September 24, 1983: Spence, Onward International, Lionel Richie, Sharon Redd, Tavares


MARY JANE GIRLS ‘Boys‘ 12in, due imminently, finally finds their own instrumental of ‘All Night Long’ as flip, while also due is Steve Harvey ‘Tonight‘ mixed by Francois Kevorkian . . . ‘Street Sounds Edition 6‘ has current hits by Raw Silk, Serge Ponsar, El Chicano, Paradise, The Rake, Newcleus, Candido, ‘Jingo (Remix)’, SOS Band ‘Tell Me If You Still Care’, the as yet unissued (why now bother?) Beverly Skeete ‘If The Feeling Is Right (Remix)‘, all then let down by KC ‘Give It Up’ — however, watch the singles sales suffer! . . . Skyy ‘Show Me The Way’ is now on yet another 12in (US Salsoul SG 408) in presumably a Randy Muller mix (the original?) flipped by what seems to be Shep Pettibone’s UK remix — confused? . . . Teena Marie ‘Fix It‘ / Inst is on US Epic 12in, (I do hope it’s not our single), while One Way’s US 12in is ‘Let’s Get Together‘ / ‘Didn’t You Know It‘ . . . Active Force ‘Give Me Your Love‘ is due on UK 12in, ‘I Love It‘ will be the Lillo follow-up . . . Curtis Hairston is not definitely confirmed on CBS yet, the money’s been spiralling . . . Stevie Wonder’s forthcoming ‘People Move, Human Plays‘ album title track will be on single soon, the LP later in the year (Motown hope!) . . . Michael Jackson’s return duet with Paul McCartney will be in fact a McCartney release, ‘Koala Bear‘ / ‘Say Say Say‘ / ‘The Man‘ . . . BADEM’s annual disco equipment exhibition becomes ever more a self celebratory social for all the fellow exhibitors to impress each other, as their attitude this year made very apparent . . . Jerry Green, the new hopefully switched on salesperson at Rayners Lane Record & Disco Centre, jocks as well (Windsor Park Safari Club Sats/Hendon Melanies Weds) and always spends a fortune at the shop himself — so he should know what’s what! . . . Lee Taylor tells me the current fashion amongst New York’s mixers is indeed to put the records on any old how, with the faders fully up, scratch back on the beat and then (faders still up about halfway) bring the record to synching speed with their thumb against the platter before doing a crossfade — which must explain how Larry Levan and other DJ legends sounded rough to recent visitor Simon Walsh (Bradford Time & Place) . . . Rick James has replaced Thriller as top US Black LP — but for good? . . . Richard Searling, in his recently changed new time slot, this Sunday 3-5pm on Red Rose Radio 301MW/97.3FM does an all-Northern show marking the would-have-been 10th anniversary of Wigan Casino . . . Lew Kirton, from Barbados originally, sang with the Invitations — I bet some Northern ears pricked up just then! . . . Mike Shaft is special guest at the North West DJ Assn meeting this Sunday (25) 9-11pm in the Belgrade Hotel, Offerten, Stockport (non-members welcome), while earlier that day (noon) the Thames Valley DJA mob meet at Didcot’s Rio on the A4130 towards Wallingford, behind a filling station) . . . Peter Lee hosts “Bolton’s first laser light show” this Thursday (22) at the Dance Factory, followed on Friday (23) by a CBS ‘Dance Mix Dance Hits Vol II’ promotion night — coinciding with one at Edgbaston Faces French as well . . . Chris Brown & Johnnie Walker on Sunday (25) have Camberley Frenchies first-ever “all lighter” yes, light, as in miners helmets, bow ties, torches, anything except a naked flame . . . Odyssey do next week at Watford Baileys . . . ‘Grunting George’ Alexander & ‘Eccentric Eric’ Downs have bodypop/break dancers Micron at their ‘Steppin’ Out’ Tuesday next week (27) in Harrow Weald’s Middlesex & Herts Country Club . . . Paul ‘Datsun Cherry’ Gough (Hartlepool) asked for an old Prince Philip Mitchell LP on this page and says “The power of your column takes some believing, the day the paper came out I had no less than eleven calls!” — he got his copy off Martin Smith (Cardiff), who in turn kindly comments that this page “is the best for info on new releases there is” (gosh, gee, shucks, it’s folks like you who make all the sweat worthwhile!) . . . Darryl Hayden (Twickenham) recently advertised in Record Mirror for DJs and so far has had over 130 demo tapes from Plymouth to Argyle, “which goes to show how many DJs read RM” — he also runs videotheques in a big way and can’t understand why Fred Dove won’t let anyone else use, let alone copy, the many WEA promotional videos which are going to waste when just Fred himself is the only one ever to screen them . . . Dave Rawlings, adding Mon/Thurs at Kensington High Street’s The Park to his residencies, this week drops his WEA chart quota to 18 out of 50, but now 6 make his top 15 — who’s a good boy, then? . . . ‘Segue’ Steve Goddard has just started mixing good music Fridays at Strood’s La Club (where Thursday is a £6 entry/free drinks hen night), while he’s also at Barking Chains Sat/Mon, Stratford Reflections Sun . . . John ‘Nick’ Osborne has now moved on Wed/Fri/Sat to Leysdown Stage 3, replacing Tom Felton . . . Dartford Flicks bank holiday allniter raised a record-breaking £1,500 towards a cancer-treating laser gun for West Hill Hospital . . . I’m surprised Ian Levine hasn’t picked up on Mercy Ray ‘You Really Got To Me‘ what with the much repeated line (especially on the dub) “I’m waiting for a call from Heaven”! . . . Carl Richardson’s boogieing with the boys again next Wednesday (28) at Hull Fagins . . . John Tracy (Manchester Hacienda) reckons A Certain Ratio’s ‘Don’t Worry About A Thing‘ is very similar to the Cal Tjader/Carmen ‘Mama Corleone’ McCrae version on the ‘Heatwave’ LP, which was a big “cool off” jazz track at the group’s hometown club . . . The Jones Girls fairly fast shrill ‘On Target‘ 12in is an unexpected chart entry — I thought most people were waiting for their obviously imminent album . . . Tavares LP’s ‘Caught Short’ should be 133-0bpm . . . Guy Dalton ‘Passer La Nuit’ at 33 1/3rpm was dynamite between La Famille and Michael Wycoff! . . . Haywoode’s first name is Sharon — but why’s she known as Sid? . . . PRT’s Tilly Rutherford made a specially edited 111bpm 7in acetate of the Newcleus wikki-wikki’s for me, making mixes much easier — he may also (at my suggestion) be getting some without any backing . . . Arthur Baker is doing the soundtrack music, including established electro hits, for a Harry Belafonte-produced “street life” movie set in the South Bronx — presumably a more elaborate ‘Wild Style’? . . . Channel 4’s ‘I Remember Harlem’ last Sunday somehow went right through the ’30s without showing any jitterbugging apart from the last few seconds — sorry! . . . I’ll be in New York myself this weekend, for the wedding of Capital Radio producer Mike Childs and native New Yorker Jan Sedofsky, and while I can promise to do some serious eating I may not be doing much disco-going . . . TWO, THREE BREAK!

