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R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Ace Compiles Otis Redding Songbook, Louisiana R&B and King’s Northern Soul

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Ace Records has long been, well, aces where soul music is concerned.  Three recent releases have arrived courtesy of the Ace and Kent labels, and connoisseurs, collectors and casual fans alike will all find plenty to enjoy on these incendiary new compilations.

The rich recorded legacy of black artists has been a cornerstone of the Kent soul and R&B library.  Kent launched a “Black America Sings…” series with titles dedicated to the Lennon and McCartney and Bob Dylan songbooks, a sort of companion to the label’s Songwriters and Producers series.  With a new installment, Kent turns its attention to another singer/songwriter: Otis Redding.  Hard to Handle: Black America Sings Otis Redding brings together 25 sides of simmering soul, with every track written or co-written by the late Redding.  Naturally, the most famous recording of Redding’s most famous song is here: Aretha Franklin’s 1967 “Respect.”  The song earned both Franklin and Redding their first pop chart-topper and remains a cornerstone of the pop and soul songbooks today.  Not far behind is “(Sittin’ on the) Dock of the Bay,” a posthumous success for Redding following his untimely death in a December 1968 plane crash, and heard here via the Staple Singers in a Stax recording produced by the song’s co-writer Steve Cropper.  James Carr takes on another iconic Redding composition, “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” in a 1977 recording for Goldwax, and William Bell offers “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)” in a 1967 Stax rendition.  You’ll also hear performances from soul royalty like Judy Clay, Maxine Brown, Irma Thomas, Percy Sledge, Arthur Conley, and Lou Rawls, and Kent has gone the extra mile (as usual!) with the inclusion of three previously unreleased tracks: Mitty Collier’s “I’m Missing You,” as recorded for Chess, Conley’s “A Year, A Month and a Day” from the Atco vaults, and Take 2 of Redding’s own Volt recording of “Loving By the Pound.”  Otis Redding is well remembered today for his scorching soul vocals, but Hard to Handle is a reminder of the man’s titanic gifts as a songwriter whose compositions were supremely adaptable in the pop, soul, funk and R&B idioms.  Indeed, some songs here were never recorded by Otis, so here’s a chance that shouldn’t be passed up to check them all out.

Another long-running series is continued with the third volume of King Northern Soul.  Volume Two arrived in 2001, but producer Ady Croasdell has located another 24 rare tracks from the vaults of the company that James Brown called home.  These tracks date from 1962-1973 and feature some of King’s brightest performers along with those on associated labels DeLuxe, Federal and Hollywood.  Naturally, Brown and his associated acts are represented in various capacities on the 24-track disc; JB co-wrote Charles Spurling’s “That’s My Zone (He’s Pickin’ On),” and The Brownettes’ “Baby, Don’t You Know.”  Marva Whitney is heard on Hank Ballard’s “Unwind Yourself,” and Ballard himself is represented with Rudy (“Good Lovin’”) Clark’s “I’m Just a Fool (and Everybody Knows)” produced by Steve Venet for Screen Gems but released on King!  Stax favorite “Packy” Axton appears via L.H. and the Memphis Sounds’ “Out of Control,” the Memphis Sounds being Packy’s group and L.H. being one L.H. White.  Billy Cox, of Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys, accompanies Hal Hardy on 1967’s “House of Broken Hearts.”  These funky and incredibly rare Northern Soul floor-fillers have been annotated by Croasdell for this volume, which will surely leave you wanting more!

After the jump: we go Boppin’ by the Bayou, and have track listings and order links for all three titles!

