Saturday, January 19, 2008

Show Me - Joe Tex (Dial 4055)

Show Me

Alright. In the comments on the latest installment of the Chips Moman saga, 'rpj' asked:

"Hoping you could solve a quandary for me from this time period: Is Chips playing that great, simple pick lead on Joe Tex's 'Show Me'?"

Hmmm... while the guitar intro at the beginning is (I think) almost definitely Reggie Young, those leads later on don't really sound like his style. He has a point... it just might be Moman!

Here's what Chips told Allen Smith; "Joe Tex was an unbelievable talent. He was a great songwriter but he couldn't play an instrument. He'd have all these songs that he knew the words to but no one knew the chords! He would just stand there and sing a cappella. Usually Bobby Emmons would sit there for an hour or so on every song and put some chord changes to what Joe had. And then we'd just take it from there. Cause Joe would have all these things in his head but he didn't exactly know how to get them out. But he was brilliant. He was one of the most brilliant recording artists I've ever known."


This rockin' little number (kinda like I Can't Turn You Loose on steroids), went to #24 R&B in the spring of 1967.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Joe Simon - (You Keep Me) Hangin' On (SS7 2608)

(You Keep Me) Hangin' On

Like I was saying over on holy ghost, I had the pleasure of speaking with Bishop Joe Simon on the telephone a few days ago. I asked him about the time he spent at American in Memphis with his partner, John R. cutting the No Sad Songs LP.

He told me that it was simply an outstanding environment to record in, and that everybody worked together, contributing ideas and suggestions. Chips Moman was the arranger as well as the engineer, and a great guy to work with, he said. When I mentioned that the label read (as usual) 'Produced by J.R. Enterprises Inc.', Joe said "that sounds about right, the whole thing was a group effort." This phenomenal tune we have here was released as the second single from the album, and just missed the R&B top ten in the spring of 1968, landing at #11.

As you may have heard, Bishop Simon will be headlining the Porretta Soul Festival in Italy this summer. How great is that?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Triumphs - Burnt Biscuits (Volt 100)

Burnt Biscuits

As I was saying on the B Side, here's the one that started it all. If it kind of sounds like Booker T. and the M.G.'s to you, that's because half of the original group is on here, with Booker on the Hammond and Lewie Steinberg on bass. There's no guitar on this side, however, as Chips was apparently working the board. Instead of Al Jackson, Jr. on the drums (who wouldn't start doing sessions at Stax until the following year), that's Howard 'Bulldog' Grimes, the man who would go on to anchor Hi Rhythm.

According to Rob Bowman, "Burnt Biscuits did well in both Memphis and New Orleans, selling about thirty thousand copies in the latter city alone. Although this proved enough to get the record charted in Record World, elsewhere it died a quick death, and The Triumphs as such never attempted a follow-up. As an inter-racial instrumental ensemble, however, in many respects The Triumphs were the forerunners of what became known as Booker T. and the M.G.'s."


I wonder who's blowing that wild harmonica, son?