November 22, 2014

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 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. . . .

November 01, 2014

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.