Friday, 3 August 2012

DICK JENSEN "WHITE HOT SOUL" (1969)



The most absolute, super-charged stone-sex-symbol to hit today's music scene is Probe's audio-visual dynamite new artist Dick Jensen.

Jensen was born in Honolulu, the son of a fuel depot fireman, and his first experience on stage was in the fourth grade when he put together a group for a teacher's show.

In high school he won Hawaii's Best Athlete of the Year Award. With this honor, he was awarded a swimming scholarship to the University of Washington. At UW he put together a group that became the hit of the campus - and he hasn't stopped since!

Jensen's in-person shows have brought super-raves which compare him only to Tom Jones. The latter, the reviews claim, would come off second best if they both appeared on the same night club floor together!!

This fantastically talented artist, whose moving, dancing wriggling excitement (read: Sex Appeal) is equalled only by his throbbing voice, now explodes with his first record on the music scene. He's been called an "American Tom Jones." It won't be long before he turns the tables, and Tom Jones becomes the "British Dick Jensen"! Check him out!!


[from the original sleeve notes of "White Hot Soul"]



Dick Jensen was a live musical performer of the Rhythm and Blues, Soul, and Gospel genres; a native Hawaiian athletic song stylist and a prime mover of nightclub shows inspired by Little Richard, whose "white hot soul" electrified audiences with his belting voice and imposing physical performances.

His signature on-stage style incorporated strenuous dance moves similar to those of Jackie Wilson; he was noted for his glide - a proto-Moonwalk - well before Michael Jackson made it fashionable.

For a more detailed Dick Jensen biography that covers the period 1942-1972 please have a look here.



By 1968 Dick Jensen had signed with Don Costa Productions and began performing at the El Quid in Mexico City with The Dick Jensen Show which included The Imports and Cathy Carlson. At this point he often divided his career between the Hawaai and Las Vegas, where he would appear at several hotels and casinos over the course of his career, including the Landmark

For Dick it was about time to debut with his first album on Probe Records - a subsidiary of ABC Records - aptly entitled "White Hot Soul". A few weeks before the LP came to light, I'm Good For You / Jealous Feeling were released as a single to give people a sneak peak of what was coming next. This single was also released later, in early 1970, in France with a nice picture cover.




"White Hot Soul" contains the following tracks:

01. Cry On My Shoulder (2:53)
02. I'm Good For You (2:50)
03. Jealous Feeling (3:00)
04. Home Again at Last (2:50)
05. That Lucky Old Sun (5:08)
06. Hard To Handle (3:03)
07. My Elusive Dreams (3:27)
08. Medley: Try a Little Tenderness / Expressway To Your Heart /
      I Heard It Through the Grapevine / Yesterday
(6:50)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in July 2012 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include completely restored PDF artwork. Please have a look at the comments for the download links.



The album opens with "Cry On My Shoulder", a song written by Phil Flowers - a Washington-area singer/composer sometimes described as "The Black Elvis" - along with his aunt (!) Velma McCoy. During his career Flowers penned hundreds of rock, blues, gospel, and ballad tunes; his own version of "Cry On My Shoulder" was released as a single in 1967 with moderate success.

"I'm Good For You" is a strong track written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter (...who successfully teamed up and wrote songs for The Four Tops, Dusty Springfield and Glen Campbell, among others...) showcasing a nice arrangement with punctuating horns, a prominent bass line and multi backing-vocals blends.

"Jealous Feeling" is another cool track written by Bobby Weinstein (...best remembered as author of the music of the modern standard "Goin' Out of My Head"...) and Lou Stallman (...whose songs have been recorded by The Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Esther Phillips and many more...).

These three songs were recorded in a studio and produced by Don Costa and Bob Morgan. The rest of the album consists of live tracks whose production is credited to Don Costa. While remastering the album I realized that some of these songs were "adjusted" in the studio; if you carefully listen with headphones you can hear a few tape cuts and splices here and there...