TOM BROWNE really doesn’t have much tootlin’ to do on his ‘Rockit’-style Maurice Starr/Michael Jonzun-prod/penned ‘Rockin’ Radio‘ — detailed off import 7in last week and now already on the 118½-119bpm UK 12in (Arista ARIST 12 545) — his horn making the merest token appearance especially on the (initially mislabelled) 119bpm dub version flip.


SPENCE: ‘Get It On’ (Dutch Ariola 600.956)
My monster of the weekend, an immediate floorfiller both nights despite being totally unknown, this Dutch-made dynamite ultra-beefy bass bumped 112bpm 12in trucking thudder starts with street sound effects while the beat builds in ‘Funkin’ For Jamaica’ style before hitting an Al Hudson-ish groove behind the chant supported light voiced guy, breaking with some electro hiccups towards the end (Haywoode synchs out superbly). This should be huge.

ONWARD INTERNATIONAL: ‘Foot In The Door’ (Paladin PAL 001, via Rough Trade)
Out of Paul Murphy’s jazz basement streaks this excellent homegrown frantic fast bounding brass, piano and percussion latin-jazz instrumental driven with great solidity by a familiar bass line — 0-125-126-124-126-124-126-124½-125½-127-124-126-0bpm, although 126-0.c is simpler as you’ll play it all! — on 3-track 12in flipped by the really specialist latin ‘Samba Doo Bonnay‘ and ‘21st Floor Mambo‘.

