Thursday, September 29, 2011

Charlie Gillett - Eyuphuro - Duos & Duets

Time for more old Charlie Gillett radio shows now from my treasured pile of cassettes from the 80's and 90's.
The first show in two parts features an African band called something like Eperu or Aparoux? They play a session for the show on Capital Radio dated 7th July 1990. They played the WOMAD festival apparently but having searched the internet I did not find anything that fitted the description. Maybe you'll have better luck! Do let me know if you figure out how to spell their name and what country they came from.

The second is a rare show where Charlie gets to pick some of his favourite duos and duets which mainly come from the 50's and 60's. He was sitting in for DJ David Hepworth on GLR Radio in 1995. Some lovely choices here including The Righteous Brothers, Delmore Brothers, Santo & Johnny to name but a few.

"Eyuphuro (which means "whirlwind" in the Macua language) was formed in 1981 by Omar Issa, Gimo Remane and dynamic female vocalist Zena Bacar, and became one of the most successful bands to emerge from Mozambique.

The group comes from the Ilha de Moçambique, the island in the north of the country that was the historic crucible of African, Arabic and Portuguese influences that forged modern Mozambique. Eyuphuro's music reflects this cultural syncretism, offering up a rich blend of traditional rhythms from the Nampula province, including tufo, namahandga, masepua, djarimane, morro and chakacha. Eyuphuro's songs express the island's traditional way of life, taking the fishermen with their typical canoa sailboats and women with their faces painted with homegrown msiro cosmetic, as their topics and their totems.

In 1989, Eyuphuro embarked on its first European tour, and soon became a hit on the European festival circuit. The group's stunning performances at the WOMAD festival led to the their recording of Mama Mosambiki for the Real World label, becoming the first Mozambican group to record an international release. The record, released in 1990, won critical acclaim and won singer Zena Bacar—a former fisherwoman—high praise as "the golden voice of Mozambique."

But Eyuphuro's story was almost over before it began, when bandleader Gimo Remane married and relocated to Denmark, Zena Bacar's only son, a pilot, died in a plane accident, and Omar Issa left the group for family reasons

Then, in 1998, Zena Bacar reformed the group and began writing new songs with the singer and songwriter Issufo Manuel. The revitalised Eyuphuro successfully toured in Europe during the summer of 2000, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. In 2001, with the help of Swiss producer Roland Hohberg, the band returned to recording with the release of Yellela. That same year, original founder Omar Issa returned to the band in time to join the international tour in support of Yellela.—Tom Pryor"

Charlie Gillett - Eyuphuro Side One

Charlie Gillett - Eyuphuro Side Two

Charlie Gillett - Duos & Duets

Champion Jack Dupree

A rather battered Lp on the Decca label I found in a library sale many years ago. That was a good time to buy vinyl when they were changing over to CD. I remember you had to check the diagrams of previous scratches on the inner sleeve and add more if you think some were missing! Never quite understood the logic of this. The diagram for this record must have looked like a drawing by Giacometti.
Champion Jack Dupree was living in Halifax in Yorkshire when he recorded this album with Mickey Baker ( who was living in Paris) in 1967. Produced by Mike Vernon in London. Other musicians include John Baldwin, Ronnie Verrell and Albert Hall.

"William Thomas Dupree, best known as Champion Jack Dupree, was an American blues pianist. His birth date is disputed, given as July 4, July 10, and July 23, in the years 1908, 1909, or 1910. He died January 21, 1992.
Champion Jack Dupree was the embodiment of the New Orleans blues and boogie woogie pianist, a true barrelhouse "professor". His father was from the Belgian Congo and his mother was a Creole of color and part Cherokee. He was orphaned at the age of 2 and sent to the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs (also the alma mater of Louis Armstrong).
He taught himself piano there and later apprenticed with Tuts Washington and the legendary Drive'em Down, whom he called his "father" and from whom he learned "Junker's Blues". He was also "spy boy" for the Yellow Pochahantas tribe of Mardis Gras Indians and soon began playing in barrelhouses, drinking establishments organized around barrels of booze.
As a young man he began his life of travelling, living in Chicago, where he worked with Georgia Tom and Indianapolis, Indiana, where he hooked up with Scrapper Blackwell and Leroy Carr. While he was always playing piano, he also worked as a cook, and in Detroit he met Joe Louis, who encouraged him to become a boxer. He ultimately fought in 107 bouts and winning Golden Gloves and other championships, and picking up the nickname Champion Jack, which he used the rest of his life."

