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Entries in R&B (11)


Strivin' & 45'n | The A's & B's of Funk, Soul, & R&B | July 21st @ Japp's

Join us this Friday at Japp's Since 1879 for the second edition of Strivin’ & 45'n, an all 7" vinyl affair. I'll be playing timeless funk, soul, and R&B sides from my stash for a party unlike any other in the neighborhood. Roll through anytime starting at 9pm and help keep the party popping and hissing all night long.


Chuck Bradford - "You're Going To Miss Me When I'm Gone / Say It Was A Dream" (Fire, 1961)

I've posted a Fire Records single before... I want to say I picked a half dozen or so of their 45's all at one time? While their releases aren't especially collectible, the 45's still make for solid one-off blues additions to my single collection. 

This Chuck Bradford 7" released on Fire Records features "You're Going to Miss Me When I'm Gone" and "Say It Was a Dream". While I wasn't able to track down ANY information on Chuck Bradford, I can hear that his sound, at least on these two sides, is raw and delightfully unpolished. The a-side is a rousing blues rocker that features a spirited saxophone accompaniment. "Say it Was a Dream" is a sauntering blues cut with a piano pairing. Somehow, this record has found itself classified as a Northern Soul on past eBay sales and descriptions, but it sounds too blues-y to my ears to fit that bill. 

While not much info is out there on the artist Chuck Bradford, I have stumbled across the name of Fire Records head man Bobby Robinson a handful of times. It's pretty staggering just how many labels, eras and sounds he was behind as producer and label owner. Bobby Robinson touched everything from doo-wop to hip hop and was the mastermind behind the labels of Red Robin Records (1952), Whirlin' Disc Records (1956), Fury Records (1957), Everlast Records (1957), Fire Records (1959), and ultimately Enjoy Records (1962). What a legacy to leave behind! 

Listen to both sides of this mighty Chuck Bradford 7" single below.


The Icemen - "Sugar Baby / Only Time Will Tell" (Samar, 1966)

I found this 45 by The Icemen a while back and I've been enjoying it ever since. Released on Samar, both sides of this single offer strong examples of

Click to read more ...


Bobby Marchan - "What You Don't Know Don't Hurt You / I Need Some One" (Fire Records, 1961)

Here's a solid 45 by Bobby Marchan released on Fire Records in 1961. “What You Don't Know Don't Hurt You / I Need Some One” follows the prototypical single format with the A-side taking a more upbeat approach and the B-side slowing things down a bit. There are some valuable life lessons and hard truths to be gleaned from “What You Don't Know Don't Hurt You”. Listen to both below...

I wasn't too familiar with Bobby Marchan or his output, but after spending the last couple of hours reading up on his career and history (here and here), my interest is beyond piqued. With origins in Youngstown, Ohio, Oscar James Gibson adopted the stage name Bobby Marchan and began performing in local drag clubs in the '40s. After starting the Powder Box Revue, a troupe of 6 drag performers, Bobby took his show on the road before settling in New Orleans when the Crescent City embraced his act. There he linked up with Huey “Piano” Smith and became the stage leader and vocal arranger for Huey “Piano” Smith and The Clowns. Performing as both a man and a woman (Loberta) during his shows, this mix of drag, comedy, R&B, and early rock 'n roll, combined with his seasoned command of the crowd, must have been an entertaining spectacle.

What I find most amazing about Marchan's story is how it highlights the hidden history of drag performance and influential aspects of gay culture in American music. Little Richard is still around, and is perhaps one of the last of his kind from a period that needs their story told and proper immortalization. I for one would be interested to learn more. Feel free to hit me up or comment below if you have additional sources or stories from this unsung and mysterious era.


Earl Van Dyke and The Soul Brothers - That Motown Sound Lp

Earl Van Dyke was a keyboardist, bandleader, and stalwart member of Motown’s fabled backing band, the Funk Brothers. This album, aptly titled That Motown Sound, is comprised of "instrumental versions of the hits made famous by" Motown artists and songwriters. All these songs are amazing and it’s cool to hear each of them so raw and exposed without vocals. Earl Van Dyke takes the lead on the cuts supplying keyboard riffs and melodies in place of the familiar vocal parts. I was pretty amped to find this record in such great condition. When a record is this good, and almost fifty years old, it’s safe to assume a natural patina and wear and tear has taken hold. As you can hear, on both sides of the platter, this particular copy has held on strong and still sounds minty fresh.

Enjoy the tunes!

Earl Van Dyke - That Motown Sound (Motown, 1965)

Side 1

  1. Nowhere to Run
  2. Come See About Me
  3. You're a Wonderful One
  4. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)
  5. My Girl
  6. All for You

Side 2

  1. Too Many Fish In The Sea
  2. Try It Baby
  3. The Way You Do The Things You Do
  4. Can I Get A Witness
  5. Can You Jerk Like Me
  6. Money (That's What I Want)