Monday, June 29, 2009

All quiet on the Michael Jackson front.

Sadly, I didn't really have anything to add to the 4 or 5 million words written since last Thursday. I wasn't moved in any direction, sad or happy. However, I have been reading a lot of material about him-pro and con-and I have finally found something I think is the most astute piece of MJ writing out there right now. It comes from an online acquaintance, Ben Lazar, who runs the music blog A Deep Shade of Soul. Click on over and give it a read. I think you'll find, as I did, that it provides the right amount of analysis and closure to a phenomenon that had swollen all out of proportion since MJ's death on the 25th. Don't take my word for it, go read Ben's piece, The Ecstasy of Michael Jackson, here.

Why can't I find writers like him for my literary agency?

Later,

Christopher

Lost & Found playlist for 6/25/09

Intro: "Spreadin' Honey" - The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band

Background music for the show: The Field - Yesterday and Today

Dolores Johnson - "What Kind of Man Are You"
The Vibrations - "'Cause You're Mine"
100 Proof {Aged in Soul} - "Love Is Sweeter (The Second Time Around)"
Shirley Ellis - "Soul Time"
The Miracles - "Everybody's Gotta Pay Some Dues"

Aretha Franklin - "My Song"
Marvin Gaye - "Hope I Don't Get My Heart Broke"
Z.Z. Hill - "Touch 'Em with Love"
Steve Mancha - "Just Keep On Lovin' Me"
Al Wilson - "When You Love (You're Loved Too)"

Ernie K-Doe - "Here Come the Girls"
Dusty Wilson - "Can't Do Without You"
Lee Moses - "Bad Girl, Pt.2"
The Continental 4 - "The Way I Love You"
The Pretenders - "I Wanna Be (Your Everything)"

Dobie Gray - "The In Crowd"
Betty Everett - "Gettin' Mighty Crowded"
The Unifics - "Which One Should I Choose?"
Tyrone Ashley's Funky Music Machine - "Can't Stay Away"
The Chandeliers - "Stop Dragging My Heart Around"

The Good Time Gospel Set:

The Sensational Prodigal Sons - "Taking Life Easy"
The Consolers - "Sin is to Blame"
The Gospel Keynotes - "A Train Bound for Glory"
Tommy Ellison & the Five Singing Stars - "Been in the Storm Too Long"
Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens - "Jordan River"

Sam Cooke - "Trouble Blues"
James & Bobby Purify - "My Adorable One"
Timmy Thomas - "Why Can't We Live Together"
24-Carat Black - "Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth"
24-Carat Black - "I Don't Love You"

Ray Gant & the Arabian Knights - "Chattanooga Walk"
Wilson Pickett - "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love"
Watson & the Sherlocks - "Standing On the Corner"
Lou Roberts - "She's Not Mama's Little Girl Anymore"
Sam Baker - "Do Right Man"
Spencer Wiggins - "Old Friend (You Asked Me If I Miss Her)"

Outro: "Beautiful Baby" - The Clangers

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lost & Found playlist for 6/18/09

Intro: “Spreadin' Honey” – The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band

Background Music for the Show: Various Artists – Mod Jazz

Ben E. King – “Don't Drive Me Away”
Arthur K. Adams – “I Need You”
Swamp Dogg – “I'm the Lover Man”
Jackie Wilson – “Whispers (Getting Louder)”
Lou Johnson – “Tears, Tears, Tears”

Eddie & Ernie – “Bullets Don't Have Eye”
Terry & the Tyrants – “Say It Baby”
Howard Tate – “These Are the Thing That Make Me Know You're Gone”
O.V. Wright – “Memory Blues”
The M.G.'s – “Sugarcane”

Black Merda – “Reality”
Wilson Pickett – “Something You Got”
Frank Armstrong & the Stingers – “Feel Like I Want to Holler”
The Main Ingredient – “Can't Stand Your Love”
Jimmy Hughes – “Neighbor, Neighbor”

Jerry Peters – “Did I Step on Your Heart”
Lee Moses – “Time and Place”
Carla Thomas – “That Beat Keeps Disturbing My Heart”
Ollie Nightingale – “I'll Take Care of You”
Lee Fields & the Expressions – “Do You Love Me (Like You Say You Do)”

The Blues Cellar: A Farewell to Barry Beckett

Lightnin' Hopkins – “Move on Out, Part One”
Clarence Carter – “Snatchin' It Back”
Etta James – “Lovin' You More Every Day”
Albert King – “Corina, Corina”
Otis Rush – “My Old Lady”
Leon Peterson – “Baby, Baby, Baby”
Fontella Bass (w/Bobby McClure) – “Don't Mess Up a Good Thing”
Syl Johnson – “I Take Care of Homework”
Baby Ray – “What Am I Living For?”
Clarence "Frogman" Henry – “Your Picture”

