Wednesday, April 19, 2006

CASE TWO: Lee Bates

LATEST UPDATE: 2/15/07

Our second case comes by popular request, and begins, as many cases do, at Funky 16 Corners...


INSTANT 3307

international playboy


Larry Grogan had this to say last October:
"...Obie Leroy Bates was born in New Orleans in 1941. By the early 60’s the aspiring singer was doing time as Chris Kenner’s valet. He recorded his first 45 ‘Bad Bad Understanding’ for the White Cliffs label in 1967. After White Cliffs went out of business, Kenner brought him to Instant, where he would re-record the tune for his debut 45.

Bates vocal style was seriously influenced by the (by then) late Otis Redding, and he tips his hat to Redding in the arrangement to ‘Bad Bad Understanding’ by lifting the horn line from Redding’s ‘Something is Worrying Me’ (the single was produced by Huey Smith). The flip side of that 45, ‘Simon Says’ is a funky dance craze number. Bates would go on to record a total of eight 45s for Instant, one of which – not surprisingly – was a cover of ‘Sitting On The Dock of the Bay’.

Its Bates' second 45 for Instant that brings us here today. I’ve been digging for NOLA 45s for a long time, and it’s unusual that I grab one and don’t recognize any of the names on the label. This is one of those times…Aside from Bates, the songwriters (Dozeir, Sigler, Broonier & Phillips - maybe Phil Phillips???) and the producer (the almost certainly pseudonymous ‘Alias Ducey’ ) were unknown to me. I’ve since found out that Ducey/Ducie eventually recorded a 45 for Instant with a group celled the New Orleans Poets, ‘Singing La Dee Dah’ (Instant 3326). As to who he actually is, I have no idea and would welcome any info readers might have. ‘International Playboy’ is a rough slice of funk with some great wah-wah guitar, hard drums and a wild vocal by Bates. The lyrics are a hilarious world tour of Bates’ international conquests, including the declaration:

The flip side is a pretty straight-ahead cover of Melanie's big hit 'Look What They've Done To My Song'.
As far as Bates other 45s go, the only other one I’ve heard is ‘Mean Mistreater’, and it’s excellent. According to Jeff Hannusch in ‘The Soul of New Orleans’ many of Bates Instant 45s were local hits (Hannusch also mentions that Bates’ White Cliffs era band included none other than George Porter and Zigaboo Modeliste).Bates went on to record a number of 45s for local labels (including one for the later incarnation of Sansu records). He continued to perform locally, and recorded at least two LPs in the 90’s, one of which, ‘Stop Leanin’ On The Wall’ was composed almost entirely of Otis Redding tunes..."

To which Dan Phillips added:
"The songwriters are Ugene (sic?) Dozier, BR Broomer, Lee Phillips (no relation) and Bunny Sigler. Definitely not a Louisiana crowd. I got that off of the BMI website, which is a good source for songwriter info, as is ASCAP, and the US Copyright Office (also good for dating songs, at least when they were registered).

In his first book, Jeff Hannusch says that Lee Bates was one of the artists Huey Smith produced for Instant. This song from 1970 would probably fall during Huey's days there, don't you think? Don't know otherwise what's up with that 'Alias Ducey'. Never saw it before. But for another possibility, Earl Stanley did some Instant producing during that era..."

Larry replied with:
"Y'know...I didn't even think to look beyond NOLA for the source of the tune (duh...). Sigler (i.e. Bunny) should have been the tip-off (s well as Gene Dozier - as in Gene Dozier & The Brotherhood, "Hunk of Funk" etc.), and I dropped the ball..."

An anonymous commenter also added:
"When I lived in NO,Bates had a local hit called Project Queen,which WBOK played for a while. Can't find the song anywhere now."

So far so good.

Detective Dan then went on to post this tune this past January on the always excellent Home Of The Groove:

INSTANT 3313

mean mistreater

"I found this single along with another by Lee Bates (Obie Leroy Bates) within the past month in some bins at a reasonable price and grabbed ‘em, as I had nothing by him on vinyl, just a few sides on CD comps. Bates, Mississippi-born and New Orleans-raised, is a rather minor figure in the annals of New Orleans soul whose unschooled vocal style owes much to the great Otis Redding; but you can also occasionally hear the influence of his former boss, Chris Kenner, too.

In the early 1960's, Bates, a former dockworker, was Kenner's valet, driver and general caretaker, as the successful singer/songwriter was a profligate drunk. While on the road with Kenner, Bates got a chance to start singing and was soon regularly opening the shows. In 1964, Bates recorded a demo to present to studio and label owner, Cosimo Matassa, who liked what he heard and did a session with Bates. The resuling single, “Bad, Bad Understanding” b/w “I’m Forever Crying” was released on White Cliffs, but was not successful, although it did help Bates to start getting gigs of his own. He doesn’t seem to have recorded again until the early 1970’s, when Kenner recommended him to Instant. Over the course of the next five years or so, Bates had at least eight singles released on the label, until it finally went under in 1977. Subsequently, he led a band that regularly worked on Bourbon Street during the 1980’s, and released a solo CD about eight years ago.

“Mean Mistreater” b/w “I Do Things Come Naturally” was Lee Bates’ fourth Instant single. His Otis Redding affinity is evident here in his very strong, soulful vocal. Written and produced by Huey Smith, the simple, fairly straight-ahead arrangement has a groove more reminiscent of Stax than New Orleans; but, still, it's got great in-the-pocket drumming with brief hi-hat syncopations at the start of every bar (is there a name for that, drummers?), an effective bass line, tasty guitar chops, and understated horns..."

Well there ya go, folks. I really don't have much to bring to the table here, but there is definitely a LOT more information than we had to start with on our first case. (I'm sure you will find out, as I did, the absolutely maddening fact that a google on "lee bates" brings up about a gazillion references to Katherine Lee Bates, who wrote the lyrics to 'America The Beautiful', and may or may not be gay...).

Good luck detectives!

(and remember, just because we've opened case two doesn't mean case one goes away... oh no! I'm not resting till we at least have an actual PHOTO of Joe, and hey, one of Lee too for that matter!)

4/20/06
Dan added this:
"...I have done some further reading on Earl Stanley recently and find that he and his band, the Stereos did a lot of recording as a back-up band in New Orleans, using different names. For example, they were Roger and the Gypsies of "Pass The Hatchet" fame (with the added Roger Leon, who wrote the main riff, and, of course, Eddie Bo, who later overdubbed his vocalisms). Stanley has been a longtime side musician (guitar and bass), going back to his early days playing in a band with Mac Rebennack when they both were teenagers. He formed the Stereos in the early 1960's, wrote songs, and also did some production work, as I mentioned. He well could be Alias Ducey/Ducie, and his band could be backing up Bates on Instant 3307, as well as playing on 3326. But that is supposition. I'll dig some more and see what I can find. Of course, all this is somewhat tangential to Lee Bates at the moment; but ya never know..."


