September 27, 1980: Willie ‘Beaver’ Hale, Frankie Smith, La Toya Jackson, George Benson, Teena Marie


CITY SOUNDS have a limited edition white label “Family Mix” of Linx . . . Light Of The World’s album will be on white label in a fortnight and out in a month, but their white label 12in ‘A New Soft Song‘ will not be on it (or on the commercial 12in) . . . Ensign’s white label of Incognito ‘Parisienne Girl‘ is a specialist loosely structured episodic lazily shuffling throbbing jazzy swayer, slower seeming than 127 – 121 (vocal) – 125 – 123 – 121 (piano) – 122 (vocal) -124bpm might suggest and more pleasant than hard hitting, the flute tootled 131 – 125 – 131 – 125 – 134 – 139 – 0bpm ‘Summer’s Ended’ flip getting grittier . . . Tom Browne ‘Fly High To The Sky‘ on one hearing, sounds too ramblingly disjointed despite its heavy funk to equal his last hit’s pop appeal . . . Fred Wesley will be on UK 12in next month . . . CBS have sent out a special 6-track US promo plugging Phil Int / TSOP tracks by Teddy P, McF & W, Stylistics, O’Jays, Leon Huff & Jones Girls . . . Kim Carnes ‘More Love‘, a US pop smash that deserves to hit here, has been upped to c.110bpm for a 12in re-release soon . . . Manchester’s Spin Inn shop seems to have scooped everyone with a new Terumasa Hino import, while Tony Monson’s, Chelsea Disc Empire shop expects a huge Japanese jazz shipment over the weekend to include David Matthews, John Stubblefield, Shigeharu Mukal, and the new Hino . . . Caisters first Saturday will have a ‘Gong Show’ – type talent contest on the night, with auditions during the afternoon, so each tribe’s “stars” can compete to become the World’s worst act! . . . Morgan Khan’s label is in fact spelt Excaliber to avoid complications with Calibre (it’ll be pressed by PRAT), while Dave McAleer’s DJM label is called Champagne and debuts with Geraldine Hunt plus Hiroshi Fukumura ‘Hunt Up Wind’ on 12in . . . ‘Give Me The Night’ has dropped 140 chart points and 24 DJs since its peak last month yet still stays at number one – will nobody rid me of this troublesome ‘Night’? – while Sheena Easton’s DORC hits would have been at 36 and 65 in the Disco 90 . . . Paul Butler (Kettering Mushroom Lighting/Roadshow) infos that Derek Thorne’s mystery Europop record query of last week is in fact Peter Griffith ‘Spiderman’ on German (and probably other nationality) LEMI 12in/7in . . . Phil Blizzard, back from a residency at Klaton’s Medusa Disco near Athens, returns to his Sunday rock spot on BBC Radio Stoke’s 2:50 Express and mobile gigs on the college circuit . . . Cuddles Canter has gone snuffling off to Israel for a week, leaving Nicky McKenzie in charge at Mayfair Gullivers . . . Wendy Hamilton, no relation, seems like a nice girl doesn’t she, Tom? . . . Bernie Lyons starts a new daytime segued soul show soon on Dublin’s Capital Radio (226 MW), funks Sackville Place Lord John’s every Wed/Friday and Swords Jets on Saturdays, and infos that Dublin’s own funk mafia consists of John Cronin, Dave Dean, Tony Dixon, Kieran Keogh, Tony O’Shea and himself . . . Greg Wilson replaces Nicky Flavell at Wigan Pier when on 8th October the latter opens Manchester’s new Legend in Princes Street . . . Darryl Hayden is resident most nights now at Kingston-on-Thames’ new Dolphin in Fife Road, turning it into the Funk Invader club on Sun/Wednesdays with Ian Shaw & Tony Marston, spinning Mod music Mondays with Nigel Simone and eating fire on Tues/Friday cabaret nights . . . Steve Jason says Peterborough’s Kebab House is bulging with DJ diners now (though Steve Allen’s ulcer can’t stand kebabs!), and adds that somehow he’s heard the Jazz Sluts are Barbara Dickson’s backing band – Oops! . . . Paul ‘Sherlock’ Clark and Fred ‘Shaft’ Dove played detectives recently at Wallington Alladins, tracking down hand-bag thieves . . . Steve Dennis (Edgbaston Faces) says he’ll eat the record if ‘Masterblaster doesn’t make number one . . . Stevie Wonder has no intention of recording ‘Let’s Get Serious’ – but then he has already done it once! . . . Paul Davison (Sawston Black Bull) followed Stevie’s last concert by taking in Kiss (he must be a Diana Ross fan!) and got three days off work when he caught their thrown blood-stained towel and was immediately trampled underfoot by a berserk mob of painted hairies . . . Dennis Brynner (Southampton Barbarellas) wonders if it’s swimming practice for when the rowing boat sinks as now Fatback gets his whole dancefloor wlnd-milling their arms in backstroke swimming style . . . Steve Ball (Stoke-On-Trent) wonders whatever happened to Hi-Tension – what indeed? . . . Rudy ‘Rapper’ Gilpin was briefly glimpsed on Sunday’s ‘It’ll Be All Right On The Night’ . . . Richard Attenborough is a jazz-funk DJ – true! – but under what assumed name? . . . Brian Brindle (Chelsea Alibi) wonders how other jocks cope when women come up and ask for “something funky – like Billy Joel, Bob Seger” . . . Jo ‘School-leaver’ Field (Hemel Hempstead) heard of someone who didn’t buy Linx when it came out just because it wasn’t on white label . . . Gary Allan (no relation) says his funky main room at Liverpool McMlllans, which officially holds 370, gets half a million people nightly, three nights a week – now then, girls, easy does it!


