Saturday, March 15, 2008

Syl Johnson - Let Them Hang High

One of the great things about being introduced into the blog universe is not only do i get to share my record collection but the vast amount of of others collections i get to see and sample. Even though I'm not very computer savvy and still learning this "world" I'm having a great deal of fun. I don't own an iPod and don't even own my own PC. I steal moments on my lovely lady friend JJB's and my work PC: I mean hell, I collect "RECORDS" for Christ sake not mp3's! But i get to see and hear so much new cool stuff that I put into my brain and will actively seek out because now I know it exists! So for all them blog masters to the right of this post over there and all the ones I've yet to discover, THANK YOU!

The bum side is that sometimes I have some great cuts that i want to share only to find out that someone in my little blog circle has already hit. That same thing just happened with not only 1 side but 2 sides just in the last week! DJ Pres @ Flea Market Funk just did Cleveland Eaton's "Chitown Theme" and It's Great Shakes just posted the great Jimmy Gordon cut "Buzzzzzz" (how many Z's is it for real?)... As i had both of these sides in the "cue" but no worries at least i know that the folks around me have great taste!

Anyway, i try to get a nice mix of shit over "hear" and try not not to step on any toes. I mean between my Man DJ Pres and Larry over @ Funky 16 & FuFu Vince and all the soul and funk cats 'round these parts I don't know why i bother posting any soul or funk because they cover it all!!! oh wait, yes i do know why i post it, it's because even though funk & soul isn't my "main" gig when it comes to music I've fallen in love with it over the last few years! I mean i come from a total different angle in music, all punk & hardcore & metal & fuzz & buzz & heavy psych. But afters years of collecting and dabbling in all facets of music (just wait until i bust out my early country & western & hillbilly music!) i can truthfully say that i do love almost all forms of music. And when I am lucky enough to stumble upon some hot shit music that I've never heard before I feel so lucky. That is the case with this cut here... I found this gem out in the field out at "the spot" in a box of of well played soul 45's.
I of curse knew who Mr. Johnson was having a few other sides but not this one. Upon getting it home and hitting the needle to the vinyl was blown away but this beauty.
I instantly hit the interwebs up to "upgrade" since my 50 center was as i said before "well played" and here we are now... But do not listen to me, I've had way too many beers tonight...


Here's some brief info on the man at the helm on this mad jam:

Born Sylvester Thompson in Holly Springs, Mississippi, Johnson sang and played with blues artists Magic Sam, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells and Howlin' Wolf in the 1950's, before recording with Jimmy Reed for Vee-Jay in 1959. He made his solo debut that same year with Federal, a subsidiary of King Records of Cincinnati, backed by Freddie King on guitar.

He then began recording for Twinight Records of Chicago in the mid 1960s. Beginning with his first hit, Come On Sock It to Me in 1967, Johnson dominated the label as both a hitmaker and producer. His song Different Strokes, also from 1967, featured recently on the Ultimate Breaks and Beats breakbeat compilation.

Like other black songwriters of the period, several of his records at this time explored themes of African-American identity and social problems in songs including Is It Because I'm Black, which reached Number 11 in the R&B charts in 1969.

Here is the flip, which was a response to one of his own songs "dresses to short" from 1968. I guess he saw the error of his ways and decided that they should indeed hang higher baby!!! This just flat out moves & grooves and has become one of my new faves and most played of late! Man, what a voice!

Syl Johnson - Let Them Hang High


Mondo said...

That's a real slice of slinky funk - a classic

Larry Grogan said...

This is a great one that I hadn't heard before. I love Johnson's voice and I may even be bringing some Syl to the next AP45 Sessions.

Anonymous said...

I loves me some Syl... I was fortunate to pick up the bulk of his collection in an OOP comp issued by Jewel/Paula. Definitely one of the true greats.

I'm glad you dug my mix for Planet Mondo. I had a blast digging up those old relics...