Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Calvin Scott - and Beyonce

The Vinyl Word says farewell to Calvin Scott, who has died in Montgomery, Alabama, at the age of 73. He got his start performing and writing music with Clarence Carter. Scott was Carter's schoolmate at the Alabama School for the Blind, and the two wrote, performed and recorded music together in the mid 1960s, including 'Step By Step' which was released on Atco. Scott sang and played the piano but his musical career suffered a series of setbacks through the years, including a serious traffic accident in 1966. He recorded for Stax Records in 1972 but his timing was bad, as the label was already in financial trouble.

A quick word also in praise of Beyonce, who headlined at the Glastonbury Festival last weekend. Not only is she very sexy, but she has a pretty good voice, as exemplified by her version of Etta James's At Last.


At 7:33 pm , Blogger Dave C said...

‘Step by Step’ is an interesting song as it is an example of ‘borrowing’ between soul and gospel. As the Calvin & Carter recording was issued in 1965 and the gospel version by The Swanee Quintet was released in 1966, it would appear that gospel was the borrower. This would make it a rare event as gospel songs were more likely to be covered by the soul community at that time rather than the other way round. However, ignoring the differences in the words, it does sound like a gospel tune to me, although oddly this seems more apparent in the Calvin & Carter recording.

Incidentally, according to one website, ‘Jesus Be A Fence Around Me’ by the Soul Stirrers (which you mentioned in your review of the Bobby Womack gig) was covered by Sam & Dave, the title having been changed to ‘No More Pain’. Unfortunately I don’t have the Sam & Dave version to be able to comment how their version differs from the original.

At 8:56 am , Blogger Nick said...

Sam and Dave's No More Pain was issued in the UK in 1966 on an LP on the King label, which included the duo's early recordings for Roulette, many of them recorded at Criterion studios in Miami. Songwriting credits for No More Pain are attributed to Steve Alaimo, but in fact the words are virtually the same as the gospel song, with I Built a Fence Around Me replacing Jesus Be etc. The album's a mixture of pure gospel sounds, touches of Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and the Drifters, and hints of the Sam and Dave sound that was to come later.It's a good album and worth seeking out.


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