Category Archives: 70’s Soul


Soul of the 60’s and 70’s: Sounds Of The Soul (Third Ed.)


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Lee Dorsey — Tears, Tears, And More Tears

Lee Dorsey’s better known work is without a doubt the material he released for the Amy label in the 60’s. Everybody knows his “Working In a Coalmine,” that much is for sure. I myself love his early 60’s “Ya Ya” and the 1965 single “Get Out Of My Life, Woman.” But that was all that sprang  to mind when I heard his name — which is, I admit it, a crying shame.

Lee Dorsey was born in New Orleans on christmas eve 1924 but moved to Portland, Oregon as a child. Before meeting Allen Toussaint, who became his producer and had him signed to the Fury label, Lee had already served in the US Navy and, as Kid Chocolate, had established a successful career in boxing.

“Ya Ya,” his first recording, went straight to # 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. As so often in music history, the label folded, and Lee, a golden disc in the pocket,  returned to his mundane job as an auto mechanic.

When Allen Toussaint began to work with him again on the Amy label, Lee had a string of Hot 100 songs, including “Working In The Coal Mine” in 1966, his second top ten title.

Toussaint and Dorsey continued their collaboration and released two more albums. “Yes We Can” for the Polydor label in 1970 and “Night People” in 1978. These albums have been reissued on one disc by the Australian Raven label.

The backing band, by the way, on these albums was The Meters.

Lee Dorsey died at age 61 in 1986  in New Orleans.


Calvin Scott — I’ve Made A Reservation

Get it here.

Here, too.


From allmusic. com:

“Soul singer and pianist Calvin Scott started out as a partner of Clarence Carter before moving to record as a solo artist for Stax. Born in Tuskegee, AL, on January 6, 1938, Scott began playing the piano at age five, and first met Carter while attending a school for the blind in Talladega. Scott played several instruments in the school band, and formed a partnership with Carter. With the help of some older friends they’d impressed, the two got a record deal with Fairlane in 1961, but soon moved on to Duke. In 1965, recording under the name Clarence & Calvin, the duo cut several songs at the famed Muscle Shoals studios, one of which — the ballad “Step by Step” — was given a wider national release by Atlantic. The two assembled a small backing band and played regularly in Birmingham in 1966, but unfortunately, their partnership soon ended. Scott was seriously injured in a car accident after a gig one night, and wound up taking Carter to court for help paying his medical bills. Upon his recovery, Scott switched to the organ, formed his own band, and gigged around the South. He landed a solo deal with Atlantic, recording four songs over 1968-1969, and in 1971 he switched over to Stax. The following year, he recorded his first and only full-length album, I’m Not Blind, I Just Can’t See, with Clarence Paul (Stevie Wonder, etc.) producing and members of the Jazz Crusaders supplying studio backing. Discouraged by the lack of promotion for the attendant singles “Shame on the Family Name” and “A Sadness for Things,”Scott quit the music business and returned to Alabama, where he took a job with the state government and continued to perform on a local basis. Scott‘s son, Calvin Scott Jr., went on to become a smooth jazz saxophonist.”

Calvin and Clarence, “I Like It.”

The Village Soul Choir — The Cat Walk

Friday is just right for the Funk. “Cat Walk” from the album Soul Sesame Street (Abbot, Original recording reissued) is a fine piece of music by The Village Soul Choir. The original album by the New York based quintet was released in 1970.

Get the album here.


John Edwards — It’s A Groove

This title is probably better known sung by Wilson Pickett. Although I adore Wilson Pickett’s  delivery, I thought I should post the version by John Edwards. He put the seventies into that song, so to speak.
Please check out my other posts on this artists.

The track is from the 1973 album “John Edwards.” It can also be found on this great comp.

A happy Father’s day to all dads who deserve to be called father. Cheers!

Enjoy and have a wonderful Sunday everyone!

Well, here’s the one and only, the incomparably wonderful, fantastic (lol) Wilson Pickett.

Thanks Dad Part 1 – Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul

Posted By Soultaker

For all the Fathers out there.



Reuben Bell — Asking For The Truth

This is one of the saddest songs ever. How desperate must you be to willingly believe a lie because you don’t want to lose someone?

I didn’t find much info about this artist. On the Soulful Kinda Music website I’ve read that he was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. Until his death in 2004, he seemed to have lived under less than favorable circumstances.
Although he was without a doubt one of the great voices of Southern Soul and had several records to prove it, he never made it to the top. Reuben Bell also is credited as composer on many recordings, including some of Bobby Blue Bland’s and Geater Davis’.

