Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"Natural" Soul!

Towanda & The Total Destruction - Wear Your Natural Baby

Today's selection is one of those awesome records whose rarity has pushed its price into the stratosphere (well, at least for lower-tier collectors like me), but which has been made available for us "common folk" by CD compilation. I've seen listings online asserting that the "Towanda" singing lead on this one is Gloria Barnes, who acquired the "Towanda" name for a few releases during her tenure with producer Johnny Brantley. In Dangerous Rhythm's Colin Dilnot has a post on his blog featuring Gloria/Towanda and two posts featuring Johnny Brantley, and has penned the most comprehensive article so far about Brantley and his Vidalia Productions for the current issue (#5) of There's That Beat!, all of which are highly recommended, but this tune appears to be outside of the Brantley umbrella. Colin, or anyone, do you have any ideas?

Anorak info aside, "Wear Your Natural Baby" is, as one would expect, one of the many "black is beautiful"-themed songs focused on the Afro hairstyle, but on the first listen the listener is surprised by the smooth soul sound that comes forth and the very seductive vocals by Towanda. Here, Towanda admires a man's Afro and the strong message he's sending by wearing it. The mixture of politics and sensuality really works and the tune cooks nicely. The Romark 45 goes for a pretty penny or two (or forty-five thousand, considering that I see it offered online from a British seller for around US $450), so it's good that the tune is more easily acquired on the Goldmine CD Essential Mellow Groove!


Keeping Soul Alive said...

Hi Jason

Funny - I missed this post 1st time around!!!

As I understand it this Towanda is the daughter of Ty Karim who recorded the great Lighten Up. It has also been suggested that it was Ty Karim herself but I was only discussing the 45 this week and the consensus is that it is Ty's daughter.

Cheers and best wishes for Christmas


Amit said...

good one i like it