Discover more about Champion Jack Dupree HERE.

Tracks are -

1. Under Your Hood
2. Come Back Baby
3. Baby let me Lay It On You
4. Garbage Man
5. I Feel Like A Millionaire
6. Right Now
7. Georgiana
8. Shake, Baby Shake

Champion Jack Dupree - Side Two

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bouquet Of Steel

Compilation of Sheffield and area bands from 1980 on the Aardvark label distributed by Rough Trade/Red Rhino. Contains 32 page booklet about the Sheffield music scene of the 70's. A bit of a curate's egg containing some gems and some awful stuff.

Wikipedia says of Comsat Angels -

"Named after the J. G. Ballard short story The Comsat Angels, the foursome's core lineup (lasting 1978–1992) consisted of:
Stephen Fellows – vocals, lead guitar;
Kevin Bacon – bass;
Mik Glaisher – drums;
Andy Peake – keyboards.
They debuted with an EP, released in 1979, named "Red Planet". This release attracted Polydor A&R man Frank Neilson and the band signed a three-album recording contract. These three LPs, Waiting for a Miracle (1980), which included the single "Independence Day", probably their best known song, Sleep No More (1981) and Fiction (1982), are regarded by some as their best, but only sold modestly.
In their early years, the group shared live stages with bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Depeche Mode, U2 (an 18-date tour in 1981), Captain Beefheart, The Sound, Wall of Voodoo, and Gang of Four. In 1982, they performed two songs on BBC Television's Old Grey Whistle Test television program. A U.S. tour in 1982 had to be cancelled after a week, due to Bacon contracting appendicitis."

Wikipedia says of Artery -

"Artery evolved from earlier punk band named 'The' in 1978, with an original lineup of Mark Gouldthorpe (guitar), Toyce Ashley (vocals, guitar), Neil McKenzie (bass) and Garry Wilson (drums). After a self-financed single in 1979, the band released a second in 1980 on the Aardvark label, after which Mick Fidler (vocals, guitar, saxophone) was added. Two further singles followed in 1981, before Ashley left, with Gouldthorpe taking over on vocals and Simon Hinkler (formerly of TV Product) joining on keyboards and guitar ] They received support from John Peel, for whom they recorded their first session for his BBC Radio 1 show in July 1981, recording a second early the following year. They signed to the Red Flame label in 1982, releasing a single and the Dale Griffin-produced mini-LP Oceans that year. Their track "Into the Garden" reached number nine in the 1982 Festive Fifty. They were often compared to Joy Division, although Gouldthorpe stated "We never listened to Joy Division – they were never an influence". Further lineup changes followed, with John White replacing Fidler, who was sacked for missing rehearsals, Christopher Hendrick replacing MacKenzie, and David Hinkler joining on keyboards. The band was reduced to a trio of Gouldthorpe, Wilson, and Hendrick by the time of the release of their second album, One Afternoon in a Hot Air Balloon (1983), with White leaving to form UV Pop and Simon Hinkler moving into production. Simon and David Hinkler and Garry Wilson all played in Pulp around 1983. In 1984 Hendrick left, with MacKenzie returning, and the band moved on to the Golden Dawn label, adding Murray Fenton to the lineup. A third album, The Second Coming, was released in 1984."

Tracks are -

1. Artery - The Slide
2. B Troop - Peroxide Romance
3. Comsat Angels - Ju Ju Money
4. Disease - Psychobin
5. Flying Alphonso Bros. - Video Date
6. I'm So Hollow - Touch
7. Musical Janeens - Glen Miller and his musical intimacies meets the musical janeens uptown with a packet of jellies and a caribbean monolith.

Bouquet Of Steel - Side One

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Having lived in the East End of London for some years I was always dazzled by the exotic looking Bollywood record sleeves I used to see down Brick Lane- in the Indian and Pakistani shops and the flea market. After a while I began buying them just to see what lie beneath the gaudy sleeve art and was delighted with some of the finds. The film soundtrack "Dhongee" was one such find and the name Asha Bhosle soon became very firmiliar to me as she seemed to be on most Indian film soundtracks I came across! She has the most amazing voice as you can hear on this second side from "Dhongee" which was released in 1975. The music direction was by Rahul Dev Burman.

