Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Collector's Guide To Rare British Birds


The Birds - The Collector's Guide To Rare British Birds
DERAM Records - 564 139-2

Tracks:
01 - You're On My Mind
02 - You Don't Love Me (You Don't Care)
03 - Leaving Here
04 - Next In Line
05 - No Good Without You Baby
06 - How Can It Be
07 - You're On My Mind (demo)
08 - You Don't Love Me (demo)
09 - Say Those Magic Words (previously unissued stereo mix)
10 - Daddy Daddy (previously unissued stereo mix)
11 - Run Run Run (previously unissued)
12 - Good Times (previously unissued)
13 - Say Those Magic Words (early backing track)
14 - Daddy Daddy (previously unissued)
15 - La Poupe Qui Fait Non (previously unissued)
16 - Run Run Run (previously unissued)
17 - Daddy Daddy (early backing track)
18 - Granny Rides Again (previously unissued)
19 - That's All I Need (from the film 'The Deadly Bees') (hidden track)

This group of West Londoners originally formed as the Thunderbirds in 1964, but had to change their name after Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds had chart success. Renamed the Birds they started developing a hard edged British R&B sound, driven by Ronnie Wood's guitar, that would later be called freakbeat. They gathered quite a following, winning talent contests and playing at their own venue 'The Nest' at Yiewsley & West Drayton community centre. In order to play gigs further afield they bought a van which they painted 'The Birds' on the sides and back and famously cut a hole in the floor so that they wouldn't have to make toilet stops between gigs.

They recorded three singles for Decca 'You're On My Mind/You Don't Love Me (You Don't Care)', 'Leaving Here/Next In Line' and 'No Good Without You Baby/How Can It Be' between 1964 and 1965. Their, and in my opinion the best, version of Eddie Holland's 'Leaving Here' got to No. 45 in the charts. Sadly this would be the only chart action they would see. During this time they issued several writs against the American band The Byrds when they came to the UK on their first tour, saying they had no right to the name. Although the Birds had been around longer the Byrds had bigger backers, so both bands kept their names.

In December 1965 they signed to Reaction Records and briefly changed their name to Birds Birds for their next, and last, single 'Say Those Magic Words/Daddy Daddy'. Despite the lack of singles they toured extensively throughout the UK and Scandinavia in 1966. They even had a cameo in a very low budget British horror flick, 'The Deadly Bees'. In the film they can be seen playing 'That's All I Need' in a TV studio. Despite their big screen d├ębut, the lack of singles and punishing tour schedule caused the band's morale to drop and in 1967 they called it a day. Ronnie Wood, by far the most famous member, went on to be in the Jeff Beck Group, the Creation, the Faces and the Rolling Stones. Bass player Kim Gardner would also go on to be in the Creation and then to Ashton, Gardner & Dyke.

This CD contains everything they recorded; all four singles, a host of unissued material and in one of those annoying 'hidden' tracks their cameo in 'The Deadly Bees'. It's a fine testament to one of the greatest British R&B bands of the 1960's. Here's the Birds' definitive version of 'Leaving Here', their last single 'Say Those Magic Words' and their cameo in 'The Deadly Bees'. Play loud.......

Stormy Weather


Various Artists - Stormy Weather
THE SOUNDTRACK COMPANY - SFCD33505

Tracks:
01 - Main Title / Stormy Weather Ballet
02 - Walkin' The Dog
03 - There's No Two Ways About Love - Lena Horne
04 - Cakewalk / Camptown Races / At A Georgia Meeting
05 - Linda Brown - The Tramp Band
06 - Moppin' And Boppin' - Fats Waller
07 - That Ain't Right - Fats Waller And Ada Brown
08 - Ain't Misbehavin' - Fats Waller
09 - Diga Diga Doo - Lena Horne
10 - I Lost My Sugar In Salt Lake City - Mae Johnson
11 - Nobody's Sweetheart
12 - I Can't Give You Anything But Love - Lena Horne And Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson
13 - Geechy Joe - Cab Calloway And His Orchestra
14 - Stormy Weather - Lena Horne
15 - There's No Two Ways About Love - Cab Calloway, Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson And Lena Horne
16 - My, My, Ain't That Somethin' - Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson
17 - Jumpin' Jive - Cab Calloway And His Orchestra
18 - My, My, Ain't That Somethin' - Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson, Cab Calloway And Lena Horne
19 - Good For Nothing Joe - Lena Horne (Not Used In Movie)
20 - Body And Soul - Cab Calloway And His Orchestra (Not Used In Movie)

This is the soundtrack to the 1943 movie 'Stormy Weather' that has an all African-American cast. The plot (slight though it is) is loosely based upon the life and times of it's star Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson. Returning from World War I, Bill and his friend Gabe (played by Dooley Wilson of Casablanca fame) return to Harlem to rebuild Bill's showbiz career. Bill meets and falls for singer Selina Rogers (Lena Horne) and vows to come back to her when he "gets to be somebody". The story of their relationship is almost continuously interspersed with musical song and dance numbers, tracing the development of African-American music from minstrelsy to big band swing, and culminating in a big finale.

The film is very entertaining and definitely worth watching, but it's the music that makes it great. For me the highlights of the film are Fats Waller and Cab Calloway (playing themselves) and the two dancin'est dudes that ever were or probably ever will be, the Nicholas Brothers. So here's a zoot suited Cab Calloway singing 'Geechy Joe', Fats Waller singing 'Ain't Misbehavin' and the finale that features Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers performing what Fred Astaire called the "the greatest movie musical number he had ever seen", 'Jumpin' Jive'. The Nicholas Brothers' eye-watering way of getting down stairs is probably best not tried at home........

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Poetry And Jazz At The Blackhawk


Kenneth Rexroth - Poetry And Jazz At The Blackhawk
BGP Records - BGP 1019
Originally Released As FANTASY Records 7008 In 1960

Side A
Married Blues
Quietly
Nicholas
State And 32nd
The Deserted Courtesan
In The Wood
Go, Lovely Rose

Side B
The Shadows
The Orchard

Poetry set to jazz is considered a very 1950's and particularly Beat Generation phenomena, but Kenneth Rexroth had been doing it as far back as the 1920's. This album from 1960, finds him setting his own poems and his translations to some very cool west coast jazz at San Francisco's Blackhawk club. Despite his, at times, peculiar delivery I think this album works really well and I've enjoyed it for years. 

