NEWSLETTER #130
Rhythm & Blues, Soul & Doo Wop
Don Covay -> Andre Williams

DON COVAY
FATS DOMINO
THE FOUR BARS
MARVIN GAYE
STEVE GIBSON & THE REDCAPS
THE INK SPOTS
DAMITA JO
THE MAD LADS
TRACY NELSON
ANN PEEBLES
SONNY THOMPSON
ANDRE WILLIAMS & GREEN HORNET
 

 

DON COVAY Koch 8186 Mercy/ See-Saw ● CD $16.98
23 tracks, 63 min, essential. Reissue of Don's first two LPs "Mercy" - Atlantic 8104 from '65 & "See Saw" - Atlantic 8120 from '66. I first bought "See-Saw in a record shop the one time I visited Charlotte NC - this is perfect "beach music", mid-tempo soul. If you don't know Don himself, you sure know his music, much of the great stuff is here! The original versions of hits by Aretha - See Saw, The Stones - Mercy (AKA Have Mercy Baby), Steppenwolf - Sookie Sookie, J Geils - The Usual Place, Small Faces/ Spencer Davis Group - Take This Hurt Off Me, Gladys Knight & The Pips - Come See About Me (NOT the Supremes/HDH tune). (GM)

 
FATS DOMINO Columbia-Shout 32000 Live From The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival,2001 ● CD $13.98
Entertaining live set featuring Fats reprising 16 of his old hits with a solid band including tenor saxist Herb Hardesty who played on Fats's first session in 1949! Includes I'm Walkin'/ My Blue Heaven/ I'm Ready/ Blue Monday/ So-Long/ I'm Gonna Be A Wheel Someday/ My Girl Josephine/ Walking To New Orleans, etc.

 
FATS DOMINO Virgin 82742 Blues Kingpins ● CD $11.98
18 tracks, 43 minutes, recommended. With the vast amount of material owned by EMI, their Virgin offshoot helps celebrate 2003 as "The Year of the Blues" with this Fats Domino disc, along with five others in the new "Blues King Pins" series. Part of the attraction for collectors will be the tracks that haven't been reissued in the U.S. before now. The Domino set focuses on the earlier part of Domino's career and contains great New Orleans grooves recorded for Imperial between 1949 and '55 with the Fat Man in front of Dave Bartholomew's thumping band as they roll through Rockin' Chair/ Trust In Me/ Domino Stomp and others. Mastering is exceptional while the entire series has solid liner notes from Bill Dahl. Fats' beginnings are shown here, especially on the wonderful leadoff track, Hide Away Blues, and while he became a major star during the 1950s rock 'n' roll craze, he's never strayed far from his roots. (CR)
FATS DOMINO: Boogie Woogie Baby/ Cheatin'/ Domino Stomp/ Every Night About This Time/ Goin' Home/ Going To The River/ Goodbye/ Hide Away Blues/ How Long/ Please Don't Leave Me/ Poor Poor Me/ Rockin' Chair/ So-Long/ Something's Wrong/ Tired of Crying/ Trust In Me/ You Know I Miss You/ You Said You Love Me

 
THE FOUR BARS Cadillac 100 The Four Bars ● CD $17.98
28 tracks, 72 mins, recommended I don't know too much about the Four Bars but they are certainly a fine group who I believe originated in Washington, DC. They recorded for a number of labels from the mid 50s through the 60s and this album is a excellent and varied selection ranging from soft tender ballads like Why Do You Treat Me This Way to intense R&B ballads like Just Bid Me Farewall to bluesy rockers like Grandpa's Inn. The last ten cuts are straight ahead soul rather than doo-wop with a very different sound and I'm not sure if it's the same group. Most of it is worthwhile and sound quality is excellent. Other songs include Love Me Forever More/ Let The Wedding Bells Ring/ Hey Baby/ Try Me One More Time/ If I Give My Heart To You/ This Game Of Romance/ Why Can't We Get Along, etc. (FS)

 
MARVIN GAYE Proper Pairs 110 Live ● CD $12.98
2 discs, 19 tracks, excellent. If you ever see any no-label Marvin Gaye live stuff, it's the same as these recordings. Taken from his final tour, this is one of the few recordings owned by neither Motown or Columbia, so they've been around forever in numerous budget sets. There IS a reason to get this set, though. All of the other set are single discs, starting with Heard It Through The Grapevine & ending with Sexual Healing. This set starts with the full version of the opening tune Third World Girl & ends with 5 additional tracks - Let's Be Friends/ Interlude/ African Dance/ Pride & Joy/ Stubborn Kind Of Fellow & Outro, so for the 1st time you have the entire show. Sound quality is better than bootleg, & includes a healthy supply of hits done in unique live versions. Still no info on where it was recorded. (GM)

 
STEVE GIBSON & THE REDCAPS Acrobat 3000 It's So Good! ● CD $13.98
Two CDs, 43 tracks, recommended. Two CD set with 43 tracks by this fine vocal group recorded between 1943 and 1951 for several different labels. Ballads and jump tunes from this whose founding members were Jimmy Springs (lead tenor), David Patillo (lead tenor), Romaine Brown (baritone & piano), Steve Gibson (bass & guitar) and Doles Dickens (string bass). This line up is featured on the first disc and the music rests firmly in the jive vocal group tradition that made stars of The Cats & the Fiddle and The Three Peppers. Influenced greatly by the Mills Brothers and The Ink Spots, the sound of The Red Caps was infused with a comedic element that carried over to their shows. And while they could turn a ballad -- usually led by Jimmy Springs -- as sweetly as you please, the sillier jive jolts -- usually led by Steve Gibson or Romaine Brown are immensley entertaining. Other notable lead singers featured on the second disc include Earl Plummer and David Patillo and three tracks feature them accompanying vocalist Damita Jo. Includes Don't Fool With Me/ Mama Put Your Britches On/ Just For You/ Boogie Woogie Ball/ Simebody's Lyin'/ Sugar Lips/ Mary Had A Little Jam/ Get Off That Kick/ Monkey & The Baboon/ Jack You're Dead/ I'm Living For You/ Blueberry Hill/ Sidewalk Shuffle/ Boogie Woogie On A Saturday Night, etc. Excellent sound and booklet features brief notes and discographical data. (FS)

