Well as they used to say round these parts, Thank Crunchie it’s Friday!! (Now there’s a blast from the past!) After a draining week at ‘The Coal Face’, it’s surely time for some well deserved R&R, and what better way to get in the mood with another chunk of Funk and Soul.
I managed to convene with Hoppin’ John at Camp Hook & Sling during the week, where we started to piece together the first parts of a new mini mix series that will hopefully be touching down on these pages at some point next week, so keep one eye open for that!
So here we go with today’s selection, a bit of a 50/50 split of Funk and Soul, some new finds as well as a few old favourites.
Kicking things into gear is Bobby Rush with ‘Much to Much’, the flip to his 1967 release ‘Sock A Boogaloo’. I scored this as well as a huge grip of other 45s from one of my London contacts who had just received an entire collection of Funk & Soul singles. First dibs ensured this went home with me and has been on rotation since! The track is a feel good up-tempo number and has a cool Southern Soul feeling to it. Great stuff!
The Glass House were admittedly a group I hadn’t come across until I was out digging recently. Whilst flicking through crates and crates of dusty 45s, I spotted the title ‘Crumbs Off The Table’, and having heard the later Laura Lee version, I knew it would be worth taking a punt on.
Credited to Edith Wayne, who was a pseudonym used by the Holland/ Dozier Holland gang, probably to maximise royalties, this was released in 1969. Scherrie Payne, the younger sister of Freda Payne (of ‘Unhooked Generation & ‘Band Of Gold’ fame) belts out the vocals on this with plenty of gusto, and it’s pretty plain for everyone to see why she was later snapped up by The Supremes as a replacement for Jean Terrell in 1973.
The Stokes are up next with ‘Young Man, Old Man’, the B-side to their 1966 single ‘One Mint Julep’ on Alon Records. Originally formed by NOLA legend, Allen Toussaint whilst serving time in the US army, this was one of the groups last 45s before they disbanded. This cut is another example of an artist using a pseudonym in the writing credits, with this 45 being ‘penned by’ Naomi Neville, which was actually Allen Toussaint mothers maiden name! I pulled this from the same collection as the Bobby Rush 45. Double bonus!!
Jazzman Records comes through with the goods yet again. This time with a great reissue of the late Keisa Brown’s upfront Sister Funk bomb. With an original copy being as rare as hens teeth to find, this is a welcome release. Punchy horns, tidy drumming and seriously sassy vocals make this a must have!
We take things back to the soulful side with Marvellous Marva Whitney’s King release, ‘Your Love Was Good For Me’. This as I mentioned earlier in the week is possibly my favourite Marva Whitney cut , which is a pretty tough choice to make as there are so many fantastic sides by her! The track literally drips soul like a colander and really show cases her vocals!
This was released an astounding four separate times as a single!! First on Federal Records in June 1967, September 1967 on King Records, April 1968 on King and finally in October 1968 again on King Records . The issue on this mix is from the third release on King which was backed with ‘What Kind Of Man’. I can only assume that the demand for the track allowed this to happen, and rightly so!
Into the back straight and if you don’t know ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’ by Nina Simone then I can only assume you’ve just awoken from some sort of coma, possibly induced by listening to some seriously awful talentless, modern, pop drivel! This is a definite classic and one that admittedly had been long lost in amongst my crates until I was pulling out some sides for today’s mix. Some may call it over played, but if you listen ‘between the lines’ as it were, you can hear the genius of Nina Simone!
After featuring the fantastic ‘Some Kind Of Wonderful’ by the Soul Brothers Six in my last mix outing, The Sunday Soul Sessions, I thought we’d revisit the group with the flip,’ Somebody Else Is Loving My Baby’ on Atlantic.
Hailing from New York, this was the bands most successful release, reaching #91 in The Top 100 in 1967. Sadly they were unable to follow up with any further hits, and were dropped by Atlantic shortly after.
Jumping forward to something a lot more recent, and Mayer Hawthorne & The County keep the soulful vibes going with ‘When I Said Goodbye’ on Stones Throw. Those of you unfamiliar with Mr Hawthorne should hastily head HERE for the plug side to this 45, ‘Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out’, which seems to be a bit more readily available now the hype has settled down.
The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are an eight piece Brass section plus drummer from Chicago. Eight of the members are the sons of Sun Ra member Phil Cohran. ‘Flipside’ is appropriately the B-side to their release ‘Alayo’ on Honest John Records, which also featured Malcolm Catto stepping in on drums for the session. A great track which fits in here nicely.
Rounding things up is KC & The Sunshine Band and ‘Sound Your Funky Horn’ from Jay Boy Records. This was a 45 I pulled out of a dingy Soho basement years ago. It to fell foul to the same black hole in my record collection as the Nina Simone 45 from today! Released in 1973, this is a bouncy, feel good 45 which takes us to the finish line for the time being.
Before I go, I want to give a big shout out to Omer Saar for banging The Hook & Sling drum stateside for us. Check out his fantastic Blog UniverSOUL Productions, which is currently on the move at the moment, but rest assured there is more than enough content at the original location to keep you busy and out of trouble!!
Make sure you check out The Green Album, his own remix tribute to Al Green. There are some slick beats in there, which have been on rotation round these parts for a long while now!
I hope you enjoy today’s new mix as much as I did putting it together! Stay safe and I’ll be back here shortly with Part 1 of our new Mini Mix Series.
Bobby Rush – Much To Much – Checker
The Glass House – Crumbs Off the Table – Invictus
The Stokes – Young Man, Old Man – Alon
Keisa Brown – Dance Man – Jazzman Records
Marva Whitney – Your Love Was Good For Me – King
Nina Simone - My Baby Just Cares For Me – Bethlehem
Soul Brothers Six – Somebody Else Is Loving My Baby – Atlantic
Mayer Hawthorne & The County – When I Said Goodbye – Stones Throw
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Flipside – Honest John Records (10” Single)
KC & The Sunshine Band - Sound Your Funky Horn – Jay Boy
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