Friday, 30 September 2011

Reginald "Briz" Brisbon

Following on from the previous post, I have found a bit of information about Reginald "Briz" Brisbon online and a clip of him singing lead with Stevie Ray Vaughan's band, embedded later in this post. The above image comes from a Paul Simon concert.

What I remember most about him from the residency in Glasgow discussed elsewhere (link at end) is the extraordinary sense of propulsion he gave 14 Karat Soul; I think I read he had originally been a drummer, and it showed. In the above image from an album cover he is far left.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Try Them One More Time (14 Karat Soul)

Wow! I have just found some clips of my favourite ever doo wop revival group 14 Karat Soul, apparently reunited, however briefly, for a performance at the Morris Museum's Acappella & Doo Wop Concert #1, July 15, 2011, in Morristown, NJ, according to youtube (the group, originally came from New Jersey).

You can read my main piece about the group here, if you are so minded. But what makes this new find exciting - to me, anyway - is that when I saw them most nights of a one week residency in the early eighties, one of the songs was Take Me Back, Baby, which as far as I know was never recorded by them. And suddenly here it is below, the closest I will probably get to that initial thrill, even though Glenny T, the group's founder, is the sole constant across almost three decades:

Monday, 26 September 2011

Lounge Music

If you have arrived at this blog by conscious choice then it is not unreasonable to assume you might already be familiar with the studio recording of Ernie K Doe's Te-Ta-Te-Ta-Ta. So I won't insult you by embedding a youtube clip for that recording below.

Instead, please to bear witness to " 'The Emperor of the Universe' Ernie K-Doe in action at his Mother-in-Law Lounge with The Egg Yolk Jubilee. April 27th 2001". according to the youtube putter-upper. I like this clip for several reasons - reasons which may well seem self-evident after a viewing, but this time I want to insult your intelligence by telling you anyway..

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

American Hot Wax - essay by Charles Taylor

American Hot Wax

by Charles Taylor

It's 1959 and in Floyd Mutrux's film "American Hot Wax" the legendary disc jockey Alan Freed is staging his big rock 'n' roll show at Brooklyn's Paramount Theatre. It will be his last --only Freed doesn't know it yet. In the movie's B melodrama terms, the forces of repression, a/k/a/ the DA's office, suspicious of kids letting loose, and more specifically, of white kids and black kids letting loose together, are closing in for the kill. And Freed goes down fighting, telling them, "You can stop me. But you can never stop rock 'n roll."

The real story isn't so pretty. Driven off the air by the payola scandal, hounded by the government for tax evasion, Freed died, an alcoholic, in 1965 at the age of 43 -- two years more than Tim McIntire, the actor who plays him here, would live to be.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

He's back - and this time ...

More from the Holman tribute act. This time he's gone from the sublime to ... well, you decide. But what makes these performances so appealing is that he seems able to take it seriously while revelling in the stupidity of it at the same time. And sterling support, of course, from sundry holy rollers. Whether such items are reasonable and appropriate inclusions on a blog which started out as a celebration of doo wop only you can decide - but hey, as quite a few doo wop records, not least the Medallions' The Letter, are both deadly serious and sublimely silly, then why the heck not? And that's swearing. Let's roll:

Monday, 12 September 2011

Mort Shuman interviewed in 1983 by Spencer Leigh (On the Beat)

This is to alert readers to a hugely enjoyable and informative interview with Mort Shuman conducted by Spencer Leigh and broadcast on last Saturday's On the Beat show on Radio Merseyside. It's available till September 17th on BBC iplayer (link below).

Spencer says at the beginning of the programme that the interview, conducted in 1983 in London in a house Shuman had just moved into, took place in a room which didn't yet have any curtains or much furniture and the recording was deemed too echoey for broadcast until recent technology made listenable. It certainly sounds okay now; there is at times a vague rumble in the background from builders working  but that's it.

It's available on iplayer until 8:02PM Sat, 17 Sep 2011 BST if you want to be precise about it, and I think it will be accessible to US readers as well.

Shuman is relaxed and charming, and not afraid to spill the beans - well, no, that's not true, in the sense that it's not really a "Lennon Remembers"-style tell-all scenario, but he does sound miffed, as well he might, with Andy Williams, who apparently announced Can't Get Used to Losing You on his television show as the B side of his record, to indicate his disdain for it. As Shuman says, he's entitled to his opinion but why record it then?

Friday, 9 September 2011

Un autre monde du vert or The Leitch Gatherer

In the interests of balance (see previous post) I have to embed this video of Eddie Holman. Bit of vocal showboating at the end, though he's entitled. But I have to warn you I'm going on a bit of a journey in this post. A pointless, unnecessary journey, so you may not want to stick around.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Ben E King on Letterman or Not Yet Awhile the Guiro

The great Ben E King on David Letterman in 2007, with a proper orchestral backing, maybe even bigger than on the original recording - and they've even taken the trouble to get the right percussion (no, it wasn't a guiro - read the posts below).

What a joy to hear - and long may he endure.

Hey There Lonely Girl by the Kenyon College Chasers featuring Nathan

If you have read much of this blog - no, no, why should you, absolutely; but if, as I say -and the thing is remotely possible - you have, then you will know that the clip embedded here is not something that I should, in the normal course of things, like.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Thomas Hardy goes doo wop

The Kool Gents featuring Dee Clark. Pic from Unca Marvy's highly recommended site - view page about the Kool Gents here. Superb, painstakingly assembled accounts of the tangled histories of many doo wop groups.

And you know how people always go on about how, ooh, if Charles Dickens was around today he'd be writing Eastenders - what, so Emmerdale or Corrie aren't good enough for him, then? As Don, or possibly Baby Boy Phil (and I don't mean Mitchell) would say:
You know the sort - always putting on ... airs.

Anyway, don't mind me. What I intended to say was please click below if you wish to hear a song which sounds, to these ears, anyway, like something Thomas Hardy would have written had he been born in rather different circumstances - always provided his first marriage had followed roughly the same trajectory, of course. If the youtube clip is not visible, click below.

Tonight Kathleen - the Valentines

No pontificating on this occasion, no stupid pun in the title - just one of my doo wop faves which continues to give pleasure. But of one thing I am certain: it is not Richard Barrett who is on trial. It is YOU.

Click below if you can't see the youtube clip.