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  Mike Little is a member of the Electric City Shag Club in Anderson, South Carolina.  He is also a member of the Association of Beach & Shag Club DJ’s and the National Association of Rhythm & Blues Deejays.  He hosted for 3-1/2 years The Saturday Morning Beach Party on WANS, 1280 AM in Anderson, which was rated by Arbitron as the highest rated AM show listened to and number three overall for that time slot.  In 2004, he was awarded the Rufus Oates Award by the National Association of Rhythm & Blues Dee Jays for his writing contributions.  He now serves on the Board of Directors of the NARBDJ.

Have You Heard...

by

Mike Little


 

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Have you ever found yourself in a situation that you thought you did not have a song that everyone was playing but later found out it was on an album that you had, but just overlooked.  Well, the Band of Oz has just released a new album, Ones You Might Have Missed.  The release comes from KHP Music, re-releasing music from the KHP vaults, as well as music from the vaults of Ripete Records, Ruby Jude Records and Metro Records.  With a few exceptions, none of the songs have ever been released on a Band of Oz album.  There is one new song on the album that has just been recorded, this being the Band of Oz's latest, Everyday Love.  The new Oz song is a remake of the 1982 Dazz Band song, that was the flip side of their mega-hit, Let It Whip.  However, in comparison of the Oz version to the Dazz version, there is no comparison.  Tim Morris takes the song to a new level along the same line as the group's latest hits, Your Heart's In Good Hands and Extra Careful.  These two Band of Oz super hits are also part of the release.  Ladies Night Out compilation was released in 1992 by Ripete Records.  It was on this compilation that the Band of Oz had the Billy Ocean line dance number, Get Outta My Dreams, Get Outta My Car.  It is now on this Band of Oz release.   Every Little Thing She Does was carried on Judy Collins' Ruby Jude Records 2001 release, All Aboard The Beach Music Train Vol. 3.  In 2003, Chuck French sang the lead on Shut Up And Shag.  The song was the title track of KHP Music's first release.  The late Clifford Curry wrote the song.  It was that same year that Ripete Records released Grand Slam: The Home Hitters Of Beach Music.  This compilation carried two Band of Oz songs, Lucky To Be Loved By You and All Day Music.  These are also part of Ones You Might Have Missed.  The National Association of Rhythm & Blues Deejays released a series of compilations.  Oz have two songs from these on the new album, Walking Up The Steps Of Faith on Coast To Coast: Let's Dance and Old Time Rock And Roll on Let's Dance USA, Vol 2.  Another song by the Band of Oz that is included on this new release is Love Sickness.  The song was on the Oz release Let It Roll, but this version was on the vinyl 45 on the Metro label with Butch Barnes singing lead.  The flip side of the Metro record single release was the classic, You'll Never Walk Alone.  Singing lead is Big John Thompson.  Could it be that You'll Never Walk Alone will become the next Over The Rainbow?  We'll see.  Ones You Might Have Missed is sure to become a classic. 

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I guess that you now have heard about Delbert McClinton's long-awaited new release, Prick Of The CD  Litter from Hot Shot Records.  This album has more songs that fit our genre than any other of his long list of releases.  Delbert is backed on the album by Self Made Men, his working band. There are at least seven songs on the album that can be played straight up without making any adjustments to the pitch on any of the numbers. The songs on the album include three smoothies, the best of which I feel is San Miguel.  The song is a take on Tony Bennett's I Left My heart in San Francisco.  Another soft highlight to take note of is Rosy.  It talks about how everything will be rosy. and it is when they dance to this one.  Still another for the smooth steppers is Like Lovin' Used To Be.  Prick Of The Litter contains a number of uptempo traditional Delbert-Blues, headlined by, what I feel, is Skip Tracer.  To me, the song is sort of like a cross between Monkey Around and Livin' It Down.  The hard driving Don't Do It is also one of which to take note.  As an added bonus, Delbert is joined on the song by Texas Blues singer, Lou Ann Barton, on vocals and Jimmie Vaughan on guitar.  As you most likely know, Jimmie was a founding member of The Fabulous Thunderbirds.  Other songs on the album not to overlook are Doin' What You Do and Like Lovin' Used To Be.  Of these two upbeat tunes, Like Lovin' Used To Be was released early as a single and has already song a new successful career as a guitarist in all areas of music.  In addition to handling the piano duties, Kevin was Delbert's longtime band leader until he decided to devote more time to the many opportunities surrounding him.  The three band mates and close friends co-co-produced Prick Of The Litter.   Delbert McClinton is a pioneer in what is now called Americana.  The Texas-born singer, songwriter and harmonica wiz is proficient in Rhythm & Blues, Country, classic Rock and jazzy Blues and combines these sounds into this new release.  The multi Grammy Award singer was a regional entertainer before hitting the national scene with his harmonica skills on Bruce Channel's Number One hit, Hey Baby, which led to a tour with Channel to the United Kingdom.  An unknown group called The Beatles was part of the tour.  Delbert gave one of the group's members, a guitarist named John Lennon, some tips and instruction on the finer parts of playing the Blues on the harmonica.  Prick Of The Litter by Delbert McClinton & Self Made Men is available at any retail outlet or through your favorite Internet site.      