Today’s pick was first released on the Alarm label in 1975 as the flip side to “I’ll Be Your Woman.” “Asking For The Truth” was written by Reuben Bell and Jerry Strickland. having listened to the so-called “A-side” of the 45, I honestly wonder whether Reuben Bell was sabotaged. That track was lame at its best.


Ray, Goodman and Brown — Pool Of Love

Here’s the mystery song I mentioned in the HELP! post earlier today.

Get the album here.

Marc already mentioned that the song can be found on the group’s “Greatest Hits” album. Originally, “Pool Of Love” was on Stay,  simultaneously released by Mercury, Polygram Records (Australasia), and Polydor (U.S.) in 1981.



Paul Kelly — Soul Flow

You definitely should get this compilation. Even if you don’t like my pick of the day, this compilation bears witness to the most fertile era ever in Soul music, the 60’s and 70’s. There’s the crisp Northern Soul flavor (‘You Don’t Know, You Just Don’t Know”)  on the same platter with that sweet sweet taste of Deep Soul (“Cryin’ For My Baby.”) And then there is the gem I’m posting today. It will make  every Woodstock veteran’s heart beat faster … The flip side of “Hangin’ On In There,” “Soul Flow” was released in 1971 on the Happy Tiger label.


Also on the comp. “It’s My Baby” and “Only Your Love”

I told you: “Get this compilation!”

African Music Machine — Black Water Gold (Pearl)


[-]by Steve Huey

Black Water Gold
The African Music Machine was an eight-piece funk outfit from New Orleans led by bassist/songwriter Louis Villery. They got their start as a house band for the Jewel/Paula label axis, playing on records by the likes of Fontella BassLittle Johnny TaylorRoscoe RobinsonTed TaylorTommie Young, and singer/producer Bobby Patterson, among others. From 1972-1974, they cut several of their own singles for thePatterson-owned Soul Power subsidiary. Most of their work was done in a heavy, James Brown vein, sometimes with a bit of Creole influence mixed in. Their original 45s — including “Black Water Gold,” “Tropical,” and “The Dapp” — later became highly prized items among funk collectors, fetching outlandish prices; a compilation of singles, also titled Black Water Gold, was reissued in 2000. In 2001, Villery assembled a new version of The African Music Machine and released an eponymous album on Singular.”   (

Skip Mahoaney and The Casuals — I Need Your Love



Neither the muffled sound nor the annoying ad can destroy the magic of this clip.

The Manhattans — Baby I’m Sorry

“Baby, I’m Sorry” is one of the Manhattans’ hopelessly under-appreciated early recordings. To me, it sounds as though their signature 70’s sound is just around the corner somewhere. The trademark background harmonizing and the understated pleading lead vocals are already there …

George Smith is singing lead, and he does a wonderful job. For a detailed bio of the artist, please go here.


A Birthday Gift To Myself

One Life …   (The Originals)

Slow, Soft, and Deep Soul Saturday at Raggedy’s (Love’s A Funny Thing)


Rockie Robins — For The Sake of A Memory

Seems Like The Love We Had Is Dead And Gone — Skip Mahoney & The Casuals

Fool Of The Year — Tavares

Bishop & The Wallace Bros. — Sad Man

Glen Miller — For The Good Times

Willie Hobbs — I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know
Darnell Pittman — You Hurt Me
George Freeman — My Darling, My Darling
Willie Dishmon — I’m Walking Out On You
Thelma Jones — Salty Tears
Yvonne Elliman — She’ll Be The Home
Joe Simon — Magnolia

The Dells — I’m Drowning For Your Love



individ. tracks

R.I.P. David Ruffin (Jan. 18, 1941 – June 1, 1991)

The Temptation with an unforgettable voice left us way too early. He is dearly loved by his fans.

May his soul rest in peace.

Raggedy’s Pool Party 2012

A brand-new summer, the same old pool, and, of course, great  hand picked  classic Soul and Reggae music to move to. Everyone is invited. Let’s have fun again …


James Brown — Shout and Shimmy


Aretha Franklin — Think

Cornelius Bros. and Sister Rose – Treat Her Like A Lady

Ivory Joe Hunter — Don’t You Believe Him

Val Martinez — Someone’s Gonna Cry

The Contours feat. Dennis Edwards — I’ll Turn To Stone

Harold Burrage —  Betty Jean

The Kingstonians feat. Jackie Bernard — Mix It Up

Toots and The Maytals — Doctor Lester (African Doctor)

UB40 — Here I Am, Baby

The Temptations — Since I Lost My Baby

Johnny Adams — Stand By Me

LaBelle — What Can I Do For You


George Jackson — I Found What I Wanted



George Jackson — You’re At The Right Table

George Jackson was born 1936 in Mississippi. He began recording in 1963 for Ike Turner’s Prann label, but “No One Wants To Ch-Cha With Me”only made enough waves to get him signed with STAX Records.

