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Southern Soul Corner March 2014

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Our continued condolences go out to the family of Floyd Taylor, who left us due to a heart attack on February 21st. All the more tragic, Floyd's sister Savon, also passed on two days later. Several of the legendary Johnnie Taylor's children have carried on his love of music by recording and performing professionally but Floyd was the one to continue the work that Johnnie had crafted at Malaco Records for two decades. After touring and performing with his father for many years, Floyd released his first album in Southern Soul, entitled Legacy, on Malaco in 2002. As much as anything, the uncanny resemblance to Johnnie's voice served as an outstanding tribute to his late father. The album received critical acclaim as several singles made the charts and earned radio play. At the time of his passing, Floyd had just released Shut 'Em Down, his fifth (and quite possibly his best) album in the genre. One of the most popular crowd pleasers on the tour circuit, he will certainly be missed in the world of Southern Soul.

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Corner Talk:  The box set pictured above is going on my early Christmas list!  95 tracks on 4 CDs of the best the Memphis based Hi Records label had to offer in the '70's including Al Green, Ann Peebles, Willie Clayton, OV Wright, Otis Clay, Syl Johnson and many more..........Club Nouveau, hmm, the band name has been around since the mid-'80's, have a new tune seeing Southern Soul chart action entitled That Ain't Love.........The smooth groove of Tonight's Another Night from Miss Genii is getting some recent burn, the song was on Ecko Records' Blues Mix 11 compilation.......... Mark Safford, aka Mr. X, (remember Wiggle, Wiggle?) has the persistence that pays off. We are digging his most recent cool joint called I Gotta Walk........The late great Chick Willis said Keep Singing The Blues as one of his tunes, now Patrick Green's latest says I Sing The Blues!.......

 

Chuck Roberson has been a Soul music singer since the '70's and is still going all out. His Desert Sounds album release of The Devil Made Me Do It has had proven staying power, with the title track, They Got A Room, Woman Enough To Leave and Chuck Strut all making the charts. The latest cut  making large rumbles is It Shoulda Been Me...............I know we are sold on and talk a lot about Ms. Jody here, but it is a pretty much established fact that she is the top crossover artist in terms of popularity in both Beach music and Southern Soul. Her latest album, It's All About Me!, has at least five tracks on it getting radio and/or club play in the Beach arena. Included are: The Rock, I'm Gonna Keep My Love At Home, He's My Candy Man,   I'm Gonna Stand By You and Let Me Ride...... A brand new young gun with an old school sound is in the mix. David J, hailing from Mobile, AL, has a fresh single currently being

distributed entitled I Wanna Party, a definite stepper. Hey, it made our chart this month........

 

Was going through some music recently and came across James Payne's tune Crazy Bout You, which was the title track to his late 2008 album release. The song is killer - the album was actually the third for James on the Mr. Tee label since 2002. The Alabama native grew up  singing in several gospel groups before crossing over to secular music, eventually touring with David Brinston .........Jackson, Mississippi favorite son Stevie J's mid-2013 album release Unstoppable has albeit somewhat quietly had several singles getting air and play. Included are Come Here Party, Old Skool and the latest, the Cajun flavored Miss Apple Cheeks. I am definitely playing catchup on this one.........   

 

What is happening with Vince Hutchinson? He had a string of albums

beginning in 2001 with some dynamite singles like You Make Me Want To Call In, Shotgun Motel Affair,   Back Yard Party, Player Haters, Come Back Kind Of Love and Living For The Weekend. A big fan of his work,  I tried contacting Vince on Facebook but unfortunately received no response. From what I can gather he still performs at least locally with his band in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas...........Listen up Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and beyond, we got some bonafide Soul singers over here in Carolina as well. Walt Luv(Love) lives in Raleigh NC, Maurice Wynn is in Bailey, NC, Sir Jonathan Burton resides in Charlotte, NC, Ronnie Barnes in Elizabeth City, NC, Calvin Richardson is from Monroe, NC, Roy Roberts lives in Greensboro, and so on..LOL.....

