The GO Mechanism Number 14 – 1963

This is The GO Mechanism—an audio odyssey designed to shatter your fragile egg-shell mind. It is hosted by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus who will be your guide on this journey through your senses. The G stands for Groove and That’s what it is all about. The O stands for O’Rooney, an intangible force that puts the “oo” into Cool. The GO Mechanism is assembled via a secret copyrighted Ultra-Tonal® method that is especially engineered to challenge every component of your neurological system.

The GO Mechanism is initially aired as a Saturday Night Special on Luxuria Music’s web streaming hustle. The one at hand will air on Saturday January 7. This will be a particularly exceptional GO, as the Management at Luxuria Musics have asked The GO Mechanism producers to supply them with a show relating in some remote way to the new year. Since 2023 ends with a three, The GO Mechanism producers have assembled a show made up of songs, compositions and assorted madness associated with the year 1963. The Science Corner will feature some live recordings from 1963. Even our graphic image is from 1963, a sort of modified version of “Otherworldly,” a painting by the Swiss/French artist known as Le Corbusier.

At various intervals during this episode Dylan Thomas will recite poetry, some of it his. Although the Welsh poet died in 1953, the recordings were released on an LP in 1963. Mr. Thomas will also drop pearls of wisdom at crucial moments during the program.

John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963) was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. (Photo by Gerald L French/Corbis via Getty Images)

President John F. Kennedy will occasionally speak to us during this episode. Furthermore, brief excerpts from the 1963 film “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World” have been inserted as necessary. Plus, there are drop-ins from a stereo test record that was released in 1963.

Every song and recording played on the show—with the exception of the opening and closing themes—were all recorded and/or released in 1963.

The Science Corner:
Barry Gordy, Jr. began in the music business around 1957 when a song he co-wrote, “Reet Petite” was recorded by Jackie Wilson and it became a hit. Two years later he started the Tamla Record Company and soon after came Motown, which became the parent company. By 1963, Gordy’s stable of artists included Marvin Gaye, Little Stevie Wonder, The Marvelettes, The Miracles and Mary Wells, among others. All of these performers released live albums that year. All but Wonder’s is called Recorded Live on Stage. Wonder’s was titled 12 Year Old Genius – Recorded Live. It benefited from having a hit single, “Fingertips Part 2,” and subsequently was the best seller of the lot. In the Science Corner we’ll hear live tracks by Marvin Gaye, The Marvelettes, The Miracles and Mary Wells, with “Soul Bongo” by Little Stevie Wonder as the bed music for the discussion.

Gaye sings “Mo Jo Hannah,” a song first recorded by Henry Lumpkin for Motown in 1962. Although the song was never a hit, it has taken on a life of its own as it has been recorded by several artists, including Esther Phillips, Tami Lynn, Betty Harris, The Underdogs and The Neville Brothers. In 1963 Gaye recorded a studio version but it was never released.

Tossin’ and Turnin’” was a Number One Pop hit for Bobby Lewis in 1961. The Marvelettes perform an enthusiastic version of the song for their live album. The backing is sparse—guitar and drums are prominent, and there’s a good guitar solo!—but the girls pull it off with the help of an excited audience.

The Miracles track has long been a favorite of The GO Mechanism producers. “Way Over There” is sped up quite a bit from the studio version and is given an exciting Isley Brothers-like finish, amending the song with a call and response with the audience.

I Don’t Want to Take a Chance” was Mary Wells’ Top Ten R&B hit of 1961. In 1964, Wells would have a Number One Pop hit with “My Guy.”

On each of these live recordings, the audience is animated and very much a part of the show. It must have been a gas to witness these acts so early in their respective careers. The records all came out around the summer of 1963, with Wells’ in September.

Charles Mingus recorded three albums for Impulse Records in 1963: The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, Mingus Plays Piano and Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus. “Better Get Hit In Yo’ Soul” comes from the latter and it has been… well, it’s hard to say which is anybody’s favorite Mingus composition because he wrote so many great ones. It’s a composition that Mingus recorded in 1959 for the Mingus Ah Um LP. At that time it was called “Better Get It in Your Soul.” We can’t decide which recording is better because the melody is so strong that every version is good.

We had to have a song with “1963” in the title and, luckily, Hal Blaine and the Young Cougars were able to oblige us for our second record. This track, “Hawaii 1963,” sounds to us that there is only one Young Cougar—the guitarist—as it is mostly a drum feature with a bit of guitar. Hal Blaine was a session drummer in Los Angeles during the sixties. In fact, he was THE session drummer, a member of the select studio musicians known as ‘The Wrecking Crew.’ We can’t tell you who the guitarist is on this, but Blaine would have had the pick of any session guitarist at the time, so you know that whoever it was is solid. It’s a cool track, no matter.

