Monday, 30 April 2012

THE SHEEP RECORDS STORY #3: THE LOU HÖFFNER TRIO MINUS ONE "DERRICK 2000" (1997)



Sheep Records was a Swiss underground label specialized in Garage-Rock, Surf, Lounge and other Rock'n'Roll oddities. Run by Christian Müller from Zürich, along with friends Andi Frick and Andreas Egi, it was active from 1996 to 2004 and published about 30 releases, mostly on 7" vinyl singles.



In october 2006, after about two years of hiatus, all the contents of the now defunct Sheep Records website were deleted from the Internet, and replaced with a blank page announcing that "Der Kebab ist gegessen" ("The kebab is eaten"), a last goodbye and a reference to the label's cataloguing system that included the prefix "kebab" for vinyl releases and "gigot" for CD releases.



The third Sheep Records release was a 7" by the mysterious Lou Höffner Trio Minus One; it is rumoured that this project was conducted by the brother of one of the members of Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited...

The single was limited to 1000 copies on black vinyl and is dedicated to Stefan Derrick and Harry Klein, main charachters of the well known German TV-series "Derrick".

The A-side features a swinging ultra-lounge / spycore version of the theme tune enriched with Moog oddities: "Derrick 2000". On the flip side Harry takes a trip in space courtesy of more otherworldy Moog sounds, keyboards and percussions: "Harry In Orbit".





Here's the track list for this 7" single:

01. Derrick 2000 (2:58)
02. Harry In Orbit (3:22)

Both tracks were remastered from vinyl in April 2012 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include scans of the original item in PDF format. Please have a look at the comments for the download links.

More information about Sheep Records is available here:

http://www.surfnroll.de/interviews/sheep/sheep.html


The Sheep Records story will continue in the next months. All your inputs are more than welcome, if you want to get in touch please write to stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

OSCAR YOUNG / THE ELECTRIC ORGAN ORCHESTRA "HONG KONG TOKYO" (楊道火 / 電子風琴樂隊 "香港東京")



Following a previous post about NWLP 5, here's another cool record released by New Wave Record Co. in Hong Kong during the second half of the 60s. This seems to be a lounge / pop rendition of traditional Chinese and Japanese popular songs and melodies, and feature the electric organ as main instrument.

No author is clearly mentioned on the front cover, but some logograms that appear on the back cover provide a few information: the album is filed under easy listening (輕音樂) and is credited to The Electric Organ Orchestra (電子風琴樂隊), which just like The New Wave Orchestra on the aforementioned blog entry, was probably more an ensemble of studio musicians than a real band.

Althought a release date doesn't appear anywhere on the cover, other releases by the same label bearing a later catalogue number are proven to have been published in 1969. This information places "Hong Kong Tokyo" sometimes earlier in the late 60s, probably in 1967-68.



The arrangements are credited to Oscar Young (楊道火) who probably also played all the organ parts and solos. Young was a key-figure in the Hong Kong music scene of the late 60s / early 70; with his arrangements he also had the merit to introduce and popularise classical music to the younger generations.

He arranged for many famous bands and singers, including Teresa Teng (鄧麗君) and Frances Yip (葉麗儀), and released countless albums with his Oscar Orchestra (奧斯卡管弦樂團). I'm not 100% sure about it, but it could be that he was also a member of the prolific and versatile The Apollo (太陽神樂隊), or at least he arranged many of their albums, as a matter of fact. It could also be that "Hong Kong Tokyo" was recorded by The Apollo themselves in one of their earlier studio incarnation, who knows...

[edit 02.06.2012: I just discovered that Oscar Young (楊道火) was in fact the leader of The Apollo (太陽神樂隊)...]

Thanks to OCR technology I was able to import the original texts and tried to obtain an English translation using some on-line tools. I guess that the results are not perfect - to say the least - but they give more than a rough idea about the song titles.

By the way, I would be really grateful if someone could help me with this release: I need a correct translation of the songs titles; a better translation of the logograms on the back cover would also be much appreciated. If you can help and share your knowledge please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you so much!