Unfortunately the original LP did not list who the band were and this reissue by ACE Records does nothing to put that right. After a bit of research I found a chap on line who has an original copy of the LP with guide notes inside by drummer Hank Uribe. These notes (you can see them here) list the group as:

John Mosher - Bass
Clair Willey - Piano
Dickie Mills - Trumpet
Brew Moore - Sax
Hank Uribe - Drums

Whether this is the group that appears on the album or performed it soon after the album's release, using the LP as a guide, is still not 100% definite. However, Brew Moore was associated with the Beat scene, recorded for Fantasy and regularly worked at the Blackhawk so there's a very good chance he's playing sax on this album. 

Kenneth Rexroth was not really a part of the Beat Generation. As an already published and recognised poet, he acted as a kind of elder statesman and mentor for many of the Beat poets, and certainly did a lot to help Alan Ginsberg and Gary Snyder gain recognition. He was master of ceremonies for the famous poetry reading at the Six Gallery, San Francisco in 1955 that first publicly introduced the Beats, was a witness for the defence at Alan Ginsberg's obscenity trial and appears in Jack Kerouac's 'Dharma Bums' as Reinhold Cacoethes. Sadly he would end up being critical of the Beat Generation and when called the 'Father of the Beats' by TIME magazine, he replied "an entomologist is not a bug" (so there!).

Whether he was a cool patron of the Beats or a grumpy old man, this album is very cool. Listen to a couple of tracks and see.....

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Tell Mama


Etta James - Tell Mama: The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions
CHESS Records - 2001
Original Release CADET Records - 1968

Tracks:
Original Album:
01 - Tell Mama
02 - I'd Rather Go Blind
03 - Watch Dog
04 - The Love Of My Man
05 - I'm Gonna Take What He's Got
06 - The Same Rope
07 - Security
08 - Steal Away
09 - My Mother In Law
10 - Don't Lose Your Good Thing
11 - It Hurts So Much
12 - Just A Little Bit
Bonus Tracks:
13 - Do Right Woman, Do Right Man
14 - You Took It
15 - I Worship The Ground You Walk On
16 - I Got You Babe
17 - You Got It
18 - I've Gone Too Far
19 - Misty
20 - Almost Persuaded
21 - Fire
22 - Do Right Woman, Do Right Man (alternate)

Despite having a string of hits for Chess between 1960 and '63, by 1967 Etta James had not had a significant seller for four years. Leonard Chess always believed in his favourite female singer, so he sent Etta to Rick Hall's Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama to see if they could work the same magic for her that they had for Aretha Franklin. In August 1967 Leonard went with a pregnant Etta, her Boyfriend and two poodles to the first of four sessions at Fame. The results were some of the finest work she ever recorded. The first release from these sessions was the hard sockin' single 'Tell Mama' backed with the sublime 'I'd Rather Go Blind'. 'Tell Mama' a reworking of Clarence Carter's 'Tell Daddy' was a top ten R&B hit and 'I'd Rather Go Blind' became a blues/soul classic. The original Queen Of Soul was back. The album was released in January 1968, went to number 21 in the R&B chart and produced another single 'Security'. Her take on the Otis Redding classic got to 11 in the R&B charts. Subsequent singles from the sessions, 'You Got It' and 'Almost Persuaded' didn't do quite so well, in fact none of her future singles ever charted so high.

For me the songs Etta recorded at Fame Studios captured her at her best. From the upbeat, hard driving, gutsy dance tunes of 'Tell Mama', 'Watchdog' and 'Fire' to the heart wrenching soul of 'I'd Rather Go Blind', 'The Love Of My Man' and 'Steal Away' and all points in between she was rarely better.

Enjoy both sides of the single 'Tell Mama'/'I'd Rather Go Blind' and the downright funky 'Fire'.....


Red Hot On Impulse!


Various Artists - Red Hot On Impulse! - 1994
GRP Records - GRP 11512

Tracks:
01 - Journey Into Satchindananda - Alice Coltrane
02 - The Creator Has A Master Plan (Edit) - Pharoah Sanders
03 - A Love Supreme (Part 1: Acknowledgement) - John Coltrane
04 - A Love Supreme - Alice Coltrane
05 - Astral Traveling - Pharoah Sanders
06 - Stolen Moments - Oliver Nelson
07 - Garvey's Ghost (Edit) - Max Roach
08 - Hora Decubitus - Charles Mingus
09 - Upper Egypt And Lower Egypt (Edit) - Pharoah Sanders
10 - Le Matin Des Noire - Archie Shepp
11 - Blue Nile - Alice Coltrane

Apart from John Coltrane's 'Love Supreme', which I already owned, this album was my first real exposure to Impulse! Records. When I bought it back in 1995 I had never heard of Alice Coltrane or Pharoah Sanders or indeed any spiritual jazz outside of 'Love Supreme'. I was completely blown away, particularly by Alice Coltrane and I began investigating more of this fantastic music. At the time I had gone back to university and money was tight so I didn't buy many more albums for a while. I did listen to this one though, a lot, and so did anyone who happened to be around me at the time. I spent a lot of time trying to convince my fellow students, most of whom had never listened to jazz before, that they really needed to listen to this amazing music. Unsurprisingly it mostly fell on deaf ears, didn't stop me trying though.

This album was released in conjunction with the charity the Red Hot Organisation to raise awareness and money to fight the spread of AIDS. Initially the project was a reworking of the Impulse! classics by contemporary and original artists and was released as an album 'Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool' with a related TV show. Despite the amount of hip hop (not my bag at all) the album worked well and I may do a post about it at a later date. This album was released to highlight the original versions, and saw the start of a long over due re issue campaign for Impulse! In fact some of the tracks on this CD had never been re issued since their original release.

Anyway, there's this really amazing music you have to listen to........


Monday, 23 May 2016

Voodoo Session


Tubby Hayes - Voodoo Session - TRUNK Records TTT005

Side A
Voodoo

Side B
Give Me Love (Kenny Lynch vocals)
Bailey's Blues

This is something special, Tubby Hayes' previously unreleased music to low budget British horror flick, Dr Terror's House Of Horror. Released by Trunk Records, only 666 of theses EPs were pressed, this is 219. The music as you would expect is superb, and there are comprehensive notes by Tubby expert Simon Spillett (who's no slouch on the sax himself). The music was recorded at Shepperton Studios in 1964 and features Shake Keane on trumpet, not Roy Castle as the film would have you believe.

