Before we get started this week …
It’s time for the 2017 Funky16Corners Pledge Drive.
Since Iron Leg, and the Iron Leg Radio Show podcast are dependent of the continued health of Funky16Corners, and continue under the banner of the Funky16Corners Radio Network, it behooves me to post these links here, too.
The pledging will also take a slightly different form this year, moving to Patreon (click here or on the logo below to go to the Funky16Corners page) , where you will be able to spread your contributions out over the entire year, which will help cover the ongoing server/broadcast/hardware expenses. This year has seen the upgrade of a couple of crucial pieces of equipment, and any help you fine people can provide will keep the machinery moving here at Funky16Corners central. So please dig deep so we can continue to do the same!
The record you see before you made its way into my crates a few years back via the inclusion of an early version of the the song ‘What’. That tune, written by HB Barnum was originally recorded by Judy Street and went on to become a Northern Soul classic.
The version by Tina Mason (recorded/released shortly after the Street 45) is a slightly slower, more stylish affair, but still cool.
Mason had a short but interesting recording career, first with Tina and the Mustangs on Capitol, then on her one full album.
She had a certain amount of Southern California success, having performed at Disneyland and then becoming a regular on ‘Where the Action Is’ (where she met her future husband, Phil ‘Fang’ Volk of Paul Revere and the Raiders.
Her 1967 album ‘Is Something Wonderful’ was produced by David Axelrod and arranged by HB Barnum (no doubt the reason she recorded ‘What’) and features a wide variety of sounds.
Mason’s stuff walked the line between girl-group and soul, as well as a certain kind of sophisticated pop.
Today’s selection is a great cover of the Bacharach/David ‘Are You There (With Another Girl)’ (title truncated on Mason’s album), which was a hit for Dionne Warwick in 1965.
Mason’s version is a great showcase for her voice, backed with a lush arrangement, sounding like a kinder, gentler wall of sound. There’s a booming bass, shimmering rhythm guitar and understated strings and brass, with a female chorus backing Mason’s lead vocal.
The production by Axelrod is typically first-rate, and it’s a wonderful take on a great song.
The LP is apparently pretty hard to find these days, but it was reissued (with bonus tracks) on CD in 2008 by Now Sounds.
I hope you dig the track, and I’ll see you all next week.