Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bumpin' Da Booty

Sir Mack Rice - Bump Meat

The Bump was one of the more successful disco dances, probably because it was fun and easy to do. It probably also didn't hurt matters that there was a slew of records that cashed in on the dance (a far from exhaustive list would include personal favorites such as Rufus Thomas' "Do the Double Bump," Bobby Marchan's "Bump Your Booty," Ed Townsend's "Maybe I'll Bump," Ground Hog's "Bumpin'," Joe Tex's "Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)" and today's selection). Further, the fact that men and women got to bump booties probably made the dance even more popular.

Speaking of booties, it's interesting to see how many R&B songs of the '60s and '70s may have set the template for the booty worship that exists in rap music today (starting with stuff like E.U.'s "Da Butt" and the infamous classic "Baby Got Back"): James Brown made his preferences known with tunes like "Mother Popcorn (You Gotta Have a Mother For Me)" ("mother" being his code word for a big behind) and "For Goodness Sakes, Take a Look at Those Cakes," and lots of tunes made reference to the blues archetype of the "big leg woman," most notably Israel "Popper Stopper" Tolbert's "Big Leg Woman (With a Short, Short Miniskirt)." With "Bump Meat," a 1974 Truth single, soul legend Mack Rice got his proverbial two cents in on the topic, plus he got to get in on the dance craze. So shake that bump meat, y'all!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Georgia Slop!

Big Al Downing - Georgia Slop

"Big" Al Downing was truly one of the most diverse musical acts of his time, having started out doing rock 'n' roll and rockabilly in the '50s and early '60s before switching to country soul later in the decade, having disco hits in the '70s, and then closing out his career as a country artist with a few Billboard chart hits and appearances at the Grand Old Opry. I'll defer to the official Big Al Downing website for Al's bio, discography and more (check out Al's "disco" pictures from the '70s). Although Al never reached the level of stardom his talent warranted, his recordings are probably only second to those of Ray Charles in their breadth. Perhaps on this blog I will feature tunes stretching across Downing's long and varied career (assuming, of course, that you, my readers, don't bail out when I put a country song on here!)

Today I'll start with one of his most popular rockin' R&B cuts of the '60s. "Georgia Slop" was a cover of a Jimmy McCracklin tune that was released on Columbia in (I believe) 1963. This is white-hot rock-n-roll here, with the rushed beat, harsh guitar and Downing's pounding away at the keys. Downing's vocal is full of warmth and good cheer, alternately belting out the story of the party at Peg Leg Lee's (gotta love the names of the characters that populate songs of this type) and then almost sensually giving dance instructions over the stop-time portions of the tune. It's fast, furious and fun - get on down with it!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Rufus Thomas, Blues Man!

Rufus Thomas - Talking 'Bout True Love

Today's "Tuesday Is Blues Day" feature is from Rufus Thomas, who's no stranger to this blog. When Rufus wasn't walking the dog or doing the funky chicken/penguin/robot/bird, he was a solid blues shouter - truthfully, even his funkiest stuff was steeped in the blues - and Rufus' blues numbers, generally B-sides (today's selection was the flip to "Sister's Got a Boyfriend") or album tracks (check out "Soul Food" on Do The Funky Chicken), are worth checking out. On today's selection the Stax musicians do their usual good work and Rufus makes good use of the "one and one is two, two and two is four" blues lyric.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Get on Down With Oliver Sain!

Oliver Sain - Bus Stop

I returned to work this morning to learn that while I was away for Thanksgiving my work computer bit the dust. I've lost the handy 600- or 700-song MP3 list I kept on the computer, so I'll have to plan these posts a bit more than I have lately, which is actually a good thing. When looking at iTunes to pick some songs for the week I realized that I have not featured this selection, one of my favorite '70s instrumentals.

St. Louis-based bandleader/multi-instrumentalist Oliver Sain's status as a Chess Records A&R conduit brought Little Milton, Fontella Bass and Bobby McClure into the Chess stable in the '60s, a feat for which his name is forever cemented in soul music history. Sain also was a successful bandleader, and his '70s recordings for A-Bet, although only moderately successful commercially (only his disco-funk singles "Party Hearty" and "You Make Me Feel Like Dancin'" (not related to the Leo Sayer hit) got any chart action), were some of the best slabs of soul and funk the Nashboro label group put out in that decade. The 1974 instrumental "Bus Stop" is a funky thing featuring Sain's sax and a hot groove anchored by some seriously-scratchin' guitar and a bumping bass. The breakdown on this one is worth the price of admission all in itself.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Get on Down With Gladys Knight & The Pips!

