Soul Fantasy

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Willie Toliver - Bit off more than I could chew

Ladies and gentlemen, I decided to present an extremely rare 7 incher by Willie Toliver. Willie Toliver is more known with the song entitled "Papa killed a chicken" which was included in various compilation called "Various Artists (Memphis 70)".

Willie Toliver collaborated with the saxophonist Andrew Love who is a member of the Memphis Horns. Toliver released a single entitled "Bussom of love / Bit off more than I could chew" on Thin Dime Records from Memphis. Both of these songs were recorded at Mastercraft Studios, Memphis,TN. 

Andrew Love

"Bit off more than I chew" is a wonderful instrumental on which the saxophonist Andrew Love plays his instrument fantastically.

Composed by Willie Toliver. Produced by Ben Couley and James Craft.

Note: The above posted single is not played in full

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bob Christy & Frank Wright - Pure Energy Lp

This album is a private Lp which doesn't mention anything on the back cover of the vinyl record. I have also seen another album once in Japan.
Bob Christy and Frank Wright was an unknown duet which was appeared in the early 80s. They performed in various clubs, hotels and restaurants at that time.
Inside my copy there is a biography of Bob Christy and Frank Wright. I discovered that Bob Christy is the composer/arranger under the name Robert O'Connor who co-wrote the famous song in the late 60s "Move in a little closer" which became a big success by Mama Cass Elliot. In fact Robert O'Connor wrote this song for the unknown U.K group called Harmony Grass. Two months later Mama Cass Elliot released the same song in the USA.

Robert O'Connor or Bob Christy
Bob has lived and breatbed music since he was 7. It was then, back in Newark, New Jersey, that he began studying classical piano, finally he graduated from New York's prestigious Julliard School of Music, as a teen.
He began professional career while he was still in high school at the age 17. Later he was hired in New York City as a writer/producer of records for such large labels such as Columbia, Mercury, Decca and Bell. He has collaborated with Englebert Humperdinck, Toots Thieleman, Joe Pesci, Daryl Hall and Dr.Hook & the Medicine Show. Finally Bob has arranged and conducted the Merv Griffin Show Band.

Frank Wright has never had a music lesson in his life. He comes by his satiny-smooth, far-ranging voice purely through a natural gift. Frank was only 7 years old when he put on his first show. He continued to sing still when he went in the Air Force at the age 20. He won every talent show in the Air Force. Later he went at Pasadena City College, The University of Southern California. Self taught on musical theory, Wright became a campus musical legend.
He continued his collegiate studies for 6 1/2 years. Finally ending up just a few credits away from a masters degree in Political Science. Wright worked for the State of California as a rehabilitation counselor.
He appeared in the famous club called St.Charles in Pomona, California in which Frank Sinatra and many others frequented. It was the first time he had sung for pay at this club. Frank realized his first love was singing and started his musical career. He formed a group and they played in many large hotels such as Hilton, Holiday Inn and Castaways. It was then he met a talent keyboard artist named Bob Christy. They teamed up to make beautiful music together.
They recorded an album called "Pure Energy" during 1980 but I don't know if it was ever released  by any label. My copy doesn't mention any label. This album has different styles of music such as soul, jazz, funk and blues.
I chose a particularly sophisticated song "Nixon" and was written by Bob Christy and Frank Wright.

Note: The above posted track is not played in full

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Robert "Goodie" Whitfield

Most of the fans of soul and funk music know Robert Whitfield more as "Goodie". He used the name "Goodie" when collaborated with the famous funk group called Gap Band. He was born and raised in Dallas,Tx. He developed a love for music at an early age and became interested in the saxophone, flute, piano and guitar. He studied music composition, theory and saxophone from Jr. High through his college years. His earliest influences were gospel, jazz, 70’s R&B and funk. Although Jazz was Goodie’s true beginnings where he developed a keen sense of artistry, stage presence and entertaining, today he is known for his talents as a vocalist, keyboardist, songwriter and producer.
How many people really know that Robert Whitfield released a single before he collaborated with the Gap Band ?
Robert Whitfield with his fantastic voice released a single entitled "Keep on dancing to the music / I write songs" on Monterey Records. Both songs were written by himself. It seems to me that he was a great songwriter.

