Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Stepfather's Teenage Folly

The Green Brothers - Can't Give You Up

As I mentioned in my biographical Vinyl Record Day post from August 2007, back when I was a teenaged record collector, buying my 45s mainly from Skaggs' junk store and other similar places, I would discard (sometimes by breaking) records that I didn't really care for. Looking back at that practice has lead me to realize that a great many discarded discs had value, artistically if not financially, that I ignorantly missed at the time. One of the records that received a kiss-off from me was the Green Brothers' 1975 Truth Records single "Dy-No-Mite (Did You Say My Love)." I bought the record because I knew that Truth was a Stax subsidiary, but the reggae-funk groove and the goofy proto-rap lyrics just didn't "click" with me. I don't think I broke the record (like I foolishly did with the O.B. McClinton 45s I bought at the same time), but I know that the record ended up in the garbage can. Years later, when I acquired The Complete Stax-Volt Soul Singles, Vol. 3: 1972-1975, I was able to revisit "Dy-No-Mite" (written by Duck Dunn and Mack Rice as an attempt to cash in on Jimmie "J.J." Walker's "Good Times" catchphrase) and, hearing it with a more learned ear and a better appreciation of its lyrics, I found it to be a pretty good tune. A return to the 45 this year, however, made the folly of my original discard much, much greater.

"Can't Give You Up" is the flip of "Dy-No-Mite," and I really don't know how I missed it at the time. (Too many years have passed for me to remember whether or not the copy of "Dy-No-Mite" I had bought was a DJ copy, but I'm going to say that it was so that I can have a reasonable excuse for missing it!) This song really should've been the A-side instead of "Dy-No-Mite": the Green Brothers' vocals (both in harmony and in interplay with each other) are outstanding - dig the falsetto in the first verse and the following turnaround - and the stepping Southern soul groove is great. It appears that the song has only been comped once, on Deep Dip Into Memphis Soul, but the 45 can be had for a reasonable price. Don't make my teenage mistake; get on down with this one!


Private Beach said...

I’ll look up Dy-No-Mite on The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles Vol. 3, which I was lucky enough to pick up for only HK$99 (about US$12.70) because the box was slightly damaged - and, I guess, because there aren't that many soul fans here in Hong Kong. Wish I could afford Volumes 1 and 2!

crucialtheguillotine said...

that was al greens group ??

was it not.? the green brothers.

The Stepfather of Soul said...

Truthfully, I don't know. And further complicating my unsurety is that the BMI website shows that the writers of the song are Al and Bobby Green. Can anyone clear this up for me?