 

  Have you heard about the two group debut albums recently released?  They come from The Lakeside Drive Band with the release of Testing The Waters and Midnight Allie with the group's self-titled album, Midnight Allie.

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  Lakeside Drive Band's debut album from KHP Records, Testing The Waters, contains two previously released hits, Candy Girl and My Angel Baby. Candy Girl was penned by founding band member Mike Howard.  My Angel Baby was a strong hit for the south Texas group, Tony Beau.  Band members Danny McKenna and Balde Silva.  The name of the group was taken from the last original wooden shrimp boats docked in the Gulf Coast community of Port Isabel, Texas.  Landside Drive Band is enjoying success with the new hit single, When I'm With You, which also on the album.  This one is written by the fairly new band member, Roger Smith.  Roger has enjoyed success over the years as a singer and songwriter with The Poor Souls, scoring hits on original tunes like Belly Roll Me and Take My Wife, Please.   After the deaths of band mates Bobby Smith and later Butch Stone, Roger teamed with fellow Carolina Beach Music Hall of Famer Big John Thompson to form The Boulevard Boys, which was an outlet to record and perform some of the songs that Roger had written.  Another song that bring the dancers to the hardwoods is Gotta Lot Of Living To Do.  This was written by band guitarist and vocalist Ralph Goodenaugh.  When the band first started out, they played their first gigs at Lake Norman and Lake Wylie, both in North Carolina.  They traveled back and forth numerous times, thus the name, Lakeside Drive Band.  Testing The Waters is available at your favorite music outlet.

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  KHP Records has released Midnight Allie's self-titled album, Midnight Allie.  The band was founded by Allie Privette, who previously was a member of Sea-Cruz, for which she was nominated for the Carolina Beach Music Awards' Female Vocalist of the Year in 2012.  Sea-Cruz had a huge hit with Allie on the lead with Hey Eugene.  In 2014 she formed Midnight Allie.  The debut album features two previously recorded songs, Bone To Pick, which was on KHP Music's 2015 compilation Movin' -N- Groovin', and the group's huge hit, One On One, that was the title track of KHP's 2016 release, for which Allie shared CBMA's Female Vocalist of the Year with Rhonda McDaniel.  Sooner Or Later is the first single from the album and should do very well.  However, look for the song, Come When I Call, to make a strong entry into Beach Music's charts.  You might be hearing the band's Danny's All-Star Joint, as well.  Of the other songs on release, Allie sings a beautiful rendition of Bob Dylan's To Make You Feel My Love.  Also included are the band's takes on Smokey Robinson's Cruisin' , The Drifters' Do You Have To Go Now and Michael Jackson's Love Never Felt So Good , which was written by Jackson and Paul Anka.  Midnight Allie shows off their instrumental versatility on The Impressions' Move On Up.  Midnight Allie from KHP Records.a must.

