Welcome to the notes for The GO Mechanism Number Eleven. The GO Mechanism is an audio odyssey of boss beats and reet rhythms that endeavors to compel the listener to tap one’s foot as the mind expands. The program is hosted by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, a fellow who has been around several musical scenes. The “G” is for Groove, and in order to keep the Groove grooving, we don’t stop to smell the roses or back announce records. A complete track listing is found here in the Boogaloo Bag. The “O” is for O’Rooney—an intangible, supernatural power that puts the ‘oo’ into cool. O’Rooney is spread on thick in each GO Mechanism—listen and you will learn. The GO Mechanism originates on the Luxuria Music website as part of its Saturday Night Special series. This one will have its first run on Saturday October 8 at 10PM East Coast Time.
Halfway through The GO Mechanism there will be a Science Corner, where a momentous musical matter will be discussed and three pertinent songs will be played. In this GO we will feature some boss recordings Bill Doggett made in the sixties.
GO Mechanism Number Eleven opens with a composition by Ahmad Kharab Salim—mostly known as A.K. Salim. He was born Albert Atkinson but converted to Islam during the forties. A jaw injury he sustained in 1943 caused him to give up playing the saxophone and concentrate on writing and arranging music. During the fifties, four albums of his music were recorded and released on Savoy Records. He employed top-notch musicians and conducted them during the sessions. “Taking Care of Business” is from the first album called Pretty for the People; musicians included Johnny Griffin on tenor saxophone, Wynton Kelly on piano and Max Roach on Drums.
Sonny Stitt has previously been heard in the Science Corner in GO Mechanism Number Four. In that episode, we played his version of Edwin Starr’s “Agent 00 Soul” that he recorded for the Ric-Tic label. “Stitt’s Groove” is from another Ric-Tic single. The other side is by the organ player Hank Marr called “Marr’s Groove.” Both sides have the same backing track, with the star vamping on top of it. We’ll play Marr’s version in an upcoming GO.
The Guitar Ramblers cut an album for Columbia Records. Most of it is basically unmemorable middle-of-the-road/easy listening tripe. But the single played here is a rockin’ version of the Dick Dale classic “Surf Beat” and worth seeking out.
Carol Kaye is the bass player known for her work with the L.A. session musicians called ‘The Wrecking Crew.’ She played on way too many records to list here. “Bass Catch” is found on an interesting single that actually may be a bootleg of some sort. It sounds as if it was just a jam for the recording engineer to get levels. But it’s a cool jam. The other side is by the bluesman Earl Hooker! Explain that.
Fumaça Preta was a band of contemporary European musicians who mixed electronic instruments with ethnic rhythms. “La Trampa” was released in 2015. The band existed about five or six years, issued three LPs and four singles then broke up a few years ago.
Willie Mabon was a blues pianist/singer based in Chicago whose 1952 song “I Don’t Know” was the biggest hit Chess Records had up to that point. It was a Number One R&B hit for eight weeks. Mabon’s version of “Seventh Son”is the original recording from 1955. Ten years later, Johnny Rivers had a Top Ten Pop hit with it. The version by Mose Allison will most likely appear in a future GO Mechanism.
After “The Green Hornet Theme,” pay attention, because the Suzanna Smith song, “Love of Two Worlds,” takes the concept of integrated couples one step beyond. In the song, Suzanna falls for a fellow from outer space—a REAL alien! It’s played pretty straight, too—not really a novelty record. You have to hear it to believe it. I wonder if Ms. Smith was trying to out-do Janis Ian’s “Society Child.”
“Why Don’t You Smile Now” is one of several songs written by Lou Reed and John Cale when they were writing for Pickwick Records—before they formed The Velvet Underground. The original of this song is by The All Night Workers, for a Pickwick subsidiary label called Round Sound. The song must have been pitched to soul singer Donnie Burke who recorded it for Decca. The best version is by The Downliners Sect, but The Crawdaddys of San Diego also cut a fantastic version in 1980 using The Downliners Sect version as a template.
In The Science Corner of this episode of The GO Mechanism we look at some of the records Bill Doggett recorded during the sixties. He was a jazz and R&B keyboard player who, during the forties and early fifties, played piano for Lucky Millinder, Louis Jordan & his Tympany Five, Ella Fitzgerald, The Ink Spots, Helen Humes, Johnny Otis and others. In 1945, he was on a recording session for Apollo Records that featured the great blues shouter Wynonie Harris backed by the Illinois Jacquet All-Stars, which included Charles Mingus. By the early fifties, Doggett turned to the organ as his main musical vehicle. He was soon signed to King Records and turning out records by the fistful. Although none of his early recordings appeared on the R&B charts for several years, his records must have sold pretty well as he made singles and albums pretty frequently. In 1956, Doggett and his combo, consisting of guitarist Billy Butler, drummer Shep Shepherd and saxophonist Clifford Scott, stumbled upon a simple jam that became popular in their live act. The group recorded an extended version of it, called it “Honky Tonk,” and released it as a two-part single. Part One featured Butler’s guitar playing and Part Two, the more popular side, featured Scott. It was a Number One R&B hit for 13 weeks.
