I’ve been pretty tied down of late but have managed to juggle some real life moves to knock up a brand new mix for you all. Today’s selection is a bit of a mixed bag, mainly leaning towards the Rhythm and Blues side of things but there should be something there to hopefully suit all tastes!
Kicking things off is a true Hook And Sling favourite, Eddie Bo with ‘Don’t Turn Me Loose’. This is the flip to ‘Can You Handle It’ and features the trademark punchy horns and rolling piano found on many of Eddie Bo’s funk outings. (check out this amazingly indepth Eddie Bo discography at Soulgeneration.com)
We take it back a notch with ‘There’s A Difference’, a slightly Doo-wop tinged number from Little Willie John, the man responsible for the track ‘Fever’. Little Willie John was imprisoned in 1964 for a stabbing, while he was released for a short period in 1966 pending an appeal, he recorded an album (Nineteen Sixty-Six) that was only released this year on the Kent label due to contractual issues. In 1968 Little Willie John died from a heart attack, aged just 30, after returning to prison following his failed appeal, although some allege the cause of his death was asphyxiation. He was also notably cited as one of James Brown’s biggest influences.
Wendy Rene hits us with ‘Young & Foolish’, recorded on the Stax label. This is the flip to 'Bar-B-Q', a track I included on my guest post for the awesome Souled On Music, which is an absolute R&B monster. Originally part of The Drapels she went solo in 1964 on the Stax label. After many suggestions including Wendy Storm, she changed her birth name, Mary Frierson Cross to the Otis Redding suggested Wendy Rene.
Tommy Tucker hailed from Ohio, and after moving to New Jersey in 1961 went solo and hit the big time with his 1964 ‘Hi Heeled Sneakers’. The track went massive and hit number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. He released several other 45s, but none had the impact of ‘Hi Heeled Sneakers’.
Back to the Cresent City, and Huey Smith And The Clowns, who was one of the first artists to feature on these very pages here! ‘Behind The Wheel’ was released on Imperial and is one of the outfits lesser known releases, but certainly worth checking out!
We head down to Alabama for a little bit of Southern tinged blues from Jerry “Boogie” McCain. His cover of Bill Doggett’s ‘Honky Tonk’ is a stormer and gives another twist on this standard, with his formidable harmonica playing. Quality!
Next up is excellently titled Tony Bowens & The Soul Choppers (Why don’t they name bands like that anymore?) and ‘Don’t Be So Mean’, the flipside to the ultra rare ‘Boilin’ Water’. This was a track I featured on the guest post I did for the fantastic Planet Mondo a while back. It's a really frenetic side which goes totally nuts by the end, with some amazing sax playing. Much rawer than ‘Boilin’ Water’, but that’s not such a bad thing!
The legendary Sam And Dave step up with ‘Get It’ which features their trademark bouncy southern soul sound. While not one of their greatest hits it still goes to prove just why they earned the nickname ’Double Dynamite
Into the soulful ending, and Johnny Rivers 1967 cover of The Miracles ‘Tracks Of My Tears’ is last up. I turned this up on a recent digging trip out of London. Johnny Rivers is notably still performing after a career spanning 6 decades!
That’s it for today and I hope you enjoyed the selections, Stay safe and I’ll be back here soon with some more of the ‘Good Stuff’ for you.
Track list (Click on individual track titles for label scans)
Eddie Bo – “Don’t Turn Me Loose”- Bo Sound
Little Willie John – There’s A Difference – King
Wendy Rene – Young & Foolish – Stax
Tommy Tucker – Hi-Heeled Sneakers – Pye International
Huey Smith & The Clowns – Behind The Wheel Part II – Imperial
Jerry “Boogie” McCain – Honky Tonk – Jewel Records
Tony Bowens And The Soul Choppers – Don’t Be So Mean – Tony Bowens
Sam And Dave – Get It – Atlantic
Johnny Rivers – The Tracks Of My Tears - Imperial