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Southern Soul Corner May

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Corner Talk: New music continues to proliferate in Southern Soul like flowers in the garden in spring. CDS Records has yet another compilation

in the mix with the just released Club Southern Soul 3, thirteen tracks of new and recently released jumpin' joints featuring some of the hottest artists in the business. The leadoff track is already smokin' and got 'em line dancin' to Sir Jonathan Burton's Can't Touch This. Ditto for Simeo's Let's Do This Again,  Stephanie Pickett's We're Gonna Swing Out, Charlie Brown's Grown Folks Party (Remix) and  Let's Step from Carl Marshall with Rue Davis. Jim Bennett had a big hit with The Body Roll as did Jody Sticker with Make It Move. There are certainly some of my favorite breakout tunes from the last couple of years included here: I'm 'Bout It 'Bout It (Floyd Taylor), Mississippi Hideaway (Bobbye 'Doll' Johnson) and Work With It (Will Easley). Another good combination of club and party groovers from the folks at CDS!

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O.B. Buchana is back with his tenth album release since 2004 on the Memphis based Ecko Records label. Overall, he has been turning out strong down home Southern Soul for well over twenty years. O.B.'s Gospel based singing roots come through on his deep and powerful vocals. His latest, Starting All Over is a ten cut joint with the raucous advance release I'm Rowdy Rowdy already making a move on the charts. I also like the solid upbeat grooves of You Said, Just Go Dancin', You Do It Right and I Was Searching. Hold On To What You Got would be my choice for the slow and way down low track to fill the dance floor up in the clubs. This is one of the better albums in Southern Soul so far this year by this well established star and may very well be O.B.'s best overall release of his long career!

 

 

Jaye Hammer is one of the new 'young gun' artists on the Southern Soul scene. Losing his eyesight at the age of twenty-six has not prevented Jaye from pursuing his dream of being a successful singer. His first album, Hammer, released in 2012, received very positive reviews. I stated last year that a hint of Clarence Carter and Roy C could be heard in Jaye's soulful, resonant voice. I Can Lay The Hammer Down has an official release scheduled for later this month. The leadoff track, Shuckin' And Jivin',  immediately catches my ear as a sure fire dancer. One Stop Lover, I'm In Love and Dig A Little Deeper are also uptempo tracks with that old school sound that Jaye is quickly establishing as part of his repertoire. Let's Call A Truce have the lyrics that most definitely tell the truth about relationship ups and downs!! This is certainly another outstanding release for this rising young star!

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Malaco Records, the label that got the ball rolling back in the '70's/ '80's to create the foundation of what has become today's Southern Soul, had all but left this market to focus on other genres. They do occasionally, however, stick their toes back in the water. Such is the case with the just released Greatest Hits Of Denise LaSalle. It contains twelve previously released scintillating tracks from the longtime mainstay at Malaco, who has long been the undisputed Queen of Southern Soul. Stellar singles on the album  include Wet Match, Drop That Zero, Down Home Blues, Lady In The Street, You Husband Is Cheating On Us and Trapped ..1990. Eight of Denise's Malaco albums made the Billboard R&B charts between 1984 and 1997. Her career stretches so far back that a lot of us old folks were young,  LaSalle's first charting single occurred in 1971 and she hasn't slowed down since.

 

Also from Malaco, a new compilation entitled The Blues Is Alright For Hurtin', an appropriate title for the Jackson, Mississippi label that redefined the down home hurting and healing of the Blues. They did so with such outstanding song writers as George Jackson (see below), Charles Richard Cason, Sam Mosley, Robert Johnson, Thomisene Anderson, Little Milton Campbell, Frederick Knight, Frank Johnson and many more. The tracks here are not the well known hits from days gone by, but ten solid barroom ballads that were somewhat overlooked. Examples are What Am I Gonna Tell Her by Z.Z. Hill, I Was Tryin' Not To Break Down from Little Milton and Dorothy Moore's All Night Blue. The stellar lineup of artists includes Bobby 'Blue' Bland, Stan Mosley, Latimore, G.C. Cameron and Queen Emily. A good album to turn the lights way down low, sit back, and just drink it all in!!

