Friday, November 30, 2007
Paul "Sir Raggedy" Flagg - Shoo Fly Pie
As I noted some time ago in a post on E. Rodney Jones, quite a few disc jockeys in the heyday of soul radio tried their hand at cutting records. Although I think that Jones was the most prolific, I've also heard tunes by, just to name a few, Gary Byrd, Georgie Woods, Bernie Hayes, Frankie Crocker, John R, Joe Cobb, Ed Cook and Lucky Cordell. As noted in my prior post, most of these recordings found the DJ doing some monologue, patter, or dance instructions over recorded tracks. Atlanta's Paul "Sir Raggedy" Flagg, the late WIGO morning man, showed a bit more musical ability than his "boss jock" brethren, and with two Atlantic 45s and a subsequent Wand disc, Flagg laid down some fine pieces of funky Southern soul.
I will defer to the fine post that Brian Poust did on his Georgia Soul blog featuring Flagg for more details about Flagg, his WIGO career and his excellent Atlantic two-sider "What Did I Do Wrong (To You Baby)" b/w "Love Get Off My Shoulder." Today's feature is the B-side of Flagg's first Atlantic 45. Although the funky "Papa-Momma-Romper-Stomper" is a fine record, I'm partial to "Shoo Fly Pie." Flagg's gritty vocals work well over the rocking bass-and-guitar groove and the lyrics are bit more structured than they are on the flip, which, despite Flagg's singing, falls more in line with the traditional "DJ soul" records described above.
I mirror Poust's wish in his post about hearing some of Flagg's on-air work. Unfortunately, although there is a very large aircheck collector community on the internet, replete with aircheck websites, R&B material is woefully under-represented. I don't know whether this is because it didn't occur to people to tape off the radio (a highly unlikely proposition) or because the collector pool is mainly made of Top 40 fans. I own and have heard quite a bit of good material, but it's only a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of Top 40 stuff that's out there. Hopefully, someone, somewhere, will unearth more treasures from people like Flagg in order to illustrate the powerful role that those DJs played in black radio. In the meantime, would anyone be interested in me posting some of the airchecks on this blog? Let me know.