I was listening to an interview with Stax great Eddie Floyd on 6music tonight as I was packing, and he mentioned that he was in this band. I had never heard of them so it inspired me to investigate and I’m very glad I did.
This track was released in 1959, in the period where early rock’n’roll and gospel were leading to soul music and you can hear both influences here, especially in the purity of vocals.
In other news I came across this rather random sight in London this week. I’m not entirely sure what it was in aid of but I quite like it’s rather tongue in cheek quality:
This came on my MP3 player today just as some sun was breaking through what was up until then a grey day. I was reminded of what a great song it is, a perfect Saturday tune. 2 minutes of energetic, breathless rock ‘n’ roll perfection.
In other news, I went to see Moonrise Kingdom during the week. After taking a little bit of time to get into it, I really enjoyed it. It made me feel something, which was pleasant and disconcerting in about equal measure. I guess it was mostly nostalgia for the innocence of the two main characters. There was also some enjoyable and subtle humour in there too, even if some of it felt a touch forced. All in all, I would definitely recommend giving it a go if you have a couple of hours to spare.
And now for something completely different! I heard this wacky and manic doo wop tune on Downtown Soulville a few weeks ago and it has been rattling around my brain ever since. It is so upbeat and infectious, a heady combination on a sunny, summers day.
Without Gospel music there would be no Soul music and without Soul music my world would be a much worse place. Lots of the soul greats got their first breaks singing gospel such as Sam Cooke who is the lead vocalist here.
The purity and power in the vocals here is startling and the harmonies are perfect. I don’t know if I could ask for much more from a song.
Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock
Posting Walking in Memphis yesterday made me realise I hadn’t gotten round to Elvis yet. I wouldn’t say I was his biggest fan but I can’t help but admire what he accomplished. Without Elvis no one would ever have heard of Little Richard, or any of those who came after.
Also, as you can see here, Elvis could flat out move.
Little Richard – Rip it up
I’m not sure pop gets much better that Little Richard. It was hard to pick out one of his many gems in particular, but in the end I went for this – two minutes of just about perfection.
Jackie Wilson – Reet Petite
I was at a 50’s themed Coney Island party on Saturday night. It was typically East London – Bizarre and Kitschy. It featured a hot dog eating contest, a drag act wearing a horses head covering the Rolling Stones (wild horses of course) amoungst other oddities.
What it also featured was some great music, so I thought I would post a 50’s favourite. Jackie Wilson is a hero, and this is one of his best. It has an innocence which is typical of the era but is also animated and full of energy making impossible to resist.
People ask me why I love soul music so much. If I wanted to answer succinctly (not likely) I might just play them this song. It is amazing, boisterous and fun, it makes me want to MOVE. You might be more familiar with Lulu’s more recent cover version, but for me this is far superior. I can’t believe it was released in 1959!
Also, they employ a classic soul technique here of call and response. A little bit louder now…
Big Joe Turner – Shake, Rattle and Roll
I think this is just a perfect song. I love it’s old fashioned sound.
Muddy Waters is a bad ass. Not least because I think Muddy Waters is an all time great name for a blues man.
He wrote the song that gave The Rolling Stones got their name. Check this amazing video. It is great not least for the contrast between Muddy – poised in an immaculate 3-piece and Mick Jagger – hyperactive in a red shell suit.
If you like Soul or Blues I also recommend checking out Cadillac Records. It is the story of Chess Records (Muddy Waters, Etta James, Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf…). I thoroughly enjoyed it and Muddy’s character just about steals the show in my opinion.