Although he has a very expressive, soulful voice and the material to match it perfectly, he was never achieved the success he should have had. He sang with the  Ovations for whom he wrote their hit “It’s So Wonderful To Be In Love.”  And as a song writer, George Jackson would remain most successful for the rest of his career.

He later recorded for various labels under pseudonyms, but the big success as a singer kept eluding him. He was quite successful though as a writer and producer, writing for such greats in southern soul as Clarence Carter and Candi Staton. During the 70’s he recorded for Verve, MGM, and HI Records. And in the 80’s he was a producer and writer for Malaco. According to an article on Soul Cellar, “George’s successful compositions for the label included the huge seller for the late Z.Z.Hill, ‘Down Home Blues’, which he originally wrote some 10 years earlier.With the likes of Bobby Blue Bland, Johnnie Taylor, Latmore and Denise Lasalle all recording for Malaco, Jackson’s brand of southern soul songwriting had plenty of scope.”

For a detailed discography, please visit Sir Shambling’s.

Today’s pick is from the “Don’t Count Me Out” compilation (KENT, 2011)


Anacostia — I Can’t Stop Loving Her

Does this song sound a bit like a Chi Lites title? Nevertheless, it is a gem of a composition. Written by Ronald Sinclair, Thomas Williams, and Tony Boyd —  no Eugene Record involved.

Get their music here.

Anacostia started out as The Presidents, best known for their “5-10-15-20 (25-30 Years of Love).”  Produced by Van McCoy, the song reached #11 on the Pop charts. After a handful other releases that were not as successful, they changed their name to Anacostia after a housing development in D.C.

Anacostia released two self- titled albums. The first one in 1977 for MCA and the second one for Tabu Canada and USA. “I Can’t Stop Loving Her” is from their debut album.


Wishing everyone a contemplative Memorial Day …

“Think well of us, oh land for which we fell …”  

(from a British war poem.)


Three weeks gone and the combatants gone
returning over the nightmare ground
we found the place again, and found
the soldier sprawling in the sun.

The frowning barrel of his gun
overshadowing. As we came on
that day, he hit my tank with one
like the entry of a demon.

Look. Here in the gunpit spoil
the dishonoured picture of his girl
who has put: Steffi. Vergissmeinnicht
in a copybook gothic script.

We see him almost with content,
abased, and seeming to have paid
and mocked at by his own equipment
that’s hard and good when he’s decayed.

But she would weep to see today
how on his skin the swart flies move;
the dust upon the paper eye
and the burst stomach like a cave.

For here the lover and killer are mingled
who had one body and one heart.
And death who had the soldier singled
has done the lover mortal hurt

(Keith Douglas)


The Genies (feat. Roy C. Hammond) — I’m Falling In Love Again

Roy “C” Hammond is best known for his classic “Shotgun Wedding.” I just laugh every time I hear that song … And although the video seems not to relate to the song or issue of being in a hurry to get married, I was wondering how many of these happily dancing young people may have had a shotgun wedding …

Today’s pick is … not going to happen after I have visited the artist’s website.

Gladys Knight and The Pips — Giving Up

I said it before, I know. But I’ll say it again, Gladys Knight is my favorite lady in the world of soul. She’s got the voice, the looks, the charm, the class … In short, she comes closest to being perfect. In addition, with The Pips harmonizing in the background, she has one of the best groups supporting her.

Listen to them on this track! They deserve attention in their own right.


The song is on the Essential Collection 

Lee Charles — Standing On The Outside Looking In

Here’s the proof: You’re never too old to fall in love. I just fell in love with this song. The strings just did it … “Standing On The Outside” is one of these songs that want me to spread my imaginary wings and just fly.
I have to admit, though, that the artist’s name didn’t sound familiar. But, thank goodness, I found an informative article about him here. The article ends with the sad conclusion that, “he seems to have just vanished into thin air. And that’s all I can tell you about the late Lee Charles Nealy. His legacy comprises twelve solo releases, all worthy of a place in your collection, a couple of mystery 45‟s that probably don‟t exist (there always are!), and a host of co-writer credits.”
Thank God for all the vinyl junkies who dig out such gems as Lee Charles’ songs and share their treasures with us.

Here’s a song he recorded for the Brunswick label, “Wrong Number.” It took me a while to find out whose voice it reminds me of: Al Wilson’s? Right?

