Saturday, May 06, 2006

Funky Philly Saturday!

Cliff Nobles & Co. - The Camel

Sometimes the breaks go the wrong way. Singer Cliff Nobles cut a hot single called "Love Is All Right" for the Philly soul label Phil.-L.A. of Soul, then hot with hits like the Fantastic Johnny C's "Boogaloo Down Broadway." Either because of a lack of material or cost-cutting measures, the single came out with only the instrumental track on the flip. DJs and fans, however, liked the groove better than Nobles' shouted vocals, and the B-side, "The Horse," went on to be a smash hit and a staple for oldies radio and high-school marching bands. Although Nobles would appear as a vocalist for further singles on Phil.-L.A. of Soul and other labels, "Cliff Nobles & Co." was an instrumental act of its own for a few years, and today's single is my favorite of the several "Horse" follow-ups released by the label. "The Camel" is a fast and furious, "take no prisoners" romp with great horn and guitar work.

PS: The first Phil.-L.A. of Soul 45 I ever heard was my parents' copy of "Boogaloo Down Broadway," and the distinctive label logo caught my eye as well (hence the picture attached to this entry; yes, I know it's not the label for "The Camel"). I have learned a little bitty bit about the label, mainly in terms of learning some of the acts that recorded for the label and some of the hits they had (Fantastic Johnny C, People's Choice, The Soul Brother Six, etc.) I've looked online but haven't seen a good write-up of the label. Does anyone know of a good website/article/etc. that tells the story of the label? I'd be glad to read it.

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