Things seemed to have settled down round these parts enough for me to cram in a little rest and relaxation with family and friends, as well as returning here with something cool for your ears!
The recent extended Bank Holiday Weekend (God I love Bank Holidays!!) was a blast! A small gang of us headed out on Friday night to the very last ever Keb Darge’s Legendary Deep Funk at Madame Jojo’s in Soho. This is a night that I’ve been regularly visiting for many more years than I care to remember, and one that’s been instrumental in developing and pushing the small Funk & Soul scene along. Over the last year Keb has been digging deeper into the 50’s sound, which has spawned a second night at JoJo’s with Andy Smith called ‘Lost And Found’.
The last night was blinding with Keb digging deep and playing a great selection of 45s. Chatting with him at the end of the night he came out with an interesting insight on the music he collects. “ For every good Funk record there’s 20 good Soul records, and for every good Soul record there’s 50 good 50’s records!”. An interesting quote that I’m pretty sure would spark a lengthy discussion between collectors of the three genres!!
The weekly Friday night slot at JoJo’s will be filled with Snowboy and Healer Selecta’s new night The Good Foot, which kicks off on Friday 4th June. A worthy replacement that I’m sure won’t disappoint!
Saturday saw me joining up with my old DJ partner in crime, The Popcorn King and after kicking our hangovers into touch we headed out on a mini road trip to a mad record spot outside London that he’d recently discovered.
The lengthy trip out there was totally worth it, with both of us ticking several 45s off of our respective wants lists, as well as scoring a bunch of other cool stuff as well. It was an incredibly well organised shop, with far more stuff than we had time to dig through, so I can definitely see many more future trips out there in the very near future!!
One of the 45s that I picked up on Saturday was ‘Annie Had A Baby’ by Hank Ballard. This was released originally back in 1954 and was the answer record to ‘Work With me Annie’, a record that was banned by the F.C.C. for it’s risqué lyrics.
Both records made it to #1 on The R&B charts and both sold well over a million copies!! The copy of 'Annie Had A Baby' that I scored was the official King second issue from 1975, and more than likely coincided with the resurgence in Hank Ballard’s career due to his work with The James Brown Revue.
‘Annie Had A Baby’ is a tight R&B groover, which as well as having Doo-wop influences in the vocals, also has seeds of the 50s Rock & Roll sound that was emerging at the time. You can hear this predominantly in the guitar licks across the track.
Ballard’s vocals are high in the mix, which is in no way a bad thing as I love his voice. By the time the Sax kicks in at a minute and twenty in, it’s nigh on possible for your feet to be still!! It’s undoubtedly a class track which I’m looking forward to playing out over a big sound system!!
“If you're looking for youth, you're looking for longevity, just take a dose of Rock 'n' Roll - it keeps you going. Just like the caffeine in your coffee, Rock 'n' Roll is good for the soul, for the well being, for the psyche, for your everything. I love it. I can't even picture being without Rock 'n' Roll” - Hank Ballard
Which leads me on to gently remind you all that I’ll be returning to The Vestry in Chichester with my funky co-pilot for our monthly Hook & Sling excursion this coming Saturday night! The night has gone from strength to strength of late so we’re really looking forward to this weekend. If you’re in the area head on down and say Hi, and as always don’t forget your dancing shoes!
Enjoy today’s 45, stay safe and hopefully we’ll catch some of you on Saturday!