September 6, 1975: Z.Z. Hill, Persuasions, Ray Charles, Ray Stevens, Jim Reeves

This page is a special service to the many readers of Record Mirror & Disc who are either full or part-time DJs. We hope it’ll also be interesting to the general disco-goer. If you have any queries, please write.

Who wins the battle of the bum -bums?

CARL MALCOLM: Fattie Bum-Bum (UK 108) vs. THE DIVERSIONS: Fattie Bum-Bum (Gull GULS I8).
Story of a hit in the making: Randy’s Records in Jamaica sent Pepe Rush in London a single labelled MAX ROMEO We Are Jamaican (Who Are You). Pepe took to Capital Radio’s Tommy Vance, who played it on his Saturday night reggae show.

The label was obviously wrong as the song was Fattie Bum-Bum, and the singer was eventually discovered to be Carl Malcolm.

Dave Cash dug the silly ditty and started playing it on his lunchtime show, whereupon the phones lit up and listeners requested the record into being number 2 on the Capital Hit line.

At this stage UK label boss Jo King got Interested, as did the newly Caribbean-orientated Gull label. The upshot was that UK got the original and Gull rushed through an identical cover, produced perchance by Pepe.

Now, by nature I normally prefer original versions, but in this case, purely from a disco angle, the cover is probably better as it has much more heavy bass in the cut, which Jo King unfortunately lost in the transition from the Jamaican pressing.

Despite all this, Carl Malcolm will doubtless have the hit he deserves (his flip has SKIN FLESH & BONES: Bum-Bum Situation, which is equally good), but the Diversions do have the advantage of being in the Gull tradition, white and available.

The two records really are indistinguishable from each other, except that, in its UK pressing, Carl Malcolm does not sound as good for discos as either his original Jamaican pressing or the Diversions’ cover version. Let battle begin!

You never know, it could be another Crispy & Co vs. Ritchie Family.

See us at Disco 75

DISCO 75, the second DJ Convention and Exhibition to be run by the National Association of Disc-Jockeys, takes place this very Monday and Tuesday (see page 25 for details).

The show opens at midday, on Monday, when Capital Radio’s celebrated Kenny Everett performs a grand inaugural ceremony. On Tuesday Capital Radio’s Dave Cash broadcasts his Cash On Delivery programme live from the Capital stand.

Film shows of recording artists in action and ether such goodies will be taking place on the stands of such record companies as Atlantic and Island, while demonstrations of sound and lighting equipment will be the hlghspots of most manufacturers’ exhibits.

To tell the truth, I’m none too sure of just what ether excitements there will be, but I am sure there will be plenty. One thing, there are bound to be lots of freebies being handed out, with Capital’s free flimsy disc full of radio jingles being a star attraction along with our own info-packed Disco Supplement

So come on by, say Hi, y’all!

RECORD MIRROR & DISC will be among the many famous exhibitors at Disco 75. We’ll be on hand in give out copies of our special DISCO MIRROR, hear your point of view, and generally let it be known that we’re the brightest and best pop weekly.

States Picks

Z. Z. HILL: ‘I Created A Monster’ / ‘Steppin’ In The Shoes Of A Fool’ (UA UA-XW631-X)
Penned/produced by none other than Lamont Dozier, Zee Zee’s new R&B hit couples a heavily thumping, slow funker with an incredibly subtle bright jogger. The hit side is extremely powerful sounding and has some great stereo effects, but the flip is artistically in a far superior league, starting with very few elements meshing to do a lot and finishing with a lot doing something that sounds very simple. Maybe if UA get hip they’ll put this out here in a hurry, then you can hear what I mean.

PERSUASIONS: ‘One Thing On My Mind’ / ‘Darlin’’ (A&M 1698-8)
No longer singing acapella, the soulful Persuasions harmonize and emote to a Tymes-type backbeat and slick 1975 arrangement which doesn’t detract from their superb vocal interplay even if it does depersonalize them somewhat. Surprisingly, they manage to make the flip less soulful than the Beach Boys’ original, though.

RAY CHARLES: ‘Living For The City’ (Crossover 981)
It’s come full circle when Ray Charles feels he has to sing Stevie Wonder to gain credibility, as Little Stevie began his career by recording a tribute album to Ray. The result, an R&B hit, presents us with the interesting experience of hearing Ray duetting with himself in stereo, and delivering a raspingly breathed sermon-style rap about the roaches in the city. It’s kinda good, but why couldn’t he have written something comparable himself? 

