October 27, 1979: Dan Hartman, Lee Moore, Gonzalez, Vernon Burch, Love Unlimited

Caister Continued

Beefcake Corner this week shows debonair drag artistes Robbie Vincent and Chris Hill in matching colour co-ordinated cerise tracksuits while Showstopper Promotions’ John Morris points in alarm at approaching hordes of hooligans! The 2nd Caister Soul Weekender resulted in over £10,000-worth of damage at the Ladbrokes chalet camp (the caravans coming out practically unscathed), caused mainly during the high-jinks of the first few hours’ flush of excitement, with later malicious damage being the evident work of a small organised gang. However, far from this being a shock-horror-gasp story, the vast majority of holidaying funksters were completely unaware of any underlying tension. Next April’s Caister Weekender, though, will revert to a more manageable number of carefully vetted ticket holders. There really were too many people everywhere, queuing for everything . . . often in fancy dress. The best that I saw were two guys dressed up to appear as if they were each riding astride an Emu, with false legs dangling and reins controlling the long Emu neck (they went around nicking peoples’ chips – or attacking Greg Edwards – with their beaks!), while Canvey Goldmine-owning Stan and Jane Barrett looked glittery in completely “gold” miners gear.

Odds ‘N Bods

EMI merge both GRD and LRD Disco Departments under plugger Gof Abbey . . . Umberto Tozzi ‘Gloria’ is now on 12in (Epic PC 12-7415) with the original Italian version on 2-track flip . . . Donna Summer’s Casablanca ‘Greatest Hits’ double LP will be promoed with a specially segued 12in medley for jocks . . . Disco Dates was somehow missing last week so my Friday gig at Tony Valence’s Leysdown Island club was under-publicised –  though Nikki Peck plugged it in his Kent Evening Post column and who should be at the Island but Zoot Money, filming with bike stunter Eddie Kidd! . . . Megamix The Mighty Chopper (that’s me!) will Thursday (25) be opening Catford’s Checquers record shop at 4 pm and funking Erith 2001 club at 10:30 pm . . . Brass Construction ‘Movin’’ is of course 120-123bpm (not as printed last week), with a quiet 20 beat intro which can mix spectacularly through something else at 120bpm (like ‘Whistle Bump’!), while other oldies currently reviving include Dennis Coffey ‘Wings Of Fire’ (US Westbound 12in) at 123(intro)-121-120(break onwards)-121(final part)bpm, Crown Heights Affair ‘Far Out’ (‘Do It Your Way’ US De-Lite LP) at 123-126bpm, Roy Ayers ‘Running Away’ (US Polydor 12in) at 116bpm . . . Larry Foster (Ilford Room At The Top etc), being very droll, wants the BPM for ‘March Of The Mods’ (ho ho ho!) – it’s 144bpm if you use Joe Loss’s old 7in (HMV POP 1351) . . . Pye’s R&B Division are holding auditions in Britain’s six major centres starting at Manchester City Supporters Club Hall on November 7/8, prospective singers/groups being asked by radio jocks Mike Shaft and Terry Lennaine to send preliminary audition tapes to Pye first . . . Steve Walsh (London Lyceum etc) now manages new young black jazz-funkers Earthline Connection, with a record already cut (enquiries on 01-724-1559) . . . Chris Dinnis never stays still down in Devon, he’s now solo on Saturdays and Andy Pinney does Tuesdays at funky Sidmouth Winter Garden . . . Alf Campbell wishes his Thurs/Friday punters at Balloch Roundabout Inn, Loch Lomond, would wake up to the fact that the records he’s playing now are what they subsequently request in two months’ time after radio’s played ‘em . . . Mike O’Brien does Mon thru Thursday at Southampton Fridays, which seems contrary somehow! . . . Ashley Woods (Sleaford) wants details of his local Lincolnshire DJ association – can anyone help? . . . Herb Alpert’s ‘Rise’ was impossible to avoid on New York radio in mid-July yet it’s taken this long to hit US number 1 . . . Lonnie Liston Smith must appreciate RCA’s efforts on his behalf, but what about his current label, CBS? . . . Earth, Wind & Fire appeared on at least three LPs prior to the reissued ‘Last Days And Time’, their first eponymously-titled solo set being on Warner Bros. in 1971 . . . Memo to certain disco pluggers “Blacks, whores, pimps, pushers and Arabs” buy records too, and many of them probably have more money to spend than most!