Like Little Stevie Wonder, briefly mentioned above, Billy Preston was a child prodigy. As a teen he recorded with the gospel great James Cleveland. His first album was released in 1963, contained “Greazee,” and was called 16 Year Old Soul for Derby Records—a company associated with Sam Cooke. Preston cut some records for Vee Jay (“Billy’s Bag” is a boss one), was a regular on the teen TV show Shindig!, then teamed up with Sly Stone for an album for Capitol. In 1969, he reconnected with The Beatles, who he met while he was on tour in England as Little Richard’s organ player in 1962. After that, the GO Mechanism producers lost interest in Preston’s career, what with Grammy Awards and all!

The interesting thing about Nina Simone’s composition “Blackbird” is that the single version (released in 1963) was nearly four minutes long and on the LP it was just over two. Usually it’s the other way around. Also, the album that contained it was called Nina Simone With Strings and there are no violins in evidence on the recording.

Rufus Thomas was, at heart, a bluesman, and he proves it with his version of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom.” The track comes to us from Thomas’ Walking the Dog LP, which is one of the finest in all Rhythm & Blues.

Thank you Anna Statman!

Amos Milburn has long been a favorite of The GO Mechanism producers. Starting in 1946, the Texas-born musician cut some fantastic R&B tracks for Aladdin Records—about 140 of them. 19 of them hit the R&B charts pretty hard. However, his recording opportunities dried up after 1957 as times changed. Three sessions for King Records only yielded five songs. For some reason, he was signed to Motown Records where he recorded 25 tracks, 12 of which appeared on the album The Return of “The” Blues Boss in 1963. Motown must have had high hopes for Milburn—the cover states: “Included in this album the hit single ‘I’ll Make It Up to You Somehow,’” a ballad co-written by producer Clarence Paul. The record, unfortunately, was not a hit. In March of 1964, Milburn returned to the Motown studio and cut seven more tracks but none of them were released at the time. Milburn’s recording career languished until 1967 when he issued the excellent “Whiz-A-Shoo-Pepi-Dada” on King. In the seventies, Mllburn suffered a couple of strokes that left him an invalid and he returned to Houston where he died on January 3, 1980.

“O Rangutang” is a boss Chuck Berry instrumental that he recorded on November 15, 1963. It first saw release as the flip side to “Nadine (Is It You)” the next year.

The GO Mechanism dipped into the Coltrane Live at Birdland well twice with excerpts from “I Want to Talk About You” and “Afro Blue” in order to get some back ground music for two of the Dylan Thomas readings. The two pieces were recorded on October 8, 1963.

The Birds was a very popular movie in 1963. Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller made one afraid to go outside. R&B singer Louis Jones apparently tried to take it to the bank with his “The Birds Is Coming.” It’s a fantastic, unbelievable record that is actually more scary than the movie…and that worries me! More about Louis Jones here.

Speaking of scary records, The Tammy’s “Egyptian Shumba” includes screaming girls, nonsense lyrics and mummies! It is a rockin’, sockin’ good-time shouter that will wake you up from the dead. With out a doubt, one of the greatest records of all time. It was co-written by pop star Lou Christie and recorded on November 1, 1963. Trade magazine Cashbox reviewed it and said, “Teen lark threesome could make a chart stand with this engaging teen-dance romp. It’s wild, whacky and original. Watch it.” That’s putting it mildly.

Somewhere in the middle of the album We’re Only in It for the Money by The Mothers of Invention, the very beginning of an obscure surf record is sampled. That record is “Heavies” by The Rotations, from 1963. Here on The GO Mechanism we will hear the whole record–some of us for the first time!

The GO Mechanism producers are quite fond of the music of Astor Piazzolla, the great bandoneon player and creator of the nuevo tango. His music has been featured in GO Mechanisms Seven and Five. Both of those tracks are from the eighties. The track here, “Iracondo” is from a 1963 album called Tango Para Una Ciudad. We have a pressing made in Uruguay. What better record to follow it with than The Isley Brothers fabulous recording of “Tango,” from 1963.

Erma Franklin was Aretha’s big sister. Around the time that little sister was signed to Columbia Records, appropriately enough, Erma was signed to its sister label, Epic. For the most part, both Franklins were assigned standards and show tunes to record. After Erma’s LP didn’t catch on with record buyers, she cut two more singles with session drummer/Columbia staff producer Bobby Gregg at the helm. These lean more on the R&B side, with 1963’s “I Don’t Want No Mama’s Boy” a fabulous shouter. None of the records hit and she was dropped from the label. She often sang back-up on her sister’s records and several years later she was picked up by Shout Records were she made her masterpiece, the original version of “Piece of My Heart.” Aretha, on the other hand… well we all know what happened to her.