Wikipedia says -

"Asha Bhosle (Marathi: आशा भोसले) (born September 8, 1933) is an Indian singer. She is one of the best-known and most highly-regarded Hindi playback singers in India, although she has a wider repertoire. Bhosle's career started in 1943 and has spanned over six decades. She has done playback singing for over a thousand Bollywood movies. In addition, she has recorded several private albums and participated in numerous solo concerts in India and abroad. Bhosle is the sister of playback singer Lata Mangeshkar.
Renowned for her voice range and often credited for her versatility, Bhosle's work includes film music, pop, ghazals, bhajans, traditional Indian classical music, folk songs, qawwalis, Rabindra Sangeets and Nazrul Geetis. Apart from Hindi, she has sung in over 18 Indian and foreign languages. In 2006, Asha Bhosle stated that she had sung over 12,000 songs, a figure repeated by several other sources. The World Records Academy, an international organization which certifies world records, recognized her as the "Most Recorded Artist" in the world, in September 2009. The Government of India honoured her with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2000 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008."

Tracks are as follows -

1. Hai Re Hai Tera Ghunghta
2. Woh Hai Ek Bahroopiya

Dhongee - Side Two

Chuck Jackson

LP on the Bulldog label from 1977. A compilation of various soul tracks from the 60's.

Wikipedia says -

"Between 1957 and 1959, he was a member of The Del-vikings, singing lead on the 1957 release "Willette." After leaving them, he was "discovered" when he opened for soul legend Jackie Wilson at the Apollo Theater. He signed a recording contract with Scepter Records. His first single, "I Don't Want to Cry", which he co-wrote, was his first hit (1961). The song charted on both the R&B and pop charts. In 1962, Jackson's recording of "Any Day Now", the Burt Bacharach-Bob Hilliard classic, became a huge hit,and his signature song. His popularity in the 1960s prompted him to buy up the time on his contract from Scepter and move to Motown Records. There he recorded a number of successful singles, including "Are You Lonely for Me Baby" and "Honey Come Back." He later recorded for All Platinum and other labels, but with minimal success.
After meeting producer/composer Charles Wallert at the Third Annual Beach Music Awards, the two collaborated to record "How Long Have You Been Loving Me" on Carolina Records. The song became an instant Beach Music/Shag hit and remains a classic both in the Southeast and the UK.
In 1998 Jackson teamed with longtime friend Dionne Warwick to record "If I Let Myself Go", arranged as a duet by Wallert for Wave Entertainment. The recording received critical acclaim and charted at number 19 on the highly competitive Gavin Adult Contemporary Charts. Jackson followed with "What Goes Around, Comes Around", another Wallert production and composition, and reached number 13 on the Gavin Charts."

Tracks are -

1. Come On Squeeze Me (My Darling)
2. This Is It
3. Let's Push Me Pride Aside

Chuck Jackson - Side Two

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sidney Bechet

An old find from Brick Lane or Cheshire Street markets back in the 80's. Released on the Charley Affinity label in 1986. Some nice vocal jazz here from the likes of O'Neil Spencer and Trixie Smith. Various bands include Noble Sissle's Swingers and Noble Sissle and His International Orchestra from the 30's.

Wikipedia says -

"Bechet (pronounced BAH-shay by the family, most commonly pronounced buh-SHAY) was born in New Orleans to a middle-class Creole of Color family. Sidney's older brother Leonard Bechet (1877-1952) was a part time trombonist and bandleader. Sidney Bechet quickly learned to play several musical instruments kept around the house, mostly by teaching himself; he soon decided to focus on clarinet. At age six, Sidney started playing along with his brother's band at a family birthday party, debuting his talents to aclaim. Later in his youth, Bechet studied with such renowned Creole clarinetists as Lorenzo Tio, "Big Eye" Louis Nelson Delisle, and George Baquet. Soon after, Bechet would be found playing in many New Orleans ensembles, improvising with what was "acceptable" for jazz at that time (obbligatos, with scales and arpeggios, and "variating" the melody). These ensembles included parade work with Henry Allen's celebrated Brass Band, the Olympia Orchestra, and John Robichaux's "genteel" dance orchestra. In 1911-1912, he performed with Bunk Johnson in the Eagle Band of New Orleans, and in 1913-1914, with King Oliver in the Olympia Band.
Although Bechet spent his childhood and adolescence in New Orleans, from 1914-1917 he was touring and traveling, going as far north as Chicago, and frequently teaming up with another famous Creole musician, Freddie Keppard. In the spring of 1919, he traveled to New York, where he joined Will Marion Cook's Syncopated Orchestra. Soon after, the orchestra journeyed to Europe where, almost immediately upon arrival, they performed at the Royal Philharmonic Hall in London. The group was warmly received, and Bechet was especially popular, attracting attention near and far.
While in London, Bechet discovered the straight soprano saxophone, and quickly developed a style quite unlike his warm, reedy clarinet tone. His saxophone sound could be described as "emotional", "reckless", and "large". He would often use a very broad vibrato, similar to what was common for some New Orleans clarinetists at the time."

