First up, a huge thank you to all the regular visitors from around the globe for all your continued support and comments. I am pretty gob smacked by the volume of hits I've received here in such a short space of time and all your support gives me the momentum to continue my little corner of the Internet!
So kicking off proceedings today are Kings Go Forth, Andy Noble's Funk and Soul outfit from Milwaukee. They took the scene by storm back in 2008 with their highly sought after and collectible 45, 'One Day', which saw copies topping out on eBay at over £100. 'High On Your Love' is their second release and is more of a laid back soulful affair. Great stuff!
'Please Open Up The Door' from Little Charles is a nice little crossover 45 which I picked up a while back. Perfect string arrangements on this make it a must have cheapie if you can snatch a copy.
The Sisters Of Righteous are another group from the JB productions stable and this quirky up temple Gospel number had to go in my crates after the first listen. Genova and Denise Kinard, along with their cousin, Roberta DuBois made up this Cincinnati Gospel trio. They had also supplied the backing vocals for a couple of James Brown productions and this is one of four 45s he produced for them.
Jumping forward into some new Soul and Funk releases and first up is 'Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover' from The Hawk featuring Little Hannah Collins. It's a tasty pop tinged upbeat 45 which was released on the consistently excellent Record Kicks label from Italy. Following it up is another European release from Al Supersonic & The Teenagers, another fairly recent release in the scheme of things, this time from Spain.
Bettye Swann hits us for six next with her 1967 number one hit, "Make Me Yours". This was her break through record and one listen will show exactly why this made big waves on the soul scene back in the 60's. So Soulful!
Next up is Sly, Slick & Wicked's awesome 70's soul excursion on People records. This is a label that I methodically collect and with a near complete run, this 45 had proved extremely elusive until a London dealer parted with his own copy after some gentle persuasion and a clutch of crisp notes. Topping out over three figures on most lists (if you can find a copy), this is pure quality!
Shirley Walker from The Fascinations took a brief hiatus from her group in 1966 to record this Northern Soul dance floor destroyer under the pseudonym Shirley Lawson on Backbeat records. This is a highly sought after 45 which also saw an outing in the UK on Dave Godin's collectable Soul City Records.
Louisiana harmonica maestro, Slim Harpo steps up with his 1961 Excello 45 'Dont Start Cryin' Now'. This is a down and dirty blues romp and is a real dance floor igniter. All this for around the price of a pint make it well worth picking up.
Keeping on the Blues tip is Dr Ross, The Harmonica Boss, with arguably his best record on the Detroit based Fortune label. Earning his name from carrying his harmonicas around in a doctor's bag, Dr Ross was allegedly a bit of a taskmaster, firing his backing group, The Orbits and eventually going solo as a one man band!
Bringing it up-to-date and staying in the same vein is Dollar Bill and his first 45 on Rollin' Records. "My Baby Makes Me Feel..." is a raw blues stomper which really delivers. I had the pleasure of catching one of his live shows in London a while back and aside from being a hugely talented musician he's also a fantastic showman to boot!
Junior Parker was originally discovered and signed by Ike Turner and after forming The Blue Flames, he made the move over to the legendary Sun Records and recorded 'Feelin' Good' which hit #5 on the R&B chart in 1953. This was also notably included on Keb Darge and Cut Chemist's recent Rockabilly compilation on BBE.
New Orlean's stalwart, Dave Bartholomew has arguably produced some of the best sides to come out of the region. "The Monkey" is one of his lesser known 45s on Imperial Records but still packs a mean punch. This tongue in cheek Rock 'n' Roll social commentary from 1957 has also been covered by Andre Williams and Elvis Costello.
The Isley Brothers T-Neck sessions produced a decent grip of 45s and in my humble opinion some of their best work. "Take Inventory" is a chugging funk side lifted from their 1970 "Get Into Something" LP. Eagle eared Hip Hop fans might recognise the sample from Pete Rock & CL Smooth's "It's Not A Game".
This overlooked Sister Funk outing from Brenda Devlin is a straight up winner. The eye catching Road Record label ensured this Philadelphia slice of funk went straight into my crates. Class!
Della Reece hails from Detroit and started her career in gospel before dipping into secular music. Thank God she made the transition across, as this polished Northern Soul 45 is a real dance floor starter and a recent addition to my play box, having sat forgotten on my shelves for some time. Aside from being a tremendous singer Della Reece is also a reputable film and TV actress, even playing the mother of B.A. Baracus in the A-Team series!
I originally picked The Spellbinders 45 up for its B-Side, 'Chain Reaction' which is also a great slice of Northern Soul. So to get two great sides from one 45 was a real bonus! Fairly tough to turn up, this record should be a welcome addition to any decent recordcollection.
The Soul Brothers Six release, "She's Some Kind Of Wonderful" only made it to #91 in The Top 100 in 1967, which in my eyes is simply criminal! This was the bands most successful release, sadly they were unable to follow up with any further hits and were dropped by Atlantic shortly after.
Into the soulful finish and Mayer Hawthorne's debut record on Stones Throw is a perfect way to round off things. Released to coincide with Valentines Day on a tasty heart shaped 45, this sees the Detroit artist sing as well as perform every instrument on this brilliant cut. Sublime Soul!
Enjoy Episode 5 and be sure to drop back by here regularly for more of "The Good Stuff"!
Kings Go Forth - High On Your Love - Mr C's Records
Little Charles & The Sidewinders - Please Open Up The Door - Botanic Records Inc.
The Sisters Of Righteous - That's How I Feel - King
The Hawk feat. Little Hannah Collins - Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover - Record Kicks
Al Supersonic & The Teenagers - Lean On Me - Unique
Betty Swann - Make Me Yours - Contempo-raries
Sly, Slick & Wicked - Sho' Nuff - People
Shirley Lawson - One More Chance - Back Beat
Slim Harpo - Don't Start Cryin' Now - Excello Records
Doctor Ross & The Orbits - Cat Squirrel - Fortune Records
Dollar Bill The One Man Band - My Baby Makes Me Feel - Rollin Records
Junior Parker & The Blue Flames - Feelin' Good - Charly Records
Dave Bartholomew - The Monkey - Imperial
The Isley Brothers - Take Inventory - T-Neck
Brenda Devlin - Were You Ever Lonely - Road Records
Della Reece - If It Feels Good Do It - Avco
The Spellbinders - Help Me (Get Myself Back Together Again) - Direction
Soul Brothers Six - She's Some Kind Of Wonderful - Atlantic
Mayer Hawthorne & The County - Just Ain't Gonna Work Out - Stones Throw