Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #28

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Action Scene – Hawkshaw/Mansfield (KPM)
Los Bravos – Going Nowhere (Press)
Thors Hammer – Show Me You Like Me (Columbia)
Moody Blues – This Is My House (London)
The Herd – Understand Me (Fontana)
The Fortunes – Fire Brigade (UA)
Easybeats – Made My Bed Gonna Lie In It (UA)
Donovan – Museum (Epic)
Yardbirds – Little Games (Epic)
Yardbirds – Great Shakes Commercial

The Poor – She Got the Time (York)
The Poor – Come Back Baby (Decca)
The Poor – Feelin’ Down (Decca)
The Poor – Knowing You Knowing Me (York)
The Poor – My Mind Goes High (York)
The Collection – Tomorrow Is a Window (Hot Biscuit Disc Company)
The Collection – Both Sides Now (Hot Biscuit Disc Company)
Guild Light Gauge – Cloudy (We Make Rock’n’Roll Records)
Guild Light Gauge – 14th Annual Fun and Pleasure Fair (We Make Rock’n’Roll Records)
Crib and Ben – Emily (Decca)
Derek See – She Came This Way (Psychedelphonic)
Paul Revere and the Raiders – Louie Go Home (Columbia)
Paul Revere and the Raiders Greatest Hits Commercial

Eric Anderson – Violets of Dawn (Vanguard)
Fred Neil – The Other Side of This Life (Elektra)
Gordon Lightfoot – The Pride of Man (UA)
Ruthann Friedman – Fairy PrinceRainbow Man (Reprise)
Ruthann Friedman – Morning Becomes You (Reprise)
Ruthann Friedman – Piper’s Call (Reprise)
Claudine Longet – Jealous Guy/Don’t Let Me Down (Barnaby)
David McWilliams – The Days of Pearly Spencer (Kapp)
Hearts and Flowers – Please (Capitol)
JJ Cale – It’s a Go Go Place (Liberty)

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 28 – 185MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

I have some cool stuff for you this month, including a grip of freakbeat, the sounds of The Poor, a look at Eddie Simon’s brief recording career and some very groovy folky stuff .

I hope you dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

JJ Cale – It’s a Go Go Place

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JJ Cale

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Listen/Download – JJ Cale – It’s a Go Go Place

Greetings all.

I hope the new week finds you well.

Late last week, word came down that the great JJ Cale had slipped the surly bonds of earth at the age of 74.

Cale who is best known for other performer’s version of the songs he wrote, actually had a long and productive recording career of his own.

Though I never ventured too deeply into his catalog, his history was of endless interest to me because of his connection to the Tulsa Sound, and through that to one of my all-time favorites, Leon Russell.

The 1960s saw a serious migration from Oklahoma to Los Angeles, led by folks like Russell, Cale, Elvin Bishop and David Gates, as well as supporting players like Jesse Ed Davis, Carl Radle, Jim Keltner and Greg Dempsey.

As I mentioned, Cale’s songs are often better known that he was (especially considering how many people thought he and Welsh Velvet Underground member John Cale were one and the same), with classics like ‘After Midnight’ and ‘Cocaine’ (Eric Clapton), ‘Call Me the Breeze’ (Lynryd Skynyrd) the most famous.

Though he didn’t record his first LP until 1972, he had been recording 45s since 1958 (first, as Johnny Cale), including a trio of singles for Liberty in 1965 and 1966.

The tune I bring you today was the flip side of his first Liberty 45, the Roger Miller-esque novelty ‘Dick Tracy’.

‘It’s a Go Go Place’, co-written by Cale and Russell, and produced by Russell and Snuff Garrett, is a very groovy little ode to the Sunset Strip with a bluesy shuffle and a cool guitar solo (sounding a little like Albert Collins).

Cale’s vocal has that Oklahoma twang and I have to assume that Russell is playing on there somewhere.

The following year would see Cale record the original version of ‘After Midnight’ for Liberty.

Cale’s Liberty 45s are fairly hard to come by and I don’t know that they’ve ever been comped, so dig the sounds and I’ll see you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

The Spotlights – Batman and Robin b/w Dayflower

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The Caped Crusaders

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Lou Courtney, Leon Russell and Snuff Garrett

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Listen/Download – The Spotlights – Batman and Robin

Listen/Download – The Spotlights – Dayflower

Greetings all.

Welcome back to the Iron Leg experience.

I hope you all had a chance to download and listen to last week’s edition of the Iron Leg Radio Show. If not, pull down the ones and zeros and give it a listen. I think you’ll dig it.