UK Newies

DAN HARTMAN: ‘Hands Down’ (Blue Sky SKY 13-7896) (BNDA debut 8/18/79)
Gas of a happily romping, stomping and clapping 124bpm 12in reruns his past hit ideas with added Wonder-ful harmonica to make an incredibly exhilarating stormer that leaps along surprisingly at a slower lick than his oldies but should be just as big.

LEE MOORE: ‘Reachin’ Out (For Your Love)’ (Source 12SRC 100)
Past its peak on import though now finally out here through EMI, the great happily jiggling but smoothly stamping 125-126bpm brassy 12in sould smacker has a brief rhythm lull and wheezling synthesizer between bursts of buoyantly bubbling bass.

GONZALEZ: ‘Move It To The Music’ (Sidewalk 12SID 114)
Remorselessly pounding brassy fast 134bpm 12in flier now seems overly frantic for current dance steps, but the Dr Buzzard-influenced jittery 118(intro)-117bpm ‘Peoples Party’ B-side “rock” clapper is indeed just right!  Continue reading “October 27, 1979: Dan Hartman, Lee Moore, Gonzalez, Vernon Burch, Love Unlimited”

October 20, 1979: Hudson People, Isley Brothers, Anita Ward, One Way ft Al Hudson, Herbie Mann

Cheesecake Corner – or something! – kicks off the Caister report with a stunning action shot of Primrose Hill in action as one half of the Doris Vincent-partnered “Ladies’ Night” duo, who swished from ballroom to ballroom to lead the sweaty throngs in the 2nd National Soul Weekender’s official anthem, ‘There’ll Always Be A Caister’.

Yes, last Friday the funky hordes descended once again on Ladbrokes’ holiday camp on the Norfolk shore, except this time there were over 5,000 of them spread over not only the chalet camp but also the Silver Sands caravan camp next door . . . and although there were three music venues in the main camp it was the Silver Sands ballroom that came to be considered the best. All the main DJs – Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent, Greg Edwards, Sean French, Chris Brown, Jeff Young, Froggy, Tom Holland, Brother Louis, Les Knott – moved about between the different venues so that they all shared the load (none was big enough for everyone), but the final Finale of the day always ended up amongst the caravanners.

Even more than that before the accent was on anything goes, and with such a large crowd of hell-bent kids it was likely that something would give. Mainly it was chalet windows that did, though they weren’t necessarily broken on purpose. The fun went in waves: Friday night it was pillow fights, Saturday it was water attacks. Not just water pistols, but dustbins, with people lying in ambush to give others a soaking. Chris Hill, his assistant Snell, promoter Adrian Webb and others were charged at by a hundred egg and flour-hurling kids, who then emptied water through their fleeing Range Rover’s open sunroof! It wasn’t meant viciously, although they weren’t to know that the “stars” were staying in a hotel with only one bathroom between 12 people, so the clean-up would take time.

When everyone had gone and only the “stars” remained, there was an exclusive buffet on Sunday night when the Jocks (and their ladies) behaved in remarkably similar and silly fashion, with Greg Edwards pushing a chocolate cake into Snell’s face and Robbie’s wife getting Greg back in turn! At this event also it was tried to establish just what “THE” Caister record had been (in April it was McFadden & Whitehead), and although it seemed as ¡f Kool & The Gang had dominated the weekend the voting came out in favour of Michael Jackson’s ‘Off The Wall’.

Full details of the other contenders and a more complete account of the silliness next week, but don’t forget that all this is happening again at Showstopper Promotions’ other overflow weekender in Cornwall at Perrin Sands next weekend too, October 26-28. Reckon the Jocks’ll wear raincoats and sou’westers for that!