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We lost another truly great one this past month with the passing of Greenville, Mississippi area native George Jackson on April 14th. Known more for his tremendous song writing talents, George was an outstanding singer as well. His career began in the early '60's after meeting Ike Turner, recording his first single on Ike's Prann label. George later travelled to Memphis hoping to catch on with Stax Records. Instead, he hooked up with Louis Williams – together they formed the smooth Soul harmony group known as the Ovations. While recording several songs on the Goldwax label,  Jackson also penned tunes for label mates James Carr and Spencer Wiggins.

 

After the Ovations disbanded, George hired on at the now legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. There he wrote or co-wrote songs for such luminaries as Clarence Carter (Snatching It Back, Too Weak To Fight), Candi Staton (Too Hurt To Cry, I'm Just A Prisoner Of Your Love) and Wilson Pickett (A Man And A Half). It was there that the Osmonds visited, selecting the Jackson penned One Bad Apple to record, which became a #1 Pop hit in 1971.  George also spent some time during the  '70's with the Memphis based Hi Records label where he recorded his own hit song,  Aretha Sing One For Me, a Billboard charting R&B single in 1972. Pop rocker Bob Seger later had a monster smash with a song George co-wrote, Old Time Rock And Roll (yep!).

 

Over the next several years George wrote and/or recorded for MGM, Muscle Shoals Sounds, Malaco, Mardi Gras, and Hep' Me Records, among others. An amazing list of key artists have recorded Jackson written tunes over the last thirty five plus years:  Z.Z. Hill, Latimore, Otis Clay, James Brown, Bettye Swann, Dorothy Moore, Johnnie Taylor, Shirley Brown,

Foghat, Johnny Adams, Percy Sledge, William Bell, Chante' Moore, Staple Singers, O.V. Wright, Ann Peebles, Bobbie Gentry, Al Green, Judy Clay, Willie Clayton, Bobby Patterson, Grandmaster Flash, Tams, Al Jarreau. Little Milton, Carl Sims, Mel Waiters, Bobby Womack, Wet Willie, Marcia Ball, Bobby Bland, Susan Tedeschi, Ollie Nightengale, Artie White, Marvin Sease, Denise LaSalle, Dobie Gray, Joss Stone, Millie Jackson, Stan Mosley, Tom Principato, Vick Allen, Donnie Ray, Floyd Taylor, Pat Brown and I am sure there are dozens more.

 

 

 Additional Jackson written or co-written songs you might recognize: Messin' With My Mind, Cheatin' In The Next Room, I Don't Do Windows, Play Something Pretty, Mini Skirt Minnie, If I Could Reach Out (And Help Somebody), Slipped Tripped And Fell In Love, Strugglin' Lady, She's In A Midnight Mood, Girl I'm In Love With You, Make You Feel Love Again, All In The Open Now, Wall To Wall, Still Called The Blues, Lay Love Aside, Room 244 and Victim Of A Foolish Heart. 

Jackson formed his own publishing company along the way, called Happy Hooker Music. Although many that he worked along side of would say that George never got the recognition that he deserved, those that he wrote for certainly appreciated his amazing creative talents. His lyrics told stories, that were interwoven with real life situations. George Jackson was definitely one of the most influential song developers in Soul music history.

 

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And yet another long time Soul music veteran has left us with the April 20th  passing of Artie “Blues Boy' White. Born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Artie's first introduction to singing was in the church. Later moving to Chicago, he continued pursuing Gospel music for a period of time as a member of the Full Gospel Wonders. Switching over to R&B in the early '60's, Artie released a whole slew of soulful singles over the next two decades. Recording on primarily independent labels such as P&M, Gamma and Al Tee, White had a charting hit in 1977 with (You Are My) Leanin' Tree.