Aaron Neville – “Sweet Little Mama”
Bennie Shaw – “What Price for Love”
Joe Tex – “Meet Me In Church”
Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens – “I'll Take the Long Road”
Wayne Boykins – “Gray Skies”
Dee Dee Sharp – “Bye Bye Baby”

Outro: “Beautiful Baby” – The Clangers

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

R.I.P. Barry Beckett

You might not know the name right off the top of your head but if you've listened to rhythm & blues, country, or rock in the late 60's until now you have no doubt heard Barry Beckett's playing.

The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, also known as The Swampers, are a group of American soul, R&B, and country studio musicians based in the Alabama town of Muscle Shoals. These musicians, one of the best-known groups of session musicians, crafted the "Muscle Shoals Sound." They were inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1995 for a "Lifework Award for Non-Performing Achievement" and into the Musician's Hall Of Fame in 2008 (the performers inducted into the latter were the four founding Swampers -- Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins, David Hood, Jimmy Johnson -- plus Pete Carr, Clayton Ivey, Randy McCormack, Will McFarlane, and Spooner Oldham). The nickname "The Swampers" was given to the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section by singer/songwriter Leon Russell, who recorded with them. (Thx to Wikipedia for the quick bio.)

From The New York Times:

June 16, 2009

Barry Beckett, Muscle Shoals Musician, Dies at 66

Barry Beckett, an Alabama-born keyboardist who helped create the distinctly Southern amalgamation of rhythm and blues, soul and country that became known as the Muscle Shoals sound, and who as a producer recorded a wide range of music with Bob Dylan, Kenny Chesney, Bob Seger, Dire Straits and others, died on Wednesday at his home in Hendersonville, Tenn., north of Nashville. He was 66.

The cause was complications of a stroke, his son Matthew said.

As a studio musician in the 1960s, Mr. Beckett played in the band affiliated with Fame Studios, the production house that turned an unlikely Southern town, Muscle Shoals, Ala., into a center of indigenous American popular music. The band, known as the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and also called the Swampers, split from Fame in 1969 and, helped by the producer Jerry Wexler, created its own studio, the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, in nearby Sheffield.

Either with the Rhythm Section — which also included the guitarist Jimmy Johnson, the bassist David Hood and the drummer Roger Hawkins — or on his own, Mr. Beckett played behind a remarkable list of performers. They include Aretha Franklin, the Staple Singers, Percy Sledge, J. J. Cale, Boz Skaggs, Paul Simon — he played the organ solo on Mr. Simon’s “Kodachrome” — Bob Seger and Leon Russell. The Swampers were immortalized in Southern rock ’n’ roll when the band Lynyrd Skynyrd tipped hat to them in the 1974 hit “Sweet Home Alabama”:

Now, Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers

And they’ve been known to pick a song or two

Lord, they get me off so much

They pick me up when I’m feeling blue

Now, how about you?

Barry Edward Beckett was born in Birmingham, Ala., on Feb. 4, 1943. His father, Horace, was an insurance salesman who also dabbled on guitar and for a time hosted a local radio program. He attended the University of Alabama, where, according to The Times Daily of Florence, Ala., he first heard the music of two of the Swampers, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Hawkins, who were then playing in a band called the Del-Rays. He was working with a blues producer in Pensacola, Fla., when he was asked to join the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.

In the 1970s Mr. Beckett began producing as well as playing. Among many other projects, he produced or co-produced the hit singles “Torn Between Two Lovers” (1976) by Mary MacGregor, “Smoke From a Distant Fire” (1977) by the Sanford-Townsend Band and Mr. Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonite” (1978), as well as, with Mr. Wexler, Bob Dylan’s albums “Slow Train Coming” (1979), on which he also played keyboards, and “Saved ” (1980).

In the mid-1980s Mr. Beckett moved to Nashville, where he worked for a time producing records for Warner Brothers, including Hank Williams Jr.’s album “Born to Boogie,” which reached the top of the Billboard country chart in 1987. He later became an independent producer, working with rock groups like Phish, and country artists like Kenny Chesney and Alabama.

In addition to his son Matthew, who lives in Nashville, Mr. Beckett is survived by his wife of 43 years, Diane, whom he met when he was playing at a club in Pensacola and she was in the audience; another son, Mark, of Hendersonville, a drummer who plays on Mr. Chesney’s current hit, “Out Last Night”; and a grandson.

