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Topic: Wow! Check this History out

  1. Feb 6, 2006 09:18am by NRG - livin the art that is life ! www.64111clinic.com fam www.nrginmotion.com massage www.myspace.com/nrginmotion world community Location: havenhouse KCK/ 64111 Clinic 4 Life
    [size=9:0bfd7dc817]nrgnote: [u:0bfd7dc817][b:0bfd7dc817]read this series from the bottom up meaning part 1 is last.[/b:0bfd7dc817][/u:0bfd7dc817] the last instillation is by Oliver Wang writer and owner of this and other blogs on blogger. enjoy as I have. there are so many treasures to be discovered peace[/size:0bfd7dc817] find the original here: http://www.o-dub.com/soulsides/2006_01_01_archive.html THE FAME GANG: MUSCLE SHOALS BONUS ROUND The Fame Gang: Soul Feud + Grits N' Gravy From 7" (Fame, 1969) I wanted to add an addendum to the excellent series of posts that Charles Hughes put together for us (come back any time!). As Charles alluded to in one of the comments sections, Fame Studios went through a few distinctive eras of rhythm sections: the one that became most famous was the 2nd incarnation - they were the ones who, for example, worked on Aretha Franklin's debut Atlantic album (and were at the center of the drama that went down between Fame, Atlantic, Aretha and her then-husband/manager Ted White). After the fall-out, almost all of the rhythm section left Fame to go found Muscle Shoals Studios across the street. When Rich Hall rebuilt the rhythm section, the 3rd incarnation became known as The Fame Gang that that included a scorching Junior Lowe on guitar (he was the lone stay-over from the last Fame section) and Clayton Ivey slapping it down on organ. It says a lot about how deep talent was out in Alabama that Fame could lose most its studio staff and then rebuild just as good as ever. It's also notable that the Fame Gang was far more integrated; 5 of the 8 new members were Black unlike the previous generation which was all white. The Fame Gang, besides playing back-up, also released their own single and album: what you got here a really nice double-sided instrumental funk cooker. I have a hard time choosing between the two of 'em - "Soul Feud" is a hard-driving funky blues tune, complete with some mean interplay between harmonica and guitar - reminds me very much of something that Harvey Fuqua or Charles Wright might have produced. Meanwhile, "Grits and Gravy" is a more uptempo funk cooker - slick instrumental that shares much in common with some of Kool and the Gang's early jams. Like I said, a great double-sided 7". (It's just too bad their LP wasn't anywhere near this good.) posted by Oliver @ 11:38 PM Comments (4) | Trackback (0) ARTHUR ALEXANDER + EDDIE HINTON: HARD LUCK GUYS Arthur Alexander: You Better Move On From You Better Move On (Dot, 1962). Also on Greatest Hits. Eddie Hinton: Hard Luck Guy From Hard Luck Guy (Capricorn, 1998) (Ed.: This is the third in a three part series by Charles Hughes on the legacy of Muscle Shoals in soul music. --O.W.) The Muscle Shoals Sound, Pt. 3, by Charles Hughes Both Eddie Hinton and Arthur Alexander were great songwriters, crafting of soul songs that cut as deeply as those of any of their contemporaries. But I didn't put them here simply for that, although both cuts are self-penned. Eddie Hinton was also a great guitar player, playing on sessions from the Staple Singers (it's Hinton, not Pops Staples, playing the guitar solo on "I'll Take You There," despite Mavis' cries of "Daddy") to Aretha Franklin. But that's not why he's here either. No, I chose these two songs by these two artists to end these entries on Muscle Shoals because of the fact that both Arthur Alexander and Eddie Hinton were great singers, but not as we would perhaps expect. Arthur Alexander, a tall and graceful black man who worked as a bellhop before his recording fame and drove a bus after the glory faded, loved country music, and the twangy singing of George Jones, Hank Williams and others. (Alexander was anything but alone in this, as nearly every Southern soul singer expressed their appreciation for country music.) His vocal performances are gentle evocations of country emotionalism that have ostensibly little to do with the preaching, pleading or shouting styles normally associated with soul music. Eddie Hinton, on the other hand, was another Alabama white boy with a fierce love for black music. Hinton, whose best recordings (including "Hard Luck Guy") were only issued after his death, adored Otis Redding, and applied Redding's intense vocal style to his own, creating music that was no less "soul deep" than any of his African-American counterparts. The white boy singing Otis Redding, like the black man doing George Jones, speaks to the deep interracial paradoxes of Southern soul music, specifically in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Both Hinton and Alexander have stories that end tragically, as both men suffered a lot and died before their time. But neither man's music disappeared when they did. In fact, at least for me, this music defines something very important about the way we think about race, culture and American history. There's a whole lot more I could say, but Alexander and Hinton - like all this week's artists - can say it better than I ever could. posted by Oliver @ 12:42 AM Comments (15) | Trackback (0) Tuesday, January 10, 2006 JAMES AND BOBBY PURIFY, SWEET INSPIRATIONS, ARETHA FRANKLIN: THE SHOALS' SONGWRITERS PT. 2 James/Bobby Purify: I'm Your Puppet From S/T (Bell, 1967). Also on Shake a Tail Feather. The Sweet Inspirations: Sweet Inspiration From S/T (Atlantic, 1967). Also on Girls Got Soul. Aretha Franklin: Do Right Woman, Do Right Man From I Never Loved a Man The Way I Love You (Atlantic, 1967) (Ed.: This is the second in a three part series by Charles Hughes on the legacy of Muscle Shoals in soul music. --O.W.) The