FUNKIFY YOUR LIFE #11 - 10/16/2014
Air dates: Thursday, October 16, 2014, 1:00 PM, and Friday, October 17, 2014, 9:00 PM, on KRVS 88.7 FM Lafayette/Lake Charles, and online at the website. You can hear a podcast of this show and previous editions on the website under “Programs” anytime.
Since the KRVS Fall Fundraiser - nine days of intensive on-air fundraising to sustain our station operations - started on the 17th, this was essentially my kick-off for the drive. So I chose some songs about money, giving, taking, help, and winning.
It’s never too late to support KRVS. There’s a red “Support This Station” button on the station’s home page. Hit it, why don’t cha, before or after you stream a podcast.
“Funkify Your Life” [Intro] - The Meters
“Give It Up” (Allen Toussaint) - Lee Dorsey - from his original Amy single #11057, 1969
A great track, with backing by the Meters, As I noted in my HOTG feature on this one back in 2005, the 45 was not only Lee’s last for the Amy label, where he had the majority of his hits working with Toussaint, it was the last record Amy released before going under. The lack of radio play and chart action for Lee’s later records for the label was due the inability of Amy and its owner, Bell Records, to promote what he put out. Sansu Enterprises soon got Lee a deal with Polydor that resulted in the classic Yes We Can album, but no real resurgence of his career, sad to say.
“Give It What You Can” (S. Cropper-J. Tarbutton-C. Marsh) - The Meters - from their Warner Bros. LP, New Directions, 1977.
The original version of this song appeared on Sam & Dave’s 1974/75 LP, Back At ‘Cha, produced by Steve Cropper, mainly at his Trans Maximus Studios on Poplar Avenue, in the Mid-Town section of Memphis, my old stomping grounds. Steve co-wrote the song with two other Memphis musicians, Jimmy Tarbutton and Carl Marsh. Apropos of not much, I used to hang out out at Pop Tunes record shop in Memphis every day after school and most weekends in the mid-1960s, and Jimmy Tarbutton stopped by from time to time to shoot the...breeze. Great guitar player.
That Sam & Dave album, by the way, had covers of two Toussaint tunes on it, too, that are great. I featured them here and here, and I’ll get them onto the show in due course. For me, the Meters; cover of “Give It” outshines S&D’s.
“Lay It On Me, Part 2” (W. Quezergue-C. Simmons-E. Small) - Chuck Simmons - from his F.C.W. single #1001, 1976.
This was recorded at Sea-Saint with some of the great session regulars on-board. The drumming is just sick. For more details on this 45 and Simmon’s other record-making exploits, mainly with Big Q, check out my feature on him.
“Hold On Help Is On The Way” (Davis-Tyler-Parker) - G. Davis & R. Tyler - from their original Parlo single #102, 1966.
Guitarist George Davis and saxophonist Alvin ‘Red’ Tyler, were regular session players in New Orleans and also outstanding jazz musicians. I featured this cut here back in 2008 as a tribute to George’s passing. As I said there, I consider this to be one of the all-time great R&B instrumentals. It was not heard at the time, having been completely eclipsed by Parlo #101, Aaron Neville’s hit, “Tell It Like It Is”, which George arranged, played on, and co-wrote with Lee Diamond. Parlo folded soon thereafter, as it was too small to keep up with the demand for what became Aaron’s signature song.
“A Dollar Ninety Eight” (Diamond-Davis) - Johnny Moore - from his original Wand single #1165, 1967.
Another Lee Diamond-George Davis composition. The Johnny Moore named on this rather obscure 45, was and is better known in New Orleans as ‘Deacon John’ Moore, guitarist, vocalist and leader of numerous bands over the years, including the Ivories who have played tons of high school proms, fraternity parties, and weddings. Deacon John’s vocal talent alone should have landed him a lot more recording opportunities back in the day than the few he got. For more on his career, see my 2008 feature.
“Every Dog Got His Day” (Johnson-Douglas) - Eddie Bo - from his original Ric single #969, 1960.
A classic Bo side - years ahead of its time. For more details on it and Bo’s work for the Ric label in New Orleans, see Part 2 of my series on his career.
“Take What I Can Get” (C. Yellen-M. Rebennack) - Dr John - from his Blue Note CD, Creole Moon, 2001.
Recorded at Dockside Studios in Maurice, LA, this track features Sonny Landreth’s always impressive slide guitar.
“Save A Little Bit For Me” (M. Galore-D. Ervin-M. Higgins) - Irma Thomas - from her original Canyon single #21, 1969.
Irma was living in Los Angeles when she was approached by Wally Roker to record for his new Canyon label. This track is from her first single for Canyon, produced by Monk Higgins. When it failed to get any radio action, Roker paired Irma with a new producer who had recently come on-board, Jerry Williams, a/k/a Swamp Dogg. For more on the story of their collaboration, read my post from last year.
“A Little Bit Of Something” (R. Parker) - Robert Parker - from his original Island single #074, 1976.
I covered this single in Part 5.1 of my Big Q series just about a year ago.
“I Want Some Money, Baby” (Bocage-Terry) - Tommy Ridgley - from his original Johen single #9200, 1964.
Another classic New Orleans R&B collectable, written by Eddie Bo and arranged by Big Q. I discussed it in Part 4 of my Eddie Bo series.
“Money Money” (B. MacDonald) - Joy Ride - from their original Chippewa single, 1980.
This track, written by guitarist Bruce MacDonald, appeared on the only record released by Joy Ride. He and George Porter, Jr. formed the band in 1979; and, while they were popular on the local Uptown club scene in New Orleans, things fell apart after just a couple of years. I featured the flip side and some of the backstory in 2011.
“Little Old Money Maker” (Neville-Nocentelli, Porter-Modeliste) - The Meters - from the Sundazed reissue of their original 1969-1970 Josie album, Look-Ka Py Py, 1999.
“Somebody’s Always Winning” (L. Hopkins-L. Meyers) - Linda Hopkins - from her RCA album, Linda Hopkins, 1972.
One of the great female vocalists from New Orleans, Linda has had a long career, starting in the gospel realm. She left the city around 1950 to pursue music,and, as far as I know, never made any records there. I just recently picked up this LP, recorded in New York City, which contains a number of funky tracks, including this one.
“You Will Not Lose” (Allen Toussaint) - Allen Toussaint - from his original Reprise album, Southern Nights, 1975.
While certainly not a funk tune, even though all the Meters participated on the track, the syncopated intricacies of this unique hybrid-pop gem are fascinating and enjoyable music-making at its finest, written, arranged, produced and performed by Toussaint on arguably the best album of his career. For more on his albums in the 1970s, see my 2011 post.
“Take Some Mambo Time” (E. Baytos) - Eddie Baytos & the Nervis Bros - from their CD of the same name, 1990s.
I only had time for a few minutes of this one, so will get back to it in whole later. I wrote about this seldom seen CD back pre-Katrina.