“There’s no way I would be where I am today in my life if it wasn’t for Barry Beckett,” Mr. Chesney, perhaps country music’s top male star and whose first two albums were produced by Mr. Beckett, told the newspaper The Tennessean in an interview last week. “He was one of the first people in Nashville to believe in me, on any level.”

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lost & Found playlist for 6/11/09

My hearty thanks to Geoff Edgers for coming on to talk about his movie Do It Again: One Man's Quest to Reunite the Kinks. Would you like to help him finish his movie? You can find out much, much more at Kickstarter.com. If you'd like to email Geoff, his email address is: gedgers@mac.com. So far he has:
58 Backers
$5,071 pledged of $5,500 goal
59 days to go
From his Kickstarter page:

Last May, I created my mission: To reunite the brilliant but (in my opinion) under-appreciated band, the Kinks. I decided to make a documentary about the quest, wherever it took me. And it took me... To New York, to Los Angeles and to London. Along the way, I scored choice encounters with fellow Kinks fans named Paul McCartney, Sting, Zooey Deschanel, Paul Weller, Brian Wilson, Robyn Hitchcock and Clive Davis. I also headed to London to search out the original four: Ray Davies, Dave Davies, Pete Quaife and Mick Avory.

So where do you come in?

We need to raise just $5,500 largely to finish the editing. (That’s after already raising about $65,000 to make the film – and what we put in from our own pockets.) The good news is that we've already filmed everything we need and I'm confident, from looking over our rough cut, that we're on the way to creating an innovative, inspiring, exciting film. Did I succeed at my mission? You'll have to wait and see.

On to today's playlist...

Geoff's selections:

Intro: "Lost and Found" - The Kinks

Dave Davies - "Strangers"
The Kinks - "Do It Again"
The Kinks - "Harry Rag"
The Jam - "David Watts"
Ray Davies - "You're Asking Me"

Your lazy host's dreck for the rest of the show:

Utopia - "Utopia"
The Band - "When I Paint My Masterpiece"
The Remains - "Thank You"

The Velvet Underground - "What Goes On"
Boz Scaggs - "I'll Be Long Gone"
Caroline Peyton - "Pull"

Phyllis Dillon - "Don't Stay Away"
The Rolling Stones - "Take It or Leave It"
Roky Erickson - "Starry Eyes"
The Kinks - "Stop Your Sobbing"

Outro: "Beautiful Baby" - The Clangers

Monday, June 08, 2009

Rock 'n' Roll Thursday comes early this month

Hi all,

This Thursday I am featuring an interview with Geoff Edgers, Boston Globe staff writer, and author of Who Were the Beatles? and Who Was Elvis Presley?, who is working on the documentary Do It Again: One Man's Quest to Reunite the Kinks. Geoff will be discussing his film and will also play d.j. for the hour with some of his favorite Kinks (and Kinks related) songs.

Last May, Boston Globe staff writer Geoff Edgers decided he was going to try and reunite the brilliant but (in his opinion) under-appreciated band, the Kinks. He decided to make a documentary about the quest and along the way scored choice encounters with fellow Kinks fans named Paul McCartney, Sting, Zooey Deschanel, Paul Weller, Brian Wilson, Robyn Hitchcock and Clive Davis.

Of course, he also headed to London to search out the original four: Ray Davies, Dave Davies, Pete Quaife and Mick Avory. You can watch a trailer of his efforts on Kickstarter, where Edgers is also looking for donations to help finish the project (he claims the project has already run an estimated $65,000 out of his — and other investor’s — pockets). We are highly anticipating this documentary, but it raises one important question: Did he reunite the Kinks? Will they play together? (well, that’s two questions, but you get the point).
I am not sure if we are going to take phone calls or not but feel free to tune in and find out if we are. Also, if you'd like to get involved with Geoff's movie go to Kickstarter.com and make a pledge to help finish up the final editing of the film. Remember, money talks and bullshit walks. Do the right thing (for Ray and Dave, if not for yourself).

CV

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Lost & Found playlist for 6/4/09

Intro: “Spreadin' Honey” – The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band

Background music for the show: Ocote Soul Sounds & Adrian Quesada – Coconut Rock

Lonnie Youngblood – “Sweet Sweet Tootie”
The Soul Children – “Come Back Kind of Love”
Bohannon – “Run It On Down, Mr. DJ (Part 1)”
Melvin Bliss – “Reward”
Soul Potion – “Soul Baby”

Baby Neal & the Smart Brothers – “Lorraine”
Little Beaver – “Party Down-Part 1”
The Detroit Emeralds – “You Want It, You Got It”
Arthur Conley – “Put Our Love Together”
Brother Soul – “Do It Good”

