Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Weekend Digs

I was going to do one more installment in my St. Louis record show series. But I got a chance to get out and cruise the area a bit on Sunday, which of course included making various stops, digging for records. One of those stops proved worthwhile, as I found some good things for just a quarter per. It was in a big, old antique store that's only open some of the time. I'd been there once before without much luck. This time, they had a new pile of dusty 45's.

Now, let me preface the rest of this post by saying that the records pictured here, plus the rest of the keepers I found are not in, er, pristine condition. But for just two bits each, how can you go wrong? If nothing else, it's a great way to audition unheard discs to see if it's worth trying to track down a better copy. Anyhow, here are the most interesting and best of my Sunday finds.

McKinley Sandifer - "Get Up (If You Want To Be Somebody)" (U.S.A.) I found some pretty good soul on Sunday, including things by, The Volumes, Cicero Blake, The Knight Brothers and an early Al Greene disc. This one was the best of the lot though. I don't know the year of release but I'd guess 1968. "Get Up" is a very funky number, with heavy drums, guitar, organ, and a sax break. McKinley Sandifer handles the vocal duties and is supported with some good female backing. It's a dance number with a tip of the hat to "Tighten Up", plus a definite James Brown influence. A winner.

The Wylde Heard - "Stop It Girl" (Philips) I just love it when a 60's garage disc rears its head. It's not like these things are falling from the sky, so it's great when one pops up out of the blue. I don't know much about The Wylde Heard, except that they were supposedly from Peoria, IL and this record was originally issued on a smaller imprint before being picked up by Philips. The year of release is listed as either 1966 or '67. "Stop It Girl" is drenched in haunting organ work, with lots of stinging, fuzzed out guitar. The vocal is fairly manic, as the poor guy sounds all stressed out over his woman and her use of the word "love", just like all of her other four letter words. Yikes! Anyway, I love this as heavy garage, with just a bit of pysch thrown into the mix.

Rene Waters - "Zoomerang Jungle Fever" (Soma) Soma is one of my favorite labels. Beginning in the late 1950's, the Minneapolis imprint released all sorts of great rock and roll right on through the garage era, including lots of obscure stuff. When I spot the yellow label, I'm usually expecting to find The Castaways' "Liar Liar", by far the most common record on Soma. A few other titles turn up with regularity but today's disc certainly isn't one of them. At least I'd never seen nor even heard of it before. Odd too because "Zoomerang Jungle Fever" appears to be from 1965, though it sounds like it could have been recorded several years before. Don't know a lick about Rene Waters, including whether he released any other records. Here though, he turns in a winner, a mid-tempo rocker that starts with the sound of jungle drums and includes piano and a guitar break. Waters sings about the zoomerang jungle fever shrinking the head of the guy who was after his girl. At the end, he asks, "I've got my magic zoomerang, have you got yours?". Yep, now I do.

Shorty Bacon and His Rhythm Rascals - "Speakin of Angels" (Ozark) I assumed Ozark must be out of Missouri, though the RCS site lists it as a California label. It also has "Speakin of Angels" as a 1960 release. The song is country and western based, stylistically a bit like the recently departed Buck Owens and his band. It's taken at mid-tempo, with piano, guitar, bass and drums. Indeed the guitar and piano get an instrumental break. Shorty Bacon proves to be an excellent country crooner, delivering a very engaging vocal. This is just the type of country music that I enjoy. Too bad that it's totally lost on today's "fan".

1 comment:

Libby said...

I think this guy lived in Lakewood, CA. I lived there as a kid at 5949 Dogwood Avenue, if memory serves. He had two little girls, and they lived on a corner lot. I think their names were Sherry and Debbie. They used to brag that there dad was a famous country singer and was on tv. I lived there from 1958 to 1966. I know their dad was really short and my dad was really tall. Also, the parents used to smoke, drink and listen to records all the time, and their dad had all these country-western get-ups. It may be the same guy. I'm 56 now, love rockabilly and maybe this is how it all started!