soul music era in Muscle Shoals. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Hinton, who was white, participated in many recordings with black soul artists from Aretha Franklin to the Staple Singers to Percy Sledge. As a singer, Hinton is regarded among blues and soul aficionados as one of the great "blue-eyed soul" singers. As a guitarist, Hinton's playing reflects an authentic Delta blues style. Hinton often wrote in collaboration with Muscle Shoals composers such as Donnie Fritts, Marlin Greene, and Dan Penn. A Muscle Shoals session musician from 1967 until his death in 1995, Hinton also was the lead guitarist with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section in the early-to-mid 1970s.
Eddie Hinton was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on June 15, 1944, to Laura Deanie and Horton C. Hinton. Hinton's parents divorced in 1949, and he and his mother moved to Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, where his mother married Paul Perkins some years later. Eddie had a close bond with grandfather Pryde Edward Hinton, a Church of Christ preacher, and later incorporated religiously inspired oratory into his music, notably in his song "Dear Y'All."

Eddie showed a musical aptitude as a child and learned to play guitar and sing, being inspired by teen singing idol Ricky Nelson. Eddie played basketball in high school and became a fan of the University of Alabama's Crimson Tide football team. He attended the University of Alabama for three years but withdrew when his musical pursuits beckoned. He had a natural gift for music and played drums and guitar equally well. He played in the Tuscaloosa area in the 1960s with a number of bands, including The Spooks and The Five Minutes. Among the players in the latter group were Johnny Sandlin (drums), Paul Hornsby (keyboard), and Paul Ballenger (guitar), who would later form a publishing partnership with Hinton. Hinton replaced Ballenger and guitarist Charlie Campbell in the newly reformed Five Minutes in 1965, and the band subsequently reformed again as Hour Glass, absorbing Duane and Gregg Allman into the line-up. When Hour Glass signed with Liberty Records and spent a year in Los Angeles, Hinton decided to remain behind to work in the recording scene in Muscle Shoals. Hinton began to record and produce for several recording studios in the Shoals, particularly Quin Ivy's Quinvy Studio in Sheffield, where Hinton and Marlin Greene wrote and produced songs for soul artists Don Varner and Bill Brandon on Quinvy's Southcamp imprint. When Duane Allman returned to the Shoals from Los Angeles in 1968, he and Eddie shared an apartment. Hinton's production work at Quinvy Records drew upon a blend of soul and blues styles that became quintessentially part of the so-called Muscle Shoals "sound," exemplified in Hinton's work with the Staple Singers and the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (MSRS).
In 1969, Hinton collaborated with Johnny Sandlin on a project that included Duane Allman, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, and the Memphis Horns. The record was released under the title The Duck and the Bear and has come to be considered a seminal recording in the southern rock genre. Hinton also was closely associated with the burgeoning southern rock scene centered around the Allman Brothers Band, formed by the brothers that same year. He was asked by guitarist Duane Allman to join the band but declined the offer and remained a session musician in Muscle Shoals. During Hinton's career in Muscle Shoals, he worked on recordings by Percy Sledge at Quinvy and with Otis Redding and Arthur Conley at FAME Studios. As a solo artist, Hinton released a single on Pacemaker Records (1969) featuring an original titled "Dreamer," and after April 1969 became a mainstay at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield. There, Hinton contributed to sessions with the Staple Singers, Cher, Lulu, Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Womack, Ronnie Hawkins, R. B. Greaves, Wilson Pickett, Joe Tex, Johnny Jenkins, Herbie Mann, Arif Mardin, Don Covay, Solomon Burke, and Boz Scaggs.
Hinton recorded as part of the MSRS at Atlantic Records in New York, playing on Aretha Franklin's 1970 album This Girl's In Love With You. That same year, Hinton played with the MSRS on Laura Nyro's album Christmas and the Beads of Sweat (1970). Beyond his exemplary work with the Staple Singers, Hinton played on William Bell's Wow (1970), Elvis Presley's Elvis Country (1971), and Johnnie Taylor's Tailored in Silk (recorded between 1971 and 1973), Hinton fronted the MSRS on the Chuck Berry classic "Too Much Monkey Business" recorded in 1971 for a never-released MSRS project on Island Records.

