Monday, July 28, 2008

Sir Lattimore Brown - Shake And Vibrate (SS7 2575)

Shake And Vibrate

Here's the positively smokin' dance number Sir Lattimore cut with Bob Wilson at Bradley's Barn in 1966, the flip of It's Such A Sad, Sad World. As a member of his band in those days, Bob was a first-hand witness to some incredible performances. Lattimore, he said, just brought the house down wherever they went...

"When I first moved to Nashville, my band came down too and hung out, trying to get in, and while I was very successful in the session end, they were not so much... through me, they got in with Lattimore and Sam and Roscoe and toured with them, my Bass player and Drummer. So, I could hang out with all these people anytime I wanted and join the show... They just thought it was too cool that they had these white brothers from Dee-troit, that could play funky soul music.

"He had these twins, dark skinned 6 footers, with knock out bodies, in scant, red bikinis and white go-go boots that came dancin' on stage with him when the MC brought him out on the chitlin circuit clubs. It was too much, men went beserk.These girls could Do It!!! Pumpin those pelvis', Mercy!! The horns blaring, the drums kicking and the bass pumpin, and the MC saying "and now" here's Laaaaaaaattaaaamore Brown and then he comes dancing out with these two beauties prancin (doing the Watusi? or maybe the Pony?) then they go to the right and left side of the stage, still gyrating and Lattimore grabs the mic stand and lays it down sideways, ala James Brown and starts screaming in the mic, very much like Otis did. The men in the audience went BeZZZZerk. Men would storm the stage and try to climb up there, waving handfuls of hundred dollar bills... Lattimore had these dudes standing by that would walk up and literally throw these dudes back off the stage and my drummer would never miss a beat. The show just kept on kickin...

"The dancers were an actual act and occasionally toured with others, but, mostly, they toured with Lattimore's revue (Lattimore, Sam Baker, Roscoe Shelton, Big Marion, etc.). They were called 'The Twirlers'. I think, maybe Lattimore was the only one that could really handle them. They were out of this world sexy, I kid you not... He put on a hell of a show back then, really worked the crowd into a frenzy.

"...the whole show used to live at Big Marion's house, white brothers in the band and all, when they were in town."

The Twirlers, Sir Lattimore told me, were indeed twins and were named Shirley and Derris Ellis.

That must have been some show, huh? Shake and Vib-a-rate, baby!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Chuck Carbo - Second Line On Monday (504 SP4)

Second Line On Monday


Please join me in saying goodbye to yet another legend of R&B, the 'Voice of New Orleans', Chuck Carbo.

As a founding member and lead vocalist of The Spiders, that voice could be heard on no less than five top ten R&B hits between 1954 and 1956. The group broke up shortly after that, with both Chuck and his brother Chick pursuing solo careers. Although he would never reach such stellar heights again, Chuck remained a well known and much-loved performer in his hometown, with singles on local labels like Rex and Fireball.

Thanks to the efforts of folks like Larry Grogan, his best known song is no doubt the uber-funky, Eddie Bo produced, Can I Be Your Squeeze, which is truly one of the hottest records to ever emanate from the Crescent City. It was picked up for national distribution by Wally Roker's Canyon label in 1969, but still never got the airplay it deserved. You can check it out over at Funky 16 Corners, along with it's B side, Take Care Of Your Homework. Great Stuff.

I picked up this cool single you're listening to now down at Mardi Gras in 1988. A big local hit, it was overshadowed by it's mighty B side, Meet Me With Your Black Draws On, which would become the big 'Carnival Song' that year, and remains heavy in the rotation to this day. It was recorded with 'Ed Frank's New Orleans R&B Band', which would include our man Alvin Robinson on guitar in his last session before he died...

So raise dem umb-a-rellas high y'all - "Over in the Glory Land, he's going to meet the Holy Man!"

Yeah, you rite.

Thanks, Chuck. May you rest in peace, my brother.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lattimore Brown - Don't Trust No One (77 2144)

Don't Trust No One

When Lattimore pointed this side out as one of the songs he had recorded at Stax, I figured it was the flip of I'm Not Through Lovin' You (now up on The B Side), but I was wrong. The upbeat I've Got Everything (My Baby Needs), another great record, has that distinction, and while it definitely sounds like it was recorded at those Stax sessions, this cut here has more of that MG thang goin' on, in my (and Lattimore's) opinion. Cropper's guitar just rocks.

Apparently left 'in the can' for years, it wasn't released until John R started up his 77 label in the early seventies. Once again, I love the way Lattimore goes off there on the fade-out; " you know sometimes I don't even trust myself! What a character, man!