Yesterday we had a good old time at Cogans in Norfolk VA if you have a vintage scooter or close to it we would love to see you out! Cheap Pizza, Laughs,beer,fly's and some new friendships!
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Frederick Earl "Shorty" Long (May 20, 1940 – June 29, 1969) was an African-American soul singer, songwriter, and record producer for Motown's Soul Records imprint. He was a native of Birmingham, Alabama, United States, and a 1980 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.
Long came to Motown in 1963 from the Tri-Phi/Harvey label, owned by Berry Gordy, Jr.'s sister, Gwen, and her husband, Harvey Fuqua. His first release, "Devil With The Blue Dress On" (1964), written with William "Mickey" Stevenson, was the first recording issued on Motown's Soul label, a subsidiary designed for more blues-based artists such as Long. While this song never charted nationally, the song was covered and made a hit in 1966 by Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels. Long's 1966 single "Function At The Junction" was his first popular hit, reaching #42 on the national R&B charts. Other single releases included "It's A Crying Shame" (1964), "Chantilly Lace" (1967), and "Night Fo' Last" (1968).
Long's biggest hit was "Here Comes The Judge" in 1968, which reached number-four on the R&B charts and number-eight on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was inspired by a comic act on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In about a judge by Pigmeat Markham, whose own "Here Comes The Judge" (a totally different song) charted two weeks after Long's did in June 1968, and became a Top 20 hit. Long's 1969 singles included "I Had A Dream" and "A Whiter Shade of Pale". He released one album during his lifetime, Here Comes the Judge (1968).
Long played many instruments, including piano, organ, drums, harmonica, and trumpet. He acted as an MC for many of the Motortown Revue shows and tours, and co-wrote several of his tunes ("Devil With The Blue Dress," "Function At The Junction," and "Here Comes The Judge."). Long was the only Motown artist besides Smokey Robinson who was allowed to produce his own recordings in the 1960s. Marvin Gaye, in David Ritz's biography Divided Soul: The Life & Times of Marvin Gaye,, described Shorty Long as "this beautiful cat who had two hits, and then got ignored by Motown." Gaye claimed he "fought for guys like Shorty" while at Motown, since no one ever pushed for these artists. When Holland-Dozier-Holland came to Gaye with a tune, he stated, "Why are you going to produce me? Why don't you produce Shorty Long?"
Shorty Long died on June 29, 1969 in a boating accident on the Detroit River in Michigan. Stevie Wonder played the harmonica at his burial, and placed it on his casket afterwards. Motown issued Long's final album, The Prime of Shorty Long, shortly after his passing.
It is a satirical art house movie spoofing the fashion world and its excesses. It stars Dorothy McGowan as supermodel Polly Maggoo being followed by a French television crew. It also starsGrayson Hall as Miss Maxwell, a fashion magazine editor modeled after Diana Vreeland, and Philippe Noiret as the TV reporter and director. Also appearing in the film are Jean Rochefort, Sami Frey andAlice Sapritch.
McGowan, the Brooklyn-born star and one-time Vogue cover girl in 1962, was one of William Klein's favorite models. After the release of the film, which was McGowan's first and only film role, she disappeared from public view and apparently neither acted nor modeled again, according to Klein.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
DIG TRACK HEAR!!!!
"Bunker Hill" was born David "Dave" Walker on May 5, 1941 in Washington, D.C. Between (and before) his music career David earned distinction as a professional boxer or rather a prize-fighter. Was he good or not - let his statistical score tell its own language: "He was a contender in 25 fights as a heavyweight, and his record was 18 wins, five losses and two draws, with 19 of these fights viewed on network TV. He also spent some time as Archie Moore's sparring partner..." (as mentioned in Billboard Magazine).
In the late 1950's Mr. Walker joined to a Los Angeles-based vocal-gospel group The Sensational Wonders. In 1959, he became a member of the Mighty Clouds Of Joy - the same band, that captured Billboard's pop and r'n'b-charts through the 1970's and the 1980's.
Bunker Hill never released a full album of songs. The band itself was actually gospel singer David "Dave" Walker from the Mighty Clouds of Joy backed by guitar Renaissance man Link Wray's group, the Ray Men. Originally called "Four H-Stamp," the name of the group was an in cognito slice of Americana created by the Ray Men to keep Walker's name and signature voice (singing decidedly ungospel numbers) under wraps.