Gladys Knight & The Pips - Daddy Could Swear, I Declare

I don't think anyone who reads this blog regularly needs any introduction to Gladys Knight & The Pips, whose fine recordings covered nearly four decades. Today's selection is one of their lesser-known hits, which was pulled for single release from the group's 1973 album Neither One of Us, whose title track was a big hit that year. "Daddy Could Swear" was written by Gladys and her brother Meryl (one of the Pips) and it's a tasty piece of get down, featuring some great acoustic guitar work and a groove that, although not really funky or dance-oriented, makes you want to bob your shoulders a little bit while Gladys and the fellows play off each other in their usual awesome way.

(EDITOR'S NOTE - I will be visiting Chicago for the holidays, so there will be no posts or blog maintenance between now and Sunday or Monday. Happy Thanksgiving!)

Monday, November 20, 2006

I Got Some Boogie For Ya!

Rufus Thomas:

Boogie Ain't Nuttin' (But Gettin' Down) (Pt. 1) b/w (Pt. 2)

As Stax Records entered its desperate last days in late 1974 and early 1975, many of the longest-tenured Stax artists stayed true to the company, recording and keeping the faith until the label was forced to close in early 1976. It is only fitting that Rufus Thomas, whose duet with daughter Carla, "Cause I Love You," was Stax's first hit record, would be one of the last to have a single release on the label, with "Jump Back '75." Today's selection was a 1974 Stax single that actually made it into the lower fringes of the R&B charts, but by the time of its release Stax was fading fast. For some reason producer Tom Nixon had Rufus record "Boogie Ain't Nuttin'" at FAME studios rather than at Stax, and the tune, accordingly, had a much lighter groove than most of Rufus' material. It's a nice groove, though, featuring some nice electric piano and good horn work. Thomas, whose long career certainly made him an authority on the subject, links "boogie" from its 1974 proponents (name checking Eddie Kendricks and Kool & The Gang, both of whom had scored hits that year with "Boogie Down" and "Jungle Boogie," respectively) to the '40s and '50s R&B greats like Wynonie Harris and Roy Brown over both parts of the single. History lessons aside, it's a nice piece of boogie all by itself, and Rufus' "I got some boogie for ya" chant is right on the money.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

RIP Ruth Brown

Belatedly, I note that R&B pioneer/singer/actress Ruth Brown passed away recently at age 78. Brown's '50s recordings for Atlantic helped get that label off the ground (the label was referred to in those days as "the house that Ruth built"), and her material, ranging from belting blues to mambo mania, made Brown a major star of those days. Brown didn't fare so well after her tenure with Atlantic ended in the next decade, and she never really broke through in the soul business (although "You're a Stone Groovy Thing" is a rare soul fave). Fortunately Brown made a major comeback in the '80s, and her performance in the film Hairspray is a personal favorite. I've seen Ruth and several documentaries (including the great Lightning in a Bottle, where she ruled the stage and backstage as true Queen of R&B, and her spunk and talent, both shown in the films, will be missed. The MadPriest has a tribute mini-set on his blog, and it's certainly worth checking out.

Bishop Manning Calls 'Em As He Sees 'Em

Bishop Manning and the Manning Family:

This Is Everybody's Song b/w
The People Don't Pray Like They Used to Pray

Today's selections are two good-timing gospel sides by Bishop Manning and the Manning Family, a gospel group about which I do not know anything except that this tasty 45 came out on Su-Ann. Manning's vocals are warm and the group provides good backup while the band rambles along. "This Is Everybody's Song" finds Manning essaying on everything from the high cost of living (references to Nixon, the 1973 oil embargo, Ford and inflation leads me to believe the record was made in 1974 or '75) to parents skipping church to people sleeping in church over a slightly-funky groove. "The People Don't Pray" has a gospel blues feel, and Manning addresses the shortcomings of church folk, ranging from money-driven preachers to men with long hair (perhaps this is more a product of the times, as Manning takes time out to "preach a little while" on that topic!) to women with short dresses; sermonizing aside, though, this tune, like "Everybody's Song," is laced with Manning's obvious sense of humor.

(Thanks to John Glassburner and H.C. Robinson for these tracks.)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Soul-Blues Saturday: Thinkin' 'Bout Pickett

Wilson Pickett - Outskirts of Town

One of the saddest events to be noted on this blog was the passing of Wilson Pickett. At that time I did a series of posts about his great recordings and did a tribute set, which is still downloadable (see the "Podcasts" section). I included today's selection in the set, but I felt like featuring it today.

