Thursday, March 29, 2007

Welfare Cheese!

Emanuel Laskey - Welfare Cheese

Detroit soulster Emanuel Laskey's long but unfortunately unheralded career is covered at length at Soulful Detroit, and he is featured in the new edition of There's That Beat fanzine. I'll defer to both of those fine resources for all the bio and discographical information about Laskey (also spelled "Lasky" in some places). Laskey's voice was slightly unusual, but when it was coupled with the awesome Detroit grooves that graced his 45s for Thelma, Westbound, Wild Deuce and other labels, Northern Soul magic was made.

Today's selection was his first record, which garnered 1963 release on Thelma, Don Davis' first label concern (Davis would, of course, go on to be part of Solid Hitbound Productions and its labels and then would make magic with Johnnie Taylor and others at Stax). "Welfare Cheese" is a nice groovy blues-based number which gave Laskey his first taste of success, albeit only regionally. It's noted at Soulful Detroit that the JFK assassination later in the year hurt the record due to its references to the late president, but it was certainly a strong start to Laskey's career and a great early Northern Soul record.

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