An important songwriter and musical collaborator, Hinton co-wrote, with Marlin Greene, the southern soul classics "Cover Me" (1967) and "It's All Wrong But It's Alright" (1968) for Percy Sledge, and "Down In Texas" for Don Varner (1967). Eddie and Paul Ballenger produced Don Varner's cover of the Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham song "Power of Love," which became a hit for Hour Glass in 1968. With Donnie Fritts, Hinton composed "Breakfast in Bed" for Dusty Springfield (1969), "Choo Choo Train" for the Box Tops (produced by Dan Penn in 1968). Hinton contributed his song "Three Hundred Pounds of Hongry" to Tony Joe White's The Train I'm On (produced at Muscle Shoals Sound in 1972), and his songs "Can't Beat the Kid" and "Every Natural Thing" for John Hammond's Muscle-Shoals album Can't Beat the Kid (1975) and Hinton also contributed "Just a Little Bit Salty" to Bobby Womack's Home is Where the Heart Is, recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in 1976. In 1977, Hinton recorded a solo album, Very Extremely Dangerous, at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio; it was produced by Barry Beckett for the Capricorn label and included a strong set of original songs as well as collaborations with Dan Penn and Donnie Fritts"...cont. in part 2.


Rock & Roll Sermon

A re-post by request: The Elder Clifford Gospel Hour presented by Deacon Kingcake continues with a second portion because Deacon KC has been taken with the spirit and can't be denied now....I'd simulate speaking in tongues but I can't figure out how you would do that.....

 "Rock and Roll Sermon is a collection of some of the finest sanctified music recorded between 1946-56. If you're not familiar with sanctified music,and you like the blues and dazzling guitars, pumping piano, and true-testifying, then you owe it to yourself to listen to this compilation. Unfortunately, this great music has largely been ignored by the general public and by music critics. Perhaps it is because these are songs of praise to the Lord, and many prefer to keep their musical and religious tastes separated. After all, when was the last time you listened, outside of church, to selections from the Common Service Hymnal? While this is not blues music, many of the "blues forms" are utilized. Only the message has been changed. This is intense, dynamic, inspirational, and incredible music. Enjoy and Rejoice!!!"
ps there is some overlap between these two sets today but I don't believe that the same version has been used on any of the apparent duplications.

Clay Hammond & Z.Z. Hill - Southern Soul Brothers

An introduction to the earliest sides of two guys who have shown up on compilations here.

"Hammond has 16 of the 26 tracks on this split-artist compilation, which also includes ten songs recorded by Z.Z. Hill for the same label (Kent) during the same era (the mid-to-late 1960s). Hammond's 16 cuts include both sides of all four of his 1966-69 Kent singles, as well as four from the same period that did not surface until a 1988 LP, and four more from the same time that were previously unissued until this CD. He was a minor but a worthy Southern soul-style vocalist who sounded much like a gentler Sam Cooke, writing all of his material on this disc. On his Kent sides (he had previously recorded for other labels), he adeptly crossed soul with shades of blues and gospel, although the arrangements were not as lugubrious and brassy as much soul actually produced in the South was. Occasionally he used pop-style production to good effect, as on the 1966 single "You Brought It All on Yourself," with its swinging, slightly jazz horn lines. Interestingly, his 1968 B-side "Do Right Woman" is not the famous Chips Moman/Dan Penn song, but a different song (albeit with some similarities to the more famous one), recorded at Moman's studio, no less. The eight songs that were not released in the 1960s are good by outtakes standard. "Togetherness" has something of the ballad feel of Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," while "My Sweet Baby Is Coming Home," with only an electric guitar as backup, anticipates the sound of fellow Cooke acolyte Ted Hawkins. The ten songs that follow from Hill, incidentally, are average period soul that also have some stronger blues elements than many recordings from the genre, combining a few of Hill's 1966-69 singles with four previously unissued numbers. " AMG

Hunh, I liked the review until he dismissed Z.Z. that way, this is WAY above average period soul, Hill's sound in this era has a lot of Otis Redding in it. I think he sounds fantastic!