LIONEL RICHIE: ‘All Night Long (All Night)’ (Motown TMG 1319)
“Great for radio but not really a dance record” said all the pundits when this came in on import 7in last week. Oh yeah? Now on 12in promo and due as a UK 7in (flipped by last year’s delicate ‘Wandering Stranger‘), this quietly starting then madly infectious brassily spurting 108½bpm afro/carib-flavoured party jiggler is a floor filling monster (I mixed it between Michael Wycoff and Odyssey ‘Roots’), especially as it is indeed already hot on radio! Continue reading “September 24, 1983: Spence, Onward International, Lionel Richie, Sharon Redd, Tavares”

September 17, 1983: Tom Browne, El Chicano, Guy Dalton, K-9 Corp, Tavares


SUNDAY’S BARBEQUE at Bensons of Henley was held indoors and as usual at such music/disco biz gatherings proved a good meeting place and good fun, attracting such diverse personalities as Capital’s Dave Cash, Luxembourg’s Tony Prince, Steve ‘Jabba’ Walsh, Steve Harvey, Haywoode and a host of local jocks . . . Tony & Christine Prince in fact ended up with their Disco Mix Club colleague Alan Coulthard, Birmingham’s Steve & Ros Dennis and myself back at their house talking through the rest of the night! . . . Steve Dennis, although still jocking two nights there, has just quit his entertainments manager job at Edgbaston’s Faces French to concentrate on more freelance work and welcomes offers (he’s saving up for a yacht!) . . . Pete Tong is now ensconced at Polydor and has opened a new mailing list for “alternative” and soul jocks — written applications only, to Pete at Polydor Records, 14 St George Street, London W1R 9DE . . . Canadian Katie Farmer is the new club plugger at MCA, after originally being brought over here with her sister to work for Pete Waterman’s Loose Ends label . . . Herbie Hancock’s follow-up is indeed ‘Autodrive’ and Level 42’s ‘Micro-Kid’ . . . CBS, with Gary’s Gang and Lew Kirton due soon, have also laid out money for Curtis Hairston here . . . Freeez follow with another much looser Arthur Baker production, ‘Pop Goes My Love‘ / ‘Scratch Goes My Dub’ / ‘No Need For Greed’ on 12in due next week although white labels are evidently already about . . Teena Marie debuts on US Epic 7in with the disappointingly rushed and strident c.125bpm ‘Fix It‘, which hopefully is not typical of the LP . . . Design Communications picked up Divine ‘Love Reaction‘, Elite got C-Bank ‘Get Wet‘ both out soon . . . Pagoda need a new lead singer, sex unspecified although presumably female, for details contact Gregg Knowles on 01-398 2076 . . . Lee Taylor, globetrotting jock just back from Bangkok (try saying that with a mouth full of spaghetti!), wants blonde mixing jockettes interested in working abroad to call him on 01-385 6955 . . . Kev Hill & Chris Tyler kick off Fridays again this week (16) at Chelmsford’s Chancellor Hall with lots of “upfront tackle” (of which there’s currently so much that few can possibly play it all, surely?), Kev also funking Saturdays now at Southend’s Blue Boar in Victoria Avenue — where his opening night had to compete with a live MoR band fulfilling an earlier contract! . . . Brother Louie & Shaun James are jazz-funking Fridays at Leighton Buzzard’s Unicorn Nightclub . . . Brighton sees Andrew Henderson start a weekly soul club this Sunday (18) at the Abinger in King’s Road, with a World Series PA and mystery guest jock (7.30pm, only 50p), while Wednesdays find Andy King & Paul Clark back souling Busbys weekly with regular stellar support . . . Ian Reading notes the passing of summer next Thursday (22) at Southend Zero 6 with free admission for everyone dressed Hawaiian style and 35p spirits before 10pm . . . Gina Lamour joins Tricky Dicky Scanes with the boys at Stratford (E15), The Pigeons this Saturday (17) . . . Adrian Dunbar (Southampton Warehouse), raving about Risque, boldly says it’s so nice to find a Boys Town biggie that Ian Levine didn’t have a hand in! . . . German mixing jock Peter Romer, recently departed from Piccadilly’s Xenon, has ended up midweek at Maidenhead’s Skindles — where he’ll soon start running special “learn to mix” courses for the Disco Mix Club . . . Imagination’s Leee John seems likely to compere the televised Malibu Disco Dance championships instead of Steve Walsh or the more recently mooted Nino, “Ninny” also having just quit compering the nation-touring Miss Wet T-Shirt shows (too much for the lad from Bristol City?!) . . . New York rapper Fab 5 Freddy was rushing around the radio stations last Saturday