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Santa Barbara, California harmonica player Mitch Kashmar, one of the best harp players on the West Coast, has released his latest, West Coast Toast, on the Delta Groove label.  The lead song on this one is Young Girl.  It is a little on the faster side, but pitch control can handle that.  The song features an exciting harp solo from Mitch.  Another one to try is Don't Stay Out All Night.   The song was written and recorded by Billy Boy Arnold as the B side of I Ain't Got You, a song featured in the original Blues Brothers movie.  Another that you will need to check out is the uptempo Petroleum Blues.  The song originally appeared on the album, 100 Miles To Go by The Pontiax, the band that Mitch formed in 1980.  That album also carried The Pontiax' hit, Gonna Find Someone.   On West Coast Toast, Mitch is backed by a stellar group of musicians.   Featured are guitarist Junior Watson, one of the founding members of Rod Piazza's Mighty Flyers, and Fred Kaplan on piano and the Hammond organ, who is an integral part of the world renowned Hollywood Blue Flames.  In addition upright bassist Bill Stuve is featured, who also was a member of The Mighty Flyers, as well as drummer Marty Dodson, who was a longtime member of Mark Hummel's Blues Survivors.  Over the years, Mitch Kashmar has had a stellar career in music, being nominated as Best New Artist in the 2006 Blues Music Awards and Best Instrumentalist-Harmonica in the 2007 Blues Music Awards.  West Coast Toast from Delta Groove Music by Mitch Kashmar is now available at any of your favorite music outlets.    

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The Inlyn Gruve Band, which has been around for a number of years, has just released the group's latest album, Now & Then.  Of the 13 songs on the album, That Old Beach Town, with lead vocals by band member Joe Graziani, who sings lead on 12 of the album's songs, has received a lot of attention as a single.  .  The newest hot single from the release is Debby Lee, again with the lead by Joe Graziano.  The song has already entered chartland and should be steadily rising.  On the smoother side, you should find favor with Standing InThe Moonlight.  This one has the potential on entering the charts some time in the future.  In addition, take a listen to Live Like An Alley.  You will find a lot of similarity between this song and Bo Diddley's Road Runner.  Line dance anyone?  Try Say Funk Yeah!  Another song you should take a listen to is Shakin' The Blues.  Bring the temp down a couple of notches and see what you've got.  Carolina Style starts off with what sounds like the beginning of Having A Party.   Inlyn Gruve drummer Phil Salone is owner of the band, as well as owner of Gruve Records, the label in which Inlyn Gruve's music is released.  Phil plays drums, percussion and sings with the band.  Lead singer Joe Graziani has a long history with Beach Music.  He was lead singer at one time for The SugarBees, the studio band for Ripete Records.  The group also recorded such hits as The Monkey Song, Susie Q and Slippin' & Slidin', all of which Joe sang lead.  He also had his own band, The Delta Riders, which won a Carolina Beach Music Awards for Best New Artist.  The Delta Riders' hit song, Black Cat Bone, won Best Blues Song.  The SugarBees', with Joe on the lead, won a Carolina Beach Music Award honor for The Monkey Song.  Other band members for Inlyn Gruve are guitarist Russell Drank, bassist Billy Ray Engle and keyboardist Ron Craine.  Inlyn Gruve's Now & Then release is available at your favorite Beach Music store.      

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   Mississippi Heat has released the group's sixth American-released album, Cab Driving Man, on the Delmark Records labels based in Chicago.  The group is led by the founder, band leader, vocalist and harmonica wiz Israeli-born, Belgium-bred Pierre Lacocque, who formed the band in Chicago in 1991.  Pierre did not begin his career in music.  His father was a professor who eventually taught Old Testament at a university in Brussels, Belgium.  In 1969, the family moved to Chicago, where his father joined the faculty at Chicago Theological Seminary.  While Pierre was a student at the University of Chicago Lab Schools, he purchased a harmonica and began practicing.  To please his parents, he enrolled at McGill University in Montreal Canada, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree in psychology.  Though he continued to play the harmonica in his spare time, he focused on his work as a psychologist, also earning his PhD in 1980.   In 1988, at the age of 36, Pierre decided to take up the harmonica again, playing with various Chicago Blues bands before going full time in music and forming Mississippi Heat in 1991.  Mississippi Heat's new release, Cab Driving Man, is unique to most albums that fit into the Beach Music scene along the Carolina coastline, as well as coast-to-coast.  Eight cuts from the album could very well fit into the Carolina Shag scene, including the instrumental, Hey Pipo!  Though most of the songs on the album are more uptempo than we are used to, that is what pitch and tempo control is for.  For instance, if you play Cupid Boogie at a -4/-8, you just may see this jewel eventually moving into the charts.  You might find that Luck Of The Draw also could very well bring 'em out on the floor.  This one is handled by band member Inetta Visor on lead vocals.  Inetta also plays tambourine in the band.  Inetta comes back to us with somewhat of an Island sound for Smooth Operator.  The song was originally recorded by Sarah Vaughan in 1959, but it was the Nigerian-born singer Sade that gave us the hit.  Could Inetta's version outdo Sade's?  Other songs on the album that you will want to sample are the title track, Cab Driving Man, Life Is Too Short and Rosalie.  Among the featured guests on the album is Sax Gordon, longtime saxophone player for Duke Robillard.  He is one of the most sought-after guests in the Blues recording area.  Delmark's Cab Driving Man by Mississippi Heat is one that you definitely will want to add to your collection. 