(tangential? what'd he eat a dictionary for breakfast or something, folks?) Just kiddin', Dan. Thanks!

Larry Grogan said:
"Interesting you should mention Earl Stanley. I have a Seven B 45 by Art Sir Van that I believe features Earl Stanley & The Stereos. I also recall (hazily) that they were involved in other stuff as well. I'll have to do some digging..."

...and more evidence just keeps rollin' in!

Detective Colin Dilnot (who I'm just learning is quite the soul heavyweight in the UK...) provided us with THIS:




Not only a photo... but the story "straight from the horse's mouth", as they say!

The CD was released on Magnolia Records, New Orleans in 1998, and as Lee said it is comprised almost entirely of Otis covers...

Colin also posted this discography of Lee's 45s:
(which we've been updating as the facts come in...)

White Cliffs 270 Bad Bad Understanding/I'm Forever Crying 1967
Instant 3304 Simon Says/Bad Bad Understanding 1970
Instant 3307 International Playboy/Look What They Done To My Song
Instant 3310 Gonna Make You Mine/Why Don't You Write 1971
Instant 3313 Mean Mistreater/ I Do Things Come Naturally 1971
Instant 3316 Three Trips Around The World/Running Around 1971
Instant 3316 Three Trips Around The World/You Won't Do Right 1971
Instant 3318 Project Queen/Girl Listen To Me 1972
Instant 3321 Key To My Heart/Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay
Instant 3323 Slowly/Help Me Make It Through The Night 1974
Instant 3329 What am I gonna do/Your love is slipping away
1XChains 7011 What Am I Gonna Do/Your Love Is Slipping Away 1975
Sansu 1002 Shake Baby Shake/Disco Version
Sansu 1003 Dance With Me/All That Matters (Is Love) 1976
Sansu 1005 Something You Got/Dance With Me
Sansu 1009 Wishing, Waiting & Hoping/Easy,Easy
Magnolia 300 Overnight Sensation/Hooked On A Feeling 1981
Magnolia 400 Get 'Em And Hit 'Em - 3 versions on 12" 1983
Magnolia 500 You Blew It/You Blew It (instr.) 1985
Ichiban 119 Searching For Love/What Am I Gonna 1987
Soul Sound 1988 Does It Mean You Love Me (duet with Sharon Henderson)/All That Matters 1988

Dan had this to say about MAGNOLIA 300:
"...Wardell Quezergue arranged the B side. And, hey, I know the engineer, who got credit on the single. He was working at Sea-Saint back then. I'll try to track him down. Been awhile. . ."

...and detective Mark pointed out:
"Wilson Pickett did a version of International Playboy on his "In Philadelphia" album, where it is credited to Ugene Dozier / Bunny Sigler / Bernard Broomer / Lee Phillips."

...we should have some more mp3s up real soon! Keep it comin' y'all!


4/21/06
As regards the great Wilson Pickett version of "International Playboy", Dan reminded us that it was also released as the flip of "Engine Number 9" on Atlantic 2765, while Larry pointed out:
"Pickett's recording of 'International Playboy' is the original. Two of the composers, Bunny Sigler and Gene Dozier were working in Philly with Gamble/Huff, who produced the 'Wilson Pickett In Philadelphia' LP."

Now, shortly before departing for the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans (making us all just green with envy...), detective Dan posted INSTANT 3304, the re-recording of Lee's original "Bad, Bad Understanding" over at The Home Of The Groove (where he also plugs good ol' 'soul detective' as well!).

(On another note, be sure to check out John Ridley's brand new site; Deep Soul Heaven. It's where it's at!)


4/22/06
Here's a couple of tracks recorded ten years apart that show off Lee's ability to inject deep soul into just about anything!

SANSU 1005

dance with me
This remake takes an incredibly annoying 'Orleans' song and gives it this 70's bar band disco treatment that has to be heard to be believed! You go Lee! The label says it was produced by Isaac Bolden, a local New Orleans record man who hit big when Jean Knight's You Got The Papers (But I Got The Man) was picked up from his SOULIN' label by Atlantic/Cotillion in 1981. Any further info on him, detectives?

SOUL SOUND 1988

all that matters
Here's Lee ten years later giving a kind of Isaac Hayes on Safari spin to fellow Crescent City soul singer Tony Owens' local hit. Once again the record was produced by Isaac Bolden, and written by him as well. Great stuff!

And then there's this:


This flyer is posted on Emperor Ernie K. Doe's always entertaining site. The "beneficial" was held at the legendary Mother-In-Law Lounge in March of 2000. They don't mention what Lee needed help with... anybody know? Medical bills? We need to find this out... I mean, the "Stop Leanin' On The Wall" CD was the last any of us has heard from him. It's eight years later. Think he's OK?

ALL of this incredible stuff, the music, the pictures, and everything was sent in by Super Detective Colin Dilnot. Check out the work he's done on the great Laura Lee. The real deal. Thank You Colin!


4/23/06
Detective "anonymous" Lyle (he's deep undercover...), pointed us in the direction of a Soul Express article about Lee from March of '98 when the 'Stop Leanin' On The Wall' CD was released. Colin sent me some scans of the piece. I was going to try and summarize it, but (hoping I'm not getting into copyright issues - ala soulwalking...) I decided to post the whole thing:


(if you click on these, the full size images are actually readable...)



There ya go... as you can see, Lee exhibits a paranoia worthy of Chester Burnett, but it's certainly an interesting article nonetheless! To be fair, though, this whole 'Second Otis' label they slapped on him must have sucked. (Remember the story in Sweet Soul Music - when Percy Sledge told Wilson Pickett he sounded like Otis Redding down in Muscle Shoals, the wicked one basically chased him from the building!)

A look at the Soul Express online discography doesn't really add anything new. Ours is more comprehensive actually, except for the glaring omission of his WHITE CLIFFS debut... duh! I'll fix that, and add the year of release of each record from their site as well. Thank You Soul Express, Colin and Lyle for digging this up!

When I started thinking about doing this site, this is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind. I mean, we all know that the 'Brits', as they call them, have been going to school on deep and obscure soul for years, and writing about it in deep and obscure (to us on this side of the pond, anyway) soul magazines that are difficult, if not all but impossible, to track down. The information is out there, and it's up to us to find it. Great work, guys.