"Hong Kong Tokyo" contains the following tracks:

01. 山地情歌 [Mountain Love Song] (2:49)
02. 負心的人 [Heartless Person] (3:13)
03. 香港旅程 [Hong Kong Journey] (3:38)
04. 蘇州河邊 [By the Suzhou River] (2:53)
05. 夕陽之戀 [Sunset Love] (2:53)
06. 交換 [Exchange] (2:58)
07. 蘋莫花 [Apple Flowers] (2:47)
08. 何必要燒香 [Why You Want To Burn Incense] (2:38)
09. 東京的黃昏 [Tokyo Dusk] (3:49)
10. 星心相思 [Heart of Acacia] (2:39)
11. 梅花 [The Plum Blossom] (3:11)
12. 夢裏相思 [Acacia Dream] (2:36)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in April 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.





I wasn't able to gather much information about the songs on this album, but anyway, here's what I discovered:

山地情歌 [Mountain Love Song] is a traditional Chinese song, while 負心的人 [Heartless Person] consists of a Japanese melody to which lyricist Shenzhi (慎芝) added Mandarin lyrics. It was a big hit for Yao Su Rong (姚蘇蓉) in the early 60s; among others, Pancy Lau (劉鳳屏) and Tsui Ping (崔萍) also recorded their own version of the song.

蘇州河邊 [By the Suzhou River] is regarded by many as the most romantic Chinese pop song. It was written by legendary Chinese composer Yao Min (姚敏). Published in 1946, it was first recorded as a duet between him and his sister Yao Li (姚莉).

夢裏相思 [Acacia Dream] was originally recorded in the early 60s by Tsui Ping (崔萍) and was subsequently performed by many other female singers, that's all I know...

The following is the only Oscar Young picture I was able to find on the web; the original was available at a very low resolution, I did my best to enhance it.




A few more information about Oscar Young and the New Wave Record Co. catalogue is available here:

http://bbs.qianlong.com/thread-1380802-1-1.html

http://www.conceptoradio.net/2013/10/31/oscar-young-band-sintetizadores-en-la-china-de-1976/

http://www.discogs.com/artist/2396453-Oscar-Young-2

http://liferecords.com.my/index.php/catalogsearch/result/?q=Oscar

http://blog.roodo.com/muzikland/archives/2512021.html

http://www.discogs.com/artist/1638765-Apollo-The-2

http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/%E5%A4%AA%E9%99%BD%E7%A5%9E%E6%A8%82%E9%9A%8A

http://www.freewebs.com/ritachao/apollothe.htm

http://progressive.homestead.com/HONGKONG.html

http://bbs.qianlong.com/thread-1350672-1-1.html

http://www.radiodiffusion.net/extra/Apollo_Guitar_Ad.jpg

http://rateyourmusic.com/label/new_wave_record_co_

http://radiodiffusion.wordpress.com/category/hong-kong/

http://www.vinylparadise.com/LPCollec/company/fh_life/fh_lp005.htm

http://www.vinylparadise.com/8music/1/music1b2.htm



In the next months I will post more Hong Kong/Taiwan/Singapore/etc. Pop/Instrumental records released in the late-60s / mid-70s. As usual, I would like to provide information about these releases and their authors.

Unfortunately the Internet doesn't offer much information - written in English - about these artists and this is the reason why I need help: if you can translate from Chinese to English please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you so much!

It's been difficult to obtain these vinyls, some are not in the best conditions and I'm currently working hard to properly master them. It seems that these artists and their music are poorly known in the West, of course it's a real pity because they made stunning releases: I'd like to share them with you with a proper presentation, hope that someone will be able to help.

Monday, 16 April 2012

THE SHEEP RECORDS STORY #2: MONSOON "AND NOW..." (1997)

Sheep Records was a Swiss underground label specialized in Garage-Rock, Surf, Lounge and other Rock'n'Roll oddities. Run by Christian Müller from Zürich, along with friends Andi Frick and Andreas Egi, it was active from 1996 to 2004 and published about 30 releases, mostly on 7" vinyl singles.

In october 2006, after about two years of hiatus, all the contents of the now defunct Sheep Records website were deleted from the Internet, and replaced with a blank page announcing that "Der Kebab ist gegessen" ("The kebab is eaten"), a last goodbye and a reference to the label's cataloguing system that included the prefix "kebab" for vinyl releases and "gigot" for CD releases.



