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GEORGE JACKSON – LET THE BEST MAN WIN – The FAME Recordings Volume 2 CDKEND 380
More great unissued 1960s FAME recordings by this genius of Southern soul songwriting. By Dean Rudland
George Jackson: “When Wilson Pickett heard the demos for the ‘Hey Jude’ session, he said to Rick Hall, ‘This guy really can sing. He’s so soulful.’ He told Jerry Wexler, he told Tom Dowd, ‘You really should record this guy’. It was hard enough to get Pickett to compliment anybody, but he gave me a very good compliment on
those demos.” The slender, smartly dressed man in his late 60s is rightfully proud as he repeats the high praise from one of soul music’s greatest stars. Tony Rounce and I had travelled for nearly five hours in treacherous conditions to get from Muscle Shoals to Jackson, Mississippi for a 10 o’clock interview with the man we consider one of Southern soul’s finest songwriters. We, like many others, also consider him to be one of its greatest performers, but while he has written career-defining hits for Candi Staton, Clarence Carter, Otis Clay, Z.Z. Hill, Bob Seger and others, his own chart run consists of just two Top 50 R&B hits. Near the top of our list of questions was why he never became the hit recording artist his songs and voice warranted. Over the course of an hour he answered all our questions and even gave us a sneak preview of a new song. Describing how he would write a song, he decided that a demonstration would be better, and moving over to the piano in the corner he did just that. It was a performance that will live with me forever; his voice
MINI SKIRT MINNIE • GET IT WHEN I WANT IT • I’M JUST A PRISONER • VICTIM OF A FOOLISH HEART • TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT • I BIT OFF MORE THAN I CAN CHEW • LET ME COMFORT YOU • FORBIDDEN LOVE • LOOKING FOR SOME ACTION • SAVE ME • LET THE BEST MAN WIN • HIT & RUN • I LIVED THROUGH A LOSING BATTLE • HOLD THAT FEELING • MY NERVES FAIL • LOVE CAME KNOCKING AT YOUR DOOR • POLLUTION • IT’S NOT SAFE TO MESS ON ME • SOUL LOVIN’ • YOUR LOVE LIFTED ME • I’M LIVING GOOD • DARKEST HOUR IS BEFORE DAWN • YOU GOT A LOT TO LIKE • AIN’T THAT SOME GOOD LOVIN
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Courtesy of Fame Records
is still in perfect shape and his songwriting ability doesn’t appear to have slipped either. This will be Ace’s third full CD of George Jackson recordings. The first set comprised tracks cut at Gene Lucchesi’s Sounds Of Memphis studio in the mid-70s. The second was “Don’t Count Me Out”, our first volume of recordings made for Rick Hall at FAME in the late 60s. As we researched the FAME tapes, we were at times overwhelmed by the vast number of recordings George made there. It seems he was not only writing and recording every day, but the songs he wrote were rarely anything less than excellent. “Don’t
Also available, the Fame Studios Story (KENTBOX 12)
Count Me Out” premiered some fine original versions of songs well-known by other artists, as well as others which were never placed. We have repeated that formula here on “Let The Best Man Win”, which features George’s takes on songs considered classics of the Southern soul genre in performances by Clarence Carter, Candi Staton, Bettye Swann, Wilson Pickett and others, plus some previously unknown gems from his pen. The earliest of these recordings have George backed by the classic FAME house band of David Hood, Roger Hawkins, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Beckett., while on the later tracks he is joined by the Fame Gang.