Colin has sent me a RAFT of mp3s, and we'll get 'em up here a bit at a time. Here's a cool one from 1971:

INSTANT 3316

you won't do right
This song was apparently an alternate B side on some pressings of this single (it's not the same song as the Naomi Neville penned track of the same name that appeared as the B side of INSTANT 3256). It cooks! I shoulda saved this one for the B side, huh?

The glaring question still remains: What has Lee been up to since 1998?

4/25/06
Dan Phillips (that veritable font of New Orleans facts) pointed out that "You Won't Do Right" was "written by one Earl Oropeza. That's Earl Stanley. He took "Stanley" for a stage name from his middle name, Stanislaus. Anyhoo, I am pretty sure that track would have been produced by Earl and featured his band, as well."

"Now, on to Isaac Bolden," he said, "who you note produced Sansu 1005, which attempts to tap the Barry White demographic. Mr. Bolden produced a number of sessions for Sansu in the mid to late 1970's. At the time, looks like Bolden worked mainly with the locals, while Toussaint concentrated on the national acts that labels sent to him for the treatment (and paid the big bucks). Besides Bates and others, I know Bolden also did several records on Tony Owens, including "All That Matters", for Sansu, leased to other labels. For more detail on Bolden's work with Owens (he discovered Tony), see my HOTG piece."

His excellent "HOTG piece" gives a lot of background info both on Owens and Isaac Bolden as well. Grapevine Music released a comprehensive collection of Owens' work called I Got Soul (complete with excellent liner notes by Paul Mooney) just last year. His original version of "All That Matters" was leased to Buddha Records and released in 1975, but it was the B side, "I Don't Want Nobody But My Baby", that garnered some local airtime, and the record died.

NOW, new detective Peter Hoogers sent along an e-mail with scans of SANSU 1003 (I'll put 'em up as soon as I get the audio together...), which, he astutely noticed, I had neglected to add to our Bates discography even though Cies had brought it to our attention in the 'comments' early on... another new addition to our team, one John McGuigan, corroborated Cies' other possible additions, and added one of his own; MAGNOLIA 400, which was apparently a 12' single released in 1983. I've made the changes... thanks, guys, and welcome aboard... Cies, I apologize for dropping the ball there as well!

In the true spirit of international harmony, I'd like to post this unreal tune. The mp3 was provided by Colin in the UK, while the label scan came from the vaults of detective Dan here in the US...

INSTANT 3313 B

I do things come naturally
Our man Lee just goes OFF on this one, kind of like Chris Kenner on acid! Woo-Hoo!
Dan: "Chris Kenner on acid....man, that's kind of a scary thought - since he was well enough out of control on alcohol. I am surprised Bates had any vocal cords left after the screaming session on this one chord wonder. Did you know that this song was originally done by the Pitter Pats, one of Huey Smith's offshoot groups, on Instant 3285 in 1967? It had a female lead vocal (Gloria Franklin, I think) and was a slower, quite different, far less compelling, take on the tune. I'm glad Huey had Lee go crazy with it. There's not much there musically, really, but hearing him hold forth is worth it."
You Betcha!

4/26/06
Detective Soul Pope said:
"Concerning Lee Bates great deep soul side "Waiting, Wishing and Hoping" on Sansu 1009, the same song was also performed by Tony Owens on Soulin 146. Of course Lee Bates version is in another league!!"

Let's check it out:
SANSU 1009 B

wishing, waiting, and hoping
The Tony Owens record was released in 1968. This one is from around 1976. Lee sure has his Otis Redding thang goin' on, huh? The Isaac Bolden production is kinda like Stax moves to Philadelphia... I love it!

Detective Peter Hoogers sent us a bunch more scans, not only on Lee, but on Joe Haywood as well. We'll be getting to those. He also pointed out:

"In Jeff Hannusch's book The Soul Of New Orleans there's a short chapter on Lee Bates, but it doesn't contain much new information (except that he was born in Magnolia, Mississippi, not New Orleans!)."

(I totally had zoned on this one, myself... with the book sitting not three feet away!) He went on to say:

"On Martin Lawrie's Eddie Bo discography, he mentions that apart from Instant 3321 there's another Eddie Bo produced Lee Bates 45 on Instant. I'd love to know which one that was, but doubt that it's any of the Instant 45s in your current discography."

The always inquistive Lawrie had written:

"I know there is one more Eddie Bo collaboration with Lee Bates on INSTANT as I owned and sold it a few years ago but can't for the life of me remember what it was?"

Detectives?

4/27/06
It doesn't look good.

A search of the Social Security Death Index yielded this:

LEROY BATES
12 Aug 1938 - 24 Dec 2004 (V) 70126
(New Orleans, Orleans, LA)

Although the birth year is different from the one given in the Soul Express article, the birth DATE is the same... I guess Lee was lying about his age, like so many other folks in his business.

To die on Christmas Eve... man.

I could be wrong. I hope I am.

5/2/06
Well I kind of felt bad after my last update... (you know, 'Oh, by the way, Lee's dead').

I'd like to take this opportunity to offer the heartfelt condolences of all of us here at Soul Detective to Lee's family and friends, and to thank him for providing us with all this great music.

Detective Colin Dilnot burned us a copy of Lee's Magnolia CD from 1998 (along with some more of his singles), and dropped it in the mail before he left for New Jersey last week. It finally got here last night. Thank You Colin!

I wanted to post this track, the last one on the CD. If you look at it as the last thing Lee ever recorded, it's kind of touching, man.


I Wanna Say I Love You


An absolute winner. Bates is really singing on this one. Co-produced with Reginald Toussaint (Allen's son), it's got that Sea-Saint feel to it. The great guitar lead is provided by "Cluster" Lee, anybody know who that is? It was written by Rudolph Laurent. A quick check of the BMI database shows him as the composer of 9 songs, including two more that were recorded by Bates; "You Blew It" and "Get Em And Hit Em". The songs are published by Home Stretch Music. Here is the contact info as listed on the BMI site:

HOME STRETCH MUSIC CAE/IPI #: 49326471
Phone: (504) 241-2230
Contact: HOME STRETCH MUSIC
C/O LYNN C CAVANAUGH
4600 FRANCISCO VERRETT
NEW ORLEANS, LA

On the back of the CD, Lee thanks Lynn Cavanaugh for her support as well. Who is she? I called the number. It has been disconnected. While that certainly should come as no surprise after the flood and everything down there, It's still too bad we couldn't reach her.

Dan: "Rudolph Laurent produced "Overnight Sensation" on Magnolia 300. Lynn Cavanaugh co-wrote the other side, "Hooked On A Feeling" (NOT the BJ Thomas hit) with Joe Broussard (who, by the way, wrote for Quezergue's Big Q Productions in the early 70's). And, at present, I have no clue about 'Cluster' Lee..."