The Supreme Jubilees - It'll All Be Over (1980)

"Originally released in 1980, the scant 500 copies of the Supreme Jubilees' wonderful lone LP It'll All Be Over seemed destined for the bargain bins. A gospel-soul group with deep R&B grooves, the band came together in the 1970s, bridging two musical families from California's Central Valley. On one side were the Sanders, led by keyboardist and self-proclaimed "Donny Hathaway freak" Leonard, who was joined by his brothers Tim, Philip, and Melvin. On the other side were Joe and David Kingsby, who enlisted David's son David, Jr. to play guitar. An unaffiliated family friend named Larry Price rounded out the group. Although they had operated as a live band on the regional church circuit for several years, they had yet to release an album. The Fresno studio the band chose for their initial sessions turned out to be ill-suited to their needs. Largely a country & western studio, the engineer balked at their requests for more bass in the mix and eventually kicked them out mid-session. Undeterred, the Jubilees took their half-finished album over to Sierra Recording Studio in Visalia where they polished off the remaining five songs. The resulting nine-song debut was a comforting mix of smooth soul, warm R&B, and a dash of disco that showcased the band's enchanting vocal mix. The sublime title cut is worth the price of admission alone for its gently despairing Old Testament darkness. As the opening cut, it sets an odd, almost meditative tone as the group foretells the end times with a sort of comforting sensuality. There are certainly some uptempo gospel rave-ups like "I'm on the Lord's Side" and the ebullient album-closer "Stop Today," but the Jubilees are at their most effective with the more somber, thoughtful cuts like "Do You Believe" and "We'll Understand." It's understandable that music with so sensitive a touch didn't catch on at the dawn of the '80s. After embarking on a couple of difficult and hapless tours, the Jubilees essentially called it quits and this lovely album faded into obscurity for over three decades before being reissued by Seattle specialty label Light in the Attic Records. While it may remain a diamond in the rough, it's a comfort to know that such an honest and heartfelt piece of art is now widely available to all." AMG

Monday, January 22, 2018

Chuck Carbo - Drawers Trouble, The Barber's Blues

You have no idea how pleased I am to have copies of these two albums again. They were a gift from Hartmut, whom some of you will know from 'Don't Ask Me....' where his cool singles rips have been appearing.

During that killer period when Rounder Records discovered New Orleans one of the many things they got right was the good sense to do a couple albums on this man.

"AllMusic Review by
Veteran New Orleans R&B singer Carbo proves he's a capable front man even without the presence of his '50s vocal group, the Spiders, on this infectious comeback set. With Crescent City vet Edward Frank handling piano and arranging duties, Carbo smoothly intones a mostly original lineup of songs (Jeannie & Jimmy Cheatham's lascivious standard "Meet Me with Your Black Drawers On" being one of the few exceptions). Dr. John contributes his considerable skills on keyboard and guitar to the project."

"AllMusic Review by

Ex-Spiders lead Carbo returns with a Rounder encore that eschews Dr. John but brings back Edward Frank as co-producer and pianist. Some of the selections are a little on the hackneyed side (a permanent moratorium on "Everyday I Have the Blues," tplease!), but Carbo's second line-based "Hey, Mardi Gras! (Here I Am)," the title item, and a easy-on-the-ears reprise of the Cheathams' "Don't Boogie with Your Black Drawers On" hit the spot."

Roscoe Robinson - Why Must It End?

This is your HMOG moment for the day....Astute followers of this space will recall the name 'Roscoe Robinson' cropping up now and again, but mostly on Gospel posts. If you checked out the compilation The Sound Stage 7 Story, then you may recall him from there as well. He is a pretty-much unforgettable singer and here you get a big-ole dose (if not all), of his secular, screamin' southern soul! The songs are pretty decent, but when that voice gets a-hold of you, you won't be spending much time on the songs anyway. -- Just - "Holy Mother... listen to that man sing!!!"

" Roscoe Robinson (born May 22, 1928, Dumont, Arkansas) is an American gospel and soul singer.

Robinson recorded as a gospel solo artist in the 1950s with Trumpet Records, and sang in groups such as The Five Trumpets, Highway QCs, and The Fairfield Four. He began recording secular soul in the 1960s, and had two charting hits: "That's Enough" (U.S. #62, U.S. R&B #7) in 1966, and "Do It Right Now" (U.S. R&B #40) in 1967. Robinson began recording again as a gospel artist in the 1980s, releasing solo albums as well as performing with The Blind Boys of Mississippi, though he is not himself blind. He recorded into the 2000s, releasing the albums So Called Friends in 2003 and Gospel Stroll in 2005." AMG

Willie Hobbs - A Penny For Your Thoughts +

Repost by request:

There certainly isn't much in the way of info about this guy out there. Even Sir Shambling couldn't produce much more than date and place of birth and some disco-graphical info (born: Doerun, Georgia on 1 Sept 1944).

