Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ann Sexton - You're Gonna Miss Me (77 133)

You're Gonna Miss Me

OK, here's that positively combustible tune I was talking about over on The B Side. Written by Miami's own Paul Kelly, and produced by 'BoLegs' Miller, it was reportedly recorded in Memphis for a Nashville record company... this record sure got around! It would be Sexton's biggest hit, climbing to #47 R&B in September of 1973, the month after John R 'retired' from WLAC.

I don't have any session info here, but It actually sounds more Muscle Shoals than Memphis to me. In any event, it remains, like I said, one of my favorite songs. Check out that bass line, the wah-wah, the fat Hammond, and that drum kit, whoa! Miller's horn charts just burn, not to mention the sheer power of Ann's vocal performance. My kind of stuff, man. As you may know, it was included on Oliver Wang's Soul Sides Volume One just last year (great minds thinking alike, and all of that... you know how it is).

Monday, October 15, 2007

Spencer Wiggins - Old Friend (You Asked Me If I Miss Her) (Goldwax 312)

Old Friend

Here's the incredible A side of our Spencer Wiggins post. I couldn't resist putting it up for you, as it's one of my favorite Goldwax sides. What a voice this man has! Check out Reggie Young on here, man... is he great or what? This is one of the best George Jackson compositions out there, in my opinion.

Here's an interesting question for you... if you check the BMI Database, you'll find that George co-wrote this song with someone named Jimmy Webb. Jimmy Webb? Like Up, Up & Away, By The Time I Get To Phoenix Jimmy Webb?? Further inspection reveals that, no, it's not that Jimmy Webb...

Well, then, who was he?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Sandpebbles - Forget It (Calla 134)

Forget It

By request, here's some way cool New York Soul.

The Sandpebbles were apparently named after the hit movie that was sweeping the nation back in 1967. That film starred Steve McQueen and Richard Attenborough and had something to do with China. I remember that much. I don't quite get the connection here but, hey, no problem.

The Sandpebbles we have here today were made up of Calvin White, Andrea Bolden and Lonzine Wright. Their sassy vocal interplay puts me in mind of The Soul Children, who wouldn't show up on the scene until the following year. Today's selection was their first release, and also their biggest hit, cracking the R&B top ten during the 'Summer of Love' (just to kind of put things in context, the flip of this 45 was called Psychedelic Tecnicolor Dream).

Great stuff.

The brainchild of New York producer Teddy Vann, they would go on to bring two more Vann compositions to the charts for Calla (including the great Love Power which, as David pointed out, was just featured over at DJ Prestige's smokin' Flea Market Funk) over the next year. Teddy had come up as a producer and A&R man for the interestingly named Triple X records in New York working with 'girl group' The Bobettes. A well known figure on the New York music scene in the sixties, he would go on to write for Broadway and Hollywood later on. As Jamison pointed out, he shared a Grammy with Luther Vandross and Marcus Miller in 1991. Vann was also the man behind the cult classic, Santa Claus Is A Black Man. Word.

The Sandpebbles, meanwhile, changed their name to "C and the Shells" and moved to Atlantic with Calla label mate Little Jerry Williams (soon to become known as the inimitable Swamp Dogg) in 1969. With Williams now producing them, they would chart twice more on Atlantic's Cotillion subsidiary. When a third release, a cover of William Bell and Judy Clay's Private Number failed to make it, they were apparently dropped by the label in 1970. I found this Zanzee 45 on eBay, anyone know anything about it?