I came to own this record by complete coincidence. I watched the film for the first time and was very excited to see the Tubby Hayes Quintet, the Radio Times hadn't mentioned it so it was an unexpected treat. I set about seeing if this music had been released, I didn't have the internet then so all I could find out was that the Rare Record Price Guide listed one very expensive single credited to Roy Castle. The following Saturday I went to my local record shop and while paying for that week's selection of albums, I saw this EP in the back room behind the counter. I asked to see it and was amazed to find that it was the music to the film I'd watched a couple of days earlier! Obviously my next question was "can I buy it?". The girl who worked there on Saturdays had ordered it for herself but said she would order another but I couldn't have it yet as it wasn't released until that Monday. They put it by for me, and I shot down there on a slightly extended lunch break that Monday to pick it up. I spent the rest of the day counting the minutes until I could go home and play it.

As I mentioned earlier the music is superb although my, now sadly departed, cat would disagree. Over the years he heard a lot of music, probably more than most cats, and he never really expressed an opinion either way about any of it. That is until he heard Tubby's 'Voodoo'. When Tubby makes his flute 'roar' it would cause his ears to flatten back and he would run from the room as fast as his legs would carry him!

Here is 'Voodoo' (cats may wish to leave the room) and a clip from the film featuring Kenny Lynch singing 'Give Me Love', enjoy.......




Saturday, 21 May 2016

Dangerous Doo-Wop


Various Artists - Dangerous Doo-Wop - DDW 801

Side A
King Odom 4 - All Of Me - LISTEN
Flairs - My Hearts Crying - LISTEN
Crowns - Hey Pretty Baby - LISTEN
Chords - Sh-boom - LISTEN
Robins - White Cliffs Of Dover - LISTEN
Larks - Lucy Brown - LISTEN
Eldoradoes - Go Little Susie - LISTEN
Artie Wilkins - Darling Patricia - LISTEN
Velvet Angels - I'm In Love - LISTEN

Side B
Bachelors - Baby - LISTEN
El Tones - Lovin' With A Beat - LISTEN
Flairs - Love Me Girl - LISTEN
Hearts - Girl Around The Corner - LISTEN
Poets - Vowels Of Love - LISTEN
Blisters - Shortnin' Bread - LISTEN
Del Chords - Say That You Love Me - LISTEN
Monograms - My Baby Dearest Darling - LISTEN
Flamingos - Let's Make Up - LISTEN

This is volume one of this amazing series (4 LPs) that feature some of the best doo-wop to be found. No filler in this album, every track is great and to prove it there's a link to a YouTube clip next to each track listed above. Being a bootleg however, there is no information on any of the tracks and in fact not all of the artists or tracks are listed correctly. I've done some research and compiled a very brief history of the groups and tracks listed.

The King Odom Quartet from New York formed in 1947 and recorded under a variety of variations of their name until 1953. 'All Of Me' was recorded for the Derby label in 1950 as the King Odom Four.

The Flairs were the in-house vocal group for the Bihari brothers' Flair label of Los Angeles. They recorded under many names and had within their ranks Richard 'Louie Louie' Berry and Young Jessie. Both tracks included here were released in 1954, 'My Heart's Crying' was released as the Chimes and 'Love Me Girl' as the Flairs.

Arthur Lee Maye had a dual career, not only was he a singer he was also a professional baseball player. 'Hey Little Girl' was recorded in 1957 with the Crowns for the Bihari brothers' RPM label.

'Sh-boom' is probably the most famous song on this compilation. Recorded by the Chords in 1954 for Atlantic subsidiary Cat, the record was quickly covered by the clean-cut white vocal group the Crew Cuts who had a big pop hit with it. This is the best version.

The prolific Robins hailed from Los Angeles, their best known recordings were made for Savoy and Spark Records. This fantastic, upbeat version of 'White Cliffs Of Dover' was recorded in 1961 for Lavender Records and was one of their last releases.

Recorded for The Apollo label of New York in 1951, 'Miss Lucy Brown' was originally recorded as 'Suntan Brown Baby' by the Norfolk Jazz Quartet in 1938. The Larks got national exposure for the song, singing it on the Perry Como TV show.

The Eldoradoes are the El Dorados of  'At My Front Door' fame but with a different lead singer. 'Go Little Susie' was recorded by Those Four Eldoradoes for the Academy label in 1958.

Artie Wilkins and the Palms from Chicago released only three singles. The excellent 'Darling Patricia' was their first, released on the States label in 1956.

'I'm In Love' by the Velvet Angels is the only acappella song on this album. The Velvet Angels were the Diablos of Detroit moonlighting from Fortune Records. 'I'm In Love' was released in 1963 on the Medieval label.

Dean Barlow and the Bachelors recorded only two singles for the New York label Earl in 1956. 'Baby' was their second and last release.

The El Tones are the possibly only white vocal group on this album. Formed in Brooklyn, 'Lovin' With A Beat' was the B side of their only single 'Like Mattie', released on the Cub label in 1958. A little bit more about the El Tones can be found here.

Lee Andrews and the Hearts are probably best remembered for 'Long Lonely Nights' on Chess from 1957. 'Girl Around The Corner' is the B side to their follow up single 'Tear Drops' and features Thomas 'Butch' Curry on lead.

The Poets were from L.A. and featured, future jazz vibraphonist, Roy Ayers in their line up. Released in 1958 on the Flash label, 'Vowels Of Love' is the B side to their only single, the Halloween themed 'Dead'.

'Shortnin' Bread' released in 1963 on Liberty may be the only release by the Blisters, no other info can be found.

The Del Chords' 'Say That You Love Me' is the B side to 'Help Me' which was issued by Louisiana label Jin in 1960. I can't find anything out about the group.

The Monograms from Indianapolis only released one single under that name, and one as the Turbans. 'My Baby Dearest Darling' was the B side of 'Please Baby Please' released on the Saga label in 1957.

The Flamingos are easily the most famous and prolific group on this album and surely need no introduction, even if doo-wop is not your bag you will know 'I Only Have Eyes For You'. 'Let's Make Up' is the B side of 'The Ladder Of Love' released by Decca in 1957.