The second Sheep Records release was a 7" picture disc by Monsoon, a short-lived side project that included ex-members of the Swiss bands Run Chicken Run and Bishop's Daughter. The single was released in June 1997 and was limited to 500 copies. This was Monsoon's only official release.

Here's the track list and a few notes for this release:

01. And Now... (7:02)
02. 'Cause They Know What You Don't (7:20)

Produced by: Mainstudios, Suisa
Foto: Susi Rodmer
Grafik: Code ZH
File under: "Swiss underground legends of yore"

A psychotic embracement, symphonic in it's derangement...



Both tracks were remastered from vinyl in April 2012 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include scans of the original item in PDF format. Please have a look at the comments for the download links.




More information about Sheep Records is available here:

http://www.surfnroll.de/interviews/sheep/sheep.html


The Sheep Records story will continue in the next months. All your inputs are more than welcome, if you want to get in touch please write to stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

DICK JENSEN "GIRL DON'T COME / GROOVE WITH WHAT YOU'VE GOT" (1969)

You have a date for half past eight tonight
Some distant bell are chiming now
And you wanna see her
You wanna see her, oh yeah
So you wait, you wait and wait
Girl don't come

The time rolls on, those minutes fly by
You wanna go, but you just try, guy
You wanna see her
You wanna see her, oh yeah
So you wait, you wait and wait
Girl don't come

You've been stood up
Tears fill your eyes
You're hurt inside
You wanna die

You wanna see her
You wanna see her, oh yeah
So you wait, you wait and wait
Girl don't come
Girl don't come
Girl don't come


[From the lyrics of "Girl Don't Come"]



After his three 7" singles for Loma Records published in 1965-1966, Dick Jensen didn't have any release for about three years. Althought this lack of output, it was during this period that he became an international performer; his first major club date was the Flamingo in Las Vegas in 1967.

By 1968 he had signed with Don Costa Productions and began performing at the El Quid in Mexico City, the Diplomat in Hollywood, the Copacabana in New York and the Caribe Hilton hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He also appeared on most of the important network variety shows, including The Mike Douglas Show and other talkathons.

"Girl Don't Come / Groove With What You've Got" was released in a company sleeve with cat. number 72888 sometimes in 1969. This was Jensen's first and only single on Mercury Records; both tracks were arranged and conducted by Don Costa.

"Girl Don't Come" is a song written by Chris Andrews, a British singer and songwriter, and is best remembered in the version that Sandie Shaw recorded in late 1964.

"Groove With What You've Got" was written by Bobbie Burns and Pat Vegas, it was recorded earlier the same year by The Osmonds Brothers (...later known simply as The Osmonds...) for their album "The Wonderful World of The Osmond Brothers".





Here's the track list for this 7" single:

01. Girl Don't Come (2:16)
02. Groove With What You've Got (2:50)

Both tracks were remastered from vinyl in April 2012 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include scans of the original item in PDF format. Please have a look at the comments for the download links.


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.


I will post more Dick Jensen stuff in the next weeks, if you have any other useful information about him and his releases or if you spot any dead links, just get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

LOU RAWLS "TOO MUCH!" (1967)

What can you say of him... this man who sings on the wild, sweet-sad, swingin’ side of soulin? This man who walks into the blues and rocks the pure emotion of a hurtin’ love for all the world to feel... wearing his talent easily he meets the heart on its own terms, his songs reflecting the one simple truth: Lou Rawls is today’s singinman, sayinit all, soulin’ it all. Great in the superlative sense of greatness here and now. He’s Lou Rawls and he’s... too much!

Sensational this man is, with three smash-hit albums that speak for themselves. The language is all Lou yet the message comes home to everyone who listens. Like it does here. So your lover loves another... well, baby, "Yes, It Hurts (Doesn
t It?)." (So what if you deserve everything youve got... gritty-mood Lou’s got the word, he’s passing it on and somehow it helps.)

Hung up on that "Uphill Climb to the Bottom" you are... groping through a night of blacked-out dreams when your love has gone. (Grab those tomorrows in a shower of day dreams... Lou’s carryin
on and torching lights up the sky.) You’ve no-where to go on a "Dead End Street" ...Windy Citys the place, Lou’s is the monologue cutting words out of Mr. Wind himself... known as The Hawk his words set the scene for Lou’s Chicago-born lesson: get out of that dead end street and never come back.

