Brenda & The Tabulations – The Wash

Brenda & The Tabulations - The Wash

So the weather has dramatically taken a turn for the worse here in Belfast over the last few days with Summer most definitely behind us (did we actually get a Summer at all?). With that in mind I guess today’s choice seems kinda appropriate (rain, wash – you see what I did there?). This is a track that I had sort of forgotten about until the weekend when I was digging through my collection for a few 45s to bring down to the vinyl session at the coffee shop I own. This one didn’t make the cut, but it came back into my life again so we should all be grateful for that at least…

Brenda & The Tabulations were a soul group who formed in Philadelphia in 1966 and released their early singles on the Dionn label before moving to Top & Bottom Records and later, Epic. The song I bring you today is the b-side to their first ever single in fact – “Dry Your Eyes”. This proved to be the biggest hit for the group and probably explains why original copies can be picked up so cheaply. As so often happens it’s the b-side I prefer rather than the “A” which is slower and a little more commercial.

Some of you may remember this being used in a tv commercial a number of years ago for Lynx shower gel (or if you’re Stateside “Axe” shower gel). I’m also a big fan of their version of the classic “California Soul”, a record that sadly never got a 45 release. Apart from the aforementioned tracks arguably their next most well-known song was “Hey Boy” something that become pretty popular on the Northern Soul scene. That’s all for now – enjoy the rest of your week and let’s hope the weather picks up a bit!

Johnny Williams – Breaking Point

Johnny Williams - Breaking Point

Today sees me very tired and probably not at my most creative, certainly for trying to write a blog post. So for today, if you can excuse me, the focus will be primarily on the record I have for you rather than anything too exciting that I might have to say about it.

Some time ago (about 4 and a half years or so I reckon), I brought you a track called “Baby Be Mine” by today’s chosen artist, Johnny Williams. I have a couple of other 45s by Mr Williams – “I Got A Feeling” and this selection, “Breaking Point”. This song starts with a brilliant opening and is a great touch of uptempo funky soul. Like many of my selections this one seems a little underplayed and under-appreciated. We here at Gazfunk love it though and hope you will too! Enjoy!

The Presidents – Peter Rabbit

The Presidents - Peter Rabbit

It had been a busy weekend for me what with dj’ing on the Belfast Barge on Sunday evening and various other bits and pieces to do with my coffee shop so today sees me a little more tired than normal and in need of a little inspiration! That inspiration arrived after I had posted a track a couple of days ago on a Facebook group that I am on that was pretty well received by the members there. The track in question was called “The Shoe Shine” and released by today’s featured artist, The Presidents.

There’s a little bit of info out there in cyberspace about the group but I’m not convinced that it’s all true, so rather than just copy something I’ve read on the internet (never do that kids, that’s a life lesson to be learned!) I’ll just continue on in my ignorance about the group (unless any of you dear readers would like to fill in the blank spaces)

We’ve got a nice little funky groove going on in this one – slower in tempo and without any words at all “Peter Rabbit” seems to be one of those records that has been forgotten about. Certainly I don’t recall anyone playing it out, or indeed posting it on any of the Facebook music groups that I would follow. I’m sure you will all enjoy it and if you get the chance to check out “Shoe Shine” I’d highly recommend it too as it is an uptempo banger!!

Bunny Sigler – Great Big Liar

Bunny Sigler - Great Big Liar

Much like last week, the record I bring you today is something that I had to double-check to ensure I hadn’t featured it before. Luckily for you, my dedicated readers, I haven’t, so you get to enjoy it today!

If you’ve ever heard The Corner Boys’ “Take It Easy Soul Brother” you’ll recognise the music from this track. Released on the Neptune label in 1970 (issued a year after The Corner Boys “original”) you get the added bonus of some great vocals combined with the lush arrangement that you’d expect from a Gamble & Huff production. This release was probably around the time of my favourite G&H sound before it went a bit too modern soul/disco for my liking.

Sigler himself had a pretty long and distinguished career – he was instrumental in working with Gamble & Huff to create the “Philly Sound” as well as releasing around 50 singles across labels such as Decca & Parkway. His credits run into the hundreds and he has even co-wrote songs with Jay-Z (not that, that impresses me because I think he’s rubbish. Ha!)

Before I go, I really should indulge in a little bit of self promotion (it is my blog after all). I’ll be dj’ing this Bank Holiday Sunday on a boat. Yes, on a boat. In Belfast. I’ll be spinning the usual funk & soul on vinyl alongside my soul brother Pete, with a live instrumental funk set courtesy of the Freedom 35s. If you’re coming along, you’re guaranteed a great night out. As far as I know all the tickets have been sold, so if you’re one of the lucky ones, I’ll see you there. In the meantime, enjoy Bunny Sigler’s “Great Big Liar”