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Kathleen Loves Music

Archive for the ‘45 rpm single’

The Impressions.

May 17th, 2008

The Impressions > We’re a Winner

It doesn’t take much to get me in an impressionistic mood, so our friend Steve Woolf’s photo and title moved me there today.

Was Curtis Mayfield the most impressive singer/songwriter of his day? Of his genre? Probably. And it’s probably why it took me so long to pick a single to feature here. I ended up with We’re a Winner because aside from being a favorite I seem to remember it being a core sample for something from the Space Jam soundtrack, so I thought some of the older young folk reading might recognize it.


K.C. & the Sunshine Band

June 25th, 2007


KC & The Sunshine Band > Keep It Comin’ Love
KC & The Sunshine Band > I’m Your Boogie Man

OK, go ahead and laugh. I love K.C. & The Sunshine Band. Why? Because they were one of the great Southern funk bands. Really.

I never saw the band in the flesh until the 90s (by which time they were a pale nostalgia act playing a Nick-at-Nite party) but on television they were a revelation. Like everyone else, I’d dismissed them as a pop disco band. But watching them focused me on the band who grooved as hard as anyone I’d ever seen including James Brown and Kool & the Gang. A white rhythm section & African-American horns it turned out they were among the studio musicians who’d backed Betty Wright, George & Gwen McCrae, and lots of others in TK Records‘ Florida heyday. Richard Finch and Henry Casey (K.C.) wrote material for all of them, including [Read more…]

Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes featuring Teddy Pendergrass.

May 21st, 2007


Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes > The Love I Lost

If you think you know this song because it was a ubiquitously enormous hit, listen again. The hit was “The Love I Lost Part 1” and this one is the whole six minute version.

So what difference does it make?

Well, I’d pretty much forgotten myself until I heard it again on satellite radio the other day. This record was at the height of HM&TBN’s tenure at Philadelphia Intl. with Gamble & Huff and when Teddy Pendergrass was at the height of his powers. And what heights they were.

Teddy was one of the great improvisers of all time. You can hear it about halfway through this record. Teddy starts working over the rhythm section and the repeated vocal choruses like it’s the last time he’s going to sing again. And while he’s doing it he takes us to church (as Dan Meth mentioned to me today) and teaches us [Read more…]

Fred Wesley & the J.B.s

April 24th, 2007


Fred Wesley & the J.B.’s > Doin’ It To Death (full version)

Never was a song so aptly named. (Put it on a loop, play it all day, and I guarantee the result.)

Though the official assignation was “Fred Wesley & the J.B.s”, they could have just as easily been “Maceo & the Macks”, “The Last Word”, or just plain (not vanilla) “The J.B.s“, all essentially the later instrumental recordings of James Brown. James was in such demand twenty years into his career that the market just couldn’t absorb yet more singles, so he just kept releasing them under whatever name made sense that day.

This single just seems like a JB party from start to finish. From the opening “Hit it!” to “We’re gonna have a funky good time” through “We’re going to take you highhhhhhherrrr” everyone sounds like they just showed up, hit the deep groove and kept going all night. The fade [Read more…]

The Toys and Elvis Costello & the Attractions.

May 28th, 2006

I thought I’d take a jazz break for a couple of completely unrelated pop songs that have re-turned me on lately.

The Toys > A Lover’s Concerto
The Toys were truly a one-hit wonder. A great underrated producer, Bob Crewe (The Four Seasons, Mitch Ryder), took Bach’s Minuet in G, put on a Motown bass lined married to a girl group trio, and presto! one of the greatest tracks of one the greatest pop years (1965).

[Read more…]