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Southern Soul Corner August 16

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Blues Mix - Super Soul Blues, that was the first one in this series, released in October of 2010, just days after my first grandson was born. We are now at Blues Mix 20 - Grown Folks Blues, Ecko Records has kept the albums rolling and the hit music coming! The latest compilation debuted this month at #3 on the Top 30 Southern Soul/R&B Chart. Six of the twelve tracks on the album are marked as 'previously unreleased'. New and notable include I Tip Toed In from Mr. Sam and OB Buchana, Love Talk by James Payne and an advance track Stand By Man by Mr. Sam that has climbed the chart here at the Corner. Also brand new is That Groove from Rick Lawson, who started recording at Ecko in 2001 - where has he been? This one is worthy of making the chart right now! A remix of OB Buchana's Swing On is included - the original hit our Top 45 in November of last year. A couple of Ms. Jody's 2011 upbeat jams are here - I Did It and Come A Little Closer. Donnie Ray's 2009 She Used To Be My Girl is a good club groove. I also like Donnie's Carolina Swing, which was on his final (never say never) album on Ecko (2015), after puttin' in 11 years at the label. Sonny Mack has had a recent hit with Cheatin' Is The Only Way To - this is the radio version (hmm, still pretty risque!). Val McKnight's I'm A Love Starved Woman is from her 2015 initial album release on Ecko. Always been a big Sheba Potts-Wright fan. The Real Deal from her work in 2011 is definitely worth the repetition! Ok, who did we leave out? No, that's it, an even dozen. When will we see Volume 21? September, maybe? Keep it rolling John Ward and Larry Chambers!!

 

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Sir Jonathan Burton is a genuine ball of fire! His enthusiasm and passion for the music has always struck me as one of his outstanding traits and has led me to be one of his biggest fans over the years. I have chronicled his story here in the Corner column multiple times - an excellent singer, instrumentalist, writer, arranger and producer who honed his chops spending several years in Detroit while sharing studio and stage gigs with such artists as The Manhattans, Chairmen of the Board, Regina Belle, Drifters, Parliament and Cameo, among others. Sir JB is a seasoned veteran when it comes crafting lyrics and matching them with just the right rhythm tracks. Consistency is a trademark - I just played The Two Of Us on my radio show recently, a tune Sir JB wrote and recorded many years ago. The song could have just as easily been penned and produced this year with its timeless feel and sound! A new location, Sir JB has moved home base from Charlotte down to Leland, NC, which takes full advantage of the Beach music scene while still having a centrifical force in Southern Soul. He has also changed labels after a five year run of successful releases with Ohio based CDS Records. C.T.M.M.R. is the new one - Cut The Middle Man Records is the latest chapter in the career of this versatile entertainer. Lonely At The Top is what I might call an eclectic mix of tribute covers and original phrasing that serves as a benchmark of where we are today. We lost one of the all time best back in 2005, Mr. Tyrone Davis. The advance track which is already charting here is Give It Up Turn It Loose, which jumps off with a groove that brings back the image of that wonderful singer. He also pays homage to General Norman Johnson, the heart and soul of the Chairmen of the Board, whom we lost in 2010, with two 'New Swing Soul' versions of Gone Fishing and a banging rendition of Dangling On A String. The four cuts I have just mentioned are worth the price of admission! The album then becomes a full range repertoire - including versions of Desperado, Some Bridges Need Burning, Mr. Bojangles and Pouring Water On A Drowning Man. I'm liking the full flavor signature stamps on Dance Now Ask Later, Every Little Bit Of You and Never Too Much Booty Shakin', pure Sir JB. I won't ask (comment) on the Trump Decision and Karokee.... ROTFL....Sir JB keeps things lively and moving and that is what the industry needs! Keep on keepin' on JB!

   

Do You Know Ruby?


What does the name Ruby mean to you in terms of Soul and Blues music? The Drifters forever immortalized the name with more that one rendition of the song Ruby Baby! Were there any performers of over the years named Ruby? Absolutely!

