A good day to everyone! This is the 300th post to It's Great Shakes. Last week, I mentioned hitting the latest record show in St. Louis. I had a great time and It's Great Shakes' own Brian Marshall even surprised me by making the trip over from Indy. Gotta thank him for pointing out a few winners that I added to my collection. Once again, I raked in the goods, including a bunch of stuff for a buck or less. I even had enough left over, after scarfing up the cheapies, to spring for a more (gasp) expensive things, at least by my standards. Anyway, here are a few of the things I made off with.
King Curtis & the Kingpins - "Cook-Out" If you're a fan of Larry Grogan's Funky 16 Corners blog (see link on this page), then you might remember that he posted a Soul Food music mix a couple of months back. This disc wasn't on there but it sure would have been right at home. It even leads off with the spoken line, "Today we're gonna talk about nothin' but soul food". Why, you might ask? Because Sunday is old-fashioned cook-out day, that's why! The orator goes on to encourage the brothers and sisters to bring everything from chitlins to cornbread to collard greens. After he's done with the menu, a honking sax joins a funky guitar for the duration of the tune. Sounds great on a hot summer day.
Royce Porter with the Kounts - "Good Time" I just love these old Mercury releases that have the release date printed right on the label. It's instant research. Anyway, this one dates from May 29, 1958. "Good Time" is a fast rocker that reminds me a bit of "Hot Dog" by Dale Hawkins. It leads of with rat-a-tat drumming that returns at the start of each verse. The singer intones how much fun everyone is gonna have rockin' tonight. The backing vocals are limited to a few oohs and ahhs. There are a pair of cool guitar breaks and plenty of cymbal bashing during each chorus. Great find for just a buck.
Billy Williams Quartet - "Steppin' Out Tonight" Billy Williams 45's are a bit of a gamble. A lot of them contain mediocre ballads but you'll get the occasional up-tempo, r&b winner. "Red Hot Love" is one such disc. And here's another, "Steppin' Out Tonight" from 1958. Williams' rockers were undoubtedly relegated to the b-side of his records, meaning you had to flip 'em over for those Saturday night dance parties. This one has a real jumpin' beat, with Billy singing about taking his woman out on the town. His vocal draws near a shout a couple of times. There's some good guitar and a few bass vocal parts, perhaps handled by Eugene Dixon, assuming he was still a part of the Quartet at the time. Another fine dollar record.
Harry M. and the Marvels - "The "U-T"" The garage rockers I found at the show this time around leaned heavily toward the frat rock end of the spectrum. Here's one of them, "The "U-T"" by Harry M. and the Marvels. It's from 1961, making it too early for garage rock proper but it sure has the frat sound down. As you might guess, it's a number about a dance of the same name, i.e. "Do the U-T with me, baby"! It's very upbeat and has lots of sax. There are plenty of whoops and hollers in the background. There's an extended break and the song just fades away. Harry M. is Harry Middlebrooks, who wrote the tune. I have no idea who made up the rest of his band. A quick check indicates this record is readily available for just a few bucks. All the better.