Odds ‘N Bods

Sugarhill Gang ‘Rapper’s Delight’ has already won a US gold disc for New York sales alone, DJ rapping being the new craze – and last Thursday at Mayfair Gullivers the members of FLB took turns to rap along over the record as if it was their own! . . . Shalamar ‘The Second Time Around’ has been remixed for 12in instead of ‘Right In The Socket’ (which remains much better) . . . Jupiter Beyond and Lowrell are on UK 12in early November, Millie & Ike’s ‘Feels Like The First Time’ 12in is due next week, and Dusty Springfield ‘Baby Blue’ will be on limited 12in after all . . . Sylvester’s next is ‘Can’t Stop Dancin’’, a shrieking 131-128bpm pounder, more coherent than of late . . . Brass Construction’s currently reviving ‘Movin’’ oldie is 120-131 bpm, with a 20 bpm soft intro from first noise to main rhythm (if you want to be clever!) . . . Caister jocks kept telling me how Atmosfear and ‘Expansions’ mix together perfectly, evidently forgetting who told them! . . . Sally Ormsby is back at RCA, filling in as disco plugger just one day a week . . . Bill Grainger has set up Fire Island Disco Promotions based at 29 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6BZ (041-221 7282), to service Scottish jocks with all aspects of disco promotion, and is even mentioning a possible Scottish DJ convention (undeterred by his visit to Frenchies!) . . . Northern Soul is alive and well in London, the Southgate Rhythm & Soul Society start a new venue this Friday (19) at the old Klooks Kleek location, the West Hampstead Railway Hotel, free members – hip with an SAE from Randy Cozens, 273 Chase Road, London N14 . . . Frenchies open a new up-market over 21’s weekly Thursday venue next Thursday (25), The Apartment, at Farnborough Recreation Centre, with prizes including a Paris weekend for two . . . 15-year-old Jo Field, whose big sisters Sally and Jude were wearing nappies at Caister, is frustrated by being too young for most clubs but raves about the upfront funk of DJ Chris Green at the no age limit Oracle Club in Watford . . . Jon Taylor started an under 18’s night this last Monday at Norwich Cromwells . . . Graham Thornton, Tea Council Young DJ winner, has now landed the 2 to 6am early morning DJ slot daily on Birmingham’s BRMB commercial station, starting in December . . . Sonny Rollins, veteran avant garde Jazz saxist, is in line for a 12in soon, while his contemporary (now of ‘Dr Jackyll And Mr Funk’ fame), Jackie McLean plays Chalk Farm Round House next Friday (26) as part of the 9th Camden Jazz Week – but don’t go expecting disco!

UK Newies

HUDSON PEOPLE: ‘Boogie On Downtown’ (Virgin VS 30112)
Totally exhilarating brassy instrumental bounder (forget the awful chix on the vocal A-side) winds along in Brass Construction style through 126-131-127-130-127-130-133 bpm until the 12in practically takes off at the end! Easily the biggest newie at Caister, it has immediate impact and will obviously be huge.

ISLEY BROTHERS: ‘It’s A Disco Night (Rock Don’t Stop) (Parts 1 & 2)’ (Epic EPC 13-7911) (BNDA debut 8/25/79)
Emphatically clapping fast 133 bpm jittery funker, finally on UK 12in, really got ’em “rocking” at Caister!

ANITA WARD: ‘Don’t Drop My Love’ (TK TKR 13-7562) (BNDA debut 10/20/79)
Clonking 126 bpm cowbell intro becomes a bass and backbeat driven 125 bpm 12in pop churner with Anita’s shrill wailing cutting through the smoother support.  Continue reading “October 20, 1979: Hudson People, Isley Brothers, Anita Ward, One Way ft Al Hudson, Herbie Mann”

October 13, 1979: Kool & The Gang, Chic, Lonnie Liston Smith, Joe Sample, Winds Of Change

