Archive for December 2010

The things you find at a head shop

December 31, 2010

It’s kind of fitting that we crank out this month’s Midnight Tracker post on a night when midnight matters so much. Also fitting that we do so on a night when it’s best to stay in and listen to records.

We’ve had a bit of a thaw in Wisconsin over the last couple of days, with temperatures near 40, light rain, fog and a fair amount of snow melt. It’s expected to end abruptly, right around midnight on New Year’s Eve, when a cold front moves through. They’re warning us that driving will be “treacherous” after that.

So if you also are staying in, we have another good side for you as The Midnight Tracker emerges from the winter fog.

Is it bad karma to buy something for yourself when your Christmas shopping isn’t done? Hope not. I went into our local head shop a couple of weeks ago, looking for cool T-shirts or posters for our son, who’s 15. I discovered they had a small bin of used vinyl. I found this.

You rarely see any Chuck Jackson records in our corner of Wisconsin. I’ve been looking ever since hearing “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near).” It was included last year on the CD set included with the Oxford American’s music issue.

I didn’t buy that record that day. Christmas shopping wasn’t done yet. When I got home, I realized I have the title cut, which is an absolute scorcher. I picked it up a couple of years ago from Derek’s Daily 45.

So, yes, I did go back and get that record about a week later. It was $2. The Christmas shopping still wasn’t quite done, but so it goes. I had to get it on the turntable.

Chuck Jackson and Maxine Brown worked for Wand Records, part of the Scepter Records family, for most of the ’60s. They had some modest R&B hits as individuals, and again when paired as a duet in 1966. Their first record of duets, “Saying Something” is said to be a bit more elegant, full of love songs, than this one. I haven’t heard it.

“Hold On, We’re Coming” snaps off one great, upbeat cover after another. Recorded when Jackson and Brown were in their late 20s, it’s full of energy, full of New York R&B and soul. Dig it!

“Hold On I’m Coming,” “Something You Got,” “Shake A Tail Feather,” “C.C. Rider,” “Maybe” and “I Need You So,” Chuck Jackson and Maxine Brown, from “Hold On, We’re Coming,” 1967. This is Side 1. It runs 14:59.

(The buy link is to a two-fer CD which has that first record, “Saying Something.)

Three of these cuts made it into the R&B singles charts. “Something You Got” was No. 10 and “I Need You So” was No. 22 in 1965, and the title cut was No. 20 in 1967.