Tracks are -

1. Freight Train Blues
2. My Daddy Rocks Me Pt. 1
3. My Daddy Rocks Me Pt. 2
4. You Cant Live In Harlem
5. Taint A Fit Night Out For Man Nor Beast
6. Rhythm Of Broadway Moon
7. Loveless Love
8. Polka Dot Rag

Sydney Bechet - Side Two

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ray Moore

A charity single made by BBC DJ Ray Moore on the Play label in 1986.

Wikipedia says -

"Raymond (Ray) Moore (2 January 1942 - 11 January 1989) was a British broadcaster who was best known for his long running early morning show on BBC Radio 2.
Born in Liverpool, he attended Waterloo Grammar School, and harboured ambitions to be a BBC announcer from an early age. On leaving school, his first job was at Liverpool docks, and he was subsequently a technician and actor with repertory companies in Oldham, Sidmouth and Swansea. He started broadcasting during the 1960s as a continuity announcer with Granada Television, later moving to ATV in Birmingham and eventually the BBC in Manchester and London. At the BBC he worked as an announcer on radio and television, providing voice-overs for a number of popular shows such as Come Dancing, Miss World and the radio commentary for the Eurovision Song Contest, also presenting the Eurovision Song Contest Previews in 1987.
From 1980 to 1988 he hosted the early morning show on BBC Radio 2, developing an idiosyncratic broadcasting style which relied on a highly individual, gentle and sophisticated wit and repartee."

Ray Moore - O' My Father Had A Rabbit

Ray Moore - O' My Father Had A Rabbit (Instrumental)

Pinky & Perky

EP on the Columbia label from 1962. Accompaniment directed by Brian Fahey. Pinky & Perky were a popular puppet duo on children's television who did versions of many of the pop songs of the day. I suppose the American equivalent would be The Chipmunks.

Wikipedia says -

"The title characters are a pair of anthropomorphic puppet pigs created by Czechoslovakian immigrants Jan and Vlasta Dalibor. The puppets, who had only very limited movements, looked very alike. Pinky wore red clothes and Perky blue, but this distinction was little use on black and white TV, so Perky often wore a hat.
Pinky and Perky spoke and sang in high-pitched voices created by re-playing original voice recordings at twice the original recorded speed; the vocals were sung by Mike Sammes[1] while the backing track was played at half normal speed (Sammes did the same job for Ken Dodd's Diddymen, as Ross Bagdasarian did for the original Chipmunks in the early 1960s) - hence the expression "Pinky and Perky speed", when an LP record is played at 45 rpm or 78 rpm instead of the correct 33⅓ rpm. Pinky and Perky would often sing cover versions of popular songs, but also had their own theme song "We Belong Together."
They had their own TV station "PPC TV". They also performed comedy sketches usually with a human foil (similar to Basil Brush). Actor John Slater worked with them as a straight man for many years, enduring soakings from water pistols and such pranks. Other human companions included Roger Moffat, Jimmy Thompson, Bryan Burdon and Fred Emney.
Their show included other puppets, such as The Beakles (an avian parody of The Beatles), Topo Gigio, a famous mouse puppet who appeared in many later episodes, as well as a female pig. Other puppets included Ambrose Cat, Basil Bloodhound, Bertie Bonkers the baby elephant, Conchita the Cow, Horace Hare and Vera Vixen."

Tracks on side two are -

1. The Hippopotamus Song
2. Woody Woodpecker
3. Nellie The Elephant

Pinky & Perky - Side Two

Khiama Boys

Single on the Jabulani label from 1989. One of a batch that DJ Charlie Gillett sent to me around that time after one of his trips to Africa. I often used to send him mix tapes of odd records I found on my travels and he was kind enough to send things back from time to time. Similar sound to the Bhundu Boys and others who were making inroads into the UK "world music" scene during the late 80's and early 90's.