Produced and arranged by Jack Daugherty.

Produced and arranged by Jack Daugherty.

I want to note that Jack Daugherty had released an album under the name The Jack Daugherty Orchestra called "Carmel by the sea" on the same label in 1976.
Later Robert collaborated with the Gap Band. He appeared as a backing vocalist on the Gap Band album called "The Gap Band II" in 1979 on Mercury Records. Next year he appeared again with the Gap Band as keyboardist on the album called "Gap Band III" on Mercury Records. The same year he collaborated with the group Yarbrough & Peoples on the album "The two of us". On this album he appeared on keyboards and backing vocals.
In 1982 he released the debut album entitled "Call me Goodie" on Total Experience Records. I think that he was  influenced by his collaboration with the Gap Band, because most of the songs which were included on the album were funky. However some songs are great such as "L.A" and "You and I".

This album was recorded at Total Experience Recording Studios, Hollywood. The musicians were Alisa Peoples on keyboards, Calvin Yarbrough, Louis Cabaza on Synthesizer, Ronnie Kaufman, Melvin Webb, David Fine and David Crockett on drums, Melvin Webb on percussion, Fred Jenkins, Lonnie Simmons, Mike McKinney, Jimi Macon and Glenn Nightingale on guitar, Dionne Oliver, Robert Wilson and Victor "Widetrack" Hill on bass. Background vocals by Charlie Wilson, Alisa Peoples, Calvin Yarbrough, Maxine Waters, Julia Waters, Rudy Taylor, Pat Peterson, Temple McKinney, Troy Peoples, Ronnie Kaufman and Val Young.
Horn arrangements by Malvin "Dino" Vice and Benjamin Wright. Produced by Lonnie Simmons.
My favorite songs are "L.A" and "You and I".

The same year he participated as a keyboardist on the Gap Band album entitled "Gap Band IV" on Mercury Records.
In 1985 he released the second and the last album entitled "I wanna be your man" on Total Experience Records. The same year for one more time he collaborated with the group Yarbrough & Peoples. After this album I lost him. I have never seen him since.

Note: The above posted tracks are not played in full

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chris Meyer - Ready, Willing and Stable Lp

B.L. Chris Meyer started working in the film and photography business at the age of 15 for Designer's Group, a communications design company in Houston, Texas. His first job was cleaning up film ends and organizing negatives. However, within a short time, he began directing and shooting projects for the company.
In 1978 he went to work for KHOU-TV in Houston ,TX, at that time the 12th largest television market in the country. He was cast as the co-host and co-producer of a daily television magazine show called P.M. Magazine. In 1982 he was assigned to co-host a new live daily television talk-show program called Houston Afternoon.

At that time he released the second album (first album was released in 1969) entitled "Ready, Willing and Stable" on Meca Music Co. It was recorded at ACA Studios, the oldest studio in Houston, Texas. Chris Meyer collaborated with a pianist called Shelton BergShelly was teaching at a local college and was playing jazz in and around the Houston area.
Chris Meyer told me:  "Shelly" did an excellent job of producing and his arrangements were fantastic. The album got limited distribution in some of Houston's record stores and about 1000 copies were sold.

Shelton "Shelly" Berg
Shelton "Shelly" Berg was arranger and producer on the album. He also wrote most of the songs of the album. I want to note that today "Shelly" is one of the finest pianists, who plays modern mainstream jazz.
In this album participated Shelton Berg on keyboards, Evan Arredondo on bass, Tim Harris on guitar, Tom Cummings on percussion, Larry Martinez and Kit Reid on trumpets, Joe Miller on trombone, Tony Campice and Tristan Smith on Woodwinds, Raphael Fliegel, David Chausow, Caroline Plummer and Peggy Ruttenberg on violins.Arranged and produced by Shelton Berg.
My favorite songs are "You can dance with me" , "High time" and "Goin' back". These songs were written by Shelton Berg except the song "Goin' back" which was written by Shelton Berg and B.Cunningham.