The live part of "White Hot Soul" begins with "Home Again at Last", a song penned by Jensen himself, where he seems to express nostalgia for his Islands on the top of a relaxed and groovy background. Here's the lyrics:

Walking on the shore as sunlight starts the day
Things don't seem the same in a strange unusual way
Maybe reality or maybe just flash makes it all come back
I'm home, I'm home, home again at last


Those childer days with castles in the sand
Little children's laughter you try to understand
Maybe reality or maybe just flash makes it all come back
I'm home, I'm home, home again at last


Maybe reality or maybe just flash makes it all come back
I'm home, I'm home, home again at last


I miss the salty air where footprints in the sand
seem all disappear with a wave of nature's hand
Now it's reality no longer just a flash, nows it all comes back
I'm home, I'm home, home again at last
I'm home, I'm home, home again at last


"That Lucky Old Sun" is a popular song with music by Beasley Smith and words by Haven Gillespie. Its lyrics contrast the toil and intense hardship of the singer's life with the obliviousness of the natural world. The song was a big hit in 1949 with successful versions recorded by Frankie Laine, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra. The song was later covered by many famous artists, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin and Johnny Cash.




Side Two starts with "Hard To Handle", a 1968 song originally recorded by Otis Redding and written by Redding himself along with producers Al Bell and Allen Jones. The original version was released posthumously after Redding's death in 1967 on the album "The Immortal Otis Redding". It was later covered by The Grateful Dead, Tom Jones, Mae West, The Black Crowes and many more.

"My Elusive Dreams" was originally a country music song written by Billy Sherrill and Curly Putman. The best-known version was recorded as a duet by David Houston and Tammy Wynette, another nice version was performed by Bobbie Gentry and Glenn Campbell. The song was also covered by Tom Jones: along with the previous "Hard To Handle" it is another trait d'union between him and Dick Jensen.

The album closes with a medley announced by Jensen as "in tribute to the late, great, Otis Redding". The medley features extracts from the following songs:

- "Try a Little Tenderness", written by Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly and Harry M. Woods. A popular version of this song was recorded by Otis Redding in 1966;

- "Expressway To Your Heart", written by Philadelphia soul producers and songwriters Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Performed by The Soul Survivors, this was the first hit for the Gamble-Huff team;

- "I Heard It Through the Grapevine", written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong in 1966. This is a landmark song in the history of Motown, the single was recorded by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and Gladys Knight & The Pips before becoming a signature song for Marvin Gaye;

- The Beatles' Yesterday, which - according to the Guinness World Records - is the most recorded song in the world.

The following video features Dick Jensen performing his medley on the Ed Sullivan Show in New York City during the early 70s:




Here's the short credit list that appear on "White Hot Soul":

Produced by Don Costa Productions, Inc.

"Cry On My Shoulder", "I'm Good For You" and "Jealous Feeling" produced by Don Costa and Bob Morgan

Engineers: Bob Lang, Guy Costa, Roy Durkee, John Stronach and Dave Sanders

Cover and liner design: William Shepard assisted by Diana Graham

Art Director: Henry Epstein


Dick Jensen captured during a live performance in 1969, location unknown [from my own collection]


More information about Dick Jensen is available here:

http://archives.starbulletin.com/2006/06/22/news/story02.html

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2006/Jun/22/il/FP606220304.html

http://www.oahuislandnews.com/May05/Home.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Jensen

I'm currently compiling a Dick Jensen biography, the first part of this work-in-progress covers the period 1942-1972 and is available here.

I'm also trying to compile a Dick Jensen exhaustive discography, my work-in-progress is available here.

Last but not least, I'm also trying to build a collection of Dick Jensen pictures and memorabilia, my work-in-progress is available here.

All my posts dedicated to Dick Jensen on this blog are available here.


If you have any useful information about Dick Jensen, or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for this! (and for all of the D.Jensen, and also everything else on this blog) We've had the Phil.Intl.LP for years, but did not know of anything else (and never took the time to search the internet for further info); it's so great to find your blog (found by chance while searching Don Sebesky!) It's interesting to note that we've searched Chicago used-record stores for years, and have never seen a D.Jensen album, other than the 1 copy of the P.I. album that we got. Thanks again for sharing.

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  2. DOWNLOAD LINK

    https://mega.nz/#!9Y1...

    If you download this file please consider leaving a comment, your feedback is important!

    Please let me know if the link is broken and I'll do my best to quickly fix it.

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