Set up by Wray and his producer brother Vernon (aka Ray Vernon), Walker and the Raymen toured the Washington club scene and recorded several singles in Link's home-made studio.
Released under the Amy-Mala label, "Hide and Go Seek Pts 1 and 2" (at 4:35, the song was too long to be released on one side of a single) became Bunker Hill's first and biggest hit, reaching #33 on the Billboard Top 100 and staying there for 13 weeks, as well as reaching #27 on the rhythm and blues charts in 1962. Filmmaker John Waters later immortalized the song in his 1989 film Hairspray and described it as "the very best song to dance the Bodie Green to" -- a lewd gyrating dance he and friend Bonnie Pierce used to dance at the mixers sponsored by their Catholic Youth Organization.
The popular single was followed by "Red Riding Hood and the Wolf/Nobody Knows" later in 1962 and "The Girl Can't Dance/You Can't Make Me Doubt My Baby" in 1963. Neither matched the chart success of "Hide and Go Seek," but the soulful vigor of Dave Walker's voice is not to be missed, whether he's ripping through dance numbers ("Red Riding Hood") or B-side ballads ("Nobody Knows", "You Can't Make me..").
Though a full album was planned (Amy-Mala had some unreleased material reportedly in their archives), the project was shelved and abandoned as Walker returned to the Mighty Clouds and, much later, retired to Houston, Texas. After that, the trail on the voice of Bunker Hill runs cold. Hoppula wrote that Walker is presumed to have passed on sometime in the 1980s, but there's no documentation online to confirm or deny that.
Almost 50 years later, the "outlaw" nature of Walker's collaboration with the Raymen seems to continue. You won't find this man's life story on wikipedia or his songs on iTunes. Instead, his memory and his music is privvy to a handful of disc jockeys, music collectors and enthusiasts.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
ONE LIFE TO LIVE ONE LOVE TO GIVE Dillon was born in 1948 in Linstead, St. Catherine, Jamaica. Influenced by American singers Connie Francis, Patti Page and Dionne Warwick, she began singing in talent contests. It was during a performance at the Glass Bucket Club in Kingston, Jamaica with the group The Vulcans, that Duke Reid's session guitarist Lynn Taitt discovered Dillon.
Dillon was 19 when she recorded her first record for Duke Reid. In 1967, Reid released Dillon's "Don’t Stay Away". While most of Dillon’s subsequent recordings would be covers of popular and obscure American songs including Bettye Swann's "Make Me Yours", Perry Como's "Tulips and Heather," The Grass Roots "Midnight Confessions", and Stephen Stills's "Love the One You're With"; "Don't Stay Away" was an original composition featuring Tommy McCook and the Supersonics as the backing band.
Another original song, "It’s Rocking Time" would later be turned into the Alton Ellis' hit "Rocksteady". While these early recordings demonstrate Dillon's mastery of the rocksteady sound, a much slower, soulful, response to the sultry weather that made ska's upbeat rhythm and tempo undesirable even impracticable, it was no indication of her greatest performance, 1967’s "Perfidia". Popularized by the American surf rock band The Ventures, "Perfidia" is a 1940 song written by Alberto Domínguez and made popular by the Cuban bandleader, Xavier Cugat.
At the end of 1967, Dillon moved to New York. The following five years, she spent living a double life. She had a family and career in the United States, flying frequently back to Kingston, Jamaica to continue recording for Reid.
After a number of singles and an album entitled Living in Love, Dillon ended her recording career in 1971. She was 24 years old.
In 1991, Michael Bonnet, the entertainment director for the Oceanea Hotel in Kingston approached Dillon inviting her to sing. Her refusal at first was later rescinded and sparked a revitalized interest in performing and recording. In the years following, Dillion would tour the UK, Germany and Japan.
In 1998 Phyllis Dillon returned to the recording studio with Lynn Taitt, marked by reinterest in ska music in the United States. She remained active until illness took hold.
Phyllis Dillon died on 15 April 2004 in New York, after a two year battle with cancer, at the age of 56.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
LISTEN HEAR! In keeping with my last post on SOUL i thought this would be a good one! In 1963 a group calling themselves Candy and the Kisses recorded a beautiful ballad entitled "A Good Cry," on the R&L label. The song missed out on a lot of airwaves, and that group disapeared from the music scene, however, one year later, three young ladies on the Cameo label would revive the name to great success.
