Daily Discovery - I Started To Run b/w You're Leaving by Joe Williams - Rare R&B Northern Soul 45 on Alpha Records #622
Ridiculous, raw chain gang style folk R&B with a Northern Soul beat. I don't do it often but I can't stop playing this record. Listened to it 8 times back to back. Blown away by this obscure haunting Los Angeles produced tune.
Daily Discovery - Aphrodisiac b/w same by Billy Joe & The Tokes - Latin Soul Instrumental 45 on Dore Records #884
A chill, seldom seen, almost instrumental with East Los Angeles flavor.
Daily Discovery - Hey Y'all b/w Grandpa's Farm by Debbie & Poochee - R&B Soul 45 on Amanda Records #101
I'm in total work mode, put a 45 on the turntable, record it, take it off, next! I get to Debbie & Poochee on Amanda, a small label from Los Angeles. Looks interesting enough, I've had it for a while. I even remember playing it years ago. Eh, whatever, it's two kids singing, so it's placed in a box and put it in storage. Even though it's years later, and my listening ears have evolved, I still only half listen. I don't expect much and am only vaguely interested as I continue to do research on other records. I hear two sweet young voices sing,
"Hey Y'all" in unison, "We got a story to tell, the biggest story since the atom bomb fell".
WHAT!? Did I just hear that right? My ears perk up, all work has stopped, and I'm definitely now all in with my listening.
"Everywhere you go you see a big fight, they say they're fighting for the human right".
"Hurry up, nobody wants to wait, it's already 100 years too late. These folks been waiting for a long long time, I do believe their going to lose their mind".
"Let's do the thing the way it ought to be, what's good for you is good enough for me, so stop this carrying on we got to do this thing up right".
"Hey Y'all, this ain't no big problem. What y'all gonna do, huh!?"
"Hey Y'all, what y'all gonna do?"
"Hey Y'all, what you gonna do about me?"
"Hey Y'all what you gonna do about us?"
Human rights is something everyone deserves. When they are not given, even children can see the injustice! To hear such young voices making the point, now that is a powerful message. I was so touched by the words, that I had to share. I love music that has a message. Enjoy!
Daily Discovery - L.A. County Jail b/w That's When It Hits You (The Hardest Of All) by Duane Franks Odd Country 45 on Shazam Records #101
Shazam is right! There really is a song about everything. Odd Los Angeles Country rocker with a Garage beat, plus a twangy country guitar. I'm not sure what year this song was released although it looks like a mid to late 60's pressing. I am practically speechless! Enjoy!
Daily Find - Cool It Baby b/w My Lover by B.B. Carter - Northern Soul 45 on Kris Records #107
Drums, horns, bass along with an amazing girl group on back up vocals. The star of the record is B.B. Carter. She takes charge with strong lead vocals, she's obviously a strong woman who lets it be known that she wants to be set free relationship that no longer works for her. This is one of my favorite Los Angeles, Northern Soul tunes, and doesn't seem to be very well known. A very underrated dancer in my opinion. What do you think?
A Mel Alexander label and production.
Daily Discovery - Night Owl by Dick Dale & His Del-Tones - Surf Lp on Deltone Records #1001
Did I just hear what I thought I heard? Oh man! Night Owl by Dick Dale? Night Owl is one of my favorite Los Angeles Doowop tunes ever. It was written and originally performed by another L.A. musical legend, Tony Allen. This version is done by the "King of Surf Guitar" himself, although in the liner notes he was known as "King Of The Stomp". I'm loving this version. Long live the King, of surf that is.
Side One - Surf Beat, Sloop John B, Take It Off, Night Owl, Fanny Mae, Misirlou Twist
Side Two - Peppermint Man, Surfing Drums, Shake N' Stomp, Lovey Dovey, Death Of A Gremmie, Let's Go Trippin'
Daily Discovery - Peekaboo b/w Out House by EDDIE BRIDGES and His LOWRIDERS R&B Soul 45 on Romark Records #109
Peekaboo is a kids game, isn't it? Here is a weird twist on this tough to find Los Angeles Soul label. "Peekaboo Peekaboo, I got my eyes on you. Come here baby. Peekaboo Peekaboo, looking dead at you". A little while later in the song Eddie sings, "All I can say my oh my, I guess I'm just a natural born peeping Tom, so Peekaboo Peekaboo". My first thought was stalker! When I listened closer he is talking about checking out girls as they are passing him by. No big deal, by these standards we are all peeping toms.
Daily Discovery - Never Give In b/w I'll Give My Love by Mr. T - Northern Soul 45 on T-Ball Records #1968
He excused himself, "I'll be right back. I want to show you a record that I can't find any information about anywhere". As he walked into the house, my mind started working, what record could it be? Would it be an obscure but known 45? Better yet, would it be a monster tune yet to be discovered? Had we come across a record that had been in obscurity for years, waiting to be brought to the light and brought to the worlds open ears? At least that's the dream of a historian or expert.
