Ray Lewis - Sugar Toe (1971, ATCO)

Though I’m ambivalent about using the pet name “Sugar toe” for a lover in my own life, this track really expresses the intended sentiment well. His vocal performance is really great. Good tune. SUGAR TOOOOOOEEEEEEE

900 plays

The Rotations - (Put Another Dime On) D-9 (Frantic, 1965)

Someone mentioned the darker thematic and musical leanings of this blog, so in an effort to “cheer it up,” I present to you this infectious groove by The Rotations. A really well-written and arranged song, in my opinion.

Also, if you missed it, a little weekend gift. Taking down Monday.

981 plays

This song is a relevant response to the Ferguson, Mo. tragedies. It was written nearly 50 years ago. Makes you think about how much has changed and how much has stayed exactly the same.



Johnny King & The Fatback Band - Peace, Love And Not War (BC Project II, 1968) (Found on this KENT comp)

Some NYC “Street Funk” produced by Bill Curtis, who had a successful career as a producer, arranger and performer.  This track features the original guitarist on vocals, Johnny King.

2,017 plays

Della Humphrey - Don’t Make The Good Girls Go Bad (Arctic Record Company, 1968)

I fell in love with this song tonight, it’s just gorgeous. Della recorded it when she was in the 8th grade! Long Play Miami wrote a fantastic biography about Humphrey that really makes you think about the scope of a singer whose contributions are largely overlooked by mainstream soul music history. Her style reminds me of another great Miami soulstress Helene Smith, whom I adore. 

1,173 plays

Bill Brandon - I Am Free From Your Love (Moonsong, 1972)

A followup to yesterday’s post from this great soul singer. We’re talking about freedom today people, as tomorrow is our Independence Day here in the USA. Have a good one and if you live in California, for the love freedom don’t start a fire, we’re in a crazy drought and you wouldn’t want to be responsible for that.

Bonus: Hear THE man Syl Johnson Talkin’ About Freedom. And Joe Tex, who just wants to be free.


1,495 plays

Bill Brandon - It’s All Wrong, It’s All Right (Moonsong, 1973)

Brandon adds exceptional emotional intensity to this lush and brooding ballad. Produced by the very talented Sam Dees who I’ve posted to OSM before.

From his bio over at Sir Shambling’s Deep Soul Heaven:

Since leaving the music business in 1987 Brandon has earnt a living as a long distance truck driver, and has no regrets over his career choices. My only regret is that the only people who hear him sing these days are the other members of the congregation of his church in Harvest, Alabama.

1,239 plays

You guys have probably heard about the recent passing of soul great Bobby Womack. My man JT over at The Soul Shack dedicated his program on KUSP to his work. Enjoy.

355 plays

Aaron Neville - How Could I Help But Love You (Minit, 1963)

A really hip piece by a youthful Neville. It took a while for his unique voice-break melismata to grow on me, but I think it really did, oddly enough, when I heard his version of the George Jones’ classic country heartbreaker The Grand Tour.

1,475 plays

Nancy Dupree (& Rochester NY Youngsters) - Cold (1969, Folkways)

This great article tells Dupree’s story better than I ever could:

Nancy Dupree was an exuberant educator whose career in education was cut prematurely short because of her radical methods. She was also a poet, an outspoken activist, a playwright, an actress, a musician, an insomniac, a Christian-to-Muslim convert, a Black Panther and a loving mother. She lived in Rochester, NY for the last 16 years of her life and left an indelible stamp on the community. The impression she left was so deep that now, 28 years after her death, many of her friends and students still remember her character with crystalline clarity. READ THE FULL STORY.

This track appears on the album “Ghetto Reality,” a record that’s really endearing and poignant. It’s as essential as it gets; Dupree, a piano, and some children singing. Spotify link.  Link to liner notes.

1,145 plays