Wilson Pickett won a Handy Award for It's Harder Now, his triumphant comeback album. At the time of the album's release, Pickett and everyone involved boasted about how there was nothing synthetic about the album, and although the album wasn't the home run that Solomon Burke or Bettye LaVette would have with their comeback albums, it was a great effort and Pickett is shown to be in great voice and spirit. The documentary Only the Strong Survive was made during that time, and Pickett's moments in the film, made in part while Pickett was shooting stills for the album and promotional materials, found Pickett to have overcome the various demons that befell him in the '80s and '90s to be both wise and wise-cracking ("Did I have a good summer?" Pickett replies to the greeting he receives when met by the interviewer, "I had a good winter too! And a good fall, and that ain't all!") Had Pickett cut a song like "Outskirts of Town" during his Atlantic prime it would've been a hit, as all of the elements of a good soul record are there. It's my favorite from the album, and so it makes a repeat performance here!

Friday, November 17, 2006

This Is Serious Soul!

The Persuaders - Thin Line Between Love and Hate

I will admit right away that today's selection is not the more rare thing I've ever put on this blog, but when I was scanning through my MP3 folder this morning it caught my eye, and when I played it I remembered just how totally awesome this song is. The Persuaders would never again enjoy the smash success they had with "Thin Line Between Love and Hate," which came out on the Atco-distributed Win or Lose label in 1971, despite having R&B hits with fine songs such as "Love Gonna Pack Up (And Walk Out)" and "Some Guys Have All the Luck" (which Rod Stewart would hit with in the '80s). But had "Thin Line" been their only record, it would've been enough, as the group waxed one of the strongest soul records of '70s. This record is as serious as a heart attack, warning the listener that taking one's significant other for granted can have dire consequences. Adding to the intensity of the words is the extremely atmospheric arrangement: from the opening piano line to the strong yet silky instrumental track to the anguished lead vocal and the sharp background work, the tune consumes the listener and drives home the song's message like a velvet-covered sledgehammer.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Let's Have a Little Get Down!

Act I - Tom the Peeper

Today's post is short and sweet because, unfortunately, I don't know anything about this group except to say that they lay down a nice proto-disco groove on this 1973 Spring single. You know it's fun, when you have lines like "Can he see? Man, that dude's got spyglasses!"

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Chicago Cool Breezin'

The Five Du-Tones - Outside the Record Hop (Trying to Get In)

The Five Du-Tones' crazed 1963 hit "Shake a Tail Feather," although covered more famously by artists ranging from James & Bobby Purify to Ike & Tina Turner to Ray Charles (whose version is a highlight of the soundtrack to the immortal The Blues Brothers), set the ball rolling for the Chicago group, who made a series of great recordings for George Leaner's One-Derful! label. Unfortunately, the group never reaped the benefits that "Tail Feather" should have earned them, and despite a strong live show (they were part of the Five Du-Tones Revue, which included the female group the Du-Ettes ("Please Forgive Me") and soloists Johnny Sayles and Stacey Johnson) the group would disband within a few years, with Du-Tones singers and musicians later forming other acts (two of the Du-Tones and some of the musicians would form the Southside Commission, which would have a disco hit with "Free Man"). Today's selection was the group's last single, which was released on One-Derful! in 1966. "Outside the Record Hop" has more of a 1963 than a 1966 sound, with its bluesy groove and swinging singing, but the tune builds steam as it goes along, and by the time the song reaches its happy ending it's enough to make you want to do the Jerk, Slop, Twine, and Barracuda just like the lead singer is doing!

A quick postscript - Retro-soul singer-guitarist Eli "Paperboy" Reed and his band, the True Loves, feature "Outside the Record Hop" in their newest recordings. Reed and his band are doing to '60s soul what Sharon Jones and similar artists do with '60s and '70s funk - check out his website and see and hear for yourself!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tuesday Is (Lowdown) Blues Day!