After this album Chris Meyer recorded two singles in the country music scene, which were recorded at Sugar Hill Studios, also in Houston (Freddy Fenders Studio).
In 1984 Chris left broadcast television to start Meyer Productions, Inc. a full-service photography and video production company. By 1993 MPI was among the 10 largest production companies in Houston and included 3 additional companies: International Video Distributors, Technical Programming Services, and the Ink Spot. The company won a number of local, national and international awards.

In 1996 Chris downsized the company so he could return to doing more of the hands-on shooting. The company is now called Multimedia Production Services, Inc. and services a myriad of industrial and commercial clients.

Note: The above posted tracks are not played in full

# I would like to thank Chris Meyer for all his info

## I would like to thank Shelton "Shelly" Berg

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stallion - Ain't no way 1981

Dan Milner started his music career at the age of 6 taking piano lessons. At the age of 13 he started his own group, "The Visions" in Minneapolis. By the time he was 17, "The Visions" were a band in the Twin Cities playing all venues available. After two years of college majoring in music and art, Dan moved to Los Angeles to pursue his music career without his fellow band members. Within six months, he once again formed a band; this one named "Pony". Gathering together 3 other members with the love for The Beatles, Dan created a group which started to gather a good following in the LA area. At the age of 21, Dan's group was signed to the famous William Morris Agency and one month later signed to 20th Century Records.
After 2 years on the label, he became disenchanted with the producers of their first two albums and left that label and signed with Warner / Chappel roster as a composer.
In 1978 Dan moved South to San Diego, and started managing the largest recording studio in the city, "Studio West". Within two years, he was head / first engineer, and manager. Two years later he bought Studio West, and started his own music company, Wintermoon Music. Even though at one time Wintermoon Music had offices in San Diego, Minneapolis, and Toronto.

In 1981 he collaborated with the band called "Stallion". Not to be confused with the pop/rock group Stallion from Denver which recorded two albums with Casablanca Records in the late 70s. Stallion released a single entitled "You / Ain't no way" on KG Records. Dan Milner wrote both of these songs. Also both of these songs were produced by Dan Milner.
Today I have the pleasure to present one of the rarest modern soul songs which probably it appears for the first time in the world. 

Dan has been a first engineer, producer, and arranger for over 25 years. He has earned over 350 advertising awards. and has produced music for over 650 episodes of television. One of them was “The American Gladiators”.

Note: The above posted single is not played in full

#  I would like to thank Buddy Stephens for all his info. Buddy Stephens  is a member of the group Stallion which released two albums with Casablanca Records in the late 70s.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Barry Duke - I'm leaving 1983

Barry Wade Duke was born in 1954. Barry is a singer with a great voice as well as being a producer, composer and saxophone player.
To understand more about Barry Duke I came in contact with Ron Henderson Jr. (the son of Ron Henderson Sr. who became known in the 70s with the group  Ron Henderson & Choice of Colour). He has been performing since the age of 14 following in his dad's footsteps. He has performed, written and produced for various artists such as Jerry Butler, Al Wilson, The Platters, Brook Benton, Percy Sledge, Ron Henderson and The Choice of Colours, Major Lance, Archie Bell, Barry Duke, Billy Scott and many others.
Ron told me: Barry Duke is one of the most talented and dedicated producers, songwriters, and musicians I have ever come in contact with.  I am proud to say he is more than my partner, my friend, "he is my brother".

Ron Henderson Jr. on stage
Ron Henderson Jr. as he recalls, first started out recording with Barry in the early 80s and they became partners and are still active today. Barry Duke wrote the song "I'm leaving" and Ron along with Barry produced and arranged it. They first recorded it on cassette.
Richard Robinson was also their partner at that time and was very instrumental in the success of the recording. They then released it on Ron Henderson Sr.'s label Choice Cut Records.

Composed by Barry Duke. Arranged by Alan Kaufman. Produced by Ron Henderson Jr.

The other side of the vinyl record is entitled "Gotta find a way". Composed by Pervis Lee Jr. and Duke Hall. Produced and arranged by Ron Henderson Jr.

