Raw Spitt - Who Do They Think They Are
I first heard of Charlie Whitehead a/k/a Raw Spitt via the inclusion of "Songs to Sing" on the first volume of the excellent Kent CD series Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures. I would later learn that Whitehead was a compadre of Jerry Williams, Jr., a/k/a Swamp Dogg, who has appeared on this blog a few times prior. The Williams-Whitehead collaboration resulted in a good decade's worth of fine recordings for Dynamo, Canyon (where the "Raw Spitt" name made its premiere on an eponymous LP), United Artists, Stone Dogg, Island and others. Lots of the material featured Swamp Dogg's usual strong political leanings ("Songs to Sing," today's selection, "Predicament #3," "Call Me Nigger"), but other tunes were fun pieces of '70s funk and soul ("Shaft's Mama" and my favorite, "Between the Lines"). By the end of the '70s Whitehead would fade into obscurity. Fortunately, for those of us who were immediately captivated by his voice on the first Dave Godin CD and had learned about his other work in fits and starts, Kent has released Songs to Sing: The Charlie Whitehead Anthology, which is a total treasure.
Today's selection came from the Canyon LP. Over a nice mid-tempo groove, Whitehead effectively converses about the new racism that followed the Civil Rights Era, with Swamp Dogg lending support in the choruses. There's a strong message here, and Whitehead truly delivers.