FUNKIFY YOUR LIFE #12 - 10/23/2014
The weekly show: Thursdays at 1:00 PM and Fridays at 9:00 PM on KRVS 88.7 FM Lafayette/Lake Charles, and online at krvs.org. You can hear a podcast of this show and previous episodes on the station’s website under “Programs” anytime (scroll down to "Funkify Your Life" and click title to see the latest playlist and, below that, a list of all earlier shows by date. Click on the title of the show you want to hear and you'll open the podcast player).
This was the second of my shows for the station’s successful Fall Fundraiser. I featured vintage funk and rare groove cuts from or connected to the Lafayette/Lake Charles areas, and points in between. Nearly all were sourced from vinyl.
“Funkify Your Life” [Intro] - The Meters
“Keep On Lovin’ Me” (L. A. Zeno-S. Billington-D. Reed) - Dalton Reed - from his Bullseye Blues CD, Louisiana Soul Man, 1992.
Lafayette's own late, great soul singer, Dalton Reed, never got to record much, but should have had more national attention for his two Bullseye Blues releases. Unfortunately, he died soon after the second one came out. These sessions were done in New Orleans with Lafayette bassist Lee Allen Zeno and Rounder’s Scott Billington co-producing.
“I Wanna Dance” (G. Graeff-D. Graeff) - Po’Boy - from their 1973 Jin single #274, ca 1973.
This band from the Lafayette area morphed from Rufus Jagneaux to Po’Boy Rufus and the Sostan Band, and later just Rufus (the LA version rather than the L.A. one), swapping out some members along the way; but the core of the group were the Graeff brothers, bassist and leader Benny and drummer Gary - both sang.They had a couple of singles on Jin, plus an LP, Po’Boy Rufus and the Sostan Band, produced by Benny at the label’s studio in Ville Platte in 1974. Other members on this track included Dana Breaux, guitar and vocal; Leroy Evans, harmonica, percussion, and vocals, and Baco Latour, vocals. Versions of the group still play gigs around here from time to time.
“Slap It to Me” (B. Babineaux) - Billy John & the Continentals - a Tramp 45 reissue of this side, taken from their original Jin single #214, 1966.
Also from the Lafayette area, the band was fronted by drummer/vocalist Billy Babineaux and also featured his brother, Bobby, on guitar. They had two singles on Jin and two on the N-Joy label. One of their songs was covered by Robert Plant and his Band of Joy in 2010.
“I Can’t Lose” (L. Williams) - Phillip Walker - from his original Playboy single #50032, 1973.
As I said on the show, Phillip Walker is originally from Welsh, LA, just East of Lake Charles, but moved out to the West Coast in the late 1950s to pursue his career in music, after working in Clifton Chenier’s band for a few years. This song also appeared on his Playboy LP, Bottom of the Top.
“That’s Right” (W. P. Guidry-C. S. Williams) - Danny James - from his original Goldband single #1176, 1967.
Originally from Sulphur, LA, near Lake Charles, guitarist Danny James (Sonnier) played in area bands and did session work for Goldband, recording a couple of his own singles for the label, as well. For more background, see the post I did on those.
“Hell Or High Water” (H. Broussard-E. Shuler) - Katie Webster - from the BGP CD compilation, Southern Funkin’, 2005, originally.on Goldband #1290, 1979.
I have several of Katie’s Goldband singles, including the one with this funky side, but was unable to locate it in the current disorder of my South Louisiana holdings - another long-term reclamation project on my list. Read Bill Dahl’s overview of Katie’s career for more details on this talented session pianist/vocalist and feature artist.
“Sick and Tired” (Kenner-Bartholomew) - Elton Anderson - from his original Lanor single #509, 1962.
Elton Anderson was from Lake Charles, while the Lanor label was based in Church Point. See my post on another of his Lanor singles for more information on him and the label, with a discography. Note: this session was recorded at Cosimo’s in New Orleans, likely with Katie Webster on piano.
“My Babe” (W; Dixon) - Wayne Deville - from his original Drew-Blan single #1012, 1964.
The late Wayne Deville (Devillier), a great keyboardist and vocalist, was from Morgan City, where Drew-Blan Records was located. In the 1960s, he played a lot in New Orleans on the live scene before heading for the Left Coast later in the decade and getting tangled up in the music bidniz out there. Back in 2005, I posted on an album he did with Sweet Salvation, a group of mostly expatriate Louisiana musicians, in the early 1970s. A bit later, he also played in Three Dog Night’s band out there, and an offshoot group, S. S. Fools. In his later days, he did some recording with Luther Kent & Trickbag in New Orleans.