Jerry "Boogie" McCain - She's Crazy 'Bout Entertainers

Blues singer / harmonica player Jerry McCain has been doing his eccentric blues thing for the last fifty years, leaving behind great recordings featuring his fine harmonica playing and humorous lyrics for labels such as Excello (where he did the rockin' and rollin' "My Next Door Neighbor" and "Tryin' to Please"), Rex, OKeh, Jewel and Ichiban. "My Next Door Neighbor" will be featured in a future post, as its glory must be shared (the Excello 45 is a nice swampy thing, but the homemade demo, comped on Norton's Wildass Obscuros CD, is a fast and furious piece with a proto-metal feel). Today's selection was a Jewel single from around 1966 or '67. "She's Crazy 'Bout Entertainers" is a lowdown blues that starts with a nice horn fanfare (the only appearance of horns on the record until the end) and then McCain's tale of his woman's relationships with soul singers, whom he name checks.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man!

Jack Ashford & The Sound of New Detroit - Do the Choo-Choo (Pt. 1)

Percussionist Jack Ashford was one of Motown's legendary Funk Brothers, and it's his tambourine that gave the classic Motown hits that churchy feel (he also played vibes and provided other percussion). In the documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown Ashford relates how he came to be Motown's "tambourine man," and it's a good thing that he wore that mantle so well! After Motown moved to the West Coast in 1972 and the Funk Brothers parted ways, Ashford put out this 45 for Blaze, a subsidiary of Prodigal Records (which, in keeping things full-circle, was distributed at one point by Motown). It was commerically unsuccessful upon its release in 1975 (it was Blaze's first and only 45) and Ashford, like the rest of the Funk Brothers, remained an obscure figure until the documentary came along. "Do the Choo-Choo" is a nice piece of funky fluff, featuring good percussion work, as one would expect. Get on down with the tambourine man!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Too Hip For Nashboro!

The Dixie Nightingales - The Assassination

The story of the Dixie Nightingales, who would eventually become the Stax soul group Ollie & The Nightingales, has been covered in a prior post. As mentioned then, "The Assassination" had been deemed by gospel powerhouse Nashboro records as not being a gospel song, as it didn't refer to God or Jesus in any way, rather serving as a lamentation of the assassination of JFK (which had particular resonance in the black community, despite the somewhat inaccurate belief that JFK championed the civil rights movement - Kennedy's strategy was one of moderation in order to appease Southern Democrats; it wouldn't be until Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 that a President would openly side with the movement - in addition to various musical works memorializing the JFK assassination, Rev. O.L. Holiday released a sermon entitled The Assassination of John F. Kennedy and the Crucifixion of Jesus!) Fortunately for Ollie and the group, Stax Records' new Chalice label was very receptive to the concept, and this atmospheric record is the great result. It's haunting and beautiful.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Soul-Blues Saturday: More ICA Soul!

Vernon Garrett - I'm at the Crossroad (Pt. 1)

I discussed Al Bell and his first post-Stax venture, ICA, in the last "Soul-Blues Saturday" post. Vernon Garrett is no stranger to serious soul fans, with great records for Kent/Modern such as "Shine It On" being long-time favorites. "I'm at the Crossroad," a 1977 ICA single, comes pretty close to Tyrone Davis territory: "Crossroad" bears a resemblance to "Turning Point," both lyrically and musically.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Get on Down With the (Actual) A-Side!

Cliff Nobles - Love Is All Right

I have told the story of Cliff Nobles and "The Horse" in an earlier post, so I'll defer to it. If you have ever owned a 45 of "The Horse" or are pretty knowledgable about classic soul you've heard this, but for those of you who have only heard it on oldies radio, dig how the famous groove complements the lyrics to this song. It's a hot one!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Otis, Doing Nursery Rhymes? As Chuck Jackson?

Otis Redding - Mary Had a Little Lamb

Today's selection is one of the stranger recordings in Otis Redding's discography. The 1963 recording "Mary Had a Little Lamb" was the B-side of "That's What My Heart Needs," Otis' second Volt 45. Otis' first hit, "These Arms of Mine," set the tone for most of his early Volt A-sides, but here Redding attempted to emulate Chuck Jackson's husky pop-soul sound over a nice latin-tinged groove. Redding doesn't really pull it off , but it's actaully a pretty good record, considering its nursery rhyme origins. It almost works as a fairly serious recording, except for when Otis drops the lyric "you can even do the twist" in the last verse and someone in the band starts going "baaa" in the coda.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

