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 - Fine Girl b/w Never Let Me Go by Ree Flores & The Duprell's - Chicano Northern Soul / Doowop 45 on Chelan Records #556
Tough to find!
Daily Discovery - I'd Like To See More Of You b/w Give It To Me by THE MOB - Northern Soul 45 on Colossus Records #134
What a pleasant surprise! Killer Mid tempo Northern Soul. I always thought this was a Psychedelic or Garage record. I was right about that, but only about one side of this early 70's tune. I was blown away by how sweet the flip was. I dig the JR. Walker style sax break in the middle too. If you don't know it here is your chance. If you do know it, you have probably enjoyed this since the day you found it. Either way, cheers!
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 - 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 - Soul In A Bowl pt.1 b/w Soul In A Bowl pt.2 by Father & Sons - Northern Soul Mod 45 on Minit Records #32004
An uptempo Mod tune to get your Fathers Day going. Enjoy your Sunday morning breakfast with some tight drums, rockin' piano and a nice guitar riff and throw in a little sax for good measure. The conductor/arranger leads the band and is obviously enjoying himself and feeling the music when he steps in front of some swingin' piano and yells "I feel it now, makes me feel young again". A little while later still groovin' he yells "bring back the church" and "lowride it, lowride it baby!". A tune that'll definitely put some soul in your breakfast bowl!
Daily Discovery - Ain't Gonna Move b/w Baby Don't Leave by Johnny Guitar Watson - Northern Soul 45 on Jowat Records #118
Johnny Guitar Watson moved to Los Angeles with his mother in the early 1950's. Johnny quickly made an impact in the LA music scene. A few of the major stars that he influenced were, Etta James, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix and there's no doubt in my mind that there were countless others. "Ain't Gonna Move" was released in 1964 and was his only release on the Jowat label, as far as I know. Going back to his roots, the flip side "Baby Don't Leave" decided to sing and record a Blues tune. If you don't know much about Johnny, check out one of my favorite songs by him, it's a Bluesy Soul tune titled "Cuttin' In", and let me know what you think.
Daily Discovery - The Harlem Tango b/w That Boy Is Messin' Up My Mind by Orchids - Northern Soul Mod Dancer 45 on Columbia #42913
A solid, little known Mod Soul dancer that's catching some steam. Get it before it's hot! "The Harlem Tango" has a catchy beat with a party like atmosphere. The girl group sound doesn't get old, it's been around for a while and this one could have easily been hit, with it's big production, ala Phil Spector sound. The only thing that separates the hits from the songs that could have, or should have been is definitely not the talent. The talent was there, like on this nice double sider. The Orchids, like so many other groups, probably didn't have the extra backing from the label. Even big labels like Columbia had artists like the Orchids, it wasn't just the small independent labels that had the artists that could have been.
Daily Discovery - Don't Kick The Teenager Around b/w Shing-A-Ling Stroll by Eddie Wilson - Northern Soul 45 on Back Beat Records #596
I was given this record a few days ago, had no idea what it sounded like because I didn't have my record player with me. Naturally when I saw the titles I played Shing-A-Ling Stroll first, and I was happy to have been given such a cool record. Not really wanting to flip the record over because of the odd title, "Don't Kick The Teenager Around", I played it anyway. To my surprise, my ears got hit with a some drums, then a blast of horns, strong vocals, and killer back up singers. What a gift! My son is almost a teenager and he is trying my patience, as I'm sure I did to my parents. I'll take Eddie Wilson's advice. This record came just in time!
Daily Discovery - Girls Are Evil b/w Can You Handle It by The Measures - Northern Soul 45 on Despenza Records #503
I'm digging through a stack of 45's, and I come up to an interesting pale yellow label that I had never seen before. My eyes focus and the next thing I see is the song title, "Girls Are Evil". What!? I put down the rest of the stack before I'm finished looking at it and I put the 45 on my Fisher Price battery operated record player...an uptempo beat then, "Ooohh Ooooh Ooooh Ooooh, Oo Oo Oo Oo". I'm already sold! "Their wonderful, beautiful, Their wonderful yeah, yeah, evil beings". HA! Definitely an interesting take on women, and a great tune.