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There was Ruby Nash of the group Ruby & The Romantics. From Akron, Ohio, they were similar to Gladys Knight & The Pips from the standpoint of having a female lead singer surrounded by male compliments. The group broke out in a big way in 1963 on the Kapp label with the single Our Day Will Come, which went to #1 on Billboard's both Top Pop and R&B charts. Although they never quite reached that pinnacle again, the group had a solid 10 year run with additional charting hits such as My Summer Love, Hey There Lonely Boy, When You're Young And In Love and Baby Come Home. Ruby & The Romantics have been recognized many times for their accomplishments, including induction into the Group Hall of Fame in 2007 and the inaugural Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2013.

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Ruby Andrews, originally known as Ruby Stackhouse, has been hard at it for right at 50 years. The Mississippi born Ruby debuted as a solo artist on the Chicago based Zodiac label in 1967 - she scored a Top 10 hit that same year with Casanova (Your Playing Days Are Over). Six additional charting singles followed over the next 4 years. Ruby's long history includes some absolutely brilliant tunes that did not make the charts - Just Loving You, I've Got A Bone To Pick With You (recently covered in Beach music by Allie Privette), I Guess That Don't Make Me A Loser, Help Yourself Lover, Gotta Break Away, Merry Go Round, and You Gotta Do The Same Thing. In addition to her earlier albums, she also had a superb release on the Ripete label in 1998 with Hip Shakin' Mama, which contained twelve killer tracks. There have been several remasters and re-releases of Ruby's works in recent years. She is currently the CEO of her own company, Genuine Ruby Records.

 

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Then there is Ruby Turner, the Jamaican born diva who grew up in Birmingham, England. The musical talent she displayed early on landed her recording gigs with Alexis Korner, UB40, and Culture Club. Later working with famed producer Jools Holland, her fame spread as both a performer and composer. Ruby's version of If You're Ready (Come Go With Me) returned the tune to the R&B charts in 1986. It's Gonna Be Alright went to #1 for her in 1989. Other charting hits include Paradise, It's A Crying Shame, The Other Side and Rumors. She has had some tremendous cover tunes - her voice on renditions of Signed Sealed Delivered, Pouring Water On A Drowning Man, Me Oh My and I'd Rather Go Blind resonate with Blues, R&B, Soul and a touch of Jazz. Ruby is still very active in the business - the recent Jools & Ruby album contains many of their best collaborations over the years.

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Louisville, Kentucky born '60's/'70's Soul songstress Ruby Winters had a rather brief 10 year run but also a very productive career in the music business. She began recording on the New York City based Diamond Records label in 1966, scoring a Top 20 R&B hit a year later, a duet with Johnny Thunder entitled Make Love To Me. Two more Top 20 hits would follow for Ruby on Diamond, I Don't Want To Cry in 1969 and Guess Who in 1970. Additional killer singles during this period include Better, Just Like A Yo-Yo, Sweetheart Things and I Don't Want To Hurt Nobody. It is interesting that just as her time on the charts in this country began to fade, she became a big hit in Great Britain. Her 1974 rendition of I Will on Polydor, was re-released on the Creole label in 1977, going to #4 that year on the UK singles chart. Ruby followed this up with several more charters in the UK, including Come To Me, I Won't Mention It Again and Baby Lay Down. The K-Tel Distribution label released a twenty-eight track Best Of Ruby Winters compilation back in 2007. Unfortunately, Ruby is another example of an outstanding artist from that era that definitely did not get the recognition that she deserved.