Magic Sam (1937-1969)


Magic Sam - Magic Sam (1937-1969) - 1969
BLUE HORIZON - 7-63223

Side A
Everything Gonna Be Alright
Look Watcha Done
All My Whole Life
Love Me With A Feeling
All Your Love
Call Me If You Need Me (Shakey Jake)

Side B
Roll Your Money Maker (Shakey Jake)
Easy Baby
Magic Rocker
Love Me This Way
21 Days In Jail
All Night Long

Magic Sam Maghett was born in Granada, Mississippi in 1937 and moved to Chicago in 1950 where he developed a serious interest in the blues. Encouraged by his uncle Shakey Jake and Sunnyland Slim he bought a guitar and began to develop his own style. By 1956 he was a professional bluesman and had built up a solid reputation on Chicago's West Side leading to a contract with Cobra records. This album, released shortly after his death in 1969, contains all four of the singles released on Cobra, along with two unissued sides and two tracks released on Cobra's subsidiary label Artistic by Shakey Jake, which feature Magic Sam on guitar. Interestingly, just as Muddy Waters had 'borrowed' Ann Cole's 'Got my Mojo Working', Sam 'borrowed' her 'Easy, Easy Baby' for his 'Easy Baby' (a post on Ann Cole to follow).  The first single 'All Your Love' was a regional hit and it seemed Sam's career was under way.

Unfortunately Sam was drafted into the army in 1959 and although he only stayed in for seven months it seriously damaged his career. By the time he came out of the army Cobra records had shut down and the music scene had moved on. He signed with Chief and Crash records but his subsequent singles did not do well and Sam returned to playing the West Side clubs until he signed a deal with Delmark records in 1966 and his career took off again, only to be cut short by his tragic death from a heart attack in 1969, aged 32.

I will post more about Magic Sam's post Cobra recordings in the future. In the mean time enjoy 'All Your Love', 'Easy Baby' and Shakey Jake's 'Roll Your Money Maker'......


Thursday, 19 May 2016

Surfin' Bird


The Trashmen - Surfin' Bird - SUNDAZED Records SC 6064
Originally released 1963 on GARRETT Records

Tracks:
01 - Surfin' Bird
02 - King Of The Surf
03 - Henrietta
04 - Miserlou
05 - Malaguena
06 - It's So Easy
07 - Tube City
08 - My Woodie
09 - Bird Bath
10 - Kuk
11 - Money
12 - Sleeper
Bonus Tracks:
13 - Surfin' Bird (demo version)
14 - Bird Dance Beat (demo version)
15 - Walkin' My Baby (single)
16 - Dancin' With Santa (single)

Every body knows about the bird! This 1963 novelty/surf record has become such a part of popular culture that there can't be many people who don't know that the bird is the word, and that can only be a good thing. 'Surfin' Bird' was a huge US hit in 1963, allegedly selling 30,000 copies in the first weekend before eventually going to number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Despite being made up of 'The Bird's The Word' and 'Papa Oom Mow Mow' by the Rivingtons (a post about them soon), initially the drummer/singer Steve Wahrer was credited with writing the song. This was corrected after a successful law suit on behalf of the Rivingtons. There was even an urban myth that the song was written by Leonard Bernstein to prove that any song could become a hit.
The success of the single allowed "the best land-locked surf band in the country" to record this their only album. The rest of the album is pretty standard surf/hot rod rock 'n' roll, not that that's a bad thing all the music is excellent, especially their version of 'Miserlou', but none of it matches the intensity/insanity of 'Surfin' Bird'.

There will be more about the Trashmen another time, but in the meantime relive the madness of 'Surfin' Bird' and enjoy their version of 'Miserlou' and a song that highlights the problems of being a surfer from Minnesota, 'Kuk'......


Sun Song


Sun Ra - Sun Song - DELMARK Records DD-411
Originally released as Jazz By Sun Ra by TRANSITION Records - 1957

Tracks:
01 - Brainville
02 - Call For All Demons
03 - Transition
04 - Possession
05 - Street Named Hell
06 - Lullaby For Realville
07 - Future
08 - Swing A Little Taste (bonus track)
09 - New Horizons
10 - Fall Off The Log
11 - Sun Song

This is Sun Ra's very first album. Recorded in July, 1956 at Universal Studios, Chicago by an eleven piece Arkestra, it was originally released in 1957 by Transition Records with an extensive booklet. The booklet of Sun Ra's poetry, philosophy and notes on the tracks along with photos of Sun Ra and the Arkestra has been reproduced in the CD booklet. Sun Ra says "music paints pictures that only the mind's eye can see" and indeed his music does take you to other world. The music itself is largely rooted in big band swing with a bit of exotica thrown in the mix but it is so much more than that. There are no jolting 'space chords' on this album and the music is not really 'out there' yet but it definitely contains something 'other'. The music mesmerises you and takes you on a journey away from the world you're living in. When I bought this album I couldn't stop playing it and had to force myself to stop so that I could listen to the other albums I'd purchased that week. Very few albums have that much of an effect. I think Sun Ra sums this up very well in the booklet with his poem 'Enticement'.....

Imagination is a magic carpet
Upon which we may soar
To distant lands and climes;
And even go beyond the moon to any planet in the sky.
If we are here, why can't we be there?
Imagination is a living moving thought
Which seeks to be and do,
Forever pioneering like an eternal vehicle of joy.
I cordially entice you, I diligently tempt you:
Step upon my magic carpet of sound,
And share my adventures
On the land of pleasure Hi Fi....!

You can listen to the whole of the original album on Spotify here, or just dip your toe in with 'Brainville', 'Call For All Demons' and the sublime 'Sun Song' below.....




Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Bunker Hill


Bunker Hill - Hide And Go Seek Parts 1 & 2 - 1962
STATESIDE Records - 45SS-135 - Originally MALA (US) - 451

In 1962 David Walker was singing gospel with the Mighty Clouds Of Joy, when he met Link Wray's brother Vernon. Vernon convinced David to go into the studio with Link and the Raymen and record some of the wildest r&b ever put on wax. When it came to releasing the first single, 'Hide And Go Seek', David was understandably worried about using his own name for fear of losing his main gig with the Mighty Clouds Of Joy by singing secular music. Vernon came up with the name Bunker Hill and a legend was born. 'Hide And Go Seek' did quite well reaching 33 in the US Billboard charts but the next two singles, 'Nobody Knows' / 'Little Red Ridin' Hood And The Wolf' and 'You Can't Make Me Doubt My Baby' / 'The Girl Can't Dance' although now cult classics, went nowhere. 'Friday Night Dance Party' from that session has since been discovered and released by Norton Records, but that's all there is. David went back to recording gospel music and after rejoining and leaving the Mighty Clouds Of Joy a few times he left the gospel world for good in the late sixties. Some reports say he died in the early eighties others say he's still living in Washington D.C. but either way his music will always live on with lovers of wild rock 'n' roll and r&b.