to plug in rhyme his role in the rap/scratch/bodypop/break/graffitti ‘Wildstyle’ street flick currently showing at London’s ICA, to crowds of local electro fans — check it! . . . Channel 4 at 7.15pm for the next three Sundays should be a must for all serious black music fans interested in soul’s roots, as the ‘I Remember Harlem‘ documentary series started with rare film (and recordings) of amongst others Marcus Garvey, whose ill-fated Black Star Liners in the ’20s were intended to repatriate black people to Africa and directly inspired today’s Rastafarians, and the amazing Cab Calloway who of course is Kid Creole’s chief influence — anyway, the series this Sunday picks up from 1930 and is bound to show much jitterbugging and early break dancing along with all the black swing bands . . . ‘Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (Special Version)’ started in the cinema, and now we have a visual “remix” craze with ‘The Godfather’, ‘The Leopard’, ‘A Star Is Born’ — and you can even read ‘The Bible (Edit)!’ . . . Paul Anthony at Wolverhampton’s heaving Eve’s, where local band Tin Tin’s ‘Kiss Me‘ is still the hit that never was, dangles a carrot to all prospective PA artistes — immediately the club closes at 2am he’ll whip ’em onto Beacon Radio for a late night live interview and phone-in with Pete Clements . . . DJs despairing of getting their chart featured on Peter Powell’s ‘Steppin’ Out’ soul show (Radio One 6.10-7pm Mondays) should maybe reapply with their gig details so that they can stay on file to await an eventual phonecall and namecheck . . . Disco and Boys Town chart contributors, please send your latest lists and info NOW as I’ll be going to a wedding in New York next week . . . Dave Rawlings (Basingstoke Martines) must chart everything Fred Dove sends him, 21 of his Top 50 being on WEA (next best CBS and Polygram with 7 each), but only two of these were in his Top 15 — how many dog chocs does that earn? . . . Music Week, the UK trade paper, is full of rumblings from the record industry about reverting to a 7in only chart, which would be a disastrous move for the disco biz — far more to the point, the 12in chart should be dropped because it’s only the existence of such a thing that makes the creative marketing people think they can gain an edge by being competitive in that as well, thus resulting in everything being issued on 12in whether warranted or not . . . I hesitate to speculate how many DJs buy two copies of a record so they can create remixes at their gigs! . . . The B Boys exploded at Birmingham’s Powerhouse alldayer on Sunday, and for hip electro jocks everywhere — don’t forget to combine it with the backing-less B-side of Dolby’s Cube to really freak ’em! . . . I discovered this mix totally by chance while following one with the other on the twin decks at Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre, where word has it that switched on salesperson Paul Mohamed will soon be leaving (shock horror!) . . . Del Richardson is possibly the best instrumental mixer of the moment, and it’s the instrumental flip of Skyy’s remix that’s really hot for me . . . ‘KISS-FM Mastermixes’ LP is of course now on import, while (clarifying last week’s review) Al Jarreau is only 112bpm . . . Morgan Khan is muttering about an all-‘Electro Street Sounds’ series! . . . Sakhile sadly seems too late now for singles success (why did Jive delay it so long?), but Shalamar could just regain their grassroots disco support with ‘Over And Over‘ as follow-up . . . Haywoode’s slender lithe legs must be fuelling a few fantasies at all her many PAs! . . . Chris Britton (Watford Baileys) confesses his new 1.6 Ghia Escort is actually guzzling far more gas than it should at the moment, while poor Sandy Martin (Swindon Brunel Rooms) had his old blue Ford Escort (PKK 827G) plus gear and records nicked from outside a Bank Holiday alldayer at Swindon’s Wiltshire Hotel . . . Paul Major, I thought your low Gwen Guthrie rating was right — didn’t you twig? . . . Mike Jones writes from Kilwinning’s Flicks in Ayrshire that he’s been a disc jokey (sic) for about ten years — it’s the way he tells them! . . . WIKKI WIKKI!


TOM BROWNE: ‘Rockin’ Radio’ (US Arista AS 1 9088)
Trumpeter Tom hip-hops aboard the ‘Rockit’ bandwagon with a powerful Maurice Starr/Michael Jonzun-prod/penned 119bpm electro smacker topped out over muttering vocoder by infrequent bursts of his various sharply stabbing horns. A warning shot on 7in, it’s being rushed this week on 12in.

