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(january 12th, 2000)
|A still sealed copy
of the ultra rare promo LP Stax A-11 "Stay In School"
has been recently found on auction at www.ebay.com . The bids reached $ 359.95
without meeting the minimum price set by the seller!
This LP has 12 tracks by Stax artists, including two unissued tracks (at the time) by Otis Redding and Sam & Dave with special announcements and a discussion, recorded live in the Stax studio with the Stax artists and staff about the necessity for young black people to stay in school in order to get a job.
There are also some unplayed pre-68 45s, recently found in a warehouse, on sale at ebay. Worth a look.
(december 30th, 1999)
|THE ALABAMA MUSIC HALL OF
FAME PRESENTS THE MUSCLE SHOALS RHYTHM SECTION
Limited Edition CD, numbered and autographed. - $20 + p&p
The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section played on many post 68 Stax records, including the Staple Singers, Mel & Tim, Luther Ingram, etc... This limited edition CD demonstrates the great skill of David Hood (bass), Barry Beckett (keyboards), Roger Hawkins (drums) and Jimmy Johnson (guitar) as instrumentalists, with further help from Pete Carr, Mickey Buckins, Lenny LeBlanc (guitar) and Randy McCormick (keyboards). The horns are Charles Rose, Harrison Calloway, Ronny Eades and Harvey Thompson. Some tracks, such as "3614 Jam" are pure Booker T. & The MG's style tracks.
This CD can be ordered through the Alabama Hall Of Fame web site at www.alamhof.org
(december 4th, 1999)
A Portrait Is Forever
Wilbe Records - $19.95
Wilbe Productions, Inc. / 5436 Riverdale Road, Ste. 105, GA 30349 USA
Order and Real Audio Clip (Like A Man) at www.williambell.com
(october 24th, 1999)
MELVIN VAN PEEBLES
The Melvin Van Peebles Collection
2SCD-88040-2 ~ $16.98
Renaissance man Melvin Van Peebles revolutionized African-American cinema with the release in 1971 of his decidedly off-the-wall Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song. The soundtrack album is equally radical, featuring Van Peebles's often-dissonant jazz-flavored funk tunes sung by himself with a very young Earth, Wind & Fire, along with dialogue from the film and bits of homegrown gospel music. Gospel is at the stylistic core of much of 1972's somewhat more traditional Don't Play Us Cheap, a Broadway production spotlighting the thrilling voices of onetime Ikette Joshie Jo Armstead and legendary gospel quartet basso George (Ooppee) McCurn. This collection finally brings to compact disc these two cornerstones of Van Peebles's rich artistic legacy.
DISC 1--Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song: Sweetback Losing His Cherry ,Sweetback Getting It Uptight and Preaching It So Hard the Bourgeois Reggin Angels in Heaven Turn Around, Come on Feet Do Your Thing, Sweetback's Theme, Hoppin' John, Mojo Woman, Sanra Z, Reggins Hanging On in There as Best They Can, Won't Bleed Me, The Man Tries Running His Usual Game But Sweetback's Jones Is So Strong He Wastes the Hounds (Yeah! Yeah! And Besides That Will Be Coming Back Takin' Names & Collecting Dues)
DISC 2--Don't Play Us Cheap: You Cut Up the Clothes in the Closet of My Dreams, Break That Party and Opening, The Eight Day Week, Saturday Night, The Bowsers Thing, The Book of Life, Quittin' Time, Ain't Love Grand, I'm a Bad Character, Know Your Business, Feast on Me, Ain't Love Grand, Break That Party, Someday It Seems That It Just Don't Even Pay to Get Out of Bed, Quartet, The Phoney Game, It Makes No Difference, Bad Character Bossa Nova, Quartet, The Washington's Thing, (If You See a Devil) Smash Him
(october 6th, 1999)
VARIOUS: LET'S CROSSOVER AGAIN - ACE RECORDS CDKEND 174