Kwik Kuts

 

  Here are some cuts from various artists' new or relatively new albums that should work well in the Beach and Shag markets.  Check em' out.

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You Stole My Heart by Karen Lovely.  Massachusetts native Karen Lovely has been heavily influenced by such Blues greats such as Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, and these influences are reflected in her vocal style.  You Stole My Heart is part of her Kokako Records release, Ten Miles Of Bad Road.  The title track was inspired by Curtis Salgado, who also shared the songwriting credits with Karen and Dave Fleshner.  While you are at it, you might want to check into the uptempo number, Frank The Spank.

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Snake In The Bag by Mandyl Evans.  Spirit Records has released a re-master of Mandyl Evans' Snake In The Bag.  The song first appeared on Spirit's. 2005 compilation Soul Project//Reconnection.   Mandyl Evans currently is lead vocalist for the Mo' Money Band, which is one of Charlotte, North Carolina's hottest and most consistent bands.

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I Like It Like That by Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps.  Teresa James and her band has always been a favorite for the last twelve years on Delbert McClinton's Sandy Beaches Blues Cruise, and especially this year with having released the new album, Bonafied, which appears on the Jesi-Lu Records label.  The Rhythm Tramps do a great job backing Teresa on this Jump Blues classic, popularized in the Beach/Shag world in 1954 by The “5” Royales.  Originally from Houston, Texas, Teresa now lives in Los Angeles, where she assembled some of LA's best musicians, forming The Rhythm Tramps to perform in festivals and clubs, as well as nation-wide and European tours.

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Missing My Baby by Joe “Blues” Butler.  The song comes from the new album, Full Figured Woman, his fourth CD release from Nikkie Records.  All of the songs were recorded in the Ecko Records' studio.    Among the musicians backing him, Hi Rhythms Section member Leroy Hodges appears on bass guitar.  Ecko Records' founder John Ward appears on guitar, and Morris J. Williams joins on the keyboard.  Joe “Blues” Butler, a native of Sunflower County, Mississippi, now lives in Memphis, Tennessee.  He is truly one of the last authentic Delta Blues singer who puts that raw emotion into his music.

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Love Train 2016 by The Winstons.  The song is the title track of the group's EP on the Sensations Records label.  The party/dance number is quite uptempo, but pitch control can make the song quite danceable.  The Washington, D.C.-based Winstons is headed by guitarist “Jumpin” Joe Phillips, who reformed the band nearly two decades following the original group's disbandment.  The Winstons, of course, is best known for the 1969 mega-hit Color Him Father.  Released as a single, the classic reached Number 1 of the Rhythm & Blues chart in 1969 and peaked at Number 7 on the Hot 100.  Color Him Father won a Grammy as Best Rhythm & Blues Song.

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Baby Da Da by The Temprees.  Though The Temprees did not receive the attention the group deserved, the polished Memphis vocal trio had a number of follower, especially after they scored a hit with a remake of The “5 Royales/The Shirelles Dedicated To The One I Love.  The song was one of 50 featured in the Stax Records' double album box set, Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2007.  The Temprees broke up in the late 70's and reunited in the 1990's.  Baby Da Da is part of the trio's latest album, From The Heart.  Other notable tracks on the album are the ballads, From The Heart, which is the title track, and Reasons.

 

 

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