Standing On The Outside


Freddy Henry — The Love We Had (Stays On My Mind)

Up to now, I didn’t know of any other version of the Dells song “The Love We Had Stays On My Mind.” Then I came across a version by one mysterious Freddie Henry. He’s released an album, “Get It Out In The Open” for Clouds Records in 1979. And that’s about all I know about this artist.

Freddy Henry,Get It Out In The Open,USA,Promo,Deleted,LP RECORD,504969

Here’s another one of Freddy Henry’s cover versions of a well-known song.  The original is by the great  Otis Clay.

And finally, the original Dells version of “The Love We Had Stays On My Mind.” (Just in case there’s someone out there who hasn’t heard it yet.)

Now listen to Freddy Henry’s  cover.


A Candle For Robin Gibb

Another battle lost. Robin Gibb died May 20, 2012 following a long battle with cancer.

R.I.P. Robin

Calvin Leavy — Is It Worth All That I’m Going Through?

Most of us probably have asked themselves this question at one point in their lives. And it is exactly this type of question that makes us aware of the significance of two very short, very simple words: yes and no. I couldn’t agree more with the 17th century Spanish Jesuit Balthasar Gracian who said that “No and Yes are words quickly said,” and that “they need a great amount of thought before you utter them.”

Back to the music, though. Calvin Leavy’s is a sad story. He was born in 1940 in Arkansas as the youngest of 15 children. He was off to a good start, first locally with his band The Leavy Brothers and later even nationally. His most famous song is “Cummins Prison Farm” whose lyrics draw from one of the Leavy Brother’s prison experience. The song, clearly a Blues tune, reached the R&B charts in 1970.

“Is It Worth All That I’m Going Through” was recorded in the late 70’s with his new group The Professionals. It is more of a Deep Soul than a Blues tune. You find his riveting electric Blues titles on two compilations. “The Best of Calvin Leavy ,”(TAM, 2000) and “Cummins Prison Farm,” (P-Vine 2003).

Unfortunately, Calvin Leavy was arrested in a drug related offence and sentenced to a life behind bars. He died in 2010 only 18 months before being eligible for parole. May his soul rest in peace. He truly left a legacy of wonderful Blues and Soul music behind.

The big question

Roscoe Robinson — One More Time

Roscoe Robinson’s tenor voice is at home in many genres. He sang with the finest of Gospel groups, The Five Blind Boys of Alabama as well as The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi. He has the know-how that keeps a Deep Soul ballad from becoming a schmaltzy tune. And he knew how to put the right amount of urgency into a Soul piece like “I’m Burning and Yearning For You.” In a nutshell, Roscoe Robinson has talent galore.

Roscoe Robinson was born 1928 in Arkansas. In the late 30’s his family moved to Indiana where, now in his early teens, he began singing with several Gospel groups. He started recording in 1951.
After switching to secular music in the 60’s, he had his first major hit, “That’s Enough,” for Wand in 1966. Before that happened, however, he was trying to make it through a dry spell by founding his own record label named after his wife, Gerri. (You’ll find the story here.)

In the 80’s he returned to his Gospel roots and recorded several albums.

His early recordings spanning from 1965 – 1965 are available on the fantastic collection “Why Must It End.” It was released in 2009 by Soulscape.

Today’s pick is the flip side of “That’s Enough,” the song he first recorded for his own Gerri label in 1965 but only  became a hit  after being released by Wand a year later.


A Candle For Donna Summer

I wish I never had to light another candle again. Unfortunately, however, every life has to come to an end.

Donna Summer, the most beautiful, sexy  singer of the disco era has passed away May 17th.

R.I.P Donna Summer.

My Mama – Rick James

Posted By Soultaker
First, I just want to wish all the Mothers out there a Happy Mothers day.
For your special day, here is a rare Rick James song dedicated to the very subject of the day. 
This was release on A&M records in 1974, four years before he would hit it big with You and I on Motown.  Produced and written by Rick James, this would song would show hints of what will come later on.

Sidney Joe Qualls — I’m Being Held Hostage

Unfortunately, Sidney Joe Qualls sounds too much like his idol, which in my opinion, might have contributed to his lack of success. Honestly, who appreciates a copy of the original as long as the original is still available?

It would be interesting to know why a talented singer with a voice that can stand on its own merits decides to become a mere sound-alike.


Here’s a track on which Sidney Joe Qualls sounds like himself.

Judy Clay — Bed Of Roses


Judy Clay had such a strong  voice it surprises me she was better known for her duets with William Bell, for example, than for her own solo material.

Born September 12th, 1938 in St. Pauls North Carolina, she began performing at age 14 with the Gospel group The Drinkard Sisters, which at that time also starred the not yet famous Cissy Houston, Dee Dee and Dionne Warwick. The Drinkard Sisters later achieved fame as The Sweet Inspirations.