Bill Doggett’s singles only charted seven more times after that—the biggest being “Hold It” in 1958, which went to Number Three R&B. By the end of the decade, Doggett moved on from King Records. He cut records for Sue (“Fat Back” is heard here), Columbia (“Ham Fat” is next), Roulette (“Ko-Ko” also heard here), Warner Bros. and ABC. All through the sixties, King released more Doggett product as well—probably from a backlog of previous recordings or LP cuts. In 1969, Doggett returned to King Records and made two of his greatest records: “Twenty Five Miles” and “Honky Tonk Popcorn.”
The electronic music—musique concrete, if you will—that lays the bed for a series of short poems by Jack Kerouac—was composed and performed by Chip Kinman. Mr. Kinman first arrived on the scene in 1976 as the guitarist and co-leader (with his brother Tony) of the punk rock band The Dils. The Dils stumbled at first, but by the middle of 1977 became one of the finest punk bands in California. Unfortunately, the group never made an album, but its series of singles prove it to have been one of the best. The Kinman brothers added a western tinge to its music when they formed Rank and File. Upon the completion of that project, Chip and Tony continued with several bands, changing gears each time. Tony died about four years ago. Chip released The Great Confrontation, album of electronic noises, bleeps and bloops, earlier this year and it is a GO Mechanism favorite. The track “San Francisco Fog 1977” was used here. Others may be used in future GO Mechanisms… watch for it!
“Mustard Greens” by J. Gardner was first released on the local Hot Line label out of New Orleans. It was picked up by Blue Rock, Mercury Records’ R&B subsidiary of the sixties. Gardner was Albert Gardner Jr, who got the nick name ‘June’ because it is short for ‘junior.’ He was a journeyman drummer based in New Orleans. He worked with such artists as Roy Brown, Lionel Hampton, Red Tyler, Edgar Blanchard, Ray Charles, Lee Dorsey and Sam Cooke—that’s Gardner drumming on Cooke’s magnificent Live at the Harlem Square Club LP. Gardner also recorded an album called Bustin’ Out, that was released on Mercury’s jazz subsidiary EmArCy.
No need to discuss Los Lobos—if you haven’t heard of this fabulous band from East L.A. then you must have been living on another planet for the last 50 years. Suffice it to say, we believe that this Spanish language version of “Cumbia Raza” was only issued on a promo-only CD single.
About 20 years ago, The GO Mechanism producers had an opportunity to interview Maurice White—he of Earth, Wind and Fire fame. Previous to EW&F, White was a session drummer for Chess Records in Chicago. White was asked what it was like working with the great singer Billy Stewart. White said that for a recording session, Stewart would insist that all the musicians set up around him so he could give them direction as he sang. Stewart was also a keyboard player, and the track we have selected, “Scramble,” has Mr. Stewart playing the organ on a rare instrumental.
“The Gallop” by The Chevelles is the instrumental B-side to a vocal by Gloria Walker backed by The Chevelles. The vocal side was called “Talking About My Baby” and is basically Ms. Walker philosophizing about her boyfriend as an introduction to “I’d Rather Go Blind.” Recently, an informative article about Gloria Walker and The Chevelles was published on the Salvation South blog and it is highly recommended. It is a story of a good soul music act getting a little taste of success but unable to catapult it into a career.
In this installment of The GO Mechanism, a new segment is being introduced: The Greatest Record of All Time. This show-ending portion of the program will feature the playing of a song that has been deemed by The GO Mechanism producers as one of the Greatest Records of All Time. The first pick to play is “Pizza Sure Is Good” by Dick & Libby Halleman and their Society Orchestra vs. Tom and Ray.
The first time we heard the record was at an ABC Rebel Night event—a rockabilly and Rock’n’Roll dance party that takes place monthly at Otto’s Shrunken Head in Manhattan. One of the Japanese hosts, Seiji Sato, played it. At first we thought it had to be by one of the fabulous R&B saxophonists of the fifties: Big Jay McNeely, Syl Austin, Red Prysock or Chuck Higgins. We ran to the DJ booth and Seiji showed us the record. We obtained a copy soon after.