Bobby Byrd – “Keep On Doin' What You're Doin'”
William DeVaughn – “Blood is Thicker Than Water”
King Floyd – “I'm Gonna Fall In Love With You”
George McCrae – “Rock Your Baby”
All the People – “Whatcha Gonna Do About It”

Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens – “A Change Is Gonna Come”

The Blues Cellar: The Women of Blues (R.I.P. Koko Taylor)

Koko Taylor – “Wang Dang Doodle”
Koko Taylor – “I Got What It Takes”
Mildred Jones – “Mr. Thrill”
Bonnie Raitt – “Devil Got My Woman”
Etta James – “I'd Rather Go Blind”

Gary Toms Empire – “7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (Blow Your Whistle)”
The Dynamic Corvettes Funky Music is the Thing, Pt.1”
Bettye LaVette – “Let Me Down Easy”
The Fantastic Johnny C – “Look What Love Can Make You Do”
Eddie & Ernie – “Bullets Don't Have Eyes”

Oliver Sain – “Bus Stop”
Black Velvet – “An Earth Quake's Coming (If you Don't Straighten Up)”
The Mohawks – “Champ”
Banbarra – “Shack Up”
The Delgates Funky Butt”

Baby Washington – “I've Got to Break Away”
The Falcons – “I'm a Fool, I Must Love You”

Outro: “Beautiful Baby” – The Clangers

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

R.I.P Koko Taylor

Shit. Another great now on the wrong side of the grass.

From the AP:

CHICAGO (AP) — Koko Taylor, a sharecropper's daughter
whose regal bearing and powerful voice earned her the
sobriquet "Queen of the Blues," has died after
complications from surgery. She was 80.

Taylor died Wednesday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital
about two weeks after surgery for a gastrointestinal
bleed, said Marc Lipkin, director of publicity for her
record label, Alligator Records, which made the
announcement.

Taylor's career stretched more than five decades. While
she did not have widespread mainstream success, she was
revered and beloved by blues aficionados, and earned
worldwide acclaim for her work, which including the
best-selling song "Wang Dang Doodle" and tunes such as
"What Kind of Man is This" and "I Got What It Takes."

Taylor appeared on national television numerous times,
and was the subject of a PBS documentary and had a small
part in director David Lynch's "Wild at Heart."

In the course of her career, Taylor was nominated seven
times for Grammy awards and won in 1984.

Born Cora Walton just outside Memphis, Tenn., Taylor
said her dream to become a blues singer was nurtured in
the cotton fields outside her family's sharecropper shack.

"I used to listen to the radio, and when I was about 18
years old, B.B. King was a disc jockey and he had a radio
program, 15 minutes a day, over in West Memphis, Arkansas
and he would play the blues," she said in a 1990 interview.
"I would hear different records and things by Muddy Waters,
Bessie Smith, Memphis Minnie, Sonnyboy Williams and all
these people, you know, which I just loved."

Although her father encouraged her to sing only gospel music,
Cora and her siblings would sneak out back with their homemade instruments and play the blues. With one brother accompanying
on a guitar made out of bailing wire and nails and one brother
on a fife made out of corncob, she began on the path to blues
woman.

Orphaned at 11, Koko — a nickname she earned because of an
early love of chocolate — at age 18 moved to Chicago with her
soon-to-be-husband, the late Robert "Pops" Taylor, in search
for work.

Setting up house on the South Side, Koko found work as a
cleaning woman for a wealthy family living in the city's
northern suburbs. At night and on weekends, she and her
husband, who would later become her manager, frequented
Chicago's clubs, where many the artists heard on the radio
performed.

"I started going to these local clubs, me and my husband,
and everybody got to know us," Taylor said. "And then the
guys would start letting me sit in, you know, come up on
the bandstand and do a tune."

The break for Tennessee-born Taylor came in 1962, when
arranger/composer Willie Dixon, impressed by her voice, got
her a Chess recording contract and produced several singles
(and two albums) for her, including the million-selling 1965
hit, "Wang Dang Doodle," which she called silly, but which
launched her recording career.

From Chicago blues clubs, Taylor took her raucous, gritty,
good-time blues on the road to blues and jazz festivals
around the nation, and into Europe. After the Chess label
folded, she signed with Alligator Records.

In most years, she performed at least 100 concerts a year.

"Blues is my life," Taylor once said. "It's a true feeling
that comes from the heart, not something that just comes out
of my mouth. Blues is what I love, and blues is what I always
do."

In addition to performing, she operated a Chicago nightclub,
which closed in November 2001 because her daughter, manager
Joyce Threatt, developed severe asthma and could no longer
manage a smoky nightclub.