SOMEBODY'S TRYING TO RIDE PIGGY BACK (DAVID PORTER)/ PUT ME IN THE MOOD (ART JERRY MILLER) / SEEING IS BELIEVING (LV JOHNSON) / ASK THE LONELY (BARBARA LEWIS) / I'LL DO ANYTHING FOR YOUR LOVE (WILLIAM BELL) / (I'M GETTING) CLOSER TO YOU (CARLA THOMAS) / THAT'S ALL (EDDIE FLOYD) / SUGAR DADDY (BETTY CRUTCHER) / LOVE TRANSFUSION (LITTLE MILTON) / CITY OF FOOLS (COLETTE KELLY) / DON'T MAKE ME A STORYTELLER (STEVE MANCHA) / GUILTY OF LOVING YOU (VEDA BROWN) / THE EXIT (THE NEWCOMERS) / SOMETIMES STORM (THE FIESTAS) / I REFUSE TO BE LONELY (THE STINGERS) / THAT'S WHY I LOVE YOU (THE TEMPREES) / IT'S UNBELIEVABLE (HOW YOU CONTROL MY SOUL) (JEANNE AND THE DARLINGS) / PLEASE LET ME IN (JOHNNIE TAYLOR) / I'VE DONE IT AGAIN (THE CHARMELLS) / SINCE YOU CAME ALONG (JUDY CLAY) / PLAY THE MUSIC TORONADOS (T.S.U. TORONADOS) / THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER WOMAN (JOHN EDWARDS) / AIN'T NO NEED OF CRYING (RANCE ALLEN GROUP) / NINE TIMES OUT OF TEN (CYNTHIA & THE IMAGINATIONS)
Some reissued and some unissued titles, all post may 68. Not a single "blue" Stax track on this CD, unfortunately.
- THE FILM
(august 21st, 1999)
WATTSTAX is a stirring chronicle of the all-black benefit concert sponsored by Stax records and the Schlitz Brewing Company, that was held at the LA Coliseum for the community of Watts, California, in the summer of 1972. Featuring performances by Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, and others, the film also devotes an equal amount of time to candid interviews with residents of Watts discussing racial issues, as well as some hilarious monologues by Richard Pryor.
The film begins with a montage set to The Dramatics singing "What You See Is What You Get," which includes footage of the 1965 ghetto riots in Watts, resident interviews, street scenes, and a Richard Pryor monologue about how LA cops keep "accidentally" shooting black people. Before the concert begins, Rev. Jesse Jackson leads the crowd in a recitation of the National Black Litany: "I Am Somebody," intercut with footage of Martin Luther King delivering a speech. Shots of numerous Watts churches are shown during a performance of the gospel standard "Old Time Religion," while some men discuss their feelings about what it means to be black in America. During a set by The Staple Singers, which includes "Respect Yourself," shots of the festive crowd (among whom are actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee), are intercut with scenes of students at black high schools. The concert continues with performances by Bar Kays ("Son of Shaft"); a rousing rendition of "Funky Chicken" by Rufus Thomas; and Luther Ingram doing "If Lovin' You Is Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right." As night falls, Isaac Hayes is ushered onto the stage with a police escort and sings "God Is on Our Side," and the concert concludes with a reprise of "I Am Somebody."
WATTSTAX is not so much a pure concert movie as it is a socio-political document with music, and a celebration of the Black Power movement in the wake of the 1965 Watts riots. That it succeeds as both cinema and sociology is due more to the music and the importance of the racial issues being explored, than to Mel Stuart's routine and unfocused direction. Although technically competent, thanks to concert staging by Melvin Van Peebles, and a topnotch crew of cinematographers, including John Alonzo (CHINATOWN) and Larry Clark (KIDS), the directorial approach seems confused and vaguely condescending. Stuart, most widely known for directing WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (1971), began his career making documentaries, including the Oscar-nominated FOUR DAYS IN NOVEMBER (1964), but brings no particular insight or empathy to the subject matter of black pride and empowerment, choosing instead to concentrate on demeaning crowd shots of wiggling behinds and wildly dancing, half-dressed women, as well as the outrageous fashions and demeanor of the various performers.
