Sunday, September 20, 2009

Three Degrees - Collage

The Three Degrees are a female Philadelphia soul and disco vocal musical group, formed in 1963 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although always fronted by a three person line-up, there have been a number of personnel changes, and a total of twelve women have represented the group so far. The original members were Fayette Pinkney, Shirley Porter and Linda Turner. They are best known for their million selling 1974 hit song, "When Will I See You Again".

They were formed around 1963 in Philadelphia. They were discovered by producer and songwriter, Richard Barrett. Barrett was responsible for groups of the 1950s such as The Chantels, Little Anthony and the Imperials, and The ValentinesBarrett recorded the original line-up on their first song entitled, "Gee Baby (I'm Sorry)", for Swan Records. Turner and Porter both left the group and were replaced by Helen Scott and a variety of other ladies before Janet Harmon joined in the mid 1960s. Barrett also began managing and producing Sheila Ferguson who was a high school friend of Scott. Barrett also signed Ferguson to Swan Records in 1965. The Three Degrees released a number of singles such as "I'm Gonna Need You" and a cover version of "Maybe" with Scott taking the lead vocals.

By 1966, with many performances lined up, Scott decided to leave the group to start a family. Ferguson filled in for Scott and would remain in the group for 20 years. Ferguson sang backup on all the group's Swan recordings as did the Three Degrees for her solo singles. By 1967, Harmon left and was eventually replaced by Valerie Holiday. Barrett signed them to recording contracts over the next three years with Warner Bros., Metromedia, and Neptune record labels; the latter of which which was owned by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff who would work with group five years later. Their close harmony singing made them a popular nightclub act but that hit record still eluded them.

By 1970, they were signed to Roulette Records and they released their first album, Maybe. The title song took them to #4 on the U.S. R&B charts. Other singles like "I Do Take You" and "You're The Fool" followed, as did their second album, So Much Love. This success landed them a cameo appearance in the 1971 film, The French Connection, filmed during one of their appearances at the Copacabana nightclub in New York.

In 1973, with their contract with Roulette ending, Barrett signed them to Philadelphia International Records under Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, where they were to have their greatest successes. They also made an appearance on the television series Sanford and Son, singing their song "I Didn't Know." The first song they recorded there was with the studio band MFSB, entitled "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)" which was the theme song for Soul Train. In total, The Three Degrees recorded four albums for the Roulette label.

The first album spawned three hits. "Dirty Ol' Man" went gold in the Netherlands and Belgium. The second single was "Year Of Decision" which made it to the Top 20 in the UK Singles Chart. Their third single "When Will I See You Again" was the one that broke the trio into the mainstream. It topped the UK Chart and reached no.2 in the US, earning the trio a gold record.

That is the wiki low-down; my low-down is that this song reminds my of my younger days driving around in the car with my Mom while she sang along with the And this is a real song of the times, iot couldn'y have been recorded at any other time than the late 60's or early 70's, in this case smack dab in teh middle, 1970.
A song that mixes in soul with pop and with slight psychedlic edge... Enjoy.

And before anyone gives me shit about the sound quality, this was dug at a flea market and cost me 50 cents... If you like the song go buy some mp3's or whatever and get off my back.... I'm sure some of these ladies are still alive and could use your cracker ass green backs!

Three Degrees - Collage

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Spacemen - The Clouds

"The Clouds" is a 1959 instrumental by The Spacemen, an instrumental studio group. The single released on the Alton label, was the only chart hit by The Spacemen. "The Clouds hit number one on the R&B chart for three non consecutive weeks, and also peaked at number forty-one on the Hot 100.

The Spacemen Consisted of one Samuel "Sammy" Benskin (September 27, 1922 – August 26, 1992) who an African American pianist and bandleader.
He was born in The Bronx, New York City, and made his professional debut around 1940 as piano accompanist to singer and guitarist Bardu Ali. He worked throughout the 1940s with jazz musicians including Stuff Smith, Benny Morton and Don Redman. By the early 1950s he had begun leading his own piano trio, as well as appearing as a soloist and as accompanist to singers including Roy Hamilton and Al Hibbler. In 1954 he also joined a group, The Three Flames. Later in the 1950s he worked as accompanist to Dinah Washington.
In 1959, with the band credited as The Spacemen, he recorded an instrumental, "The Clouds", written and produced by Julius Dixson and issued on Dixson's Alton record label. Other session musicians playing on the record were Panama Francis, Haywood Henry, and Babe Clark. The song originally had vocals, which Dixson removed, releasing the instrumental version. This rose to # 1 on the Billboard R&B chart, and # 41 on the pop chart. "The Clouds" was the first number one on any chart released by an African-American owned independent record label, predating Motown's first # 1 by a year.

Sammy died in Teaneck, New Jersey, aged 69.

The Spacemen - The Clouds

Monday, September 7, 2009

Swastika Girls - Joey Ramoe Is Dead EP

This record is everything i hate & love about record collecting and music, from the mildly offensive name, totally inept playing, the one sided vinyl, the flip with some scrawled words written around in the circle of the disk, "You’re going to notice something, we decided to turn off the overhead music for a day, As our Nation continues to prosper and our lives proceed, we at 24 hour fitness want to create a quiet reminder of what occurred that terrible day. We hope that you think about your own workout, you’ll also take time to reflect upon both the suffering and selfless heroism that defined that day in our Nations history. We are glad you chose to spend a portion of it with us. Enjoy you’re quieter than usual workout…" the hand written sleeve with picture of someones vacation cut into the back side of the sleeve, obscure and hipster name dropping, this thing screams contrived, trying way to hard, hipster bullshit all over it. I'm sure these hipsters all sat around and patted each other on the back with smiles of utter joy and delight when this piece of shit came out and I’m sure Daddy paid for the pressing…
I don't know shit about this band and really i don't care much, i've already made my opinions about them and either way, i love this absolutely horrid piece of shit and it gives me hope of uncovering more beautifully horrible records for the mere price of 2 dollars....

Happy Labor Day you miserable lot!

god-fucking-bless America!

Swastika Girls - Nice Ass But A Face Like A Dinosaur

Swastika Girls - Swastika Girls (Not A Fripp/Eno Cover)

Swastika Girls - Joey Ramone Is Dead

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I'll be here all weekend, be back soon!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cool Heat - Groovin' with Mr. Bloe

Get your weekend started with some COOL HEAT: 1970 instrumental, GROOVIN' WITH MR. BLOE 7" 45, originally issued as the B side to MAKE BELIEVE by WIND, this groovy instrumental features ARE YOU NUTS on the other side; a UK session group, MR. BLOE featured Elton John...

Not sure if that Elton John bit is true? But this was originally a "Wind" cut... Sending this one out to DK because i know he liked the A-Side so much way back when...

Cool Heat - Groovin' with Mr. Bloe