A NEW VINYL SINGLES SERIES – AVAILABLE ONLY ON OUR NEW-LOOK WEBSITE
GEORGE JACKSON – VICTIM OF A FOOLISH HEART / GETTING THE BILLS (BUT NO MERCHANDISE) NW 501 Welcome to the Ace Records Singles Club Every month we aim to release a web exclusive vinyl 45, featuring previously unreleased or rare material on an authentic-looking label. Each 45 will tie in with one of our CD releases for the month in question, and will showcase repertoire from each and every genre of the music that appears across the Ace family of labels. For our opening salvo we have an absolute gem, from southern soul great George Jackson. George was inhouse songwriter for Rick Hall’s Fame Records in Muscle Shoals from1968 well into the1970s, and wrote hits for, amongst others, Candi Staton, Wilson Pickett and Clarence Carter. He was also a great performer, but his demand as a songwriter kept his recording career very much in the background. In the last year we have found a host of wonderful recordings by George in the
Fame vaults and to tie in with the second volume of his Fame Recordings “Let The Best Man Win”, we are coupling two of the tracks on a 7 inch single. The A-side is the wonderful ‘Victim of A Foolish Heart’ which we think was recorded as a follow-up to George’s two released Fame singles, but shelved in favour of Bettye Swann’s version which was released on Atlantic. It was later covered by Joss Stone on her multi million-selling “Soul Sessions” album. The flip is George’s take on ‘Getting The Bills (But No Merchandise)’ which has a betterknown version by Clarence Carter. All Singles Club releases are limited editions available exclusively via the new Ace website – and once they’re gone, they’re gone – so pre-order your copy now: acerecords.com RIGHT TRACK 195
ACTION! THE SONGS OF TOMMY BOYCE & BOBBY HART CDTOP 1335
The latest in our popular songwriter series spotlights the duo noted for the gems they penned for the Monkees. By Mick Patrick
The latest in our popular songwriter series spotlights Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, the duo whose instinctive marriage of folk-rock and prebubblegum teen pop created and defined the Monkees sound. Boyce and Hart each started out as teenage rock’n’rollers in late 1950s Los Angeles and first met in 1960. Their formative years are represented here with ‘Be My Guest’, written by Boyce for Fats Domino in 1959, ‘Beverly Jean’, one of the handful of Boyce compositions recorded by Curtis Lee and ‘Too Many Teardrops’, an early Bobby Hart solo single. By 1963 both had relocated to New York, where they began writing as
a team. They made their big breakthrough the following year with ‘Come A Little Bit Closer’, a Top 3 hit for Jay & the Americans, which helped land the twosome a contract with leading music publishers Screen Gems. They reached the peak of their success and creativity in 1966, writing
I WONDER WHAT SHE’S DOING TONIGHT – TOMMY BOYCE & BOBBY HART • VALLERI / P.O. BOX 9847 / (THEME FROM) THE MONKEES – MONKEES • ACTION, ACTION, ACTION – KEITH ALLISON • I’M NOT YOUR STEPPING STONE – FLIES • TOMORROW’S GONNA BE ANOTHER DAY – SIR RALEIGH & THE CUPONS • WORDS – REGENTS • LAST TRAIN TO CLARKSVILLE – STANDELLS • (HE’S GONNA BE) FINE, FINE, FINE – IKETTES • SHE – DEL SHANNON • COME A LITTLE BIT CLOSER – JAY & THE AMERICANS • THE DUM DUM DITTY – SHANGRI-LAS • I CAN’T GET HIM OUT OF MY MIND – SANDRA GEE • HURT SO BAD – LITTLE ANTHONY & THE IMPERIALS • THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME – SAPPHIRES • IF YOU’RE THINKIN’ WHAT I’M THINKIN’ – DINO, DESI & BILLY • SEVEN DAYS IN SEPTEMBER – GINGER & THE SNAPS • NEVER AGAIN – ROYALETTES • I GOTTA FIND CUPID – GARY LEWIS & THE PLAYBOYS • BEVERLY JEAN – CURTIS LEE • TOO MANY TEARDROPS – BOBBY HART • BE MY GUEST – FATS DOMINO • LAZY ELSIE MOLLY – CHUBBY CHECKER • ACTION – PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS • DICCI COME FINI (PEACHES ‘N’ CREAM) – HONEYBEATS