I stood at the end of a long driveway protected by the shade of a towering tree, a pine that only allowed a few rays of shifting sunlight to peek through and reach the ground because of the slight wind. Protected by its massive overhanging branches that reached out like a morning stretch, I didn't have to worry about the records warping and twisting in the heat. While I waited I listened to a few records that I pulled from boxes my friend brought out before the mystery record conversation began. Digging through boxes of 45's that I have never seen before is one of my favorite things to do in the world. This time, distracted by the mystery, my heart wasn't in it. I was simply going through the motions that I had made a million times before. Under normal circumstances I would be alert to the tiniest of details. Not this time. My thoughts were floating like the clouds that were above the records, above me and above the tree that was keeping me and the records cool. Just as quickly as the speculation began he walked out, and I was only a few footsteps away from knowing what mystery tune was coming my way. I stood upright, no longer hunched over getting a better listen to the record spinning on my trusty portable turntable. He was walking toward me but it may as well have been floating because my eyes were focused on one thing, the record. I was trying to get a better look, to make out what label it was by looking at the color, the plain typical late 60's or early 70's independent label font, and of course trying to read the words written on the label. He extended his arm toward me, and by instinct I reached out to take the hand off. Finally the record was in my hand, Mr. T on T-Ball!! "Do you know it?" he asked. "Nope, I've never seen it. Do you mind if I play it?" I asked anxiously. "Not at all".
I reached down to carefully place the still mysterious disc on the turntable. I pushed down on the back of the arm of my plastic children's Fisher Price turntable using my middle finger, controlling the placement with my thumb and placed the needle on the record. What came next were the sounds of a groovy piano and guitar, a nice bass line and smooth laid back but powerful vocals that climbed through the air and up to my ears. Not only was it good but I had never heard it before and I found myself getting excited. It was easy to move to and I found my head bobbing to the music and the beat. A Northern Soul sound with a touch of blues. The title "Never Give In" tells a tale of a man on a mission to have his relationship with his girl be back the way it was. Mr. T's heart is on a string and his unnamed girl is in control...for now. The flip side wasn't really was my style so I picked up the platter and started looking for clues to help me find information that could lead to a break in the case. After inspection I unwillingly handed the record back and asked, "Is it for sale?", though I suspected what his response would be. "Not till I find more information. Sorry". There was the Mr. T 45 in front of my nose, and I felt like a rabbit with a carrot tied dangling at the end of a stick just out of reach as I secretly drooled over it. With no information to give him he decided he would keep it. I didn't leave empty handed though, in fact I left with boxes of goodies that I was very pleased with. Except for the piece of paper with my notes, and memory of the record I was walking away from I was left with just as many questions, if not more than before I saw the mystery record. Who are the writers, the producers, the publishers? the pressing plant and most of all who is Mr. T? I did some research and called some friends about the record, and nothing. No leads, only dead ends. No one had ever heard of it. Was it unknown?
Two weeks ago, I found myself at a different friends house looking through 45's in his garage. Having gone through a few boxes of records without finding anything worth playing, I decided to take a step out of the garage for a moment. Ready to resume, I was about to go back to the middle where I had been looking before the break. Instead I stopped to look through the stack of records where my friend puts new finds from time to time. Since I didn't recognizing the top record I was eager to go through the fresh batch of tunes. I picked up the top record and what's the next record I see? Mr. T on T-Ball records!!! This is why I dig! It feels so good to find that elusive want and to share my finds from the crates of Los Angeles. Why the long story? The funny thing is that here it is 5 years after initially learning the record and I'm no closer to an answer than I was the day I first learned about it. The only thing I know to do is to take this opportunity to reach out to you, the community, for help. Does anybody know anything about this record?
Daily Discovery - Red! This Ain't No Big Thing b/w Loving Time by Ed Gates - R&B Soul 45 on Robins Nest Records #112
"This Ain't No Big Thing", oh Ed, I beg to differ. From your voice, to your Hammond organ, to your foot stomping beat, you bring that swing! Not to mention one of the crudest label designs ever created. Seeing two hand drawn birds landing, with worms in their beaks, ready to feed a nest full of chicks makes me think of what creating and sharing music is all about. The feeding from musician to a wanting audience and the building and nurturing of a lifelong relationship. At least that's the hope and dream, to hear the chirps of longing, "Give us more! Give us more!" from an adoring audience. At least from a poetic view. A Los Angeles gem, for sure! Enjoy!
Daily Discovery - Let Your Body Move b/w Be Ever Wonderful by Jerry White and The Soul Steppers - Modern Soul Boogie 45 on Taylor Records #104
Let Jerry White take you on a 1983 Los Angeles Electro Boogie adventure. Synthesizers, percussion, guitars and keyboards that could get anyone, whether you were in a dance crew or not, up and dancing. There is no doubt in my mind that people were either pop locking, break dancing or doing the boogaloo to tunes like this all over LA. The style was born out of funk and disco. It gained momentum thanks to dj's, emcee's, dance crews and youngsters who would tell their friends about the movement that was soon to be a craze just one year later with the release of Breakin'. A few friends and I caught the bug. We were practicing at school and our elementary school even banned break dancing because a few of us were caught doing head spins. Put on your gloves, bring your linoleum and enjoy.