May 19, 2017
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Louis Prima (1910 – 1978), trumpeter/singer, jump blues/swing bandleader, features his guitarist Ronnie James on this a-side.
Ronnie James was Louis' guitarist for two years in the early 70s. Owned by Louis, the Prima-Magnagroove record label existed out of Las Vegas from about 1962 to '72.
Great funk with a bit of cheese, backed by some fantastic drumming by Jimmy Vincent, 'Two Face' may be just that, a bit annoying perhaps in its' wah-wah goodness, but also a perfect display in exercising a funky freakout overindulgence.
The b-side is 'Oh Happy Day.'
* note: this is not heavy metal vocalist/guitarist, Ronnie James Dio.
May 15, 2017
May 12, 2017
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Anyone living through the 1970s probably remembers hearing Norman Greenbaum's huge hit, 'Spirit In The Sky.' A top ten hit around the world in 1970, it was all over the radio in the early 70s and a song with one of the most famous fuzz-guitar riffs in rock.
A fantastic song, 'Spirit In The Sky' may have overshadowed a few other great songs he composed and recorded as well. Track to track, his LPs have a rock/folk, jug-band blues feel. I still like his 'Petaluma' LP from 1972, featuring a young Ry Cooder.
Defining musical genres can be a bit of a mixed bag with the passing of time. But one could argue that Norman wrote a few other great West Coast rock "hippy anthems."
'California Earthquake' will always be a favorite of mine. Recorded at Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco, spring 1971, it never appeared on any of his LPs. Peaking at #93 in '71, it was played on the radio for a short time, but only stayed on the Billboard record chart for about six weeks.
The flip is: 'Rhode Island Red.'
Norman the goat farmer, on his farm ~ Penngrove, Northern California 1972.
May 4, 2017
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Haunting rhythmic vocal side reissue pressed on a correct late 60s, "period-blue" Supreme label. The flip is, 'So Many Problems' by the Viceroys. The Supreme label was an offshoot/subsidiary label of producer Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label through the early 70s.
Recorded at Studio One in Jamaica in 1969, 'Whisper To Me' was originally pressed/released the same year on a blank Jamaican Estick label (also as Estic) with the B-side flip, 'I Need Love.'
If 'Whisper To Me' was ever intended to be officially released on any of Coxsone Dodd's stock, full design colored labels, it's anyone's guess...It never was at the time. Such is the case and mystery with many great Jamaican blank pre-release 45s.
Cecile Campbell joined Jamaica's, 'Soulettes' in '68 during the middle period of the group's incarnation with Rita Marley (Bob Marley's wife) and Hortense Lewis (not to be confused with the other reggae soulster, Hortense Ellis).
She recorded two other 45s, 'Breaking Up' with Jackie Estick on the Studio One label in 1968 with the flip, 'Musical Scorcher' by the Sound Dimension (also pressed on Muzik City). The other, 'Shimmering Star' which was pressed on a blank Coxsone/Studio One pre-release label about the same time. Though not sure of the flip.
Nora Dean left the group in 1969, joined/replaced then by Hortense Lewis.