High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Monday, May 10, 2010

The D-Team: Episode 7

In 1972, a crack Dell Rat unit was sent to prison by the Unific Court of Love for a crime they didn't commit..... (Death by Disco).

These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the York, PA underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of soul and revivers of rock ‘n roll.

If you have a problem (with hip hop divas and gangsta rap)...

if no one else can help...

and if you can find them...

maybe you can hire...

The D-Team!

I pity the fool
who don't like these songs!

"Am I the Same Girl" - Barbara Acklin (March 1969)

My admiration for Barbara Acklin and for Windy City Soul in general has grown exponentially in recent years. Brunswick Records was simply a great 60s soul shop. Barbara's talent took her from a job as receptionist for Brunswick producer Carl Davis to a principal songwriter at the label as well as a successful recording artist.

"Love Makes a Woman" might have been Barbara's biggest hit and signature song but I'm happily hooked on several of her other recordings. I would like to showcase them in this and future episodes of D-team.

Barbara Acklin got burned when Brunswick held up the release of a song she recorded called "Am I the Same Girl." Barbara's vocal track was removed, replaced by a piano, and the record was released as an instrumental.

"Soulful Strut" was ostensibly performed by Young-Holt Unlimited, the Chicago instrumental trio whose name members had been part of the popular Ramsey Lewis Trio.
I say ostensibly because rumors circulated that the instrumental was actually performed by Brunswick session musicians and not Young and Holt! Don't you just love the music business? Regardless of who laid down that funky sound, "Soulful Strut" sashayed up the charts, busting into the Top 5 on both Pop and R&B.

Barbara's subsequent release of a single that married her angelic voice to the catchy melody didn't perform nearly as well, stopping halfway up the pop chart and breaking into the R&B Top 40. As such, "Am I the Same Girl" is textbook Shady's Law. Here's a case where more is more. Barbara's vocal version takes the Young-Holt tune to the next level. Please listen now to pure, untainted, feel good Chitown soul...Barbara Acklin's "Am I the Same Girl."

"(I'm Just a) Fool for You" - Gene Chandler (March 1966)

Gene Chandler wasn't only the Duke of Earl. He was a titan of Chicago soul who gave us a treasure trove of exceptional recordings. In 1968 Gene and Barbara Acklin scored modest hits for Brunswick singing the duets "Show Me the Way to Go" and "From the Teacher to the Preacher."

The song I'd like to share with you here and now is a marvelous Gene Chandler solo effort entitled "(I'm Just a) Fool for You," his last single released on Constellation. In March of 1966 "Fool for You" struggled for two weeks to catch a bullet on the Billboard Pop Singles chart but bogged down at #88, making this sensational soul sound a first round inductee into the Shady's Law Hall of Fame (Shame).

"Wonder Boy" - Lesley Gore (August 1964)

You can always tell a great recording artist by the number of two-fers they release (2 excellent sides back-to-back on a 45). Between the Pixies Three and Lesley Gore, Mercury Records released quite a few two for the price of one singles. Lesley's "Wonder Boy," the flip side of her top 20 hit "Maybe I Know," was one of the best girl group sounds to emerge during the summer of 1964. Yes, recordings by a solo female artist are categorized as "girl group" if the theme and arrangement fit the genre, particularly if her vocals are overdubbed in the production mix down. Let's listen to one of Lesley's greatest killer bees, "Wonder Boy."

"I Can Hear the Grass Grow" - The Move (April 1967)

Here's a refreshing sound by The Move. Adored in their native England, The Move has the dubious distinction of being the best 60s British band never to catch fire in America. The Move had nine hits in the UK in the space of five years but flew under the radar in the USA. Released in 1967, "I Can Hear the Grass Grow" was the band's second single and finished at #5 UK.

Was this the start of the Green Movement? "Grass Grow" is categorized as psychedelia but, according to the Move members, the title was actually inspired by sitting through a boring lecture. Yeah right, mate...and then along comes Mary!.....and "Baby, Let Me Bang Your Box" tells the uplifting story of a young man's passion for pumping the piano!

Don't miss the next thrill-packed episode of The D-Team, coming soon!

I love it
when a plan comes together!

Have a Shady day!

No comments:

Post a Comment

You talkin' to me?