Here's his three best songs, 'Hide And Go Seek - Parts 1&2', 'The Girl Can't Dance' and 'Little Red Riding Hood And The Wolf'. Play Loud................






The Directions In Jazz Unit



The Directions In Jazz Unit - Directions In Jazz - 1964
PHILIPS Records BL 7625

Side A
Night Talk
Morning Theories
Lady Day
Honky Tonk
Caber Dance

Side B
Milestones
Monkey Business
New Orleans
Times 2 1/2
Rustic Gait






The Directions In Jazz Unit - The Road To Ellingtonia - 1965
PHILIPS Records - BL 7673

Side A
It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Git That Swing)
Progressive Gavotte
Hiawatha
Prelude To A Kiss
C Jam Blues

Side B
Midriff
Upper Manhattan Medical Group
Come Sunday
You Better Know It
Lay-by





The Directions In Jazz Unit are -

Bill LeSage - leader, vibes, piano, arranger
Bob Burns - clarinet, alto sax
Johnny Scott - flute, alto sax
Ronnie Ross - baritone sax, bass clarinet
Spike Heatley - bass
Tony Carr - drums
The Freddie Alexander Cello Ensemble - Freddie Alexander, Maurice Westerby, Francis Gabarro, William De Mont

The Directions In Jazz Unit were one of the most inventive and adventurous British jazz groups of the early sixties. Featuring a sextet of jazz luminaries and a cello ensemble the group played 'third stream' music, the fusion of jazz and classical music, and the results are fantastic. Sadly only these two albums were recorded, although a slightly modified (and uncredited) version of the group did record 'Twice Times Keyboard' in 1965 for World Record Club. Largely their music has been forgotten over time which is a crime as they were so good.

The first album is mostly compositions written by Bill LeSage, Ronnie Ross, Johnny Scott or Spike Heatley with arrangements of Miles Davis' 'Milestones' and Hoagy Carmichael's 'New Orleans'. The Second album, recorded a year later, is made up entirely of new arrangements of songs made famous by the Duke Ellington orchestra.

Despite recording the albums the group were not really a working unit and in the time between recording the albums the group only made a few university dates, a television appearance and one major concert. Perhaps this lack of exposure is why they are largely unheard of today. A search of the internet to find clips to share with you only resulted in finding two videos of footage from the 1960's BBC program Jazz 625. One of them being the whole of the recent BBC4 documentary and the clip (also from that documentary) of the group performing 'Night Talk', which I've included below. I wish there was more to share with you and that this great music was still available and it's worth recognised. If you want to hear more check out the Jazz 625 documentary on YouTube (while it's still there) or track down the LPs they are still available at reasonable prices but I'm sure soon they will start to attract the ridiculously high prices of other British jazz classics from the 1960's.

Here is Steve Race introducing The Directions In Jazz Unit on BBC's Jazz 625 in 1964.....


Monday, 16 May 2016

20 Reggae Classics


Various Artists - 20 Reggae Classics
TROJAN Records CD TRL 222

Tracks:
01 - Red Red Wine - Tony Tribe
02 - Sweet Sensation - The Melodians
03 - Love Of The Common People - Nicky Thomas
04 - Johnny Too Bad - The Slickers
05 - Pressure Drop - The Maytals
06 - Liquidator - Harry J. All Stars
07 - Skinhead Moonstomp - Simaryp
08 - Longshot Kick De Bucket - The Pioneers
09 - Please Don't Make Me Cry - Winston Groovy
10 - Many Rivers To Cross - Jimmy Cliff
11 - 007 (Shanty Town) - Desmond Dekker And The Aces
12 - Rudy A Message To You - Dandy Livingstone
13 - Version Girl - Boy Friday
14 - Cherry Oh Baby - Eric Donaldson
15 - Fattie Fattie - Clancy Eccles
16 - Keep On Moving - Bob Marley And The Wailers
17 - Time Hard - The Pioneers
18 - Monkey Man - The Maytals
19 - Rivers Of Babylon - The Melodians
20 - Train To Skaville - The Ethiopians

This was the very first ska/rocksteady/reggae album I ever bought and as an introduction you couldn't wish for a better one. It certainly lead to me gaining a fair sized collection over the almost thirty years since I bought it! The album contains exactly what it says it does, 20 Reggae Classics from the 60's and early 70's. Some of them are outright classics in their own right such as 'Liquidator', '007 (Shanty Town)' and the superb 'Many Rivers To Cross', others are perhaps better known by their cover versions. 'Rudy A Message To You', 'Monkey Man', 'Red Red Wine', 'Cherry Oh Baby' and 'Love Of The Common People' were all successfully covered in the early eighties which lead to this album being released and a new generation discovering this fantastic music.

Here's Harry J., Dandy Livingstone, The Maytals and Jimmy Cliff, now go start your own collection.....




Sunday, 15 May 2016

The Soul Of Ike & Tina


Ike & Tina Turner - The Soul Of Ike & Tina Turner - KENT - 014
Originally Released On KENT (US) 1964-1966

Side A
Goodbye So Long
If I Can't Be First
Chicken Shack
I Don't Need
I Wish My Dreams Would Come True
Hard Times
Flee Flee Fla

Side B
It's Crazy Baby
Gonna Have Fun
Am I A Fool In Love
Something Came Over Me
Hurt Is All You Gave Me
Don't You Blame It On Me
I Can't Believe What You Say

This is a compilation of tracks Ike & Tina recorded between 1964 and 1966 for the Bihari brothers' KENT records of L.A. Containing upbeat r&b and a few ballads, these tunes are definitely geared towards the dance floor. Their big hit 'A fool In Love' is revisited with 'Am I A Fool In Love' and the very similar sounding 'Hard Times' which features Tina testifying at the start. 'It's Gonna Work Out Fine' (their other big hit) is also revisited with 'Something Came Over Me' featuring Ike's vocals and tremello heavy guitar. Unfortunately none of the tracks on this album crossed over into the Billboard chart's top 40, which was always Ike's goal, but today they are considered classics.