Music Of Zimbabwe website says -

"Band members included Fanuel 'System' Tazvida, Tineyi Chikupo, Cephas Karushanga, Nicholas Zacharia, Alick Macheso, Ephraim Joe, Sailas Chakanyuka.

Khiama Boys started in the same manner as many other African bands, as a cover band. Formed in 1988, the group performed covers of local and international songs, including Bob Marley. Khiama Boys eventually took to writing their own music, a hybrid of Zimbabwean and South African influences that sounds similar to, in my opnion, a mix of Leonard Dembo and the Bhundu Boys. The group has been active ever since, producing a steady stream of hits and establishing themselves as a froce within the Zimbabwean music scene.

The Khiama Boys, however, have been plagued by a revolving door of band members. Royalty discrepancies forced guitarists System Tazvida and Cephas Karushanga out of the group in 1989 to form their own band, Mabhauwa Express. Tazvida would later join the Sungura Boys, and found the Chezeseza Challengers. Ephraim Joe would depart for the Sungura Boys and an eventual solo career. The late 90s saw guitarist Alick Macheso leave the group to form his own band, current chart toppers Orchestra Mberikwazvo. Today Khiama Boys are fronted by vocalist Nicholas Zacharia, who led their 2001 album, Dzidziso, to sales of over 60 000 copies."

Khiama Boys - Mwana Wangu Wakura

Khiama Boys - Hupenyu

Keep Fit With Andrews

A promotional record (EP) on the Lyn label from the 60's I imagine with popular disc jockey Emperor Rosko telling us how to exercise with music and Andrews Liver Salts.

Wikipedia says -

"Mike Pasternak, better known by his stage name of Emperor Rosko (born December 26, 1942) is a well known pop radio presenter, not to be confused with American radio presenter William (Rosko) Mercer.
Born Michael Joseph Pasternak, he is the son of Hollywood film producer Joe Pasternak. He was influenced in his career choice by KYA Radio Los Angeles DJs Lord Tim Hudson and Wolfman Jack. Rosko's opportunity to broadcast came whilst in the US Navy where he presented a show on an aircraft carrier. He then went to Europe and hosted sponsored programmes in France and Belgium.
He joined Radio Caroline, a pirate radio station broadcasting from a ship off the coast of England, in 1964. There, his pacey American style soon made Rosko one of the station's best loved DJs. He then was heard on French language stations Radio Monte Carlo and Radio Luxembourg.
Rosko compered the Stax/Volt Tour of Europe in 1967 and can be heard introducing Booker T. & the M.G.'s, The Mar-Keys, Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Sam & Dave, and Otis Redding on the two-album set The Stax/Volt Tour in London, recorded at the Finsbury Park Astoria (later the Rainbow Theatre on 17 March 1967.
It is Rosko who is heard introducing soul singer Otis Redding, as well as encouraging the crowd to chant and spell his name on Redding's album Live in Europe, recorded on March 17 and March 21, 1967. As a disc jockey with Radio 1 at its launch in September 1967, Rosko initially recorded shows in France for the Midday Spin programme. On his first Midday Spin show, Rosko introduced himself with "I am the Emperor, the geeter with the heater, your leader, your groovy host from the West coast, here to clear up your skin and mess up your mind. It'll make you feel good all over." He highlighted the new Motown, reggae, and rock music."

Keep Fit With Andrews - Side One

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Ivan Chin & His Calypso Band

A nice suprise on this cheapo Saga LP I found this morning in Help The Aged shop - not the generic calypso I expected but a nice mixture of mento, ska and exotica complete with steel drums and honking saxaphones! Some old favourites here including Yellow Bird and Brown Skin Gal but some oddities including Carnival from the film Black Orpheus and a song called Archie.

The sleeve notes say - "In the West Indies, the CALYPSO in THE Scene, the singers having such fabulous names as Lord Kitchener, Lord Melody, Lord Bryner, Mighty Sparrow and many others. It is encouraging that the West Indians in the UK remain loyal to the music of their homeland and not surprising that the last concert in London featuring The Mighty Sparrow was a sell out."

Readmore about Ivan Chin HERE

Tracks include-

1. Beautiful Barbados
2. Big Bamboo
3. Carnival
4. Archie
5. Matilda Matilda
6. Kingston Market

Ivan Chin - Side Two

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

All Night Rock

A 10 inch LP I found at the market today. Its a bit scratchy but worth a listen I think. Contains a few old Sun rockabilly sides including Roy Orbison, Sonny Burgess and Gene Simmons. All recorded at the Sun Studios in Memphis in 1956. This comp. was put together on the Charley records label in London 1982.