Talk about a "Righteous Woman" - Lou’s handsome gospel noodling leads into beautiful statements on a beautiful theme, "I Wanna Little Girl" ...not mod, not groovy, just in love. (Sweet-Lou’s soulin
romances the melody with smooth rhythm lines saying... she’s mine, all mine.) It’s all cool, confident, calling the tune as only one man can: Lou Rawls, that magic-man who’ll pocket your heart with the soulinsound of his song.

[Janice May, from the original back sleeve notes of "Too Much!"]



Lou Rawls was an American soul jazz and rhythm and blues singer with extraordinary artistic longevity and great generosity. His soulful singing career spanned over thirty years, and his philanthropy included helping to raise over 150 million dollars for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). He released more than 75 albums, selling about 40 million records worldwide, appeared as an actor in films and on television, and voiced-over many cartoons. He had been called "The Funkiest Man Alive" and his friend Frank Sinatra once said that he had "the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game".

Born Louis Allen Rawls on December 1, 1936 in Chicago, son of a Baptist minister and a homekeeper, Lou Rawls was raised on the South Side by his grandmother and was introduced to gospel at age seven in the choir of the Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church.

As a teenager he developed an interest in the jazz-influenced songs of Billy Eckstine and Joe Williams, whose resonant baritone voices were similar to his own voice. He soon joined doo-wop quartets and sang with the West Singers and the Kings of Harmony, he first recorded in June 1950 with The Holy Wonders. After his grandmother died, he moved to Los Angeles in 1953 and joined the Chosen Gospel Singers.



In the mid-1950s Rawls toured with another gospel group, The Pilgrim Travelers, who recorded for Specialty Records. After graduating from Chicago Dunbar Vocational Career Academy he joined the U.S. Army in 1955 as a paratrooper for about three years. When he returned from military service, he started touring again with the group. One rainy night in November 1958 their car collided with a semi-trailer truck: Eddie Cunningham was killed, Cliff White broke his collarbone and Sam Cooke was hardly injured. Rawls laid in a coma for five days before waking and eventually recovering from the severe concussion, it took him about one year to fully recup.

The accident contributed to the dissolution of The Pilgrim Travelers and Rawls embarked on a solo career in 1959. The group were based in Los Angeles, so Rawls decided to stay there after the breakup. A producer from Capitol Records noticed him performing at Pandora's Box coffee shop and the label signed him in 1961. During the same year Rawls recorded anonymously as an uncredited background singer on Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me", which is considered a classic nowadays.

It took Rawls a while to establish himself as a solo artist, his first recordings were fairly successful. He debuted in 1962 with "Stormy Monday", an album that featured a number of blues and jazz standards chosen by Rawls and backed by the Les McCann Trio.


Lou Rawls, sometimes during the 60s

His 1963 album "Black and Blue", made the pop chart and other four albums followed in just three years ("Tobacco Road", "For You My Love", "Lou Rawls and Strings" and "Nobody But Lou"), but it wasn't until 1966 that he crossed over to major market success with "Lou Rawls Live!". The album was released in April and went to #1 in the Billboard R&B Albums Charts and to #4 in the Billboard Pop Albums Charts. Although it became the first of his several gold albums, Rawls would not have a star-making hit until he made a proper soul album.

The aptly entitled "Soulin'" was released in August 1966, just four months after the success of "Live!". It contained Lou's first R&B #1 single, "Love Is a Hurtin' Thing", which also went up to #13 on the Pop Charts.; with this song he earned his first Grammy Award nomination. Finally, after a few years of struggling, Rawls was reaching white audiences with his smooth baritone.

Produced by David Axelrod, "Carryin' On!" was released during the very last week of 1966, exactly on December 27. Rawls got two mild hits from this album with "Trouble Down Here Below" and "You Can Bring Me All Your Heartaches"; it is also worth mentioning his fine renditions of "On Broadway" and The Beatles' "Yesterday". The production and arrangements were perfectly tailored to his voice, the songs were good, and Rawls sounded confident, assertive, and soulful. "Carryin' On!" went to #2 in the Billboard R&B Albums Charts, to #3 in the Jazz Albums Charts and to #20 in the Pop Albums Charts.