 

Signing with the Stan Lewis Shreveport based Jewel/Paula/Ronn group, Artie released his first career album, the highly acclaimed Blues Boy, in 1985, from which the nickname was derived and it stuck. Moving over to Ichiban Records in 1987, he proceeded to record and release seven albums over the next eight years, including a Best Of Artie White CD. Co-writing quite a bit of his own material, Artie also utilized the creative talents of luminaries such as  Little Milton and Travis Haddix. High powered Blues tracks like Just Getting In, Mr. Mailman, Tore Up, Funny How Time Slips Away, I Ain't Taking No Prisoners, I Can't Seem To Please You and Nite Before Pay Day were the norm for Artie. His 1990 Tired Of Sneaking Around and 1991 Dark End Of The Street albums on Ichiban both made the Billboard R&B charts.

 

Artie signed with Malaco Records in 1995, initially releasing Different Shades Of Blue on the Waldoxy subsidiary. The album contained several killer tracks, including I'm Gonna Marry My Mother-In-Law and All In The Open Now. Two subsequent Waldoxy releases yielded outstanding tunes such as Your Man Is Home Tonight, Can We Get Together, High Steppin' Mama and Back At The Hotel. A hard to find White album which is highly regarded as one of his best is the 2002 Can't Get Enough issue on his own A Chill Town Records label.

 

Artie continued to record and perform over the last decade on the Blues/Soul circuit. He produced three more albums on A Chill Town, one of which included my favorite Blues Boy song, the Z.Z. Hill written She Hit Me From The Blind Side. White's live performances on tours and at festivals were always well received – he was a definite fan favorite.

Artie 'Blues Boy' White will certainly be missed but not forgotten in the world of Blues and Southern Soul.

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 Soul Dog’s Smokin' Top 45 Southern Soul Hits

                      May/June 2013

 

1)    Still Strokin' – Ms. Jody

2)    I'm Rowdy Rowdy - OB Buchana    $           

3)    Shake – Ricky White

4)    Good Love – Klass Band Brotherhood   

5)    Swing It – Lomax

6)    She's Got That Ooo Wee - Jerry L   $

7)    Bring It Baby – Pat Cooley  

8)    I Can Do Bad/You Were Doing Bad – Jesse James & Synethia    $    

9)   Who Got The Whiskey - Mel Waiters  

10)            Can't Touch This – Sir Jonathan Burton

11)            Prescription For My Love Addiction – Lady Audrey

12)            Lifestyles Of The Poor And Unknown – Total Package Band   

13)            Just Like Dat – Mr. Sam

14)            Party Time - Jeff Floyd   $

15)            Be Careful With My Heart – Cicero Blake

16)            Think It Over - Theodis Ealey & Lacee    $

17)            So Right So Good – Simone De

18)            I Want It – Leroy Allen    

19)            Party All Our Blues Away – Vick Allen

20)            Perfect Opportunity – Ms. Monique

21)           You Can't Watch Your Wife  – RB & Company 

22)           Stay Home Kitty Kitty – Jesi Terrell   $

23)           Steppin' Out Tonight  - Anthony Watson    

24)           Ready To Go – Shirley Jones  

25)           Best Day (My Wife) - Klass Band Brotherhood  $

26)           I'm A Lady – Gina Brown

27)           Bring Back Them Blues – Donnie Ray  $

28)           Baby's Got Them Blues Jeans On – Theodis Ealey          

29)           You Should Know By Now – Sir Jonathan Burton  $

30)           Soul School – Mr. David

31)           Good Motor -  LJ Echols 

32)           I'm Not Afraid To Love  - Charles Wilson

33)           One Stop Lover - Jaye Hammer     $

34)           That's Not My Cologne - Charles McCormick

35)           Back In The Day Cafe – Andre Lee

36)           Shake It Girl – Donnell Sullivan   $ 

37)           Nobody But You – Betty Padgett   

38)            Party House – Big G   $

39)            Try Me - Randolph Walker

40)            Move Somethin' – Certified Slim  

41)            I Love You, But I Won't Always Be Your Fool - LGB

42)           The Devil Made Me Do It  - Chuck Roberson   $

43)            Bad Habit - James Smith  $

44)           Trust Yourself  – Grady Champion 

45)           Should Have Made You My Wife – Fredrick Hicks  $

   

          $  - first time entry

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