Founded by a Spaniard, Julio Apollo XII, and an Englishman, David Raistrick, The Keystone State Soul Weekender has now taken place three times in the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Each time, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus has been lucky enough to have been asked to spin a few records. Each time it has been a wonderful experience.
Above are scenes from Friday Night at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!
This year’s event took place on November second, third and fourth and, like the other two, the location was the Elks Lodge Hall in downtown Lancaster. The hall is spacious and beautiful and it offers a most excellent floor for dancing, plus a side room with a full bar where folks can hang out and wheel and deal records. Some of our favorite DJs from the first couple of events were in the house: Andy Powell, Denise Draper and Kev Draper from England; Andrew Turner from Reading, PA; Jason Thornton from somewhere in Massachusetts; Ian Friend from Pittsburg; Tom Dechristofaro from Cleveland or Detroit (depending on what day of the week it is) and Nick Reiner (aka DJ Salinger) who is a local Lancasterian. Eric Svirida from Long Island, George Rodriguez from St. Paul, Minnesota and Connie T Empress from New York City all returned from last year. New DJs this year were Scott Boyko and Jay Boxcar from the Garden State Soul Club (New Jersey); Larry Grogan, who is the king of the New Jersey soul record experience; and Mikey Post of Daptone Records.
Scenes from Saturday afternoon at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!
This year, Phast Phreddie was paired with Connie T Empress for a set on Friday and another on Saturday. The Friday set they just split their 40 minutes in half, but on Saturday they had fun with it–The Phast Man played five records, then split the spinning duties with The Empress for a few records before turning both turntables over to her to complete the allotted time. The Fez and the Tiara in action!
Also this year, Brother Weems, an associate of The Empress since her Empire State Soul Club days, acted as the master of ceremonies. He made a very professional job of it, too. He kept things happening and made sure every DJ was properly introduced.
Some of the highlights include the appearance of Don Hodgen of The Ambassadors (the group on Pee Vee, not The Ambassadors on Arctic), who sang his song “Too Much of a Good Thing” on Saturday afternoon. Our friend Mr. Robinson was on hand and he owns an acetate of a song Mr. Hodgen sang on but was never released. Mr. Robinson played it for Mr. Hodgen, who hadn’t heard it since the day they recorded it!
Above are scenes from Saturday night at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!
On Saturday night, Denise Draper once again set the dance floor on fire with a set of incendiary R&B records. Also on Saturday night, after a blistering set of rare records played by George Rodriguez, Andy Powell announced that we had just heard about a hundred thousand dollars worth of records played in forty minutes! High praise from a fellow who has been doing this stuff probably longer than Mr. Rodriguez has been alive–a British fellow at that; and we know how well the Brits know their soul records!
It was great to see Larry Grogan spinning records. That guy knows a LOT about soul records and every Boogaloo Bag reader should also be reading his Funky 16 Corners blog and digging his podcast. He also has a show called Testify! on the WFMU Give The Drummer Some web-stream that airs on Wednesday nights. On the show he plays all sorts of reet music. We met Mr. Grogan’s fellow New Jersey citizens Scott Boyko and Jay Boxcar for the first time. We hope to be seeing more of them, too.
Miss Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner whipped up two kinds of chocolate chip cookies for this event–and those things were gone quick!!
Above are scenes from Sunday afternoon in the Elks Lodge lounge at the Keystones State Soul Weekender!
On the Sunday, things were changed up back at the Elks Lodge. Instead of finishing the event in the big hall, closing festivities were held in the lounge downstairs, where breakfast was served (good and cheap!) and records were bought and sold. DJs spun records under the watchful eye of a scary ghoul–leftover Halloween decorations. This made an excellent opportunity for a more intimate affair with Weekender attendees and DJs mixing it up while devouring drinks and omelets.
Our friend and Keystone State Soul Weekender regular Arinivah posted on her cool facedog Dance Culture page a great video that will give you an idea of what happened at the Third Keystone State Soul Weekender. Check it out.
The Boogaloo Bag writers salute and thank Julio Apollo XII and Dave Raistick for another fabulously successful event. We are looking forward to next year and we ask all Boogaloo Bag readers to start making plans for the first weekend in November to make the scene in Lancaster. It is a total gas–a full weekend of dancing and digging some of the greatest soul records of all time. Make it your annual happening.
Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at The Keystone State Soul Weekender:
- Elliott Shavers–Soul Village (Blaun)
- Derek Martin–Daddy Rollin’ Stone (Crackerjack)
- J.J. Jackson and the Jackaels–Oo-Ma-Liddi (Prelude)
- Baby Jean–If You Wanna (Stacy)
- Michele Richard–Je Serai La (Trans-Canada; Canada)
- The Kittens–Shindig (ABC Paramount)
- Ronnie and the Pomona Casuals–I Wanna Do the Jerk (Donna)
- The Wailers–The Jerk (Island; UK)
- Bill Doggett–Twenty Five Miles (King)
- The Vontastics–Never Let Your Love Grow Cold (St. Lawrence)
- The Soul Shakers–The Cold Letter (Loma)
- The Ambassadors–Too Much of a Good Thing (Pee Vee)
- Billy Joe Royal–It’s a Good Time (Columbia)
- The Apollas–Sorry Mama (Loma)
- The Majestics–(I Lover Her So Much) It Hurts Me (Linda)
- Lou Courtney–I Watched You Slowly Slip Away (Philips)
- Susan Barrett–What’s It Gonna Be (RCA Victor)
None of these records are for sale. Some of them have links to the youtubes for your edification.