Afer leaving the Sweet Inspirations, she recorded several solo singles. Unfortunately, they received not much recognition.

The Temprees — Something So Right

“Something So Right” is on The Temprees’ Album Love Maze. The album was released in 1973 by We Produce Records, a subsidiary of Stax Records. The song was written by Paul Simon (yes the Paul Simon). The Temprees added the soulful touch and — what we hear is a beautiful tune with perfect background harmonies accompanied by an unobtrusive, minimal instrumentation: something that sounds so right.

Get the album here.


The Three Degrees — Lonelier Are Fools (A Woman In Love clip)

Back  in the day, I could not get enough Three Degrees music. These ladies’ singing, class, and elegance fascinated me. I remember listening to “When Will I See You Again” on most Mondays because the next weekend — and seeing him —  seemed light years away.

So when I came across this video, I couldn’t help but dedicate a post to these three graceful women. I must admit that this version  of “A Woman In Love” sounds so much more convincing and rings so much truer than it did 40 years ago.

And here is one of my favorites by the group.


You’ll find the song here.

Latimore — The Cat Got MyTongue

Latimore has a new album out from which this cut is taken. I am impressed by the   way this artist still sings. I’d say his voice sounds wonderful now that it has mellowed to a lush baritone.

Lindell Hill — Used To Be Love

(Lindell Hill and Steve Cropper at Stax in 1968)

It is so sad that all Lindell Hill  has to show for with  a voice like his is three singles. The one I’ve ever heard is a great one, though. I posted the A-side, Remone, a little while back here. When I came across the B-side, I thought it was pretty darned good also. So, I’ll post it today.

Lindell Hill, born on 1st July 1945, hails from St. Louis, Missouri but lives in Dittmer, Missouri nowadays.

He’s an outstanding blue-eyed soul singer, and his best known recording was done for Arch Records. The small North St. Louis record label was owned by a white DJ, Nick Charles, from Memphis who operated from  his basement studio. There, Hill met Jim Stewart, a friend of Charles’ who was recording for Stax in its early years. And according to a very short biography, Hill’s daughter, Kelly Lemon, said that  “they did the basic rhythm tracks in St Louis with the voice & drums and then sent them down to Memphis with Steve Cropper to put the background vocals and horns in. The song “Used To Be Love” was redone with Wilson Pickett and Wilson named it “Mini Skirt Mini”. (

Under the name Lyndon, he recorded another 45 for Hi, “The Very First Time” b/w “I Love My Baby.” He did another recording on the Bright Star label.

William “Wee Gee” Howard — Don’t Make Me The Reason

Get the Mini Lp here

This is a track by William “Wee Gee” Howard, the former singer of the Dramatics.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, he started singing with The Sir Primes at high school. I love the horn section and the rather subtle string arrangment, eventually singing with one of the best R&B groups ever, The Dramatics. He left the group in 1973, and was succeeded by L. J. Reynolds.


Soft and Silky Saturday: The Moments — Lovely Way She Loves


Darondo — Legs

Funkying up the Friday with a leggy tune. Nothing compares to a rrrrrrrresonating bass guitar. 

Get the CD here.



Blogging is mostly a labor of love — at least for me. So when I get mail from artists saying “Thank you” for posting their material, I feel that blogging is not a case of “love’s labor lost.” Hearing from … Continue reading

Working My Way Back … Derrick and Freddie Hughes — The Woman I Want

No, I’m not going to post this song. I’m just using its title because I’m having a hard time (again) typing and sitting in front of the computer screen. I guess I’m getting old …



More Of My Favorite Live Recordings



Four Tops — Midnight Flower

Aretha Franklin — Bridge Over Troubled Water

Bobby Womack — Gypsy Woman

Bobby Blue Bland, Johnnie Taylor, Otis Rush — Stormy Monday

The Temptations (Ali Woodson lead) — I Wish It Would Rain

Compliments — Falling In Love

If there ever was a series of collections that paid tribute to many  neglected artists, it is Soulful Thangs. Today’s pick is from Vol. 6 which has several more such gems to offer. So, go and get it!

Now, Temptations fans listen up. Is it just me or does the bass singer sound a bit like Harry McGilberry? Anyway, this is great singing.



Jimmy Okera Hightower — I Can’t Have You

Jimmy Hightower is yet another artist whose talent has been overlooked  by the record industry. Therefore, we’re only able to enjoy a handful recordings of his warm tenor. Nowadays, his records are traded as collectors’ items with a big price tag.

