Category Archives: 1970s

Johnny Mauldin – I’ve Lost You b/w Vivera’s Soul (Richochet Records, c.1970s)

It’s weird. It’s from Texas. What more can you ask for? Well, in the case of Johnny Mauldin it gets even better because this was recorded in Mineola, Texas, the tiny town where my parents live. This track is similar to the GnR classic “Used to Love Her” except in this case the murdered woman also comes back to haunt him. Charming, huh?

Johnny Mauldin -Vivera’s Soul

King Floyd and Michael Hudson (Chimneyville Records, 1971)

Here are two from Chimneyville Records, a label based out of the famous Malaco Studios in Jackson, Mississippi. (Named “Chimneyville” after the historical term given to the city of Jackson after it was burned by Union troops during the Civil War.)

King Floyd – Baby Let Me Kiss You

King Floyd had his second big hit with “Baby Let Me Kiss You” taking it to #5 on the R&B charts in 1971. He would go on to record several more records for Chimneyville before the rise of disco ended his musical career.

King Floyd – Please Don’t Leave Me Lonely

The flip side of the record “Please Don’t Leave Me Lonely” became known many years later when it was sampled by the Wu-Tang Clan on the track “For Heavens Sake” on the 1997 Wu-Tang Forever record.

Michael Hudson – Girls Are Made For Lovin’
Michael Hudson – Sweethearts For Now

Michael Hudson is an example of “kiddie soul” of the early 70’s. In my opinion this blows away tracks like Michael Jackson’s “Ben” that came out four years later. Not a lot I could find out about this guy. He recorded several other records for Chimneyville but evidently never made a huge splash. Unlike the King Floyd track, this one lacks the production credit from Wardell Quezergue (“Barefootin'”, “Mr. Big Stuff”) which makes me wonder if that why they didn’t get much attention. Two really nice tracks anyway, and most def worth the download.

 

The Boos Brothers – Not Since I Found You (Quantum Records, 1976)

Say hello to John, Ron, Don and Dave– The Boos Brothers, from Kansas City, Missouri. Along with drummer Paul Walter (the blond one) the Brothers “have cut a wide happy path of truly exciting family entertainment.”

The Bros are backed by a terrifically lazy band who manages to make sludge out of otherwise normal pop songs. Add the wavering, almost hesitant Boos quartet on top and the end product is bordering on surreal, but dare I say– pleasant? The organ, guitar and bass trio (uncredited) have a style that can’t help but outshine the boys in the white jumpsuits.

These two track are both original numbers written by Don Boos (second from left.) This record should be appreciated for its authenticity, from the technical glitches in the songs to the typo on the back of the record. And if you listen to it in just the right mood, you might even enjoy it.

The Boos Brothers – By My Side
The Boos Brothers – We Call It Love

Larry Bright – Bye, Bye, Texas b/w I Saw Her Standing There (Original Sound, 1971)

Two seconds after I finished taking a photo of this record I dropped my phone on it and cracked it. Which is a real bummer because this was a great track. And it’s not likely I will ever see this again. Are you playing your tiny violin for me?

This is (was?) #103 on the Original Sound label. Larry Bright and OS both had minor hits in the 60’s, but by the 70’s both had seen better days. “Bye, Bye, Texas,” is a nice original number, uptempo and about Texas, of course. The flip side is one of the worst cover versions ever of one of my favorite Beatles songs, “I Saw Her Standing There.” It’s sooo bad y’all. But let’s focus on the positive. Which is that Side A is pretty good and you should check it out. And that at least I ripped a copy of the good side before I destroyed this record.  And that I will most def be on the lookout for some of the earlier Original Sound stuff.

Larry Bright – Bye, Bye, Texas

The Thrasher Brothers – Cherokee County Fair (Prestige Productions Records, 1978?)

The Thrasher Brothers are a semi?-well known gospel oriented group from  Birmingham, Alabama. (Let’s assume they mean in “Brothers” in the “Bro” sense, there are nine of them after all.) Not a lot of info turned up on this LP, but I have to wonder if this wasn’t some kind of fundraiser or promotional item for an actual event, the “14th Annual Cherokee County Fair,” which is repeated again and again as a refrain throughout the title track.  My copy is autographed. Don’t be jealous.

I am going to hold this up as a prime example of Goof-core.  You aren’t familiar with this genre becuase I just invented it. It’s a mix of country, pop and nonsense. It’s sincere without taking itself seriously. It’s wacky but never outrageous. It’s an inexpiable wholesomeness and a corny joke. You get what I’m sayin’ here? It’s Goof-core and you heard it here first. Let me know what y’all think.

Thrasher Brothers-Cherokee County Fair (download&stream)

James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir – In The Ghetto (Savoy Records, 1972)

The soul sounds are on Savoy, and in this case James Cleveland means your everlasting soul. The King of Gospel music leads his large choir in “another sincere emotion-filled album of superb selections that are destined for immortality.” Perfect listening for Sunday morning brunch. (Yes, this is the group that backed James Brown in the Blues Brothers movie.)

James Cleveland – In The Ghetto
James Cleveland – Trouble In My Way

U.S. Senator Robert Byrd – Mountain Fiddler (County Records, 1978)

In 1979, Senator Robert Byrd traveled to Russia to meet  President Leonard Brezhnev. “We exchanged gifts. I presented a copy of my album, Mountain Fiddler, and he gave me a book of his speeches. I had played ‘country fiddle’ since I was a boy in the hills of West Virginia. The words and music of these traditional old tunes are a window on the early settlers and thus the roots of our great country.”

This is among a handful of personal stories in Senator Byrd’s 2004 polemic, Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency. While in Russia he had one objective, to school the Russian president on American Constitutional history. Although President Carter had signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (SALT II), it was up to the Senate to “Advise and Consent.” And as Senate Majority Leader, Bryd took that responsibility very seriously. In years to come he would demonstrate this commitment again, holding take his tiny pocket edition of the Constitution in his hand as he reminded (to no avail) President George W. Bush that Constitution grants the power of war to Congress, not the Executive Branch.

On the track “Cumberland Gap” Senator Byrd introduces the song with an anecdote about the coal miners that would board with his foster mother when he was a child. A fiddle player from the age of 12, he remembers them “singing and whistling” the verses. In Losing America, he tells a slight variant of the story. He recalls being able to look at the boarders and know who would cheat his mother on rent. “I was seldom wrong. Something about eyes, the tone of voice or the body language tipped me off.” He continues, saying that he felt that same way when looking at Donald Rumsfeld while questioning him on his involvement with Saddam Hussein prior to 9/11.

Byrd had something sorely lacking in the Senate today. Common sense. He know what it was like to be poor and he knew what it was like to work hard for what little you have. A student of history, Senator Byrd warned us that we were sleepwalking; allowing the government to wage an illegal war in our name. His was the loudest voice of opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The Senator was stubborn. As Majority Leader he was known to leave a meeting when arguments became too contentious and would pick up his fiddle and play, sometimes for hours, until the assembled group had come to see things from his perspective. But he was also thoughtful, allowing his beliefs about civil rights to be challenged and changed over time.

The songs on Mountain Fiddler demonstrate the Senator’s skill as a musician and singer. Mostly composed of traditional classics, they are as heart warming as they are fun to listen to. I am happy that he was able to pass away while still doing what he loved– serving our country in the US Senate. God Bless West Virginia and good-bye Senator Robert Bryd.

Will the circle be unbroken? / By and by, Lord. By and by / There’s a better home a’ waitin’ / In the sky Lord, in the sky

Cumberland Gap – Senator Robert Byrd (download)

Will the Circle Be Unbroken – Senator Robert Byrd (download)