During the sixties, seventies and eighties, Dick & Libby Halleman and their Society Orchestra was a lounge act based in the resort hotels of Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona. The lone album this group recorded, Let’s Go Dancing With…, consists of a show tunes medley, pop hits of the day, traditional jazz and ballads—not too different, really, from what Louis Prima and Keely Smith were doing at the time, only with less pizzaz. The tune we selected here was most likely inspired by Louis Prima’s “Jump, Jive and Wail”—but it is way better. The wailing saxophone and driving beat make it sound like a Joe Houston record. The “pizza sure is good” repeated refrain is absolute genius. To find out that it was made by a bunch of square white people in Arizona will blow your mind. It is truly one of the greatest records of all time.
Here is a complete track list of all the records played during GO Mechanism Number Eleven:
- Earl Bostic—Lester Leaps In (King)
- A.K. Salim—Takin’ Care of Business (from LP Pretty for the People; Savoy)
- Sonny Stitt—Stitt’s Groove (Ric-Tic)
- Electric Tomorrow—Sugar Cube (World Pacific)
- The Guitar Ramblers—Surf Beat (Columbia)
- Champion Jack Dupree—Skit Skat (from LP A Portrait of Champion Jack Dupree; Rounder)
- Carol Kaye—Bass Catch (Disque D’Or)
- Wes Montgomery—Caravan (Verve)
- The Mint Juleps—Monkey Man (from LP Round Our Way; Hightone)
- Fumaça Preta—La Trampa (Soundway; UK)
- The Shangaans—Taboo (Columbia; UK)
- Langston Hughes with Horace Parlan Quintet—Consider Me (The Weary Blues With Langston Hughes; M-G-M)
- Dorothy Ashby—Afro-Harping (Cadet)
- Wilmer & the Dukes—Get It (Aphrodisiac)
- Willie Mabon—Seventh Son (Chess)
- Andre Brasseur and His Multi-Organ Sound—The Kid (Disc A-Z; France)
- Francis Bey & His Orchestra—Zumba (Philips)
- B. Bumble & the Stingers—The Green Hornet Theme (Mercury)
- Suzanna Smith—Love of Two Worlds (Smash)
- Los Tampicos—Quiet Village (from LP That Torrid Tampico Sound!; CBS, UK)
- Culture—I’m Alone in the Wilderness (from LP Two Sevens Clash; Joe Gibbs; Jamaica)
- Donnie Burkes—Why Don’t You Smile Now (Decca)
- —Science Corner—
- Bill Doggett—Fat Back (Sue)
- Bill Doggett—Ham Fat (Columbia)
- Bill Doggett—Ko-Ko (Roulette)
- —bed music: Bill Doggett—Honky Tonk Part 1 (King)
- Olatunji—Menu de Ge Ogbener (from LP Drums of Passion; Columbia)
- Chip Kinman—San Francisco Fog 1977 (from LP The Great Confrontation; In The Red)
- Iron Butterfly—Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida (Boogaloo Edit #3) (from LP Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida; Atco)
- The Hornets—Fruit Cake (Columbia)
- Howlin’ Wolf—Killing Floor (Chess)
- The Troggs—Night of the Long Grass (Fontana)
- J. Gardner—Mustard Greens (Blue Rock)
- The Sonics—Santa Claus (Norton)
- The Surfaris—Scratch (from LP Hit City 64; Decca)
- Funky Bompa—Cumbia Sampuesana (Bompa; Belgium)
- Randy Newman Orchestra—Dust Storm (from LP Original Music From Peyton Place; Epic)
- Frank Frost—My Back Scratcher (Jewel)
- Los Lobos—Cumbia Raza (from LP This Time; Hollywood)
- Norman Maine & His Orchestra—BAbylon 3-9970 (Columbia)
- Billy Stewart—Scramble (Chess)
- Bill Moses—Reach Out (Musicor)
- The Chevelles—The Gallop (Flaming Arrow)
- Curtis Mayfield—Freddie’s Dead (Boogaloo Edit) (from LP Superfly; Curtom)
- Dick and Libby Halleman and their Society Orchestra vs Tom and Ray—Pizza Sure Is Good (Summit)
Otherwise uncredited spoken word:
Jack Kerouac — Fragments
After The GO Mechanism initially airs on the Luxuria Musics—this one on Saturday, October 8— it will be available as a podcast for a few weeks. Look for the Saturday Night Special dated 10/9/2022. Once it falls off the Lux Mu podcast hustle, it will be posted on the Mixclouds as well as here in the Boogaloo Bag.
Luxuria Music is a swingin’ thing that deserves your support. Visit it often. Listen to the many cool shows. If you dig the scene, contribute monetarily. Keep Lux Mu alive!