Coffee, who are brewing up a smash in the shape of ‘Casanova’, is comprised of Lenora Dee Bryant, Glenda Hester and Elaine Sims, respectively from Georgia, Chicago and Tennessee but all now based in the Windy City. They decided on their stage name ‘cos Coffee, like them, is black, sweet ‘n’ pipin’ hot!


WILLIE ‘BEAVER’ HALE: ‘Groove On’ (LP ‘Beaver Fever’ US Cat 2615).
A monster in the making, likely to be this winter’s Lowrell. It’s a dead simple mind-numbingly nagging repetitive little jittery 100 (intro) – 97 – 98bpm jogger already causing a sensation.

FRANKIE SMITH: ‘Double Dutch’ (US WMOT 4W8 5351). Fun-filled terrific call-and-answer bounding 118 – 119 – 118bpm 12in funk smacker with chaps ‘n’ chix swapping childish dares and taunts, making it a must for Caister crowd participation.

LA TOYA JACKSON: ‘If You feel The Funk’ (LP ‘La Toya Jackson’ US Polydor P0-1-6291).
Classily-produced star-studded set by the Jacksons’ sister with some of brother Michael’s sound, party noise starting this deceptively simple buoyantly chugging 122bpm smacker with beefy bass breaks and gimmicky tricks. ‘Are You Ready‘, being Billy Ocean’s 118bpm jittery smacker (which always was like ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’), and ‘Lovely Is She’ a pent-up breathily jiggly 0 – 40/81bpm slowie.  Continue reading “September 27, 1980: Willie ‘Beaver’ Hale, Frankie Smith, La Toya Jackson, George Benson, Teena Marie”

September 20, 1980: “Can we justify still crusading for US music when all the really interesting activity is going on right here?”