I'm leaving for New Orleans on Thursday. I'll poke around a little while I'm down there, and see what I can turn up.

5/15/06

Alright folks, like I promised, I did poke around a bit in New Orleans. I spoke to the "mule & buggy" drivers down by Jackson Square, hoping to locate Tony Owens. They told me that Tony hasn't made it back home yet post-Katrina, and that they weren't sure where he was living now.

I also ran into Clarence "Reggie" Toussaint at his father's gig at Snug Harbor. I thanked him for the great production job he did on "I Wanna Say I Love You", and he confirmed Lee's 2004 demise. Cause of death: cancer.

Now, while I was gone, Dan posted INSTANT 3329 - Your Love Is Slipping Away over at Home of the Groove, along with some interesting info on Emmanuel Morris Jr. and Teddy Royal... check it out.

New detective Carl K had this to say:

"You ask, who is Lynn Cavanaugh of Home Stretch Music. Here's the answer. She was a beautiful person with a wonderful soul who sang like a bird. She actually sounded like Dionne Warwick back in the 60's (long time ago). Originally from Miami, Florida, she left for New Orleans sometime in the 70's. I heard the sad news she passed away around the year 2004 (before the hurricane Katrina event) at the young age of 54. I am sure those of us who knew her as her friends will miss her a lot."

SO, without further ado, here is the song the much loved Ms Cavanaugh co-wrote in 1981:

MAGNOLIA 300 B

hooked on a feeling

It's got this disco thing happenin', like most everything else from around that period... I love the bass!

Thanks for all the input, guys!


2/15/07

Hello, folks. I recently received a nice note from Señor Chubba, one of the legendary Mystic Knights of the Mau-Mau down in New Orleans.

He said that he was lucky enough to have been at that 2000 'beneficial' for Lee at the Mother-In-Law Lounge. He also recalls the days when Emperor K-Doe did his guest spot on WWOZ, often giving a 'shout-out' to both Lee and Tony Owens. He has tapes of some of those shows somewhere, he said and, if he ever finds 'em, he promises to make us a copy...

The main reason he got in touch with us, however, was to report that Tony Owens will actually be performing at this year's Ponderosa Stomp on May 2nd. How cool is that?

SOULIN' 147

I Need, I Need Your Love

Here's a sweet number from 1968 that was written and produced for Tony by Isaac Bolden. If you haven't done so already, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of I Got Soul, the excellent Owens retrospective released by Grapevine in 2005.

I just got my Stomp tickets over the weekend.

Thanks, Chubba... can't wait!

<< souldetective.com

Monday, April 10, 2006

CASE ONE: Joe Haywood

SEE ALSO:




Alright folks... welcome to our new site! I hope you are as intrigued as I am by the stories of these unsung heroes of soul. Please join our team as we continue to search for clues that will further our understanding and appreciation of the people who made this great music.


DEESU 313

sadie mae

Back in October, Larry Grogan posted this song over at Funky 16 Corners (his 100th post!), and had this to say:
"I know almost nothing about Joe Haywood. I’ve been a-Googling, and checking all of my standard references, and the end result is that I’ve been able to dig up a bunch of “standard” (or sub-standard as the case may be) facts. Among this throbbing chunk of history are the facts that Haywood recorded for a number of labels in the 1960’s, including New Orleans based outfits like White Cliffs and Deesu, nationally distributed indies like Enjoy and Kent, and one other label I’ve never heard of (Front Page) that may or may not be NOLA-based... Though the 45 label lists Marsaint publishing and Tou-Sea productions, the producer (Larry Lucie) is unfamiliar to me. That info along with the Deesu release would suggest to me that it was a New Orleans session, but I may be wrong."

Dan Phillips (of HOTG) weighed in with "... I am pretty sure it is not a New Orleans record, except for its label. As far as I know, Joe Haywood was from Spartanburg, SC and was a drummer as well as a vocalist. At one time he either played or sang (or both) with guitarist Larry Lucie's band. Lucie and the other co-writer on "Sadie Mae", Lucky Dixon, worked out of New York, I believe. Since some of Haywood's other sides were done for Bobby Robinson's Enjoy and Fury labels, based in NYC, and since Marshall Sehorn, who started Deesu with Toussaint, was previously a rep and talent scout for Robinson, I am going hazard a guess that "Sadie Mae" was recorded in New York with Lucie producing and that Sehorn agreed to release on Deesu."

Hmmm... I sez to myself, Joe Haywood... now where do I know that name from? I started flipping through the vinyl, and, sure enough, there he was on this Charly LP from 1982 called Sehorn's Soul Farm, which was a compilation of stuff licensed from Sansu Enterprises, Allen Toussaint and Marshall Sehorn's company. Along with tracks by usual suspects Warren Lee and Willie Harper, is a song called "Let's Make It" by Joe Haywood. The album cover lists its original American release as "White Cliff 248". The song just plain ROCKS... when I spun the record up again (for the first time in like 15 years...) I remembered how much I dug it. It's actually my favorite track on the album! The liner notes, written by the normally informative John Broven, simply said that Haywood was "quickly consigned to oblivion" (!). After some serious vinyl diving, I found us a copy of the original.

WHITE CLIFFS 248

let's make it
Now, I know that "White Cliffs" was a Cosimo Matassa label. How did the song wind up on an album of material that Sansu had the rights to? I believe it has to do with Sehorn's Bobby Robinson connection, once again. FIRE must have licensed material to him, and he in turn farmed it out to the smaller local label... (more on the White Cliffs story in a minute).

So... Bobby Robinson, huh? That started me thinking (usually a dangerous thing)... I dug out my copy of The Fire/Fury Records Story box set (from 1993), and, wouldn't ya know, there's a track on there by Joe Haywood, "Strong Feeling". I put it on. It BLOWS ME AWAY!!! I mean it is like PURE Southern Soul, DEEP stuff, man! (this is the actual moment when I decided to try to dig up every possible shred of vinyl he ever produced.)

FRONT PAGE 1000

strong feeling
The liner notes, written by Robinson himself, said; "Joe Haywood was also from Spartanburg (like Bobby Porter). Joe is a drummer, and he played drums and sang on 'Strong Feeling'. We recorded this around 1969 for the Enjoy label." That may very well be, but the only label it actually exists on is Front Page. I'm guessing from the number of the single, that it is the first release on this label that nobody knows anything about. (1003 was also a Haywood release, see below...).

Anyway, by now I'm in deep search mode. Joe Haywood is on the radar.

