Monday, December 29, 2008

RIP Benny Gordon

Benny Gordon & The Soul Brothers - Give a Damn (About Your Fellow Man)

I hate it when RIP posts start springing up throughout the soul blogosphere, but I have learned from my man Red Kelly that Benny Gordon passed away on Christmas Eve. I'll defer to Red's blog for more info about Gordon and will simply post a tune I'd been intending to feature for awhile anyway. The funk favorite "Give a Dam" is a stone groover from the get-go, with Gordon kicking things off with a James Brown-ish grunt and then pushing through the awesome call-and-response message song, summoning a little Edwin Starr along the way. "War! Stop the war somebody, please ... I ask ya what's it for ... I tell ya it's a shame, when you have to kill a man, Lord, and you don't know his name." Powerful stuff indeed! RIP Benny.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

RIP Robert Ward

Robert Ward & The Ohio Untouchables - Touch Me Not

Greetings, wonderful people! I hope the holiday season has been good to you! I know that my posting here has been very very sporadic lately. Honestly, the situation discussed in the "DMCA Blues" post almost brought me to the verge of closing down the site, but I think I'll just soldier on for awhile, and I think if push comes to shove, I'll just take the site private. We'll see how that goes. My resolution for 2009, at any rate, is to pick up the frequency of my posting to the level it was at prior to my taking the bar exam, etc. There's too much good soul music to discuss!

This week, the singer/guitarist Robert Ward, whose comeback story resulted in some fine blues albums of the '90s and beyond after an earlier stab at success as the leader of the Ohio Untouchables (who became the Ohio Players some time after he left the group in 1965) and as a session musician, passed away. Ward's watery guitar sound, by way of a Magneto amp, resulted in lots of fine sides in the early '60s for LuPine, including today's selection. "Touch Me Not" is an awesome instrumental which, despite featuring some hot saxophone solos, shows off Ward's guitar work over a groove that leaves the listener with no choice but to "get on down"!

It's fortunate that Ward was rediscovered in the early '90s and got the chance to get the recognition he deserved before his death. His fine talent will be missed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Georgia Soul Time!

Langston & French - Tumbling Down (stream only)

Kudos are in order for Georgia Soul's Brian Poust, who is featured in the new issue of Stomp and Stammer in connection with the magazine's feature on the Numero comp Eccentric Soul: The Tragar and Note Labels, which Brian helped put together. The article spotlights Poust's journey in unearthing information and recordings from the Atlanta soul label and some of the musicians who made the rare records featured on the two-disc comp.

Today's selection comes from that comp. Langston George was the "fourth Pip" in the early years of Gladys Knight & The Pips, and he hooked up with Charles French to record the great Southern soul ballad "Tumbling Down," not to be confused with the James Fry record on Hi of the same name. The two men nail the ballad with their solo parts and harmonizing, and their voices remind me somewhat of Nashville soulsters Earl Gaines and Jimmy Church. It's a fine recording, one of the many that earn that distinction on the comp!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

DMCA Blues

I received this email from Blogger yesterday:

Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in your blog infringes upon the copyrights of others. The URL(s) of the allegedly infringing post(s) may be found at the end of this message.

The notice that we received from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the record companies it represents, with any personally identifying information removed, will be posted online by a service called Chilling Effects at We do this in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Please note that it may take Chilling Effects up to several weeks to post the notice online at the link provided.

The IFPI is a trade association that represents over 1,400 major and independent record companies in the US and internationally who create, manufacture and distribute sound recordings (the "IFPI Represented Companies").

The DMCA is a United States copyright law that provides guidelines for online service provider liability in case of copyright infringement. We are in the process of removing from our servers the links that allegedly infringe upon the copyrights of others. If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits. See for more information about the DMCA, and see for the process that Blogger requires in order to make a DMCA complaint.

Blogger can reinstate these posts upon receipt of a counter notification pursuant to sections 512(g)(2) and 3) of the DMCA. For more information about the requirements of a counter notification and a link to a sample counter notification, see

Please note that repeated violations to our Terms of Service may result in further remedial action taken against your Blogger account. If you have legal questions about this notification, you should retain your own legal counsel. If you have any other questions about this notification, please let us know.


The Blogger Team

Affected URLs:

Several of my fellow soul bloggers have received similar notices fairly recently, which means that the copyright battle about online music has now moved from the world of Napster and file sharing to the blogging world. I had expected for some time that such a notice would cross my path, considering the relatively prolific posting that I do. As an attorney who has taken an intellectual property class or two, I am quite aware of the arguments made by the music industry about digital music sources, and in general I agree with them. It was in consideration of these arguments that I put a disclaimer on this blog some time ago to the effect that all material on this blog is copyrighted, that it is only here for noncommercial use (per the "fair use doctrine") and that if any objections existed that I would remove such offending material. I think it is clear that all music bloggers operate under such good faith attempts to share great music without breaking copyright law, but one man's "good faith" is another man's thievery, and Blogger, understandably, wants to stay out of the fray as much as possible. However, it does sadden me to see that I have to share my passion for great music under the cloud of impersonal legalese from Blogger.

So what to do? I am certainly disinclined to close up shop and file "Get on Down ..." away as a pleasant three-year online adventure, but I don't want Blogger to close down the blog arbitrarily should the IFPI, RIAA or any other organization protest about any content I have here. For the moment, my attempt at a compromise will be to continue the blog here on Blogger but make all posts "stream only" while I search for a different location to host the blog. Can any of my fellow bloggers who use Wordpress offer their opinion as to such matters? I would appreciate it.