The tune I have for you today is not only very groovy on its own sonic merits, but carries with it the traces of a very interesting back story.

When I was digging at the Allentown all-45 show a while back, I pulled ‘Batman and Robin’ out ofa box of mixed genre 45s, and due to my own fascination with 1966-era, pop art Batman and any musical manifestation thereof, I grabbed it.

It was only when I got home and took a closer look at the label that I realized that the disc might have a more interesting pedigree than I figured.

The writing of the song is credited to Leon Russell and Snuff Garrett (who were working together frequently in the mid-60s, most prominently on Gary Lewis and the Playboys stuff), but also to a certain ‘L. Pegues’.

Now, to most people that name will mean little to nothing, but to dedicated soul collectors like myself, it rings an especially interesting bell.

That is on account of the fact that Louis Pegues was the given name of soul giant Lou Courtney, who in addition to making a grip of amazing records under his assumed name, also worked extensively as a songwriter and producer.

He wrote songs (first with his composing partner Dennis Lambert) for acts like Freddie and the Dreamers, Leslie Gore and the Nashville Teens, and later (with Bob Bateman) wrote for soul artists like Mary Wells, Lorraine Ellison, the Webs and Henry Lumpkin (among many others).

Though I don’t know the specific circumstances of his artistic intersection with Leon Russell, my first instinct is to attribute it to Leon’s ubiquity in the studios of Los Angeles in the 1960s.

The tune, ‘Batman and Robin’ (released in 1966) is a first rate slice of garagey novelty with pounding piano and organ, comic-book specific lyrics and Leon (I’m pretty sure) on lead vocals.

The flipside is a very cool and extremely unusual instrumental called ‘Dayflower’, in which the band performs a mash-up of the Beatles ‘Day Tripper’ and the old bluegrass standard ‘Wildwood Flower’.

There was also a full LP by the Spotlights (all comic-related titles) which I’ve never seen, and one other 45 with tracks from the LP (‘Dayflower’ was 45-only).

If any of you has any more specific info on the Spotlights, please add on in the comments.

I hop you dig it and I’ll see you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #18

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Intro – Action Scene – Hawkshaw/Mansfield (KPM)
Joe South – Hush (Capitol)
Joe South – Games People Play (Capitol)
Joe South – I Knew You When (Capitol)
Joe South – Yo Yo (Capitol)
Joe South – Mirror of Your Mind (Capitol)
Joe South – A Million Miles Away (Capitol)
Gallenkamps Shoe Ad

Equals – Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys (Shout)
Chain Reaction – Ever Lovin’ Man (Verve)
Chain Reaction – You Should Have Been Here Yesterday (Verve)
The Knack – Banana Man (Capitol)
The Knack – Pretty Daisy (Capitol)
Spotlights – Batman and Robin (Smash)
Spotlights – Dayflower (Smash)
Montanas – That’s When Happiness Began (WB)
Playboys of Edinburgh – Mickey’s Monkey (Columbia)
Houston Post Now Sounds Groove In Ad

Ohio Express – Beg Borrow and Steal (Cameo Parkway)
Other Side – Walking Down the Road (Brent)
Other Side – Streetcar (Brent)
What-Knots – I Ain’t Dead Yet (Dial)
The Lamp Of Childhood – Season of the Witch (Dunhill)
The Lamp Of Childhood – First Time Last Time (Dunhill)
The Lamp of Childhood – Two O’Clock Morning (Dunhill)
The Lamp of Childhood – You Can’t Blame Me (Dunhill)
Connie Francis – Fallin’ (MGM)
The Velvet Underground – Who Loves the Sun (Cotillion)
L.U.V. Movie Ad

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 18 – 150MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

I hope the new week finds you well.

It’s time once again for the Iron Leg Radio Show, our eighteenth episode!

This month’s show is – thanks to a very fruitful day at the Allentown All-45 record Show – packed with recent acquisitions.

This time out we start with a tribute to Joe South, moving on to lots of excellent garage, folk rock , sunshine pop and as always a few wild cards.

I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back next week with something groovy.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

Asylum Choir – Welcome To Hollywood

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Asylum Choir – Marc Benno and Leon Russell

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Listen – Asylum Choir – Welcome to Hollywood – MP3

Greetings all.

