Click on the link here for Audio Player: otisredding1966-10-04
The immortal Otis Redding this week, recorded in concert at an unidentified venue (I’m thinking Baltimore? – call for clarification from readers please!) on October 4, 1966.
I forgot how turbo-charged Redding was in performance. This concert (actually two half-hour sets with an intermission in between) rocks almost continuously for over an hour.
It’s a tribute to the talent and raw energy this man had, and just what it sounds like for an artist to throw themselves into their work.
Redding was an astonishing performer, above his remarkable gift as an artist and writer. He really was an institution.
And here is an hour’s worth of why.
The sound is a bit rough, but hopefully it’s been smoothed out from some magical surgery I spent a few hours performing. It’s a frantic 71 minutes though.
Enjoy the show.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: 03 – I Want Everyone to Know
There’s a disturbing regularity this year, reporting on the passings of memorable and influential Artists. Fontella Bass is the latest. One of the truly distinctive voices in Soul, Bass scored a huge hit in the 1960’s with Rescue Me, a song sometimes attributed to Aretha Franklin (who later recorded it). But I’m here to tell you, it was Fontella Bass who made that song unforgettable.
And it’s probably been played constantly the past several days, since hearing of her passing at the too-young age of 72. So instead, I thought I would wander through her catalog and offer a track from her 1972 album for Paula Records, Free. Tonight it’s I Want Everyone To Know.
Another beautiful voice, another amazing talent. Gone now, but living forever through their music.
Gladys Knights & The Pips – Rightfully crowned The Empress Of Soul.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Gladys Knight and The Pips – In Concert 1982
Some classic Soul this weekend by way of Gladys Knight and The Pips, live at the Jamaica World Music Festival from November 25, 1982.
Great sounding concert (which I understand is now available commercially) and wonderful performances from The Empress of Soul and her associates.
Good times. Enjoy.
Margie Joseph – sometimes compared to Aretha Franklin, but all the time in a class by herself.
Click on the link here for audio player: Margie Joseph – Sweeter Tomorrow – 1970
Diving into some of the lesser luminaries in Pop Music this week. Tonight it’s Soul legend of the 70’s Margie Joseph who hasn’t been heard much from lately (giving up secular music in favor of Gospel may have something to do with it). Vocally compared by many to Aretha Franklin, Joseph was an outstanding performer in her own right and tonight’s track gives ample proof of that.
From her 1970 Volt album Margie Joseph Makes An Impression, here is Sweeter Tomorrow.
If you haven’t heard her before, and aren’t familiar with Margie Joseph, I would suggest you spend a few minutes getting acquainted.
Mel Carter – A 60’s Soul powerhouse.
Click on the link here for the audio player: Mel Carter – The Richest Man Alive – 1964
Sometimes an artist will be known for one song, and the rest of his output gets largely ignored. In the case of tonight’s track, not only has it been ignored, it hasn’t shown up on any of Mel Carter’s Greatest Hits compilations, or even recognized in his own discography as having existed. And that’s a shame, since The Richest Man Alive came out before his mega-hit Hold Me, Thrill Me . . . did, and even though it got moderate airplay when it was first issued, it didn’t achieve the classic status of the later song.
Sometimes those things just happen. A worthy song gets overshadowed and gets buried in the avalanche.
Well, not tonight anyway. For those of you who are familiar with Mel Carter and know his signature tune backwards, here is an earlier tune that stands on its own as a neglected classic.
If you’ve never heard of Mel Carter, or have no idea what he did; think 60’s Soul, gorgeous production and a great introduction to something you might have missed.
The Temps – sayin’ it in 1970. Still sayin’ it today.
Click on the Link: The Temptations – Ball Of Confusion – 1970
Forty-two years ago The Temptations summed it all up with Ball Of Confusion.
Forty-two years later, they’re still summing it up. The ball of confusion stays the same.
Turn it up and dig the words.
Bob Babbitt Funk Brother extraordinaire.
Click on the Link: Deon Jackson-Love Makes the World Go Round Feat: Bob Babbitt, Bass – 1966
Not a good week for Music. Yesterday brought the sad news about Jon Lord. But also yesterday morning brought the sad news about Bob Babbitt, one of the original Funk Brothers, who provided some of the most memorable instrumental accompaniment for the Classic Motown Sound and the great Soul tracks of the 60’s, passed away at the age of 74 after a long bout with brain Cancer.
Tonight, by way of tribute, is the 1966 mega-hit Love Makes The World Go Round, by Deon Jackson. Just listening to the intro and the bass line, it’s immediately recognizable. That’s the inimitable Bob Babbitt laying down the magic.
Like the legendary Wrecking Crew on the West Coast, The Funk Brothers were synonymous with some of the greatest Soul and R&B classics of the 60’s and 70’s, coming out of Detroit. That there is one less luminary from that Golden Age of indelible hits makes it pretty sad. But life is just like that.
Here’s a reminder if you’re familiar, and an introduction if you aren’t. Gorgeous, elegant Music making. Timeless.