When David Met Michael

David Ruffin - I Want You Back

As Motown Records moved into the 1970s, a sea change in its history was in the making: Diana Ross had left the Supremes, whose pop chart success would slacken thereafter (although the group would stick around on Motown for more hits until 1976 or so); the Jackson 5 were breaking out as Motown's dynamite act; the Four Tops were feeling restless and would leave the label in 1972; Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder would wrest creative control from Berry Gordy and release masterpieces that varied greatly from the original "Motown sound"; and the label would make the move from Detroit to Los Angeles, effectively ending the label's golden era. David Ruffin, whose lead vocals had graced many hits for the Temptations before his dismissal from the group in 1968, was also finding his solo career running out of steam. Although he had hit right out of the gate with "My Whole World Ended," Ruffin's subsequent records were not faring so well. I'm sure that this cool streak, coupled with Ruffin's difficult personality, caused Motown to shelve a planned 1971 album on Ruffin, who, fortunately, did get another go of things and hit with "Walk Away From Love" later in the decade. The unreleased album was finally issued as David by Hip-O Select in 2004 and is worth checking out, as it's top-notch material.

With all the changes going on at Motown, it seems only appropriate that one of the tunes on the album was a cover of the Jackson 5's debut smash "I Want You Back," representing a changing of the guard of sorts at the label. Ruffin's gritty vocals take the song out of the realm of bubblegum (and, in my opinion, but not to slight the classic version, his vocals make the lyrics intelligible) and he really sells the song. This version was also included on the great Motown Sings Motown Treasures comp, which is a major treat in itself. Check out this set as well; you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Somehow, This Seems Appropriate On Election Day

James Brown - Don't Tell a Lie About Me and I Won't Tell the Truth on You

Now that my $800 is back, I can go back to focusing on two of my favorite things, soul music and politics :) Today is Election Day, and the nation waits with bated breath to see whether the Democrats will regain control of the House and/or Senate. Here in Georgia we vote for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, a House seat (which is not in my district) and other officials. For the last few weeks the candidates have, for the most part, run very negative ads against each other (the governor, enjoying the incumbent's advantage and high favor in the polls, has taken a softer approach), so today's selection came to mind.

Today's awesome-titled tune came from James' 1974 LP Hell, which would be the last major album of his discography, yielding two R&B #1 hits with "Papa Don't Take No Mess" and "My Thang." Although he was billing himself as the "Minister of the New New Heavy Funk," James' dominance in the R&B marketplace was beginning to slip in the wake of Philly soul and disco. Apart from hits like "Funky President" and the disco-informed "Bodyheat" and "It's Too Funky In Here," James' subsequent recordings would bring diminished returns until 1986's "Living In America" gave him a second wave of successes, which were scuttled by his legal problems of the late '80s and early '90s. "Don't Tell a Lie" features a very attractive stepping funk groove over which James explores the title's premise in his usual stream-of-consciousness way while the background singers work out the riff "you don't have to tell a lie." It's heavy, heavy funk indeed, and the line that rings strongest in light of today's election comes at about two minutes in: "a lie is a lie, and people can smell it, in about the time it takes to tell it."

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Note To A Thief

The Bethlehem Gospel Singers - My God Can See You

This morning I learned that a crook had cloned my check card and stole $800 from my bank account. Fortunately the folks at the bank are on the case, and my money will be returned to me. Today's selection is a message to whoever was involved with the theft: my God can see you; if He saw Adam and Eve commit the original sin, and if He saw the murders of Abel, Abraham Lincoln, JFK, MLK and RFK, as lead singer James MacLean says, then He's surely got your number!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Anniversary Show, in Stereo and Mono!

The new podcast is now available! This "Anniversary Special" features tunes that have appeared on the blog this past year. The playlist is as follows:

1. Rodge Martin - Lovin' Machine
2. Lee Dorsey - Occapella
3. Grady Tate - Be Black Baby
4. Laura Lee - I Need It Just As Bad As You
5. Gene Chandler - In My Body's House
6. Little Sonny - The Creeper
7. John R - "Soul Medallion" Ad
8. Jimmy Lewis - The Girls From Texas
9. Nickie Lee - And Black Is Beautiful
10. Dorothy Love Coates - Trouble
11. Nina Simone - Buck
12. The Meters - Chicken Strut
13. The Avons - Tell Me Baby (Who Would I Be)
14. The Staple Singers - When Will We Be Paid
15. Freddie Scott - (You) Got What I Need
16. Fontella Bass - Coca-Cola Ad
17. Bill Doggett - Honky Tonk Popcorn
18. Tony Alvon & The Belairs - Sexy Coffee Pot
19. The Village Soul Choir - The Cat Walk
20. Candi Staton - Do It In The Name Of Love
21. Little Lois Barber - Specify
22. J. Hines & The Fellows - Victory Strut (closing theme)

