Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Andy Chapman - Double Your Satisfaction (ATCO 6558)

Double Your Satisfaction

So, over on The B Side, we established that the guy singing on the other side of this 45 was not Andy Chapman, but in reality Tommy Tate. Naturally, one would assume that this must be Tommy on the flip as well, right? Wrong!

Another very cool Thomas, McCree, Thomas number, the vocalist on here, everybody seems to agree (except Huey Meaux, who says he never heard of him), is a guy named Big Ben Atkins. Atkins came up out of Vernon, Alabama (the same town that gave us Dan Penn), leading a college circuit band called The Nomads, mining the same territory as Penn's Pallbearers. He cut his first single at Fame, a double sider of Penn/Oldham tunes that was actually produced by Dan, and released on original American Sound partner Seymour Rosenberg's Youngstown label in Memphis.

Singles on Statue and Goldwax would follow, before he wound up at Grits n' Gravy. It certainly seems odd that Atlantic would agree to put out a record on a guy with an established 'name' out there on the street under a different moniker, especially seeing as how there were in reality two different Andy Chapmans on the same record. Like Tommy Tate said, this was also probably cut as a demo, and shopped out to Wexler who remained unaware of the ruse. I wonder what Huey would have done if it was a hit?

Quinton Claunch leased a couple more 45s to Josie, before Ben was picked up by Stax, who released the critically acclaimed Patchouli LP on their Enterprise subsidiary in 1971. Produced by Bobby Manuel and Duck Dunn, it was cut at Muscle Shoals Sound, and broke into the top 100 on the Billboard album chart that year. Like most white guys singing R&B in the late seventies, however, he ended up getting lumped in with the 'Country' guys (just like our friend Len Wade), and his biggest hit would come on the Country charts with We Don't Live Here, We Just Love Here in 1978.

Ben Atkins cut an LP per decade in the eighties and nineties, and is still around. According to his website, he is now performing as a founding member of The Class of '65, "...a complete show and dance band with a rhythm section, four piece horn section, light show, and female background and lead vocalists." His early material routinely fetches big bucks on eBay, and his own hard driving brand of 'blue eyed soul' still holds up today, as evidenced by this rockin' side that Huey Meaux produced on him over forty years ago (even if Huey doesn't remember it).

You can't make this stuff up.


Blogger Funky16Corners said...

Holy crap! I had no idea Ben Atkins was white. I've had that Goldwax single for years too.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You make me really curious about that 'Patchouli' album. Great personel and amazing record sleeve too, but it seems to be impossible to get the album or listen to any of these songs. Any idea where I can listen to some of the stuff that's on it?

3:07 AM  
Blogger Red Kelly said...

Paul - There's a couple of copies available on GEMM, ranging in price from $10 to over $30. There's one right now on eBay as well. As far as I know, it's never made it to CD. Maybe we could interest Paul Williams over at Reel Music to consider it as one of his projects... thanks!

4:39 AM  

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