Sunday, July 30, 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

Z.Z. Hill - Turn Back the Hands of Time

repost by request:

Given that KC and Dr. Hepcat announced that they have now assembled the entire Z.Z. Hill discography, I decided to get some hype going here.  I have a lot of questions and have never heard some of this puzzling discography.

For example, this intriguing collection was released a while back under the title "Rare and Previously Unreleased Recordings: 1965-1972," but with no discographical information about the contents.

Looking at the on-line discography of Z.Z. 45s supplied by Soulful Kinda Music (http://www.soulfulkindamusic.net/zzhill.htm), this collection would appear to contain some of Z.Z.'s very first recordings made for his brother's MH label, as well as the listed early Messa 45.  However, these recordings were made before 1965.  Some of them were also re-recorded later, raising some questions.

The rest of the songs here would appear to come from the 1970s, also from the MH label, the Hill label, the Audrey label...   The Soulful Kinda Music discography would indicate that there is most likely a lot more where that came from.

I look forward from some enlightenment from KC and Dr. Hepcat.  :)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Geater Davis - I'll Play The Blues For You

re-post from 2013 

"Vernon "Geater" Davis (29 January 1946 - 29 September 1984) was an American soul singer and songwriter. He has been described as "one of the South's great lost soul singers, an impassioned stylist whose voice was a combination of sweetness and sandpaper grit."

Davis was born in Kountze, Texas. In the late 1960s he was heard performing, along with Reuben Bell, by record producer Allen Orange. Orange arranged for them to record in Birmingham, Alabama, and started his own House of Orange label to release their output. Geater's first release, "Sweet Woman's Love", in 1970, reached # 45 on the Billboard R&B chart. His follow-up singles on the House of Orange label, including "I Can Hold My Own" and "Best Of Luck To You", were less commercially successful, but he recorded an album, Sweet Woman's Love, which is now considered a classic of the deep soul genre. He often wrote or co-wrote his own material.

After Orange closed his label in 1972, Davis recorded for the Luna label, and then for John Richbourg's 77 label, where several of his recordings such as "I'm Gonna Change" and "A Whole Lot Of Man" were made at the FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals. His 1973 single, "Your Heart Is So Cold" reached # 64 on the R&B chart. However, Davis' records did not generally sell well, despite heavy touring on the blues and chitlin circuits. He recorded for the Ace label in the mid 1970s, and later issued some disco singles on the revitalised House Of Orange label. In 1981 he joined the MT label run by James Bennett in Jackson, Mississippi, which issued several singles and an album, Better Days.

Davis died of a heart attack in Dallas, Texas in 1984 at the age of 38."

Geater Davis - Lost Soul Man

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE TOO MUCH GEATER DAVIS! This 2 disc compilation from the folks at AIM will add at least a few more to your collection even if you already have Sadder Shades Of Blue. I haven't yet compared the remastering or any of that stuff so ya gotta take
the whole shebang.

Geater Davis - Sadder Shades of Blue

Let's rerun Preslives original post and get another dose of Geater
-->
Geater Davis is one of those voices from the Chitlin’ Circuit  that is much loved by his peers and hard core Blues/Soul fans, but hardly known to the general music-loving public.  Fortunately, his recorded legacy has been issued on CD on a couple of fine compilations.  His first recordings can be found on a CD from Soundscape Records that I believe is still in print, “I’ll Play the Blues For You: The Legendary House of Orange Sessions.”   This older compilation on West Side, which is now out of print, compiles mostly recordings done in Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals for John Richbourg’s Sound Stage 7 label.    There is only a small overlap between these two compilations.  If you really like this one, be sure and buy the other one!   One song that is on both compilations is the first recording of a number that later became closely associated with Albert King – “I’ll Play the Blues For You. “

 
--> Geater Davis owes an obvious strong debt to Bobby Bland.   But his sound is more rural, with more Southern sanctified grit.   The voice is unique.  Once it grabs you, you’re hooked.    I can still remember the very first time that I heard Geater Davis on “Sadder Shade of Blue,” while listening to a "Lost Soul" compilation LP.   It blew my mind right from the get go.  I've been hunting down everything that I could find by Geater Davis ever since.   

