I'm stoked because Ron's bringin' Brown... James Brown...
the shouting, shimmying, sweating R&B legend who's always a hit on this blog. In addition I'll be playing groovy greats by various other artists. The only thing these vinyl victuals have in common is listenability.
Ron, while you're drapin' the cape
around JB... getting him ready for
his first curtain call... please allow
me to take the first spin.
In the upcoming volume 7 of my Dueling Doo-Wops series I'll be introducing a version of "Since I Fell For You" performed by the Harptones. Today I'd like you to hear the best selling recording of the bluesy 1940s standard. It's by Lenny Welch, an African American pop singer who was well on his way to becoming the next Johnny Mathis until a series of bad breaks derailed his career. Lenny was riding high on this top 5 hit when his record label, Cadence, suddenly folded. Welch had his recording career put on hold when Uncle Sam called him into military duty. When Lenny returned from the service he went a.w.o.l. from the music business to clear his head and hone his craft, but in so doing he lost traction and was never again able to get back into the groove. Let's listen to Lenny at the peak of his career singing "Since I Fell For You."
"Since I Fell for You" - Lenny Welsh (January 1964,
highest chart position #4)
Ron, I'm bewildered.
I'll go crazy if you don't
play some James Brown.
You've got the power and
you've got the platters.
Please please please
spin us some JB's!
Shady, in Volume 2 of
our Dueling Doo-Wops
series you posted a
couple of old R&B
ballads by James Brown.
I agree that Brown's
early recordings are his
best. I had more than
50 of his 45's and there
were many records I
didn't have. The most
Brown song on the
Rock 180 and a song
that I believe every
band in the area
included in their sets,
was "Good Good Lovin".
This was released by Federal Records in 1959 with "Don't
Let it Happen to Me" as the flip.
As popular as it was, at least in Central Pennsylvania,
"Good Good Lovin'" failed to chart, even on the R&B survey.
"Good Good Lovin'" - James Brown (late 1959, uncharted)
Time to shift gears again, Ron, and hear from the late, great Andy Williams. Many people remember the singing star from his popular music variety TV show. Some recall that Williams testified at the trial of his ex-wife, French singer/dancer Claudine Longet, who was charged in the shooting death of her boyfriend, Alpine ski racer Spider Sabich. Andy Williams' testimony must have helped because Claudine served only 30 days in jail.
In addition to releasing Lenny Welch's biggest hit, Cadence Records helped build the career of Andy Williams. When Cadence closed up shop, Andy purchased the company's masters and reissued them on his own label, Barnaby. His new material was released on Columbia.
One of Andy Williams' biggest career hits was "Can't Get Used to Losing You," a record that went to #1 on Cash Box but spent 7 weeks trapped at the #2 spot on Billboard playing second fiddle to two girl group smashes, "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons and "I Will Follow Him' by Little Peggy March.
For some reason "Can't Get Used to Losing You" tickled my fancy. Don't ask me why, it just did. My parents were elated. They took it as a sure sign that the exorcism was a success and that I was turning away from rock 'n' roll and embracing "good" music... "real" music... aka their music. Yeah...NO!
"Can't Get Used to Losing You" - Andy Williams (April 1963,
highest chart position #2)
You better know it, Shady! It's "The Bells," James Brown's
first single release for King Records. The 1960 recording is
a cover of a 1952 Billy Ward & The Dominoes's song which
featured Clyde McPhatter on lead. "The Bells" is a dynamite
blues ballad backed with "And I Do What I Want," but here
again neither side charted.
"The Bells" - James Brown (late 1960, uncharted)
"Bells" has a familiar
ring to it, Ron, and
here's one I'm sure
Saint Louie soul songstress Jackie Ross started out as many black vocalists did, singing gospel. Both of her parents were preachers and at age three Jackie began singing on the radio show that they operated. In the early 60s Jackie moved to Chicago. After a stint at Sam Cooke's SAR Records she signed with Chess. In the summer of 1964 Jackie released "Selfish One" which became her biggest hit, just missing the top 10 on both the black and the white charts. Jackie Ross never became Diana Ross but she left us with an excellent example of mid 60s Chi-Town soul.
"Selfish One" - Jackie Ross (September 1964,
highest chart position #11)
That's right, Shady. One of my favorite James Brown
singles from 1964 is a doublesider on King. Both sides
are excellent. The A-side, "So Long," is superb bluesy
"So Long" - James Brown (June 1964, highest chart
Hold that thought, Ron, while I insert another of my faves. It was recorded by
a Florida born, 'Bama raised country pop singer who earned his street cred playing guitar for Roy Orbison. He produced some worthy wax but lost me as a fan when he poured on the honey.
I doubt that I could ever forgive Bobby Goldsboro for inflicting the ooey-gooey, ichy sticky tear-jerker "Honey"
on the world. The syrupy weeper was released in 1968 and spent four weeks (much too long) at #1 on the U.S. chart and sold something like a gazillion copies worldwide. "Honey" gave me hives! I lunged for the radio dial whenever it started to play. I'd rather be strapped to a chair and forced to listen to a loop of Pat Boone crooning heavy metal favorites!
Let's turn back the clock to the mid 60s when Goldsboro was still under the influence of Roy Orbison. Bobby cranked out some great recordings during that period including "See the Funny Little Clown," "Voodoo Woman," "Too Many People" and "It's Too Late." At the start of 1965 Bobby released a Pretty Womanish recording called "Little Things" and I went for it in a big way!
"Little Things" - Bobby Goldsboro (March 1965, highest
chart position #13)
Shady, the B-side of "So Long" is "Dancin' Little Thing"
and it's a scorcher.
"Dancin' Little Thing" - James Brown (June 1964, uncharted
B side of "So Long")
Although three of its four members were male, the soul act called Patty & the Emblems falls into the girl group category thanks to the soulful vocals of lead singer Patty Russell. The Camden, New Jersey group had only one hit in their career, "Mixed-Up, Shook Up, Girl." The record, which charted in the summer of 1964, barely made it into the top 40 nationally but was considerably hotter in WSBA land.
"Mixed-Up, Shook Up, Girl" - Patty & the Emblems
(August 1964, highest chart position #37)
For my last spin of the day, Shady,
I'd like to play a James Brown song
that was popular during the Christmas
season of 1962. The Del-Chords
played it occasionally. Had to walk
up to Bupp at the stage to ask what
it was. Went out the next week and
bought it at the "Disc". It's the flip
side of "Three Hearts in a Tangle,"
a genuine JB killer bee called "I've
"I've Got Money" - James Brown (December 1962,
uncharted B side of "Three Hearts in a Tangle")
Ron, let me wrap it up
with a def dancer by a
Philly girl group known
as the Sherrys.
The Sherrys were sisters Delthine and Dinell Cook along with Charlotte Butler and Delores Wylie. The Sherrys started out as background singers for teen idol Bobby Rydell. When The Popeye became the latest dance craze during the Halloween season of 1962 thanks to Chubby Checker's hit "Popeye (The Hitchhiker)," the Sherrys released their own variation on the popeye theme with a single called "Pop Pop Pop-Pie." The record went top 40 on both the black and the white charts and earned the girls a shot on American Bandstand.
"Pop Pop Pop-Pie" - The Sherrys (November 1962, highest
chart position #35 Hot 100, #40 Cash Box, #25 R&B)
Don Covay and his R&B group the Goodtimers milked the Popeye dance craze a while longer with "Popeye Waddle,"
a single that charted in January and February of 1963.