I hope the dawning of both a new week and new year find you all well.
I spent New Years Eve amongst with my wife, kids and in-laws up in frosty upstate New York, playing Go Fish, drinking ginger ale and going to bed before midnight.
Last night, after the children had retired the wife and I were having a discussion about the pros and cons of New Years Eve as a celebratory milestone, eventually agreeing that aside from hanging with the family, we had both endured too many disappointing parties (as a couple, and before we were together) to get revved up about the night. It just seems that outside of an opportunity for binge drinking and an ugly peek into the mass psychology of crowds, the night is better spent amongst those you love.
That said, the tune I bring you today is a look at an early side of the mighty Leon Russell, one of my all time favorites, who I have rhapsodized about in this space before.
Russell came west from Oklahoma in the early 60s, eventually carving himself out a place as an in-demand session player (and member of the Shindogs) in the studios of Los Angeles (including those of Phil Spector) as a keyboardist and arranger.
He teamed up with guitarist/bassist Marc Benno in 1967 to form the band Asylum Choir, and their debut album ‘Look Inside the Asylum Choir’ was released on the Smash label the following year.
The tune I bring you today was the lead-off track from that album. ‘Welcome To Hollywood’ has hints of Russell’s rootsy heart (the guitar and piano could have come off of one of his Shelter LPs), but is marked by psychedelic flourishes. His easily recognizable voice is front and center, but where his later work would be enveloped in waves of Americana, the Asylum Choir tracks feature all manner of timely baroque filigree, including phasing, ringing Beatle-esque trumpets and the like.
‘Welcome To Hollywood’ is a typically jaundiced look at the mean streets that awaited those who were drawn west (but a little further south) during the Summer of Love. It’s a groovy look (listen?) to the world of Leon Russell just prior to his hirsute escalation into rock’s first rank alongside the various and sundry Cocker/Delaney/Bonnie/Clapton conglomerations, and his own amazing solo work.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll be back later in the week with something cool.

NOTE: I just updated my post about Steff’s ‘Where Did She Go’ thanks to some info from someone close to the story.

Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some sweet Brazilian jazz!

Two By Leon Russell

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The Original King of Leon

Listen -Leon Russell – Of Thee I Sing – MP3

Listen -Leon Russell – Crystal Closet Queen – MP3

Greetings all.

