October 4, 1975: The Joneses, George Benson, Black Rock, Roxy Music, T. Rex Disco Party

Nice work, if you can get it…

WEDDINGS AND other suchlike parties where there are very mixed age groups tend to provide many mobile DJs with their bread and butter business – they certainly do with me.

As I said some time ago, I have deliberately worked up a range of music and a style of presentation designed with just that sort of mixed age gig in mind.

In case it’s of use to other mobile DJs, here is how I got the dancing going at the big wedding reception I did last Saturday. It worked a treat for me, but obviously it needs to be moulded to each different audience.

(A word of warning: many of these records are going to be hard to find but worth the search.)

Out of the speeches with The Wedding March (Decca), cross-fading into BILLY COTTON: Get Me To The Church On Time (Columbia), at which point bride and groom took to the floor, so cross-fade into The Blue Danube (Parlophone), cutting in just the “Oh how we danced on the night we were wed” line from AL JOLSON: Anniversary Song (Coral).

Cut out of Blue Danube into the waltz section of Gaitie Parisienne (Golden Guinea), cross-fading into GENE KELLY: Singin’ In The Rain (MGM), skipping the intro.

After that play just the first two lines of MAURICE CHEVALIER: Thank Heaven For Little Girls (MGM) before cross-fading into DORIS DAY: Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Philips).

Tight segue Into DANNY KAYE: Wonderful Copenhagen (MCA Coral), then follow with FRANK SINATRA & CELESTE HOLM: Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (Capitol).

At this stage I forget exactly what I did next but pretty soon after it was a segue that was made in heaven, It’s so perfect! BENNY GOODMAN: Don’t Be That Way (US RCA 447-0879), SPARKS: Looks, Looks, Looks (Island), and JOE BOB’S NASHVILLE SOUND COMPANY: In The Mood (US Capitol 4159).

In answer to many queries, I must emphasise that this latter, the Joe Bob, is an import and unavailable in ordinary record shops. It does just happen to be one of the best MoR records ever made, but as yet there’s no sign of its release here.

Another perfect segue using an import is between the GEORGE BAKER SELECTION: Paloma Bianca (Warners) and BUDDY ALAN: Another Saturday Night (US Capitol 4075) – if you get the changeover synchronised, the tempos are identical!

For the rest of the night the mixture was equally zany, with chart hits between the rock’n’roll, Scottish, thirties, soul, Charleston, rock, and smooch etc sequences.

My advice to mobile jocks is to use your imagination and look out for lively oddities with which you can pre-plan tightly edited and carefully rehearsed sets.

My own style revolves around this approach, to the extent that I only use Chart records to bridge from one “party piece” to another!

New Spins

Spudadoo, spudadoo!

JONESES: ‘Sugar Pie Guy’ (Mercury 6167223)
Remixed and re-issued, this goodie by the guys with the amazing “spudadoo spudadoo” bass man now has a disco flip that features an instrumental build-up to the “spudadoo”s and a long wukkawuk passage, broken into by some gruff joviality and repartee with a chick. If it worked before you’d better play it some more!

GEORGE BENSON: ‘Supership’ (CTI CT SP 002)
1975’s jumping bumpy rhythm re-write of ‘Sea Cruise’ (ship’s hooter and all) shows off George more on vocals than guitar, and should be a disco smash with ship’s bells on. Already breaking out as an import, it’s gotta be good.

BLACK ROCK: ‘New York City Bump’ (Seville SEV 1011)
SONNY – the Sound Of New New York strikes again as Sonny Casella follows Jeanne Burton and Dooley Silverspoon with his most ambitious production yet. On the special effects B-side the entire chix-led Temptations-type relaxed bumper is backed by a montage of New York City street sounds as it takes us on a bus ride uptown . . . like ‘Living For The City’ gone mad! Heard in stereo it’s a mind-messer of awesome proportions. 

ROXY MUSIC: ‘Love Is The Drug’ (Island WIP 6248)
Bryan and the boys go soul with a bass-dominated thumping rhythm and a powerful revving intro. Unfortunately, this early promise doesn’t really develop, and while still useful, the whole side ain’t as good as it could’ve been.

T. REX DISCO PARTY: ‘Dreamy Lady’ / ‘Do You Wanna Dance’ / ‘Dock Of The Bay’ (EMI MARC 11)
Van McCoy meets the Bopping Elf on the dusty road of hits, but it’s ill met by moonlight. In fact, apart from the bad fade, the A-side newie will be OK once it’s a hit, while the B-side oldies do feature Gloria Jones fairly extensively.

