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Get Righteous! Label Serves Up Dick Dale, Jimmy Smith, Northern Soul

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Dancing By MyselfCherry Red’s Righteous label celebrates “aching country, forgotten soul music and other strange exotica…from George Jones to Hank Snow’s immortal ‘When Tragedy Struck’ to the roots of Dylan’s twisted songwriting inspiration…” Three of the label’s recent titles aren’t too exotic, but certainly are righteous. Dancing by Myself: Lost in Northern Soul collects 26 obscure R&B floor-fillers, primarily from independent labels; The Search for Surf chronicles the formative years of the surf-music craze with 26 songs from Dick Dale and others; and That Jimmy Smith Sound spotlights the jazz organist, as well as the musicians who influenced him, over a 13-song program.

Mojo contributor Dave Henderson opines in his liner notes for Dancing by Myself: Lost in Northern Soul that “the formula for northern soul is never set in stone and the perfect 45 can arrive from anywhere.” This compilation sets out to prove Henderson’s point with alternately raucous and mellow soul gems from the likes of The Five Royales, Joe Stubbs (brother of The Four Tops’ Levi Stubbs), Don and Juan, The Vibrations, and Lou Johnson.  The late journalist Dave Godin is credited with coining the phrase “northern soul,” which he used to describe music in the mid-1960s soul vein preferred by enthusiasts in the northern part of England. Godin told Mojo in 2002 that he had first devised the term in 1968, to help employees at his Soul City record shop differentiate the rapidly-proliferating funk style of R&B from the smoother, Motown-influenced soul of just a few years earlier. (In The Soul Stylists, renowned DJ Ady Croasdell described the prototypical Northern Soul song as The Four Tops’ “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” although the song was too mainstream to achieve much popularity in the Northern Soul scene.) The movement championed lesser-known tracks over big hits, and it soon spread, with clubs popping up throughout the north and midlands of England.

Dancing by Myself keeps the tradition alive with diverse tracks that might fit a northern soul playlist from the genre’s earliest years including The Knockouts’ barroom interpretation of the sizzling “Fever,” Tommy Navarro and The Sundialers’ down-and-dirty, uptempo take on the Gershwins’ and DuBose Heyward’s Porgy and Bess aria “Summertime,” and Lou Johnson’s classy uptown soul record “If I Never Get to Love You” from the pens of Bacharach and David. One nifty rarity is Don McKenzie’s “Whose Heart (Are You Gonna Break Now)” written by Smokey Robinson pal Mickey Stevenson and featuring The Supremes on backing vocals, from Berry Gordy’s Miracle imprint. Joe Stubbs’ “Keep on Loving Me” and Mark Rice’s “Baby I’m Coming Home” emanated from Detroit, too, on the Lu-Pine label.  Lu-Pine, of course, released the first Supremes records when the girls were still known as The Primettes. All tracks here date from the period between 1958 and 1962 and, like the tracks on all three of these new releases, have been issued in accordance with current U.K. public domain laws.

After the jump: details on The Search for Surf and That Jimmy Smith Sound, plus track listings and order links for all three titles!

TThe Search for Surfhe Search for Surf explores the roots of surf music in the years 1959-1962. Long before punk, surf rock quenched a desire for a primal, DIY sound. Though many of the genre’s practitioners lacked musical sophistication, almost all let loose with the reverb-drenched, energetic instrumentals featuring rippling and twangy guitars, booming drums and distinctive bass, often plus honking saxophone or moody organ. The surf sound brought California to the masses, and images of sunshine, hot rods and woodies.  The Search for Surf includes eight tracks from Dick Dale, considered The King of the Surf Guitar. Dale pioneered the use of reverberation and amplification, and his interest in eastern scales and styles influenced the birth of surf rock. His 1962 recording of the Eastern Mediterranean folk song “Misirlou,” included here in both its original version and twist version (!), scored Dale a hit and introduced the western world to what’s now a surf staple. The Search for Surf finds room for a number of other hits, too, such as The Bel-Airs’ “Mr. Moto” and The Chantays’ “Pipeline,” though not Dale’s “Let’s Go Trippin’” which is usually credited with igniting the genre on a nationwide level. Other tracks come from such colorfully-named bands as The Routers (“Let’s Go (Pony)”), The Tornadoes (“Bustin’ Surfboards”) and The Mar-Kets (“Surfer’s Stomp”). The latter group – led by Michael Z. Gordon and featuring the session vets of Los Angeles’ Wrecking Crew – scored three Top 40 hits as The Marketts and had a long recording career.

