Wednesday, April 14, 2010

RIP Harmon Bethea, Albeit Belated

Maskman & The Agents - Put on Your Shoes and Walk

During the unfortuante period in which this blog was inactive, R&B's "Maskman," Harmon Bethea, passed away at the age of 86. Bethea was no stranger to this blog, and various recordings of his under his name or "Maskman & The Agents" appeared in features or in podcasts. Bethea's '60s and '70s soul and funk records generally took on a humorous slant, as best demonstrated by his hit "One Eye Open" and a slew of follow-ups, but he could also deliver the goods on more serious material.

Today's selection is an example of a non-comic side. "Put on Your Shoes and Walk," as recorded by Clarence Carter in 1973, was featured in the earliest days of this blog, but I have since learned that Maskman & The Agents recorded the song in 1970. Although the stepping groove of the Carter record makes it a slight favorite of mine between the two, I do think that Maskman and company handle the song's lyrics better, and the tune's funky groove is appealing.

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