Amoeblog

AMOEBA SF HIP-HOP & SOUL SECTIONS WITH LUIS & DR. GOLDSTEIN

Posted by Billyjam, September 30, 2009 06:00am | Post a Comment

Last week, while visiting the San Francisco Amoeba Music store, standing in the hip-hop aisle gazing at its thousands upon thousands of vinyl and CD titles I found myself drooling in awe. The seemingly endless Amoeba Music San Franciscoselection is like an encyclopedia of hip-hop, which is what I mentioned to Luis (the store's hip-hop buyer), who offered to do a quick run-through video tour (above) of Amoeba SF's truly amazing hip-hop section for those who have not recently or ever visited the Haight Street store. This section offers the most comprehensive Bay Area rap selection (including tons of DVD titles) I have ever seen -- thanks in large part to Luis, who really knows and cares about the Bay's homegrown hip-hop flava.

One aisle over from hip-hop is the soul / r&b section and it is damn good, too, with an exhaustive selection of soul from the very latest back to the classics of bygone decades. In that section I ran into Dr. Goldstein of Free Gold Watch (the nearby Haight district store that makes some of Amoeba's T-shirts and was featured on the Amoeblog last week) and knowing his love for both soul and Amoeba I asked if he would do a quick run through tour of the Amoeba SF soul section. He obliged (video below) and made the very good point, especially in these MP3 happy days, about how when you buy a CD or record you are getting an artifact -- not to mention much higher quality audio.

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Midriff Men

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, September 1, 2009 09:40pm | Post a Comment
No muffin tops, but the farmer's daughter knotted shirt look was obviously once the rage amongst musical studs. Plenty of late summer looks to be found here-- plan now, as we're bound to have another couple of nasty heatwaves before the fall cool down.

alessi driftin' lp covertony joe white homeade ice cream lp coveremerson lake & palmer love beach lp cover
antix get up get happy lp covertrammps lp coverELO on the third day lp cover
full force lp coverjohn travolta lp coverisley brothers showdown lp cover
starbuck moonlight feels right lp coverjontahan richman i'm just beginning to live lp coverfame rock n roll world lp cover
fiebre de fito giron lp coverjuluka mus ukungilandela lp covermichael henderson in the nighttime lp cover
starcastle real to reel lp coverreo speedwagon nine lives lp cover
snakebyte lp coverconey hatch lp coverchico debarge talk to me 12" cover

THREE DEGREES SINGER FAYETTE PINKNEY DIES

Posted by Billyjam, July 6, 2009 03:30pm | Post a Comment
The Three Degrees perform "TSOP" and "Year of Decision" live on BBC (1975)

The music world lost yet another star recently when Fayette Pinkney of the Three Degrees died last The Three Degreesweekend in Lansdale, PA, a result of acute respiratory failure according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. She was only 61 years of age. Pinkney, who was an original member of the Philly soul trio, lent her powerful voice to the 1970s soul hits “When Will I See You Again?” (see video below) and “T.S.O.P. (The Sound of Philadelphia)” (aka the theme song of the TV show Soul Train).

The video clip above was recorded for the BBC in 1975 for a special that aired on the UK channel in July of that year. The above excerpt from that special includes the group performing the aforementioned Soul Train anthem, "TSOP," and also their first big UK hit, "Year of Decision."

When the Three Degrees first formed in the early 1960s Pinkney was still a student at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia. As a part of the Three Degrees she contributed to helping define "the Philadelphia sound." In their time the Three Degrees were considered by many to be a Philly version of the Supremes.
 


The Three Degrees "When Will I See You Again"

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...


Dee Dee Warwick 1945 - 2008

Posted by Whitmore, October 21, 2008 02:46pm | Post a Comment


Dee Dee Warwick,
whose classic northern soul single "Worth Every Tear I Cry" / "Lover’s Chant" can fetch upwards of 500 dollars or more, has died; she was 63. Dee Dee, who was the sister of singer Dionne Warwick, cousin of Whitney Houston, and niece to gospel singer Cissy Houston, passed away last Saturday in a nursing home in Essex County, New Jersey. She had been in failing health for several months.

Born on September 25, 1945 in Newark, New Jersey as Delia Mae Warrick, she got her start as a gospel singer. As a teenager in the 1950’s she sang with her older sister as The Gospelaires and later with the Drinkard Singers, a long-running gospel group managed by their mother. Before embarking on a solo career in the mid 1960's, Dee Dee sang back up for the likes of Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett. Eventually she signed a deal with the Mercury label where she enjoyed considerable R&B success with such hits as “I Want to be With You” and “Foolish Fool.” "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me," initially released by Warwick in 1966, was co-written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff and was later covered by Diana Ross & the Supremes and The Temptations.

Dee Dee Warwick was also twice nominated for a Grammy in the early 1970’s for "Foolish Fool" and "She Didn't Know" for the ATCO label. Earlier this year she was featured in the title track from her sister’s gospel album Why We Sing and toured with Dionne on her My Music and Me show throughout Europe. Below are a couple of Dee Dee's best cuts, "We're Doing Fine" and "Worth Every Tear I Cry."

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