COFFEE ‘CASANOVA’ seems to be out now, it’s their LP that’s due next month . . . Incognito ‘Parisian Girl’ will be about on Ensign white label via City Sounds this week, while already serviced to DJs is a 3-track white label by Light Of The World with the lovely 25 – 51/102 – 105 – 102 – 105bpm ‘London Town’, instrumental jazzy 121 – 122 (piano) – 121bpm ‘Pete’s Crusade’ and appropriately titled 57 – 58bpm ‘A New Soft Song’ . . . Record Shack’s next altruistic 12in sleeper will – surprise, surprise – not be on white label (they say they’ll have some proper ones printed by then) and is by the Manchester area’s Reality Band, both sides being pleasant enough if again not terribly exceptional . . . Barbara Thompson ‘Sunset’ is evidently at last on 12in (where’s mine MCA?), as is Rah Band ‘Falcon’ . . . Polydor rush Roy Ayers’ new ‘Love Fantasy’ LP imminently plus a 12in coupling ‘(Sometimes) Believe In Yourself’ with two from the Ayers/Henderson set, ‘Thank You Thank You’ / ‘Can You Dance’ . . . Morgan Khan, cutting his R&B Division list to sixty DJs as he’d rather service fewer people properly than more people poorly, now handles all Pye black product so he’s the Brat from PRAT again – plus of course he’s got his own new accounts too!, while Dave McAleer moves from Pye to DJM to set up a new black product division with its own label there – first release on this now being Geraldine Hunt as Morgan Khan’s Excalibre label is instead debuting next week with – wait for it – Young & Company! . . . Morgan will be servicing the McAleer label too . . . London Weekend Television will be filming the first Friday night at Caister for a Janet Street-Porter special on “tribes’ . . . Funktion starts at the Embassy the first Monday in October with a “pink ball” (details 01-352 7349) . . . Staines Jacksons has seen sibling strife. Robin Nash now no longer being involved (and I should think looking for gigs) . . . DJs who were there say I was too kind about Skegness – I know, but ……. Steve Walsh got paid . . . Dartford Flicks’ recent eight hour marathon dance saw 34 the original 50 dancers lasting the course, sponsorship raising £1,500 towards an oxygen tent for 10-year-old hole-in-the-heart victim Tina Irwin . . . Larry Foster, just engaged to ‘Mandy Green (so maybe there’ll be lots of little Mad Hatters), says all draught beer and lager is just 50p a pint throughout September on Thurs/Fri/Saturdays at Ilford Room At The Top – so hurry, hurrv! . . . Covent Garden’s Rock Garden apres-gig DJ diner last Friday accommodated Tom Holland, Steve Walsh, Tony Jenkins, Dean Hume, Morgan Khan, Alison, Elaine, Trevor, Charles, Russell and myself (Cuddles took a powder) . . . Pasty Egan (Covent Garden Blitz/Hell), heavily into Zapp, has a segued “electronic disco” LP due soon on US Polydor . . . Stevie Wonder at his Guillvers party danced to Teena Marie, Gladys Knight, Kurtis Blow and Michael Henderson, doing a rap over the last two . . . Letchworth area tribe the Backwater Bruces evidently have an ‘Outback’ magazine that’s the funniest fanzine yet – can anyone supply me? . . . Gordon Stone’s self-financed soul survey on ‘The Paul Hunsley Electric Wireless Show’ every Tuesday at 7:45pm on Radio Humberside (202 MW / 96.9 VHF) is compiled from various soul-orientated dealers and discos in the area, and any other potential contributors are invited to contact Gordon either on 0482-447260 (evenings) or at Radio Humberside . . . Richard Witcombe (Shepton Mallet YC) and Chris Dinnis (Exeter Boxes) both report that rowing must be a big craze, as they’re now even doing it down in the West Country (this late addition explaining Gap Band’s rise again in the chart) . . . Southampton Virgin record shop manager Steve Gibbs maintains that Linx will be the year’s biggest hit but Dave Van Seiger reckons he needs a deaf aid – who’s going to be right (or does Dave need glasses)? . . . Mike Morgan & Mick Jackson jock the revamped Chelmsford YMCA, Wednesdays for all ages and Fridays divided under-14s/over-14s, and could do with spare record company promos as prizes (call Chelmsford 440277) . . . Stuart Robinson (Chapel-Allerton) must have been a bit out of it when noting his current disco dates – he put ’em down as being in June . . . Derek Thorne (Bridgwater), back from Ibiza, was nagged there by a catchy Europop tune by unknown artist, the chorus going “This is the night, the night of Spiderman” – anyone any ideas? . . . Steve Wiggins (Barry Freddies Bar) is off to Corfu, where he’ll do his best to disrupt filming of the new James Bond movie . . . Kanu Sukalagwun is the mystery Japanese release that’s on everyone’s lips! . . . Geraldine Hunt must have been young when she mothered Freddie James, as I see from the sleeve of her 1970 – issued ‘Never Never Leave Me’ UK 7in on Roulette that my review read: “22-year-old St Louis-born soulstress now from Chicago, on a pretty wailing slowie with lovely ‘Soulful Strut’ – like punchy backing” – ah those were the days (or were they?)! . . . UK record companies should note that if you don’t send me your product I obviously can’t, and won’t, review or mention it – why should I have to chase you, anyway? . . . KEEP IT GOOD!