Muscle Shoals Sound, Pt. 2, by Charles Hughes No other songwriters symbolize the interracial exchange in Muscle Shoals soul like Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham, two true individuals who, over the course of a decade-long success streak, wrote literally dozens of classic R&B, pop and even country songs. Both men grew up in rural Alabama, listening (like most Southern soul veterans) to country, R&B and gospel. Penn, in particular, became a nearly trans-racial figure, rejecting white music to such a degree that his band (which featured many future Muscle Shoals session players) was banned from some white-only venues because they drew too many black fans. (Many consider Penn, unrecorded in his prime, to be the best blue-eyed soul singer they ever heard.) Like most of the Shoals' white songwriters and musicians, Penn cherished (sometimes imperfectly) the opportunity to work with black musicians in such a highly creative context. Combining Penn's passion and eccentricity with Oldham's quieter brilliance (and supple keyboard playing) resulted in handfuls of classics. Some of them not included above: "Dark End Of The Street," "It Tears Me Up," "Out Of Left Field" and "You Left The Water Runnin'." Penn and Oldham continue to write and record to this day, and I can't recommend their performances and recordings highly enough. I love Penn and Oldham's writing for several reasons. First, and most important of course, is the simple fact that it's uniformly excellent; they have a tremendous gift to capture emotions simply and effectively. Then there's the fact that two white country boys from Alabama are responsible for writing so many great Southern soul songs. Also, Penn/Oldham's sheer versatility marks them, and the three tracks I chose to single out speak to that, deep soul hewn from pop ("I'm Your Puppet"), gospel ("Sweet Inspiration") and country ("Do Right Woman"). It is this versatility, and the resulting mixture, that defines much of Muscle Shoals soul. posted by Oliver @ 12:49 AM Comments (17) | Trackback (0) Sunday, January 08, 2006 STAPLE SINGERS, WILSON PICKETT, JIMMY CLIFF: WELCOME TO THE SHOALS PT. 1 Staple Singers: I'll Take You There From Be Altitude: Respect Yourself (Stax, 1971) Wilson Pickett: Land of a Thousand Dances From The Exciting Wilson Pickett (Atlantic, 1966) Jimmy Cliff: Sitting In Limbo From The Harder They Come (Mango, 1972) (Ed.: Charles Hughes is a graduate student at the University of Wisonsin-Madison, where he studies with Craig Werner (author of ""A Change Is Gonna Come"). Hughes studies interracialism in Southern soul music which makes him the ideal person to break down the history and legacy of Muscle Shoals. This is the first in a three part series by him. --O.W.) The Muscle Shoals Sound, Pt. 1, by Charles Hughes Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is perhaps the last great center of soul music to not be extensively chronicled in books, films and museums. Not only did "The Shoals," with its various studios and runs of success, produce as many hits and classics as better-known soul capitals like Motown and Memphis, but the music produced in this tiny area of rural Alabama crossed racial, genre and cultural lines in a fashion that has rarely, if ever, been duplicated in American music. Apart from all the pop, rock and country hits produced at Fame Studios, Muscle Shoals Sound and the others, the scene's contribution to soul music, specifically, is fascinating in the way that it demonstrates interracial exchange in the creation of music that was soulful, funky, and very conscious, even celebratory, of its blackness. White rhythm sections combined with integrated horn sections to play on songs by primarly white songwriters sung by black artists, for sale primarily to black audiences (by white-owned record companies.) While it's tempting to call this the same old appropriation/exploitation tragedy that has long plagued white appreciation of black culture, a deeper examination of soul from the Shoals reveals that to be far too simplistic a view. Over the course of this week, I'll offer three pieces of evidence, framed around 8 of (in my view) the best recordings made by this weird and wonderful group of musicians, who damn near created new ways to talk about race and music, and did it at the height of the Civil Rights/Black Power Movements, in the heart of Dixie. The artists who recorded in Muscle Shoals read like a Southern-soul honor roll: Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Joe Tex, Staple Singers, Percy Sledge and many, many more made some of their best and most popular records there. While I don't mean to diminish the significance of any of these legends, and their accompanying genius, I hold that any discussion of the interracial paradox in Muscle Shoals soul should start with arguably the greatest of the several studio bands that provided the literal foundations for most of the music the scene produced. The Muscle Shoals Sound (Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins, Eddie Hinton, David Hood, Jimmy Johnson, Spooner Oldham) helped launch Fame Studios into the stratosphere of success, then split for financial reasons to form their own studio, also called Muscle Shoals Sound. These three cuts capture the all-white MSS at the height of their powers, and each song demonstrates the ease at which these Alabama white boys sank into the deepest, funkiest grooves of late-1960s black music. The Pickett track is full-roar R&B, and both the Staples and Jimmy Cliff are reggae-gospel blends that are thoroughly convincing, the Staples so much so that Paul Simon asked label head Jerry Wexler who the Jamaicans were playing on the record. Slipping out of what race was supposed to mean for musical expression, the Muscle Shoals Sound shows just how deep and complicated this story is.\