Candy and Suzanne Nelson were daughters of a minister in New York when they and friend Jeanette Johnson decided to form a girl group like many teen girls of the day. The Symphonettes, as they christened themselves were soon discovered by a young Jerry Ross, producer extraordinaire.
Ross had been in Philadelphia with Kenny Gamble, and while at a record hop they saw some kids doing a new dance they called "The 81" to a Martha and the Vandellas song, "In My Lonely Room." The duo immediately made a sound-a-like dance tune called the "The 81" and had Candy and the gals record it for release. Soon the single, and its B-side "Two Happy People" peaked just outside the Top 50 on the charts.
The 81 is a true northern soul classic!!!! dig this you tube clip!
THIS NEXT POST GOES OUT TO MY MOM AND DAD,LOOKING BACK ON IT MY MOM WAS THE ONE WHO TURNED ME ON TO THE SMOOTH SOUNDS OF OF SOUL! THAT IS WHAT SHE GREW UP ON HERE IN VA,AND ALSO MY DAD GROWING UP IN CONNECTICUT.
I GOT MARRIED A FEW MONTHS AGO AND IT WAS AMAZING TO SEE MY PARENTS DANCE TO THE MUSIC THEY GREW UP ON IT'S LIKE THEY WERE 20 YEARS OLD AGAIN HEARING THE MUSIC FOR THE FIRST TIME! THERE IS A REASON WHY THEY CALL IT SOUL MUSIC!!!! CHEERS MOM&DAD THANK YOU!
DIG IT HERE! The Equals were formed in 1965, and they predated the Rudies of Two Tone fame. A multi-racial band that was unique in their own right by their look and sound. Fusing Soul, Pop, Rock, Ska, and the sounds of the West Indies, they broke onto the club and pub circuit strong. The band was made up of Eddy Grant (guitar, and yes Grant of “Electric Avenue” fame), the brothers Gordon and Lincoln Derv (one a guitar player the other a singer), Pat Lloyd (bass), and drummer John Hall. Their hard work paid off and they signed to President Records in 1967. Their early singles didn’t fare to welll in the UK, but they finally got some success with “I Get So Excited” and “Hold Me Closer” in 1968. The latter put them top of the charts in Germany, which spread across through Europe like a case of mono, eventually reaching their homes in the UK and then on to the US. The band releases a couple of more singles, which were kind of flops. Eddy Grant, however, was not done. In 1970 he started Torpedo Records, which focused his attention on various British Reggae artists, the Equals, and a few records he put out under the monicker Little Grant. It was on here they gave us “Black Skinned Blue Eyed Boys” in 1970. Grant went on to have a heart attack at the age of 23 (rumoured to be because of their hectic touring schedule), which pretty much led to his exit and the demise of the band. The copy of the record I have is on Shout, which was a subsidiary of Bang Records out of New York City, which existed from 1967-1972, then got sold to Columbia.
Starting off guitar heavy and moving in with a decent drum beat, the Equals belt out a political song filled with a mixture of their signature Rock, Ska, and Soul. Obviously the Vietnam War was going strong, adding fuel to this already blazing fire of a song. Although they were based out of the UK, there is no doubt that the band was aware of the social/ political issues going on in the world. Being a mixed race band from their inception “Black Skinned/ Blue Eyed Boys/ Ain’t Gonna Fight No Dog Gone War” is a heavy lyric people. It seems that they could see it from both sides of the racial spectrum. Heavy as the lyrics and song was, to me, the song is still soulful as hell. Yes I said it. The Equals had Soul. They sent out a political message in their music were able to achieve racial harmony through it. They made a splash with the song on the UK singles charts, reaching number 9 in 1970. This would be the last song with Eddie Grant, as he moved on to his solo career. Although the Grant left the band to do his thing, there was a resurgence of their material when The Clash covered “Police on My Back” in the latter part of the 70’s, and Pato Banton did his reggae cover version of “Baby Come Back” in 1994. The band did continue on without Grant, and continues to tour under the same name.(fmf)
Monday, September 22, 2008
In 1962/63, The Astronauts were a surf rock band from Boulder, CO, home of astronaut Alan Sheppard. Members were 1962: Richard Otis Fifield:vcl/gtr, Dick Sellars:gtr, Bob Demmon these guys put out some good reverb!!!!!!!!! who would of thought! BOULDER! ISN'T MORK FROM BOULDER?