The Ace label proper launches a new series with the first volume of Boppin’ by the Bayou, collecting 28 examples of N’awlins rock-and-roll that has been categorized as rockabilly, swamp pop and Cajun bop.  Whatever you call it, though, it’s all flavored with that unmatched Louisiana style.  The series will draw on many of the small independent labels of the 1950s and will soon be joined by a companion series, Bluesin’ by the Bayou, with jump blues and R&B-style material.  For the inaugural volume, Ace has teamed with the family of J.D. Miller (owner of labels including Fais-Do-Do and Feature) to premiere unreleased material including Al Ferrier’s “Indian Rock and Roll,” Arnold Broussard’s “Some Other Time,” Tommy Todd’s “I Got a Great Big Love” and “I’ll Be There,” Nathan Abshire and the Pine Grove Boys’ “That’s All Right, Mama” and Johnny Jano’s “I’d Make a Good Man for You.”  Also making debuts are alternates of Warren Storm’s “Kansas City,” Wiley Barkdull and Rusty & Doug’s “Rattlesnake,” Rocket Morgan’s “Tag Along” (all from the Zynn label) and Jivin’ Gene’s Goldband Records recording of “I’m in Love with You.”  This rare material doesn’t come around every day, and compiler/producer Ian Saddler has provided liner notes with information on each largely-unknown artist who played a small but still worthwhile role in the early days of rock-and-roll.

All three of these soulful new releases are available now, can be ordered at the links below!

Various Artists, Boppin’ by the Bayou (Ace CDCHD 1345, 2012 – U.S. / U.K.)

  1. Tag Along – Tommy Todd  (Zynn 501, 1958)
  2. Kiss Me Baby – Al Ferrier (Rocko 502, 1959)
  3. She’s Mine – Johnny Jano (Flyright LP FLY 531, 1977)
  4. Linda Gail – Rod Bernard and the Twisters (Carl, no number, 1957)
  5. Laura Lee – Gil Giroy and the Jolly Rockers (Moon 3, 1959)
  6. My Need for Love – Jivin’ Gene and the Jokers (Jin 116, 1959)
  7. Watch My Smoke – Vince Anthony and the Blue Notes (Hilton 0004, 1959)
  8. Too High Class – Bonnie Fussell and the Jives (Hammond 104, 1959)
  9. Indian Rock ‘n’ Roll – Al Ferrier (previously unreleased)
  10. Wild Man Rock – Hunter Watts and his Southern Pals (Hammond 103, 1959)
  11. Keep Your Hands Off It – Lawrence Walker and his Wandering Aces (Khourys 624, 1953)
  12. That’s All Right Mama – Nathan Abshire and The Pine Grove Boys (previously unreleased)
  13. Feel So Good – Bill and Carroll and the Neches Valley Boys (Goldband GCL 107, 1984)
  14. Some Other Time – Arnold Broussard (previously unreleased)
  15. Just You Wait and See – Ronnie Bennett (Jin 501x, 1960)
  16. All Night in Jail – Rod Bernard and the Twisters (Carl, no number, 1958)
  17. Kansas City – Warren Storm (alternate of Zinn 1019, previously unreleased)
  18. Don’t Say No – Nathan and the Sparks (Swallow 104, 1959)
  19. I Got a Great Big Love – Tommy Todd (previously unreleased)
  20. Big Cloud (Part I) – Jay Chevalier and the Long shots (Speedy 1005, 1961)
  21. Release Me – Rocket Morgan (previously unreleased)
  22. Rattlesnake – Wiley Barkdull with Rusty and Doug (alternate of Flyright FLY 571, previously unreleased)
  23. I’d Make a Good Man for You – Johnny Jano (previously unreleased)
  24. I’m in Love with You – Jivin’ Gene (previously unreleased)
  25. Little Bitty Mama – Rod Bernard and the Twisters (Carl, no number, 1957)
  26. I’ll Be There – Tommy Todd (previously unreleased)
  27. Boogie Children/Walking with Frankie – The Playboys (Jewel 737, 1964)
  28. Tag Along – Rocket Morgan (alternate of Zynn 507, previously unreleased)

Various Artists, Hard to Handle: Black America Sings Otis Redding (Ace CDCHD 1352, 2012 – U.S. / U.K.)