The film is saved, however, by the raw power of the performances, and especially, Richard Pryor's bitterly funny observations, profanely touching on such topics as black relationships with the police; how black power handshakes keep changing; whether "black" or "colored" is the preferred term; and poking fun at black men's macho attitudes (including his own). The "rap-session" interviews with angry denizens of Watts, (which, incredibly, include Ted Lange--who would later play the less-than-radical Isaac on "The Love Boat") are also fascinating, covering attitudes towards white society and vice versa; black-on-black violence; feelings towards white women; what to do when you have the blues; and the pros and cons of "natural." The performers themselves are all hugely enjoyable, particularly The Staple Singers and Rufus Thomas, although Isaac Hayes's heroic entrance turns out to be anti-climactic, as his original songs-- "Shaft" and "Soulsville"--had to be removed after MGM successfully sued Columbia over retaining exclusive film rights to those numbers, and they were replaced by an uninspired version of "God Is on Our Side." It's also amusing to see a young, Afro-wearing Jesse Jackson, even if he is spouting the same rhyming rhetoric as always (e.g., "Don't say burn, baby, burn...but learn, baby, learn.") All in all, WATTSTAX is not up to the level of the best concert movies, but as a record of some of the major black musicians of the time, and of the connection between music, black culture, and the emerging black consciousness, it's a resonant and evocative historical time capsule. (Extreme profanity.)
Country of origin: U.S. , Genre: Documentary, Color or b/w: Color, Production Co(s).: Stax Films / Wolper Pictures, Released By: Columbia, MPAA rating: R, Parental rating: Objectionable for children, Running time: 102 mn.
Richard Pryor, Rev. Jesse Jackson, The Dramatics, The Staple Singers, Kim Weston, Jimmy Jones, Rance Allen Group, The Emotions, William Bell, Louise McCord, Debra Manning, Eric Mercury, Freddy Robinson, Lee Sain, Ernie Hines, Little Sonny, Newcomers, Eddie Floyd, Temprees, Frederick Knight, Bar Kays, Albert King, Little Milton, Johnnie Taylor, Mel & Tim, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Luther Ingram, Isaac Hayes.
Producer: Larry Shaw, Mel Stuart. Exec. Producer: Al Bell, David L. Wolper. Assoc. Producer: Forest Hamilton. Director: Mel Stuart. Cinematographer: Roderick Young, Robert Marks, Jose Mignone, Larry Clark, John Alonzo, David Blewitt, Robert Grant, Hal Grier, Roy Lewis, Howard Morehead, Joe Walcotts. Editor: Robert K. Lambert, David Newhouse, David Blewitt. Sound: Richard Wells.
THE BASEMENT MAGAZINE
(august 20th, 1999)
The magazine 'In
The Basement' is published quarterly and its main aim is to cover
soul music from the sixties and seventies, without ignoring both
artists from that period still making music today and newer
artists whose material remains true to the core 'feel' of soul
music (as opposed to what would seem to be incorrectly labelled
as 'soul' nowadays) which, in America, now appears more usually
tagged 'blues' - Johnnie Taylor, Etta James, for example.
The latest A4 64-page issue - #15 (August-October 1999) - includes five news pages (in which there are details of the Luther Ingram Benefit Concert), six pages of reader feedback (including charts) and soul book reviews, eighteen pages of features (including Patti Austin, ARTHUR CONLEY, Cindy Scott and Z.Z. Hill), twenty-two pages of cd reviews featuring all the latest new and reissued items - and not forgetting a three page vinyl spotlight.
details, e-mail to David Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW STAX/FANTASY CDs
(august 17th, 1999)
with Stevie Ray Vaughan
Stax SCD-7501-2 ~ $16.98
In Session is the only known recording of Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan performing together. Its long-overdue commercial release stands as a fitting tribute to the genius of two of the greatest musicians ever to have played the blues on electric guitar.