At that time Choice Cut Records also released the single "Gemini Lady" which was by Ron Henderson and The Choice of Colour.
I asked Ron Henderson Jr. if they had recorded other songs at that time. Ron told me that they recorded two songs entitled "Ready or not" and "Love bandit" which were never released due to unforseen occurences. Later Barry Duke recorded  "Love bandit" with the group The Catalinas which was written originally by Ron Henderson Jr.

The same year Barry Duke joined the group The Entertainers. The Entertainers released an album on HMC Records. It was recorded at HMC Studios, Charlotte, NC. Barry sang and played saxophone on this album. He sang again the song "I'm leavin". The album was produced by Alan Kaufman.

Alan Kaufman
I want to mention that Alan Kaufman was also producer on the albums, The Fabulous Kays' entitled "Deep in the night" in 1983 and Terri Gore's entitled "Movin on" in 1984.
I came in contact with Alan Kaufman. Alan told me that Barry Duke was very easy to work with as well as being very professional. He would do whatever it took to perfect something in the studio, because he enjoyed the process so very much. Alan Kaufman also enjoying working with  Barry Duke and the whole band.

The members of The Entertainers who played on this album were Hugh "Tuff" Blanton on bass and background vocals, Earl Dawkins on lead vocals, Barry Duke on lead vocals and saxophone, Richie Lengel on guitar, Richard Robertson on trumpet and background vocals, Ric Sanders on keyboards and background vocals. Produced by Alan Kaufman.

After his period in the group The Entertainers, Barry Duke left and joined another group called The Fabulous Kays. Later, from 1991 to 2001 he sang for The Catalinas. After that he went to the Robin Rogers Band, then The Night Crawlers, in which he is currently still playing.

The Night Crawlers

Note: The above posted tracks are not played in full

#  I would like to thank Ron Henderson Jr. for all his info and his help. He is currently performing with the band (The Executives) that backs up "Chairmen of the Board"

## Also I would like to thank Alan Kaufman.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Charnissa Jones

Charnissa Jones was known as Charnissa. She started as a member of the female group called Sweet Hearts of Soul. This group sang on the background vocals for the album of Aretha Franklin entitled "Aretha in Paris" in 1968.

Also she appeared along with the female group Raylettes for Ray Charles on background vocals. Later sadly she had problems with her voice. After of her voice rehabilitation, she sang for the U.S Navy Band.
In the continued she had a chance to meet the producer Bud Reneau in Atlanta when she did a visit to a recording company. Then she did some demos and Columbia Records signed with her. However there were problems between the label and the management team. For this reason this collaboration stopped.
So Bud Reneau helped Charnissa to release her first album in 1978 on Zeus Records. It was also released on Equity Records. It was recorded at East Avalon Studio, Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Produced by Bud Reneau. Arranged by Dr.and Mrs Alien Chastain. I chose the track "When can we do this again". Composed by Phillip Mitchell and Billy Clements. This song was re-recorded by Z.Z.Hill in 1982 and Jesse James in 1988.

The second album is more scarce and released on Robox Records in 1979.

The same year she participated as Charnissa Butts along with Joy Cannon on vocals under the name Frisky. In fact this album was a project by Moses Dillard and Jesse Boyce on Vanguard Records. Four songs were included on the album. Three songs of them were performed by Charnissa.
Arranged, conducted and produced by Moses Dillard and Jesse Boyce. I chose a song entitled "Love at first sight". I want to note that this song was also recorded on the first album in 1978 by Charnissa. Original recording by Cathy O'Shea in 1978.

After of this album she collaborated with some groups from Alabama. She collaborated with Tony Wachter musician, singer, songwriter and producer. In 1984 she released a single entitled "Starting from Scratch / Will it take magic" on CRP Records. Both of these songs were recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio Sheffield, Alabama. Both of the songs were written by Phillip Mitchell. Produced by Roger Hawkins & Charles O.Johnson. I want to note that Prince Phillip Mitchell re-recorded the song "Starting from Scratch" in 1991 for the album "Loner" which was released on Ichiban Records.

I have chosen the song "Will it take magic".

Today Charnissa Jones (Stevenson) is still active and she appears in various clubs and events. I want to mention that her daughter, who is named Charnissa Butts, is a singer of R&B. 

Note: The above posted tracks are not played in full.