THE STATE of Soul in the nation has been creating some comment. Mike Davidson, busy with lots of good PAs at his Thurs / Fri / Saturday Liverpool Hollywood residency says that unless the North-West’s “superstar” DJs come back down to earth and work for one cause (whether it be money or prestige) they will stay in second place to anyone who can actually organise soul events correctly. WEA’s disco plugger Fred Dove weighs in with. “People should reconsider the all-dayers, weekenders, boat trips etc, and decide what use they are, especially where the after effects involve keeping the kids away from the clubs (and, from a more biased point of view, away from the records shops), because money simply doesn’t stretch. In time the kids are going to get too much of it and only then will those responsible say we should concentrate on quality instead of quantity, with fewer events during the course of a year!” In fact Messrs Hill & Vincent pulled out of October’s second Caister for much these very reasons. Chris Hill’s latest venture finds him from the end of next month on Thursdays at Victoria’s revamped Venue, showcasing UK jazz-funk acts under the slogan ‘Sound Of Underground London’ (S.O.U.L.), a new crusade for the future because, as Chris asks, “Can we justify still crusading for US music when all the really interesting activity is going on right here? How long before the rest of the music press latch on to the fact that it’s not only punk that’s a thriving home-grown scene?” Hmm, no doubt it won’t be long before the Peterborough mob start serving S.O.U.P.!


Poised with their refreshingly mid-’70s sounding ‘All About The Paper’ to score their biggest hit here since 1969, in fact date right back to the early ’50s. From just south of Chicago in Harvey, Illinois, they began by singing gospel in church before calling themselves the El-Rays in 1954. A name change to the Dells was followed in ’56 by their ‘Oh What A Nite’, doo-wop classic, but their next real hits did not come until a late ’60s string of soul smashes, ‘I Can Sing A Rainbow / Love Is Blue’ being the one that broke ’em in Britain. With just one personnel change (and that was back when), the Dells remain Marvin Junior, Mike McGill, Chuck Barksdale, Verne Allison, Johnny Carter – twenty-eight years on!


JIMMY “BO” HORNE: ‘Is It In’ (US Sunshine Sound SSD-4218).
Terrific solidly smacking 115 – 116bpm 12ín clapper just made for mixing as it synchs sensationally (for instance) out of JR Funk ‘Feel Good Party Time’ percussion break or vari-synchs with Fatback ‘Backstrokin” claps, the real killer though being a dynamite break where the claps drop out and come back in over bumbling bass making at that point a long vari-synch into Geraldine Hunt sound incredible! On its own it’s good ‘n’ funky too.

EARTH WIND & FIRE: ‘Let Me Talk’ (US ARC 1-11366)
Ultra-jittery brassily blasting staccato segmented 106 (intro) – 111 – 112 – 113 – 114 – 115bpm 7in rattler with a preferable less strident longer 106 – 111 – 112 – 113 – 114 – 115bpm B-side version, which (minus very start) mixes out of the similarly busy ‘Let’s Get Serious’ while Diana Ross ‘I’m Coming Out’ chops into the percussion part well. A mind-blower it ain’t.

SADAO WATANABE: ‘No Problem’ (LP ‘How’s Everything – Live At Budokan’ US Columbia C2X 36818).
Japanese jazz saxist now notorious for á flood of high-priced digital/direct-cut imports thankfully on a less expensive but also beautifully recorded “live” instrumental double set, this fluidly honking jaunty 107 (intro) – 105 – 104 – 103 – 104 – 103bpm jiggler being introed and interrupted by a bit pinched straight from the Jackson 5’s old ‘I Want You Back’, the whole effect ending up like Spyro Gyra meets Bob James sez Chris Hill, while an intensifying 104 – (intro) – 107 – 105 – 104 – 102bpm version of the current ‘Nice Shot‘ is useful too.  Continue reading “September 20, 1980: “Can we justify still crusading for US music when all the really interesting activity is going on right here?””