Albert King--electric guitar, vocal
Stevie Ray Vaughan--electric guitar, vocal (on 3 only)
Tony Llorens--piano, organ
1) Call It Stormy Monday; 2) "Old Times"; 3) Pride and Joy; 4) Ask Me No Questions; 5) "Pep Talk"; 6) Blues at Sunrise; 7) "Turn It Over" 8) Overall Junction; 9) Match Box Blues; 10) "Who Is Stevie?"; 11) Don't Lie to Me
Original recordings produced by Ian Anderson, Produced for release by Bill Belmont, Recorded at CHCH Studios, Hamilton, Ontario; December 6, 1983.
Talking to The People
Stax SCD-8602-2 ~ $11.98
Along with George Clinton's Parliament/Funkadelic, Black Nasty was among the first crop of self-contained funk bands to emerge from Detroit's vibrant R&B scene.
Talking to the
People, I Must Be in Love, Nasty Soul, Getting Funky Round Here,
Black Nasty Boogie, Were Doin Our Thing, I Have No
Choice, Its Not the World, Rushin Sea, Booger the
Audrey Matthews, Terrance Ellis, Jackie Cosper, Thomas Carter, Mark Patterson, Artwell Matthews Jr.
(july 25th, 1999)
For the Real Feeling
Stax SCD-4126-2 ~ $11.98
1974 recording of "Woman to Woman" was the last major
hit for Stax Records; the Memphis company went bankrupt little
over a year later. After purchasing the Stax catalog in 1977,
Fantasy Records opened new Stax offices in Memphis under the
direction of legendary Stax songwriter-producer David Porter.
Brown was re-signed to the label, with this 1979 David Porter/Lester
Snellproduced disc being among the highlights of the new
Stax. Long unavailable, the album features the West Memphisborn
singer applying her soaring church-hewn tones to a set of driving
dance tunes and emotion-gripping ballads with the real soul
feeling for which she is famous.
When, Where, and What Time; Crowding in On My Mind, After a Night Like This, Dirty Feelin, Hang on Louie, Eyes Cant See, Move Me--Move Me, Love Starved
with Lester Snell, Jr., Carl Marsh, Donald OConner, Jimmy McGhee, Michael Toles, Ray Griffin, Blair Cunningham, Terry Johnson, Walter Person, Jr., Michael Beard, The Memphis Horns, The Memphis Symphony; Hot, Buttered & Soul; Linda Jones, Romell Greenlee, William C. Brown III, The Newcomers
Walk Right In
Stax SCD-8603-2 ~ $11.98
Because only 500 copies were pressed, legendary Memphis banjo picker and singer Gus Cannon's 1963 album for Stax Records has been heard--let along seen--by very few record collectors, making it among the rarest of all blues LPs. The Mississippi-born musician was 79 years old at the time of this recording, made shortly after a Greenwich Village folk trio called the Rooftop Singers took "Walk Right In"--a catchy Cannon composition first cut by Cannon's Jug Stompers for Victor Records in 1930--to the top of the pop charts. Cannon reprised "Walk Right In" and 11 other raggy numbers for Stax from his vast repertoire, along with some fascinating, humor-laced reminiscences. Will Shade, Cannon's one-time rival in the jug-band business, is the jug blower, and Milton Roby supplies rural rhythms on washboard.
Issued initially as Stax LP 702, includes : Narration ; Kill It ; Walk Right In ; Salty Dog ; Going Around The Mountain ; Ol' Hen ; Gonna Raise A Ruckus Tonight ; Ain't Gonna Rain No More ; Boll-Weevil ; Come On Down To My House ; Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor ; Get Up In The Morning Soon ; Crawdad Hole.
with Will Shade, Milton Roby
Note : There were no less than two LPs numbered Stax 702, Gus Cannon's and the compilation "Treasured Hits From The South", mixing Stax and Sun artists. According to Rob Bowman, Gus Cannon was already aged 78 years when he did this record at the Stax studio. It seems that he was living in the neighbourhood and that's why this record was issued. Although not in the usual Stax style, it will add class to your collection.
Order at www.fantasyjazz.com
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INDEX -- NEWS -- INFOS -- STAX TODAY -- FOCUS -- ADS -- LISTS -- LINKS -- PHOTOS -- CONTACT