Wednesday, January 20, 2021

15 years of The Vinyl Word

It's exactly 15 years to the day since the first edition of The Vinyl Word. Since then there have been nearly 1400 posts, 1100 comments and nearly two million views. That first edition came the day after Wilson Pickett died and I speculated at the time on who might be the last soul man. Since then we've seen the deaths of many of those I named as possible contenders: Solomon Burke, James Brown, Bobby Bland, Percy Sledge and Ben E King. Of those who I listed who are still with us there are Sam Moore, Eddie Floyd and Clarence Carter. Of course we have also lost three of the big four survivors of rock and roll: Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Little Richard. Jerry Lee Lewis really is the last man standing. Over the last 15 years I have covered hundreds of gigs, including many in London and festivals in New Orleans, Memphis, Porretta, Las Vegas, Long Island and Torremolinos plus Blackpool and Cleethorpes in the UK. I have occaionally focused on records that I have obtained, often at car boor sales and charity shops; reminisced about events from my youth, especially those those involving music; and recorded the day to day activity of dozens of US road trips carried out with my Woodie friends, from as far afield as New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Austin, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. And I've reported on the great series of London shows put on by Keith Woods. All of these entries can be easily discovered by using the search box and it's amazing how many memories a few minutes of searching can reveal. I have tended to steer clear of politics, not because I don't have political views (very much anti Brexit for example) but because I don't want to alienate music fans who disagree with me. I will make an exception today as Donald Trump is leaving the White House for the last time. He was the worst President in history without doubt and his departure can only be good for the world. Of course the last year has been generally a real let down because of COVID. I haven't been to a gig in nearly a year and many entries focused on music deaths, some of them from the dreaded virus. The whole point of the blog originally was the celebrate those artists who are still with us by seeing them whenever possible, and by playing the vinyl records of those who have passed on. Needless to say there has been another death to report - that of Winfield Parker (78), a popular figure on the Northern Soul scene. He was a saxophone player in the Little Richard band, soemthing he spoke about at the interview session during the 2017 Ponderosa Stomp (pictured below). He recorded for several different labels and his most successful record, on Ru-Jac, was a revival of 'Stop Her On Sight (SOS)'. Other records, popular on the soul scene include 'Mr Clean', 'My Love For You' and 'Shake That Thing'. Winfield played the Forum in London in 2007 as part of the Kent Records 25th anniversary show, along with Mary Love, the Flirtations, Tommy Hunt and Maxine Brown. His act at the Stomp in 2017 featured him dancing around the stage wearing a sparkly jacket and gold shoes and he was excellent on 'SOS', 'Rocking In The Barnyard' and 'Mr Clean'. Another soul man has departed the scene: RIP.
*** Brian Clark has alerted me via Facebook to two further music deaths today. Jimmie Rodgers had enormous success, particularly in the UK, with a string of pop hits, including 'Honeycomb, 'Kisses Sweeter Than Wine'. 'Oh Oh I'm Falling in Love Again', Secretly', 'Woman From Liberia', 'Soldier Won't You Marry Me' and 'English Country Garden'. Born in Washington State, Jimmie was 87. The second death is that of Peter Wynne, once a member of the Larry Parnes stable of singers, who toured with Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent and appeared on 'Wham,, 'Boy Meets Girl' and 'Thank Your Lucky Stars'. His records included 'Twilight Time', 'Ask Anyone In Love' and 'Our Concerto'.

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