Wednesday, July 31, 2013

20 Rocksteady classics

Here are some classic UK-issued 45s from what was in my opinion the highest point of Jamaican music - the rocksteady era that lasted a mere two years from 1966 to 1968. It bridged the gap between ska and reggae and was hugely influential, but it was short-lived. The artists featured (many of them different on A and B sides) are among the most influential of the period. Rocksteady releases on the labels pictured are hard to find in really good condition and highly collectable. Youtube links are provided and there are some absolutely brilliant tracks here.
1. Stranger Cole & Glady - Just Like A River/ The Leaders - Hope Someday.
2. Roy Shirley - Get On The Ball/ Johnny Moore - Sound And Soul.
3. Jackie Mitto & the Soul Vendors - Ram Jam/ Summertairs - You Are Gonna Leave Me.
4. The Cool Spoon - Yakety Yak/ Soul Vendors - Drum Song.
5. Jennors - Pressure and Slide/ Soul Bros - One Stop.
6. Alton Ellis & The Flames - I've Got A Date/ Lynn Tait & Tommy McCook & the Supersonics - The Yellow Basket  (the King of Rocksteady)
7. Ethiopians - The Whip/ Cool It Amigo. (Classic of the era)
8. Leslie Butler & the Fugitives - Winchester Rocksteady/ Aston Campbell, The Conquerors & Baba Brooks Band - Ramona.  (slow B side)
9. Itals - Don't Throw It Away/ Make Up Your Mind.
10. The Wrigglers - The Cooler/ You Cannot Know.
11. Justin Hines & the Dominoes - Rub Up Push Up/ The Ark. (ska, rather than rocksteady)
12. Desmond Baker & the Clarendonians - Rude Boy - Gone Jail/ The Sharks - Don't Fool Me. (doowop B side)
13. Hopeton Lewis - Rock Steady/ Cool Collie (classic double sider)
14. Tennors - Ride Your Donkey/ I've Got To Get You Off My Mind. (another classic)
15. Heptones - Gunmen Coming To Town/ Tommy McCook & Supersonics - Riverton City.
16, Rulers - Don't Be A Rude Boy/ Be Good.
17. Ethiopians - Dun Dead A'Ready/ Bob Andy - Stay In My Lonely Arms. (great B side)
18. Phyllis Dillon - Perfidia/ It's Rocking Time.  (great double sider by the Queen of Rocksteady).
19. Techniques with Tommy McCook & Supersonics - My Girl/ Drink Wine.
20. The Jamaicans - Peace And Love/ Woman Go Home.  (another double sided cracker)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

JJ Cale and others

Some more music deaths to catch up on, firstly singer/songwriter J J Cale, who has died aged 74. Born in Oklahoma, his early records did not make much impact, including his first UK release
Outside Lookin' In (photo shows the original review copy I received at the time). Later records were more successful, including Crazy Mama, his biggest hit, but it was 1970s albums such as Naturally, Really, Okie and Troubador that made his name, along with his songs recorded by the likes of Eric Clapton, Waylon Jennings and Lynryd Skynryd.
From the world of blues we have lost T-Model Ford, who was believed to be well into his nineties, although he was unsure of the year of his birth. He was sentenced to ten years on the chain gang for murder, allegedly had 26 children and only learned to play the guitar when his fifth wife left him and gave him one as a leaving present. He recorded for Fat Possum records from 1997 onwards and played at numerous blues festivals, as well as the Barbican in London a few years back.
A final word, too, for English comedian Mel Smith, who was one of
the stars of Not The Nine O'Clock News and co-starred with Griff Rhys Jones in Alas Smith and Jones.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

More photos from Porretta

Here are a few more photos from this year's Porretta Soul Festival.
This is me with Falisa Janaye.
And with Latimore.
With Toni Green and John Marriott.
Harry Grundy and John Marriott, who received the Sweet Soul Music award for their Right Track radio show in Manchester.
At the press conference, here are Latimore, Toni Green and Bobby Rush.
Mitty Collier, Falisa Janaye and Latimore.
Me with Bobby Rush.
Toni Green, Bobby Rush and one of his dancers.
MC Rick Hutton performing Turn On Your Love Light.
Sax Gordon.

Me with Mitty Collier.
Latimore and Bobby Rush on stage together.
Charles Walker and the Dynamites.
Falisa Janaye (always worth another photo!)
David Hudson and Juanita in The Califfo Irish Bar.
Nick Cobban.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Porretta Soul Men

Here are some of my photos of the soul men who performed at Porretta, beginning with the great Latimore.

Next, here is Bobby Rush.

Next we have David Hudson, including one with his new fiance Juanita.

Here is Charles Walker with one photo of the lead guitarist with the Dynamites Bill Elder.

Surprise hit of the show were Japanese band Osaka Monaurail.

Charlie Wood, who wrote the Porretta theme song.
Here is Sax Gordon and the guitarist with his International Soul Caravan Igor Prado.

Finally, here's one of Paul Brown, whose band Heart and Soul did a great job backing the majority of the artists.
Nick Cobban.