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for and producing the Monkees. Three of the group’s best recordings are here, and a further six songs popularised by them are featured in less-frequently heard, but equally good, mostly pre-Monkees versions, including ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone’ by UK fuzz-beat combo the Flies and ‘She’, an almost hit for Del Shannon. By the end of 1966 the Monkees had recorded nearly 50 titles, 21 of them Boyce and Hart songs – quite an achievement considering they were in competition with Carole King, Gerry Goffin and the rest of the Screen Gems stable. Apart from the duo’s joint compositions, the collection also features examples of their work with other co-writers. ‘Never Again’ by the Royalettes and ‘Hurt So Bad’, as defined by Little Anthony & the
Imperials, stem from Bobby Hart’s spell collaborating with Teddy Randazzo. ‘Action’ – the theme for TV’s Where The Action Is, here by Paul Revere & the Raiders – and ‘Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day’ by Sir Raleigh & the Cupons represent Tommy Boyce’s brief partnership with Steve Venet. And Wes Farrell gets a look-in via three songs co-written with Boyce and Hart. Come 1969 Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart were stars in their own right, with four hit singles and three albums to their name. This CD kicks off with ‘I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight’, a power-pop precursor from 1967 and the pair’s biggest hit as performers. Fats Domino EP courtesy John Broven Monkees Single courtesy Howard Williams Ikettes EP courtesy Brian Nevill
THE RAMONES HEARD THEM HERE FIRST
Punk fans know and love these songs by the Ramones. Here’s where Joey and the guys first heard them. By Mick Patrick
There’s no mistaking a Ramones song. The funny thing is, throughout their career, the band paid tribute to their roots and influences by peppering their albums with versions of their favourites by other artists, making them sound like Ramones songs too. To see what I mean, try listening to this CD without
lurching into ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’, ‘Carbona Not Glue’ or ‘I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend’. Sequenced in the order in which the Ramones cut the songs, this collection kicks off with Chris Montez’s original of ‘Let’s Dance’, which the band revived on their debut album “Ramones” in 1976. In some instances, rather than be pedantic about original versions, some songs are included in the renditions first heard by the Ramones. Hence ‘California Sun’, featured on their second album “Leave Home”, is heard here by the Rivieras (not Joe Jones); ‘Surfin’ Bird’ and ‘Do You Wanna Dance’, from 1977’s “Rocket To Russia”, are by the Trashmen and the Beach Boys (as opposed to the Rivingtons and Bobby Freeman); and ‘Needles And Pins”, from their fourth LP “Road To Ruin”, is by the Searchers (rather than Jackie DeShannon). In 1978 the guys teamed up with the Paley Brothers for an update of Ritchie Valens’ ‘Come On, Let’s Go’, a childhood favourite of Joey Ramone; the band’s 1980 album “End Of The Century”, produced by Joey’s hero Phil
LET’S DANCE – CHRIS MONTEZ • CALIFORNIA SUN – RIVIERAS • SURFIN’ BIRD – TRASHMEN • DO YOU WANNA DANCE / SURFIN’ SAFARI – BEACH BOYS • NEEDLES AND PINS – SEARCHERS • COME ON, LET’S GO – RITCHIE VALENS • BABY I LOVE YOU – RONETTES • I GOT YOU BABE – SONNY & CHER • LITTLE BIT O’ SOUL – MUSIC EXPLOSION • TIME HAS COME TODAY – CHAMBERS BROTHERS • INDIAN GIVER – 1910 FRUITGUM CO • SURF CITY – JAN & DEAN • I CAN’T CONTROL MYSELF – TROGGS • MY BACK PAGES – BYRDS • CAN’T SEEM TO MAKE YOU MINE – SEEDS • SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME – MAX FROST & THE TROOPERS • JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE MIND – AMBOY DUKES • SOMEBODY TO LOVE – JEFFERSON AIRPLANE • 7 AND 7 IS – LOVE • I DON’T WANNA GROW UP – TOM WAITS • R.A.M.O.N.E.S. – MOTORHEAD • 1969 – STOOGES • WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD – LOUIS ARMSTRONG
Spector, contained a revival the Ronettes’ ‘Baby I Love You’; and in 1982 Joey got together with Holly (of Holly & the Italians) to cut a version of Sonny & Cher’s ‘I Got You Babe’. ‘Little Bit O’ Soul’, here by the Music Explosion, and ‘Time Has Come Today’ by the Chambers Brothers were both revamped by the band on 1983’s “Subterranean Jungle”. The sessions also yielded a version of the 1910 Fruitgum Co’s ‘Indian Giver’, which sneaked out on the Bside of a 12-inch single in 1987. In 1993 the Ramones released “Acid Eaters”, an entire album of cover versions, represented on this CD by Jan & Dean’s ‘Surf City’, the Troggs’ ‘I Can’t Control Myself’, the Byrds’ ‘My Back Pages’, the Seeds’ ‘Can’t Seem To Make You Mine’, Max Frost & the Troopers’ ‘Shape Of Things To Come’, the Amboy Dukes’ ‘Journey To The Center Of The Mind’, Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Somebody To Love’ and Love’s ‘7 And 7 Is’. The Japan and Brazil editions of the album also contained the
