Friday, 28 February 2014


Black is black, I want my baby back
It's gray, it's gray, since he went away
What can I do, 'cause I'm feelin' blue

If I had my way, he'd be back today
But he don't intend to see me again
What can I do, 'cause I'm feelin' blue

I can't choose, it's too much to lose
My love's too strong
Maybe if he would come back to me
Then it can't go wrong

Bad is bad, that I feel so sad
It's time, it's time, that I found peace of mind
What can I do, 'cause I'm feelin' blue

I can't choose, it's too much to lose
My love's too strong
Maybe if he would come back to me
Then it can't go wrong

Black is black, I want my baby back
It's gray, it's gray, since he went away
What can I do, 'cause I'm feelin' blue
'Cause I-I-I-I-I'm feelin' blue

[from the lyrics of "Black Is Black"]

Barbara Tamiko Ferguson was born in 1945, one of ten children, in Kyle, West Virginia, USA.

So exotic in her features, ethnically she might be described as multi-racial: her father was an African-American and her maternal grandmother, Mrs. Arma Dalton - who used to live in Charleston - was partly of Japanese descent. Mrs. Dalton's parents, now deceased, were nisei. Because of her Japanese background, Mrs. Dalton at one time lived in a federal internment camp on the West Coast during World War II.

«My mother married a white man of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and on my maternal grandfather's side there is Cherokee Indian blood. So, racially at least I'm really mixed up. Like the rest of my family I consider myself a Negro [1]

The extreme versatility of Tamiko's singing is readily appreciated in considering her own musical background. She was raised in Detroit and, while working as a secretary, she auditioned for a talent agency and made her professional debut in 1961 at the Flame Show Bar in Detroit, a room that earlier showcased such talents as Johnnie Ray and Della Reese:

«I got that job strictly on nerve, I decided one day I wanted to be a singer. Though my repertoire consisted of only one song, "Goody, Goody", I got an audition through an agent with Maurice King, who led the orchestra at the Flame Show Bar. I was hired on the spot for a one-week engagement, but stayed six months.» [1]

I'll Be Anything For You" inner gatefold

During that first six-month engagement, she expanded her repertoire considerably under Maurice King's guidance and improved her showmanship. She developed a style of her own, though she never learned to read music. She describes such style as "jazz-bop", which is a unique styling compounded of pop songs on a jazz base:

«I depend on my ear, I think God gave me a gift for music which I express through my voice. When I first started out, I used to get so scared my knees would knock. The more I sing the more confident I feel, but I still get a little nervous on an opening night.» [1]

Tamiko Jones as pictured on the cover of the French 7" split EP shared with Angela Martin, circa 1963-64

She began her recording career on the Checker label in 1963; her first release, credited simply as Timiko, was the happy-go-lucky song "Is It a Sin?" written by Richard "Popcorn" Wylie backed with "The Boy For Me" written by Robert Bateman on the flip side.

By 1964, Timiko became Tamiko and she relocated to the Atco Records imprint releasing the single "Don't Laugh If I Cry at Your Party" backed with "Rhapsody". Both tracks were also released in France as side A of a 7" split EP coupled with two songs by Angela Martin on side B.

Tamiko Jones, publicity shot for the "A Man and a Woman" single, 1966

In July 1966 she briefly moved to the Golden World label and released her third single offering "I'm Spellbound" on side A and "Am I Glad Now" on side B. The single was produced by Gene Redd who wrote the tunes along with Rose Marie McCoy, Jimmy Crosby and a certain Mike Jones.

During the same year Tamiko also appeared as an extra in a few movies, namely "Penelope", "You're a Big Boy Now" and "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying":

«Acting is a very exciting and stimulating outlet for my artistic energies. I love to act and want to become an expert at it. My greatest ambition is to appear in a Broadway musical. But singing is my main love. I'll never give that up, because it gives me a chance to express myself fully and freely.» [1]

Anyway, let's take a step back: after the six months at the Flame Show Bar, Tamiko began touring the East Coast and Midwest, including stints on the Playboy circuit, the Catskill Mountains and the Carribean area, before getting her first national exposure on the Tonight Show in 1965. Later she performed on the Johnny Carson Show several times as well as on the Merv Griffin and Joey Bishop programs...

Tamiko Jones, press / publicity photo, circa 1966-67

Tamiko's career saw some elevation when she signed with Atlantic in late 1966. She teamed up with label mate Herbie Mann and released a single offering "A Man and a Woman", the theme song from the film of the same name composed by Francis Lai and Pierre Barouh, backed with "Sidewinder", a composition by Lee Morgan which has become a jazz standard nowadays.