I hope everyone had a nice weekend.
Aside from the fact that I had some trouble sleeping (not enough fast living???) I got to spend lots of quality time with the family and the weather was in a word, superb.
I’m only going to do one post this week since the fam and I are going to try to head out of town for a few days to get in a little bit of actual vacationing before the summer is over.
The artist we will discuss today is lodged so deeply in my musical consciousness that – like the Beatles – there are a couple of his albums that I could quite likely “play” in my head from memory.
The sounds of Leon Russell first plowed into my sensitive young ears when I was but a lad, probably around the time that he was having his greatest success as a solo artist (1973/74-ish, when I was 11/12). Oddly enough, and this is probably unique at least as far as rock’n’roll goes, I came upon Leon Russell via my Pop.
The rock stipulation is an important one, because as far as jazz, classical and the great American songbook go, every single brick in my musical foundation (outside of rock, on which we rarely concur) was placed there by my father. He spent his entire adult life (he is, thankfully, still with us, but retired) working during the week as a history teacher, and then on the weekend nights worked as a piano player/singer in a variety of piano bar settings.
To say that my four siblings (two brothers, two sisters) grew up in a musical house is an understatement, with every one of us playing one or more instruments over the years, and myself (quite obviously, if you’ve ever read Iron Leg or Funky16Corners) having become quite obsessed with all things musical.
As I said above, as far as rock music went, the twain rarely met as far as Pop and I are concerned. He hasn’t much of a taste for the stuff, and for much of my young life I had a taste for little else. I can remember (fondly?) more than one occasion where I approached him about some rock thing or other that struck me as profound, to which he (at least figuratively) rolled his eyes and harrumphed. I can’t really blame him either. He was from another generation, and in all other respects was always – to a fault – musically generous with me. Without his guidance (and record collection) I wouldn’t have encountered George Gershwin, Fats Waller, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Stravinsky and countless other jazz and classical artists.
His piano playing, whether casually around the house (some of my fondest memories focus in on his occasional bursts of old-school boogie woogie on the 88s), or surrounded by singing aunts, uncles and cousins at family gatherings, was also a big factor in the formation of my musical tastes.
It was at one such family gathering in the early 70s that one of my older, long-haired cousins passed the album ‘Leon Russell and the Shelter People’ to my father. It was from that moment (though I can’t say for sure the effect was immediate) that against all odds, in opposition to his every instinct (at least as far as I could see), my old man dropped the needle and actually dug Leon Russell.
Though ‘Shelter People’ wasn’t the first contemporary music in the house (I remember Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ album and a 45 of Joan Baez singing ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’) I am positive that with that Leon Russell album, pure, unadulterated rock music made its first incursion into the Grogan household. Though I had my ears glued to the radio, I had yet to buy my first record (that would happen in the next year or so with my purchase of ‘Introducing the Beatles’ on Veejay).
I can’t say that the “Russell effect” was instantaneous. My parents had a habit of putting music on and letting it play in the background, whether it was my Dad’s LPs stacked on the changer (if you’re under a certain age you may have to look that up) or my Mom’s Mama Cass and Judy Collins 8-Track tapes on repeat. That said, at some point Russell’s bouillabaisse of Little Richard, Ray Charles and Dr John (though I suspect that any Rebennack-ization was coincidental since the good Doctor and Leon were roughly contemporaries) with a soupcon of hippie boogaloo drilled its way into my soft, impressionable brain and I was a goner.
The ensuing decades, in which I ingested every music book and record I could get my greedy little hands on, it was revealed to me that Leon Russell was no early-70s flash in the pan. Though his early days as a session musician and arranger in Los Angeles are well known (touching on everything from Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, to the Byrds, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Glen Campbell, Gene Clark & the Gosdin Brothers and countless other sessions*) Russell’s most important contribution – at least in my opinion – was as one of the truly great movers and shakers in late 60s/early 70s rock music.
Though a cursory glance may only reveal a huge pulsing mass of buckskin, patched denim, mud, marijuana and converted school buses, when you bring the era into focus (as much as that’s possible) Leon Russell, with his long, prematurely gray locks brushing the keyboard, emerges as a kind of hub, touching on many of the major events and players of the era. Though he never really moved all the way to the front, he did take a step out of the studio, working his way into a kind of middle ground in the public consciousness, working with Joe Cocker (as musical director for the Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour), George Harrison (he’s in the Concert for Bangla Desh), Eric Clapton, Delaney and Bonnie, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Freddie King and many others before emerging as a solo artist.
Russell’s first solo album, entitled (not surprisingly ‘Leon Russell’) featured the original versions of the oft covered tunes ‘Delta Lady’ and ‘A Song For You’ and contributions from a who’s who of rock including various and sundry Beatles and Rolling Stones.
‘Shelter People’ is less of an all-star effort (though it does feature a cameo by George Harrison) but is, at least as far as I’m concerned a much stronger album.
Russell’s sound, starting with his voice and piano is an amalgam of pure rock’n’roll, gospel (listen to the ‘Leon Live’ album which sounds more like a revival meeting than a rock concert), R&B, jazz and to a lesser extent, contemporary pop. There are times that Russell sounds as if he sprung, fully formed from Little Richard’s conk, but taken as a whole his albums bear the influence of the hippie era and could not have come together (as well) in any other time.
The two songs I’m posting from ‘Leon Russell and the Shelter People’, ‘Of Thee I Sing’ and ‘Crystal Closet Queen’ are the two balls-out rockers on the album. ‘Of Thee I Sing’ is a slightly jaundiced look (could there have been any other kind in 1971?) at the face of America, with mentions of Kent State (“blood is on the books in Ohio”) and a juggernaut of a piano figure that threatens to leave the rest of the band in the dust.
‘Crystal Closet Queen’ is a tribute to the mighty Little Richard (“the undiluted Queen of rock and roll. He knows who she is!”) as a formative influence on Russell. I’ve never seen any reference to Mr. Penniman having been aware of this song, but I suspect he would approve.
Both of these songs (and the rest of the album) are proof that in the years where everything seemed to be unraveling in a haze of back to the country-isms, drugs and lax hygiene, Leon Russell was capable of getting down and creating some truly great rock music. In addition to the rockers on the album, there are also quieter, sublime moments like a cover of Harrison’s “Beware of Darkness’ and the song ‘The Ballad of Mad Dogs and Englishmen’.
Over the next few years Russell would go on to have his biggest successes as a performer (with ‘Tight Rope’) and songwriter (composing ‘This Masquerade’, covered by countless artists but most successfully by George Benson**). He went on to record and tour with Willie Nelson, and later joined (consumed/appropriated?)  the New Grass Revival.
Both ‘Leon Russell’ and ‘Leon Russell and the Shelter People’ are available in reissue with bonus tracks and are essential.
I hope you dig the music, and I’ll back next week with some other cool stuff.

Peace

Larry

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*As well as his time in the Shindogs, the house band on TVs Shindig
**Russell was also the co-writer of ‘Superstar’, a big hit for the Carpenters

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a very tasty funk 45.

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