Sugar and Spice
"Girls Are Made For Lovin'" (Elliott Small)
Elliott Small, Bang, 1969
(Hear it on HOTG Internet Radio)
Sometimes we just need some musical empty calories, a bit of meaningless confection to soothe the soul. After the frazzled, mostly sleepless weekend I had waiting out Rita with my wife and in-laws, low impact is the order of the day. Because we headed about 70 miles Northeast of Lafayette along the Mississippi River, and the storm turned that way as it left the state, we had 30 hours of wind and torrential rain, over half the time with no power, but no damage at the evacuation house or home. We got off far luckier than those with seawater flooding and heavy wind damage to our South and West. Coastal Louisiana is now a shambles, almost border to border. Dig deep to help out some more; and allow me to settle back into things with this one.
“Girls Are Made For Lovin’”, a Wardell Quezergue (“Big Q”) production, has the feel of something by Curtis Mayfield, maybe, or Smokey Robinson. It’s not an identifiably New Orleans record, although it was made there, originally released on the New Sound label and picked up by Bang in 1969; but I really like its easy, lilting groove and the melody that is stuck in my head. Elliott (a/k/a Elliot) Small wrote the tune and sings the harmless, rather sweet lyrics pleasantly enough. Smokey Johnson might be on the drums, as Quezergue used him a lot. And, I believe that’s Mr. Small playing the harmonica, too.
Elliott Small may be best known to record collectors for an earlier tune, the great, upbeat groover he did with Quezergue producing for ABS out of New Orleans, “I’m A Devil”, which also features his harmonica. The only other single I know of for him was a very funky piece of fluff, “E Ni Me Ni Me Ni Mo (Parts 1 & 2)” also produced by Quezergue and released on Malaco in the early 1970’s. Part 1 is on the out of print Malaco CD box set retospective, The Last Soul Company. As I learned in my research, Small was later a street performer (blowing harp and singing) in the French Quarter for many years. He and his partner, Stoney B, were featured in a piece on New Orleans street musicians in Where Y’At magazine in 2003. God only knows what’s become of him now.*
Here are some CD compilations with Wardell Quzergue productions and/or Elliott Small cuts:
Sixty Smokin' Soul Senders
New Orleans Soul A Go-Go
Don't Be No Sqaure, Get Hip to Quezergue
Northern Soul Of New Orleans
* [Elliott moved back to New Orleans in 2006 and can still be found at various spots around the Quarter streets singing and playing harmonica as 'Grandpa', but he has also become an international entertainer of note through his invlovement with Playing For Change. He has since toured in the US and various countries and played his first JazzFest at home in New Orleans this year (2010). Congratulations, Elliott! You were far too talented to just be singing for spare change.]