September 13, 1980: Aurra, BBRA, Jean & Trevor, Kurtis Blow, Diana Ross


COFFEE ‘CASANOVA’ will be on UK 12in in a month, others on the way being Jermaine Jackson ‘You’re Supposed To Keep Your Love For Me’, Teena Marie ‘I Need Your Lovin’, Zapp ‘More Bounce To The Ounce (full LP version) and indeed Ernie Watts. ‘Just Holdin’ On’ (which varisynchs like dynamite for a long mix out of Roy Ayers ‘Running Away’!) . . . Geof Abbey still seems to be servicing jocks with certain EMI releases . . . BADEM’s well-run Dlscotek ‘80 exhibition over the week-end was much as usual but — surprise, surprise — fewer Djs than anticipated showed up on the public Saturday, while over the road in a pub room a much smaller breakaway Discoextra 80 show with only four or so exhibitors was an interesting addition . . . Soundout’s new mixer has all its control panel printing on the reverse of a translucent perspex plate so nothing will wear off, even the LED-type VU meters being flush beneath it in a somewhat disturbing way . . . Colin Snow of Rayleigh’s Record Man shop has a members-only jazz-funk Blue Note Club which this coming Wednesday (17) moves weekly to Rayleigh Croc’s, having been at Southend Scamps on Mondays (details O268-779722) . . . Funktion’s Friday debut at Mayfair’s Penthouse Club more then quadrupled the club’s normal attendance – but it still wasn’t as full as nearby Gullivers, where this last Monday Stevie Wonder had a private party which as anticipated would, with Wonderlove, take over the stage after a Bobby Thurston set (I write before the event) . . . Diana Ross would have come down Gullys on Saturday but the long queues put her off! . . . Camberley Frenchies is now under new management while the Wheeler twin’s new Jacksons in Staines is already no longer jazz orientated — although Chris Brown hopes to change that this Tuesday (16)! . . . Steve Jason says that Peterborough’s Kebab House in Bridge Street (next to the marital aids shop) is the local rival to Covent Garden’s Rock Garden for apres-gig DJ dining, regulars being himself, Dave Barry, Phil James, Steve Jones, Dave Peters, Vince King and assorted roadies, promoters, groupies . . . Eric Hearn, still at Liverpool Cagneys, has left the Timepiece “due to musical and financial considerations” . . . Stevie Allan says Liverpool Rotters’ funky main room pulls 1500 punters nightly, three nights a week . . . Tony Manson’s Disc Empire record shop in Chelsea Kings Road has imported a Japanese 7in edit of Sadao Watanabe’s ‘Nice Shot’ but it’s still £2 (plus 30p post), while Soho’s Groove sell Sadao’s new US Columbia ‘How’s Everything’ live double LP for only £6.99 . . . Groove Production’s next release is a slightly reggae-influenced densely textured c.86bpm soul remake of ‘Strawberry Letter 23′ by Bunny Brown, of Chosen Few/’Dancin’ On A Wire’ vocal / overpowering aftershave fame . . . Sean French marries Joanna soon — so that’s why he’s been losing weight! . . . Steve Walsh is down 1 ½ stone too, but he’s got a way to go yet.  CJ Carlos (Soho Hombre De Bahia), back from his hols and with a little moustache that he looks like old silent swashbuckler Douglas Fairbanks — and has anyone noticed how Princess Margaret’s son Viscount Linley looks amazingly like John Travolta?! . . . Steve Wiggins (Barry Freddie’s Bar) says the 36-24-36 blonde winner of his recent beauty contest only likes big fat cuddly men, so he’s stoking up on the cream buns and reckons Cuddles Canter could be right after all . . . Robbie Collins, recent recruit to Ilford Room At The Top, now also alternates with Jon Berry on Thurs/Fri/Saturdays at Hackney’s funky Flamingoes . . . Chris Britton will return from Honeymoon to a residency at Watford Bailey’s new disco within a disco, Juliets . . . Kev Hill (Brentwood) confirms that Chelmsford Our Price record shop has some great jazz oldies at 50p each . . . so THAT’S what Tony Hodges looks like! . . . Kwick ‘Can’t Help Myself’ is the new “rowing” record for Al Taylor at St Asaph Stables (Talardy Hotel) . . . Gary Oldis (Aycliffe Gretna Green) suggests Richard ’Lofty’ Lofthouse check with Phonogram’s Orin Cozler to confirm that last Nov/December his reaction reports were first from the North-East on ‘Oops’ . . . Jimmy Senyah, huge in London and moderate Midlands, seems inexplicably stuck in the chart despite having George Benson appeal – why? . . . Lakeside ‘From 9:00 Until’ has finally found its time, as it’s great with Locksmith and other funkers. Proton ‘Make Your Move’ chops nicely out of 80’s Ladies (instrumental), Rhyze ‘Do Your Dance’ is shaping up as a monster, and Starpoint slots in a lot better than my review may have suggested . . . Raydio’s Ray Parker plays on Michael Henderson ‘Wide Receiver’ and Michael played on Raydio’s ‘For Those Who Like To Groove’ . . . Nick Davies (Watford New Penny/Stevenage Bo Jangles) is the latest recruit to Lord Kitchener ‘Sugar Bum Bum’ (Ice 12in) for calypso fun . . . Jimmy ‘Bo’ Horne ‘Spank’ is still huge in Scotland for Jim Hunter (Coatbridge Taggarts) . . . Craig Dawson (Edinburgh), clever wee laddie, pairs Jam ‘Start’ and Beatles ‘Taxman’ . . . Showstopper Promotions want the world to know they had absolutely no connection with the Skegness National Funk Day . . . KEEP IT GOOD.


