Tuesday, April 14, 2015

More Soul Searching

Dear Kent: 
I'm just amazed by all the reactions to my soul stirring list - and the fact that no one has called for me to be shot at sunrise.  Wow!  
Did you nail it on "Black Peal." How I omitted that masterpiece by Sonny Charles and the Checkmates makes me wonder if I should start drinking again.
Round two: I really feel like The Animals magnificent "When I Was Young" needs to show up somewhere on my chart.
Kudos to all, especially Jack Levin who really brought forth some very thoughtful points about my "Gems."
Finally, as was pointed out, Levi Stubbs should have sung with Stax / Volt. His voice, burning with urgency, was meant to be backed by Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn, Booker T. and the Stax horn section. Agreed?
Peace, Love and Soul.
Chet Coppock

From Jack:

Thanks Chet. If you got time Sunday morning, 5/17, come on down to the Best Western Hotel in Hillside for the May record show. I've got some Chicago soul surveys you can check out, as well as from other cities, like this one from WOPA. 45's too.

Check out this "Black Pearl" story from FH Reader (and "History Of Rock And Roll" originator) Gary Theroux:   

I remember the night on the air when I got a request for "the song about the girl who's been in the bathroom much too long."  I had no idea what the guy was talking about until about an hour later when I happened to play "Black Pearl."  The caller phoned back and said, "Thanks for playing my song!"  
Gary Theroux  
LOL ... TOO funny!!! (kk)   

Please allow me to tell of a small recollection I have from 1959 one night at the dinner table while the radio on the shelf was playing SINCE I DON'T HAVE YOU. While the final 30 seconds of the song were playing and singer Jimmy Beaumont was belting out YOU!! at the end, my dad turned around, looked at the radio, turned back towards the dinner table and commented that the DJ on the air doesn't know that his record was stuck. Needless to say, I knew better.  
Larry Neal

There aren't many notes in rock and roll that measure up to that one.  A couple that come to mind are Jay Black's incredible reading of "Cara Mia" and Daryl Hall's "She's gone-awn-awn-awn-awn" final chorus of the Hall and Oates hit of the same name.  Goosebump moment for sure.  (Imagine having to recreate THAT moment every night on stage!!!)
And I just heard another one ... Me-TV-FM just played one of MY favorite songs from the '70's, "My Angel Baby" by Toby Beau.  Listen to lead singer Balde Silva belt out "the rest of the night" at the end of this one ... incredible!  (kk)

Hey Kent,
I was going to leave Chet's R&B favorites list alone, but when I read the comments about them today, I feel my two cents are in order. I like most of his entries, and comments about them.
Believe me, I'm no connoisseur of Soul and R&B, but did everyone forget about The Spinners? "I'll Be Around", "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love", "The Rubber Band Man" have got to be included, don't you think?
Peter Noone wrote in about Sam Cooke, and how he influenced Rod Stewart and Steve Perry. Actually, Perry decided to become a singer after hearing "Cupid" on his mom's car radio. As far as Stewart goes, I had never heard of him before, until a guitarist friend of mine called me. I always respected my friend's opinions and knew he would go far in the business, which he did, in nationally known groups. When he called, he wanted me to come over and listen to his brand new Jeff Beck album. Before he put the needle down on the LP he warned me that all the members of the band were great except the lead singer. He told me "The guy sucks, I mean he really SUCKS!!"
After I heard the whole album, I was in total agreement with him. The guy added nothing and almost ruined the tracks, in my opinion.
Well, wouldn't you know, a couple years later, that singer had a mega-hit called "Maggie May", and the rest is history. A different musical setting for Rod really did the trick. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
- John LaPuzza    

