William Bell – I Forgot To Be Your Lover b/w Bring The Curtain Down
I first heard William Bell’s I Forgot to Be Your Lover about 10-12 years ago. Paul Weller covered it on a UK television show and it was one of moments when you first hear a tune and just go…WOW! It’s got a fantastic guitar intro and a superb arrangement. The lyrics, about a fella taking his lady for granted are superb. The flip is a great little SOUL song with a real cool vibe. And, of course, the iconic Stax label and backing from the incredible house band, Booker T and the MG’s. I was really, REALLY happy to find this 45. Don’t think it’s that rare, but it’s one that always makes me smile to know it’s in my 45 box now.
Mickey And His Mice – Cracker Jack b/w Abraham, Martin and John
It’s funny, but I’ve been diggin’ heavy for 45’s a few years now and I don’t really get the chance to venture out of my hometown of Richmond, VA to look for records. So, whatever is hiding around here is pretty much it. And in those few years, I’ve never seen a record out of Baltimore, MD despite it being fairly close to where I’m at. This one was tucked inside a box at this Salvation Army shop I pop in about once a month. I, of course, had never heard it or knew anything about the group. But, I was intrigued for sure that it came out of my neighboring state and the title of the A side, “Cracker Jack” as well as the group name, Mickey And His Mice certainly made it seem like it would be a cool record. Not to mention the always nice surprise that I was gonna get it for my favourite price of 25 cents.
A bit of quick research and I found that this is one of only three records that came out on the Marti label. ‘Cracker Jack’ is a damn cool Funky tune with Mickey Fields blasting his Tenor Sax throughout. He reminds me of Jr. Walker’s playing a bit. And I really dig the bass. Super FAT and super FUNKY! The flip is a cover of the classic ‘Abraham, Martin And John’ that’s got a real nice uplifting vibe to it despite the subject matter. The record is a little beat up but it’s most certainly listenable and I’m very happy to have found it.
Lena Horne And Gabor Szabo – Watch What Happens b/w Rocky Raccoon
I first heard this one in a mix by DJ Double K over at ParkdaleFunk.com and just knew I had to track it down. I really only knew of Lena Horne from her appearance on a popular 70’s TV show here in the US called, “Sanford and Son.” This old cat played by Red Foxx had a major thing for Ms. Horne and was always talking about her. I’m assuming the A side is ‘Watch What Happens’ as it’s listed with the lower catalog number. It’s a nice swingin’ little Jazz number. Nothing too distinct, but it really reveals what a magnificent voice Lena had. Now for what really got me, and that was the B side. It’s a cover of one of the more whimsical Beatles tunes called, ‘Rocky Raccoon.’ And it’s pretty much THE funkiest cover of that song you will EVER hear. Once the groove kicks in, you will just go, Unnhhhhh!!! BIG ups to DK for turning me on to it.
Lunar Funk – Slip The Drummer One b/w Space Monster
It seems like most diggers are generally interested in two things first DRUMS and FUNK. And when you hit on a record that has those two things actually listed on the record, well, we’re all over that shit. I think the group is sort of a mystery as I can’t dig up anything on them and they only released two 45’s. Sometimes I kinda like those mystery ones. This record BLEW MY ‘EFFIN MIND. The A side, “Slip The Drummer One” is a powerhouse! It’s supremely funky…period! It’s got some amazing guitar and hammond organ as well as a nice and in the pocket funky ass drummer. The flip, “Space Monster,” is also a funky little Hammond Organ showcase. This is one of my absolute favourite records!
Paul Humphrey & His Cool Aid Chemists – Cool Aid b/w Detroit
This one is off of Lizard Records and comes from drummer Paul Humphrey, & His Cool Aid Chemists. I first heard the A side, “Cool Aid” on this ace box set that Rhino put out on 70’s SOUL called, “Can You Dig It?” So, luckily I was familiar with the name and the 45 hit me right off. I’m assuming the tune was fairly big if it was included on the Rhino comp. It’s a funky gem for sure. Now, for me it’s the B-Side that really kills. “Detroit” is just plain smokin’ and really shows what a great drummer Paul Humphrey is. It’s got some really groovy guitar as well. A two minute FUNK BLAST! LOVE IT!