Thursday, May 11, 2006

Dave, Baby!

Dave "Baby" Cortez - Unaddressed Letter

Dave "Baby" Cortez (birth name David Clowney) made his mark in R&B mainly as an organist, scoring hits in the late '50s and early '60s with perky instrumentals such as "The Happy Organ" and "Rinky Dink" and recording great tunes like "Belly Rub (Pts. 1 & 2)" (this slinky striptease blues almost replaced Lafayette Leake's "After Hours" as the closing theme of the last podcast but consistency won out) and the '70s funk workout "Funky Robot" (which I need to post at a later time!) as well as the rare groove classic LP Baby Cortez The Isley Brothers Way. His vocal work, although very competent, is not as well-known, although I've heard vocal records by Cortez stretching back to the early '60s. Today's selection was released on Sylvia and Joe Robinson's All Platinum label as the flip to "Funky Robot (Pt. 1)." "Unaddressed Letter" is a very dramatic ballad, featuring heavy organ work by Dave and the string section and a mournful recitation by Dave. To me, there's something very haunting about the end of this record and it always puts a lump in my throat. Strange, but true.

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