Saturday, February 13, 2016

Don't Mess With Cupid

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Rise Of Southern Soul

Monday, April 15, 2013

Johnny Jenkins And The Pinetoppers

Love Twist was a hit in Macon, Georgia in the early 1960's.  When The Pinetoppers went back into the studio for the follow up, Otis used the extra studio time to record "These Arms Of Mine".

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Otis Redding on stage at the Whiskey A Go-Go in 1966.  Image borrowed from the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Doug Sahm - She Purt The Hurt On Me

Doug Sahm  -  She Put The Hurt On Me

Juke Box Music has to be one of my favorite Doug Sahm LPs.  Released on Antone's Records in 1988 out of Austin, it gives Sahm the opportunity to send a big wet kiss to the classic R&B and doo-wop sounds that he loved.

She Put The Hurt On Me comes from the pen of Otis Redding and if you'd like to hear his version, here you go.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Joe Tex month day 24: The Soul Clan

In 1968 Joe Tex found himself in yet another one of those situtations where he was ahead of his time and involved in something that has interesting echoes in modern day soul, r&b and rap: the Soul Clan.

Originally conceived by Don Covay and Solomon Burke, the original Soul Clan was supposed to be the following individuals: Covay, Burke, JT, Wilson Pickett, and Otis Redding. 

The idea was that these huge soul stars would record together, pool their resources, and become a positive force for the black community. They would take the proceeds from their recordings and set up trust funds for their children and for the community. The concept was sort of like an early version of, say, Roc-a-Fella records, and was in part inspired by Sam Cooke's forming of SAR records - the notion that the best way for black entertainers to achieve financial independence by setting up their own collective.

Unfortunately, Otis died in the plane crash, and Pickett backed out, claiming he didn't need to be a part of the Soul Clan, that he had plenty of hits on his own. Redding was replaced by Arthur Conley, Pickett by Ben E. King. The group released their first 45, which was supposed to set them on a pathway to world domination.

But the only thing that ever came of the Soul Clan concept beyond that 45 was a single, dodgy, compilation LP. 

The recording itself also has something of the vibe of later hip-hop singles, where rappers guest on each other's records - all the vocals were done around a pre-recorded backing track in separate studios at separate times, with the performers each taking a verse, doing their own schtick and call outs, based around their own hits and personas. The Soul Clan never really met in the studio.

Solomon Burke claimed the Soul Clan 45 was stopped on its run up the charts by mysterious corporate forces, who shut the record down.

"The Soul Clan was deliberately destroyed because we were becoming a power structure. Our interest as a Soul Clan was to build a financial empire, and once that was found out, we were destroyed."

Whether this is true, or if it's more likely that the Soul Clan single didn't top the charts because it depends more on star caché than truly good songs or artistic chemistry, is at this point a matter of speculation. It's still a heck of a thing to get to listen to.

King, Tex, Covay, Pickett and Burke - from an apparently disastrous 
attempt at a reunion gig in the early 80s

Peter Guralnick's Sweet Soul Music is the source for this post. The book remains a great read 26 years later.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Amazing Story of the Joe Tex/James Brown Feud

"Money won't change you, Joe - but I will take you out! Payback!"
"You better hold on, James - I don't play! I'll go upside your head!"

Joe Tex and James Brown were bitter rivals. The beef started over a controversy about stage moves. JT thought JB swiped his trademark microphone kicking tricks. JB claimed JT stole them from him. This led to an escalating series of thefts and public jabs that stands up to any modern day hip-hop feud. After all, Joe Tex was the original rapper.

Things started heating up when Jay-B covered a new Jay-T single, "Baby You're Right".

The singers released the cuts around the same time, but Brown had the bigger hit, reaching number two R&B and scoring on the pop chart. Joe was still wandering the wilderness in terms of record sales, so the drubbing on the charts had to sting.

It probably didn't help that James hands Joe his Tex ass, performance wise. How did Joe miss the opportunity to rap over that boring organ solo in the middle?

(not to mention the fact that Brown took half the songwriting credit for his version)

The battle began in earnest when JB stole JT's girlfriend, Bea Ford. Then, just to twist the knife, JB sent JT a letter telling him that he was through with the Bea and Joe could have her back.

This led to the magnificent diss record "You Keep Her", where Joe calls James out by name, saying he was better off without the Bea anyway.

The situation came to a head at a double-billed gig in Macon, Georgia. JB hadn't played his home turf in a while. JT opened the highly anticipated homecoming. He came onstage wearing a ratty, torn blanket, fell down on his knees, grabbed his back like he was in terrible pain, tangled himself up, and hollered, "Please! Please! Please! Get me out of this cape!"

Joe Tex did that opening for James Brown.

In Macon, Georgia.

Wayne Cochran says so!

JB was furious, and trailed JT to an after-show at a local juke joint, Club 15. The band at the gig just happened to be the Otis Redding and the Pinetoppers. Brown grabbed a couple of shotguns, went inside, and started firing at Tex, Omar style! Someone in the bar returned fire, and Joe fled out the back, while Otis and Johnny Jenkins hid behind the piano. Apparently seven people were injured in the crossfire. JB ran back to his tour bus, got behind the wheel, and took off.

"Remember that time James Brown shot up the Club 15 tryin'
to kill Joe Tex and you had to hide behind the piano?"

Eventually the two patched things up enough for Joe to pen the immortal line: "If I was a dancefloor, James Brown could mash potatoes on me all night long!"

Check out page two of this great article about Brown by Scott Freeman, written for Atlanta's Creative Loafing in 2007, and this summary of the beef by James McAllister.

It's all true!

Wayne Cochran wouldn't lie!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Resolution

Otis Redding & Carla Thomas (mp3)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Big O - Otis Redding

Otis would have turned 70 this Friday.  I have always wondered what the world would be like if he was still with us.  Photo via the Georgia Music Hall Of Fame (also gone).

William Bell - Tribute To A King

Lattimore Brown - Otis Is Gone, Pt. 1

Eddie Floyd - Big Bird 

Otis Redding - The Happy Song (Dum-Dum) 

This 1967 live show from the Stax/Volt tour in Norway has never been topped.

Monday, October 11, 2010

So Long, Solomon Burke

"I'm talkin' about Brother Solomon Burke, you all know him dontcha."
-Wilson Pickett

The world lost a literal and figurative giant yesterday with the passing of Solomon Burke. Please enjoy these admittedly obvious choices from his oeuvre as well as various other stabs at material written by or associated with King Solomon, until somebody else, hopefully The Hound, posts something more eloquent and comprehensive.

Home In Your Heart
Cry To Me

Otis Redding - Down In The Valley
(complete with skip to help perpetuate the illusion that you are listening to a record)
Wilson Pickett - Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
Betty Harris - Cry To Me
Dr. Feelgood - Stupidity
Bill Woman & the Limey Fops - If You Need Me

Thursday, April 15, 2010


James Moore, better known to the world as Slim Harpo, created the greatest works in the history of modern civilization in any medium. One of these is "Baby, Scratch My Back", presented here along with several worthy other versions, plus an unrelated but nonetheless excellent slab of limey fuzz also entitled "Scratch My Back". The Otis Redding and Booker T. versions contain some of Steve Cropper's finest moments, in my unwanted opinion.