All the tracks on this album are great but for me the best are three tracks below, 'I Can't Believe What You Say', 'Chicken Shack' and 'Flee, Flee, Fla' enjoy....





Saturday, 14 May 2016

Galactic Zoo Dossier


Kingdom Come - Galactic Zoo Dossier - 1971
POLYDOR Records - 2310 130 - Including Poster/Lyric Sheet

Included Poster
Side A
Internal Messenger
Space Plucks
Galactic Zoo
Metal Monster
Simple Man
Night of The Pigs
Sunrise

Side B
Trouble
Brains
Galactic Zoo (continued)
Space Plucks (continued)
Galactic Zoo (continued)
Creep
Creation
Gypsy Escape
No Time


When The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown imploded in 1969, Arthur retreated to rural Dorset dismayed at the commercial trappings of pop success. During this time he made experimental free form music, none of which was released at the time. But in 1971 he was back and offered the record buying public his latest creation 'Galactic Zoo Dossier' with his new band Kingdom Come. Unlike The Crazy World, Kingdom Come used guitars and were much heavier in sound and content. The music is very dark indeed, with Arthur taking inspiration from the political world around him, the failure of the 'peace & love' philosophy and the cracking down on counter culture by the establishment.

On stage Arthur kept the make up and theatrics of The Crazy World but took them further. Often appearing on stage on a crucifix (see poster above) and I've heard tales of him being lowered on to the stage on the cross from a helicopter! The God Of Hellfire had truly returned.

Witness Arthur and Kingdom Come blow the minds of the crowd at Glastonbury Fayre in 1971 with 'Internal Messenger'.....



Thursday, 12 May 2016

Doin' Mickey's Monkey


The Miracles - Doin' Mickey's Monkey - MOTOWN M5-217V1
Originally released on TAMLA TM245 - 1963

Side A
Mickey's Monkey
Dance What You Wanna
The Wah-Watusi
The Twist
Dancin' Holiday
Land Of 1000 Dances

Side B
I Gotta Dance To Keep From Cryin'
The Monkey Time
The Groovey Thing
Twist And Shout
Do You Love Me

This 1963 Miracles album is all about dancing and contains the smash hit 'Mickey's Monkey', their take on the monkey dance craze. 'Mickey's Monkey' was their third million selling single in as many years and made it to No. 3 on the US R&B charts and No. 10 on the Billboard charts. As well as the Miracles, members of the Supremes, Marvelettes and Temptations can be heard singing in the background. The follow up single 'I Gotta Dance To Keep From Cryin' didn't do quite as well on the charts (No. 35 on Billboard) but is probably better remembered as it has been covered by so many bands since. Both the singles were written by Holland, Dozier, Holland, 'The Groovey Thing' by Smokey and 'Dancin' Holiday' by Miracle Bobby Rogers. The rest of the album is made up of cover versions of popular dance tunes. Not that there's any filler in this album the whole thing is designed to keep you dancing from start to finish.

Just in case you don't remember or don't know how, here's how to do the monkey....


Now you've mastered that, put it to good use with this.......


And here's the other single from the album, 'I Gotta Dance To Keep From Cryin'.....






Denise


Randy And The Rainbows - Denise / The Four Pennies - My Block
LAURIE DOUBLE GOLD - LDG 110
Both originally released on RUST records 1963

Randy and the Rainbows may have been one hit wonders, but what a hit. This Italian-American vocal group from Queens, New York got to number 10 on the Billboard charts in 1963 with 'Denise'. Alas they never repeated the success and only recorded a couple more singles. The song is an all time classic though and has provided the group (in one form or another) with a career on the oldies circuit. They were still performing as of last year! The song went on to be a European smash hit in 1978 when Blondie covered it as 'Denis'.

'My Block' by the Four Pennies is a classic girl group ballad. The Four Pennies were in fact the Chiffons. In 1963 the girls were recording as both the Four Pennies and the Chiffons but when 'He's So Fine' became a smash hit and 'My Block', both released about the same time, went nowhere they abandoned the name the Four Pennies and the rest is history.




Wednesday, 11 May 2016

El Rey Del Boogaloo!


Pete Rodriguez - El Rey Del Boogaloo!
VAMPISOUL Records - VAMPI CD 023

Tracks:
01 - Guagaloo
02 - Like It (I Like That)
03 - El Hueso
04 - Pete's Madness
05 - Micaela
06 - Get Together
07 - Soy El Rey
08 - Oh, That's Nice
09 - Si Quieres Bailar
10 - Asi, Asi
11 - Boringuen (El Cuini Tiene Bandera)
12 - People Want To Know
13 - Here Come The Judge
14 - Me?

Pianist, band leader, arranger and composer, Pete Rodriguez is considered by many to be the 'King of Boogaloo'. Originating in New York, boogaloo is the fusion of R&B, soul and Latin music creating an incredibly infectious dance music. The tracks on this album were recorded for Alegre records between 1966 and 1969 at the peak of boogaloo popularity and every one of them will get your toes tapping. Surprisingly for the 'King of Boogaloo' there's not a lot of information available about him aside from being born in the Bronx in 1932 and recording several albums in the mid to late 1960's. But that's OK because it's the music that counts and the music is fantastic.

Here's Pete's most popular tune 'Like It (I Like That)' and 'Oh, That's Nice'. Just try and keep still.....





I Need Help (Live On Stage)


Bobby Byrd - I Need Help (Live On Stage)
POLYDOR Records PD 1118 - 1970

Side A
I Need Help (I Can't Do It Alone) Part 1
I Need Help (I Can't Do It Alone) Part 2
It's I Who Love You (Not Him Anymore)
Funky Soul Part 1
I Found Out
You've Got To Change Your Mind

Side B
You Got To Have A Job (If You Don't Work You Can't Eat)
I'm Not To Blame
I'll Lose My Mind
My Concerto
Hang Ups We Don't Need (The Hungry We Got To Feed)
You Gave My Heart A Chance To Sing

I have often thought that although James Brown assumed leadership of Bobby Byrd's band, Bobby may have got the better deal. He still got to perform the great music that he (often uncredited) and James created, he released material under his own name, he was M.C. and musical director to the James Brown Show, he was a featured performer in that show, sang duets with James and crucially it was him who James often asked if he could "take it to the bridge" or "count it off"! He got to do all of that without the pressure of being James Brown (which must have been immense) and he always seemed to be having a damn good time.