Wikipedia says -

"Simmons was born Gene Simmons in Tupelo, Mississippi, and began his recording career with Sun Records in 1958, while performing as an opening act for labelmate Elvis Presley. However, the label released only one (non-charting) single from his recording sessions. His first and only Top 40 hit was "Haunted House," a cover of a 1958 recording by Johnny Fuller which peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964; the song represented one of Hi Records' early successes. The track was later covered by the Compton Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis and Hasil Adkins. His last work was "Indian Outlaw," which he co-wrote, and was a hit for Country music artist Tim McGraw in 1994.

Simmons' Hi Records recordings were released as an anthology, Haunted House: The Complete Jumpin' Gene Simmons on Hi Records, in June 2001. Sun Records followed suit in December 2006 with the 33-song collection Drinkin' Wine: The Sun Years, Plus. He had recorded several albums with both labels but they were never released."

All Night Rock - Side One

The Clark Sisters

I was hoping this would be more like The Andrews Sisters but sadly a bit more like The Mike Sammes Singers with a big band backing. A bit too sickly for my taste.

Wikipedia says -

"The Sentimentalists, also known as the "Clark Sisters" (and also as the "Original" Clark Sisters; so-called to distinguish them from the current gospel music group of the same name), were an American close harmony singing group, consisting of sisters Mary Clark, Peggy Clark Schwartz, Ann Clark, and Jean Clark. Hailing from Grand Forks, North Dakota, they were a mere seventeen to twenty-three years of age, when they signed with the Tommy Dorsey Band, in 1944, to replace the popular Pied Pipers, after the Pipers had quit Dorsey's band to go out on their own.

Although they never achieved the fame and fortune of some of their contemporaries (like the Andrews Sisters and the McGuire Sisters), the Clark Sisters' recordings are today actually more highly-prized by jazz aficionados, for their unique vocal stylings, in which they often emulate (and in fact sing the actual charts for) instrumental sections. By contrast, neither the Andrews Sisters, nor the McGuire Sisters are today considered to be part of the jazz lexicon, despite their chart success."

Tracks are -

1. ON The Sunny Side Of The Street
2. Opus One
3. Music makers

The Clark Sisters - Side One

Clinton Ford

Found in the indoor market today. On the cheapo Chevron label from 1979. I prefer the Clinton Ford who does novelty songs I must admit - these are rather poor renditions of Jolson favourites which include Let Me Sing And I'm Happy, You Made Me Love You - Swanee, Down Among The Sheltering Palms, Pretty Baby, Back in Your Own Backyard and By The Light Of The Silvery Moon.

Wikipedia says -

"Born Ian George Stopford Harrison, in Salford, Lancashire, and a former Redcoat(Butlins holiday camp entertainer).

Initially he worked as a laboratory assistant but became a Butlins Redcoat in Pwllheli in 1957 and worked there for three summer seasons. In the winters he sang with a group called 'Merseysippi' at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, recording several songs with them including "Get Out and Get Under".

He began his recording career as Clinton Ford with the Oriole record label. He performed skiffle in a band called the 'Backwoods Skiffle Group' and changed his name because his own name did not sound right for some of the American material that he sang. Ford also recorded with the 'Hallelujah Skiffle Group', but the singles didn't sell. However he appeared at the Royal Albert Hall and with Ken Dodd on Dodd's television shows and later he appeared in Stars and Garters, The Billy Cotton Band Show and The Good Old Days.

Ford had his chart success in 1959, with a cover of the Red Foley's song "Old Shep"; albeit for just one week. Ford donated his royalties from "Old Shep" to the Battersea Dogs' Home, so he made nothing from this high-selling record. Nevertheless, Ford had the only version of this famous song ever to appear in the UK Singles Chart. Unable to give up chasing the musical fads of the time, his next chart entry was "Too Many Beautiful Girls" in a trad jazz style, and for his biggest hit he turned to the music hall days of George Formby, who had recorded "Fanlight Fanny" in 1935. This led to an eponymous album that reached No.16 in the UK Albums Chart in May 1962. After touring for a while with Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen, he returned for a stint at Liverpool's Cavern Club, to find that the market for trad jazz and country and western styled novelties had been replaced by the beat music of a certain local band called The Beatles."

Clinton Ford - Side One

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Hank Jacobs

More poppy R&B instrumental with Hank Jacobs on the Sue label from the 60's. Sorry about the scratchy condition of this single.

