Amoeblog

Killer Soul Collection Hits Amoeba.com

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 29, 2011 09:20am | Post a Comment

An amazing batch of 7"s just hit Amoeba.com. With an emphasis on northern soul, this collection features obscure artists such as Fatback Brother Bill Curtis and Ila Van, along with well-knowns such as Gloria Jones, Ike & Tina Turner, and Big Maybelle. Collectors of Roulette Records will find a nice grip on rarities. There are also 45s on Sue, Revue, VJ, and many small and private press labels.  Also scattered in are doo wop, rockabilly, and funk collectibles.

Here is just a sampling of some of the goodies you can find for sale on Amoeba.com:

Janice 7"
Janice
I Thank You Kindly / I Need You Like A Baby (7")
Roulette Records
$100
Buy now

The B Side Live Waves Bye Bye

Posted by Whitmore, May 18, 2010 08:48pm | Post a Comment

Ok, so Alyssa Milano wasn’t tweeting back and our resident rock-star-who-we-can’t-name was too busy doing rock star things elsewhere to be in attendance, but there was a tall, thin gentleman looking a helluva lot like my former conspirator in the Amoeba Hollywood 45 room, son of Texas, Brently Heilbron, in the audience eating pretzels and keeping his distance from the enormous 77 pound chocolate cake which was parallel parked alongside the couch so that the large live studio audience -- triple the regular crowd size, which explains why security showed up -- could dance and binge on food and booze, all to celebrate the end of season one of Eguiders.com’s webcast The B Side Live.
 
The B Side Live is a webcast tailor-made for record geeks whodella Reese have a taste for blathering, dusty singles, top shelf whisky, terrible green-screen effects and who don’t mind waves of pandemonium and chaos. The theme for this week’s episode was cover-songs. Some of the 7 inch records slapped on the turntable included Della Reese’s absolutely perfect version of the Sinatra standard “It Was a Very Good Year” (1966), Big Maybelle’s “96 Tears” (1967), Brothers and Sisters featuring Merry Clayton doing Bob Dylan’s “The Mighty Quinn,” Joey Covington’s (the future drummer for the Jefferson Starship) garagey version of The Who’s “Boris the Spider” (1967) and the show stopper of the evening, from 1969, Wilson Pickett’s incredible, wickedly possessed, mind blowing single version summerof “Hey Joe” -- featuring Duane Allman’s nervously ecstatic guitar lines, plus of course tracks from the likes of Tina Turner, Sharon Jones, Jimmy Smith, Otis Clay, Nina Simone, the Mighty Tom Cats, the sly vocal gymnastics of the late, great, Peter Sellers and many more.
 
After a summer hiatus, The B Side Live will return, optimistically rested and tanned and with a whole new stack of great seven inch classics. Hopefully we will have found a secret thriftstore Shangri-La, laden with vinyl dubloons or hit big in Vegas, “seven come eleven, baby needs new northern soul,” or we will have won epic battles on eBay against all deep pocketed comers, and even if my taste for such a good life leads me down the road from champagne to whiskey, from whiskey to wine, and from wine to sterno and denatured alcohol. It is simply the price you pay to play good records, so be it...

The Vinyl Confidential, 3.4 – The Odd Order of Oblong Boxes

Posted by Whitmore, April 12, 2010 05:29pm | Post a Comment
"All I saw was the seven inch record lying there on the floor under the vibrating glare of the florescent lights, split in half like a fortune cookie, except this platter’s fortune would read doom and troubled kismet; “you’ve seen better days,” it’d say.
 
Pissed, I flopped around the room like a huge puppet entangled in strings, cursing, spitting guttural yaps till my own ears grew tired of the clamor. I had wheeled my office chair across the small hovel of a room, felt the rear end mysteriously fishtail, looked down and there it was, splattered across the speckled black and blue tile, long gouges furrowed into the vinyl, Ruby Andrews'Just Loving You” sadistically dismembered. A few minutes earlier she had been lapping curves on the turntable, how was I supposed to know she was spinning on stolen time? Her love had been so good to me ...
 
I thought about every other goddamned record I would’ve loved to have snapped in half. This was a pitiful shame. The urge to apologize to all the DJ’s in all the clubs who would crap their knickers for a chance to spin her crept into my brain. How do you explain the mangled demise of such a rare and expensive beautiful thing? The stink of stupidity hung around me like some cheap truckstop aftershave.
 
I let the record lie there for a while as I priced some inexpensive pop vocal records. And just before heading home for the day, as I shut the computer down, the stereo, clicking off the lights, I finally tossed the halves into the bin. Again her melody spun in my head over and over in a dizzying parade of nostalgia. And as I slammed the office door shut, I thought I heard a thin voice say, "Thanks, for listening, mister."

Remembering Tammi Terrell, Who Died 40 Years Ago Today

Posted by Whitmore, March 16, 2010 08:11pm | Post a Comment
Tammi Terrell
40 years ago today
, Thomasina Winifred Montgomery, better known as Tammi Terrell, died of a brain tumor just a month short of her 25th birthday. She was one of that incredible crop of 1960’s soul diva’s who knew how to seduce or belt out a song. Today she is best remembered for her Motown duets with Marvin Gaye with singles like “Ain't No Mountain High Enough”, “Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing”, “Your Precious Love” and “You're All I Need to Get By.”
 
