Thursday, 20 January 2011

Mr Double Down Presents First Thing’s First

Here we go with another extended Bank Holiday weekend (you have to love the month of May!) and a brand new mix to accompany it. I hope you enjoyed Part 1of Dj Chak’s ‘Sunday Lounge Guest Mix’, and as promised we’ll be dropping Part 2 next week. I also want to give a shout out to Scholar over at Souled On Music, check out the phenomenal (as always!) post that’s just recently dropped over there, featuring some great funk and soul for you. I’d also like to send a nod to Jessica over at Giant Step, look out for the forthcoming release Verve Remixed Volume 4. It's a new album featuring some interesting looking remixes and fresh spins on several classic funk and soul 45s. With some of the remixers including the likes of Antibalas, Truth And Soul, Pilooski and Kenny Dope to name just a few. Keep an eye here for more info nearer the release date.

We start off today’s proceedings with Ron Holden and ‘I Need Ya’, this was a recent impulse bargain from E-bay and worth every penny! Released in 1973 on the excellent and collectable Now label, I felt it would be rude not to pick it up! Ron Holden was discovered, so the story goes, after being arrested on a drink and drugs charge. One of the officers at the station, Larry Nelson, heard him singing in his cell and arranged to record Holden on his release from jail. The rest as they say is history!

Jackie Wilson’s cuts in our mixes are becoming a bit of a reoccurring theme here at the Hook And Sling, but when an artist of that calibre has so many great sides it has to be done. ‘Hum De Dum De Do’ is the flip to ‘I Still Love You’, a 45 I featured as an article and also on a guest mix for the great Soul Chef over at Fufu Stew a while back. One of the problems (or good things depending on your perspective) of only collecting 45s is that you tend to pick up singles for one song, every now and again I like to revisit the B-sides of my collection as they always turn out a few overlooked great sides. This like it’s A-side counterpart is a bass guitar led monster with Jackie’s vocals rounding the cut off nicely.

Pearl Dowell’s Saadia release ‘Good Things’ is a 45 that IF you can find a copy, could see a decent $600+ sized dent in your wallet. And for good reason too, once you’ve heard this Frank Williams penned and produced monster you can see what the hype is all about. The fine folks at Jazzman Records recently put together a fantastic 45 box set of some of the Saadia 45s, including this Pearl Dowell cut. Well worth picking up until that elusive OG copy comes along!

Willie Bobo was an accomplished drummer who worked with Mongo Santamaria in New York. Interestingly his son Eric Bobo is a percussionist with Hip hop outfit Cypress Hill. This 45 has Willie Bobo putting a Latin spin on The Temptations classic ‘Ain’t Too Proud To Beg’, featured here, as well as ‘Knock On Wood’ by Eddie Floyd on the flip. Sadly Willie Bobo succumbed to cancer at the age of 49.

ernieErnie K Doe and his Nola 45 ‘Here Comes The Girls’ has seen a bit of a resurgence of late, due to Boots the chemist using it on a successful advertising campaign here in the UK. The Soul Jazz Records Crew have reissued it on vinyl recently, which isn’t such a bad thing as the Janus OG 45 has jumped in price from around £15 right up to £100+ as people (many of whom had no previous interest in Ernie K Doe) scrabble to snap up any original copies that become available. Head over to Soul Jazz Records where 'Here Comes The Girls' is available to download from their website. As always we urge you to support the many artists and their families that are featured on these pages, so head right HERE to download the track in its full glory!

I have a few 45s by The Ramrods but this is one of my favourites. ‘Soultrain’ was also played (covered?) by a Canadian band called The Rinky Dinks, it seems that the version by The Ramrods featured King Curtis, not on Saxophone as he was famed for but this time playing guitar for this New York funk outfit.

Monk Higgins was another accomplished Saxophonist. Doing the rounds in the 60’s as a session player and producer for Chess, his career saw him working with many of the greats at the time. I picked up this one sided promo of ‘Different Folks’ years ago and decided it was about time to give it an airing here.

‘Gotta Get Over The Hump’ is a real anthem styled funker, and another overlooked 45 from my collection until recently. Simtec & Wylie maybe familiar to some of you for their track ‘Bootleggin’’ which was included on Dj Shadow and Cut Chemist’s Brain Freeze Album.

Wallace Brothers melodic 45 ‘Lovers Prayer’ brings things to a perfect soulful finish. Steeped in Gospel and Doo-Wop, this is a track that definitely shouldn’t be slept on. Surprisingly this only made #97 in the Hot 100 in 1964.

That concludes today’s broadcast folks! Don’t forget we’re edging ever closer to our monthly night at The Brown Sugar Bar on the 14th June, and as always all the details can be found by clicking the tabs at the top of the page. Stay safe and we’ll see you back here after the weekend.

Track List (Click on individual track names for label scans)

Ron Holden – I Need Ya – Now Records

Jackie Wilson – Hum De Dum De Do – Brunswick

Pearl Dowell – Good Things – Saadia (Jazzman)

Willie Bobo – Ain’t Too Proud To Beg – Verve

Ernie K Doe – Here Come The Girls – Soul Jazz Records

The Ramrods – Soultrain – Rampage

Monk Higgins – Different Strokes (For Different Folks) – Chess

Simtec & Wylie – Gotta Get Over The Hump – Mister Chand

Wallace Brothers – Lovers Prayer – Sims Records

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