The late, Pennsylvania-born jazzman Jimmy Smith played a major role in popularizing the sound of the Hammond B-3 electric organ, which he famously used on a number of successful records that blurred the lines between pure jazz and soul. Championed early in his career by Blue Note Records’ Alfred Lion, Smith recorded roughly 40 sessions for the venerable label beginning in 1956 before switching over to Verve in 1962. Equally comfortable with R&B, hard bop, blues, swing, and even Fats Waller-style stride, Smith’s versatile command of his instrument influenced a legion of organists in rock, soul and jazz.

That Jimmy Smith SoundRighteous’ That Jimmy Smith Sound explores the development of Smith’s distinctive B-3 style through recordings by his inspirations, contemporaries and even followers. Before signing to Blue Note, young Smith replaced “Wild” Bill Davis in The Don Gardner Trio. And so Righteous presents the Trio’s “Sonotone Bounce,” followed by Davis’ own Hammond-flecked “Bring the Money In.” Another organist for whom Smith professed respect, Bill Doggett, is heard on “Glo’ Glug.” The standard “Body and Soul” is included here four times: first from the virtuoso pianist Errol Garner – an inspiration to all keyboardists who followed him – then from saxophonists Coleman Hawkins and Don Byas, and lastly from Smith himself. The inclusion of the sax recordings isn’t a stretch, as Smith often said he based his sound on that of the horns. The disc then samples a couple more of “The Incredible” Jimmy Smith’s tracks as a leader (“The Sermon” and “Back at the Chicken Shack”) before concluding with music from those who expanded on the Hammond B-3 sound like Richard “Groove” Holmes, Jimmy McGriff and Brother Jack McDuff.

All three releases, available now from Righteous, include new liner notes from Dave Henderson, and all three have been remastered by Alan Wilson. Discographical annotation isn’t included with the discs, but we’ve attempted to fill in the gaps. You can peruse the track listings and order links below!

Various Artists, Dancing by Myself: Lost in Northern Soul (Righteous PSALM 23.75, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. The Five Royales – Catch That Teardrop (ABC-Paramount 45-10348, 1962)
  2. Joe Stubbs – Keep on Loving Me (Lu-Pine L-120, 1962)
  3. Don and Juan – What I Really Meant to Say (Big Top 45-3121, 1962)
  4. Buddy Ace – This Little Love of Mine (1960)
  5. The Fabulous Playboys – Honky Tonk Woman (Apollo 760-45, 1961)
  6. Mark Rice – Baby, I’m Coming Home (1961)
  7. The Knockouts – Fever (1960)
  8. Sylvia Hill – No More Heart (1962)
  9. Johnny Appalachian – Up in Smoke (Goldie 1104)
  10. Johnny Zamot and His Orchestra – Hey Mama (1960)
  11. Bobby Parker – Watch Your Step (V-Tone 223, 1961)
  12. Eskew Reeder – Green Door (Minit 648, 1962)
  13. Tommy Navarro and the Sundialers – Summertime (Urania LP US-5900, 1961)
  14. Cicero Blake – Don’t Do This to Me (Success S-108, 1962)
  15. Billy Gales – I’m Hurting (Shock 200, 1961)
  16. James Conwell – The Trouble with Girls of Today (4-J 511, 1961)
  17. Don McKenzie – Whose Heart (Are You Gonna Break Now) (Miracle 10, 1961)
  18. Lincoln Chase – Miss Orangutan (1960)
  19. The Vibrations – The Watusi (Checker LP 2978, 1961)
  20. Billy Bland – My Heart is on Fire (Old Town 1105, 1961)
  21. Jimmy Rogers – What Have I Done (1958)
  22. Justin Jones – Dance By Yourself (Flippin’ FL-309, 1958)
  23. Lou Johnson – If I Never Get to Love You (Big Top 45-3115, 1962)
  24. Juanita Nixon – Stop Knockin’ (King 45-5375, 1960)
  25. The Van Dellos – I Need You (Card 558, 1961)
  26. Sue Perrin – Put a Ring on My Finger (1962)