Many different versions of "A Man and a Woman" were recorded around this time by different artists, but only the Jones / Mann rendition made the best-selling charts.

«The first Herbie Mann / Tamiko Jones collaboration was a brilliant rendition of the attractive title tune from the French movie "A Man and a Woman". That recording, released in the fall of 1966, helped make "A Man and a Woman" one of the most popular movie themes of the year. The union of Herbie Mann and Tamiko Jones started almost fortuitously at the Atlantic Recording Studios in New York. Herbie heard Tamiko singing in the studio one afternoon and was so taken by her warm, sensuous jazz-pop styling that he stayed throughout her entire rehearsal. When it was over he asked if she would like to record with him.» [2]

Tamiko Jones on the cover of Jet magazine, March 1967

The album was recorded in Rio de Janeiro during three sessions between September and December 1966, and was published by Atlantic in February 1967. It consists of ten songs with musical backgrounds provided by both the Cannonball Adderley Trio and Herbie Mann's Band, mostly arranged by Joe Zawinul and Jimmy Wisner.

One more single was culled from the album, with side A offering a cover of The Beatles' "Day Tripper" paired on the flip side with "A Good Thing (Is Hard To Come By)", a Tamiko's own composition.

By the way, "A Mann and a Woman" was re-released on CD in Japan sometimes in late 2013, and at the time of writing it is still available on major retailers as an import at a fair decent price, don't let it escape you!

With Ed McMhon and Joey Bishop, 1967

A few months after the successful release of "A Mann and a Woman", Tamiko was signed by Jimmy Wisner's new label December Records. As far as I know, the label didn't last long and its output consisted mostly of the Tamiko Jones releases and a few more items...

The first Tamiko's single on the label was released in September, and offered her rendition of "You Only Live Twice", the theme song to the James Bond movie of the same name, coupled with a cover of Aretha Franklin's "Don't Let Me Lose This Dream".

Another single followed towards the end of the year; Side A featured a cover of the Bacharach-David tune "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", originally performed by Dionne Warwick, while Side B offered the exclusive "Pearl", a song written by Tamiko herself and Wisner.

Two more singles were released as promotional items but were not distributed to the public; the first one included "Live For Life", an English adptation of the song originally written by Francis Lai for the soundtrack of the French movie "Vivre pour vivre", coupled with "You Only Live Twice" on the flip side, while the second featured "Someone To Light Up My Life" and "Where Do I Go From Here".

Smartly arranged with a Bossa Nova flavour, probably as an attempt to repeat the exploit of "A Mann and a Woman", the "Tamiko" album was released on December Records in February 1968 and is featured in another post here on Stereo Candies.

During the first half of 1968, Tamiko signed with A&M, and between June and September she was busy recording her second solo album at the Sam Phillips Recording Studio in Memphis and at Van Gelder Studios. "I'll Be Anything For You", the subject of this post, was released later that year on CTI which at the time was still an A&M imprint. Among others, the album featured Solomon Burke, Bernard Purdie and Richard Tee, and marked a change of direction in Tamiko's career...

"I'll Be Anything For You" original inner sleeve shows many A&M goodies...

...and more goodies on the back!


[1] from a feature/interview published on "Jet" magazine, March 1967

[2] from the "A Mann and a Woman" LP liner notes written by Bob Rolontz, 1967

[3] from the "I'll Be Anything For You" LP liner notes written by Peter J. Levinson, 1968

"I'll Be Anything For You" contains the following tracks:

01. I'll Be Anything For You (2:49)
02. Goodnight, My Love (2:38)
03. Where Are They Now? (2:57)
04. Cottage For Sale (2:50)
05. Black Is Black (3:00)
06. Try It Baby (3:25)
07. This Time Tomorrow (2:51)
08. Please Return Your Love To Me (2:07)
09. Peace of Mind (2:57)
10. I've Got My Eyes On You (2:48)
11. Suddenly (2:49)
12. Ya Ya (2:29)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in February 2014 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include restored and printable PDF artwork.

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

A short review of the album published in December 1968

«"I'll Be Anything For You" represents Tamiko Jones' firm musical declaration that as a soul singer, sensitive interpreter of standards, and as a freewheeling handler of current pop tunes, she has arrived. No longer bridled by her previous image as a soft sounding singer of bossa nova songs with a woodwind background, in this album she shakes loose with a wide variety of tunes given several diverse musical settings.» [3]

The dozen songs in the album begin with the vibrant "I'll Be Anything For You", written by Bobby Hebb, the author of "Sunny". This and many of the Memphis sides are enhanced by arranger Teacho Wiltshire's subtle use of strings. Note the especially engaging low string figures he uses throughout "I'll Be Anything For You". In 1970 Hebb included the song in his own album entitled "Love Games".

