Edwin Starr – Agent Double-O-Soul

Almost immediately after I brought you last week’s update, news was filtering through of the death of yet another musical legend in the shape of Bob Babbitt who passed away at the age of 74 after a battle with brain cancer. His passing comes only a short time after another legendary bass player from Motown’s rival label Stax passed away (Donald “Duck” Dunn).

Unlike some of the other tributes that we have composed to other members of the soul family who have recently left us, Bob’s name may not be immediately familiar to you. However despite the fact that many people may have never heard of his name, I can guarantee that everyone has heard of a song that he has played on. From The Capitol’s “Cool Jerk”, Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”, The Temptations “Ball Of Confusion” Bob’s bass playing can be heard alongside the rest of the legendary Funk Brothers.

This week’s selection therefore is a tribute to the great man in the form of yet another classic track that he performed on – Edwin Starr’s “Agent Double-O-Soul”, recorded in 1966. This song was probably one of my first introductions to what I later understood to be called “Northern Soul” in my early teens.

So let’s raise a glass to Bob and dance around the living room in celebration of the music that these (two) great artists gave us. Cheers!!

Dennis Coffey – River Rouge

Hello all – so we’re at the start of a new week and hopefully this next selection will help to shake off those winter blues.

As you should know (shame on you if you don’t) Dennis Coffey has long been regarded as a funk legend. In fact he was a long term member of The Funk Brothers and played on many classic hits including The Temptations –  Cloud Nine, The Isley Bros – It’s Your Thing and many more.

By the early 70’s he started to record many of his own tracks and provided the soundtrack to the cult Blaxploitation film “Black Belt Jones” as well as his songs being regularly used as the music for Soul Train’s line dance!!

This particular record is the flip of his cover of The Isley’s – It’s Your Thing & features The Lyman Woodward Trio. It starts with his trademark funky guitar sound before the mighty hammond organ kicks in. This is probably regarded as one of his rarest tracks on 45 (alongside Black Belt Jones)