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Ruby Wilson is known as the Queen of Beale Street. Born in Texas but starting her singing career in Memphis at age 16, she is the god daughter of the late great BB King. Ruby spent some time on the Malaco label, with a self titled album containing strong singles like I Thought I Would Never Find Love, Bluer Than Blue, Seeing You Again and her rendition of Make It With You. Also outstanding is some of her early output such as A Man and A Baby Boy, Sky High and Number One In My Heart. Ruby has appeared in several movies and performed on the subsequent soundtracks over the years. Having recorded over ten albums, her Memphis output is well represented by the collections on 2005's Show You A Good Time and 2009's A Song For You. Ruby has sung at the White House, performed abroad and often been recognized with honors, including the Memphis Sound Award for Best Entertainer.

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Ruby Johnson is another relatively unknown female vocalist that had most of her career musical output produced in Memphis. Born in Elizabeth City, NC, she was discovered singing in a nightclub up the road in Virginia Beach, VA. Her first single Calling All Boys / Pleadin' Heart (B side) was released on the V-Tone label in 1960. She also recorded on the Washington DC based NEB label, later signing with the Stax based subsidiary Volt Records. Issac Hayes and David Porter produced her music - I'll Run Your Hurt Away was her top single, making the R&B charts in 1966. Ruby never was able to muster another charter and ended up leaving the music business in 1974. Much of her work went unheard until 1993, when Fantasy Records produced a set of twenty of Johnson's singles, fourteen of which had never been released. Ruby Johnson passed away in 1999 at the age of 63.

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Soul Dog’s Smokin' Top 45 Southern Soul Hits

                                                  July/August 2016

 

       $ - new entry

 

1.      Why You Wanna Do That? - Lomax                       

2.      If You Need Some - Miss Mini & J Red                

3.      Move Something - Grady Champion                   

4.      There's A Party Goin' On - Ms. Jody                                $

5.      It's Da Weekend - Jerone Da Entertainer               

6.      Give It Up, Turn It Loose - Sir Jonathan Burton     

7.      I Wish It Was Me - Chuck Strong                                     $

8.      Do It Up - Adrena  

9.      It's My Time To Get Down - Jim Bennett   

10.  You're My Craving - Summer Wolfe       

11.  My Man Is A Full Grown Dawg - Jesi Terrell  

12.  Pop It Baby - Donnie Ray 

13.  The Three Of Me - William Bell   

14.  Don't Move The Groove - Theodis Ealey                       $

15.  Hush Money - Alonzo Reid                              

16.  Don't Back Up Off It - Ms. Jody    

17.  Move - Shay Denise                                                        $

18.  Role Play - Rosalyn Candy     

19.  You Don't Know What You Do To Me - Lee Roy Ward  

20.  Slow Rock - Tucka                                                          $         

21.  Another Man Will - Charles Wilson                                $

22.  My Lady's My Queen - TJ Hooker-Taylor       

23.  Slow Motion - LaMorris Williams        

24.  Queen - Lysa                          

25.  Stop That Knockin' _ Jo Jo Murray 

26.  I Got A Love - Sharnette Hyter                                       $

27.  Got My Whiskey (remix) - Big Robb                              $

28.  You Knew What You Had  - Rue Davis 

29.  Shake A Little Something - Karen Wolfe w/ Denise LaSalle   $        

30.  Old School Jam - Willie Clayton      

31.  At the Club - Charles 'Big Daddy' Stallings                   $

32.  That Groove - Rick Lawson                                           $ 

33.  Bring It Baby - Pat Cooley                                             $   

34.  Stand By Man - Mr. Sam                  

35.  Took My Grandma To The Club - Stan Butler              $               

36.  Knock The Fire - Mr. David                                            $

37.  Steps To Love - Sweet Angel                                        

38.  Drop That (Thang) - J Red w/ D Aaron & J Nice

39.  Bag This Wagon Up - Nicole Jackson                             $

40.  My Time To Shine - Shirley Jones     

41.  Make Her Feel It - Tony Tatum   

42.  I Found You - Big G      

43.  Coke Bottle Frame - Nelson Curry 

44.  Sneak In The Night - Alfrieda Upshaw                             $     

45.  Trail Ride - Jaye Hammer                    

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