  1. These Arms of Mine – Albert Washington and the Kings (Fraternity 1002, 1968)
  2. Sister Pitiful – Judy Clay (Atlantic 2669, 1969)
  3. I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) – William Bell (Stax LP S-719, 1967)
  4. Baby Cakes – Maxine Brown (Wand, 1967 – issued Kent LP 047, 1985)
  5. Think About It – King Floyd (Chimneyville 446, 1973)
  6. Shout Bamalama – Mickey Murray (SSS International 715, 1967)
  7. Security – Irma Thomas (Chess, 1968- issued 1990)
  8. I’ve Got Dreams to Remember – Percy Sledge (Sky Ranch/Virgin CD 7243 839 8712, 1995)
  9. Give Away None of My Love – Buddy Miles (Mercury 73261, 1971)
  10. I’m Missing You – Mitty Collier (previously unreleased, rec. 1969 for Chess)
  11. I Can’t Turn You Loose – James Carr (Goldwax LP GW-3002, 1977)
  12. Chained and Bound – Bettye Swann (Capitol LP ST-270, 1969)
  13. Just One More Day – Clarence Carter (ABC LP ABCD-896, 1975)
  14. Wholesale Love – Arthur Conley (Atco LP SD 33-215, 1967)
  15. Hawg for You – Tina Britt (Mini 32082, 1969)
  16. Loving by the Pound (Take 2) – Otis Redding (previously unreleased Volt recording)
  17. Hard to Handle – Patti Drew (Capitol 2339, 1968)
  18. A Year, a Month and a Day- Arthur Conley (previously unreleased Atco recording)
  19. Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song) – Lou Rawls (Capitol LP ST-215, 1968)
  20. Monkey on My Back – Jackie Hairston (Atco 6484, 1967)
  21. Keep Pushing Me – James and Bobby Purify (1966 Bell recording, first released in 2009 on Sundazed CD KS-SC 11096, 2009)
  22. Good to Me – Donald Height (Shout 223, 1967)
  23. Respect – Aretha Franklin (Atlantic 2403, 1967)
  24. (Sittin’ on the) Dock of the Bay – The Staple Singers (Stax 0031, 1969)
  25. I Got the Will – Etta James (Island CD 422842625-2, 1988)

Various Artists, King Northern Soul Volume 3 (Kent CD KEND 381, 2012 – U.S. / U.K.)

  1. That’s My Zone (He’s Pickin’ On) – Charles Spurling (King 6195, 1968)
  2. Unwind Yourself – Marva Whitney (King 6146, 1968)
  3. Do You Love Me – Dave & Vee (DeLuxe 107, 1969)
  4. Right Now – Mill Evans (King 6084, 1967)
  5. Searching for Your Love – Robert Moore (Hollywood 1134, 1968)
  6. You’ve Got to Prove It – Dan Brantley (Federal 12556, 1970)
  7. Out of Control – L.H. and the Memphis Sounds (Hollywood 1122, 1968)
  8. Who’s Got a Woman Like Mine – Willie Hatcher (King 6360, 1971)
  9. Popcorn Charlie – Charles Spurling (King 6267, 1969)
  10. Name in Lights – Freddie Williams (Hollywood 1114, 1967)
  11. Tearin’ Down My Mind – Toni Williams (DeLuxe 110, 1969)
  12. Please, Johnny, Don’t You Take My Life – James Duncan (Federal 12561, 1971)
  13. Something You Didn’t Done – Mike Williams (King 6067, 1967)
  14. Baby, Don’t You Know – The Brownettes (King 6153, 1968)
  15. Thunder – Lord Thunder (DeLuxe 106, 1969)
  16. Our Meeting – The President’s Band (DeLuxe 134, 1970)
  17. I’m Just a Fool (And Everybody Knows) – Hank Ballard (King 6001, 1965)
  18. When We Get Together – Otis Williams and His Charms (King 5682, 1962)
  19. Until Again My Love – Little Willie John (King 5628, 1962)
  20. Keep On Loving Me – Oscar Toney, Jr. (King 6108, 1967)
  21. House of Broken Hearts – Hal Hardy with the Billy Cox Band (Hollywood 1116, 1967)
  22. You Have My Blessings – Mary Johnson (Federal 12506, 1963)
  23. Mama’s Baby – Royal Flush (DeLuxe 151, 1973)
  24. It Hurts Me – William Patton (King 6116, 1967)

Written by Joe Marchese

November 20, 2012 at 09:55

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