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Have You Heard? April 2018

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Mike Little is a deejay from Anderson, South Carolina and is a member of the Electric City Shag Club in Anderson where he deejays for the club on a regular basis. as well as a member of the Carolina Shag Club in Greenville.  He was a highly rated radio deejay for WANS AM Radio for 3-1/2 years.  He writes articles for several publications, including the newsletters of the Association of Beach & Shag Club Deejays (ABSCDJ) and the National Association of Rhythm & Blues Deejays (NARBDJ), for both of which he is a member.  He also writes articles for the Website, beachmusic45.com, as well as the SOS publication, Carefree Times.  In 2003, he received the NARNDJ's Rufus Oates Award.  In 2017 he was inducted into the Deejays Hall of Fame as an honorary member by the ABSCDJ.  Also in 2017, he was inducted into the Greenville Area Shaggers Hall of Fame as an honorary member.  He also serves on the advisory Board of Directors of the Carolina Beach Music Awards.

 

 

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Have you heard about the new Holiday Band release?  Just in time for Deejay Throwdown, the new album, Backs Against The Wall, from KHP Music, carries what will be one of the hottest songs heard during Throwdown. Yours, or sometimes will be called I'm Yours, is the key number on the release and will be heard in every club or venue in Ocean Drive, the section of North Myrtle Beach where it all started.  This original tune was composed by Mike Hayes and put to music by The Holiday Band's Mike Taylor. Look for Yours to soon be entering and moving up in the charts in short order.  Two more originals that should eventually show up in chartland are I Don't Want To Shag No More and Doorknob And A Mop.  Band members Ronnie Farrington, whose musical versatility includes guitar, bass guitar, drums, keyboards, as well as vocals, vocalist Wayne Moore, who plays drums, keyboards and guitar, and Mike Taylor, who has been with The Holiday Band for over twenty-five years, who sings and plays guitar and keyboards, collaborated in writing I Don't Want To Shag No More.  Are you old enough to remember the doorknob?  Doorknob And A Mop may take you back down memory lane, however, in my day, it was the doorknob and the belt who was your dance partner in order to perfect your moves and steps.  Although the lyrics may make it somewhat of a novelty song, the music gives it the flavor of a good dance number.  This tune was written by Mike Taylor and the late Gary Bostic.  Gary, who Mike had joined with before in song writing, died this past year.  The two came together in 2011 with the hit, Smooth Sailing, which appeared on The Holiday Band's album, Sweet Love.  Backs Against The Wall also contains Holiday's take on the Aretha Franklin classic, Chain Of Fools.  Check out Always Been There.  This is a lovely ballad that is sure to bring the lovers out of their seats.  In addition to a few other originals and remakes, the new Holiday Band release carries a few hits that appeared on various compilations. Songs such as Unchain My Heart, Do You Know What I Mean, the original song Turn Down The Lights, penned by Jim McDonald and Mike Taylor, and Holiday's most recent hit, Act Your Age appear on the release.  The Holiday Band's new album, Backs Against The Wall, is sure to be a hit during Deejay Throwdown and the upcoming Spring Safari in April.

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Released in time for Deejay Throwdown comes James Hunter's new one, Whatever It Takes, from Daptone Records. There are six, that's right, six, 1-2-3-4-5-6, cuts that can be used with little or no pitch adjustment.   With that said, it is difficult to determine which one will be the lead-off hit.  In my thinking, it could be Show Her or It Was Gonna Be You.  I am sort of leaning toward It Was Gonna Be You, however I'm thinking that the dancers will like Show Her a little more.  However, either one will bring a crowd onto the hardwoods.  Back in January, I Don't Wanna Be Without You was released as the first single from the album.  It is a good song also, and is bound to be heard in the clubs and on the airwaves in the near future.  Don't overlook the title track, Whatever It Takes.  You will also find favor with I Should've Spoken Up, as well as How Long.  And so will the dancers.  All of the songs above can be played straight up with no pitch adjustment.  There is another song that the shaggers will like, but it needs pitch adjustment on the positive side.  Give Mm-Hmm about a plus 2, and you have another potential hit.  If I'm counting right, that is seven potential hits for the Shag arena.  Whatever It Takes also has a great slow number on the album.  Blisters is sure to fill the dance floor with lovers.  James Hunter, born in Colchester, Essex, Britain, about 50 miles Northeast of London.  His musical career began with a band called Howlin' Wilf, before starting his own band.  His musical style drew the attention of Van Morrison, who appeared on James' first critically-acclaimed album.  James Hunter's first solo release in the United States came in 2006.  In 2008, he changed record companies, now recording for Daptone Records as The James Hunter Six.  Over the years he has given us numerous hits, including Kick It Around, People Gonna Talk, I'll Walk Away, Kick It Around, Watch & Chain, Carina, Hold On and Let The Monkey Ride.  The James Hunter Six's new release, Whatever It Takes from Daptone Records, is surely to add songs to the greater hits of James Hunter.