LLOYD PARKS: ‘Mafia’ (Cactus CT 75)
Already big in reggae circles, Lloyd’s soulfully sung lazy thudder is even better than the flipside version (dub) – which, coming from a confirmed dub fan, is praise indeed.

ALLEN TOUSSAINT: ‘Soul Sister’ (Reprise K 14200)
Slinky undulating slowie from 1972, this should be good, especially in black clubs.

DAVID COURTNEY: ‘My Mind’ (EMI 2349)
Good beat on a pop-rock stomper.

DUKE & THE DRIVERS: ‘What You Got’ (ABC 4079)

PLAYTHINGS: ‘Stop What You’re Doing’ (Pye DDS 2007)
Biddu’s 1973 girlie-group crib of ‘I Can’t Help Myself’.

NOSMO KING: ‘All The Good Guys’ (Pye 7N 45528)
Great Fats Domino-style slow rocker. Amazingly authentic.

Import Picks

Dig the doo-wop!

TRAMMPS: ‘Hooked For Life’ / ‘I’m Alright’ (Atlantic 45-3286)
Tom Moulton mixed the Baker-Harris-Young team’s latest smooth Philly thumper, which for oldies and doo-wop fans will be overshadowed by the terrific gospelly flip. Dig the burbling bass!

PROPHECY: ‘Betcha Can’t Guess My Sign’ (Mainstream MRL 5569)
Craziness – a funky chunky slinker duetted by gruff bloke and Alvin Chipmunk! I presume that the chipmunk voices are the Chubukus of ‘Witch Doctor Bump’ fame. Straight instrumental flip.

CALVIN ARNOLD: ‘Satisfy My Woman’ (IX Chains NCS 7009)
Author of the Prophecy single. Calvin’s mellow swayer will please all old fans of the Winstons, as it’s highly reminiscent of their great ‘Color Him Father’.

J. R. BAILEY: ‘The Entertainer (If They Could Only See Me Now)’ (Midland Int’l MB 10305)
Whatever next – an R&B version of Scott Joplin’s theme from ‘The Sting’! With a long chorus intro to put you off, J. R. suddenly launches song as that familiar melody finally makes its funked-up appearance. Interesting, and I like it.

BLACK SATIN: ‘Everybody Stand Up And Clap Your Hands (For The Entertainer)’ (Buddah BDA477-N)
Nothing to do with Scott Joplin, this is the new guise for Fred Parris and the Five Satins, who do some nicely soulful vocal group work over a modern ambiguous rhythm. Do you remember (‘In The Still Of The Night’)?

Oldies galore…

RE-ISSUE MANIA is currently rife amongst the record companies, which is good news for disco DJs.

Of great interest should be two tunes that are being much compared with present hits, the Natalie Cole-like BARBARA ACKLIN: Love Makes A Woman (Brunswick BR26), and the 5000 Volts-like LOS BRAVOS: Black Is Black (Decca FR 133687).

Another welcome classic is TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS: Mony Mony (Pye 7N 25695), while in a slower bag are THE DELFONICS: Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time (Bell 1454) and the rather dated JIMMY HELMS: Gonna Make You An Offer You Can’t Refuse (Cube BUG 60).

RCA have four new three-track Maximllllons out, the most eagerly awaited being DAVID BOWIE: Space Oddity (RCA 2593).

Useful even if not everyone’s cup of tea are MIDDLE OF THE ROAD: Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep/Tweedle Dee Tweedle Dum/Soley Soley (RCA 2002) and PERRY COMO: It’s Impossible/For The Good Times/I Think Of You (RCA 2806).

The least useful (until it’s a hit again) is the great 1955 vintage ELVIS PRESLEY: Blue Moon/You’re A Heartbreaker/I’m Left, You’re
Right, She’s Gone (RCA 2601).

Finally, THE HOLLIES: Long Cool Woman Di A Black Drees/Carrie Anne (EMI 2353) couples their Creedence Clearwater Revival-like US hit
with one of their UK Pop outings.

dj hot line

The hustle has muscle!

Steve Day (Chingford) infos CROWN HEIGHTS AFFAIR: Dreaming A Dream (Polydor) is gaining in popularity all the time, and he’s getting great reaction to SILVER CONVENTION: Fly Robin Fly/I Like It (Magnet) and KAY-GEES: Hustle With Every Muscle (US Gang).

Steve is also very positive about THE DIVERSIONS: Fattie Bum Bum (Gull) being the strongest version, plus he’s joined by Ray “Rosko” Robinson (Tiffany’s Leicester) and Bob Poole (Reading) in tipping DOOLEY SILVERSPOON: As Long As You Know Who You Are (Seville).