GROOVE WEEKLY, the free fanzine put together by some Fleet Street jazz-funk    fans and now (not surprisingly) available at the Groove Records shop, goes from strength to strength with the possibility of being properly printed with financial backing soon. The current issue has an excellent account of Cliff Rennie of Showstopper’s Bank Holiday Brighton Beach Party, where (in Cliff’s estimation) the hot toons were Locksmith ‘Blackjack’, Coffee ‘Casanova’, Rick James, William  De Vaughn, Cameron ‘Let’s Get It Off’, Ned Doheny, Lynx, Teena Marie ‘I Need Your Lovin”, Black Slate, Ramsey Lewis ‘High Point’ / ‘Colors In Space’ and Rhyze ‘Do Your Dance’, big oldies being Donald Byrd ‘Dominoes’ (of course), Eddie Russ ‘Zulus’, Crown Heights ‘Far Out’, Willie Bobo ‘Always There’, Gil Scott -Heron / Brian Jackson ‘The Bottle’, GQ ‘Make My Dream A Reality’ and Slave ‘You & Me’.  Keep it up, lads!

S K E G N E S S 

STEVE WALSH was amongst the jocks booked for the Skegness ‘National Funk Day’ recently, who did not find exactly what they were expecting. To begin with the site had been moved at the last minute to Ingoldmells, where only one of the two advertised marquees was erected and the promised “full adequate catering facilities” amounted to mobile hamburger, hot dog and waffle stalls – and evidently lust three lavatory caravans for the expected 15,000 crowd.  However, only something like a twentieth of that number turned up. Knebworth veterans complained but many of the others had a good time not knowing what they were missing and unaware of the dramas backstage, where a cash-flow problem had developed with performers wanting folding money and the banks being closed. Mass Production played and were paid (in part evidently by their own agent), Bobby Thurston did a voice-over PA as his band didn’t show up, Shakatak and the Rick Clarke Orchestra (containing several from Light Of The World) played, and all the DJs did a token spot. This is only half the story though, as to make the tent hire economical three days of activity had been booked, with a mums-and-dads holiday show starring Liquid Gold, Mud and some Coronation Streeters that had to be cancelled on the Sunday and a double bill (intended for two tents of course) on Bank Holiday Monday which paired a Mod/Northern all-dayer and an Elvis Presley event – It’s lucky there wasn’t a blood-bath! The Mod show went on, but was hardly enough lo prevent a loss of mega-thousand pounds. Let this be a warning to all would-be promoters that just because you copy someone else’s good idea it won’t necessarily work as well for you. The difference between success and failure could be a matter of class – of both promotion and punters. Somehow in the South all the major Showstopper Promotions events (Caister, Brighton, Knebworth) attract a type of punter with a strong sense of identity and lifestyle, who together make up “the family”. They know what makes a gig good. Somehow Skegness just didn’t have that certain cachet, know what I mean?