The next tune, "Goodnight, My Love", perhaps more than any other side in the album illustrates the driving intensity of the Memphis Sound, with Tamiko's singing riding above the band with real conviction.

"Where Are They Now?", written by Brad Praich and Py Whitney, has almost a country and western feel to it, with Tamiko providing a plaintive rendition of the lyric. This song was also released as the flip side of the "Ya Ya" single (A&M 956) and as Side A of another single backed with "Please Return Your Love To Me" (A&M 1016).

"Cottage For Sale" is Tamiko's favorite side in the album and understandably so. Her treatment of this ballad is immediately reminiscent of the fine old standards recorded in the late '50s by Dinah Washington. The song has a long story, with artists from a variety of genres creating many notable recordings; in 1930 it was an hit for The Revelers vocal quartet, while Frank Sinatra recorded a popular version in 1959.

"Black Is Black" is a personal favourite of mine and one of the highlight of the album. The original version by Los Bravos, a Spanish beat group, was a hit in 1966 and sold over one million copies worldwide.

"Try it Baby" also brings to mind Dinah Washington and the memorable duets she recorded with Brook Benton. Tamiko's singing partner on this song is Solomon Burke, who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues as one of the founding fathers of soul music in the '60s: incidentally he was Tamiko's boyfriend at the the time this album was recorded... Tamiko opens by giving her side of the story, with Solomon underlining her statements and then giving his version. The intrinsic humor of the song, written by Berry Gordy, Jr., is perfectly portrayed by Tamiko and Solomon as soloists and in tandem.

Side B starts with voices backing Tamiko's lusty rendition of "This Time Tomorrow"; the song swings comfortably, led by Richard Tee's driving organ playing as a foundation.

"Please Return Your Love To Me" features once again Solomon Burke, this time as a backing vocalist; the song had been a hit for The Temptations just a few months before.

"Peace of Mind", written by Nick Woods, has both a jazz and gospel undercurrent to it as sung by Tamiko. The song was originally recorded by Nina Simone earlier the same year.

"I've Got My Eyes On You" is a popular song by Jackie Rae and Les Reed, it offers an unusual sound courtesy of Don Sebesky's combination of cellos and violas which perfectly underscores the pathos of the song. The chamber music feel is both brooding and yet at the same time lively and sparkling the way Tamiko, and the vocal chorus supporting her, interpret it.

The lively "Suddenly" was penned by Solomon Burke and originally performed by him as flip side of the "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" single in 1966.

"Ya Ya", the famous Lee Dorsey song, moves out of its teenybopper musical image through the decidedly polished and assured manner with which Tamiko approaches it. The band, conducted by Artie Butler, really walls behind her on this version and shows the apparent enjoyment felt by both musicians and singer in working together; it is characteristic of the feeling that seems to pervade throughout the album. The song was also released as a single (A&M 956) in July 1968 backed with the quiet "Goodnight, My Love".

A&M Records / CTI Billboard advertisement, October 1968

The following videos offer a preview of the remastered album; for this purpose I chose my favourite tracks: "I'll Be Anything For You", "Black Is Black", "Suddenly" and "Ya Ya", enjoy!

Here's the credits and personnel list of "I'll Be Anything For You" as they appear on the inner gatefold of the album:

Session #1: June 4, 1968
- I'll Be Anything For You*^
- Goodnight, My Love*^
- Where Are They Now?*^
- Ya Ya
*Rhythm tracks arranged by Solomon Burke
^Strings arranged by Teacho Wiltshire
"Ya Ya" arranged by Artie Butler

Session #2: August 15, 1968
- Black Is Black
- Try It Baby
- Suddenly
Arranged and conducted by Teacho Wiltshire

Session #3: August 29, 1968
- Cottage For Sale
- This Time Tomorrow
- Peace of Mind
Arranged and conducted by Teacho Wiltshire

Session #4: September 17, 1968
- Please Return Your Love To Me
- I've Got My Eyes On You
Rhythm tracks arranged and conducted by Horace Ott
Strings arranged by Don Sebesky