  Geater Davis was born and raised in Texas.  He worked the Circuit for most of the 60s without a recording contract.   Allen Orange heard Davis in the late 60s and was so impressed that he started his own record label to record him: House of Orange.  In the early 70s, Davis moved to the Sound Stage Seven label where he recorded most of the tracks found here. Geater Davis died in 1984 at the young age of 38.

Claude Jeter - Yesterday and Today

The great Claude Jeter's final album (produced by Anthony Heilbut) is a satisfying mix of newly recorded (in 1991) tracks blended with unreleased Swan Silvertones material.

nytimes obit

guardian obit


Texas Gospel Vol 6

Good Morning!

This will get your blood moving!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Texas Gospel, Vol. 5: Devil Can't Harm A Praying Man 1956/57

The organ swells and we are once again at Gospel Sunday.

"In the 1950s, if you were a quartet and a Peacock Recording Artist, man, you were something.
Some of the top quartets of the decade were on Peacock’s roster. Thanks to the Texas Gospel series by Opal Nations and Acrobat Records, the vast majority of Houston-based Peacock’s “World’s Greatest Spirituals” singles from its 1500 and 1700 series are now available on CD, some for the first time.
Sadly, after releasing the first two Texas Gospel volumes, Acrobat is no more. Nevertheless, gospel historian and project annotator Opal Nations has picked up the standard and is stewarding sales of Texas Gospel Volumes 3, 4, and 5. He plans for Texas Gospel to be a seven-volume series of Peacock singles when all is said and done. Meanwhile, this three-CD set, subtitled Devil Can’t Harm a Praying Man (a 1955 Dixie Hummingbirds song included here), features 85 tracks and a 60-page illustrated booklet by Nations that is so thick it hardly fits in the jewel case. (The liner notes are available for reading at www.pewburner.com/about_us.html.)
The 85 tracks on Vols. 3 – 5 take the listener from Peacock 1736 to 1781, or from 1951 to 1957, and feature quartets such as the Dixie Hummingbirds, Sensational Nightingales, Original Five Blind Boys (tracks not already included on a separate Acrobat set dedicated to the Archie Brownlee aggregation), Spirit of Memphis, Gospelaires of Dayton and singers Jessie Mae Renfro and Cleophus Robinson. Gospel hits such as the Birds’ “Trouble in My Way” and “Christian’s Automobile,” and the ‘Gales’ “Somewhere to Lay My Head” and “See How They Done My Lord” are intermixed with lesser-known but equally exquisite tracks such as the Spirit of Memphis’ “When” and the Blind Boys’ pop-flavored “There’s No Need to Cry,” featuring a passionate lead by Brownlee.
Even if you already own many of these recordings on vinyl, there is something about hearing them in chronological order. First, the experience hammers home just how much give and take there was between the “street corner” vocal groups of the mid-50s and gospel quartets when it came to employing doo-wop background vocals, impassioned leads, scooping and soaring falsetto leaps. Second, it helps you appreciate even more the artistry of the Dixie Hummingbirds and Sensational Nightingales and their respective leads Ira Tucker and Julius Cheeks. Third, hearing the various quartets in one sitting gives you a sense of the rivalry of the day, and how amazingly different the Spirit of Memphis was turning out to be. Fourth, it’s easier to carry around than a box full of 78s."
Five of Five Stars
Reviewed by Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Robert Cray - Selected Rarities

This is a compilation of mine...following on from KC's Robert Cray retrospective...

Robert Cray - Selected Rarities

Tracks 1 to 7 have been dubbed by me fom 12" singles RC released in the UK, direct to Yamaha Digital Recorder. They do not appear in this form on any of his albums. (1985-88)

Tracks 8 to 11 are from an FM broadcast of Eric Clapton's Blues Night at the Royal Albert Hall on 03 Feb 1990 - From my tapes.

Tracks 12 to 19 are from an FM broadcast recorded in London on 20 May 1992 - From my tapes

It's a great listen from a master !

Monday, July 3, 2017

Don Bryant - Don't Give Up On Love

Just when you think we may have reached the end of these wonderful 'rediscovery' projects thru sheer attrition; Don Bryant offers this absolute masterpiece. I'm going to have to go buy a copy of this one TODAY! You got any sense, you will too.

