Classie's Crazy Mambo

Classie Ballou - Crazy Mambo

mp3: Classie Ballou - Crazy Mambo

Classie Ballou is a guitarist from Louisiana. He was born in 1937 and played in bands backing the likes of Chuck Berry, Etta James and B.B. King. Incredibly, he's still performing and played at the New Orleans Jazzfest just last year. Crazy Mambo was recorded by producer Jay Miller in 1957. It was the very first release on Nasco Records which, like Excello, was a Nashboro subsidiary. As its title implies, this tune contains Cuban influenced mambo rhythms, which were popular in certain circles in the US at the time. For a more in-depth blog post about Mr Ballou, head over to The Hound's site.

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Psycho Serenade

Big Jay McNeely - Psycho Serenade

mp3: Big Jay McNeely - Psycho Serenade

Now for another swinging tune from saxsmith extraordinaire Big Jay McNeely. The big man's joined on sweet sounding vocals by Little Sonny Warner. I'm not sure who provides the demented background whoops, hollers, crows and whistles. Psycho Serenade's been out in the public since 1959. That's not too long after this pair's most successful collaboration There's Something On Your Mind, a ballad that sounds extremely tame in comparison to this buck wild rocker.

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I'm With The "5" Royales

The 5 Royales - I'm With You The 5 Royales - Don't Give No More Than You Can Take

mp3: The 5 Royales - I'm With You
mp3: The 5 Royales - Don't Give No More Than You Can Take

The "5" Royales are one of those seminal groups whose popular success never quite matched their musical contribution. They're right there when you scratch below the surface of many household name recording artists. But, unlike James Brown, who's early work was very much influenced by them, it's unlikely anyone will make a biopic about The "5" Royales. I'm With You and Don't Give No More Than You Can Take were both written by the group's guitarist and bass singer, Lowman Pauling. They were put out by King Records in 1960 and are among their last releases for that label, due to a conflict over James Brown's cover of Think. Of the two sides, I'm With You will get more spins from me, but Pauling's stinging guitar on Don't Give No More Than You Can Take needs to be heard.

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Heavy Sugar Halloween 2014

Heavy Sugar Halloween 2014

As Halloween steadily approaches, me and Fritz up at Heavy Sugar HQ are busy preparing a night of spooky delights. From the evening of frightening Friday 31st October we will haunt the The Alibi in Dalston till the very early hours with devilish DJs, demonic dancers and petrifying costume competition prizes. The Transylvania Twist is back! Don't stay home!

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Charlena, don't you know I care?

The Sevilles - Charlena

mp3: The Sevilles - Charlena

The Sevilles were a vocal group from Los Angeles and Charlena was their first, biggest and only hit. Released in November 1960, it had climbed up the charts to #84 by February, but that's as high as it got. With an off-beat, shuffling rhythm, Charlena almost sounds like Ska. A very rough version is played by Lou Diamond Phillips and his mates in the '80s Ritchie Valens biopic La Bamba. Thankfully, Los Lobos covered it nicely for the soundtrack.

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Nasty Bartender's Heavy Sugar session

Nasty Bartender joined Fritz and I as a special guest Heavy Sugar DJ towards the end of August. He travelled all the way from Belgium to entertain the crowds at our club night in Dalston and entertain them he did. A hard working man, we squeezed three sets out of him. This recording is of the middle one, just around the time the club really started to buzz. From his big box of tasty 45s, he pulled out dancefloor thrilling song after song. Huge thanks to Nasty and everyone who came out for the party.

Roy Head - Treat Her Right
Little Esther Phillips & Big Al Downing - You Never Miss Your Water
J.B. Lenore - Mama Talk To Your Daughter
Annisteen Allen - Rough Lover
LaVern Baker - It's So Fine
The Tokens - A-B-C, 1-2-3
Bobby Lee Trammell - Twist Everybody Twist
Ruth Brown - Mama (He Treats Your Daughter Mean)
Googie Rene - Bigfoot
The Four Tophatters - One Arabian Night
The Nite Riders - Looking For My Baby
Emmet Davis - How About It Baby
Clarence Henry - Troubles, Troubles
Pike Cavalero - Black Hearts Club

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Ted Taylor doesn't care

Ted Taylor - I Don't Care

mp3: Ted Taylor - I Don't Care

The heart-breakingly high vocals of Ted Taylor feature on today's selection, a b-side from 1961. I Don't Care is rhythm & blues with soul from an Oklahoman icon who left this world in 1987 after a car accident following a gig in Louisiana. I first heard it when Lady Kamikaze played it at my Heavy Sugar club night early last year.

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