Session #1 recorded at Sam Phillips Recording Studio

Sessions #2, 3 and 4 recorded a Van Gelder Studios
Engineer: Rudy Van Gelder

Piano and Organ: Bobby Emmons (1), Richard Tee (2, 3, 4),
      Bobby Wood (1)
Bass: Chuck Rainey (2, 3, 4)
Drums: Gene Chrisman (1), Herb Lovelle (2), Bernard Purdie (3, 4)
Percussion: Warren Smith (2, 3)
Guitar: Tom Cogbill (1), Bill Fontaine (2), Eric Gale (4), Mike Leech (1),
      Carl Lynch
(2, 3, 4), David Spinozza (3), Reggie Young (1)
Trumpet: Ray Copeland (1, 2), Harold Johnson (1, 2), Mel Lastie (1, 2),
      lrvin Markowitz (1), Marvin Stamm (1)
Trombone: Ben Powell (1, 2), Alan Raph (1)
Saxophone: Joe Grimm (1), Howard Johnson (1, 2), Romeo Penque (1),
      Seldon Powell (1, 2), Jerome Richardson (1, 2)
Violin: Ben Blumenreich (1, 3), Lewis Eley (1, 3), Paul Gershman (2, 4),
      Joseph Haber (1, 3), Louis Haber (1, 3), Charles Libove (2, 4),
      Harry Lookofsky (1, 3), Joseph Singer (1, 3), Irving Spice (1, 3),
      Louis Stone (1, 3)
Viola: Seymour Berman (1, 3), Selwart Clarke (1, 3), David Sackson (1, 3),
      Murray Sandry (1, 3), Emanuel Vardi (2, 4)
Cello: Seymour Barab (1, 3), George Ricci (2, 4), Alan Shulman (1, 3)

Cover photograph by Pete Turner
Album design by Sam Antupit

Tamiko Jones in 1968 as pictured on the front cover of "I'll Be Anything For You"

More information about "I'll Be Anything For You" and Tamiko Jones is available here:

If you have any other useful information about the Tamiko Jones and "I'll Be Anything For You" - 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!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014


Here's another great and rare Dick Jensen record from my collection that I'm particularly proud to offer here for anyone interested!

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. For a more detailed biography about him, I suggest that you have a look at this other post available here on Stereo Candies.

Born Richard Hiram Jensen in 1942, he first became interested in music through the numerous luaus his family would attend. When the family was back from the barbecue, his mother would often play the guitar and Dick, along with his five brothers and sisters, would sing, and play along on the ukulele, or a nearby spoon and ladle, or whatever might be handy. His first experience on stage was in the fourth grade when he put together a group for a teacher's show.

Dick continued to sing through his formative years and began to gain a local reputation. While he was at Honolulu's Farrington High School, he entered a local talent contest, winning first place, and adopted the stage name of Lance Curtis at the suggestion of Tom Moffatt and Earl Finch, both active as promoters in the local Hawaii scene; the name was choosen for its illusory Hollywoodian qualities.

The award gained Jensen a spot on one of Hawaii's major television shows and led to his first single recording Bye Bye Baby / Lover's Paradise published by Teen Records in 1959. Sympathy / Leahi, another single credited to Lance Curtis & The Uniques, was released on the same label the following year; "Leahi" is the first Hawaiian song ever recorded with a rock beat.

In 1960 Jensen graduated from Farrington and forgot his music momentarily, as he began to pursue a career in athletics. After winning Hawaii's "Athlete of the Year" award, he accepted a swimming scholarship to the University of Washington. While at the Seattle campus he began to get together a group during spare time.

In the meantime, The Uniques released two instrumental singles: (Ghost) Riders in the Sky / Taboo on Amber Records and Renegade / Malaguena on United Southern Artists, Inc. in the U.S.A. and Strand Records in Australia; both of them were released in 1961, it is unclear if Jensen was involved in their making or not...

When Jensen returned to Hawaii in 1963, he re-estabilished his career ambition as a singer. At the time he appeared in shows at the now-defunct Civic Auditorium on King Street, fronting dance bands during a lively period in the Honolulu entertainment scene; more into rock now, he also began to perform on the Waikiki Strip. His reputation grew, enough so that some enterprising publicist named him the Islands "King of Swing".

During the same year he appeared on two releases: a split single offering Jensen's Doin' the Tamure on side A and Tom Moffatt's Surfin' In Hawaii on the flip side, released on  Moffatt's own Mahalo Records, and another single on Amber Records credited to Dick Jensen & The Swamp Men (...a name probably inspired by Da Swamp club in Waikiki...) which is the subject of this post.

Dick Jensen, circa 1965-66

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

01. Waikiki Rumble (1:49)
02. Swamped (1:59)

Both tracks were remastered in February 2014 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files; both formats include scans of the complete original artwork.

Please have a look at the comments for the download links.