In the midst of Rawls' hot streak at Capitol, "Too Much!" was released on April 17, 1967. It was the first of three albums released during the same year, all of which made the Top 40 in the Pop Albums Charts. The album was superbly produced by David Axelrod and arranged by H. B. Barnum, with Rawls being bluesy, soulful, anguished, triumphant, and resigned. He displayed both a variety of moods and a vocal mastery at its peak. The album features top Jazz and Rhythm'n'Blues musicians like Gerald Wiggins on piano, Earl Palmers on drums, Jimmy Bond on bass, Barney Kessel on guitar, Jom Horn and Teddy Edwards on sax along with Tony Terran and Fred Hill on trumpet.


"Too Much!" contains the following tracks:

01. Yes, It Hurts (Doesn't It) (2:08)
02. It's an Uphill Climb To the Bottom (2:55)
03. I Just Want To Make Love To You (3:29)
04. You're Takin' My Bag (3:12)
05. Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye (2:32)
06. Dead End Street (Monologue) (1:37)
07. Dead End Street (2:22)
08. Twelfth of Never (3:46)
09. Righteous Woman (Monologue) (2:09)
10. I Wanna Little Girl (2:15)
11. Why (Do I Love You So) (2:45)
12. I'll Take Time (2:05)
13. You're Always On My Mind (2:50)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in February / March 2012, they are available as a single FLAC lossless format file or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 file. Both formats include complete printable artwork as PDF files.

Before you burn this album on CD-R using the provided CUE file you will need to convert the original files to WAV format using an appropriate software. Here's an option for FLAC to WAV conversion and one for MP3 to WAV conversion.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download links.




Mostly recorded during mid-February 1967 in Los Angeles, "Too Much!" was #1 on the Billboard Jazz Chart, #2 on the Billboard R&B Album Chart and #3 on the Billboard Pop Album Chart. The album starts with "Yes, It Hurts (Doesn't It?)", a track written by lyricist Ben Raleigh (responsible for a number of major hits by Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Aretha Franklin, Dinah Shore and many others, including - of course - Lou Rawls) and arranger H. B. Barnum. "It's an Uphill Climb To the Bottom" follows; this is a strong number written by William Fangette Enzel and brought to success by Walter Jackson in 1966.

"I Just Want To Make Love To You" is a 1954 blues written by Willie Dixon and first recorded by Muddy Waters; it has been performed by countless singers and bands including The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, The Yardbirds, Bo Diddley, The Animals... It is best remembered in the version recorded by Etta James in 1961. "You're Takin' My Bag" and "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" were both penned by singer-songwriter John D. Loudermilk, they were included in his own album "Suburban Attitudes In Country Verse" released just a couple of months later than "Too Much!".

"Dead End Street", along with its spoken introduction aptly entitled "Dead End Street (Monologue)", is the most remarkable song on the album. Composed by David Axelrod and Ben Raleigh (with the monologue credited to Rawls himself), it was also released as a single and won the1967 Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance. It is said that it helped to pave the way for a singing style that foreshadowed rap or hip-hop. The single was #3 on the Billboard R&B Chart and #29 on the Billboard Pop Chart.


Front cover of the French edition of a "Dead End Street" four tracks EP

Here's the lyrics of "Dead End Street":

I was born in a city they called the Windy City, and they called it the Windy City because of the Hawk: the Hawk, the almighty Hawk - Mr. Wind - takes care of plenty business 'round winter time.

The place that I lived in was on a street that - uh - happened to be one of the dead-end streets where there was nothing to block the wind, the elements, nothing to buffer them for me, to keep 'em from knocking my bed down, you know. I mean really sockin' it to me.

When the boiler would bust and the heat was gone I had to get fully dressed before I could go to bed 'cause I couldn't put on my goulashes 'cause they had buckles on them and my folks didn't play that, they said: "Don't you tear up my bed clothes with some goulashes on".

But I was fortunate: soon as I was big enough to get a job and save enough money, get a ticket, catch anything I split.