band’s version of the Beach Boys’ ‘Surfin’ Safari’. “Adios Amigos”, the Ramones’ farewell album of 1995, included their version of Tom Waits’ ‘I Don’t Wanna Grow Up’. Waits repaid the compliment by contributing a cover of the band’s ‘The Return Of Jackie And Judy’ for the Ramones tribute album “We’re A Happy Family”. It’s not every day that one band records a tribute to another, but Motorhead did just that with ‘R.A.M.O.N.E.S.’ on their 1991 album “1916”. In return, the Ramones’ own version of the song was included on the Japan edition of “Adios Amigos”. The set concludes with the Stooges’ ‘1969’ and, poignantly, Louis Armstrong’s ‘What A Wonderful World’, as covered on Joey’s solo album “Don’t Worry About Me”, released in 2002, by which time he, Johnny and Dee Dee were dead. The Ramones were no more. See, poignant. Memorabilia courtesy Mick Patrick and Colm O’Brien
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JOE BARRY – A FOOL TO CARE – CLASSIC RECORDINGS 1960-1977 The master takes of all the important 60s and 70s recordings by this first tier swamp pop singer, the man who put South Louisiana into rock’n’roll’s hall of fame. Many issued in stereo for the first time. By Tony Rounce It may surprise some Right Track readers to learn that many musicians from South Louisiana do not like their music to be categorised as swamp pop (a term coined originally by music writer Bill Millar). For the rest of us, it feels like the perfect way to describe the rolling rhythms and unique vocals that define the great records which came out of the area between the latter 1950s and the mid-60s. Whether
he would have liked to be defined by said term or not, Louisiana’s Joe Barry is one of the greatest exponents of the genre, and the recordings that he made between 1959 and 1964 in
Disc One: SPOKEN INTRO / I’M A FOOL TO CARE • I GOT A FEELING • TILL THE END OF THE WORLD • TEARDROPS IN MY HEART • FOR YOU SUNSHINE • YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A BABY TO CRY • I CAN’T DO WITHOUT YOU • CAN’T LIVE WITH YOU • TRY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL • SECRET LOVE • WHY DID YOU SAY GOODBYE • LITTLE PAPOOSE • JUST BECAUSE • LITTLE JEWEL OF THE VIEUX CARRE (OLD SQUARE) • IS IT WRONG • I’M LOOKING OVER A FOUR LEAF CLOVER • THE LONELIEST BOY IN TOWN • BOUQUET OF ROSES • YOU BELONG TO MY HEART • BEG YOUR PARDON • DON’T CLOSE THAT DOOR • EVERY MORNING, NOON AND NIGHT • YONDER COMES A SUCKER – JOE BARRY • HEARTBROKEN LOVE / GREATEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE – JOE BARRY AND THE DEL-PHIES • I SAY! THAT’S ALLRIGHT / ANY OLD TIME – ROOSEVELT JONES • BIG MAMOU – JOE BARRY & MARY McCOY Disc Two: A FOOL SUCH AS I • COME WHAT MAY • YOU DARLING, YOU • YOU CALL EVERYBODY DARLING • STOP TELLING LIES • LUCKY MORNING • YONDER COMES A SUCKER • YOU DARLING, YOU • BLUE YODEL #6 (SHE LEFT ME THIS MORNIN’) (Demo) • THREE’S A CROWD • (TODAY) I STARTED LOVING YOU AGAIN • YOU’RE WHY I’M SO LONELY • TOMORROW NEVER COMES • THINK IT OVER • ALWAYS LATE (WITH YOUR KISSES) • I ALMOST LOST MY MIND • IT’S A SIN TO TELL A LIE • COLD COLD HEART • THE PRISONER’S SONG • I LET HAPPY PASS ME BY • IF YOU REALLY WANT ME TO I’LL GO – JOE BARRY • JE SUIS BET POUR T’AIMER (I’M A FOOL TO CARE) / OH, TEET FILLE – JOSEF BARRIOS
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particular embrace many of its most treasured moments. Joe only charted nationally a couple of times, his greatest hit being the wonderfully languid revival of hillbilly standard ‘I’m A Fool To Care’, which many thought was the work of Fats Domino until they saw Joe on TV or in photos. But his lengthy career amounted to more than a couple of hit 45s. This new 2CD set, named after Joe’s career record, compiles almost 40 sides from Joe’s first period of recording, plus the dozen tracks cut during his brief comeback of the mid1970s – almost all of them taped under the supervision of his longtime producer Huey Meaux. To ensure that “I’m A Fool To Care” would be the definitive collection of Joe’s collaborations with Meaux, Alec Palao and I went back to the producer’s original tapes and recopied every single one in what turned out to be something of a marathon session in Houston last March. Everything here is mastered from those new transfers, with the exception of