This great live album from 1970 goes a long way to prove that theory. Musically it's a mix of upbeat funk, ballads and social commentary. The JBs are on fine form, there's strings on 'I Found Out' and he sings a duet with James Brown on 'You've Got To Change You're Mind'.

So here's Bobby, introduced by James, on a couple of funk classics.......



Monday, 9 May 2016

Dylan's Gospel



The Brothers & Sisters - Dylan's Gospel - SEQUEL Records NEMCD 404
Originally released on ODE Records 1969

Tracks:
01 - The Times They Are A-Changin'
02 - I Shall Be Released
03 - Lay Lady Lay
04 - Mr. Tambourine Man
05 - All Along The Watchtower
06 - The Mighty Quinn
07 - Chimes Of Freedom
08 - I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
09 - My Back Pages
10 - Just Like A Woman

This is not just another Dylan-sploitation album, this really is something special. The songs of Bob Dylan sung by a soulful gospel choir, and not just any old choir. The 27 strong choir featured in its numbers such soul luminaries as Clydie King, Merry Clayton, Patrice Holloway and Gloria Jones. The musical backing and arrangement is handled by Gene Page and is kept simple leaving the choir to the fore. The result is wonderful and gives a whole new dimension to Dylan's music. Don't take my word for it though, listen for yourself........








Well Now Dig This!


The Jodimars - Well Now Dig This! - BULLDOG Records BDL 1031
Originally CAPITOL Records 1955-1957

Side A
Well Now Dig This
Dance The Bop
Let's All Rock Together
(Boom Boom) My Bayou Baby
Eat Your Heart Out Annie
Lotsa Love

Side B
Rattle My Bones
Rattle Shakin' Daddy
Clara-Bella
Midnight
Cloud 99
Later

In 1955 just as Bill Haley and the Comets were becoming the biggest stars of the latest thing, rock 'n' roll, three members of the band quit over a pay dispute. Joey D'Ambrosia (sax), Dick Richards (drums) and Marshall Lytle (bass) decided the way to make some real money was to form their own band, so they signed to Capitol as The Jodimars, (the name made up from the first few letters of each of their first names). Dick switched from drums to vocals and they drafted a new drummer and two guitarists. They recorded six singles for Capitol of good time up beat rock 'n' roll not that dissimilar to their former boss. During this time they had a few minor hits and were one of the first rock 'n' roll bands to take up residence in Las Vegas showrooms. In 1958 the band broke up and the guys started other careers, Joey became a casino pit boss, Marshall went into real estate and Dick became a movie actor.

In 1989 Joey, Dick and Marshall came to the UK and performed as the Jodimars at a rock 'n' roll weekender in Brean Sands, Weston Super Mare. Supplemented by members of the Stargazers, they played for about an hour and tore the place up. It was an amazing concert (I was there!), they played for about an hour and gave it their all, a real high energy show. The atmosphere was electric, the next band had to wait a while for the clapping and cheering to subside before they could go on. As if that wasn't enough, they came back on a little later in the evening as the Comets for another amazing show, and bought the house down yet again. Not bad for three guys in their mid to late fifties! This concert was the only time they played as the Jodimars since the 1960's although they toured for many years as the Comets. Their set as the Comets was filmed (by the BBC I think) and although I remember watching it and trying to find myself in the crowd, for some reason I didn't video it (idiot). Surprisingly though, footage of the Jodimars set is on YouTube (clip below).

Here's 'Let's All Rock Together', 'Eat Your Heart Out Annie' and as a bonus, them performing 'Well Now Dig This' at Brean Sands 1989 (I'm in the audience somewhere)........






Saturday, 7 May 2016

Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Souls


Coven - Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Souls
AKARMA Records - 2003 - Original Release MERCURY Records - 1969

Side A
Black Sabbath
White Witch Of Rose Hall
Coven In Charing Cross
For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Pact With Lucifer
Choke, Thirst, Die

Side B
Wicked Woman
Dignitaries Of Hell
Portrait
Satanic Mass

Since the 1970's black magic and occult themes are commonplace in rock music, but in the late 60's, Chicago's Coven were pioneers. 'Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Souls' was their debut album and contains many firsts. It is claimed that this is the first album to depict the sign of the devil horns and inverted crosses and to use the phrase "Hail, Satan" (how many metal bands owe them a debt?). While many bands of the era would use occult and black magic themes as an image it would appear Coven were the real deal. The album and their stage act courted controversy causing tours to be cancelled and the record banned in many places. The album came with a poster depicting the band conducting Satanic rites over a naked woman (lead singer Jinx?) on an alter with the lyrics to the songs and occult symbols on the reverse. The B side of the album features a 13 minute Satanic mass, another first I think, the words to which are on the lyric sheet should you want to join in.

An in-depth interview with lead singer Jinx Dawson can be found here, it's an interesting read.

The music is great, not early heavy metal as you might expect, but good psychedelic rock albeit with rather different subject matter. That said the Satanic Mass doesn't stand too many listenings. The full album can be heard on Spotify here and here's a YouTube clip of 'Black Sabbath:.......



Pure Genius

 



Ray Charles - Pure Genius - The Complete Atlantic Recordings (1952-1959)
Luxury Box Set 7 CD, 1 DVD & 80 Page Hardback Book
RHINO Records - R2 74731 - 2005

If there was an award for the best designed box set ever, this would surely win it as it really is a thing of beauty. Designed to look like a vintage portable record player with the Ray Charles single 'Mess Around' on the turntable, this set contains 7 CDs, 1 DVD and an 80 page hardback book. The first 6 CDs contain every track Ray released on Atlantic records, both studio and live and even includes the album 'Fathead' by David 'Fathead' Newman that Ray played piano on. Disc 7 contains a rehearsal session with Ahmet Ertegun from 1953, recording session outtakes from 1958 and Ray's arrangement suggestions for 'The Genius of Ray Charles' album also from 1958. Most of the tracks on this disc were previously unissued at the time. The DVD contains previously unissued footage of Ray performing 9 tracks at the 1960 Newport Jazz Festival and an interview with Ahmet Ertegun from 2005. The book contains essays about Rays time with Atlantic, the sleeve notes from all his Atlantic albums and a comprehensive discography/sessionography.

