I hope you all enjoyed Hoppin’ John’s first article on the site from Friday.
After a weekend of rest and recuperation I’ve strapped myself back into the driving seat for the last leg leading up to our next night. As some of you involved in putting on your own nights will be aware, the quest of promoting is a seemingly endless one. Originally this little outlet here was to be just another promotional tool for the night, but I found myself getting more and more into it. And as the subscriber count grows so does my sense of responsibility that I should be sharing more of this stuff with you instead of hoarding it like something from the Lord Of The Rings!
So first up is this nice little number by Willie Smith which arrived at Casa del Hook And Sling this very weekend, courtesy of my friendly postman! It says The Cliff Driver’s Inferno, who admittedly I know little about, accompanies him (Willie Smith not my postman!!) on ‘I got A New Thing’. What I do know for sure is this is one tight outfit that lays down a really rocking, infectious backing for Willie to put his vocals over. This 45 appeared on my radar after “babysitting” The Popcorn King’s records while he was on holiday. Just short of concocting a ridiculous story involving wild animals stealing his copy of this I decided to get on the good foot and find my own. This for me has got it all, drums, bongo’s, wah-wah guitar, a kick you in the balls bass line and a horn section to rival any. There was a story in the paper a while back about a woman who repeatedly played Dolly Parton’s ‘Working 9 Till 5’ day and night and got an ASBO for her troubles after her neighbours kicked off and took her to court, so I’m just waiting for my time to come as I must have played ‘I Got A New Thing’ over 20 times already!
Next up, is Wilmer And The Dukes and their B-side instrumental ‘Get It’. A saxophone led romp, which I have to admit I don’t play as much as I should. This was released in 1968 on the Aphrodisiac Label and also on Action Records in the UK. It’s the flip to ‘Give Me One More Chance’ and has a slight mod feel to it.
Bumpin’ Bus Stop’ is a tricky 45 to pick up so I was pleasantly surprised when Hoppin’ John, casually as always, dropped it into conversation that he happened to have a spare copy of this. After a brief round of “Why didn’t you say before – I’m sure I told you - No you didn’t - Yes I did”, a modest amount of money changed hands and the 45 was mine. This is the Thunder & Lightning release on Private Stock Records, but I know the band also recorded and released it as The Playboys on a different label. The Hip Hop fans amongst should recognise the opening skit as part of Gangstarr’s classic cut ‘Step In The Arena’.Freddie Wilson is another in a long and endless list of James Brown imitators and his1972 released ‘Promise Land’ on Eastbound Records constantly commands healthy prices on sales lists. I was chuffed to bits when this turned up in box of 45s in my favourite digging spot, heavily under priced at under a Tenner. After trying to calmly look disinterested whilst paying, so as not to rumble the potential bargain I’d just found it was home to phone The Popcorn King to rub it in! Good times!
I collect 45’s released on People Records as I’ve mentioned in one of the very first posts on this site, The Flames 1971 call to arms ‘Stand Up And Be Counted’ was a particularly tough one to find. This is a great track and the band backing The Flames is a massive12 members strong with Fred Wesley and Bobby Byrd thrown in there somewhere for good measure.
‘Let’s Go Baby (Where The Action Is)’ by Robert Parker featured in my top 5 a while back and I don’t think it’s left the list since! A big favourite on the Northern Soul scene this is a regular on our play list at The Hook And Sling’s monthly night. Released on Nola Records in 1966, this is absolutely streets ahead of its time!
If you don’t know The Meters then you should! ‘Tippi Toes’ came into my possession after a dealer I know started selling off parts of his own collection; one of his first pieces to go, I quickly snapped this up. I don’t think that any of the Meters releases are exceptionally hard to find but I’ve yet to see another copy of this on Island.
Into the soulful finish and this Curtis Mayfield penned and produced cut is another one for the drum break addicts amongst you. This Five Stairsteps & Cubie 45 ‘Don’t Change Your Love’ was their first release on Mayfield’s own Curtom label in 1969 and is a fantastic slice of soul.
That’s your lot for today sports fans! I hope you enjoyed today’s instalment. All being well and good I should be back later in the week with some more of my ‘precious’ records for you.
Track List (click on individual track titles for label scans)
Willie Smith - I Got A New Thing – Genuine Records
Wilmer And The Dukes – Get It – Aphrodisiac
Thunder & Lightning – Bumpin’ Bus Stop – Private Press Records
Freddie Wilson – Promise Land - Eastbound
The Flames – Stand Up And Be Counted - People
Robert Parker - Let’s Go Baby (Where The Action Is) – Nola
The Meters – Tippi Toes – Island
Five Stairsteps & Cubie – Don’t Change Your Love - Curtom