Bob Poole’s playing BIMBO JET: La Balanga (EMI) and EDDIE DRENNON: Let’s Do The Latin Hustle (US Friends & Co), an import about which he included info that unfortunately was not forwarded to me, although Chris Sang (Hove) did get a message through about EDDIE DRENNON to the effect that it’s terrific.

THE EXCITERS: Reachin’ For The Best (20th C) heads the list for Roy Hughes (Cat’s Whiskers, York) . . . Anthony Allan (Speakeasy, Wakefield) tips TRAMMPS: Hold Back The Night (Buddah) and the dreadful R.B. FREEMAN: I’m Shaft (Avco).

HEAVY METAL KIDS: Ain’t Nothing But A House Party (Atlantic) wins support from Peter Greig (Route 66 Discos, Plymouth).

BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS: No Woman No Cry (Island) getting picks aplenty, but goes straight in at number one for Doctor John (Newport, Salop), who’s also first to mention SPEEDY KEEN: Bad Boys (Island).

FAITH, HOPE & CHARITY: To Each His Own (RCA) is number one for funky Les “Godfather” Spaine (Time Piece, Liverpool), and gets picked by Mark Rymann (Porthcawl) and Jon Taylor (Crocker’s, Norwich).

ISLEY BROTHERS: Fight The Power (Epic) showing up for The Sound Machine (Welwyn Garden City) and for Brian Westlake (Sheffield).

Dougall Dee-Jay (Glasgow), still plugging his fan club, tips BETTY WRIGHT: Ooola La (RCA) . . . clever impressionist BILL HOWARD: King Of The Cops (Penny Farthing) is a comedy clicker for Peter Dunn (Coppercoins Country Club, Haverfordwest), who’s also having fun with ELECTRIC ARP SYNTHESIZER: Yellow Submarine (RCA).

Ashley Eatley (Second City Sound, Ferryside, Dyfed) goes with HELLO: New York Groove (Bell), TOMMY HUNT: Crackin’ Up (Spark) and the old WILLIE HENDERSON: Dance Master (Cooltempo).

It would be good to see some of your record freaks at the Lord Nelson pub in London’s Holloway Road, where every Wednesday night I’m presenting a live version of the Three O’Clock Thrill, the programme I produce for London’s Capital Radio.

On Wednesday, October 8, I’ll be joined by Roger Scott, who actually presents the spot on air. Come on by, say hi!

star tip

THIS WEEK’S Star Tip comes from Willy Coates (Untouchables Disco, Appleby, Cumbria):

He says “A very effective method of introducing oldies from the late fifties and early sixties is to precede them with ERUPTION: Let Me Take You Back In Time (RCA 2581), played either wholly or in part.”

UK Disco Top 20 – October 4, 1975

01 02 5000 Volts – I’m On Fire – Philips
02 01 KC & The Sunshine Band – That’s The Way (I Like It) – Jay Boy
03 15 David Essex – Hold Me Close – CBS
04 03 Fatback Band – Yum Yum (Gimme Some) – Polydor
05 07 Leo Sayer – Moonlighting – Chrysalis
06 04 Al Matthews – Fool – CBS
07 08 People’s Choice – Do It Anyway You Wanna – Philadelphia Int’l
08 16 Natalie Cole – This Will Be – Capitol
09 10 Jimmy Bo Horne – Gimme Some – RCA
10 14 Banzaii – Chinese Kung Fu – Contempo
11 09 Carl Malcolm – Fatty Bum Bum – UK
12 — Drifters – There Goes My First Love – Bell
13 06 Rod Stewart – Sailing – Warner Bros.
14 18 B.T. Express – Give It What You Got – EMI
15 — Tavares – It Only Takes A Minute – Capitol
16 re Jasper Carrott – Magic Roundabout – DJM
17 11 Disco Tex – Boogie Flap – Chelsea
18 — Crown Heights Affair – Dreaming A Dream – Polydor
19 — Bob Marley & The Wailers – No Woman, No Cry – Island
20 — Dee Clark – Ride A Wild Horse – Chelsea


james’ top ten

1 LOOKS, LOOKS, LOOKS Sparks (Island)
2 IN THE MOOD Joe Bob’s Nashville Sound Company (US Capitol)
3 DON’T BE THAT WAY Benny Goodman (US RCA)
4 1’M ON FIRE 5000 Volts (Philips)
5 BLACK IS BLACK Los Bravos (Decca)
6 FOOL Al Matthews (CBS)
7 I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU Flamingos (Top Rank)
9 PALOMA BLANCA George Baker Selection (Warners)
10 YUM YUM (GIMME SOME) Fatback Band (Polydor)

2 INDIAN LOVE CALL Ray Stevens (Janus)
3 GIRLS (FRENCH) Moments (LP) (All Platinum)

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