Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Big Sambo and the Housewreckers - The Rains Came (Eric 7003)

The Rains Came

In the late fifties, Texas sax man James Young led a smokin' band in Beaumont and Port Arthur called Big Sambo and the Housewreckers. This amazing record we have here today was cut with Huey Meaux in 1960 and sold over 500,000 copies. It was well on its way to breaking nationwide when it was killed by the NAACP, who thought that Young's stage name was a little over the top. Meaux says he pleaded with James to change it, but that he wanted to stick with the name that got him there. Young is the man who brought Barbara Lynn to Huey's barber shop, and set all of that in motion. He did, in fact, consent to call himself James 'Big Sambo' Young for a later release on Meaux's Jetstream label, but it didn't sell much. Big Sambo died in 1983.

The Rains Came was also released as the follow-up to Sir Doug's She's About A Mover in early 1966, when it broke into the Top 40 on the pop charts.

I spun this 45 for the first time in ages as part of episode seven on the YouTube thing, and it just knocked me out. This guy could sing, man.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Arthur Conley - People Sure Act Funny (ATCO 6588)

People Sure Act Funny

This one comes via a special request in the comments of the post I did about this 45's anthemic B Side a couple of years ago. Produced by the one and only Tom Dowd at American Sound, it broke into the R&B top twenty in the summer of 1968... are the Memphis Boys just kicking it on here or what? Sounding kind of like Joe Tex (who was recording his own hits at American around the same time), it's a cover of a Titus Turner song from 1962 that was also performed by Don Gardner and Dee Dee Ford. Turner's co-writer, James McDougal, was one of the composers of Gardner and Ford's biggest hit I Need Your Lovin'... Great Stuff!