In connection with prior discussions regarding the problems some were having downloading the show, I heeded Hot Slop host Rob Baker's advice and encoded a mix of the show in glorious mono, which cut the file size down dramatically (18 MB). I will let that version be the one that's available on iTunes, and will provide both the stereo (84 MB) and mono mixes here. Enjoy!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Money Mu$ic

A.C. Reed - I Got Money To Burn

Well, here at work we have just closed a $1.5 billion portion of a $6 billion deal, a major payoff by any definition. Suddently this song seemed appropriate :) Singer and saxophonist A.C. Reed recorded a lot of great blues, soul and funk in the '60s and '70s, although the biggest brush of fame came in the latter part of his life, as he cut a string of great blues records and made appearances in blues clubs as a cynical curmudgeon who was tired of the non-renumerative bluesman's life (one album, titled "I'm In The Wrong Business!" showed Reed tossing his sax into a trash can, and when I saw him live at the Kingston Mines in Chicago back in 1999 he ended a lot of his songs with the phrase "... and that's enough of that shit"). "I Got Money To Burn," then, is a much earlier recording, and it's a nice rambling blues to celebrate a big deal with. Of course, like Reed, the glory of the deal will be non-renumerative for me!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Anniversary Soul!

The Presidents - 5-10-15-20 (25-30 Years of Love)

Unfortunately, I didn't get to record the podcast last night, so the anniversary show will have to wait until the weekend. I wanted to have an "anniversary song" for today's post, though, and today's selection fits the bill nicely.

The Presidents were a Washington, D.C.-based trio whose style featured great harmony singing with only intermittent lead vocal work, giving their music a warmness that epitomizes the East Coast sweet soul sound. Their "5-10-15-20 (25-30 Years of Love)" was a big pop and R&B hit in 1971, and for good reason: if you aren't impressed with the great harmony singing by the group, try getting the song's hook out of your head once you've heard it. The group would continue to record for Sussex for a few more years and would then change their name and change labels, recording into the 1980s but never again sparking the kind of magic that "5-10-15-20" did. Fortunately for us soul fans, their one hit has all the magic we need.

Although this blog is not near "5-10-15-20 (25-30)" yet, I am glad to feel all the love that has come about in this one year. Look out this weekend for the podcast!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Get on Down With Our First Anniversary!

Tomorrow will mark the one-year anniversary of the "Get on Down" blog and Thursday will be the one-year anniversary of the podcast! When I first created this Blogger site a couple of months prior to then, I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do and I had to work out some technical issues. After I attended "Rhythm & Booze" for the first time in October 2005 I knew what I wanted to do, and so the blog and podcast started in earnest, with Rodge Martin's "Lovin' Machine" kicking things off. Since then, I have made 361 almost-daily posts (362, counting this one) and have featured 363 individual tunes. I have recorded eleven episodes of the podcast, memorial sets for Lou Rawls and Wilson Pickett, a "Mr. Big Stuff" set and the two-part "Rhythm & Booze" special, which add another 303 tunes to the total. And I'm adding one more tune (Leroy Hutson - Don't It Make You Feel Good) just to make the total 667 instead of 666!

If all goes well I plan to record the "Get on Down ..." anniversary special tonight and will have it online tomorrow. As I mentioned earlier, the podcast will feature tunes featured in prior posts that were deemed reader favorites and will pick a few favorites of my own! Look out for it!

It's been so much fun to do this blog and podcast and I thank all of you who have been so kind and helpful over this past year in this enterprise. Love to all of you ... let's get it on with Year #2 of "Get on Down With the Stepfather of Soul"!

Dave Hamilton's Eccentric Soul

James Lately - Tears Running and Falling From My Eyes

Detroit soul man Dave Hamilton and his productions were featured in a week of posts not too long ago. The first of the sundry labels Hamilton would run from the '60s through the '80s was called Temple, and one of Temple's acts was the mysterious James Lately. Both today's selection and "Love, Friends and Money" (which appeared on Kent's Dave Hamilton's Detroit Dancers Vol. 1 but appeared in final form on Vol. 3 of the series) find Lately providing meandering vocals over very atmospheric backing tracks. On "Tears Running and Falling From My Eyes" he very successfully puts over the disorientation and heartache that a broken relationship can create, managing to negate the premise of "Love, Friends and Money" in the process and providing one such stark lines as "Am I living on this earth? No - I'm just existing without you." It's a little odd, but it's very good.