The single offers two instrumental tracks for which Jensen gets the writing credits on the labels. Due to his involvement in the making of this record - which doesn't include any vocals, except some shouting on Side A - I am inclined to think that also the two instrumental singles credited to The Uniques (...his backing band during his Lance Curtis period...) released in 1961 probably featured him on guitar.

"Waikiki Rumble" is a strong track which features reverbered guitars and other Surf / Garage elements scattered here and there. The flip side "Swamped" is a more simple Rock'n'Roll number, but anyway... Cool stuff!

The following videos offer a preview of the remastered single, have fun!

More information about Dick Jensen is available here:

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 months, 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!

Thursday, 20 February 2014


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 thirteenth Sheep Records release was a 7" tour single by American blues musician James Lewis Carter Ford, better known by his stage name of T-Model Ford. The single was released in October 1999 and it was limited to 300 copies on pink vinyl and 700 copies on black vinyl, for a total of 1.000 copies.

Here's the original short press-release:

"We proudly present you the "Boss of the Blues" with a stompin' "To the Left To the Right" and a raw live version of "Somebody's Knocking On My Door". The 80 years old, Delta born T-Model Ford plays the blues the way it's meant to be: raw, dirty and simple. He roars and rumbles like he's under a constant spell."

Side A features "To the Left To the Right", a track taken from his second album "You Better Keep Still" released by Fat Possum Records in 1998. On Side B we find a live rendition of "Somebody's Knockin'",  whose studio version will be later included on the album "Bad Man" in 2002, released - once again - by Fat Possum.

Both tracks were remastered in February 2014 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files; both formats include scans of the complete original artwork.

Please have a look at the comments for the download links.

Here's a short T-Model Ford biography sourced from the Internet:

Blues singer and guitarist T-Model Ford was born as James Lewis Carter Ford sometimes around 1920 in the small rural town of Forest, Mississippi. By the age of eleven he was plowing a field behind a mule on his family's farm, worked at a local saw mill in his early teens and eventually became a truck driver for a large lumber company. In his 20s he was sentenced to ten years on a chain gang for murder but, luckily, was released after serving only two years.

Ford took up the guitar when his fifth wife left him and offered him a guitar as a leaving present. Ford trained himself without being able to read music or guitar tabs; fellow musicians have referred to his playing as “in the key of T” because not only is he unable to read music, but his entire sense of tuning and rhythm is completely unique.

After becoming a regional legend of sorts, working from his adopted hometown of Greenville, Mississippi, Ford signed to the then-upstart blues label Fat Possum in 1997 and recorded his stunning debut album "Pee-Wee Get My Gun" later that year. On its release he was thrust into the spotlight, garnering international critical acclaim. Touring on a nearly full-time basis ensued, and his hypnotic presence as well as his raw and ragged Delta style and razor-sharp lyrics, helped his stature as a legitimate blues legend grow by leaps and bounds.

Over the next six years Ford recorded three more albums and an EP for Fat Possum, and played hundreds of shows worldwide. He was also prominently featured in the highly regarded blues documentaries "You See Me Laughin'" (2005) and “M For Mississippi” (2008). He began to cut back his touring schedule in 2002, but since having a pacemaker put in during 2008 has hit the road harder than ever: in fact, he was back out playing within three months of that operation. In 2008 he also began working with the Seattle-based down 'n' dirty juke blues trio GravelRoad, who have since become his permanent backing band.

In late 2008 Ford recorded the album "Jack Daniel Time" for the Mississippi-based blues label Mudpuppy Recordings and toured across the US and Europe in support of it for most of 2009. "The Ladies Man" (his first release on the Los Angeles-based rock label Alive Naturalsound Records), was released in January 2010 and, despite being temporarily sidelined by a stroke in April, he played five “90th Birthday Tours” in over 20 states and Sweden. T capped the year off with appearances on the closing night of the US stop of the prestigious All Tomorrow's Parties Festival in New York and on the final day of the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival, where he shared the stage with Allen Toussaint and B.B. King. His last album "Taledragger" was released in January 2011, again on Alive Naturalsound Records, and has garnered rave reviews around the globe.

Ford suffered a second stroke in the summer of 2012 that limited his public appearances. However, he was able to perform at that year's King Biscuit Blues Festival in October. On July 16, 2013, Fat Possum announced that Ford died at home in Greenville of respiratory failure after a prolonged illness.

T-Model Ford, late '90s

The following videos offer a live rendition of "Chicken Head Man" (2000) and the official clip of "Comin' Back Home" (2010), whose groove strangely reminds me of Pink Floyd's "Money", enjoy!

More information about Sheep Records and T-Model Ford is available here:

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!

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