The Detroit native started out singing with a group named Combinations. They recorded for various small record labels. He left the group and recorded a few 45’s between 1975 and 1989.

Today’s track is his first solo single, recorded in 1975 for the Westbound label.



Cymande — One More


Get the album here

Cymande is a first class British band whose music fuses African music, Soul, Rock, and Jazz and Calypso rhythms. The result is some fine Funk.

Although the group disbanded after only 3 years (1971 – 1974), it produced some outstanding tunes. Their best known song is most likely Bra of which I posted the YouTube clip.

My personal favorite so far is today’s pick, One More,  a beautiful slow piece which reminds me a bit of Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross. 



A Candle for Jimmy Ellis

Jimmy Ellis of the Trammps died yesterday in South Carolina. I’ve just heard the news. He was 74, and suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease.

R.I. P. Jimmy Ellis

Audioblog: Favorite Live Performances (1)

Nothing beats the live performances of  seasoned  artists who literally take over the stage. Unfortunately, way back when I saw Maze, Al Jarreau, Kool and The Gang, and Chaka Kahn for example, recording a concert with a cellphone was not an option because that technology was still in its earliest developmental phases …

This is one of the best live performances ever. The Temptations with Louis Price singing lead: A Song For You.

Here are a few tracks now for you to listen to. Just imagine (as I do) you’d be in the middle of the cheering crowds — and enjoy!




Al Green — A Change Is Gonna Come

Syl Johnson — Take Me To The River

Billy Paul — Me And Mrs. Jones

Brook Benton — Rainy Night In Georgia

Bobby Moore — You’ve Got To Live For Yourself

When I first heard this song, I thought truer words have never been spoken — or sung. It reminded me on the Herman Hesse poem which claims that no matter how many friends you have and how many of them stand by you during good times, the hardest things in life you have to do all alone …



Tommy Tate — If You Got To Love Somebody

Tommy Tate, like so many other underrated singers, has achieved a cult-like status as the “best singer you have never heard.” Deep Soul and Southern Soul lovers as well as Northern Soul fans consider his one of the true great voices in soul music (myself included.)

A native of Mississippi, which earns him a few extra points with me anyway, he was recording for Okeh, Verve, Atco among other labels. In 1970 he  signed with STAX where he sang lead for The Nightingales.

In the following years, he made it to R&B charts, but the great breakthrough success kept eluding him. While he was with the Koko label he was considered more “useful” as a song writer than singer.  and he ended up writing songs for Luther Ingram, for example.

As a song writer he was rather successful, however, writing for Luther Ingram, Johnny Taylor, and Bobby Blue Bland.

Today’s choice is from the Complete KoKo Recordings (Kent Records UK, 2007.)



The Newcomers — Betcha You Can’t Guess



A Candle For Etta James … Sweet Memories

I meant to post Etta James’s candle right after I was back from my break. Today I noticed, though, that I have not done it. So here it is: a candle for the legend. R.I.P Etta. You will always be remembered.


Val Martinez — Someone’s Gonna Cry

Popcorn Soul? What the heck is that? I was quite surprised when I found out that I am about the only one who hadn’t heard about this genre … Well, my chief music scout didn’t know either.

Having researched and, most importantly, listened to a few Popcorn tunes, I kind of understand what it is all about. Popcorn Soul is the bouncy cousin of Northern (blue eyed) Soul in my opinion. Somewhere the sound has been described as mimicking the noise of popping corn — which is a great comparison.

Here are two examples:

A big Thank You to my “ozee” friend Jimmy who sent me this track.


Francine Reed — For Your Precious Love

Happy Valentine’s day to everyone! 


WRAG/Radio Raggedy: February, Month of L.O.V.E

And here we are again in the middle of the month of love, hearts, and romance. Your old Raggedy is all for these things and so we’ll have a few songs relating to the positive sides of the one emotion that will leave your head up in the very same clouds  your feet are walking on  …


The Mad Lads — So Nice

Joe Tex — Baby It’s Raining

June Conquest — No One Else

Younghearts — I’ve Got Love For My Baby

G. C. Cameron — The Joy You Bring

Winfield Parker — Oh My Love

Project Soul — Sweet Things Of Life

Homer Banks — Ain’t That A Lot Of Love

Little Milton — I’ll Never Turn My Back On You

Spencer Wiggins — That’s How Much I love You

Ray Quarles — Ain’t Love Good When It Rains



The Miracles — Brokenhearted Girl, Brokenhearted Boy

Today’s song goes out to the brokenhearted people out there who will most likely be glad when all the Valentine’s Day hype will be over. There are not too many of us who haven’t been in the same situation … Just remember that broken hearts won’t stay broken always.