And I said "One day I'm gonna return and I'm gonna straighten it all out", and I'm 'bout ready to go back now, so I thought I'd tell you about it.

They say this is a big rich town
but I live in the poorest part
I know I'm on a dead-end street
in a city without a heart

I learned to fight before I was six
the only way I could get along
When you're raised on a dead-end street
you've gotta be tough and strong

Now all the guys I know gettin' in trouble
that's how it's always been
When the odds are all against you
how can you win?

Yeah, yeah, yeah
Ah Lord 'n' now yeah

I'm gonna push my way out of here
even though I can't say when
But I'm gonna get off of this dead-end street
and I ain't never gonna come back again

Never
No no no
Oh now Lord
Again now yeah

I'm gonna push my way out of here
even though I can't say when
But I'm gonna get off of this dead-end street
and I ain't gonna never come back again

No no no
I ain't gonna come back to this dead-end street no more
No
'Cause I'm gonna get me a job

I'm gonna save my dough
get away from here
I ain't gonna come back no more
I'm tired of a dead-end street
I want to get out in the world and learn something
Tired of breakin' my back
I want to start usin' my mind





The second side of "Too Much!" opens with "Twelfth of Never", a popular song written by Jerry Livingston and Paul Francis Webster, the tune (except for the bridge) being adapted from "The Riddle Song" (also known as "I Gave My Love a Cherry"), an old English folk song; it was recorded with great success by Johnny Mathis in 1957 and later by other artists including Cliff Richard and Donny Osmond. "Righteous Woman" is another amusing monologue written by Rawls that serves as an introduction to his rendition of "I Wanna Little Girl", a jazz standard composed by Billy Moll and Murray Mencher back in 1930.

"Why (Do I Love You So)" is another classy number credited to James Woodie Alexander, once manager of The Pilgrim Travelers and Rawls' personal advisor and confidant. "I'll Take Time" by John Anderson features a nice horns arrangement and sax solo; it precedes "You're Always On My Mind", the closing track written - once again - by James Woodie Alexander.


Here's the credits and personnel list of "Too Much" as they appear on the back sleeve:

Arranged by H. B. Barnum

Produced by David Axelrod

The backing includes:
Gerald Wiggins - piano
Earl Palmers - drums
Jimmy Bond - bass
Barney Kessel - guitar
Jom Horn - sax
Teddy Edwards - sax
Tony Terran - trumpet
Fred Hill - trumpet

"Twelfth of Never", "Why (Do I Love You So)", "I Just Want To Make Love To You" and "It's an Uphill Climb To the Bottom" were recorded on February 14, 1967.

"You're Always On My Mind", "Dead End Street", "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye", "I'll Take Time" and "Dead End Street (Monologue)" were recorded on February 16, 1967.

Exact recording dates of the remaining tracks is unknown, probably they were recorded around the same time.




Lou Rawls performing at Monterey Pop Festival, 16.06.1967, both photos by Gene Anthony


During the late 1960s, Rawls appeared regularly on TV variety shows and became a show-room figure in the nightclubs of Las Vegas. In 1970 he recorded a single entitled "Your Good Thing Is About To Come To an End," a title that contradicted the success he experienced in the Seventies. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award.

He switched to MGM Records in 1971, "A Natural Man" was the first album he recorded with them. The homonymous single earned Rawls a second Grammy Award in 1972. He released two more albums with MGM but the hits stopped cold...

It took a chance meeting with Weldon McDougal of Philadelphia International to radically alter Lou Rawls's stalled recording career, but this is a story that will be extensively covered at a later date in a different post.

In 1989 Rawls' hometown of Chicago named a street after him: South Wentworth Avenue was renamed Lou Rawls Drive. He died on 6 January, 2006 in Los Angeles, California.


Lou Rawls performing "Dead End Street" on TV sometimes in 1967


"Unless you've heard the song before - even if you know a singer well, it might take a short while to realise just who it is singing, when you hear them on the radio. But with Lou Rawls that doesn't happen – you know it's him at once. So distinctive is his voice and style, there's no mistaking Lou – he was one of a kind."

[Peter Burns, full feature is available here]


If you have any other useful information about Lou Rawls and "Too Much!" - especially corrections and improvements to this post - 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!

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