Monday, September 24, 2007

Finally Got It!

Willie Hobbs - Action

One thing I enjoy as a record collector is when, while digging for new stuff, I find a "wants list" record that had been somewhat elusive. I first heard of today's selection during an installment of the Atlanta Record Fair (which takes place every other month). I was checking out Kurt Wood's table along with Brian Phillips, and Brian pulled up this 45 on the Soft label and tried it out on the turntable. I was taken by it right away, but Brian certainly wanted to buy it, so I begrudgingly watched him pay for it, take it home and subsequently feature it on The Electrophonic Sound of Brian Phillips. Truth be told, I got over my disappointment enough to not pursue scoring a copy of it right away, but yesterday, at the September edition of the record fair, I was able to get a copy (albeit the re-release of the tune on Mercury) of my own to love and to cherish and to call George ... well, to love and to cherish and to prseent here!

I'll defer to Sir Shambling's profile of Willie Hobbs for Hobbs' bio and discography (and some nice audio files of other recordings). "Action" was released on Soft in 1968 and was re-issued on Le Cam and then Mercury within a year thereafter. The tune features a nice, rushing, piano-based groove, over which Hobbs bemoans his woman's "all talk but no action" stance toward romance. For some reason, I think this song is similar to, or a version of, a song by the same name by the Showmen that I heard years ago. Can anyone confirm this?

(UPDATE, 9/25/07 - Thanks to Cies' comments, the connection is made between the Showmen and Hobbs versions of the song. Thanks for your help!)


Cies said...

The Showmen - Action (Amy 11036) was produced by Papa Don Schroeder and can be found on the 2CD 'Looking For My Baby, Soul Treasures from Amy-Mala-Bell'. Good set with a lot of solid obscurities.
Both songs are similar with slightly different lyrics.

The Stepfather of Soul said...

I'm embarrassed to say that I actually own that set but had overlooked this. Thanks for illuminating this.

Cies said...

On both versions writer credits are given to Huffman & Dillard.

Brian said...

Great! You found a copy. With regards to the Showmen being in your collection, I can only say this:

You recommended "Spinning Blues Into Gold", which is about the Chess brothers and their labels. I wrote down the title and just this weekend I found a copy of this book in mint condition! a bin, in my basement, which means I have owned this book for about three or four years.


Brian said...

Also, the "(Moses) Dillard" credit makes sense, since he recorded for Mala for a time.