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Severn Records released the compilation The Last Shade of Blue Before Black featuring Steve Cropper, Lou Marini And The Original Blues Brothers Band.  Special guests taking part in the recording include Eddie Floyd, Joe Louis Walker and Dr. John.  The Original Blues Brothers Band carries two members from the original band, Steve Cropper and Lou “Blue Lou” Marini.  The Blues Brothers originated in 1978 in a skit on Saturday Night Live created by cast members John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd.  On The Last Shade of Blue Before Black, Eddie Floyd shines on the remake of his hit On a Saturday Night, written by Eddie and Steve Cropper.  The album also features a new rendition of Muddy Waters' Don't Go No Further.  The song was written by Willie Dixon.  Joe Louis Walker takes the lead on this classic.  Joe Louis Walker, of course, broke out with the 1998 Fall Migration classic, Uuh!,   The title of the song, Your Feet's  Too Big, doesn't sound smooth, but check it out.  You'll find a different take of the song of that of the original Fats Waller version.    Lou Marini and Steve Cropper did a great job of producing The Last Shade Of Blue Before Black.  The album features a horn section that does not overshadow the arrangement of the songs.

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Ecko Records has released O.B. Buchana's latest, Parking Lot Love Affair.  The title track was the first single released from the new album, yet there are several other songs from the release that will more closely fit into the Beach Music genre.    Teach Me How To Swing seems to be a choice cut that will best fit into the Shag dance arena.  There are two versions of the song on the disk, one of which is marked Remix (Clean).  However, I choose the original version.  The Remix (Clean) version is lengthy and will have to be edited.   You may find that Jam On With Me might attract some interest, however, this one is also will have to be shortened.  The song that may work best from the album is I Wanna Get With You.  This is the one from the release that you can count on.  Born in Mound Bay, Mississippi, O.B. Buchana spent his childhood in Clarksdale, Mississippi, home to many Blues musicians over the years.  Growing up in this musical environment, O.B. began singing Gospel at the age of eight in his church choir.  It was not long before he became lead singer, and by the time he was a teenager, the Gospel group, The Mighty Suns of God had selected him as their lead singer.  His gospel years groomed him for his success as a Rhythm & Blues artist.  O.B. Buchana became a rising star in the Blues and Southern Soul markets.  In 2004, Ecko Records recognized his talents as a singer and songwriter and signed him to a contract.  Ecko has been his home for nearly fifteen years now, and he has given the Beach and Shag markets hits such as I Was Searching. I'm Goin' Back Home and You've Been Good To Me.  O.B. Buchana's latest, Parking Lot Love Affair from Ecko Records is now available at your favorite Southern Soul outlet or Website. 

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Chris Daniels & The Kings turns 34 years old this year.  The band's recently released album, Blues With Horns Vol. 1, featuring Colorado vocalist, Freddy Gowdy.  Freddy spent most of his musical career touring and recording with The Freddi-Hench Band, a funky act once described as the “greatest party band” in Colorado musical history.  Blues With Horns features an up-tempo version of Sam and Dave's Soothe Me Baby.  Another that you'll want to check out is Wouldn't Treat A Dog (The Way You Treat Me).  The highlight of the album is Can't Even Do Wrong Right.  The song has the beat and the lyrics of a hit.  This one, you really need to latch on to.  Band leader Christ Daniels, when not performing, recording or practicing, is Associate Professor of the College of Art and Music at the Denver campus of the University of Colorado.  He was inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame in 2013 and has received a Grammy Award nomination for his writing and performance with Al Jarreau, Hubert Laws and Dee Dee Bridgewater.   Blues With Horns from Severn Records by Chris Daniels & The Kings featuring Freddy Gowdy is in the stores now.  Check it out.

