Monday, May 26, 2008
Soul on the Air #8: Joe Cobb, 1972
Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a holiday of dual purpose: designed to commemorate soldiers who have died in service to their country, it also serves as the unofficial start of the summer season, so patriotic displays, memorials and barbecues end up sharing the three-day weekend. I thought it would only be appropriate to do a new "Soul on the Air" installment, this time featuring Joe "Youngblood" Cobb, doing his thing on WVON in the early morning of Memorial Day 1972. I don't know a whole lot about Cobb except that he was a WVON "Good Guy" from the mid-'60s into the '70s, that he cut the funky 45 classic "It's LB Time" for Ex-SPECT-More in 1972, and that he was one of the announcers on "Soul Train" (I think I read somewhere that it was Cobb who originally did the famous "Sooooooooooooooooooooul Train!" sound effect). I was tickled pink to acquire this aircheck awhile ago, and although it's way too short, it provides a great snapshot of Cobb's style.
The aircheck is partially scoped - that is, most of the music has been cut out, leaving only portions of Cobb's patter and some commercials. Fortunately, the portion of the aircheck featured here is unscoped. After a "happy holiday" jingle, Cobb starts playing Luther Ingram's "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right." After grousing about being on the air on a holiday ("I need to be at home getting my ribs together," he complains), he really gets into the song, tossing in interjections all the way through. "If loving you is a sin this morning, woman," he bellows, "I want [WVON gospel director and early-morning gospel DJ] Doc Lee to pray for me, 'cause I'm sho' 'nuff gonna sin!" It's just too much fun!