“Rooty Tooty” (L. Prevost) - Lionel Torrence - from his original Zynn single #1023, 1962.
Lionel Torrance was actually Lionel Prevost, an exceptional R&B sax player, born in Franklin, LA and raised in Port Arthur, TX. Read the great feature on him at Sax on the Web. I wrote about this tune here, also.
“Superior Funk” (Simon-Guillory-Fontenot-Guillory-Green) - Superior Elevation - from the Funky Delicacies 2006 reissue of their 1982 Black Satin LP, Get It Don’t Stop.
The Lake Charles area’s answer to Earth, Wind & Fire, Chocolate Milk, and the Bar-Kays, Superior Elevation didn’t seem to last long - as record-makers, anyway. A few weeks back, I played a cut from the Black Satin 45 that preceded this LP. Looks like the same sides on that single had first been released nationally in 1981 by Phil-L.A. of Soul (#386), at the very end of that label’s run. There were also several other singles on Black Satin and Lake City that were spun-off from the album.
“Soul Brothers Testify, Part 1” (C. Randle-S.Simien) - Chester Randle’s Soul Senders - from the BGP CD compilation, Southern Funkin’, 2005
This raw soul-funk rarity originally was released on Eddie Shuler’s Goldband subsidiary, Anla (#102), 1968. According to Dean Rudland’s helpful notes with the CD, guitarist Chester Randle also played in the band of another Anla artist, Bill Parker. The players on this session were Randle, plus Parker on drums, and Scotty Milford (a/k/a Milford Scott) on piano. This two-parter was the label’s initial release.. A wilder second take of the song was also released on Anla (#115) showing the group as Original Soul Senders.
“Mama Told Me Not To Come” (Randy Newman) - Bobby King and the Relation - from their original Lunar single #201, early 1970s.
Real-deal soul singer Bobby King is from Lake Charles, though he moved out to the the Left Coast in the late 60s or early 70s, where he cut this one-off single. He then teamed up with another great soul man, Terry Evans.. In the mid-70s, they began a long association with Ry Cooder on record and stage, and later worked with John Fogerty, Boz Scaggs and Bob Dylan, making their own albums, as well. King has also toured with Bruce Springsteen.
“Brother Brown” (Camille Bob) - Camille Bob - from his original Soul Unlimited single #102, 1972.
I played the other side, “2 Weeks, 2 Days, Too Long”, in the first few weeks of the show. As noted on that playlist, I featured this and other Camille Bob tracks back in 2010, when crude oil was flowing into the Gulf unabated. . . .
“Cat Scream” (P. Senegal) - Lil Buck and the Top Cats - from the Kent CD compilation, Lafayette Soul Show, 1993.
The quite rare original single came out on La Louisianne (#8133) in 1969, with another get-down instrumental, “Monkey In A Sack”, on top. Both sides are k-i-l-l-e-r hunks of hard-driving R&B funk.
“MIss Hard To Get” (D. Landry) - Dennis Landry - from his original Soul Unlimited single #101, 1972.
Dennis Landry sang with keyboardist Stanley ‘Buckwheat’ Dural’s band, the Hitchhikers, who backed him on this single and another he cut for the label. They also backed Camille Bob on his ultra-funky Soul Unlimited release. Dural later joined Clifton Chenier’s great zydeco band and then struck out on his own in that genre with great success as Buckwheat Zydeco.
“You Gotta Be Motivated” (M. Scott-J. Wilson) - Moody - from his original Soul Unlimited single #106, 1975.
Lawrence ‘Moody’ Scott is from Hammond, LA. Prior to making this 45, he recorded a single for Leiber & Stoller's Daisy label in 1964, as Moody and the Deltas. Between 1969 and 1970 he had five more releases over several labels, Kapp, Seventy 7 and Sound Stage 7, with the cuts on the latter two labels being predominantly funk. I’ll be playing some of those along the way. His only other single appeared on Straight Ahead in the early 1980s.
* * * * *
Hey, I’ve got another rather big feature artist post in the cooker [with yet others on various back burners] and hope to get it served up within the next couple of months, just in case you thought I’d given that up. . . .