July 15, 2018

mod soul / jazz instrumental ~ NY 1960

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The NY based Glad record label started up in 1960 and was run by Lionel's wife and personal manager, Gladys. Sometime in the early 60s it was renamed Glad-Hamp. She ran it until her death in 1971.
'Railroad #1' was also released as a longer track on the LP, 'Lionel Hampton's - All That Twist'n Jazz.'
The a-side: 'Sometimes I'm Happy'

Lionel with his wife Gladys around 1958

July 4, 2018

doo-wop / rock & roll ~ Cincinnati 1958

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Many have heard the Ronettes version of 'I'm So Young.' Covered by many, most successfully by the Ronettes, but The Students version was the first.
Though not with the group, Cincinnati high school student, William Tyus wrote the song for a girl he was in love with named, Patricia Pearson. Janitor of the school, Roosevelt Lee was a music lover in the know with the local music scene at the time. He eventually took the song to The Students (then named D'Italians) who were already performing locally before helping them to get a contract via Mel Herman, who was a Chess Records distributor with Checker/Chess/Argo/Cadet records out of Chicago.
Pressed the same year on the Note label (Indianapolis, Indiana), The Students recorded and pressed only two other 45s before breaking up as a group around 1962.
Nice doo-wop side with 14 year old student Leroy King on lead vocal.
The flip side: 'Everyday Of The Week'

Leroy King: top right profile

June 2, 2018

R&B / Soul vocal ~ Detroit 1964

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Gino Washington recorded and pressed about a dozen 45s in the 60s. Most R&B dance/popcorn to early soul sounds. First recorded/pressed on the Correc-Tone label in 1962, Gino re-recorded 'Puppet On A String' two years later with a different arrangement by producer Sonny Saunders. This '64 Ric Tic label recording ( pressed also on SonBert same year ) was backed by Detroit R&B group, the Atlantics with Jeff Williams on lead guitar and backing singers, the Rochelles. The Rochelles later would become "Dawn" in the 70s ...( Tony Orlando & Dawn ). Though never on any Motown labels, he toured with the Temptations, Barry Gordy's Motown Revue, the Drifters, and later opened for the Rolling Stones among others.
I like both versions, but this '64 version has a slower tempo and sparse arrangement that keeps his moody vocal up front. He produced a few more singles through the 70s and went on to host his own TV show out of Detroit. Another victim of subjugated love, a cure for love-sickness ... Poor Gino.
The a-side is 'Gino Is A Coward'.

Gino Washington 1962

April 15, 2018

roots reggae vocal ~ Jamaica 1974

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Not a 45, but a song from the 1974 Jamaican LP, 'Play Me Sweet And Nice' by Marcia Griffiths. Roots reggae sounds with some great tracks on this LP.
This song has been covered and recorded about a hundred times by everyone in all genres of music. Most know Roberta Flack's 1972 version, but I've always loved this version by Marcia Griffiths.

A tough song to cover if not done right. Many have fallen into a sappy, at times uncomfortable, emotional sound and interpretation. Marcia's version here sounds emotionally warmer and a bit less sad. She honors her feelings with more strength. Intriguing to me also because it can sound past tense, but we're never really sure...
Surprisingly 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' was written originally in the style of a folk song in 1957 by British folk singer/songwriter, Ewan MacColl.

for Suzanne

February 16, 2018

jazz / soul instrumental ~ Italy 1976

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I Marc 4 :
M... Maurizio Majorana - Bass
A... Antonello Vannucci - Hammond organ
R... Roberto Podio - percussion/drums
C... Carlos Pes - guitar

'I Marc 4' was an Italian session group composing and playing a lot of library/soundtrack instrumental music through the 70s. They were also part of the Italian State TV orchestra.
Hammond soulster/keyboardist, Antonello Vannucchi collaborated with many Italian composers through the 60s including, Piero Umiliani, Armando Trovajoli, Ennio Morricone, Nino Rota, Alessandro Alessandroni, as well as a few American Jazz artists including, Chet Baker and Kenny Clarke. Written and composed by Italian conductor Romolo Grano, 'Candy' was a track originally recorded and pressed in 1976 on the LP, 'I Marc 4 - SM 2001' on the Italian library/soundtrack label, Nelson.
Pressed for the first time on 45, this 1976 recording/reissue on the Black Cat label still stays in the groove. The flip side is, 'Roman Blow-Up.'