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Kim Wilson, former lead vocalist and frontman for The Fabulous Thunderbirds who gave us Tuff Enuf and the group's only Top 40 hit, Wrap It Up, has gone back to the basics on his new album, Blues And Boogie, from Severn Records.  As one of the country's greatest harmonica players, Kim really does a bangup job on the harp, as well as lead vocalist, on Ninety Nine, a remake of the Sonny Boy Williams song.  One of the most interesting tunes on the album is Kim's rendition of John Lee Hooker's Same Old Blues.  Kim updates this old slow Blues song into a more updated, uptempo version.      

  Speaking of uptempo, check out Kim's take on No Love In My Heart.  If you can imagine a cross between Clarence “Frogman” Henry's Ain't Got No Home and Fats Domino's My Girl Josephine aka Hello Josephine, then you have a handle on how this song goes.  Look Whatcha Done may just be the chosen hit from the album.  The mid-tempo song could be the one to get them on the floor.  Kim displays his song writing skills on Searched All Over.  The tunes carries some great slide guitar work.  The official title of Kim Wilson's album from Severn album is Blues And Boogie Vol. 1.  So if you like this one, you can look forward to Volume 2 later on down the line.

 

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It's hard to believe that Lloyd Price, who gave us the 1952 Beach classic, Lawdy Miss Clawdy, is still kicking with his new album, This Is Rock & Roll on the Double L label, the record company he formed in 1962 after his contract with ABC-Paramount expired.  It was with Double L Records that we first heard Wilson Pickett as a solo artist.  Teaming with co-songwriter, Harold Logan, and his arranger, Sammy Lowe, Price has released several albums on the label.  The latest creation, This Is Rock & Roll, contains a number of songs that could easily fit into today's Beach Music scene.   Do you remember Lloyd Price's take on Misty?  If you liked it, then you will like The Smoke.  It will definitely attracted the smooth steppers to the floor.  Price also gives us an upbeat version of Fats Domino's Blueberry Hill, which I definitely feel will bring shaggers onto the floor.  Lloyd also gives us a pretty likable version of Fats' I'm Walkin'.  Another one on the album you will want try is his take on The Four Tops' I Can't Help Myself.  The tune is listed on the album as Medley I Can't Help Myself, which intertwines The Village People's' YMCA chorus into one of the song's choruses.  For the slow song lovers, try the re-arranged version of The Shirelles' Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.  You may not find Lloyd Price's This Is Rock & Roll in the record company you shop, but the album is readily available on the Web.

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You may have played or heard coronet player Al Basile's Keep Your Love, Where's My Money from his 2016 album, Mid-Century Modern from Sweetspot Records.  The former Roomful of Blues member released his latest, Quiet Money, this past fall, also on the Sweetspot label.   The album was produced by former Roomful of Blues bandmate, Duke Robillard and carries a baker's dozen song, all written by Al Basile.  Duke, who also plays guitar on the release, is joined by two former bandmates, Rich Lataile on trumpet and Doug James on tenor and baritone sax.  The album features a number of songs that will attract dancers to the floor.  Check out Blues Got Blues and I Woulda Been Wrong.  Though both are good songs, it is True To Form that is the highlight of Quiet Money.  With this tune, you have no doubt that Al was once a member of Roomful of Blues.  Doug James also gives one heck of a tenor sax solo on the number.  It would not surprise me at all if we see this song enter the charts at some point in the future.  Quiet Money by Al Basile is one that you do not want to overlook, especially the song, True To Form.              

Kwik Kuts

 

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

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Old Time Saturday Night by Mark Black.  R. Mark Black has released the first single, Old Time Saturday Nite, from his soon-to-be-released album Make Your Mark.  The sing, that was just released a short time ago, is heavily being played and has already entered into some deejays' charts.  This one is hot!  The tune features Donald Jordan on guitar and Mo Moore on piano, as well as a horn section that includes John Thornton and Mark Black.  As you may know, Mark Black plays saxophone in the East Coast Party Band.  Old Time Saturday Nite was featured on  tly released albums or relatively new releases  the popular television show The Bachelorette last year as played by the East Coast Party Band.  Mark has experienced a tremendous music career.  After attending Appalachian State University, he joined The Fabulous Kays band that is based out of Charlotte, North Carolina.  He later was recruited to become a part of The Embers.  After leaving The Embers in 2004 and more time with his family, he began working with the Horry County School system.  During this time, he joined the East Coast Party Band.