Fat Larry’s Band — Peaceful Journey

Friday is here at last. And I think we all deserve something relaxing to listen to. Today’s pick is from the album Off The Wall (Stax, Bellaphon 1977) by Fat Larry’s Band. (Fat) Larry James, the drummer, was the band’s frontman. He had also performed with such groups as the Delfonics and Blue Magic.

The band hailed from Philadelphia and played some jazz-tinged Funk. They released 10 albums between 1976 and 1986 and a compilation CD by the British ACE REcords label.


Get the album here.


Kool Blues — I Want To Be Ready

“Once part of vocal group The Enticers, Tennessee natives John Primm and William Gilbert eventually made up the duo the Kool Blues, who originally bought Capsoul some inspiration from the duo’s home state heroes at Stax with their first single “Keep On Loving You.” While it’s absurd that the single was ignored, the b-side saw life again years later on the northern soul scene. Their second single featured two excellent ballads: “Can We Try Love Again,” a funky, mid-tempo rug slasher, was backed by the eerie, contemplative “I Want to Be Ready.” Among the last singles on the Capsoul label, it barely even attracted the marginal attention of its predecessor.”             (

Thief by The Enticers. The song has been sampled by Mos Def  (2006) and a few other (to me) unknowns …


Marcia Hines — If This Was The Last Song

Marcia Elaine Hines was born july 20, 1953 in Boston, Mass. the daughter ofJamaican immigrants. She began singing in her church choir when she was 9 years. By the time she was 14 she had already performed with different local groups and won a scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music.

Only two years later she was discovered by Harry Miller and Jim Sharman, two Australian talent scouts. They were looking for black singers to perform in the Australian production of the musical Hair. In 1970, at age 16, she became the youngest artist ever to have participated in a Hair production. In 1973 she became known for another “first” when she joined the crew of Jesus Christ Superstar as the first black woman — again in the Australian stage production of the musical.

After her success with her musical performances, she entered on a quite successful career as a singer, which included performances with the jazz band of Daly Wilson and appearances with B.B. King and Wilson Pickett.
Marcia Hines was the first Australian female singer who was awarded a Platinum record, and she was voted Queen of Pop from 1976 to 1978 … Her musical bio stacks up one superlative after another.
Here now is the song of the day:
LimeLinx — Okay, I’m tired of LimeLinx’ work ethic
Here is an excerpt from a TV interview with the charismatic and charming singer.

And here’s a live performance of Shining, title song from one of her top ten albums.


Goodbye Don Cornelius

This gallery contains 2 photos.

I am genuinely saddened by the news of Don Cornelius’s suicide. I hope he has found the peace he must have so desperately sought. What he left behind, however, is the indelible impact on generations of music lovers. The Soul … Continue reading

Gladys Knight and The Pips — Oh, What A Love I Have Found

This is a song for everyone who listens to their music with the heart … Gladys Knight’s is by far the most expressive female   voice in Soul music. It oozes femininity, warmth, and empathy, making her the one vocalist that sounds authentic as a passionate lover, sophisticated lady, motherly friend as well as just an average woman.

I’ve mentioned more than once that my favorite song by Gladys and her Pips is and will always be Midnight Train To Georgia, and that I cherish the tune for its very special meaning to me. There is another song, though, I view as beautiful as Midnight Train.  Yes, you guessed it. It’s Oh, What A Love I have found.

Gladys and the Pips literally turn the song into a picture. I close my eyes and see delicate drifting white clouds,  hear a a murmuring brook, perceive the world as peaceful and good.

The arrangement by Artie Butler is a masterpiece. Gladys’s voice perfectly blends with the instrumentation and the background harmonizing pulls it all together.

Now, before you listen, sit down with the love you have found. Then simply enjoy the music and the moments shared with the one …

From the album All I Need Is Time (SOUL Records, 1973)


LimeLinx (still down)

L.V. Johnson — Stand My Me / I Love You, I Want You, I Need You (YouTube)

As I’m working my way through all the neglected mails and messages of the past few weeks, I feel my mood brighten with each encouraging sentence I read. Thank you all again for letting me know that SOTS matters to you.
Since I’m always in need of inspiration, I welcome every bit of input. So, a special thanks goes out to Jimmy T. for sending me a cover version of the Ben E. King classic Stand By Me by L.V. Johnson.
L. V. Johnson definitely is a vastly underrated artist. He wrote hits for such greats as Tyrone Davis and The Dells, for example, was a staff guitarist at STAX, touring with soul icon Tyrone Davis before eventually going solo in the 80’s.
You can hear his guitar on recordings by Johnnie Taylor, The Bar-Kays, and The Soul Children. Quite impressive. Isn’t it? He also wrote for Bobby Blue Bland.
What’s even more impressive is that his guitar teacher was the one and only B. B. King.

