If you asked me who was the best singer out of the 1960s Great Britain, I could say Lennon & McCartney. I could make a great case for Dusty Springfield and Petula Clark, too. But the other vocalist who deserves consideration is Lulu, and her first LP for Atco, New Routes (SD 33-310, stereo, 1969).
Even the front and back cover of the LP say something. Unlike her young role in the Sidney Poitier movie To Sir With Love, these photos show off a more mature woman. Sitting on the side of the road (front cover) or standing knee deep in water (back cover), this isn’t the high schooler we saw on the silver screen. Continue reading
Growing up in the 1960s and 70s, I didn’t know much about jazz. By the late 60s, there were bands on the Top 40 AM radio airwaves combining jazz, rock and rhythm & blues. Looking back, the best of them might have been Cold Blood.
Signed to Bill Graham’s San Francisco label, the local band wasn’t so much a hit maker as it was a lesser known gem. Around this time, Chicago (with a three piece horn section) released their first record in 1969, an audacious two LP set that was sometimes panned for just that reason…no one had ever released two records for their debut. Continue reading
After a day of working in San Francisco recently, I took some time to peruse record stores on Haight Street in the City. Yes, the same Haight Street made famous (infamous?) during the late 1960s for drugs, free love and protests. THE Haight-Ashbury district. Haight street is record alley. There are a number of record stores on it or nearby. In one respect, the Haight hasn’t changed. Some of the stores still take on the appearance of that time, with peace symbols and tye-dyed t-shirts in the window. But that’s just for show. They’re in business to make money, not love. Two of the record stores I tried to check out weren’t going to make any money on me, however, as they both closed on a Friday afternoon! Continue reading
On rare occasion, the sands of time reveal the mysteries that have lain buried beneath them for decades. And so it is for my personal Holy Grail: What happened to the songs that didn’t make it onto Bill Graham’s swan song, Fillmore: The Last Days three LP set released in June 1972? Continue reading
For those of us growing up in the late 60s in California, one of the staples of the era was the Elvin Bishop Group. Sometimes it all comes together, a confluence of events, people and time. I think this LP was it for Bishop. Released in 1970 (Fillmore Z 30239), it was the end of flower power, although no one knew it at the time. Janis Joplin would die that year, Jim Morrison of the Doors would be dead in 1971. The Vietnam War was still raging, and in 1973 I was worried about whether I would be drafted or not. Continue reading
Every once in a while I pick up an LP for its cover, and The Three was one of those, years ago (which is why I don’t recall the cost, but it was in the $5-10 range). The cover is dark, with what appear to be blurry, out of focus lights and as a photographer, it appealed to me. The songs and performance more than justified my faith in “buying by cover.” This 1978 release on Inner City Records (IC6007) is a showcase for jazz pianist Joe Sample, drummer Shelly Manne and bassist Ray Brown. Before you stop reading, give Sample a chance to impress you.
Sample is best known for his work with the Crusaders, a 60s jazz band (then known as the Jazz Crusaders), who morphed into the 70s as more of a pop jazz group, with a few songs that Continue reading
I’ve been looking for El Chicano’s first record, Viva Tirado, for years. It finally turned up in the dollar bin at The Thrift Box, a thrift store in the Willow Glen area of San Jose, CA. The LP (Kapp KS 3632) is all instrumental covers.
I’ve always loved the hit from this LP, Viva Tirado (penned by Gerald Wilson), but for some reason, I didn’t buy it as a teenager when it was released in 1970. Continue reading