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Entries in Chicago Gangsters (2)


New Digs | Early October

Despite my focus on 7-inch singles as of late, I've still managed to dig up a few choice Lp's to round out my more recent hauls. Some long time wants and a couple unexpected treasures make for some pretty interesting acquisitions. Here's what's kept my new arrivals been interesting as of late. Dig it!


James Brown - Sho Is Funky Down Here (King, 1971)

Sly And The Family Stone - Life (Epic, 1968)

Funk Inc. - Chicken Lickin' (Prestige, 1972)

Curtis Mayfield - Curtis In Chicago (Curtom, 1973)

Pretty Purdie - Soul Drums (Date, 1968)

Buster Williams - Pinnacle (Muse, 1975)

Roy Ayers - Coffy (Polydor, 1973)

Chicago Gangsters - Gangster Love (Gold Plate, 1976)

Marvin Gaye - That Stubborn Kinda Fellow (Tamla, 1962)


New Digs | Mid July 2015

I'm hitting a whole new gear. Even growing up in Kentucky, I could never get in to country music. Especially anything released in the last couple decades. It always sounds too trite to my ears. I always gravitated toward hard rock, soul, and rap, pretty much ANYTHING but country music. There have always been a couple exceptions. Who doesn't like a little Johnny Cash? Who doesn’t love Wanda Jackson? But even with them, their output is so vast, I've never really moved too far past their Greatest Hits packages. My tastes have evolved and I've been considering a foray into country music. I think the biggest issue I've had up to now is where do I begin? My approach is going to be simple. Take chances, allow one album or artist to tip you to another, and follow the trail to the good stuff. It's worked before. Hope my wallet can keep up...

Here's some of my recent haul... It's not ALL country ;)


Gangsters - Heat 1 (Heat, 1981)

Here's a cool disco boogie album from the artists formerly known as the Chicago Gangsters. These instrumentals bang! However, there are times throughout this album that the vocals suffer from being too repetitious... A familiar disco-era gripe!


Los Bravos - Black Is Black (Press Records, 1966)

Bought this Lp on a whim. The self-titled cut instantly sounded familiar as a garage rock classic. Los Bravos was a very American sounding Spanish pop-rock group from the mid to late 60's that found a little more success overseas in England. Some of the other numbers on this album are pretty strong, with my favorite cut being the R&B inspired "Don't Be Left Out In The Cold".


The Whitefield Brothers - In The Raw (Soul Fire, 2001)

This is a personal favorite album of mine, and I was very pleased to finally land a pressing in its original Soul Fire format. This is one of the records that tipped me to the modern funk revival.


Johnny Smith - Plays Jimmy Van Heusen (Royal Roost, 1963)

This is real cool classical jazz guitar album. I recently saw a super minty pressing in a shop recently, but it was well out of my price range. Ebay saved the day for me on this one, as I was able to land one pretty cheap. Very soothing and nuanced guitar work sits atop minimal bass accompaniment and sparse drums. I wish this copy didn't have so much background noise, but it'll do for now. Click here for a taste.


Donald Byrd & Booker Little - The Third World (TCB Records, 19??)

This is a cool Latin tinged jazz-bop album by Donald Byrd and Booker Little. Although a little Internet sleuthing reveals that the original pressing of the record was released under a different title and billed as a jazz percussion compilation titled The Soul of Jazz Percussion. How much Donald Byrd and Booker Little played together is a bit gray. But the record is still a festive listen. Check the Beatnuts sampled number "Wee Tina" for a sneak peek of what's in store if you stumble across this gem in your travels.


Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers - S/T (Gordy, 1968)

Here's a nice soul record that I don't see very often. The opening cut "Does Your Mama Know About Me" was the standout single, but I'm feeling the cut "Malinda" most. This album is a welcome addition to the Motown stacks.


Webb Pierce - Hideaway Heart (Decca, 1962)

Not sure how my strategy worked, but in buying these country records so blindly, I figured it safe to look for ones that looked the oldest. When I looked up information about Webb Pierce, I learned that while he never exactly WAS the top dog of country, he sure balled out the hardest. In Webb's later years he became known for his lavish lifestyle, over the top outfits, and silver dollar lined automobiles that helped define his larger than life persona.


George Jones & Gene Pitney - It's Country Time Again! (Musicor, 1966)

Here's a solid mid-60's Lp from old school honky tonkin' legend George Jones and the upstart Gene Pitney. Apparently, my country grab bag luckily yielded some Honky Tonk heavyweights! This is my favorite Lp of the country lot and some of the standards even sound familiar to my ear.


Johnny Paycheck - Country Soul (Little Darlin', 1967)

I picked up this Country Soul in hopes it would live up to it's title and be a sonic bridge between soul and country - and it does! Ohio born and bred, Johnny Paycheck rose to more prominence with his 1977 blue-collar anthem "Take This Job And Shove It", but through the 60's Johnny was a legit honky-tonk torchbearer. His voice is one of a kind and he gets bonus points for having a rapper name!