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Peanut Country Records was just one of the many labels formed by Bronx transplant and all around music guru Frank Guida. Creator of the Norfolk Sound, owner of Frankies Birdland and Frankie’s Got It Record Shops in Norfolk, Virginia, this man is the most famous record producer/ song writer/ record shop owner you never heard of. Founding an incredible more than 20 record labels, that were diverse in sound, it’s evident in musical history that many artists and producers borrowed from Guida to add to their own thing they had going on. From George Martin to Bruce Springsteen to Gary US Bonds, everyone loved the Norfolk Sound. He has a ton of songwriting credits, the most famous being “If You Want To Be Happy”, which I can remember blaring from a Philadelphia station on the oldies nights with Jerry Blavet my Father used to listen to. Guida was producing from 1955 to the late 1980’s, and has been a permenant fixture in the Eastern Virginia hotbed of music. He was known for using all local musicians and the sound of his recordings still stands out today. It’s said that Motown ripped off his sound, whether it’s true or not I do not know. I do know that the Guida way changed Rock and Roll for sure, putting out artists like Bonds, Daddy G, Jimmy Soul, and the Church Street Five. His most well know record labels were Legrand, S.P.Q.R., Romulus, and Peanut Country, which this side is on.
“Let’s Dance Some Mo’ ” is a really great upbeat side. It’s obviously a James Brown knock off, with an unknown musician giving a James-esque call and response and saying things like: “It’s so nice, we gotta do it twice!”. Let’s go a little deeper, is it really a knock off? Guida has claimed Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag was a direct rip off of the Norfolk Sound, so could it be the Godfather was another to borrow from the greatest unknown record producer in history? That went to the grave with Guida in May of this past year. What I do dig about this side is that the organ, guitar, and drums really smoke all together on this cut. It’s sides like this that make me shout: WE NEED THIS TYPE OF MUSIC TODAY! This record is from the heart, and oozes the blood, sweat, and tears of true Funk musicians. A nugget from FMF!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The Clique are a late 1960s U.S. sunshine pop band from Houston, Texas.
The group centered around record producer and songwriter Gary Zekley, and often employed session musicians. Their only album, The Clique (1969), released by White Whale Records, featured the singles "I'll Hold Out My Hand" and "Sugar on Sunday" which reached #45 and #22 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, respectively. "Sugar on Sunday" was a cover of a Tommy James song and its B-Side, "Superman", was covered by R.E.M. on their album Lifes Rich Pageant.
DIG THE TRACK IAM SUPERMAN BY CLIQUE!
Friday, September 19, 2008
Cannibal & the Headhunters were one-hit wonders, but what a hit to have, if you're only going to have one: "Land of 1000 Dances." The group was also one of the first Mexican-American rock bands to have a national hit record, courtesy of that same tune. Founded byFrankie Garcia -- who reportedly earned his nickname "Cannibal" as a boy when he bit an opponent during a fight -- with Robert Jaramillo and Joe Jaramillo of East L.A. in the mid-'60s, the group grew out of a number of earlier bands, including the Rhythm Playboys and the Romanos. The Headhunters' version of "Land of 1000 Dances," written by Chris Kenner and Fats Domino, was issued on the Rampart label in early 1965 and peaked at number 30 on the charts, which got the group booked supporting the Beatles, among many other bands. Wilson Pickett later had the biggest hit version of the same song, reaching number ten, but dozens, perhaps hundreds, of versions were issued. The group's next single didn't do much, but the Land of 1000 Dances album did chart in mid-1965. The group later moved to Columbia's Date Records imprint (home of the Zombies' "Time of the Season"), and at the end of the 1960s they signed with Capitol Records, but found no more success. After a decade of doing oldies shows, Garcia and his then-current group of Headhunters called it quits in 1978, although he has since led other versions of the group in shows on the oldies circuit.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
YET ANOTHER SOUL GIANT HAS PASSED!!!!!! THANKS FOR THE MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Norman Jesse Whitfield (May 12, 1940 – September 16, 2008) was an American songwriterand producer, best known for his work with Berry Gordy's Motown label during the 1960s. He was credited as being one of the creators of the Motown Sound, as well as one of the major instrumental figures in the late-60s sub-genre of psychedelic soul.
Of the hit singles Whitfield produced in his 25-year career included "I Heard It through the Grapevine", "Ain't Too Proud to Beg", "Cloud Nine", "War", "Papa Was a Rolling Stone", "Smiling Faces Sometimes" and "Car Wash". Alongside his Motown lyrical collaborator Barrett Strong, he was inducted to the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2004.