Way Back Attack site says -

"Unlike many musicians, studio keyboard player Henry "Hank" Jacobs didn't emerge from the womb with a passion to play. He was 17 when he first ran his fingers over a keyboard. In the early-'60s he hooked up with songwriter/arranger Kent Harris and together they made the rounds, working studio sessions in the south, in addition to New York, Los Angeles and other cities. They collaborated on Hank's first instrumental single "Stingray," released on Imperial in 1962.

Jacobs and Harris hooked up with Sue Records owner Juggy Murray in the Big Apple soon after, and the result was "So Far Away," a minor chart single on Sue in January 1964. This instrumental has an atypical sound, as Hank first played piano on the track, then overdubbed it with organ, with the drummer leaning mostly on the cymbals, accentuating the subtle keyboard work. The result is soft yet powerful...after many listens, I've found the song occasionally morphs into something a bit different from what I thought I'd heard before...and back again the next time. Accidental genius? Maybe. At the least, a very cool record. The flip is "Monkey Hips and Rice," less innovative but with more of a party jam feel. Jacobs and Harris co-wrote and arranged both sides.

After "So Far Away," Hank Jacobs continued his session work and can be heard at the piano on a number of well-known mid-'60s records, including soulful sides like "I'm So Thankful" by The Ikettes and Bettye Swann's chart-topping 1967 R&B hit "Make Me Yours."

Hank Jacobs - Monkey Hips and Rice

Hank Jacobs - So Far Away

Dickie Doo & The Don'ts

A pop single this time from the archive - on the London label from late 50's. Catchy little number I vaguely remember being played on the radio at the time.

The Blackcat Rockabilly site says -

"The story of Dicky Doo and the Don'ts revolves around Gerry Granahan (born 17 June 1939, Pittston, Pennsylvania). Having moved to New York in 1955, he earned his keep working demo sessions for music publishers. Herb Abramson of Atco Records signed him as a singer and Gerry had two singles released on that label, one as Jerry Grant and one under his own name. In late 1957 he befriended Dave Aldred, the drummer of Buddy Knox and the Rhythm Orchids, and together they wrote a song called "Click Clack". They made a demo at the Bell Studio, with Granahan's voice multi-tracked, and took it to Dick Clark, host of the nation's most popular TV pop show, American Bandstand. Notwithstanding a blatant conflict of interests, Clark and his producer, Tony Mamarella, were just about to launch their own record label, Swan Records. Clark made "Click Clack" Swan's first release. Granahan could not use his own name, as he was signed to Atco. Clark had a new-born son which he jokingly called Dicky Doo and Tony Mamarella suggested Dicky Doo and the Don'ts as the group's name. When "Click Clack" charted (peaking at # 28), Aldred and Granahan formed a touring group with Ray Gangi (guitar), Al Ways (sax) and Harvey Davis (bass). Aldred even legally changed his name to Richard A. Doo. The group had four more chart entries in 1958-59 with Swan singles. Then Granahan dropped out to concentrate on a new group, the Fireflies (hit : "You Were Mine", # 21, 1959) and on producing acts for his newly formed Caprice label. In between, Granahan also scored a hit under his own name, "No Chemise Please", which went to # 23 in mid-1958 (Sunbeam 102)."

Dickie Doo - Click Clack

Dickie Doo - Did You Cry

Ken Parker

A reggae single from 1972 on the Duke Reid label. I think this was a small hit at the time - certainly in the reggae charts. The original was done by The Browns back in 1959.

Wikipedia says -

"Like many of Jamaica's singers of the era, Parker began by singing in church, where his father was a preacher. He formed a group called the Blues Benders in the mid-1960s, and their first recording was "Honeymoon by the Sea". The group arranged to audition for Coxsone Dodd, but due to a misunderstanding, Parker was the only member to turn up, so he auditioned as a soloist, impressing Dodd sufficiently to launch his solo career. While at Studio One, he recorded singles such as "Choking Kind", "Run Come", and "My Whole World is Falling Down", and an album, Keep Your Eyes on Jesus, followed in 1968. He moved on to work with Duke Reid, who produced hits including "Jimmy Brown", "Help Me Make it Through the Night", and "Kiss an Angel Good Morning". His popularity continued to grow and he recorded for other producers including Bunny Lee ("Guilty"), Rupie Edwards ("Talk About Love"), Byron Lee ("Will the Circle be Unbroken"), Lloyd Charmers ("Queen Majesty"), and Joe Gibbs ("Only yesterday"). By 1972, however, Parker had become disillusioned with the recording industry and ceased recording, relocating to England in 1973 after spending two years in New York City. He continued to perform occasionally but did not return to recording until the early 1980s, setting up his own record label and production company, releasing Gospel records. He later moved to Florida."