two Sho-Biz sides, which had to be transferred from a 45 as no tape seems to have survived. Alec was also able to mix a few of the tracks (some previously unreleased) into true stereo for the first time, from a handful of surviving Cosimo’s multi-tracks. We have not repeated the mistakes of some previous compilations, which included tracks not sung by Joe. Although there have been previous anthologies of his work released during the last 15 years, we guarantee than none of them will offer anything like the level of audio excellence this one does. With an extensive essay based around an interview conducted by John Broven in the late 70s, and a booklet that contains lots or rare images and label shots of almost every 45 featured on the collection, this 2CD set will be the perfect way to remember this beloved exponent of South Louisiana R&B … or swamp pop, if you don’t happen to be from down that way. Singles courtesy Pete Lerner
KING NORTHERN SOUL Volume 3
This huge stable of black music labels reveals more soul to move to and to be moved by. By Ady Croasdell
The King group of labels – Federal, DeLuxe, Hollywood etc – were hugely productive throughout the soul era, so there are hundreds of releases which have taken years to locate. Hence the 10-year gap since “King Northern Soul Vol 2” was released.
Northern Soul collectors used to see the blue King label, immediately think “funky”, skip by it and continue the search for an “arranged by Mike Terry” denotation. There is no doubt that a drab grey label such as DeLuxe (as the Dave & Vee 45 from 1969) discourages the listener even before the needle drops. The mainly monochrome aspects of these labels could never compete with the colourful splashes of Groovesville, Giant, Tayster, Pzazz etc in building up the listener’s expectations; inevitably the music was undermined. We have mainly got over those prejudices now, but it is still a shock to hear how good some of those collected tracks sound on CD. The more obvious big Northern sounds were featured on the first two volumes of this series but there
THAT’S MY ZONE (HE’S PICKIN’ ON ) / POPCORN CHARLIE – CHARLES SPURLING • UNWIND YOURSELF – MARVA WHITNEY • DO YOU LOVE ME – DAVE & VEE • RIGHT NOW – MILL EVANS • SEARCHING FOR YOUR LOVE – ROBERT MOORE • YOU GOT TO PROVE IT – DAN BRANTLEY • OUT OF CONTROL – L.H. & THE MEMPHIS SOUNDS • WHO’S GOT A WOMAN LIKE MINE – WILLIE HATCHER • NAME IN LIGHTS – FREDDIE WILLIAMS • TEARING DOWN MY MIND – TONI WILLIAMS • PLEASE, JOHNNY, DON’T YOU TAKE MY LIFE – JAMES DUNCAN • SOMETHING YOU DIDN’T DONE – MIKE WILLIAMS • BABY, DON’T YOU KNOW – BROWNETTES • THUNDER – LORD THUNDER • OUR MEETING – PRESIDENTS BAND • I’M JUST A FOOL (AND EVERYBODY KNOWS) – HANK BALLARD • WHEN WE GET TOGETHER – OTIS WILLIAMS & HIS CHARMS • UNTIL AGAIN MY LOVE – LITTLE WILLIE JOHN • KEEP ON LOVING ME – OSCAR TONEY • HOUSE OF BROKEN HEARTS – HAL HARDY • YOU HAVE MY BLESSINGS – MARY JOHNSON • MAMA’S BABY – ROYAL FLUSH • IT HURTS ME – WILLIAM PATTON
are some great numbers here that have become very collectible over the years. Charles Spurling’s ‘That’s My Zone’ and his song ‘Unwind Yourself’ for Marva Whitney both sound very cutting edge for today’s funk-edged fans, as do the Brownettes and Charles’ super-groove ‘Popcorn Charlie’. There are some terrific tracks from long-serving King acts, such as Hank Ballard’s Rudy Clark-penned ‘I’m Just A Fool’, Otis Williams’ ‘When We Get Together’ and Little Willie John’s Drifters-inspired ‘Until Again My Love’. The lesser-known Hollywood label is responsible for four excellent tracks from Robert Moore (who would go on to sing about ‘Party Freaks’ with Miami), L.H. & The Memphis Sounds (one of Packy Axton’s many bands) and Hal Hardy, who provides the superb ‘Name In Lights’; my hum in the head song of the month.