New Spins

RAY STEVENS: ‘Lady Of Spain’ (from LP ‘Misty’, Janus 9109401)
Nothing equals ‘Misty’, but Ray’s similarly inventive reworking of Eddie Fisher’s 1952 smash comes close – he makes it sound like Fats Domino! From his Fats impersonation he graduates via a Hurricane Smith-style sax break to his own rapid-fire vocal delivery, and takes it all at a jolly lick that’ll be good MoR.

JIM REEVES: ‘You Belong To Me’ (RCA 2574)
Now to Jo Stafford’s 1952 smash, with its lovely “see the Pyramids along the Nile” opening line. Jim’s fans are legion still, and while not normally a disco artist he sounds just right for a smooch and a smash himself.

MAX ROMEO: ‘Wet Dream’ (Ocean OC 003)
Uh-oh, Max is back! What with ‘Fattie Bum-Bum’ and now this re-issue, the Beeb better start painting those signs saying “a record by Max Romeo”!

LEON HAYWOOD: ‘I Want A Do Something Freaky To You’ (from LP ‘Come And Get Yourself Some’, 20th Century BT 476)
Great title and great track to go with it. Starting with groans and instrumental, the purposefully rhythmic slowie builds through Leon’s singing to some fairly abandoned sexy gasping – sounds like the lady got herself some!

EXCITERS: ‘Reaching For The Best’ (20th Century BTC 1005)
In a poor Post-Bank Holiday weekend this spirited extremely fast Northern dancer sounds pretty good even down South! Honestly, if this were old, it would’ve been a classic years ago as the tempo is terrific with singing to match. Backing track flip’s just as strong.

BOBBY GOLDSBORO: ‘I Wrote A Song (Sing Along)’ (UA UP 36005)
Erk! If it hits, this inane “la-la-la-la” jolly bouncer will be lovely MoR fodder. Intro can be skipped for better impact.

NEW BIRTH: ‘Dream Merchant’ (Buddah BDS 434)
Fresh from topping the US R&B chart, this lurching slowie is like the Five Stairsteps meet the Delfonics on Jerry Butler’s front porch. OK, Mister?

CHI-LITES: ‘It’s Time For Love’ / ‘The Coldest Days Of My Life’ (Brunswick BR 25)
Since it’s so similar, how come the classic dead show flip isn’t the plug side? It’s got more atmosphere and magic than the good but sterile newer A-side.

ESTER BYRDE: ‘Touch Me – Take Me’ (Survival SUR 1)
Trinidadian Ester’s in The Black Mikado, which luckily doesn’t stop her making a lovely soulful slowie that’s full of delicate guitar, cooing chix, sensuous rapping and some beautiful singing. Quite a spine trigger in fact. Wail on!

HAMILTON, JOE FRANK & REYNOLDS: ‘Fallin’ In Love’ (Pye 7N 25690)
Wholesome romantic pop from the top of the US charts, which no doubt we’ll all be playing when it hits here. At least it’s sanitary, unlike my fave of the moment:

DAVID GEDDES: ‘Run Joey Run’ (Antic K 11520)
Which is a great teenage death disc in a long and undanceable tradition. Veteran readers will know what I mean, and should check it out.

BOB & HONEY BEE: ‘If Ever I Needed You’ (Instrumental) (Route RT 12)