Ken Parker - Jimmy Brown

Ken Parker - Jimmy Brown (Version)

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Owen(Gray) & Millie

More old ska from the 60's on the Island label. Owen Gray on the "A" side and Owen teams up with Millie Small , who had a big hit with My Boy Lollipop around the same time, on the "B" side.

Wikipedia says -

"Gray won his first talent contest at the age of nine, and by the age of twelve he was already appearing in public, playing drums, guitar, and keyboards. He attended the Alpha Boys School and turned professional aged 19. Gray was a dynamic performer on stage, who could be gritty or suave as the song dictated.He was the first singer (of many) to praise a sound system on record, with his "On the Beach" celebrating Clement Dodd's Sir Coxsone Downbeat system in 1959, one of the first releases on Dodd's Studio One label. He was one of the first artists to be produced by Chris Blackwell, in 1960, and his "Patricia" single was the first record ever released by Island Records. His first single, "Please Let Me Go", reached the top of the charts in Jamaica, and featured a guitar solo from Ernest Ranglin (Ranglin's first recording session). The single also sold well in the United Kingdom, as did subsequent releases, prompting Gray to emigrate there in 1962. He toured Europe in 1964, and by 1966 he was well known as a soul singer as well as for his ska songs. In the rocksteady era, he recorded for producer Sir Clancy Collins. His popularity continued throughout the 1960s, working with producers such as Clement Dodd, Prince Buster, Arthur "Duke" Reid, Leslie Kong, and Clancy Eccles, including work as a duo with Millie Small, with songs ranging from ska to ballads. He continued to record regularly, having a big hit in 1968 with "Cupid". His 1970 track "Apollo 12" found favour with the early skinheads, and in 1972 he returned to Island Records, recording reggae versions of The Rolling Stones' "Tumblin' Dice" and John Lennon's "Jealous Guy", although they met with little success. During this period, he regularly had releases on Pama and sister label, Camel Records, and one single on Hot Lead Records. He had greater success in Jamaica, however, with "Hail the Man", a tribute to Emperor Haile Selassie, which was popular with the increasing Rastafari following. Gray spent a short time living in New Orleans before returning to Jamaica where he turned his hand to roots reggae, working with producer Bunny Lee, and achieving considerable success. In the 1980s relocated to Miami. He has continued to release new material regularly, often concentrating on ballads and Gospel music."

Owen & Millie - Sugar Plum

Owen Gray - Jezebel

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Fugitives

Classic rock steady anthem on the Doctor Bird label from 1968.

Wikipedia says -

"Rocksteady is a music genre that originated in Jamaica around 1966. A successor to ska and a precursor to reggae, rocksteady was performed by Jamaican vocal harmony groups such as The Gaylads, The Maytals and The Paragons. The term rocksteady comes from a dance style that was mentioned in the Alton Ellis song "Rock Steady". Dances performed to rocksteady were less energetic than the earlier ska dances. The first international rocksteady hit was "Hold Me Tight" (1968) by the American soul singer Johnny Nash; it reached #5 in the United Kingdom and United States."

The Fugitives - Rock Steady

The Fugitives - Real Gone Loser

Blues Busters

More ska from 1962 on the Island label. Some southern soul influenced ska from the Blues Busters.

Wikipedia says -

"The Blues Busters were a Jamaican vocal duo formed in 1960, comprising Philip James and Lloyd Campbell. The Blues Busters were the most consistently popular Jamaican male duo of the early 1960s, and were part of the Jamaican party that performed at the 1964 New York World's Fair. They initially worked in cabaret shows to tourists in Kingston and Jamaica's north coast, but got their big break when they were asked to accompany Sam Cooke on his tour of the island. Taking inspiration from Cooke, on returning to the cabaret circuit they emulated the soulful harmonies of his performances and recorded a number of soul and reggae cover versions, having minor hits with "Thinking" and "Privilege". They continued until the mid-1980s, by which time they had released several albums, one of which was a tribute to Cooke."

Blues Busters - Oh! Baby

Blues Busters - Behold!