Saturday, December 28, 2013

Blacks, Whites & Blues

Well worth getting hold of if you can, the accompanying playlist below makes an excellent companion to the book.

WLAC - John Richbourg - Way Down South In Dixie (1967)

Tune in to mixcloud here for our belated Christmas gift and a rare treat to head back in time and hear a legendary broadcaster, some terrific soul tunes and adverts for scalp conditioner and baby chickens. We have 2 more of these shows to put up over the next week or two, so stay tuned in and watch that dial. Playlist of the tunes John featured on these shows is here:

minus the ones below Spotify has yet to upload...


Saturday, November 16, 2013

God's Pocket Jukebox - #18 - Carolyn Faye - Warm Loving Man (1967)

We bring our very own pocketful of R&B to a close with a fine southern soul record, this time from a less celebrated artist, recorded for Malaco. You can read more on the recording right here.

Assuming you've enjoyed hearing this selection as much as we have putting it together, we've added a Midnight Hour Special (that means 45 minutes) covering the same tunes here, while for added value, if Spotify is your thing, then you can also get the same selection here...just don't tell David Byrne or Thom Yorke the next time you bump into them at ASDA.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

God's Pocket Jukebox - #17 - Etta James - Waiting For Charlie To Come Home (1962)

This performance from the late, great Etta was the flip side of the hit Something's Got A Hold On Me, and the opening track on her Argo album, Etta James. Melody by Burt Bacharach, lyrics from Bob Hilliard, it is simply magnificent.

Monday, October 14, 2013

God's Pocket Jukebox - #16 - Jan Bradley - Mama Didn't Lie (1963)

Sweet soul, written by Curtis Mayfield and released on Chess, this was the singer's only proper hit. She quit recording and became a social worker, which we guess is probably the right way round to do things.

Monday, October 7, 2013

God's Pocket Jukebox - #15 - Jimmy McCracklin - Reelin' & Rockin' (1950)

This singer and pianist died last year after a long and fruitful career during which he recorded in a number of styles and labels. This jump blues was recorded for Modern with his classic Blues Blasters group.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

God's Pocket Jukebox - #14 - The Spiders - I Didn't Want To Do It (1954)

No apologies for sticking in New Orleans and Imperial for this tune from a vocal group who had started out as the Zion City Harmonizers in 1947, but were turned away from gospel to popular work by legendary studio owner and recording engineer Cosimo Matassa. Maybe the title of this, their first hit, betrayed their reluctance to trade hymns for rhythm and blues, but they had four further R&B top 10 records before lead singer Chuck Carbo and his brother Chick broke up the group to start solo careers.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

God's Pocket Jukebox - #13 - Tommy Ridgley - Looped (1952)

A stalwart of the post war New Orleans Rhythm & Blues scene, the pianist and singer recorded this tune for Imperial, who had cut his first records in 1949. He also recorded some great R&B for Decca, Atlantic and a host of smaller labels, but we like this performance as much as any for its lazy energy.

Time For A Recall To The Airwaves

Thanks to Famous Last Words for this recent interview which will be of interest to many who follow God's Eternal Jukebox.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

God's Pocket Jukebox - #12 - The Jarmels - A Little Bit Of Soap (1961)

Back to pop soul with this tune from Bert Berns, his first hit of many, but a one off for R&B vocal group The Jarmels.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

God's Pocket Jukebox - #11 - Young Jessie, with The Flairs - Why Do I Love You (195?)

2 years ago we featured this artist in our Aural Massage category and this tune is equally fine. As always the vocal from Obediah Donnell Jessie is superb, but we especially like the lines of both the lead guitar and the backing group. Another all round fun turn from an underrated performer and guaranteed to lift your mood, however moody you might be feeling. We can't be sure of the year of this recording as to our knowledge it never made it to 45, so if you can be, please let us know.

God's Pocket Jukebox - #10 - Ernie Freeman Combo - Jivin Around (1956)

We kick off side 2 of this mix tape with an instrumental from a musician and band leader whose varied history was largely unknown to us until we came across a research piece here that attempts to fit together the strands of a remarkable and influential career.  It's a cracking tune, so if research is not your thing, the play button below will tell you all you need to know.

Monday, September 9, 2013

God's Pocket Jukebox - #9 - Debbie Taylor - How Long Can This Last (1969)

We think the best way to follow pop R&B (and end Side 1 of the 'tape') is with this heart rending performance. Like many fine soul ballads of the era, the song was a B side to an up tempo tune, in this case Don't Let It End. The singer's apparent longevity doubts proved prophetic - by 1975 Debbie Taylor had stopped recording altogether, ending with "I Don't Wanna Leave You", also a fine tune, but off the remit of this compilation.

Half way through God's Pocket Jukebox, so stick around for Side 2...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

God's Pocket Jukebox - #8 - The Exciters - Do Wah Diddy Diddy (1963)

Clap hands for this Brill Building tune from writers Jeff Barry & Ellie Greenwich....a year later a Number 1 pop hit for British band Manfred Mann. And if Pop R&B isn't your thing (we can take it in small doses) then try and resist this 1964 version from French singer Sheila, who was clearly so late for the live performance she had to rush into the television studio in her Renault, with no time to find a parking meter outside.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

God's Pocket Jukebox - #7 - The Clovers - Ting-A-Ling (1952)

"The way they laugh...the way they sing..."

We covered this group in some detail earlier this Summer, just before our well earned break from blogging - we had blogitis, but we're all better now, thanks for asking. This tune was featured in that series of posts, but was too good to leave out of this mix - here's the 78 version, with authentically awful sound.

There are 18 R&B tunes altogether in God's Pocket Jukebox - more to come this month. When we get to #18 we'll also provide a Spotify playlist and upload the compilation to Mixcloud for a (slightly shorter than usual) Midnight Hour.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

God's Pocket Jukebox - #4 - The Coasters - I'm A Hog For You (1959)

B side of their top 10 hit Poison Ivy, both tunes written by Leiber & Stoller, this is by far the better of the two.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

God's Pocket Jukebox - #3 - Lowell Fulson - Mama Won't You Jump With Me (1951)

We've covered this fine blues artist in more detail before and couldn't avoid fitting him into the compilation, his records are just too good not to be heard regularly. Here's one of his Swing Time recordings, with what could be Lloyd Glenn or Ray Charles on piano - either is good.

Monday, July 29, 2013

God's Pocket Jukebox - #1 - Huey Piano Smith & The Clowns - Rockin Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu (1957)

In 1982, New Musical Express gave away a compilation tape they called "Pocket Jukebox". The tape featured 18 R&B tunes culled from a variety of early 1980s reissue albums on Charly Records, a London based independent label with a wonderful catalog of great post war American recordings. As they said on the cover, it was "one long party of rhythm 'n' blue delights, soul, swing and jump". It got played incessantly in our tape machines, in and out of the car, and helped set us off on the never ending quest to find more of the same. No doubt this was true for many others too.

31 years later, we bring our own Pocket Jukebox into the world. We have kept true to the spirit and flavour of the original and feature tunes that hold their own with the NME selections.

This New Orleans classic from Huey "Piano" Smith (with Bobby Marchan on vocals) has few equals anywhere, in any genre. An obvious tune to start off the compilation.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Happy Trails - The Louisiana Five Jazz Orchestra - The Alcoholic Blues (1919)

If you've been taking the featured CD too literally this month, here's a reminder of where too much time spent in the pub can take you...great tune though.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Featured Album - Drunk - 100 Smashed Hits (Part Four)

Final selection of drinking tunes from the last CD in the 4CD set we have covered this month.