Hi Kent -
Well I thought Chet nailed it on a few, but didn't agree with all his picks. He'd be a fun guy to have a beer, a burger and fries, and discuss this stuff face to face. 
The Jive Five tune -- My True Story -- is a favorite of mine too, The Otis tune as well, The Flamingos' I Only Have Eyes for you is as much atmospheric as it is Soulful. As far as Aaron Neville goes, I just don't like his voice. The Neville Brothers are wonderful ... however Aaron's solo stuff never grabs me. I think Heart did a much better version of Tell It like It Is. The Stevie tune is more message than anything and after a couple minutes the message is clear, but for a soul classic there are much better tunes -- how 'bout Summer Soft from that same album. 
Hard for me to pick a Wilson Pickett favorite so I'll let that one go. <grin> Marvin Gaye? I think Let's Get It On wins .. either that, or one of the Duets.  Sam and Dave ... again hard to pick one.  
Phil Phillips?  I never was crazy about that one. The guy singing the bass part at the beginning is so flat that it drives me crazy. 
The Beach Boys? Hmmmmm. Chet, you did pick a great example of more soulful BB's, but not sure I'd have put them on the list of all time Soul tunes. 
Sam Cooke -- I think A Change Gonna Come more defines a generation than Bring It On Home. 
The Four Tops?  I think I'd have picked Ask The Lonely or Reach Out.  I love Oh Girl by the Chi-Lites ... it is a wonderful example of vocal group harmony.  It's just down right Yummy. 
It's hard to pick 30 of the best, so he gets kudos for trying. hahaha 
I love lists so keep 'em coming. 

Hola Kent, 
Most of the snow has receded!!! Thank heavens for my Oldies to get me through this arduous Winter.  
My Goosebump offering is The Casinos' Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye ... sweeten my coffee indeed! 
Have a great weekend, 
Absolutely one of mine, too ... we were talking with Gene and Glen Hughes in Forgotten Hits right before Gene died in a car accident.  (Can you believe that was already over ten years ago?!?!)  What a GREAT recording. (By the way, Toby Beau did THIS one, too ... a great (albeit less soulful) version in 1979 that peaked at #57.  (kk)

As with any list by anybody (but me) I agreed with Chet's most of picks and not with others.  I won't mention the ones I'd leave out, but just to add some more titles to the discussion ... 
"High Heel Sneakers" - Stevie Wonder:  Just before "Uptight", just a good feeling dance disc.
"Doggin' Around" - Jackie Wilson:  The flip of "Night", this one got lots of air play on KRLA in my senior HS year.
"Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me)" - Isley Brothers:  With or without the lead vocals (both on You Tube) it grabs your feet and gets them movin'!
Also a story with another of my choices "When A Man Loves A Woman" - Percy Sledge.  I had to chuckle when Chet mentioned being "the only white dude" in the audience.
I was working the all-nite shift at C&W WOKO in Albany, NY, back in '68.  At that time, the only R&B in the market was 7 - Midnite on Saturday and Sunday, on another AM station, hosted by a local Reverend (name forgotten).  It was at broadcast from a local night club and started at 8 PM, which meant I could take in the show and still have plenty of time to get to work.
When I got out of my car and headed for the door, I noticed that I, too, was the lone white male in the crowd.  As I walked in the door, the Rev. noticed me and started a conversation.  I introduced myself and mentioned I was a DJ on WOKO.  As soon as he found out I was a "brother of the airwaves", he said "Come on in, keep your money, enjoy the night!".
When the seating shuffle finished, I was standing right in front of the stage, right under where Percy was singing.  I stayed there the whole set, just feasting on the grooves.  When it was over, I calmly walked back out through the crowd, found the Rev. and really thanked him for a memorable night.  I never experienced one second of discomfort the whole time, just the joy of good soul music done by great players.
Thanks for your site, as usual!  Keep on truckin'!
Jim Southern

Hi Kent,   
"Soulful Strut" by Young-Holt Unlimited -- GREAT choice -- as you remember, they were with the Ramsey-Lewis Trio on three of his million-sellers including "The In Crowd."   
One of the people that replaced them when they left Ramsey-Lewis was Maurice White, who went on to form Earth, Wind, & Fire.   
Keep up your STELLAR work, GREAT reading! 
Tim Kiley   

Another fantastic version of I'm So Young was done by The Ronettes. I have a tendency to like this version the best.   

I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that Brian Wilson was as inspired by this Phil Spector-produced recording as anything else that may have led The Beach Boys to record this track.  Thanks for sending, Carrie.  (kk)   

And, speaking of The Beach Boys ...