Odds ‘N Bods

Al Hudson & The Partners now appear to be calling themselves One Way . . . Stargard ‘Wear It Out’ is due next week, with Freddie James to follow . . . Teena Marie ‘Don’t Look Back’ on finally received 12in (Motown 12TMG 1158) runs at 118 (intro)-117-119 (break)-118bpm, chopping nicely with Paulinho da Costa . . . Atmosfear ‘Dancing In Outer Space’ is evidently hard to find, so tell your dealer to contact All Ears, 3 Library Parade, Craven Park Road, London NW10 (01-965 6041) . . . Positive Force ‘We Got The Funk’ really is shaping as a likely contender to THE Caister anthem! . . . Debbie Jacobs ‘Undercover Lover’, supposedly on “limited 1,500 only” 12in, is even turning up in Woolworths . . . EMI have signed Source for the UK, so Lee Moore can’t now be long . . . Orville Sweeney and other pluggers have been made redundant at RCA . . . Andy Stinton, ex-DJM/Creole and currently visiting from Canada, is now in the restaurant business, having applied his old Sundown jocking technique to Toronto’s Harbor Hilton to make it that city’s top disco . . . Greg Edwards’s Soul Spectrum on Capital Radio moves forward an hour to run from 5-8 pm this Saturday, while Fatman Graham Canter sits in for Robbie Vincent on Radio London earlier that morning . . . Liverpool funk jocks George “Clinton” Spence (Babalou) and Eric Hearn (Timepiece) keep the local P-funk tradition going with Funkadelic, Faze-O and Cameo at the top of their charts . . . Leon Mitchell gets even Nottingham, Kettering and Luton crowds at funky Leicester Scamps . . . Sunday, November 18th is red letter day for Whitehaven Whitehouse, when Chris Hill and his cohorts (myself included) journey to the Mecca of the North . . . Lowrell (‘Mellow Mellow Right On’) is a former member of Lost Generation, of 1970’s ‘The Sly, Slick & The Wicked’ fame . . . Stix Hooper ‘Cordon Bleu’ features a musette, which I think you’ll find is indeed a type of French accordion . . . Joseph Johnstone (Worthing) thinks it’s a pity I concentrate on disco records on this, the Disco page; anyone else of a similar opinion? . . . Billboard add to their New York and Los Angeles locations with a Disco Internationale forum in Monte Carlo on December 4-7, but it’s unlikely to be of as much interest to UK jocks . . . US radio ratings show that disco formatted stations may have slipped elsewhere, but in New York City the “Disco” stations are still tops, with a whopping 15.4 per cent of all listeners, beating “Beautiful Music” (13.2), “Contemporary” (12.0), News (9.7), Talk (9.2), Spanish (4.9), AOR (4.9), MOR (4.8) and other format categories – which proves what should be obvious, that disco is an urban music style, and may explain why Radio Luxembourg has back-pedalled to reduce its own disco format (Luxembourg – and Radio One – surely now having largely rural listeners?).

UK Newies

KOOL & THE GANG: ‘Ladies’ Night’ (Mercury KOOL 12) (BNDA debut 9/8/79)
What can one say about the hottest import in months that you don’t already know? Like a slower Al Hudson until the faster end, the 110-112-117bpm funk smash is now on UK 12in whereas it was only on US promo 12in and you had to buy the album – which, now out here too (Mercury 6372763), includes the slightly KC-like 121bpm ‘Tonight’s The Night’, ‘‘rocking’’ 118-124bpm ‘Hangin’ Out’ and 120bpm ‘If You Feel Like Dancin’, and jogging 105/53bpm ‘Too Hot’. Sure is!

CHIC: ‘My Forbidden Lover’ (Atlantic K 11385T) (BNDA debut 9/1/79)
Sinuously winding ‘I Want Your Love’-like (but slower) 107bpm 12in jogger.

LONNIE LISTON SMITH: ‘Expansions’ (RCA PC 9450)
Jingling, bass burbling and percussion patting intro mixes, as I said last week, perfectly out of Atmosfear’s slow bit, the whole atmospherically ethereal 61-126-129bpm jazz 12in whipping up a subtle excitement.  Continue reading “October 13, 1979: Kool & The Gang, Chic, Lonnie Liston Smith, Joe Sample, Winds Of Change”

October 6, 1979: Gloria Gaynor, Gibson Brothers, Cameo, Hamilton Bohannon, Cognac

