Wednesday, 30 October 2013

"Last Night A Soul Song Changed My Life" (Pt. 2)

"Last Night A Soul Song Changed My Life"

Tell us one song which turned you on and changed your life...

(Southern Soulspinners, Los Angeles CA)
Dimas III Clown - You've Succeeded
In my long journey through the world of record collecting, many records have left an impact on my life but none have touched my heart more than "You've Succeeded" by the late Dimas Garza. It was this recording that put me on a search for Dimas, other Chicano soul singers and eventually led to the book "Chicano Soul". Two years separated our first meeting and his death. A retired carpet layer and a humble man, Garza was living a simple life in San Antonio, Texas when I met him. I convinced him to come to Southern California to perform. The love and respect that he received from his California fans was overwhelming. When the book project was finally finished I was able to get his music into EMP's "American Sabor" exhibit in Seattle, and the Smithsonian Institute exhibit in Austin. Dimas passed away too soon but he was given one last chance to see that the music that was born in his heart would live on through his records. The idea that we as record collectors are able to help give forgotten artists the recognition they deserve really made this vinyl junkie a lot more aware of our responsibilities to the artists and their creations.

(Timmion Records, The Soul Investigators, Helsinki)
Lee Moses - (Reach Out) I'll Be There
I was underage and somehow got into this bar in Helsinki where I heard the DJ play Lee Moses' "(Reach Out) I'll Be There". It was amazing! I'd never heard anything like that. The very next day my friends and I decided to start a band which would sound like that song. Sometime later I was lucky to find a copy of the single in a local record shop for a few bucks. It was one of the first funk 45s I ever bought.

(The Hook Up, Memphis TN)
Parliament - Red Hot Mama
Memphis, where I grew up, is (was) a place where soul music and its practitioners were ubiquitous. However when I was a kid, I didn't understand the impact of neither the music nor the musicians. To me Al Green was just that guy that played at Memphis in May Party at the river, Rufus Thomas was the funny old dude that was in those Ronco macaroni commercials and "Green Onions" wasn't a genius piece of instrumental music, it was merely the bumper music for the local morning talk show. I didn't get it. I was more interested in going to the mall to get that new Slayer LP or hoping I could find a copy of Blue Cheer's "Vincebus Eruptum" at the used record store. Then in '91 or '92 a buddy of mine played me a compilation of early Parliament tracks. There was a song on it called "Red Hot Mama". Eddie Hazel's riff was the gnarliest, fuzziest and toughest thing I had ever heard, but, it had those R&B back-up singers. It was FUNKY; I didn't know I liked funky. It blew my mind. It opened the doors to becoming a soul junkie. It was my gateway drug. That's why it means so much to me.

(The vinyl Don at
Al Kent - The Way You've Been Acting Lately
In 1969, as a music curious 16 year-old, a 20 year-old local MOD invited me to go to the BRIT CLUB Nottingham, mainly because he fancied my girlfriend but he said I'd like the music. Already into Soul and Motown I eagerly awaited my first experience of the Big City club. The queue was long; it ran the full length of those rickety wooden stairs. Whilst crushed and waiting to get to the top I heard for the first time in my life Al Kent's "The Way You've Been Acting Lately". Not even inside the club and the sound of Ric-Tic was changing my life, steering me on a course of seeking more USA Soul that sounded anything like this. Next week I had secured ownership of Al Kent: Ric-Tic #123 from Nottingham's legendary Select-A-Disc Record Shop Soul Cellar, along with J.J. Barnes' "Please Let Me In". I was hooked, spending most of the rest of my life eagerly trawling through vinyl.

(Owner / Operator / Organizer at Good Records, NYC)
Syl Johnson - I'm Talkin' 'Bout Freedom
Today I'd have to say I"m Talkin' 'Bout Freedom" by Syl Johnson. The groove is super heavy, a deep blues. The lyrics talk about Johnson's desire for the most basic rights, contrasting with birds in the sky or fish in the sea. It always gives me chills and reminds me of the constant struggle that so many in our society face. Tomorrow it will probably be something different.

(Breakaway Records, Austin TX)
Aaron Neville - Tell It Like It Is / Lee Williams - I Love You More
I remember the first soul song that changed my life: "Tell It Like It Is" by Aaron Neville. I was maybe 8. There have been many since. The last night that a soul song changed my life was not last night, but was not that long ago. "I Love You More" by Lee Williams and The Cymbals was the most recent to do a real number on me. Although I've now had it for months (and love it more!), the story I most associate with it is from last week. I drunkenly spun it (and unabashedly flailed/sang along in a corner of the stage) as a closer to a long night of dancing. At the next month's event, a girl from the previous show came up and said she was blown away by how into it I was and that she had become obsessed with it and couldn't stop listening to it via a Youtube clip. So to customize: apparently, a few nights ago, a soul song I played changed someone else's life. Good stuff.

Taken from issue #2 of the Soultearoa Shakedown fanzine. Read the full issue here.
Part One of 'A Soul Song Changed My Life' here

No comments:

Post a Comment