Various Artists, The Search for Surf (Righteous PSALM 23.76, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. The Scarlets – Stampede (Dot 45-16004, 1959)
  2. The Rockin Rs – Nameless (Tempus TR-1507, 1959)
  3. Dick Dale – Jessie Pearl (Deltone 45-5014, 1960)
  4. Don and the Galaxies – Avalanche (Fox Fidel F2, 1960)
  5. The Revels with Barbara Adkins – Church Key (Impact 1-IMX, 1960)
  6. Dick Dale and the Del-Tones – Del-Tone Rock (Deltone 45-5017, 1961)
  7. Dick Dale and the Del-Tones – Jungle Fever (Deltone 45-5018, 1961)
  8. Dick Dale and the Del-Tones – Shake ‘n’ Stomp (Deltone 45-5018, 1961)
  9. Rhet Stoller – Chariot (Decca UK F 13302, 1961)
  10. The Teen Beats featuring Don Rivers and the Califfs – Califf Boogie (Top Rank UK JAR 342, 1961)
  11. The Belairs – Mr. Moto (Arvee A-5034, 1961)
  12. The Carnations – Scorpion (Tilt 45-780, 1961)
  13. Jim Waller and the Deltas – Let’s Go Surfin’ (1961)
  14. Locos del Ritmo – Estroncio 90 (1961)
  15. The Tuffs and Kay Bell – Surfer’s Stomp (Dot 45-16304, 1961)
  16. Dick Dale and the Del-Tones – Misirlou (Deltone 45-5019, 1962)
  17. Dick Dale and the Del-Tones – Surf Beat (Deltone 45-5020, 1962)
  18. Angie and the Citations – Headache (Angela 102, 1962)
  19. The Gamblers – LSD 25 (World Pacific X-815, 1962)
  20. The Routers – Let’s Go (Pony) (Warner Bros. 5283, 1962)
  21. The Mar-Keys – Surfer’s Stomp (Union 45-TM-1, 1962)
  22. The Hollywood Tornadoes – The Gremmie Pt. 1 (Aertaun 101, 1962)
  23. The Tornadoes – Bustin’ Surfboards (Aertaun 100, 1962)
  24. The Chantays – Pipeline (Downey D-104, 1962)
  25. Dick Dale and the Del-Tones – Surfing Drums (Deltone LPM 1001, 1962)
  26. Dick Dale and the Del-Tones – Misirlou Twist (Deltone LPM 1001, 1962)

Various Artists, That Jimmy Smith Sound (Righteous PSALM 23.79, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. The Don Gardner Trio – Sonotone Bounce (Bruce 105, 1954)
  2. Wild Bill Davis Trio – Bring the Money In (OKeh 4-7021, 1954)
  3. Bill Doggett – Glo’ Glug (King 4548, 1952)
  4. Arnett Cobb – Arnett Blows for 1300 (Apollo 781, 1947)
  5. Billy Byers and His Orchestra featuring Coleman Hawkins – Body and Soul (RCA Victor LP LPM-1281, 1956)
  6. Don Byas – Body and Soul (possibly rec. 1941)
  7. Errol Garner – Body and Soul (Savoy 728, 1949)
  8. Jimmy Smith – Body and Soul (Blue Note BLP 1586, 1957)
  9. Jimmy Smith – Back at the Chicken Shack (Blue Note BLP 4117, 1957)
  10. Jimmy Smith – The Sermon (Blue Note BLP 4011, 1957)
  11. Jimmy McGriff – The Sermon (Sue LP 1012, 1962)
  12. Brother Jack McDuff with Kenny Burrell – He’s a Real Gone Guy (Prestige PR 45-232, 1962)
  13. Richard “Groove” Holmes – Hittin’ the Jug (Pacific Jazz PJ-32, 1961)

All discographical annotation is to the best of our knowledge only.

Written by Joe Marchese

June 17, 2014 at 10:29

2 Responses

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  1. ” to the roots of Dylan’s twisted songwriting inspiration.” And where is this promise fulfilled on this page?

    Kerry

    June 17, 2014 at 12:10


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