Odds ‘N Bods

Jupiter Beyond ‘The River Drive’ will be on the re-activated Pye International label in November, contracts now having been signed . . . Donna Summer & Barbra Streisand sing together on a disco duet due later this month, the 12in on CBS and 7in on Casablanca, while Donna’s ‘Dim All The Lights’ is now on 12in to make it sell better (CANL 162) . . . Kool & The Gang go back to next week . . . LPs on US Capitol but issued here in the over-stickered Tower series include the already reviewed Eddie Henderson (EST 11984) and Bobby Lyle (EST 11956) . . . Showstopper Promotions’ Adrian Webb announced at Frenchies Forum his plans for a “funk under canvas” National Soul Day to be held in 15,000 capacity interconnected gigantic circus bigtops at Knebworth next May Spring Bank Holiday, to follow on from the 2nd Caister weekender next Fri-Sun (12-14) and Perrin Sands overflow in Cornwall (Oct 26-28), a few tickets being left for the latter, incidentally . . . Erik-Jack of Life Entertainment Services (258 Chichester Road, Bognor Regis, Sussex PO21 5AX) invites experienced Southern-based pro (or prepared to go pro) jocks to contact his expanding agency, which amongst others recently placed local DJs on the QE II and in a 22 week Isle of Wight residency . . . Chris Dinnis’s jazz-funk import night at Sidmouth Winter Garden has moved from Tuesday to Saturday due to public demand . . . Chris Hill is raving about a brand new club in out-of-the-way Whitehaven (Lake District), the Whitehouse, filled by owners Ernie Priestman, Wayne Nicholls, Phil Haselhurst & Brian Brown with superb equipment, New York-style lighting and queues of hip kids, making it better than any club in London (sez Chris) – I can’t wait to visit it with him next month! . . . St Asaph’s Stables Disco in North Wales starts a weekly specialist jazz-funk night next Thursday (11), complimentary tickets for the first four weeks from DJ Alan Taylor, 26 Terrace Avenue, Rhyl. Clwyd LL18 10D . . . Nikki Peck, a regional runner-up in the recent DJ awards, has left Chatham Scamps for a series of gigs including Chatham Old Ash Tree (Mondays), Harrietsham Victorias (Thursdays) and various nights al Gillingham Joanna’s . . . John Lewis reports that as summer’s over it’s back to “no jeans” at Brighton Metro! . . . I may have been unused to the set-up at Southgate Royalty last Saturday but at least I didn’t take off a record while it was playing – unlike Froggy (whose superb equipment it was)! . . . Sadao Watanabe ‘Duo Creatics’ is on 7in next week, followed by Two Man Sound ‘Disco Samba’, a Mexican million-selling medley of South American hits . . . Blondie ‘Dreaming’ is 163bpm, and Chanson ‘Sing All Night’ 133-131bpm, not as printed last week . . . Leroy Hutson’s ‘Unforgettable’ import is dividing opinions, my own remaining that it’s too “disco” for my taste . . . Tricky Dicky of London’s gay Dicks Inn discos opines that pub jocks will sell more records at present as who really wants to pay for a fast dance-orientated “disco” 12in to play at home in the front room when the money could go towards an LP instead . . . Michele Freeman’s US LP sleeve makes it took as if she’s dreaming of being a disco star in her Maidenform bra while Aretha Franklin’s most definitely does NOT! . . . Trevor “Rasta” Chapman & Iain Borg (Croydon Foxy) confirm Rus Phillips’s view that Maltese discos are less Wally than they’d feared – and in fact Rus wants to hear from you guys, so give me an address next time, huh? . . . Brian Hutchinson (Broxbourne), poised to become one of his area’s top mobiles, will disappointed to learn that mobiles are not normally wanted by record company mailing lists (despite the good music they may play) as their promotional effect is hard to monitor – but he and partner Steve can be cheered up with Christmas bookings on Hoddesdon 65989/65135!

UK Newies

GLORIA GAYNOR: ‘Let Me Know (I Have A Right) (Polydor STEPX 5) (BNDA debut 10/6/79)
Melodically romping 127bpm 12in galloper, very much a faster ‘I Will Survive’ with similar cleverly crafted mass appeal.

GIBSON BROTHERS: ‘Que Sera Mi Vida (If You Should Go)’ (Island 12WIP 6525) (BNDA debut 7/12/80)
Excitingly whapping and zapping 130-129(break)-131bpm 12in galloper makes a Village People-ish change of pace.

CAMEO: ‘Find My Way’ (Casablanca CANL 166)
Exhilaratingly zipping and zinging 134bpm 12in remake of their ‘Thank God It’s Friday’-featured oldie (oddly, that original 126-123bpm version is the 7in now), with an exciting mix-in point at a rattling rhythm break if the first vocal third is too “disco” for some tastes. Double value flip features last year’s monster (but now dated) 122bpm ‘It’s Serious’.  Continue reading “October 6, 1979: Gloria Gaynor, Gibson Brothers, Cameo, Hamilton Bohannon, Cognac”