Thursday, January 09, 2014

Fiending for 45s Pt 1

I was out DJing last weekend, and the DJ on after me was telling me excitedly that he had this great 45 single that he'd been trying to find for ages. I hung around to hear him play it - it had the mad title of The Jed Clampett. How can you not love a funk song named after some fictional Hollywood hillbillies?

It sounds like this....

Discogs has some vinyl copies for sale, or you can buy a digital reissue of the tune over at Juno Download.

Over at Fleamarket Funk I uncovered a bit more information about the band, plus another tune of theirs, called Yeah, You Right (there's a free download of that tune too). The backing band are apparently the Cold Gritz, who later worked with the Black Eyed Peas (no, not the awful pop/rap combo).

From Fleamarket Funk: "It was recorded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at Deep South Recording Studios. It’s produced by Ron Shaab & Cold Gritz. Now Ron Shaab has been involved with other records, Earnest Jackson’s “Hogwash” on Stone Records (which is a great little 7″ if you can get your hands on it), and a few of the Product Placement records used by DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist.

These records, Fried Chicken’s “Funky DJ” from 1976, and another one of Earnest Jackson’s “Funky Black Man” from 1974 (again on the Stone label), are both excellent and always fetch higher prices due to the PP connection. They’re great sides and if you haven’t heard either one, please seek them both out.

Here’s another curious connection: Cold Gritz. Cold Grits put out a scorcher, the cover of the Isley Brothers “It’s Your Thing” on ATCO in 1969. Allegedly, it would be Cold Gritz (who shared some members with Cold Grits) that would be the backing band on “Yeah, You Right”.

Along with super drummer Ronald “Tubby” Zeigler, the band consisted of Jimmy O’Rourke on guitar, Billy Carter on keyboards, and Harold Cowart on bass. The sister on the track was Geraldine Richards (aka Sister Geri), who handled the vocals.

The players would get in with Jerry Wrexler over at Atlantic and eventually make their way to Miami, Florida as studio and backing musicians. Ziegler went on to play with Stephen Stills, The Bee Gees, and a bunch of Country acts. They would also contribute to many TK (Henry Stone’s Label) releases under the various TK affiliated labels. 

The band itself, Sister and Brothers, released a few more singles, most notably “Ack-A-Fool” on the Calla Label which I’ve included in previous FMF Podcasts, and “The Jed Clampett Parts 1+2 ” on the Lucky Label and UNI again. So with that being said, this is one of those records I haven’t come across before, with a mysterious and sorted past. There is some alleged connection of Cold Gritz and a band called The Black Eyed Peas, which may or may not have had Sister Geri in it."

No comments: