This week (fortnight, whatever) we have a haul of seven hard Soul movers and RnB 45s. They cover both well-known and super obscure artists but every one of them totally deserves to be heard. Some of the well-known people are well-represented in our racks so we will let you know what else we have by them. There is a range of sounds here and we think this is likely to be a week where different people have totally different favourites but the world would be a very boring place if we all liked exactly the same thing.
Two powerhouse Soul sides on this repro of a super obscure 45 that is probably from New York and probably recorded in 1964. It appears Tell Me Everything is the A side but when both are this good A and B is meaningless. This side moves along at mid-pace with Dorie backed by cool brass before the drums build, a guitar joins the mix and she raises the volume to match the powerful backing. A real strong example of how a record should build and keep moving to an end that leaves you wanting more. Your Turn To Cry is more Northern Soul having a quicker beat and Dorie singing at a higher pitch. The same fine instrumental lineup as the flip but this time backing vocals add to the overall generally more swinging feel.
From the second the blaring brass follows the snap of the single snare beat there is no doubt that What Must Goes Up Must Come Down is going to be a Soul Rockin’ killer. OK maybe there is room for doubt, because we are going to need a first-class voice to match the power of the players but as soon as Ruby’s voice kicks in we know we are home and dry. This song starts super strong and then pushes up and up. The cooking band is in a super tight James Brown band-style groove and Ruby adds a rasp into her voice as she screams on. Absolutely no let-up from start to finish. Can there be any more? Oh yeah, a completely unexpected jangling guitar break. For a bit of a calm down after this, you can flip the 45 to hear a piano and vocal-led Deep Soul stunner. There is quite a bit of info about Ruby floating about as her music is all great. She was successful enough to record at Stax for releases on Volt. It is shocking to read that such a talent left the music biz in 1974.
Lula (sometimes misprinted on records as Lulu just to keep things confusing) is practically a household name if your household is this shop. Other 45s available here right now are:
Those singles span the years 1954 to 1961, but her career lasted from 1952 until 1967. To survive such a long time in the fly-and-crash world of music, particularly through the seismic arrival of Rock n Roll, you really have to be spectacular. This new reissue takes A sides from two 1961 45s and put them together. They both have the crossover style of the time with a great gutsy RnB almost shouter vocal on the You Gotta Have side. The flip is a real find; the demo issue of the 45 has a totally different cut to the issued version. It almost sounds like it may be a run-through or rehearsal. The whole sound is really loose and Lula and the band sound totally relaxed, the instruments circle around each other and Lula’s vocal swoops and soars as if she is figuring out which part of her great range she should employ. We don’t mean to make it sound unfinished or incomplete as it is a really joyous sound.
A chance to grab a 45 of a track that a lot of us will know from Desperate Rock n Roll vol 6. We all know about male duets often by brothers in country-related fields but on the RnB side they are less common. Although they get equal billing, Kenny (we guess) takes the lead on the So Long Side and a fine job he does too, in fact, his voice and the style of the song put us in mind of Young Jessie, high praise indeed. The whole song is propelled by a drum, a tinkling piano and a simple riffing guitar that steps out for a tough break. The flip is a nice RnB mover with Kenny and Moe singing harmony throughout with a similar cool backing.
Charles was one of those artists who unhelpfully recorded under various names and jumped from label to label. We know they did not control the industry but it makes life difficult for obsessive record collectors 60-odd years later. This was his follow-up to the extremely popular Voo Doo Working / Rock N Roll Train (in stock now). The Kangaroo is a dance craze that no one went crazy for despite it being a really cool RnB number with super sax and a sloppy Latin feel. The Sinner side in contrast is everything you would expect from a 50s New Orleans Rock n Roll record even though it was recorded in Lake Charles in 1961. But that effortless Louisiana swing, the laid-back vocals and essential pure party sound are all right here.
I don’t know why but King Coleman just sounds like New York to me, even though he was from, and recorded for, Miami labels including this 45 from 1963. His dance floor-aimed records urged listeners to do The Mashed Potato, The Hully Gully or even The Black Bottom. As you can hear on these 45s available now.
Here there is no dance craze in particular but he is urging everyone to dance and be crazy. For some reason we just see a sweaty basement in New York jammed with people doing the slop and the frug to these crazy sounds. A record that you don’t just hear but really experience.
So we all know Harrold Burrage is a wild blues rocker on records like these, all available here:
But he is no one trick pony and on this 1960 45 we hear a different side. Pretty Little Liddy is a Rock n Roll number with a real teenage sound, a proper malt shop rocker. The flip though is a shocker (ok it is a surprise rather than a shock but Rocker / Shocker rhymes.) Here we discover that Harold has a hidden Screaming Jay style, practically operatic, baritone that he uses to intense effect on this popcorn ballad. We talked about a range of styles in this week’s issues, well you get a pretty wide range in the two sides of this 45. So choose a side and dig it.
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