Turns out that the songwriters on this tune are a lot more interesting than the singer. Eleanor Grant has a great voice, and she is still singing today. She has a myspace— you should check some of her stuff out.
But lets talk about George Jackson and Raymond Moore for a minute. Long time figures in the Southern Soul scene. Moore grew up in Memphis and in the 1960’s signed an exclusive contract to write for Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Today he writes exclusively for Ecko Records in Memphis, a contemporary R&B label specializing in promoting artists on the Chitlin Circuit, “a conglomerate of African-American nightclubs, concert promoters, radio stations, and mom-and-pop record shops concentrated in the Deep South and sprinkled throughout Northeastern and Midwestern cities.” (Read the full article about Moore and Ecko Records here.)
George Jackson has known a considerable amount of success in his life. He has penned hit songs for James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Tina Turner and The Staples Singers. While working alongside Moore at Fame studios Jackson wrote “One Bad Apple” for the Jackson Five. It got picked up by the Osmonds instead and it went to #1 on the pop charts in 1971 for FIVE consecutive weeks.
(I don’t say this often, but read the comments in the youtube post. People are arguingabout whether or not this would have been better preformed by the Jackson 5. I think the answer is a resounding YES.)
Jackson later wrote a song called “Old Time Rock and Roll” for Aretha Franklin… she turned it down, but it was picked up by Bob Seger who took it to #28 on the Hot 100 Charts in 1979.
OK, enough of my blabbering. Without further ado, here is Eleanor Grant with “Lovin’ Your Good Thing Away.” Definitely one for the steppers, this track has a solid bass line and plenty of 80’s syth-y goodness. You will like.
Eleanor Grant – Lovin’ Your Good Thing Away (download)
80’s girl groups! There sure are lots of them. I went to a yard sale last summer and really got my eyes opened to this genre. This is Lady Flash on their first and only LP “Beauties of the Night.”
We can’t go much further without giving props to Barry Manilow. How many times have you ever heard that? Turns out he wrote 3/5 of the songs on this record. And they are mostly not terrible.
“And now I’m / buried in the ruins of love / Up to my heart / buried in the ruins of love”
Buried in the Ruins of Love (download)
This little record is a real treat. An audio artifact. A little piece of Americana that floated into my collection from Mineola, Texas. I didn’t even know I had this until I was going through one of many stacks of 45’s I have laying around. Let it never be said that I don’t scrape the bottom of the barrel for yall.
Monnig Junior High is in Fort Worth, Texas. I don’t really know anything about the school, and I have no idea what it was like in 1961, except that was the year that my parents were in jr. high, so I kind of use that for a gauge.
Two tracks here, the first is the alma mater sung by Devon Hamilton and accompaniment from Marie Wright. The flip side is “Thanks for the Memory” by the boys and girls select group with accompaniment by Marie Wright.
These tracks should be listened to during a commercial break while watching King of the Hill. Because we all know that “Arlen, Texas” is a not so cleverly disguised Arlington. And Arlington is just a jump down I-20 from Fort Worth-less.
Fort Worth is special in a lot of ways to me. I spent a lot of time there. Driving my beater into the city to see shows, it was the first time I ever drove the wrong way down a one way street. My prom was in Fort Worth. The Ranch Style beans factory is in Fort Worth, and that is reason alone to love it. Its where the “West Begins,” and maybe thats why I am in the mess I am today. I have sat upon the banks of the Trinity, where the Clear Fork and the West Fork meet. You can’t begin to understand the smell.
Monnig Junior High Alma Mater (download)
Thanks for the Memory (download)
Todd Rundgren, is there anything he can’t do? I trust you can read the man’s wikipedia page, but I will give you some highlights.
After a top 40 hit with “We gotta get you a woman” he went on to become a prog rock stage spectacle, bought Eric Clapton’s guitar, scored 4 episodes of Pee-Wee’s playhouse, recorded 21 records, developed one of the first computer paint programs, and produced records for XTC, New York Dolls, Bad Religion and like a million other bands. Todd and I share the same birthday, June 22.
This particular track was recorded under the name “Runt” a psyedonem Todd used for only two records before he stopped pretending that he wasn’t playing all the instruments himself.
This is a pretty straight forward pop-ballad. Its almost got kind of a yacht rock/allman bros thing going on. I dig it. Let me know what you think.
Runt – We Gotta Get You A Woman (download)
(Lucky you! This track is still “in print” on various comps and as a remastered digital download. The track I am providing is ripped from vinyl and is here for you as a preview copy. Don”t be a jerk, if you like it buy it!)
Webb Foley (real name Gabby Horman) is the kind of artist I love to find. A minor hit in the 1950’s rockabilly scene, he continued putting out albums through the 70’s until he faded into obscurity. (Some of his great rockabilly tunes are here on the excellent Rockin’ Country Style site.) This is one of his later releases, one side is a cover of the Tom Paxton tune “The Last Thing on My Mind” and the other is the silly song “Beer and Popcorn.”
“Well I could have loved you better / I didn’t mean to be unkind / you know, that was the last thing on my mind”
The Last Thing on My Mind (download)
Beer and Popcorn (download)
I just found out that Randy Bewley from the band Pylon passed away last night. An integral part of the much celebrated Athens scene, Pylon never got the props that REM and The B-52s received, but they were perhaps even more influential than both of those bands. Pylon is important to me for my own little reasons. Even though my cassette copy of Gyrate was stolen from a friend, I like to think he wanted me to have it.
Anyway, enough of my nonsense. Go listen to someone who can say it better than me.