There is an increasing movement to play southern soul tracks at Northern Soul dances nowadays; although King was based in Cincinatti, they licensed in southern productions; mainly from Nashville and Macon. The Toni Williams, Dan Brantley and James Duncan tracks are all evidence of that growing trend. And, although we have recently issued a New Breed R&B compilation drawn from the King group, there are still some of those influences contained in the songs from Mary Johnson, Mike Williams and Oscar Toney Jr. All but two of the 24 tracks are from King’s wonderfully preserved master tapes and sound alive again on CD. The booklet, with its amazing cover photo of the Presidents Band, is a darn sight prettier than an old DeLuxe label too. Singles courtesy Ady Croasdell
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BOPPIN’ BY THE BAYOU
28 raw Louisiana rockers – shakin’ with rarities and stompin’ with eight unissued sides. By Ian Saddler
The Cajun people of the plains and swamps of South Louisiana are steeped in music with a raw edge. Prior to World War II the music of the bayous was Cajun; the only real
changes were the shift from accordion to fiddle as the lead instrument. The war changed all that. The thousands of Cajun men who served, many of them musicians, were exposed to other music forms; the influences – most notably blues and rhythm, as it was then called, and hillbilly – crept into their songs. As the 1940s progressed into the 50s, small independent record companies sprang up to record this rural music, which was largely being ignored by major labels. Local radio stations started to play it and the jukebox became a major entertainment in bars and diners where the owner couldn’t afford a live band, or just between sets. The most prominent of these new record companies were Goldband and Folk-Star founded by
TAG ALONG / I GOT A GREAT BIG LOVE / I’LL BE THERE – TOMMY TODD • KISS ME BABY / INDIAN ROCK’N’ROLL – AL FERRIER • SHE’S MINE / I’D MAKE A GOOD MAN FOR YOU – JOHNNY JANO • LINDA GAIL / ALL NIGHT IN JAIL / LITTLE BITTY MAMA – ROD BERNARD • LAURA LEE – GIL GIROY • MY NEED FOR LOVE / I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU – JIVIN’ GENE • WATCH MY SMOKE – VINCE ANTHONY • TOO HIGH CLASS – BONNIE FUSSELL • WILD MAN ROCK – HUNTER WATTS & HIS SOUTHERN PALS • KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OF IT – LAWRENCE WALKER & HIS WANDERING ACES • THAT’S ALL RIGHT MAMA – NATHAN ABSHIRE & THE PINE GROVE BOYS vocal ROBERT BERTRAND • FEEL SO GOOD – BILL & CARROLL • SOME OTHER TIME – ARNOLD BROUSSARD • JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE – RONNIE BENNETT • KANSAS CITY – WARREN STORM • DON’T SAY NO – NATHAN & THE SPARKS • BIG CLOUD (Pt 1) – JAY CHEVALIER & THE LONG SHOTS • RELEASE ME / TAG ALONG – ROCKET MORGAN • RATTLESNAKE – WILEY BARKDULL with RUSTY & DOUG • BOOGIE CHILDREN / WALKING WITH FRANKIE – PLAYBOYS vocal JOHN FRED
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Eddie Shuler, and the Fais-Do-Do and Feature banners of J.D. Miller. These were joined by the Khoury’s and Lyric labels of George Khoury. They all started out as vehicles for Cajun and hillbilly music but soon added blues and R&B artists to their rosters. Dance music had always been the backbone of the Cajun way of life. As traditional bands added heavier rhythms, string basses and drums, their tunes became all the more exciting. South Louisiana – and particularly its youth – like the rest of America, was ready to take the next step. The catalyst was Elvis Presley. When he stepped in front of the microphone at Radio KWKH for his first Louisiana Hayride broadcast on 16 October 1954, a torch was lit in the hearts of young Cajuns, as it was in the primarily working class youth across the rest of the USA. Rock’n’roll had arrived and all of the artists on this CD would play a part, revelling in
it and giving it a distinctive sound – the sound of the bayous. The first record companies were quick to add these new artists to their rosters and were soon joined by Jin/Swallow (founded by Floyd Soileau), Hammond (Luke Thompson), Carl (Jake Graffagnino), Hilton (Hilton McCrory) and a plethora of smaller outfits and one-shot deals. The music produced – whether categorised as rockabilly, swamp pop or Cajun bop – has an added element in coming from this area. Rock’n’roll was already an amalgam of earlier styles; the Louisiana melting pot added its own spice to the gumbo. This CD is the first in the “Boppin’ By The Bayou” series which will focus on these music forms. The concept has been given added depth by a deal struck with the family of the late J.D. Miller, which allows us to include previously unreleased material. Plus, with new technology, we’ll be reinvigorating tracks discovered by the sterling work of Bruce Bastin and Flyright some 35 years ago. There will also be a “Bluesin’ By The Bayou” series featuring jump blues and R&B.
