Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Call Me "Sir"!

Lattimore Brown - Bag of Tricks

Although I had heard of Sir Lattimore Brown before ever seeing any episodes of the 1966 R&B TV series The Beat!!!!, to see the wiry Brown strut his stuff lip-syncing his Sound Stage Seven recordings and tearing through covers of other songs of the day reminds me what was so magical about the classic soul era - a lot of artists who never broke into the big time (for just or unjust reasons) were out there, working the boards, absolutely full of soul. Today's selection shows why Lattimore Brown clearly fit that category.

The liner notes to Charly's Sound Stage Seven Story note that SS7 producer John Richbourg (WLAC's "John R") had problems with Brown because he had a hard time staying in tune when he sang. There's some truth to this, as Brown sang with so much soul that he bordered on reckless abandon, although more restrained performances like "I'm Not Through Loving You" are Southern soul gems that deserved more commercial action than they received.
"Bag of Tricks," today's selection, features a nice arrangement - I love the strings in the opening - and Brown's exploration of the song's lyrics, which fall within the "you-do-me-wrong-but-I-can't-leave" bag. Brown tries to play it straight at first, but by the end he's shouting and screaming, but it really works! Get on down, "Sir"!

(EDITOR'S NOTE - After writing the post I happened to find a nice treasure trove of soul videos on YouTube that includes Brown's appearance on The Beat!!!! doing "Bag of Tricks," albeit with very poor lip-syncing. Check these videos out!)

(EDITOR'S SECOND NOTE - YouTube has pulled the plug on the user who shared these clips ... bummer!)

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