Hello all. Lately I can’t seem to peel myself away from some other projects I’ve got going so I’ve got to hold off a little longer on posting up part 2 to my mix, EL AMBIENTE BIEN BABES Y BEAN DE URUGUAY. But, I’ll be posting some other mixtapes for you to bump through this fading summer, and I’ve got something else here for you today. So, I present to you—collecting much of what we have heard thus far here in these pages, and then some—a MixTape processed and sequenced for your consumption: Longevity Has It’s Place.
You can listen to the same ol’ feel-good-hit-of-the-summer rolling out your radio, or you can listen to something other spit from A Mouthful of Pennies! —Enjoy yourself!
P.S. By & by, Fifty years ago today, 250,000 people crowded onto the National Mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial. They came from all across the country for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and to see Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech. You can revisit my post on Dr. King from January 14th 2012 over here: BREAK THE SILENCE OF THE NIGHT.
It’s been a few days so I’ve got three tunes for you today!
First up is a track I previously mentioned as the dominant sample used in Public Enemy’s “By the Time I Get to Arizona.”
Well, to get right down to it, formed in 1968 by three Panamanian born, but Bed-Stuy raised brothers, here’s Mandrill with a song off of their 1973 album Just Outside Of Town: “Two Sisters Of Mystery.”
Up next I’ve got two lovely ladies who simply do not know what to do about love.
Born in 1937, Anna King began her career as a gospel singer, but joined The James Brown Revue in 1963 as a replacement for Tammi Terrell (Whitmore, 2007). A few years later Terrell would go on to find great success with a series of duets with Marvin Gaye before dying of complications from brain cancer, only a month shy of her 25th birthday. Anna King, however, would become the only one of James Brown’s female singers to have an entire album produced by “The Godfather of Soul” himself; this album being 1964’s Back To Soul. Not only did James Brown produce this album (and it certainly shows with its precision horns and organs) but he also wrote many of the songs himself. Albeit he did so under numerous pseudonyms, such as today’s song being credited to “Jim Jam.”
Anna King left The James Brown Revue towards the tail-end of 1964 and released her final single, an “answer record” to her former employer, entitled “Mama’s Got a Bag of Her Own.” King then effectively retired, only to return to gospel, singing in Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Concerts.” Anna King became a minister for the remainder of her days and died in Philadelphia on October 21, 2002.
Today’s song was released as a single in 1963 before appearing on King’s sole album Back To Soul, here’s the “Jim Jam” penned, “If Somebody Told You.”
Our second lady in question (or “sister of mystery”) is the legendary “Miss Rhythm,” Ruth Brown. Throughout the 1950s Ahmet Ertegun’s Atlantic Records was known as “the house that Ruth built” due to Ruth Brown’s succession of R&B hits: from 1949 to 1955, she had sixteen Top 10 records, five of which were number one. Born Ruth Alston Weston on January 12, 1928, in Portsmouth, Virginia, Brown first sang with her father in a church choir but soon left home and was managed by nightclub owner—and sister to famous bandleader “Cab”—Blanche Calloway (Bernstein, 2006). Later in life, after much struggle with both love and money, Ruth would become an activist for musicians’ rights and royalties and helped create the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. After suffering from a stroke and heart attack, Ruth Brown died on November 17th 2006 in Las Vegas suburb, Henderson, Nevada. She was 78.
Released as a single in 1959, here’s Ruth Brown with “I Don’t Know.” Just listen to with what skill she can alternate between a deeply sonorous voice to a desperate squeak that seems so fragile, so brittle, that you wonder how she’ll ever make it through the next syllable, let alone the rest of the song.