On a site called Rockabilly Roots by Joe Bennett (who was the guitarist for the Sparkletones), I found this:

"Joe Dean (Joey) Haywood... was awesome and could sing Sam Cooke songs better than Sam himself. He was backed by a group called The Dobbs which had a couple of beat up saxes, old set of drums, no bass and an elderly lady on piano. I can't remember if they had a guitar. It really didn't make any difference...Joey was the cake and everything else was just the icing. I can still see him up there pushing that little band on and rocking that crowd..."

At this point, I e-mailed the very knowledgeable and way cool Jason Perlmutter who runs the great Carolina Soul website. He had this to say:

"I do not have much information on Joe Haywood (also known as Joe Dean Haywood). I have spoken with some Spartanburg musicians who remember him and remember playing with him. I am not sure whether he lived in SC when he cut records for national labels, but I suspect that he lived elsewhere, perhaps in New York, and returned home occasionally. Also, didn't he write a song that Percy Sledge popularized? Perhaps "Warm And Tender Loving" or some similar title. I heard that he sold it to Sledge but the money went to alcohol or drugs, and he died young from substance abuse."

WHOA! Percy Sledge?? Wait a minute here...

I went to the BMI songwriter database, and a search for Joe Haywood produced these results:

1. FIRST BREATH OF SPRING
2. HAND N HAND
3. HURRY HURRY HURRY
4. I'LL NEVER LET YOU GO
5. LET ME WHISPER IN YOUR EAR
6. LET'S MAKE IT
7. SADIE MAE
8. SAY YOU WILL

I don't recognize any Percy Sledge tunes, do you?

Back to the vinyl... Warm And Tender Love was the follow-up record to Percy Sledge's gigundo smash hit, When A Man Loves A Woman. It was released in the summer of 1966, and hit #5 on the R&B charts (#17 pop). The song is credited on the label to "Robinson". Now, how about that? ...on to the BMI database: Morgan C. (Bobby) Robinson is listed as the writer or co-writer of 367 songs! The reality, of course, is that he ran his labels in much the same way as Don Robey did down in Texas, paying the real composer a few hundred bucks while retaining the songwriting and publishing credits for himself. (A case in point would be Lee Dorsey's Ya-Ya, on which Robinson is listed as a co-writer... yeah, right.) He is indeed credited with writing Warm And Tender Love, along with someone named Clara Thompson.

Hmmm.... I searched the Fire and Fury label discographies and came up empty handed. When I finally found an Enjoy discography, bingo! There it was.

ENJOY 2013

warm and tender love
Joe's treatment of the song is every bit as good as Sledge's, if not better. As a matter of fact, I like the arrangement here better than on the Atlantic side, which I always kinda felt was a little over-produced. Anyway, as near as I can figure this single was released in late '64 or early '65.

WHITE CLIFFS 237 is a carbon copy of this record, with I Would If I Could (currently posted on the ol' B side) as the flip. Go figure. I guess it was easier (and potentially more profitable) for Robinson to license the records to a southern distributor, in this case Dover Records, than to ship (and promote) his New York singles down south.

SO, what about this rumor that Haywood made all this money from Warm And Tender Love, and killed himself going too far too soon? Well, first of all, as we've seen, he wasn't credited as the songwriter (although I would say that he almost certainly is...), so whatever money Robinson paid him couldn't have lasted that long. Robinson himself said that Strong Feeling was recorded in 1969, possibly a full 5 years after ENJOY 2013 was released. Also, if you notice, he refers to Haywood in the present tense in the 1993 liner notes. Hmmm...

A search of the Social Security Death Index Records show a Joseph Haywood that was born in 1923 and died in June of 1973 in South Carolina. And then there's this - on the Rockabilly Roots site, Joe Bennett goes on to say:

"After coming back to Carolina 6 years ago, I tried to find Joey. No one that I asked knew where he was. It turns out, I just didn't ask the right people. Flipping through the newspaper about a year ago, I saw his picture....in the obituary section. His daughter and I had a meeting. She looks like Joey and sings like him..."

"About a year ago", as he said then, would place his death around 1996.

That's where the case stands today...


Here's a Haywood discography I put together from various sources:

FURY
5052 - Ghost Of A Love / Debt Of Love - 1968

ENJOY
2013 - Warm And Tender Love / I Would If I Could - 1964?
2016 - When You Look In The Mirror (You're Looking At The One You Love) / Talk To Me Baby (Put Some Sugar In My Ear) - 1965

KENT
490 – I Wanna Love You / Play Me (A Cornbread Song) - 1968

FRONT PAGE
1000 - Strong Feeling / I'm Walkin' - 1969?
1003 - I Cross My Heart / In Your Heart You Know I Love You

WHITE CLIFFS
237 - Warm And Tender Love/I Would If I Could - 1965?
248 - Let's Make It /Hand In Hand - 1966

DEESU
313 - Sadie Mae / Say You Will - 1966
316 - Play A Cornbread Song For Me & My Baby / I Wanna Love You - 1966

RAMPAGE
(I'm not too sure about these)
1001 - Let's Walk Together/I Would If I Could
1002 - I Love You Yes I Do/It Takes The Dark To Make You See The Light

As I said, please feel free to jump in here with any information, corrections, or whatever you might have.

You are now officially a Soul Detective.


4/11/06
Way to go guys! As you can see from the 'comments' section, people are joining our team every day!

Detective Dan Phillips filled in some of the blanks in our discography, thank you, and wondered aloud if the A side of DEESU 316 was the same recording as the B side of KENT 490 (it sure seems like they recycled a lot of material they had in the can...) with a slightly altered title. Here's the Kent side:

KENT 490

(play me) a cornbread song
CHECK IT OUT! Like Wilson Pickett meets Dyke & the blazers or something... how about that guitar, man? Right after he says "let the guitar cook, from a collard green book" (great lyrics, or like WHAT?) he says "c'mon George!"... so, detectives, there's another question for us... who's George? What studio did Kent record in? Does the 1968 date seem accurate? That, of course, is in addition to whether or not this is the same song as on DEESU 316. I haven't turned that one up yet... anybody have it? Larry?

Also, our very own vicar of soul, detective REV JPH mentioned that both 'Warm And Tender Love' and "I Wanna Love You' are available on CD on the UK KENT label... he also offered up this tidbit, an unreleased KENT track (that would be the real, US KENT from back in the day...):


Let Me Whisper In Your Ear
This is GREAT STUFF, huh? How did this guy fly under the radar for so long? Unreal... and, anticipating the question from the sharp minds of our crack team of investigators, No, this cut is not a reworked version of the B side of ENJOY 2016.