Singles courtesy Ian Saddler
THE RUMBLERS – RUMBLIN’ AND RARE
The follow-up to “It’s A Gas” includes many previously unreleased gems and some new to CD, completing our release of the Rumblers’ catalogue. By Brian Nevill
This new Rumblers set makes the group’s entire output available on CD. (To complete your Rumblers collection, you’ll need our previous
Rumblers comp “It’s a Gas”, plus a couple of free-floating oddities exclusive to two of our other compilations of Downey material.) All but eight of the tracks here are hitherto unissued. Of the previously released material, ‘Boss Drums’, ‘Harlem Nocturne’, ‘Walking With The Boss’, ‘Boss Blues’ and ‘Lost Weekend’ are from the only album the group issued in its lifetime (the rest of which is available on “It’s A Gas”). The latter three titles have never been reissued before. ‘Sorry’, ‘Til Always’ and ‘Gospel Truth’ are from single releases. The first two are vocals and the last was the B-side of the 45 the group released under the moniker the Nylons. Nine cuts are released here for the first time anywhere. Of these, ‘Poor Boy’, ‘Underwater’ and ‘Wockytok’ are from the group’s initial Downey sessions, and are contemporary with their big hit ‘Boss’. ‘Slingshot’, ‘Rumblin’ And Stumblin’’, ‘Wedgee’, ‘Charger’ and ‘Saxwax’ are from the second line-up of the band
BOSS DRUMS • POOR BOY • WOCKYTOK • SLIPPIN’ • SUMMERTIME BLUES • SON OF BOSS • SORRY (FOR THE WAY I TREATED YOU) • SWEET POTATO • BASHFUL • RUMBLIN’ • UNDERWATER • SLINGSHOT • HARLEM NOCTURNE • RUMBLIN’ & STUMBLIN’ • THE NERVOUS SET • CHARGER • WEDGEE • SAXWAX • TILL ALWAYS • BOSS BLUES • LOST WEEKEND • WALKIN’ WITH THE BOSS – RUMBLERS • GOSPEL TRUTH – NYLONS • LOTS TO LEARN – BEL CANTO’S
Recording ‘Intersection’ and ‘Stomping Time’, 10 March 1962. photo courtesy Bob Jones
(which cut the great ‘Soulful Jerk’). Then there’s ‘Lots To Learn’, an unreleased vocal track lifted from the session the group did using the name Bel Canto’s, under the production eye of a young Barry White. The booklet contains a host of rarely seen photos supplied by members of the group. Singles courtesy Brian Nevill
right track Editorial: Neil Scaplehorn Design: Jools at ED&P Ltd Ace Records (Sales & Distribution) Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London NW10 7AS Tel: 020 8453 1311 firstname.lastname@example.org www.acerecords.com All photos and memorabilia courtesy Ace Records Ltd except where noted. Cover: The Presidents who appear on King Northern Soul Volume 3, courtesy King Records, Inc
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New Ace Website After nearly two years worth of work, the new Ace website is finally up and running. The best way to check it out is by going online (acerecords.com); hereâ€™s a quick run down of some of the new features created for your enjoyment though:
Over 5000 full size images, including song sheets, singles, artist photos and other fine objects.