pre-fade links

RALPH CARTER: ‘When You’re Young And In Love’ (Mercury) clocks in as this week’s hottest tip, followed by GEORGE BAKER SELECTION: ‘Paloma Blanca’ (Warner Bros.): those with the double are Jon Taylor (Crockers, Norwich), John “Jay Jay” Sawers (Stevenson, Ayrshire), while Paul Anthony (Walsall), Mark Rymann (Porthcawl), Les Aron (Bali-Hai, Bognor Regis) get just Ralph and Theo Loyla (Banana Power Discos, Bridge, Kent) gets  George . . . Ralph Carter incidentally is the youngest-ever self-made millionaire: now aged 13, he amassed his fortune by the time he was 10 . . . John Taylor also opines that if radio would only play BOBBY MOORE: ‘Call Me Your Anything Man’ (Pye), it could be the Rock Your Baby of 1975 . . . Jon’s also crazy about JIMMY “BO” HORNE: ‘Gimme Some’ (RCA), as are Mark Rymann and Ray “Rosko” Robinson (Tiffany’s, Leicester) . . . Ray reports further that TAVARES: ‘It Only Takes A Minute’ (Capitol), his fave of the year so far, is taking Tiffany’s by storm . . . good to see NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND: ‘(All I Have To Do Is) Dream’ (UA) showing up for Bob Sampson (Burgess Hill, Sussex) and David Ryder (Halifax, tho’ currently on radio in the US for four months) . . . Wild Walt Brown (Surbiton, Surrey) seems to have a wild and wacky visual presentation, dressing up as goofy Womble, Roller etc to go with the music he plays . . . the great NATALIE COLE: ‘This Will Be’ (Capitol) is already a breaker for Steve Day (Chingford), who’s been pushing DR. FEELGOOD: ‘Back In The Night’ (UA) for months . . . Dougall DJ (Kilsyth, Glasgow) picks HUSTLER: ‘Little People’ (Firefly/A&M), and I say don’t forget ‘Who D’Yer Think Yer Foolin’‘ off their album Play Loud . . . Sound Machine Discos (Welwyn Garden City) seem fairly funky, with B. T. EXPRESS: ‘Give It What You Got’ (US Roadshow) already listed amongst the UK-issued soulsters . . . from the film of the same name, and to my mind none too hot, BILL HARRIS: ‘Uptown Saturday Night’ (Warners) is a persistent tip from Jason “Judge Jay” Mayes (Spankles, Glasgow) . . . I seem to have allowed myself to be talked into doing one of Radio 1’s Insight programmes, so that if you tune in this Sunday at 5pm you’ll probably hear me making a cock-up of The Soulful Years (From Inkspots to Stylistics) – can’t say I’m looking forward to it myself!

hot tip

From Phil Fox (Creepy Crawly Discos, Huddersfield): “I find that currently the best two together are: 5,000 VOLTS: ‘I’m On Fire‘ (Philips) followed by: LOS BRAVOS: ‘Black Is Black‘ (Decca). “They go down like a bomb.” Thanx Phil, and as I said when reviewing the 5,000 VOLTS instrumental B-side, “Singalongalosbravos!”

UK Disco Top 20 – September 6, 1975

01 03 KC & The Sunshine Band – That’s The Way (I Like It) – Jay Boy
02 01 Stylistics – I Can’t Give You Anything – Avco
03 02 George McCrae – It’s Been So Long – Jay Boy
04 07 Rod Stewart – Sailing – Warner Bros.
05 08 Ritchie Family – Brazil – Polydor
06 NE Al Matthews – Fool – CBS
07 10 People’s Choice – Do It Anyway You Wanna – Philadelphia Int’l
08 11 Bimbo Jet – El Bimbo – EMI
09 09 Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony – The Hustle – Avco
10 12 Bee Gees – Jive Talking – RSO
11 06 Typically Tropical – Barbados – Gull
12 NE Banzaii – Chinese Kung Fu – Contempo
13 NE Major Harris – Love Won’t Let Me Wait – Atlantic
14 NE Leroy Brown – One Woman Man – EMI
15 04 Linda Lewis – It’s In His Kiss – Arista
16 06 Moments – Dolly My Love – All Platinum
17 15 Gary Toms Empire – 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Blow Your Whistle – Epic
18 13 Biddu Orchestra – Summer Of ’42 – Epic
19 NE Mike Batt – Summertime City – Epic
20 19 Hello – New York Groove – Bell
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry


james’ top ten

1 IN THE MOOD Joe Bob’s Nashville Sound Company (US Capitol)
2 THE LAST FAREWELL Roger Whittaker (EMI)
3 LADY OF SPAIN Ray Stevens (Janus)
4 ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM Nifty Gritty Dirt Band (UA)
5 EL BIMBO Susan Maughan (Ember)
6 I CAN’T GIVE YOU ANYTHING Stylistics (Avco)
7 THAT’S THE WAY I LIKE IT KC and The Sunshine Band (Jay Boy)
8 SUMMER OF ’42 Biddu (Epic)
9 BRAZIL Ritchie Family (Polydor)
10 NOW IT’S PAUL McCARTNEY etc Clive Baldwin (Mercury)

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