>>>My hope is that future generations will discover their music by first hearing She Knows Me Too Well or Sail On Sailor or It's About Time.  Thanks for representing us well!  (Phil)
It's About Time is one of my many BB faves.  Also, Slip on Through from that period is great.  Did they ever release "I Just Got My Pay"??  I have that on a bootleg but never knew if it ever came out.  It was a great song when I was living paycheck to paycheck. 
I know it was included in the "Good Vibrations" / 30-Year Anniversary Box Set ... but I don't think it ever saw "official" release during their hey-day. 
According to the liner notes that accompany this incredible set of music, "I Just Got My Pay" was recorded for the "Sunflower" album ... but didn't make the cut.  They say "'I Just Got My Pay' will be familiar to Beach Boys fanatics borth from its earlier incarnation ('All Dressed Up For School', a bonus track on the "Little Deuce Coupe / All Summer Long" CD two-fer) and as 'Marcella'."  (kk)

KK -
Thanks for posting my note to Chet and for a great follow-up comment. Another good discussion on FH,

Hi Kent, 
On Thursday, April 9th, I was flipping through the channels and found Brian Wilson and Friends performing on Channel 11's Soundstage. They did a mixture of the new music and old. 
Al Jardine was in fine form also ... loved him doing his first solo "Help Me Rhonda".  Brian looked so happy! 
Keep up the great work, 
Caught this concert Saturday Night ... absolutely outstanding!  (In fact, I liked it so much, I watched it again on Sunday!)  The best I've heard Brian sound in YEARS!!!  And it was SO cool how he let the other artists take center-stage and perform his music.  Top notch from start to finish.  (Cool to see our FH Buddy Billy Hinsche back up on stage, too ... Billy lives in Vegas these days and the concert was filmed at The Venetian Hotel.)  Love the new tunes from "No Pier Pressure" ... many of which fit very nicely side-by-side with all the original Beach Boys material performed.  
PBS has already made the set available through their website.  In fact, for $29 you can get an autographed copy of the DVD (with additional footage not shown in the one hour tv special) as well as Brian's new CD.  Not a bad deal ... plus a percentage of the money goes directly to PBS.  (kk)  
Please Note:  Just checked ... it IS $29 for the DVD/CD combo-pak ... but then another $11 to ship it ... so the whole thing is going to cost you $40 bucks.  AND, it's only available through November.   

Looking through all this banter about Soul Music, I had to use my word search to make sure my eyes weren't failing me, and that a certain key group was really conspicuously absent from the blog, namely the Dells! What about Stay In My Corner with that famous "forever vocal note hold", or the 2nd version of Oh What A Night? WMAQ-TV produced a special about the Chicago-based (Harvey) Dells some 12 years ago, and I suggest everyone get their hands on it, or at least give their songs another spin so I'm not the only one mentioning them when it comes to Soul. Please, let's wake up! 
And when it comes to Gladys Knight, it wasn't her biggest hit, but Friendship Train is danceable and relevant all these years later. 
Bill Fortune  
I like several songs by The Dells ... but the remake of "Oh What A Night" definitely gets my vote ... one of my all-time favorites ... and still sounds good every time it comes on the radio.  (kk)

We mentioned Lulu's "Oh Me Oh My" as one of our favorite soulful tracks the other day ... and then mentioned that she was doing select shows throughout Europe right now ... then we got this from FH Reader Ken Voss, updating us on Lulu's new solo shows and LP ...   

Here's an interesting piece on Lulu

And, finally, another list!  

I'm a lover of soul music. I'd thought I'd list some of my favorite soul and R&B classics [off the top of my head] in no particular order because they are all tied for first. I limited it to one song per artist

For Your Precious Love -- Jerry Butler

Baby Don't You Weep -- Garnett Mimms

Just One Look -- Doris Troy

Hello Stranger -- Barbara Lewis

Higher And Higher -- Jackie Wilson

Slip Away -- Clarence Carter

Walk Away From Love -- David Ruffin

This Is My Country -- Impressions

A Change Is Gonna Come -- Sam Cooke

I Was Made To Love Her -- Stevie Wonder

I Love You -- Volumes

In A Moment -- Intriques

It's A Shame -- Spinners

These Arms Of Mine -- Otis Redding

Searching For My Love -- Bobby Moore

Don't Play That Song -- Ben E. King

Chain Of Fools -- Aretha Franklin

Try Me -- James Brown

That Lady -- Isley Bros.

What's Goin' On -- Marvin Gaye

If I Were Your Woman -- Gladys Knight & Pips

Ask Me What You Want -- Millie Jackson

OK. I'll stop here. Love these records.

Mark The Shark
Too many good ones here not to feature a few ... how about "I Was Made To Love Her", one of my favorite songs ever sung by Stevie ... followed by "It's A Shame", WRITTEN by Stevie but given to The Spinners during their short stint with Motown to record ...and then The Isley Brothers' classic, "Who's That Lady" ... all Soul Gems in my book.  Thanks, Mark!  (kk)