New homepage featuring the new search engine and both this and next monthâ€™s releases, all with text, images and audio clips.
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Dedicated vinyl pages, showing the front and back covers of LPs and EPs and the A and B sides of singles.
Dedicated merchandise pages including a choice of colours and sizes for most designs.
A shopping basket including the option to pay via PayPal.
New staff and consultant photos (although weâ€™re still waiting for some submissionsâ€Ś) RIGHT TRACK 195
HANDY MAN – THE OTIS BLACKWELL SONGBOOK CDCHD 1346
A long overdue collection of the work of one of the most important tunesmiths of the rock’n’roll era and beyond. By Tony Rounce
Arguments over who the greatest rock’n’roll songwriter is will abound long after those reading this issue of Right Track has gone to meet their
maker. But surely near the top of everyone’s list of contenders would have to be Otis Blackwell, a one-man hit factory whose catalogue includes more classic rock’n’roll songs than any other single songwriter of his time. His compositions for Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis alone would guarantee his entry into every music Hall Of Fame. “Handy Man”, named after the song that brought worldwide chart fame to Jimmy Jones in 1959, is a worthy tribute to a man who, if he’d only written ‘Fever’, would still be regarded as one of the foremost composers of the rock’n’roll era. Compiled in the spirit of previous entries in our songwriter series, it’s much more than merely a collection of Otis’ 24
MAKE ME KNOW IT – ELVIS PRESLEY • I TOLD MYSELF A LIE – CLYDE McPHATTER • DON’T BE CRUEL – JERRY LEE LEWIS • MY PIGEON’S GONE – FIVE KEYS • COOL BABY – CHARLIE GRACIE • FEVER – LITTLE WILLIE JOHN • SLOW MOTION – WADE FLEMONS • THE SHAPE I’M IN – JOHNNY RESTIVO • PRISCILLA – EDDIE COOLEY • BRACE YOURSELF – BEN E KING • ALL SHOOK UP – DAVID HILL • NINE TIMES OUT OF TEN – CLIFF RICHARD • I’LL FIND YOU – GENE PITNEY • FOR MY GOOD FORTUNE – MAHALIA JACKSON • HEY LITTLE GIRL – THURSTON HARRIS • HONKY TONKY – THE QUEEN (DINAH WASHINGTON) • PLEASE, MISTER MAYOR – ROY CLARK • JUST KEEP IT UP (AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS) – DEE CLARK • TOO LONG WILL BE TOO LATE – JIMMY JONES • ONE BROKEN HEART FOR SALE – OTIS BLACKWELL and WINFIELD SCOTT • DADDY ROLLIN’ STONE – DEREK MARTIN • I FEEL GOOD ALL OVER – SAM BUTERA • HOME IN YOUR HEART – SOLOMON BURKE • HANDY MAN – DEL SHANNON
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greatest hits, sung by those who recorded them first. We like to mix it up a bit, so the title track is heard in Del Shannon’s stomping 1964 version, while Jimmy Jones is represented with another fine Otis Blackwell song. Those interested enough to purchase will have more than a passing familiarity with Elvis’ version of ‘All Shook Up’, so rather than reissue that for the gazillionth time, we instead bring the song to you by David Hill, whose rare original makes its first legitimate CD appearance here. Likewise ‘Don’t Be Cruel’: rather than Elvis we bring you Jerry Lee Lewis’ uproarious take, in preference to any of the Otis Blackwell compositions generally associated with him. As for Elvis, being spoilt for choice made us opt for his first, and one of his very best, post-Army recordings; ‘Make
Me Know It’ reignited his recording career and was deemed potent enough to kick off his “Elvis Is Back” album. The songs featured in “Handy Man” cover roughly from around 1953 to 1963. Later offerings by Solomon Burke and Sam Butera show that, unlike some of his peers, Otis easily adapted to the changes in music as the 1960s unfolded. How durable his compositions were are demonstrated by Derek Martin’s classic 1962 cut of ‘Daddy Rollin’ Stone’, which Otis had recorded as a menacing blues almost a decade earlier. Via Martin, the song became a boastful declaration of intent for a new generation of sharp boys, and of English mods in particular. Brace yourself for a masterclass in rock’n’roll songwriting by a man who was much more than merely handy with a pen and paper.
Singles courtesy Brian Nevill and Tony Rounce