While we're on to the unreleased KENT material, Barry Fowden put this up on the venerable The Soul Of The Net:

The Last One To Know

"This track appeared on UK Kent's US Kent compilation "Slow 'N' Moody Black And Bluesy". Joe Haywood released a dozen singles, all in the classic soul era, between 1965 and 1968. Out of these, one was on US Kent, in 1968, but this track was not on it, so it was left unreleased until discovered years later by those crazy Brits. And luckily so, coz it could have been a soul classic. Listen to the horn section make its entrance 0:34 seconds into the track, and you'll know this track has got it - soul. As for the vocal, Joe sounds here at his most Sam Cookish.", he said.

SO, there's another question, team... Barry says Joe recorded until '68, Bobby Robinson says '69... Can anyone shed any more light on the FRONT PAGE label? Has anybody seen ANY other releases on there besides our two by Joe?

Keep up the great work, guys... thanks!


4/16/06
First off, let me say that the response here has been absolutely fantastic... better than I ever imagined! Already we've discovered some things together that we may have never found alone! Thank You one and all.

Detectives Cies, Colin Dilnot, and John Ridley teamed up to provide this excellent discography of the other releases on FRONT PAGE:

Victones - "My baby changes"/"I need you so" FP 1001
Jim & Lee - "Adam & Eve"/"I'll never change" FP 1002
Lee Moses - "Time & place"/"I can't take no chances" FP 2301
Victones - "Somebody really loves you (guess who)/"Two sides to love" FP 2302

John also confirmed that FRONT PAGE was a Bobby and Danny Robinson label out of New York, and that the time frame of 1964 to '69 seems correct for Joe's career.

Detective Dan (dat bayou man), had this to say:

"Re: Kent 490, "(Play Me) A Cornbread Song".
Wow. What a cookin' track! I wonder, could it have been done in New Orleans? I say this because of your question about the called-out guitar player, George. His style sounds like that of George Davis, the great NO guitarist. Listen to those stuttering licks and rolling runs and then think about the guitar playing on "Barefootin'" (1966) by Robert Parker, which was George Davis all the way. Just sayin', it's possible, especially if this side is the same as Deesu 316, which dates around 1966. The Kent shows as 1968 in 'The R&B Indies' and on Global Dog. Why would it take two years to get re-issued, though? Anyway, this is the only Haywood cut I've heard so far that sounds likely to have been a NO session... according to the BMI database, the legal title of the song on Kent 490 by Greene/Jones/Thompson/Lucie is "PLAY A CORN BREAD SONG FOR ME", which is near dead-on the Deesu title. So, looks like it was re-titled for Kent, either on purpose or in error. "

Excellent work! I really like the George Davis hypothesis, man. As far as there being a two year lag in the release time, it looks to me like Robinson was offering like ANYTHING he had on Haywood to anybody (witness "I Would If I Could" ending up as a B side on 3 different labels!), and Kent may have picked it up. Rest assured I AM working to get us a copy of DEESU 316 up here so we can check it all out.

I'm also going to try to put up the other side of the Kent single soon, but hey, today's Easter Sunday, so I gotta get goin'...

Thanks again for all the posts and 'linkage' as well (Colin even put a way cool scan of the A side of DEESU 313 up...), this is truly becoming the joint venture I hoped it would!


4/18/06
This just in:

DEESU 313 B

say you will
Detective Colin sent us an mp3 of the B side of Sadie Mae from 1966. Thank You very much, it's awesome. (Note the publishing company; "Marsaint Music").

Detective Grogan checked in with: "I just grabbed a copy of the Kent issue of 'Cornbread...' and it has a 1968 radio station stamp on it. I agree with Dan that it sounds like a NOLA session."

There ya go.

KENT 490 A

I wanna love you
As promised, here is the A side of Joe's Kent single. I'm loving the guitar on here... think it's George Davis? If you notice, the publishing company here is listed as "Marsaint Music" as well... perhaps that should have been the tip-off. I mean, it makes sense that the Deesu sides would be published by Sehorn and Toussaint (Marsaint obviously being one of their many enterprises with the funny names), but not the Kent ones... that is unless the material on KENT 490 was indeed recorded earlier in New Orleans, and leased by the Biharis for their label.

Hmmm...

[I don't know if you noticed this, guys, but the very first comment on this site (while it was still under construction) was from Allen Toussaint's friend, Paul Siegel... well, Paul, we're pressing you into service. If there's anyone who could shed some light on all this, it would be Allen. Any chance you could ask him a few questions?]

Anyway, both of the tracks we put up here today are just great, I'm loving Joe's sweet soul ballad side... hope you are too!


(It's like 2 hours later)
Hold on a minute here... I just realized something. With all of this talk about Cornbread and all that, the OTHER side of the two singles is the same as well. Just like the White Cliffs/Enjoy versions of Warm and Tender Love/I Would if I Could being identical, if you check it out, DEESU 316 lists I Wanna Love You as the other side, the same as KENT 490. WELL, WELL!

Although there's no conclusive way to tell until we actually hear it, I'm guessing that Kent leased both sides of a New Orleans (Toussaint?) produced single from 2 years earlier and released it with better distribution.


4/20/06
I heard back from Jason Perlmutter, the Carolina Soul man, and he had this to add:

"The Dobbs who Joe Bennett mentions as backing up Haywood were around Spartanburg for quite a while, and they have one or two 45s on the Najma label from the late '60s. I own one, and it is excellent:

NAJMA MS-1210 - B. Hill With The Fabulous Dobbs "Wait For Me/ The Mess" (B-side as J. Young With The Fabulous Dobbs)

I'm assuming they're also the band on this follow-up release which I've never heard:
NAJMA 604 - J Young/B Hill It's Got Soul/ One Girl"

You can hear three of these sides (among many others) by listening to Jason's excellent radio show about Carolina Soul from WXYC in Chapel Hill.


4/22/06
I decided to e-mail Joe Bennett and ask him if he had any other info on Haywood. He wrote back to tell me that the obituary he read was in the Spartanburg Journal-Herald, but that he wasn't sure of the year. A quick search of their archives came up blank, but I'm still working on it... Bennett also said that Joe worked for the Yellow Cab Company in Spartanburg for years. I'm going to try to contact them as well.

In the meantime, I finally found us a copy of this:

FURY 5052 A

ghost of love
This was the last record ever released by Bobby Robinson on the FURY label. As close as I can figure, that would make it from late 1968 or early 1969. Once again, it's just incredible! Joe's voice is at its most soulful, not to mention the two guitars... I love it.

FURY 5052 B

debt of love
The B side is the rocker (as seems to be the pattern with these Haywood releases), and features some soulful horn charts that make it sound almost like a Memphis record. The song was written by someone named "Sterling McGee" and both sides of the record list him as the "musical director".