   

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TK Soul has always had a little Hip-Hop in his groove, which just enhances his style and delivery as one of the top performing artists on the live circuit.  TK, birth name Terence Kimble, who hails from Winnfield, LA, got his start playing keys and writing songs for Willie Clayton. His first solo album, One Woman Man, was released in 2002 on his own Soulful Records label. The Bad Boy Of Southern Soul and Love Games followed in quick succession. My favorite TK track, Party Like Back In The Day, was featured on 2007's Undisputed release. The Evolution Of Soul (2009), Ghetto Superstar (2012) and 10 Years Of TK Soul (2012) were successful album releases with charting hits like Try Me, They Wanna Party, Rehab, We Gonna Party Tonight, Soul Ship and You Got To Cheat.

 

TK's latest remains true to his vocal delivery. Life After Love kicks off with the frenetic Now This Is A Party, jumps off on Where I'm From, rocks the house on Get It and pumps up the tempo on The Goodbye Song. His soulful pleas come out strong on the balladry of Someone Loves You, I'm Looking For A Lady, Caught Up In Doing Wrong and That Kind Of Man. Ten tracks in all, the album was ranked #1 by Blues Critic's Top 30 Southern Soul/R&B Albums for March. It represents continued success for the ''Undisputed Bad Boy of Southern Soul''!.  

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Carl Sims, wasn't he one of the singers in the early days of Chicago Soul music?   No, that was most likely Gerald Sims. Carl was, however, a member of the original Bar-Kays in Memphis in the '60's while still a teenager. After a tragic plane crash killed several of the band members, the survivors pretty much went their own way. Carl's entry point into Southern Soul was on the Stan Lewis owned Paula-Jewel label back in the day. Since that time, he has successfully recorded on Waldoxy, Entune, Ecko, CDS and most recently on the Soul Singer label.

 

Carl's latest album, Are You Serious?, contains several of his charting hits over the years. Conspicuously absent, however, is some of his best work on Ecko, such as I Like This Place and It's Just A Party. Early Sims classics on the album are Seventeen Days of Loving, Trapped, Let Me Be The One and All These Things. More recent tunes include his big 2013 smash, Six Pack Of Common Sense, up until now only available as a single. Additional previously released songs:  If I Could I Would, Just One Night and Go On. Carl covered When Something Is Wrong With My Baby in 2003. The current rendition, featuring female vocalist Debra Benson and replete with brass interludes, is dripping with pure soulful licks. Carl Sims keeps right on ticking after fifty plus years in the business.

 

When we published an article saluting the women artists of Southern Soul in the January 2013 version of this column, some of the ladies that were not mentioned have had outstanding releases over the course of time. They were omitted as they appeared to have either given up on the genre, ('one and dones', so to speak or close to it). or they had multiple songs and/or albums in the past but nothing in several years. These women also deserve credit for giving it their best shot and if they are still active and I have missed it, I certainly apologize. We are going to feature a few of them in this column and more in future months.

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Queen Isabella had one album, Loving A Married Man, on the California based Kon-Kord label released in 2001. Her rendition of I Hear You Knocking, written and originally recorded by The Mystery Lady, received considerable airplay on Southern Soul stations throughout the region. The Queen had a raw R&B old school groove working for her that was evident in several of her tracks. Unfortunately, we have not heard from her since that point in time.

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The very vibrant An-Jay released I Understand Daddy on the New Orleans based Mardi Gras Records in 2002. The album was reflective of her delivery of a combination of throaty R&B and heartfelt Soul. She's Got The License became a much played track on the radio but was far from the only solid cut on the album.  I also like Love Magic, Home Wrecker and Love Maker as tracks that were consistent of the groove that was dominating the airwaves in the genre at that period. The album, however, was to be the only release to date of what so far has been her brief career.

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Lorraine Turner was born in Pennsylvania before moving to Memphis with her family as a child. A later relocation took her to Oxford, MS, where she developed a strong interest in music, starting out entering talent shows and later performing in local bands. Lorraine also wrote several tunes, recording some of them for local distribution. Ecko Records exec Larry Chambers happened to hear a few of her songs, resulting in an invitation to their Memphis studio. The resulting Shake It Down was released in 2005 with several strong cuts, including You Lost A Fortune, Now I'm Cheating On You and You Make It So Good. Nothing further from this strong vocalist, however, since that time.