Released in 2005 shortly after Ray's death in 2004, this box set is a fitting monument to the man they called 'Genius'. However, I think this set can also be seen as one of the last hurrahs of the luxury CD box set. The industry at the time was in decline, the value of CDs were dropping rapidly and it would soon no longer be viable to spend so much time and money creating works of art such as this. In fact this set was released again in 2012 in a much more basic form with no DVD. At the end of the day it's the music that counts not the packaging, but a little luxury doesn't hurt now and then.

Just in case you needed a reminder of why everyone needs Ray's music in their life, here's 'Tell The Truth' from 1959..........





Thursday, 5 May 2016

Reckless Nights And Turkish Twilights


Reckless Nights And Turkish Twilights - The Music Of Raymond Scott 
The Raymond Scott Quintette - 1937-1940

Tracks:
01 - Powerhouse
02 - The Toy Trumpet
03 - Tobacco Auctioneer
04 - New Year's Eve In A Haunted House
05 - Manhattan Minuet
06 - Dinner Music For A Pack Of Hungry Cannibals
07 - Reckless Nights On Board An Ocean Liner
08 - Moment Musical
09 - Twilight In Turkey
10 - The Penguin
11 - Oil Gusher
12 - In An 18th Century Drawing Room
13 - The Girl At The Typewriter
14 - Siberian Sleighride
15 - At An Arabian House Party
16 - Boy Scout In Switzerland
17 - Bumpy Weather In Newark
18 - Minuet In Jazz
19 - War Dance For Wooden Indians
20 - The Quintet Plays Carmen
21 - Huckleberry Duck
22 - Peter Tambourine

You've probably heard more music by the Raymond Scott Quintette than you realise. In 1941 Warner Bros. licensed Scott's Quintette compositions and by 1943 almost all the Merrie Melodies or Looney Tunes cartoons featured Scott's music. The zaniness of the music perfectly underscored the mayhem of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Roadrunner or Sylvester & Tweety. In more recent times they have been used on Ren & Stimpy, Batfink, Duckman and the Simpsons. By the time his music was used by Warner Bros., Scott had moved on to other things, most notably being a pioneer in the world of electronic instruments and music with his Manhattan Research Inc. (more about that another time).

Click on the YouTube links below of 'Powerhouse', 'Twilight In Turkey' and 'The Toy Trumpet' and see how many cartoon characters they bring to mind...........



Their Satanic Majesties Request


The Rolling Stones - Their Satanic Majesties Request - 1967

Tracks:
01 - Sing This All Together
02 - Citadel
03 - In Another Land
04 - 2000 Man
05 - Sing This All Together (See What Happens)
06 - She's A Rainbow
07 - The Lantern
08 - Gomper
09 - 2000 Light Years From Home
10 - On With The Show

If ever there was an underrated album this is it. For some reason this album is almost universally considered the Rolling Stones misguided venture into psychedelia and best forgotten about. Even Keith Richards in his autobiography dismisses it. As much as I hate to disagree with Keith, the album's detractors are wrong this is a great album far better than a lot of it's contemporaries, Sgt. Pepper's included. It's long been one of my favourites and when DJing psychedelic nights I always took it along and played 'Citadel' and '2000 Light Years From Home' and they never emptied a dance floor. Rather than being an album cashing in on the latest fad, this is the Stones bending psychedelia to suit their style. If you remove the studio trickery (not that there's much) it's not that different from anything else they were releasing at the time, which are considered classics. I would go so far as to say that '2000 Light Years From Home' is one of the best songs they ever wrote.

So it's time to ignore any preconceptions and give this album another listen and the credit it's due. Listened to it on Spotify here, play loud!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Rocky Roberts And The Airedales


Rocky Roberts & Les Airedales - Monkey, Bird & Riviera - 1964
BARCLAY Records 80233 S

Side A
T. Bird (Bird)
I'll Take Care Of You (Blues)
Looking For A Love (Bird)
Non Ho L'Eta (Yes Yes My Love) (Slow)
I Got Money (Monkey)

Side B
Monkey A Valbonne (Monkey)
My Tears (Bird)
Somebody Mentioned Your Name (Slow)
Mov' On (Monkey)
Shout PT 1 (Monkey)
Shout PT 2 (Bird)

After leaving the US Navy, Rocky (Charles) Roberts decided to settle in Europe to be a singer with his band the Airedales. Clad in sharp suits and shades, with all the latest dance moves they became an instant success. Their brand of high energy R&B and soul cover were very popular in Europe, particularly Italy where Rocky went on to have solo hits. In fact their sound is not dissimilar to the live albums of another US ex-serviceman, Geno Washington. This album, recorded live in person at Club du Valbonne in the south of France, is typical of their output and is great. Handily they note the dance required for each song (which I've replicated above) so you don't end up looking a fool at your local disco.

Here's Rocky and the boys performing 'T. Bird' in 1966.......



City Of Glass


Stan Kenton And His Orchestra - City Of Glass - 1951
CAPITOL Records LC 6577 - 10" LP

Side A
Entrance To The City
The Structures

Side B
Dance Before The Mirror
Reflections

Stan Kenton was always a champion of 'modern' or 'progressive' jazz, indeed many of the big names in West Coast jazz served their apprenticeships in his orchestras. The collaborations he made with contemporary classical composer Bob Graettinger though must surely be his most 'out there'. This album, recorded in 1951, is described by the composer as suggesting "a city in which the structures are shapes of musical sound, transparent and in constant motion, so that one can be seen through the outlines of others - a city of glass-like edifices".

The music is very abstract and by no means an easy listen, but well worth it. Sadly I can no longer listen to it, far too painful, but that's no reason for you not to. Although you can listen to everything Stan Kenton recorded with Bob Graettinger on Spotify here I realise this may be a bit much for the casual listener so I made a Spotify playlist of just the City Of Glass tracks here



Go, Go Go, Go Gorilla Go......


The Ideals - The Gorilla / Mo Gorilla - 1963

The Ideals were a vocal group from Chicago who may or may not have included Major Lance in their line up at one time. When this song was recorded the line up was Reggie Jackson, Leonard Mitchell, Robert Tharp and Sam Stewart with the lead vocals of Eddie Williams, the backing band was the Outlaws. Released to cash in on the monkey dance craze by local label Concord, it was soon picked up for national distribution by the Cortland label. It never troubled any nation charts but it did earn the group their first national tour. The version I have (shown above) is a reissue by Norton Records on banana yellow vinyl and backed with their follow up single 'Mo Gorilla'.

So put on your dancing shoes and dance the Gorilla.......



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