Hmmm...

A Google on him didn't bring up much, just a reference to a UK Ace release in the Roots and Rhythm Newsletter... only, when I go to the ACE site, it turns out his name is spelled 'Magee', and he has 3 tunes on their Arock & Sylvia Soul Story CD.

Now that I have the correct spelling, I find him listed in the BMI repertoire database as having written 18 songs. (Oddly enough, though, 'Debt of Love' is not listed.)

Now it starts to get interesting... it seems that Sterling played at the Apollo backing up people like Etta James and James Brown, but eventually took to the streets. He was a fixture on 125th St., playing electric guitar while he worked a snare drum/cymbal contraption that he rigged up with his feet. The neighborhood knew him as "Mr. Satan", the devil-man. He was eventually joined by a young white harmonica player named Adam Gussow, and they played together as Satan and Adam. They were picked up by Bo Diddley as an opening act, and toured the world. U2 even featured them in Rattle and Hum. They would go on to release 3 CDs of their own. Adam wrote a book about all this called Mr. Satan's Apprentice.

Here's the really amazing part... The part that makes you believe in the interconnectedness of all things; Our very own ace detective Colin Dilnot ran a post all about the book on his In Dangerous Rhythm blog on March 19th. He followed it up with a piece about Sterling's Tangerine singles that were on that ACE CD... all unbeknownst to yours truly. Then FURY 5052 came in the mail, and opened up this whole can of worms... you can't make this stuff up, folks!

Sterling now lives in a nursing home in his native St. Petersburg, Florida. Adam performed with him at a benefit just this past February. There's a great article about him in the local paper. He's also been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

Now, how about that?

4/25/06
Here's another interesting "can of worms" just opened up by new team member Soul Pope:

He pointed out that "I Wanna Love You", the A side of KENT 490, which was co-written by Kenny Ballard, also appeared as the B side of his single TOY 105. If you look at the scan of the A side I posted here, you'll note that both Lucky Dixon and Larry Lucie are on board as they are on most of Haywood's records. Does anyone have any more info on TOY? Was it a Bobby Robinson label? How about Ballard, is he still around? For that matter, what about Dixon and Lucie? The most current info I could find on Larry Lucie was a picture of him in the Contrarian Quarterly on the occasion of his 97th birthday in 2004!

Thanks Pope! We'll keep on diggin'!

4/26/06
Well, folks, it's been some day!

First of all, I was listening to "Cornbread", you know the B side of KENT 490 (it's been heavy in the rotation lately... does it crank or what?), and there's another clue in there that might help us with the session info... Right before Joe calls out George, the guitarist, he says "Put a little gravy on the bass, now... go on Jimmy, make 'em feel good now, go ahead!" SO, the bass player's named Jimmy. Any ideas?

Here's another unbelievable proto-funk groove from 1965:

ENJOY 2016 B

talk to me baby (put some sugar in my ear)
Joe's vocals here might be the best we've heard yet (Little Wille John City!)... the guitar, as it usually does on these B side rockers, just blows me away, y'all! Also, check out dem drums... Robinson (who "wrote" this one) said he was a drummer, remember? Think it's Joe?

NOW... it's been quite a day.

I called down to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal and spoke to the News Librarian, a wonderful lady named Annette Haynie. As it turns out, Annette used to go see The Sparkletones and remembers Joe Bennett very well.

I told her our story... told her about how great Joe Haywood was. We talked for a while about "Hub City" music... how the absolutely PRIMAL Julius Cheeks was born in Spartanburg, and how soul music would never even have existed without him, etcetera.

Annette's on board (she even visited our site!), but she was having trouble searching the paper's archives, which weren't the greatest back then. She suggested that I contact the Spartanburg Public Library. On their website I found a link to the paper's obituary archives and found this:

HAYWOOD, JOE DEAN
37, Spartanburg, 11-16-96 B4

It must be him, I thought... only the age is wrong. If he was 37 in 1996, that would mean he was 5 years old when he made his first record. No dice.

I called Annette back with the date of the obituary, and she started searching through the microfilm (God bless this woman!). A few hours later i got this e-mail:

"Found the obit! He was 57. If you have a fax machine, I can fax the obit to you and then put it in the mail."

57! The age was a typo, after all of that... SO, here it is detectives, Joe Haywood's obituary:


Wow.

Check out the Gospel background information... incredible. This poor guy was better known for driving a cab than for these great records we've all been listening to...

May he rest in peace.

(I know the image isn't the greatest, I'll replace it with the hard copy when I get it in the mail.)

My next step here will be to attempt to contact his daughter, I guess.

A HUGE thank you goes out to our newest detective, Annette.

Stay tuned.

5/2/06
Sir Shambling from across the great pond has sent us one of his very cool home-made CDs of Joe Haywood's work (isn't he just the best?). On the basis of that, we can finally put to rest the whole DEESU 316/KENT 490 conundrum - yes, it is the same recordings reissued two years later.

Speaking of KENT 490, good ol' detective Larry Grogan has put up a MUCH cleaner rip of 'Cornbread' (along with a neat Mighty Marvelows cut) over at the Funky 16.

Here's a track I hadn't heard yet, taken from the Shambling CD (along with the excellent scan provided by Peter Hoogers earlier):

RAMPAGE 1002 B

It Takes The Dark To Make You See The Light

Rampage was yet another of Bobby Robinson's convoluted family of small labels. I'm not sure if there were ever any other releases besides the two by Joe on this imprint. Anyway, another great song, right? Dig the distortion on the guitar, the fat bass, the sweet piano, the horn arrangements... word. Joe's soulful vocal is joined on the chorus by an unknown singer providing great Sam & Dave-ish harmonies. This one should've been a hit, man!

Dan: "There were at least two more Rampage releases besides Haywood's:
#1000 - The Ramrods - "Soultrain (Pts 1 & 2)"
-wonder if this is a cover of the Curley Moore single, written by Earl King?. And
#1003 - The Ramrods - "Soul Express (Pts 1 & 2)"
Does anybody have a date on the Rampage stuff? "

Anybody actually own these records? I'd love to hear them!

6/18/06

Well folks, it took a while but I finally came up with one of the other RAMPAGE sides. Courtesy of Colin (who else?), comes this positively SMOKIN' proto-funk groove by The Ramrods:

RAMPAGE 1003A

Soul Express Pt 1

Is this GREAT or what? I have no clue who The Ramrods were, but this stuff just cooks, huh? More evidence from the New York Soul scene of the late 60s and early 70s.

I love it.

6/20/06

Well, The Ramrods record sure opened up a can of worms!

