Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Shack's Good Advice

Shack - Watch the Dog

William Shack was half of the short-lived Memphis soul duo Chris & Shack, whose sole 45 for Volt was the swinging and sassy "Goodies." After the act dissolved (Rob Bowman relates in the second Stax/Volt Singles set liner notes that Patricia Becton - "Chris" - got pregnant not long after the record came out), the We Three production team (Homer Banks, Raymond Jackson and Bettye Crutcher) kept Shack aboard and two solo singles (under the "Shack" mononym) were released on Volt with little commercial success. Shack then faded, like so many unfortunate souls in soul history, into obscurity, but fortunately the four sides he recorded show off his fine, gospel-drenched vocals. "Watch the Dog" is a hard-hitting funky 45 that opens with a neat reggae-styled guitar thing and some barking dogs for effect. Shack delivers the song's cautionary lyrics with urgency and it really works. Inez Foxx would record a more dancefloor-oriented version of the tune for Volt a couple of years later (which I must also post, because it truly kicks butt), but for today Shack's hard-hitting funky soul advice will have to do.

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