Born in Philadelphia in 1945, as a teenager Tammi Terrell recorded for the Scepter/Wand label, releasing two solo discs under the name Tammy Montgomery. Both singles released in 1961, “If You See Bill,” and “Voice of Experience,” failed to chart. At about the same time, she also did session work doing backup vocals for the legendary Shirelles. In 1963 she was discovered by James Brown and joined his Revue. While under contract with Brown, Tammi released one single on his Try Me label, “I Cried.” At the time it was rumored that Terrell and Brown were romantically involved, Tammi Terrellsomething that didn’t quite fly with her parents, leading to her quick departure; she was replaced by Anna King. Next she signed with Checker Records' label, releasing one single, “If I Would Marry You.” Unfortunately her string of unsuccessful releases continued. In 1965 she signed with Motown, Barry Gordy changed her name to Tammi Terrell, and there she finally scored a couple of Top 30 singles on the R&B charts with 1966’s "I Can't Believe You Love Me" and "Come on and See Me." But it was when she was paired up with Marvin Gaye in 1967 that success finally came, fast and furious, with five top three R&B charting singles in just over a year. But all her success was short lived. On October 14, 1967, while in concert at Ogden Hall at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia, she collapsed on stage in Gaye's arms. She was rushed to the hospital, where she was later diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. She had complained of severe migraine headaches for some time.
 Tammi Terrell
For years now stories have circulated that Tammi was the victim of a physically abusive boyfriend who had not only thrown her down a flight of stairs, but had also hit her over the head with a steel chair. But no actual allegations were ever proved. Terrell would undergo eight separate operations over the next three years for cancer; suffering from memory loss, numbness and weakness, blindness, she become far too sick to work. Eventually she was confined to a wheelchair and her weight dropped to under 85 lbs.
 
Tammi Terrell died on March 16th, 1970. She’s buried in Mount Lawn Cemetery in Philadelphia.
 
Marvin Gaye was devastated by her death. He took a long hiatus from live performances. And in his period of self-isolation, amidst his depression he re-evaluated his whole concept of what music might say. The result was the classic 1971 album What's Going On, a meditative, low key work which dealt, in part, with Tammi Terrell's death and issues of the world around him -- injustice, suffering and hatred.



Junior McCants

Posted by Whitmore, February 22, 2009 01:08pm | Post a Comment
Last weekend I found myself babbling on about rare 45’s at a dinner party. I couldn’t shut-up, though I think someone other than myself was listening ... Anyway, the subject -- as to be expected in these hard economic times -- was what is the most valuable record waiting to be rescued from someone’s garage. It’s not an easy answer; there are a lot of hoaxes and misinformation on valuable vinyl out there try me for your new love by junior mccantsin the serious record collecting world. I blame the recent rise of tantalizing yarns on bored muckrakers and conspiracy theorists having outgrown tall tales of Area 51, JFK, the Masons, and the New World Order as a viable entertainment option. Now they have moved on to Ebay auctions and hobbyists.
 
More often than not, a record which exchanges hands for an astronomical amount of cash sits in the genre known as Northern Soul, a style best described as a mid-tempo to slightly uptempo heavy-beat soul music that was danced to in Discothèques in Northern England from the early 1960’s till about the early to mid 70’s. Many of the recordings were heavily influenced by the Tamla/Motown sound and, if not exactly rare, these 45’s are at least hard to track down. Most of these singles were originally released in limited numbers on smaller labels in the US. Finding their way to UK nightclubs was nothing short of a miracle and usually required luck, perseverance and a round trip ticket to Detroit or Chicago. Clubs like the Twisted Wheel in Manchester, King Mojo in Sheffield, The Catacombs in Wolverhampton and the Golden Torch in Stoke-upon-Trent would go till the wee hours of morn, dancers and DJ’s hopped-up on amphetamines acrobatically cutting the rug in a mad, unhinged style that in some respects resembled later day break dancing.
 
Last October on Ebay, one of those never seen, legendary, Holy Grail of Northern Soul singles came up for auction -- Junior McCants' "Try Me For Your New Love" / "She Wrote It, I Read It" on King Records #6106 -- and went for an astounding ... wait... wait ... you’d better sit down for this ... $15,099.
 
That is not a typo, the bidding started at a very humble $9.99 but after 25 bids the price went Fibonacci-like. Most reasonable and fearful people are very suspicious of the authenticity of such a final bid. But if it’s true ... holy mother of friggin’ god!
 
I could find very little info on Junior McCants other than that he was from Cincinnati and he usually sang in a falsetto. This was his follow-up single to another great King release #6076; "The Boy Needs a Girl / Help My Love” from 1967 which failed to chart but did receive regional air play. On the liner notes to a Kent CD collection called King Northern Soul, it states that McCants died of a brain tumor at the age of 24. But I’ve also read that Junior McCants died in a motorcycle accident when he and King staff songwriter/producer/arranger Charles Spurling went out riding. According to the back story "Try Me for Your New Love" was pulled, in respect for McCants family’s wishes. Only a couple of white label promos saw the light of day, obviously at least one survived.
 
Inevitably another part of the “how much can a 45 be worth!?” question is always “what does an expensive record sound like?” This time I tried not to come off typically jaded and blasé at the dinner party with the usual reply: “not all that interesting.” The fact is, these McCants records are really pretty great, and besides, my New Year’s resolution was to reduce my cynicism --- actually reduce, reuse, recycle my cynicism ... I’ll save it for another day.
 
So here it is ... what 15 grand sounds like! So pop a couple of bennies, throw on your brogues or your black suede loafers and now groove to the left...


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