You’ll find his discography on Discogs.

L.V. Johnson was born 1946 in Chicago and died there, way too young, in 1994.

Stand By Me is from his 1986 album All Night Party (Sunnyview Records) which was co-produced by Bunny Siegler.


LimeLinx (not working)

Happy SOTS Sunday!

Today I’ll pop one of  those hard-to-decide questions to you.

Which version of this masterpiece of a romantic love song do you like best?

Both artists are top-notch vocalists. Both present the song with their very own way to convey deep emotions.

Okay. Here’s Mr. Passionate, Urgent, and Soaring: Johnny Adams.


And here’s Mr. Warm, Gentle, and Caressing Paul Kelly.

Paul Kelly — Let Your Love Come Down (Let It Fall On Me)

I promised to share the music I found while I was on a break … And Jeez — did I find some great songs. One of them is today’s post. It’s one of the irresistible feeling- happy-and-good-all-over songs I love so much.

Paul Kelly, of course, is a superb vocalist, and his understated, subtly sexy squeals are simply unrivaled.

For a detailed bio and discography, please visit Soulbrother Barry Fowden’s outstanding website:

Today’s pick is from the 1974 album Hooked, Hogtied & Collared (Warner Bros.) 



Taking A Break …

You may have noticed that I am not blogging much at the moment. While the urge to share with you  my finds of great music is still as strong as ever, I need to take a few more sick days. So all I can do at the moment is listen to music, hoping to find a few gems I can present to you when I feel better again.

WRAG/Radio Raggedy — Random Desktop Selection …

James Carr — You Didn’t Know It, But You Had Me

Thelma Jones — I’d Rather Leave While I’m In Love

Ovations — Happiness

Stylistics — Ebony Eyes

Superiors Band & Their Soul Sisters — Amateur Lover

Sweet Inspirations — Oh What A Fool I ‘ve Been

The Impliment — I Wish It Were Me

Winfield Parker — Oh My Love

Percy Sledge — Out Of Left Field

Lindell Hill – Ramone

Bobby Womack — Point Of No Return

Candi Staton — All I Had




Don’t Forget To …

… tune in to Barry Fowden’s Vintage Soul Radio Show on Sunday Jan. 8, 2012.

More info here.

King Floyd — My Girl

I hope you all started the new year being happy and listening to your favorite music. Your old Raggedy had to go slow this year because she’s a bit under the weather. Let’s all hope things will improve soon, so I can return to regular blogging again.

I’ll start the new year with one of the most beloved love songs ever: My Girl. The original was sung of course by one of the most beloved groups that ever existed: The Temptations. King Floyd’s version is astonishingly different from most of the covers I’ve heard so far. Theoretically the intro could be addressing the song itself — a rare gem of a composition that hasn’t lost a bit of its magic over the decades it has been sung.

The song is from his 1973 album Think About It (Atlantic).



Percy Sledge — Love Me All The Way

Get the collection here. GET IT! You will be surprised at what this man’s voice was capable of … I just love his renditions of Any Day Now and the live performance of Come Softly in South Africa — and of course his take on I Found A Love. Other instant favorites: Hard To Believe, Same Old Lover Man, Blow Out The Sun, and Cotton Mill Man  … 

Life is not easy — especially when you have to choose between two of your favorite guys. I hope my main man David Ruffin will forgive my getting all mushy about my main man Percy Sledge … But this is a song by Percy I had not heard before. And what can I say? Percy has won me over one more time.



I guess you all know what I’m going to listen to the rest of the day.

Remembering James Brown

Soultaker sent me the link to this fantastic show … This is proof that immortality is not of a physical nature.

Enjoy this great show.

Merry Christmas

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The Carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said;
‘For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!’

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
‘God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!’

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

The Flirtations — Christmas Time Is Here Again



White Christmas — Otis Redding

I’m dreaming of a white x-mas too. Alas, that’s a steady on my list of wishes not granted … Listening to Big O. singing the classic, however, is almost as good as the real thing …




And another “Thank you baby” goes out to my very own baby, who’s also my chief music scout, for bringing this clip to my attention. Two legends side by side with a superb group of musicians playing for them . … Continue reading

The Persuasions — You’re All I Want For Christmas


Mediafire  (Sorry. LimeLinx is down again)

I wonder what’s wrong with me this year. I’m just not feeling the x-mas spirit … 



Peace On Earth

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day; their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the word repeat of peace on earth, good-will to men!”           (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Give Peace a Chance — Toots & The Maytals