Hobbs had a 20+ year career, appears to have moved around a fair amount, but the largest portion of his work was issued on John Richbourg's family of Sound Stage 7 labels. There IS one compilation out there that focus' on the SS7 material, but neither Cliff nor I have it - If you do, please drop me a note and a link if possible.

I went on a search the other evening after listening to the song on the Sun anthology and cobbled together 18 tracks spanning the first decade or so of his recordings. This is really kind of a fishing expedition to see if any of you have any more.

Okay, since I wrote all that Preslives has blessed me with the Sound Stage 7 disc! This flushes us out to some 28 tracks which I've combined to one file for this repost.

Smokey Hogg - Original Folk Blues


Andrew 'Smokey' Hogg (January 27, 1914 - May 1, 1960)
Hogg was born near Westconnie, Texas, United States and grew up on the farm and was taught to play guitar by his father Frank Hogg. While still in his teens he teamed up with the slide guitarist and vocalist, B.K. Turner aka Black Ace and the pair travelled together playing the turpentine and logging camp circuit of country dance halls and juke joints that surrounded Kilgore, Tyler, Greenville and Palestine in East Texas.
In 1937 Smokey and Black Ace were brought to Chicago, Illinois by Decca Records to record, and Smokey had his first gramophone record ("Family Trouble Blues"/"Kind Hearted Blues") released, as by Andrew Hogg. It was an isolated occurrence - he did not make it back into a recording studio for over a decade. By the early 1940s Hogg was married and making a good living busking around the Deep Ellum area of Dallas, Texas.

Hogg was drafted in the mid-1940s and after a brief spell with the U.S. military, he continued working in the Dallas area where he was becoming well known. In 1947 he came to the attention of Herbert T. Rippa Sr, boss of the Dallas based record label, Bluebonnet Records, who recorded several sides with him and leased the masters to Modern Records.

The first release on Modern was the Big Bill Broonzy song "Too Many Drivers", and this racked up sufficient sales to encourage Modern Records to bring Hogg out to Los Angeles, California to cut more sides with their team of studio musicians. These songs included his two biggest hits, "Long Tall Mama" in 1949 and another Broonzy tune "Little School Girl" (#9 U.S. R&B chart) in 1950.Some blues fans tend to revere his two-part "Penitentiary Blues" (1952), which was a remake of the prison song, "Ain't No More Cane on the Brazos".

Hogg's country blues style, influenced by Broonzy, Peetie Wheatstraw and Black Ace was popular with record buyers in the South during the late 1940s and early 1950s. He continued to work and record until the end of the 1950s, but died of cancer, or possibly a ruptured ulcer, in McKinney, Texas in 1960.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Guitar Shorty - Topsy Turvey

A little Christmas present from our good Dr. Hepcat.

Allmusic review by Bill Dahl:

More impressive than Shorty's British venture thanks to superior production values and a better handle on his past (there's a stellar remake of "Hard Life"), Topsy Turvy made it clear that Guitar Shorty was back to stay stateside. Black Top assembled a fine New Orleans combo for the majority of the album, as Shorty proved that his act translates beautifully to record minus the crowd-pleasing acrobatic antics.


  • David Torkanowsky — organ
  • Ernest Youngblood, Jr. — saxophone (tenor)
  • Clarence Hollimon, Derek O'Brien — guitar
  • Guitar Shorty — guitar, vocals
  • Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff — saxophone (baritone, tenor)
  • Sarah Brown, Lee Allen Zeno — bass
  • Herman V. Ernest III, George Rains — percussion, drums
  • Floyd Domino — piano
  • Carol Fran — vocals
  • Michael Mordecai — trombone
  • Keith Winking — trumpet

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Guitar Shorty - The 1950s Recordings

Given the recent Guitar Shorty love fest here, I wanted to make a post of his early recordings.  While Guitar Shorty's career already spans seven decades, somehow he hardly had a chance to record until the mid-1980s.   We can be grateful, however, that he had the chance to record 8 precious tracks in the beginning of his career in the 1950s.  I believe that these eight tracks are the only Guitar Shorty recordings until the mid-1980s (please correct me if I am wrong).

This interest of these recordings is not at all just historical.  There is true brilliance here.  In fact, they are far and away my favorite Guitar Shorty recordings.  The first thing that hits you are the vocals.  Guitar Shorty has always been a fine singer, but his voice in the 1950s was truly fabulous - clear, booming, and very blue.  Then there is the guitar playing - the evidence here will make you believe Guitar Shorty's claims that a young Jimi Hendrix used to idolize him.