AURRA: ‘When I Come Home’ (Salsoul SALT-5).
Larry Levan-remixed reflectious beefily, bumping bassy 118 (intro) – 119 – 118 – 120 – 118bpm 12in jiggly thumping chugger in the Ritz / Young & Co / Rhyze groove, mixes sensationally (if you’re lucky) on into Rod, and the next one!

BBRA: ‘Rockaboogiebabyboppa’ (Yaga-Yaga YC 002).
JALN Band’s renamed return is a jauntily jiggling 119 – 120 – 122 (break) – 121bpm 12in falsetto bassy bumper with backing quite blatantly pinched from Aurra, the 117 – 118 – 120 (break) – 119bpm ‘Do What Make You Feel Good‘ flip being a more smacking variation of the same basic track with different vocal sound.

JEAN & TREVOR: ‘Back Together Again’ (Student IMF 003), via Ital Music Force 01-249 5445).
Usefully good strong 89bpm 12in reggae version of Roberta & Donny’s influential hit, well worth finding, with dub flip.  Continue reading “September 13, 1980: Aurra, BBRA, Jean & Trevor, Kurtis Blow, Diana Ross”

September 6, 1980: R.J.’s Latest Arrival, Ernie Watts, J.R. Funk & The Love Machine, Queen, Stevie Wonder