New detective Harry wrote to inform us that the first Ramrods release on RAMPAGE (Soultrain, pts 1&2) was the same recording as a 1963 release by a group called "The Rinkydinks" (imagine?) on ENJOY (Hot Potato, pts 1&2). You can check this out for yourself by going to the "R" page on the rejuvenated FUNK45.com site and playing the real audio links...

Somebody on their site says that The Rinkydinks were a Canadian band, but I think our own detective Dan is probably right about them being a New York group put together by King Curtis (who had the first ever release on ENJOY with "Soul Twist") in 1962. In any event, The Ramrods playing on Soul Express sound like a whole different outfit. I bet this was a big local record in NY at the time... I mean it had to pre-date Express, the 1975 number one hit by the Brooklyn based B.T. Express, not to mention one of my personal faves, (It's Not The Express) It's The J.B.'s Monaurail from later that year (don't forget that Soul Brother #1 lived in New York himself until the late 60s!).

Here is the man with the answers to so many of the poignant questions we pose here at Soul Detective. Yes, none other than Bobby Robinson is reportedly still around and operating "Bobby's Happy House" on 125th Street up in Harlem just as he has since 1946! Although he must now be close to 90 (and looks for all the world like a Sioux elder), I'm hoping he'd be willing to talk to us.

We'll see...


7/18/06

In my conversation with Henry Henderson, the Long Island soul legend I met at the Little Buster Tribute last month, I asked him about Joe Haywood. He told me that in his capacity as the leader of the house band at the Highway Inn, he had to drive up to Harlem to pick up Joe for a gig at the club in 1970... that's the latest date we have on Joe as a performer so far, and indicates he was actually living in New York at the time. As I said earlier up in the J. Hines case, Henry is a great guy and an excellent singer in his own right, in addition to being a veritable font of information... I hope to talk with him again soon.

Here's the A side of Joe's second release for RAMPAGE, which would place it in between the two Ramrods records:

RAMPAGE 1001 A

Let's Walk Together

I wouldn't be surprised if this "deep soul" track had been on Goldwax or Fame or Back Beat or something, you know? Yet here it is produced by Bobby Robinson in New York... the label lists the arranger as Billy Nichols. Think this is the same guy who had the big disco hit Give Your Body Up To The Music in the late 70s?

2/1/07

Hey everybody, it's been a while, huh?

Interesting news; I've been contacted by a guy named Kevin Moore who is the 'activity director' at the nursing home where Sterling Magee lives down in Florida (as you may recall, Sterling was the writer and musical director on FURY 5052). Here's what he had to say:

"I am very much involved in his recovery and "rebirth" to the blues that was so much a part of his life. I mentioned to Sterling the cuts that you shared and the information about him and Mr Haywood... I went to your site and downloaded the other Joe Haywood tunes for Sterling to hear... He was thrilled! Had me play them 3-4 times over!! He remembers Joe well.. Played with him on numerous occasions. I do believe that Sterling was on a few of those records (the Robinson ones) but he is not sure which. Been a while since then..."

Wow.

Is this internet thing cool or what?

Here's a GREAT tune by Mr. Magee from 'back in the day' (which comes to us courtesy of good ol' detective Colin Dilnot):

TANGERINE 968

Oh She Was Pretty

This record hails from 1966, when Sterling was working with the great Jesse Stone (you know, the Harlem via Kansas City arranger who wrote the charts for Chick Webb and Louis Jordan before revolutionizing R&B as the house arranger at Atlantic Records...). Stone co-wrote this funky mover & groover with Magee. Check out that bass, man! Listening to this record, you can hear many of the same elements as in the Haywood cuts... that elusive 'New York Sound'?

Colin:
"Sterling recorded 2 45's for Tangerine - this one backed with 'Get In My Arms Little Girl' and TRC 975 'I Still Believe In You'/ 'Tighten Up'. The only other 45 I know by him is Sylvia 45 Keep On backed by the original version of 'Get In My Arms Little Girl'.

There are an excellent set of notes on Sterling Magee in the Ace Records The Arock & Sylvia Soul Story by Ady Croasdell. They tell the story of the above 45's which were all recorded in New York at the Al Sear's studio in the mid-60's and also provide some brief autobiographical details on Sterling as well as telling the story of his transformation into Satan. The Tangerine tracks were leased to them because of Al Sear's involvement in A&R in LA at the time."

Our latest detective Kevin Moore:
"Mark your calendar, as far as we know right now, "Satan and Adam" will be playing at Terra Blues June 1st in the Village in NYC. We are also planning on stopping by Bobby Robinson's record shop while there...

I spoke with Bobby a few months ago, deaf as a doorpost, but was able to hear some... He remembers Sterling very well and related some stories about him. He still mans the store with his family. Amazing man - 90/91 now...

When I get some time I'll send you some more info about Sterling, in the meantime, I have included some links below that will give you a good starting point:

Adam Gussow updated the Wikidpedia site, and the My Space site was done by me. Take a look!"

Thank you, Kevin (and Colin)... ain't life grand?

4/18/07

Hey, y'all! Check this out:

New detective jukebox mafia recently discovered our site, and left this in the comments:

"... I am totally blown away by "(play me) a cordbread song"! After multiple listenings it sounds to me like Joe is saying: "Earl, make a move now. You're the only one that can do it." Around 43 seconds in, right at the first sax break. I don't know who Earl would have been, but maybe someone else here might?"

Good lookin' out there JB! If you listen, Joe does indeed namecheck 'Earl' right after the sax solo begins... it seems possible that he's not referring to the sax player at all, but possibly the drummer, who would be the one to 'make a move'. Now, drummers named Earl, hmmm...

That's right, I'm thinking Earl Palmer, possibly the greatest session stick man of all time. SO, to recap the clues Joe gave us in 'Cornbread' as to who's playing behind him:

"Let the guitar cook from a collard green book, c'mon George!"
- which Dan Phillips thinks might be the great George Davis.

"Put a little gravy on the bass, now... go on Jimmy, make 'em feel good now!"
- nobody's taken a guess on who that might be.

and now,

"Earl, make a move now. You're the only one that can do it!"
- which may refer to the saxophone player, or, like I said, the world's greatest drummer.

It would be really cool if we could figure this out, as it might finally shed some light on whether or not Haywood ever actually recorded in New Orleans. He is still being included on various compilations as if he did (witness Confessing - Deep Soul from New Orleans) because of his Deesu and White Cliffs sides. The fact that, as we've talked about before, Marsaint is listed as the publisher on some of those tunes further strengthens the NOLA hypothesis.

Anyway, thanks for the input, JB. We'll see what happens.

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