Friday, 26 August 2016

Good Knight, Bad Knight

I have been worn down by George's persistent nagging, Here is some more gospel, this time courtesy of the fiery-throated Marie Knight. The first track is from 1955, the second from 1975, and there is no sign that the fire diminished in the interim.

Despite this devotion Marie - like all of us - is fallible. In 1958 she slipped, as our third selection records. I am not sure why Marie got quite so agitated about what the neighbours thought. As she should know, it is not their judgement that ultimately matters. And even if she were able to hide her sins from them, she cannot hide them from the Lord. Goodness me, no.

"The Storm Is Passing Over" - Marie Knight 

"Jesus Met The Woman At The Well" - Marie Knight

"I Thought I Told You Not To Tell Them" - Marie Knight

Elvis was as devout as Marie, but somewhat confused. He mistakenly believed that it was the well, rather than Jesus, that could bless his soul.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Ernie's Dating Agency

As much to my surprise as yours, there turns out to be a second instalment of our planned new series in which we aim to bring together well-matched musicians who are looking for love. Ms Bramlett, Mr Holman is the answer to your question.

"Where's Eddie?" - Bonnie Bramlett

"Eddie's My Name" - Eddie Holman

Without wishing to burden you with my secret sorrow, there is a noticeable shortage of women asking the question "Where's Ernie?" at the moment. So much so that - just like my more famous, handsome and charismatic namesake -  my only company of an evening is a rubber duck.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Sammy and Scots on Sunday

Evening all. We have a couple of tracks for you tonight from "Designing the Wall of Sound", a double CD compilation of early Phil Spector productions.

I have chosen "Falling" simply because I think its a great pop song. The second selection is dedicated to the Caledonian contingent among our readership. It will either stir their Scottish souls, or lead them to the view that Mr Spector should remain locked up, and preferably with the key thrown away.

"Falling" - Sammy Turner

"Loch Lomond" - The Castle Kings

Judging by the rather weedy shout of "Hoots Mon", I strongly suspect the Castle Kings were heavily influenced by this early folk-rock classic.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Gospel Tuesday

A few weeks ago I erroneously asserted that Wednesday night was Gospel night. It turns out I was wrong. Apologies for any confusion caused. Here is some crazed Christian crooning courtesy of Sister Wynona Carr.

"15 Rounds For Jesus" - Sister Wynona Carr

"Operator, Operator" - Sister Wynona Carr

One of the downsides of the many advances in telephonic technology of the last forty or fifty years is that, by removing the need for a telephone operator to act as an intermediary, the great tradition of "operator" songs has all but dried up. Here are two of the finest (well, one of the finest and "Sylvia's Mother").

Friday, 12 August 2016

Olympics Special

To mark the Rio Olympics we present a couple of belting Brazilian tunes, and we combine it with a special Scottish tribute to the competitors in general and today's plucky British gold medallists in particular.

"La Lupita" - Nico Gomez

"Eu Sou Mais Eu" - Anna Mazzotti 

"The Olympian" - The Skids

"The Boat That I Row" - Lulu

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Probing

The other day I picked up a copy of "Penance", the 1995 album by an outfit called The She. There were two reasons: it was only 20p, and it was released on the famous Liverpool label Probe Plus, best known as the home of Half Man Half Biscuit.

The She turned out to be nothing special. But it does give me an excuse to play not only the Biscuits but also the first - and probably still the best - record ever released by Probe Plus. Written about the Toxteth riots in 1980, and produced by Dennis Bovell, I played this obsessively for a bit when it first came out. Apart from the mildly cringeworthy attempts to say "man" in a Caribbean accent, it still sounds as good today.

"Piggie In The Middle Eight" - Cook Da Books

"D'Ya Ken Ted Moult?" - Half Man Half Biscuit

"Pour No More" - The She

Inexplicably, "Piggie In The Middle Eight" failed to achieve the same level of chart success as one of the records Dennis Bovell had written and produced the year before.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Every Day Is Otis Clay Day

A few weeks ago I was raving about a great concert I had been to by William Bell, and about his new album "This Is Where I Live", which found him sounding as good as ever at 77. There is some good news for those of you in or near London, which is that he is coming back to play at the Barbican in November. I'll see you there.

Another of my favourite soul singers, who was still sounding great right up to his sad death at the beginning of the year, is Otis Clay. When I was in the States in June I came across an album of his that I had not known existed - it obviously didn't get much promotional push at the time. It is called "Truth Is", it came out in 2012 when he was a mere lad of 70, and it is worth making a bit of effort to track it down.

"Love's After Me" - Otis Clay

"I Keep Trying Not To Break Down" - Otis Clay