 

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Tennessee native Jewel J's story is also similiar, pretty much disappearing after her That's My Shugga Daddy album on QT Records in 2007 with just an absolute killer title track. I also liked the upbeat grooves of Situation Has Changed and I'm Through Waitin'. In fact, I seem to recall that Ecko Records picked the album up for distribution as well. Growing up in gospel music, Jewel J had previously sung background for Shirley Brown, J Blackfoot and Denise LaSalle, also later touring with Jerry Lee Lewis. Would love to see more from this talented singer.

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In researching and writing about these ladies above, I have to also give props to a female artist that unfortunately is no longer with us. The late Tina Diamond was a veteran backup singer that had a signature album, In The Heart Of The City, released on the Avanti label in 2000. The awesome Cleanin' House from the album was a Soul Dog Top 25 pick for that year. Also featured were duets with Rue Davis, Reggie P and the title track with Ms. Peaches. Tina had recorded sporadically in recent years but was still doing live shows at the time of her passing. She had released a duet with JT Watkins a few years back, an excellent rendition of the Otis and Carla classic, Tramp. Often referred to as ''The Casino Queen'', Tina passed in October of 2012. 

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Soul Dog’s Smokin' Top 45 Southern Soul Hits

                                March/April 2014

 

1.  It's On Me – Floyd Taylor & Mel Waiters
2.  Can You Hang – Wilson Meadows
3.  The Rock  - Ms. Jody
4. Keep On Dancing -   Theodis Ealey and J Red
5.  I'm Gonna Keep My Love At Home – Donnie Ray & Ms. Jody
6. Dance Floor – Klass Band Brotherhood  
7.  Move Something – Lacee' with Tucka 
8.  I Got This Record – J Wonn 
9. Goin' Crazy - Queen Emily 
10. Crazy For You - Vick Allen 
11. Don't Miss Your Water (Part 1) -  LGB w/ Drink Small       *     
12. Bad Mamma Jamma – Nathaniel Kimble             *
13. Creepin – Lola   
14. Let Me Work It – Lomax                                        *
15. Jukebox Party – Sir Jonathan Burton                      *
16. Just Go Dancin' – OB Buchana
17. Cheat Up – Simeo 
18. Don't Blame The Man - Walt Luv w/ Roy C
19.  Sexy – Rickey White 
20.  It's A Groove Party - Donnie Ray
21.  I Don't Need No Man – Stephanie Pickett
22.  Mr. Right Now – Mr. David 
23.  Never Gonna Give You Up -  Jimmy 100% Sterling  
24.  Shuckin' And Jivin' – Jaye Hammer
25.  Turn That Thang Around – Prince Ronnie Love         *
26. Can I Spend Some Money On You – Chuck Strong         *
27.  Sexy Man – Nellie Travis 
28.  Now This Is A Party – TK Soul                                   *
29. Dance The Night Away – Snatch Nelson    
30.  Red Shoes - Diedra 
31.  I'm Having A Party – Alonzo Reid
32.  When I Step Into The Club - Stephanie McDee 
33.  Sugar Daddy – Donnell Sullivan         
34.  Do Me Right - Pat Brown                            *
35.  I Wanna Party – David J                               *
36. The Other Shoe – Lola                                   *
37.  Stepping With You - Andre Lee      
38. Bad Boy - Simone De   
39.  Give It To Me - J Red                                    *    
40.  That Love Is Gone  - Cicero Blake               *        
41.  It's Your Time Now Baby – Willie White 
42.  Baby It's Over - Lomax        
43.  Didnt I - Lenny Williams                             *
44. I Gotta Walk -  Mr X                                      * 
tie 45.  My Sugar Daddy – Angel Faye Russell        *

tie 45.  It Shoulda Been Me - Chuck Roberson 

   * - first time entry

 

Archives:

February 2014


 


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