If we made a mistake with our 1963 records, it is with “Swing” by The Tokens. Somewhere we saw “1963” attached to the record, got excited and added it to the program. However, by all accounts, it was released in April 1964. By the time we discovered our error, The GO Mechanism had been sent to Luxuria Music for processing. Yeah, but, for a group of pop vocalists whose records are mostly on the square side, it’s a pretty hep disk. Let’s just say it was recorded in 1963 and released the next year.

This edition of The Go Mechanism is bookended by a pair of recordings where the drums and guitar are prominent—mostly drums. The second record in the show was the Hal Blaine’s “Hawaii 1963.” We close the show with one of the greatest records of all time, which is also a guitar/drum duet: “Swinging Drums” by Ronny Kae. The latter record is much more crude and nasty sounding. In fact, it sounds as if it was made by crazy people. Mr. Kae’s version of “Caravan” was featured in GO Mechanism Number 12 and you can read more about him in that corresponding Boogaloo Bag post.

  • Earl Bostic—Lester Leaps In (theme song) (King)
  • Charles Mingus—Better Get Hit in Yo’ Soul (Mingus, Mingus, Mingus Mingus; Impulse!)
  • Hal Blaine & the Young Cougars—Hawaii 1963 (RCA Victor)
  • Billy Preston—Greazee, Pts. 1 & 2 (Derby)
  • Nina Simone—Blackbird (Colpix)
  • Quartet Trés Bien—Boss Trés Bien Part 2 (Norman)
  • The Moonlighters—Watermelon Man (Thunderbird)
  • The Rolling Stones—Stoned (Decca; UK)
  • Rufus Thomas—Boom Boom (from LP Walking the Dog; Stax)
  • Jimmy Gordon—Buzzzzzz (Challenge)
  • Little Joey Vespe—Caravan (Parkway)
  • Amos Milburn—Hold Me Baby (from LP The Return of “The” Blues Boss; Motown)
  • Chuck Berry—O Rangutang (Chess)
  • Teri Thornton—Open Highway (Route 66 Theme) (Columbia)
  • John Coltrane—excerpt from “I Want to Talk About You” (from LP Live in Birdland; Impulse)
  • Gene Burkes—Monkey Man (Arock)
  • Kai Winding—Pipeline (from LP Soul Surfin’; Verve)
  • Louis Jones—The Birds Is Coming (Decca)
  • The Tammys—Egyptian Shumba (United Artists)
  • Elliott Shavers—Soul Village (Blaun)
  • The Orchids—That Boy Is Messin’ Up My Mind (Columbia)
  • Joe Tex—I Wanna Be Free (Dial)
  • Marvin Gaye—Mojo Hannah (from LP Recorded Live On Stage; Tamla)
  • Little Stevie Wonder—Soul Bongo (from LP The 12 Year Old Genius – Recorded Live; Tamla)
  • The Marvelettes—Tossin’ and Turnin’ (from LP Recorded Live On Stage; Tamla)
  • The Miracles—Way Over There (from LP Recorded Live On Stage; Tamla)
  • Mary Wells—I Don’t Want to Take a Chance (from LP Recorded Live On Stage; Motown)
  • The Rotations—Heavies (Original Sound)
  • Olatunji—Lady Kennedy (Columbia)
  • Thelonious Monk—Bye-Ya (Columbia)
  • Astor Piazzolla—Iracondo (from LP Tango Para Una Ciudad; CBS; Uruguay)
  • The Isley Brothers—Tango (United Artists)
  • John Coltrane—excerpt from Afro Blue (from LP Live at Birdland; Impulse)
  • Erma Franklin—I Don’t Want No Mama’s Boy (Epic)
  • J.C. Davis—Monkey (Chess)
  • Mongo Santamaria–Yeh-Yeh (Battle)
  • Roland Kirk—Abstract Improvisation ()
  • The Tokens—Swing (B.T. Puppy)
  • Ray Barretto—Watusi (Tico)
  • James Brown—Choo Choo (King)
  • Curtis Mayfield—Freddie’s Dead (Boogaloo edit) (Curtom)
  • Ronny Kae—Swingin’ Drums (Band Box)

Poetry from LP An Evening With Dylan Thomas reading his own and other poems (Caedmon)
• Passing the Graveyard—written by Andrew Young
• As I Walked Out One Evening—written by W.H. Auden
• This Side of the Truth—written by Dylan Thomas

Thus concludes another exciting episode of The GO Mechanism. Thank you to the Luxuria Music Management for asking us to be involved in its Luxuria Music New Year celebration by incorporating a “3” in the program. It was certainly different and we hope it was appreciated.

After The GO Mechanism initially airs on the Luxuria Musics—this one on Saturday, January 7— it will be available as a podcast for a few weeks. Look for the Saturday Night Special dated 1/08/2023. 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!

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