Sunday, March 27, 2011

RIP Sir Lattimore Brown

Sir Lattimore Brown - It's a Sad, Sad World

Red Kelly's e-mail this morning left me stunned. Sir Lattimore Brown was killed on Friday, March 25, when he was hit by a car while crossing the street near his home in Pensacola, Florida.

Lattimore was a true "soul survivor." He lost everything in Katrina, was brutally attacked and injured on the streets of Biloxi, Mississippi, and had survived a cancer scare. I know that when God is ready for us to go, it's time to go, but it is still stunning.

I cannot help but be thankful, however, that God allowed me, Red Kelly, Papa Don Schroeder, Susan Morris and others to be part of Lattimore's life and to get his story out there after years of terminal obscurity. (If you haven't read this amazing story already, see the Lattimore Brown links in the sidebar.) I will forever remember that April night when Lattimore took to the stage in New Orleans and showed that he remained a showman with a love of performing and a true joy of living.

I will post more as more information is available. Rest in peace, Lattimore. It's a sad, sad world indeed today.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Soul on the Air #16 - Mr. Vee, 1972

Listen Music - Embed Audio - Mr. Vee - WGRT Aircheck, Feb...

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Today's "Soul on the Air" feature returns to Chicago's WGRT, which, despite successfully running an R&B format alongside WVON throughout the late '60s and into the '70s (during which it changed calls to WJPC), has been overshadowed by 'VON in the history of Chicago radio. Despite this lack of renown, audio evidence shows that 'GRT had "great" taste in music, as illustrated by this aircheck.

I haven't been able to find out anything about Mr. Vee, which is unfortunate. This two-part aircheck features Vee holding court for an hour of February 11, 1972. After a news break, he gets the ball rolling with the Detroit Emeralds' "You Want It, You Got It." There's lots of surefire hits in this hour: in addition to the Detroit Emeralds record, Joe Tex's "I Gotcha," James Brown's "Talkin' Loud and Saying Nothing," "Jungle Fever" by the Chakachas and "That's the Way I Feel About Cha" by Bobby Womack get played. Of course, there are lesser-known tunes, such as Chicago soulster Otis Brown's "Who's Gonna Take Me Home" - declared a "Too Great to Wait" record and getting some replay from Mr. Vee - and "Our Favorite Melody" by Jimmy Ruffin.

There's other fun stuff here: there's an ad for Soul Soldier, a blaxploitation film about the "Buffalo Soldiers" of the 19th century ("black men who fought the red man for a white government that didn't give a damn about either," declares the announcer) and an Aretha Franklin drop-in when "Oh Me Oh My (I'm a Fool for You Baby)" is played; in addition, there are two playings of the "Sign of the Zodiac" game, whose awesome theme music ("(Pisces) Sign of the Zodiac" by the South Suburban Electric Strings, ironically produced by Richard Pegue, then one of the WVON "Good Guys") and groovy astrological profiles are coupled with a small cash prize (I know $8 - the jackpot in one of the games - went a lot farther in 1972 than now, but it seems low to me).

It's not surprising that this aircheck often pops up on eBay, because it's one of the better ones out there.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Get on Down with the Stepfather of Soul ...on Rockin' Radio!

Right after my guest appearance on Rockin' Radio's "Electro-Phonic Sound of Brian Phillips," I had the unplanned pleasure of substituting for DJ Blast on his "Oldies Time Traveler" January program. Make sure to go to Rockin' Radio and check out the show on the "Now Playing" page, along with all of the other programs! It's always a pleasure to join the Rockin' Radio family!