BADEM’S DISKOTEK ’80 equipment exhibition at London’s Bloomsbury Centre Hotel is this weekend, the only public (i.e. you, me and other DJs) day being Saturday 6th from 10am – 6pm, trade (i.e. dealers) days being Sun / Mon / Tuesday – comments are invited . . . Morgan Khan, back from the States and lurid video viewing, finally reveals that first releases on his new Excalibre label (ex-Calibre, geddit?!) will be Geraldine Hunt and future BT Express product plus several UK groups are also currently recording, while his RIB Division promotion service will be plugging Inner City, Buddah, Roadshow, WMOT, Source and many other labels material. Mailouts to DJs starting with Michael Henderson, Hiroshi Fukumura and a Judy Roberts newie imminently, his number being c/o Red Bus at 01-402 9111 (but don’t bother applying for his list if you’re not already on his old one) . . . George Benson’s follow-up 12in couples ‘Love X Love’ / ‘Óff Broadway’ / ‘On Broadway’, Deodato’s being ‘Night Cruiser’ / ‘Love Magic’ . . . Diana Ross’s US newie is rightly ‘I’m Coming Out’ but here we get ‘My Old Piano’ . . . Linx ‘You’re Lying’ has a remixed instrumental flip on Chrysalis (the 7in anyway, CHS 2461), while Ottawan ‘D.I.S C.O.’ is now on 7in (and promo 12in) in both English and French versions (Carrere CAR 161) . . . McFadden & Whitehead ‘I Heard It In A Love Song’, on US 12in promo due commercially here next week, has been spliced from the 7in into a bootleg acetate 12in by someone evidently impatient . . . Funktion starts at Mayfair’s Penthouse Club this Friday (5) and switches to Sundays at Battersea Bennett but has temporarily pulled out of Dial 9 as too many big-spending Arabs were still being admitted, their Lipps Inc requests clashing with Funktion’s jazz-funk policy (details of this exciting moveable-venue club on 01-352 7349) . . . Chris Brown’s hefty ‘Family Album’ photo book is finally out and it really covers comprehensively all the events at which funk mafia followers can claim “I was there!” – so, if you was there you could be in the book, which costs £7 or £8 by post from The Mail House, 111A Kew Road, Richmond, Surrey TW9 2PN . . . ‘Family Album’ perusers should note that since our various photos were taken, Tom Holland has lost 5 stone, Sean French and myself 3 1/2 stone (each!), and Graham Canter has put on a lot! . . . Tunbridge Wells’ recently opened Carriages club was burnt down early lást Sunday morning, arson being suspected . . . Canvey Island’s infamous Hill haunt, the Goldmine has instituted a ‘Stanley’ award for significant contributors to the jazz-funk cause, consisting of mounted antique miner’s lanterns . . .  Showstoppers’ sold-out Bank Holiday Brighton Beach Party saw the unveiling of their new computerised illuminated message board, now installed at Southgate Royalty . . . Kev Hill (Brentwood 0277 221309), distraught that due to a mail screw-up his deposit never arrived, wonders if anyone has four spare tickets to the first October Caister . . . Noss Ryan (Maidstone 861951 / 50151) plays a wide variety of black music and wants a club gig – who doesn’t? . . . Greg Davies has left the now Top 50-orientated Watford New Penny but plugs his promos at Stevenage Bo Jangles and Luton Sands still . . . Trevor Funk finds himself playing a lot of class oldies like Natalie Cole and Dee Dee Bridgewater, even Nat King Cole, amongst the jazz at Covent Garden’s hip Rumours wine bar at weekends (usually Fridays) . . . I did well last Thursday night after a few days with my parents 150 miles up the A1, I drove home to London to find I’d forgotten my keys, so – after a meal at the Rock Garden with Cuddles, Zit and the Brat – I drove back to get the keys and then down again in time to put Roger Scott’s Story Of The ’60s and Cruising together – phew! . . . Graham Bond of Teesvalley Roadshow says, “Jazz-funk up here in the North-East is like what Kelly Marie is to the so-called funky South – let’s get back to our roots, disco music, which everyone can freak out to, as it’s what the public want and not what we like that makes a good disco night” – hmm, d’you think jazz-funk fans don’t freak out down South? . . . Richard ‘Lofty’ Lofthouse gigged at a Gateshead social club where a gigantic Geordie skinhead asked him to follow the Gap Band (to which everyone was rowing on the floor) with Judge Dread’s old ‘Up With The Cock’ – and to Lofty’s amazement and the girls concern all the fellas came up with a brand new dance from the same position! . . . Andy Greg (Loughton) mixes Cameron ‘Funkdown’ through the backing-less bit of George Benson . . . Brass Construction ‘How Do You Do’ is a killer out of Fred Wesley ‘House Party’ (how long before the latter’s on much-needed 12in?) . . . KEEP IT GOOD.


R.J.’S LATEST ARRIVAL: ‘Ultimate Masterpiece’ (US Stand-By VR SB-1001-D).
Excellent bassily bumping jaunty 118 – 120 – 121bpm 12in jolter with squawking chix counterpointing mellow chaps goes into a percussion and conversational back-chat break before pleasant piano fills in for a jazzily swaying finish, this piano coming to the fore on the instrumental remix flip with extra echoing bits, the whole thing having “an old Lacy Lady flavour” comments young Martin Collins!

ERNIE WATTS: ‘Just Holdin’ On’ (LP ‘Look In Your Heart’ US Elektra 6E-285).
Instant Funk ‘Got My Mind Made Up’- influenced dynamite jauntily jiggling steady 115bpm chix-supported smacker, sadly short at just 4:12 as apart from the unconvincing blatantly “disco” 123bpm ‘Dance Music‘ this sax / woodwind multi-instrumentalist’s set is pure jazz with the 123 – 0bpm ‘Marching To Cretonia’ being quite Frank Zappa-ish. How about a 12in, Fred?

J.R. FUNK AND THE LOVE MACHINE: ‘Feel Good, Party Time’ (US Brass BRDS 2511).
Useful unaccompanied “get up” start to a great powerful James Brown-type heavily funky 113 – 116 (rhythm) – 113 (guitar/chix) – 112 – 113 – 114bpm 12in thudder that chugs along through several segments and varimixes beautifully with ‘Unlock The Funk’, the angrily buzzing synth being brought out more on the instrumental flipContinue reading “September 6, 1980: R.J.’s Latest Arrival, Ernie Watts, J.R. Funk & The Love Machine, Queen, Stevie Wonder”