Monday, March 03, 2008

Tangerines in South Carolina!

Andy Butler - Coming Apart at the Seams

My vacation in South Carolina is going well, and I'm eager to try to go on a little bit of a record dig today in Charleston! Keep your fingers crossed that I find some good stuff! In the meantime, however, eBay is delivering the goods for me lately and there will be some good stuff in my mailbox when I get back to Georgia, including today's selection.

Ray Charles started the Tangerine label when he joined ABC-Paramount in the early '60s. It appears that Brother Ray didn't put a lot of work into running the label, as most of the recordings appear to be leased in from various sources. Perhaps this loose approach to the record business (surprising, considering how astute Ray was about his own masters, etc.) contributed to the label having almost no chart presence beyond Percy Mayfield's 1963 remake of "The River's Invitation," Ray's own hits (Ray's TRC logo joined the ABC emblem on the labels of those records, although the 45s and LPs remained in ABC's numbering sequence), several 45s on the Raelets and the Ray Charles Orchestra's funky 45 classic "Booty Butt." At any rate, lots of great jazz, R&B, blues and soul came out on Tangerine until Ray left ABC in the early '70s (Ray's next venture was the Atlantic-distributed Crossover label) from artists like Mayfield and the Raelets but also Ike & Tina Turner (the Northern Soul classic "Dust My Broom"), Jimmy Lewis, Louis Jordan, the early Ohio Players, scads of relative unknowns and the eccentric jazz singer Jimmy Scott, whose Tangerine LP Falling in Love Is Wonderful was quickly withdrawn from the market due to some chicanery by Herman Lubinsky at Savoy, who claimed contract rights to Scott's sides! For some reason, the Tangerine catalogue has not received any CD attention. The only CDs I know of are Rhino Handmade's reissue of Falling in Love Is Wonderful and their comp of Percy Mayfield material and The Northern Soul of Tangerine, a comp whose legitimacy is uncertain. (See Colin Dilnot's In Dangerous Rhythm profile of this comp.) Someone needs to work with the Ray Charles estate post-haste to get this great stuff out!

Andy Butler's "Coming Apart at the Seams" has a lot of famous names on the label: Dee Ervin wrote it, Monk Higgins produced it and Wally Roker Music published it. The groove on this one suggests that Higgins recorded it in Chicago, perhaps with the Chess session guys. At any rate, the groove pushed along and Andy Butler's vocal soars nicely.


Dereck Curry said...

If you are still in Charleston on March 4th, drive over to Mt. Pleasant and hit A Dough Re Mi pizza. They have a weekly blues jam there with a great deal of talent. Musicians range from the teens to their fifties and really blow the roof off the place every week.

Villager said...

This is my first time visiting your blog. I like the flow and hope to return often...

peace, Villager

Isosceles Diego said...

Nice one!

I first heard this song on a version by the "Kittens Three" on the "Newark" label, a version that's a lot more...kitteny.


-Travis, Portland OR