Listen – Lynne Randell – That’s a Hoe Down- MP3
A few weeks ago I made an unexpected trip to a record fair, and pretty much blew my bankroll in the first 30 minutes (thanks in large part to one dealer with an exceptional selection of both soul and garage 45s). I was pretty much ready to call it a day and go find my wife and kids, when I stopped at a table with several boxes labeled Northern Soul, so I stopped and let my fingers do the walking. In addition to a handful of Radiants 45s that I didn’t have yet (all for a few bucks apiece) I happened upon a 45 by an artist named Lynne Randell.
I was aware that she had a 45 that was popular with the Northern Soul crowd, so, since it was only five dollars, and I didn’t feel like unpacking the portable to give it a spin, I decided to take my chances and grabbed it.
Well….it’s not the pricey Northern side (that’s ‘Stranger In My Arms’, the flipside of her minor 1967 hit ‘Ciao Baby’), but, fortunately for you and me both, it is a good record.
The tune in question ‘That’s a Hoe Down’ was immediately pleasing to my ears, but just as quickly posed a problem.
‘Is this a Funky16Corners record or an ‘Iron Leg’ record??’
There is a soulful bent to the tune, but like so many other Northern Soul faves, Lynne Randell wasn’t really a ‘soul singer’, and ‘That’s a Hoe Down’ isn’t really a soul record (though I doubt I’d get any complaints were I to spin it on a 60’s soul night).
Sure, there are soulful touches therein, including the thumping bass/piano line and the Vandellas style backing vocals, but the overall vibe is more mid-60’s pop.
Randell, a hairdresser who was discovered on the job and went on to have a number of Australian radio hits (‘That’s a Hoe Down’ was a Top 40 record down under) was also for a brief time the girlfriend of Monkee Davy Jones (thus the ‘Last Train To Clarksville’ reference midway through the record??). She even toured on the famous/infamous Monkees/Hendrix bill in 1967.
‘That’s a Hoe Down’ – which was also recorded by the UK band Shyster (which also included members of Freakbeaters Les Fleur de Lys) – is a pounding party record with hooks to spare. Interestingly enough, the record was produced by Al Gorgoni who also worked with Evie Sands (a singer of a similar bent) in the US.
I hope you dig the tune and I’ll see you all later in the week.