The first recording opportunity was for Cobra records, producing one 45 in 1957.  These are pleasing R&B-infested blues.  But the cream is clearly in the tracks that Shorty was able to record for Pull records in 1959 - Hard Life, Ways of a Man, How Long Will It Last, Love Loves, I Never Thought...   Timeless classics, in my view! Enjoy.

Discography

a) Chicago, 1957: Guitar Shorty -g,v, John Tinsley-ts, Lafayette Leake-p, Willie Dixon-b, Odie Payne-d (Cobra Records)

1) Irma Lee
2) You Don't Treat Me Right

b) Los Angeles, 1959: Guitar Shorty-g,v, Bob Tate-b, unknown band (Pull Records)

3) Hard Life
4) Ways of a Man
5) How Long Will it Last
6) Love Loves
7) I Never Thought
8) Pumpkin Pie

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Marva Wright - My Christmas Song

 Not exactly 'feelin' it this year, poverty sucks, but here is a fine slice of NOLA Christmas.

For my friend Feillimed:

I have known for a long time that there was a Marva Christmas disc that I'd never heard. You would think that since I had everything else, I would have diligently tracked this down...but no, I kind of wrote it off as likely a half-ass obligatory type recording. This year I said "What the hell, get it and if it's bad...so what." Unnnh...Ooops! Do you notice where this is leading....Oh You Silly, Foolish Old Man! Are You Out Ya Mind?!

The first track opens with swelling organ, the unmistakable keyboards of Davell Crawford, the rest of the band kicks in and oh here comes the choir! It's Go Tell It On The Mountain "Damn THIS is rockin'" ...and Whoa, here comes Marva! (an enthusiastic 'chair boogie' follows) "Gee, I may have underestimated this one a bit." ya think? ...a nice sax intro, and My Christmas Song, part one  of a  classic Southern Soul tale of an abandoned woman and her inner strength to hold her family and herself together thru the Holidays...Now it really starts to get deep as Ms Marva gets your tears going with a soul stirring rendition of Silent Night....and now "OH Hell Yeah, time to get up and dance!" If Marva's Holiday Shuffle don't get ya moving...well you know.

Okay so now we are clear...I WAY underestimated this album. I mean I'm 4 tracks in and I've already laughed, cried and danced! ...now some more strong DC piano and here comes the triumphant part two of our tale of the abandoned woman, I'll Be Fine, If this one doesn't move you then you are a heartless bastard!

A Holiday Medley is just that, a nice little piece that may or may not be live. Freddie King's classic Christmas Tears follows...beautiful...I'd guess that this is something of a tribute to the late Johnny Adams, who loved to sing that song...unh oh we goin' to church AND we gettin' funky! What follows are a trio of beautiful Christmas songs that you've never heard that are clearly born of the church. Each of them is a wonderful gem. Some spastic 'old man dancing' is left to your imagination.

 What Christmas Means To Me is so deep into Marva's wheelhouse that I'd have been shocked if she hadn't absolutely crushed it, ...no shock, song crushed! Christmas Comes But Once A Year could be a third part to the story of our heroine, she somehow makes it all magic for her kids...there is a weary joy to this one.

Marva even manages to make the finale of Auld Lang Syne memorable, no mean feat! Today my favorite Marva Wright album is this one right here!

Johnny Adams - Christmas In New Orleans

Certainly one of the more maudlin Christmas albums ever, but it IS Johnny Adams so...

".....In 1975, he recorded his only Christmas album (A Christmas With Johnny Adams - Ace 2046) which has since been re-released on vinyl in 1987 as Maison de Soul LP-1023 with a different cover, then in a 1993 CD by Ace with the original LP cover, and again as a 1994 CD by Mardi Gras Records with still another cover and the title changed to Christmas In New Orleans.

His effortless handling of a mix of traditional carols and some of the more memorable Pop/R&B Christmas tunes ever written, all recorded at New Orleans' Sea Saint Studio and produced here with excellent sound reproduction and new and informative liner notes written by Jeff "Almost Slim" Hanusch, makes this the perfect album for Holiday enjoyment."

Backing musicians include guitarists Walter Washington and Jimmie Moliere, pianist/organists Sam Henry Jr. And Raymond Jones, pianist Isaac Bolden and drummers Danny Jones and Benson Dupre."

Okay, not Johnny's finest by any measure, but it is seasonally appropriate.