Posted tagged ‘1968’

Soulful strutting, then and now

September 2, 2013

In the last week, I’ve heard “Soulful Strut” covered twice by one of Wisconsin’s best bands, and we heard the original on satellite radio last night.

The laid-back soul-jazz instrumental was released as a single in November 1968. It hit No. 3 on the charts for Young-Holt Unlimited, a three-man combo out of Chicago.

However, none of the members of Young-Holt Unlimited — neither bass player Eldee Young nor drummer Red Holt nor keyboardist Ken Chaney — played on it.

The tune was the backing track for “Am I The Same Girl,” a song co-written by Eugene Record, the husband of singer Barbara Acklin. She recorded the song first for Brunswick Records — Young-Holt’s label — but producer Carl Davis and arranger and co-writer Sonny Sanders stripped her vocal tracks and dropped in a piano solo by session man Floyd Morris to create the instrumental.

So, though credited to Young-Holt Unlimited and released on their LP of the same name, “Soulful Strut” was created by Brunswick Records session musicians. Young-Holt took one for the team.

youngholt soulfulstrutlp2

“Who’s Making Love,” “Please Sunrise, Please,” “Be By My Side,” “What Now My Love,” “Baby Your Light Is Out” and “Soulful Strut,” Young-Holt Unlimited, from “Soulful Strut,” 1968. This is Side 1. It runs 17:40. The LP is out of print, but the last two cuts are available on “The Definitive Young-Holt Unlimited,” a 2005 CD release.

Copper Box, that fine band out of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, puts its own twist on “Soulful Strut.” Danny Jerabek replaces the horns with his button accordion and Michelle Jerabek adds the vocals from “Am I The Same Girl.” That version is available on “People Change,” the band’s 2011 CD.

Their version just happens to be the first sample on this promo video.

Get heated up on a winter’s night

January 30, 2011

As January days go in our corner of Wisconsin, today was a pretty nice day. The sun was out, and it felt warm as I walked around Lambeau Field, shooting pictures on the Sunday before the Packers play in Super Bowl XLV.

But before I was done, the clouds started to roll in. Cold again.

So tonight on The Midnight Tracker, something to get us heated up.

When I got back into crate digging four or five years ago, Morton Stevens’ original TV soundtrack for “Hawaii Five-O” was one of the first records I bought. I dug it out a while back, gave it a spin and immediately realized I’d been sleeping on something great.

You know the “Hawaii Five-O” theme, of course. It’s more than 40 years old but has not lost one bit of its cool.

What follows it on this record is a gorgeously funky blend of cool jazz and noirish rock, anything but TV soundtrack filler. It’s quite a revelation to find out what was swimming around just outside the mainstream in 1969, when this was released.

“Hawaii Five-O,” “Call To Danger,” “McGarrett’s Theme,” “Front Street,” “The Long Wait” and “Blues Trip,” Morton Stevens, from “Hawaii Five-O” original TV soundtrack, 1969. This is Side 1. It runs 14:01.

(The buy link is to a CD released last September. Until then long out of print, it had never been on CD.)

The third cut, “McGarrett’s Theme,” is reminiscent of “Red Roses For A Blue Lady.” McGarrett must have been hanging around one of those bars where you go when you don’t want to be seen.

Danger lurks nearby on the second and fourth cuts, “Call To Danger” and “Front Street.”

The fifth cut, “The Long Wait,” is just that, fraught with anticipation.

As for the final cut, “Blues Trip,” when did Five-O go to Memphis?

Ponder that as you enjoy The Midnight Tracker, which resurfaces at the end of every month. It emerges from the haze of time, reviving an old late-night FM radio show on which one side of a new or classic album was played.

For more on this great record, including how the Ventures were involved in making it, please check out Doug Payne’s fine post on his Sound Insights blog.