 
THE INK SPOTS Fabulous 150 Greatest Hits ● CD $7.98
18 tracks, 53 mins, recommended Inexpensive introduction to this fine and influential vocal group featuring some of their most popular sides recorded in the mid/ late 30s. Excellent sound and brief notes. (FS)
THE INKSPOTS: Address Unknown/ Blueberry Hill/ Do I Worry/ I Can't Give You Anything But Love/ If I Didn't Care/ It's A Sin To Tell A Lie/ Java Jive/ Maybe/ My Prayer/ People Will Say We're In Love/ Stardust/ The Gypsy/ To Each His Own/ We Three (my Echo ,my Shadow And Me)/ When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano/ Whispering Grass/ You Always Hurt The One You Love

 
DAMITA JO Combo 3674 I'll Save the Last Dance For You ● CD $17.98
23 tracks, 57 mins, recommended. Damita Jo was a fine pop R&B singer who, vocally, is somewhere in between Dinah Washington and Jo Ann Campbell! She started out in 1951 with Steve Gibson & The Red Caps, and after a while went solo. She had several hits between 1958-62, which is the period covered by this CD. One of her most succesful was the title song which was an answer song to the Drifters big hit. Damita was a fine and powerful singer but arrangements lean strongly towards pop with strings and vocal choruses but there are some occasional hot guitar and sax breaks. Other songs include the fine I'll Be There done to the tune of Ben E. King's Stand By Me, a terrific cover of Crazy Arms plus Dance With Me Henry/ I Burned Your Letter/ Keep Your Hands Off Him/ Yaba-Daba-Do/ Silver Dollar/ Stop Foolin'/ Jambalaya/ I Built My World Around A Dream/ Whispering Grass/ Room Full Of Roses/ The Last Dance, etc. (FS)

 
THE MAD LADS Collectables 6314 In Action ● CD $11.98
16 tracks, 43 min, excellent Reissue of Volt 414 from '66, with the addition of 4 non-LP 45s (though not their debut, The Sidewalk Surf - a skateboarding tune written by Isaac Hayes!) Featuring the high tenor lead of John Gary William, this set includes their biggest hit, I Want Someone, as well as their best known hit, the gorgeous neo-doo wop Don't Have To Shop Around. (GM)

 
TRACY NELSON Memphis International 206 Live From Cell Block D ● CD $16.98
11 tracks, 50 min, highly recommended It's been awhile since a classic prison album's been around! Recorded last December at West Memphis Detention Center Tracy jumps into the ranks of the finest with this set of blues & country. Many tunes coming from her '95 LP "I Feel So Good" including that disc's title track & Bessie Smith's Send Me To The 'Lectric Chair. Also includes a reprise of her Grammy winning After The Fire Is Gone (originally done as a duet with Willie Nelson, who wrote the liner notes), & a return to two of her signature tunes from the 1st Mother Earth LP from back in '68 - Mother Earth & Down So Low. (GM)

 
ANN PEEBLES Hi (UK) HEXCD 55 The Complete Ann Peebles On Hi Records, Vol. 1 :1969-73 ● CD $19.98
The first of two double CDs featuring all the releases of this superb soul singer. This volume of 38 tracks features her first three LPs plus six non-album sides.- Give Me Some Credit/ My Man/ Chain Of Fools/ Rescue Me/ Part Time Love/ I Still Love You/ What You Laid On Me/ I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home/ I Pity The Fool/ Heartaches Heartaches/ If We Can't Trust Each Other/ I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down, etc.

 
ANN PEEBLES Hi HEX 56 The Complete Ann Peebles On Hi Records, Vol. 2 :1974-81 ● CD $19.98
The second double set features 38 tracks including her fourth, fifth and sixth LPs along with eight non album sides - Come To Mama/ Stand By Woman/ Beware/ I'm Leaving You/ I'm So Thankful/ When I'm In Your Arms/ Lovin' You Without Love/ Old Man With Young Ideas/ Handwriting On the Wall/ Lookin' For A Lovin', etc.

 
SONNY THOMPSON Blue Moon 6037 The Complete REcordings, Vol. 3: 1951-1952 ● CD $13.98
22 more fine sides by pianist/ bandleader Thompson. A mix of excellent instrumentals plus accompaniments to vocalists Brother John Sellers and Sonny's wife Lula Reed including their great hit version of Henry Glover's I'll Drown In My ters which later covered by Ray Charles. There are also a couple of unexpected but fine gospel performances from Lula.

 
ANDRE WILLIAMS & GREEN HORNET Norton CED 299 Holland Shuffle ● CD $13.98
11 tracks, 48 min, highly recommended. Recorded live at the Vera, Groningen Holland in '01, Williams is heard fronting the Dutch group Black Beauty for a wild concert. Courtesy of Miriam & Billy we've got a real greasy set, with titles such as I Wanna Be Your Favorite Pair Of Pajamas/ Agile Mobile & Hostile/ Pussy Stank, & a couple of Andre's blasts from the past Shake A Tail Feather & Jailbait! (GM)

 

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