"Dedicated to wife Ann Peebles, Don't Give Up on Love is Don Bryant's first secular album since 1969, the same year he placed a co-writing credit on This Is Ann Peebles. Bryant also recorded several singles for Hi Records during the latter half of the '60s, but he settled into penning songs for other artists and spun some gold with his partner, exemplified by "I Can't Stand the Rain." Long after Bryant devoted all his musical energy to the church, Hi Rhythm Section drummer Howard Grimes persuaded the singer to perform with him in the Bo-Keys. Bryant's return to R&B felt so right that it led to Don't Give Up on Love. Recorded in Memphis with several of the Bo-Keys, including Grimes and fellow Hi veterans Charles Hodges (organ) and Hubby Turner (keyboards), as well as bandleader Scott Bomar (bass), it stays true to the tradition of late-'60s/early-'70s Memphis soul. Much of that has to do with the enduring might of Bryant's voice. It seizes attention on the opening cover of Vernon Morrison and Don Robey's "A Nickel and a Nail" -- popularized by O.V. Wright, for whom Bryant wrote material -- and seldom loosens its grip through a set that is mostly originals composed by Bryant either alone or with Bomar. Out of the new songs, "How Do I Get There" is the standout, a resolute hybrid of gospel, blues, and soul where Bryant sings about the promise of the afterlife. Bryant also goes all the way back to 1960 for an update of "I Got to Know," which he wrote for vocal group the "5" Royales, and revisits his "It Was Jealousy," recorded separately during the early '70s by Otis Clay and Peebles. This is one pleasant and pleasing surprise."

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Bobby Marchan - Get Down With It (expanded)

0n the extended conversation around Little Richard and his New Orleans posse; the guy I've left out is Bobby Marchan. Bobby was one of the three lead singers for Huey P. Smith's Clowns as well as a star at the Bourbon Street & Dew Drop drag revues. The first cover here is the base that this collection is made from but I have flushed it out to 32 tracks with some excellent stuff that was left out and a later single rip.

Until I put this thing together I confess I was at best lukewarm on Bobby, but this collection (actually there is a good bit more) has made me a believer; this dude could flat out sing! 

"Bobby Marchan (born Oscar James Gibson) (April 30, 1930 in Youngstown Ohio – December 5, 1999) was a well-respected American rhythm and blues bandleader, MC, singer-performer, recording artist, and female impersonator, who initially began performing in New Orleans nightclubs, specifically the Dew Drop Inn and the Club Tijuana in the mid 1950s.

Marchan also toured with the band of Huey "Piano" Smith, sometimes performing as lead singer / bandleader and substituting vocally for Huey Smith (who reputedly often would stay in New Orleans to write and record while his namesake band "Huey Smith and the Clowns" played clubs and toured on the road). The touring band included James Booker on piano. (Huey did not like leaving New Orleans and his local connections, he also had a penchant for double booking dates so there were often two versions of the band playing at the same time)

One of Marchan's vocal performances with Huey Smith and the Clowns can be heard on the New Orleans R&B recording, "Don't You Just Know It", which was released in 1958. Marchan also had a solo #1 hit on the national R&B charts in 1960 with the tune "There is Something on your Mind," a cover of a song performed by Big Jay McNeely.

Marchan recorded for a handful of small soul labels such as Fire Records, Volt, Dial, Cameo, and Gamble as well as Ace Records, which had released the Clowns' records. Marchan regularly performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

In the 1990s his company Manicure Productions was involved in hip hop music booking and promotion including Take Fo' Records bounce music artist DJ Jubilee. He was involved with the formation of Cash Money Records.

Marchan died from liver cancer on December 5, 1999"   

The more I listen, the more I am moved to say that rarely in singing history has anyone had better control of his falsetto than Bobby!  

Texas Gospel, vol 4

Happy Sunday!

The Robey Revolution begins to flower as influences and musicians creep in from the Duke side.

Lots of killer Hummingbirds and Nightingales, Blind Boys of Miss.,  Sister Jessie Mae Renfro, Sister Josephine James...really a remarkable set.