 

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Don't Let Her Go by Jack Mack & The Heart Attack Horns.  This one comes from the group's latest album, Back To The Shack, which was released before the close of the year on the group's own label.  This is not the only song on the release you should pay attention to, but is it the best by far for the Beach & Shag market.  Though now based out of Los Angeles, California, Jack Mack & The Heart Attack was founded in 1981 by Nebraskan keyboardist and singer, Max Carl (Gronenthal).  Max   left the band in 1985 to play keys and sing lead for .38 Special.  He now is now co-lead singer with Tim Cashion for Grand Funk Railroad.   By the way, there is no Jack Mack.  There never has been.  Jack Mack & The Heart Attack is well known for the group's horn section, thus changing the name of the group to Jack Mack & The Heart Attack Horns.  The new album is named for The Soul Shack, which is an actual place that the members of the band have visited frequently since 1980.

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I'm Gonna Get My Baby by The Cash Box Kings.  This one comes from the group's most recent album, Royal Mint, that was released late this past summer.  The band is named with respect to Cashbox, the magazine that kept music charts going from 1949 until the mid-nineties.  In recent years the magazine was revised as a Web magazine that carries the charts, including Beach Music charts.  The Cash Box Kings were created in Chicago, Illinois in 2001 by singer, song writer and harmonica player Joe Nosek, who now oversees the band with singer/songwriter Oscar Wilson.   In recent years, The Cash Box Kings have provided us with some good dance music, such as Baby Without You and Fallin' down.

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Name Of The Game by A.J. Croce featuring Vince Gill.  The song comes from A.J. Croce's newest album, Just Like Medicine.  The Croce family moved Pennsylvania to San Diego, California just months before singer, songwriter and musician Jim Croce died in a 1973 plane crash while on tour.  Jim Croce was highly recognized from his hits such as Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, Don't Mess Around With Jim and others.  At the age of four, two years after his father's death, A.J. Croce lost his eyesight as a result of physical abuse from his mother's boyfriend.  Between the ages of four and ten, he regained sight in his left eye.  During this difficult period of his life, he began playing the piano.  At the age of nineteen, he signed his first recording contract.  A.J. Croce currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee.  A.J.'s mother, Ingrid, continues to live in San Diego where she owns and operates Croce's, a very popular restaurant and jazz bar, named in tribute to her late husband.  Lenny “Fuzzy” Rankins, who gave us the popular tune, This Old Man, lives in San Diego and appears occasionally at Croce's. 

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Nothing But Fine by Tinsley Ellis.  This jewel comes from his Winning Hand album released the first of this year.  I had a tough time choosing the right song to highlight, as his Dixie Lullaby was also a front runner.  I chose Nothing by Fine, as I thought it would be more acceptable by the dancers.  Tinsley Ellis has been on the scene since the late eighties.  Still living in his home town of Atlanta, Georgia, he played with the Haygood Band while attending Emory University in Atlanta, the school from which he graduated in 1979 with a degree in history.  In 1981, he formed The Heartfixers with singer and harmonica player Chicago Bob Nelson.

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Dance Dance Dance by Otis Redding III.  The song is a new single from the singer, songwriter and producer.  Otis Redding III is the one of four children of the famed Otis Redding (Jr.), along with brother Dexter and sisters Karla Redding-Andrews and Demetria, the latter of whom was adopted. Otis Redding gave us a number of hits prior to his untimely death, highlighted by his classic Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay.  Fast-forwarding several decades, Otis Redding III, playing guitar, brother Dexter, playing bass and providing vocals and cousin Mark Lockett, playing drums, keyboards and singing lead, formed the group, The Reddings.  The group disbanded after recording six albums, from them came several Billboard hits.  Over the years, Otis III has been highly sought after in Europe just because of his name.  In addition, beginning in the eighties, he has become well known as a songwriter and arranger.  Otis and his siblings are active in the family business, the Otis Redding Foundation.

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