EL CHICANO: ‘Do You Want Me’ (CBS TA 3722)
1970’s Santana-ish ‘Viva Torado!’ latin-rockers return with a drifting 86bpm 12in harmony chant and organ swayer hinting at old San Francisco flower power in its vocal sound — however, all the soul jocks play its lovely tougher 87bpm organ instrumental flip, which after initial resistance is suddenly catching on fast. Incidentally, Scotland’s Kenny Macleod speed-spins the import at 45rpm so it’s then a slightly distorted but useable 117bpm.

GUY DALTON: ‘Passer La Nuit’ (Mach 1 MAGIC 127, via PRT)
You’ll laugh even more, but this Liverpudlian’s dreadful frantic 134bpm ‘Night People‘ vocal on 3-track 12in has this instrumental version which when played at 33 1/3rpm comes out at a very respectable 99bpm, without distortion — and synched between ‘PIMP The SIMP’ and Active Force it was one of my hottest records of the weekend! You must try it too!

K-9 CORP: ‘Dog Talk’ (Capitol 12CL 307)
Rightly rapid UK release for the great amusingly goofy rap overdub of George Clinton’s ‘Atomic Dog’ using his original 107bpm 12in backing track (and 113bpm instrumental of ‘Man’s Best Friend‘ as flip). Watch me raise my leg — woof! Continue reading “September 17, 1983: Tom Browne, El Chicano, Guy Dalton, K-9 Corp, Tavares”

September 10, 1983: Hot Streak, Curtis Hairston, The B Boys, Skyy, Hamilton Bohannon


ALAN COULTHARD has mixed CBS’s new ‘Dance Mix Dance Hits II‘ LP due next week, with a far stronger and more compatible looking line up of tracks than poor Froggy had to use last time, while Alan’s Duran Duran megamix for this month’s Disco Mix Club will be accompanied by not two but three cassettes of promo material . . . Volume 2 of the ‘KISS-FM Mastermix‘ series is now on import Prelude LP but features disappointingly dated tracks . . . ‘In Store Music’ plugger Granville Williams is fretting that DJs sent the cassettes of promo tracks for free are not filling their reactions as accurately as he’d like, some saying they already had a record before it had even been pressed — does it really matter? . . . El Chicano and the Booker Newberry III follow-up will be out here next week . . . Bensons of Henley at Remenham Hill have their music biz barbeque this Sunday (11) at 7pm, don’t forget (details last week) . . . Colin Day has taken over the ‘Dancing In The Streets’ Saturday 6-8pm disco show on Worcester’s Radio Wyvern but is short of good product from record companies/indie pluggers and could handle more interviews too . . . Cino Berigliano, still jocking, is now also working as a freelance plugger on dance records exclusively — but this is not an invite for DJs to call him as his service relies on personal contact with all the clubs in the London area rather than mail-outs (however, companies with product to plug can call 01-688 3699/551 0631) . . . Barry Brown of Barry’s Disco Centre in Gloucester is holding another annual Discomart exhibition at the Gloucester Leisure Centre on Sunday 13 November, stand space available on 0452-421126 . . . David Grant’s erstwhile Linx partner, Sketch is getting back into music but maybe in an unusual direction (just as long as it’s not like Shalamar, huh?!) . . . Chiltern Radio’s Sunday soul show host Martin Collins tragically lost his 16 year old sister last week, dying from an incurable respiratory problem, while one-time assistant editor of Record Mirror (responsible for my present job) and editor of several other Disco publications, Peter Harvey also sadly died recently — actually in mid-air aboard a flying ambulance on the way home to England for treatment for cancer of the liver — heartfelt condolences to both families . . . Rick James ‘Cold Blooded‘ took over as top US Black single . . . Kurtis Blow’s LP review missed the 104bpm ‘Got To Dance‘ last week . . . JFM’s ‘Crazy Chris’ Ryder kicks off Fridays at Gillingham’s Regency Nightclub with a Kenny Lynch PA this week, and also jazz-funks Saturdays at Coulsdon’s Dance Factory . . . Robbie Vincent, Jeff Young & Chris Bangs soul South Harrow Bogarts this Sunday (11) with 50p drinks 10-11pm . . . Cosmic, saying the Bank Holiday breakfast at Flicks was “allll right!”, is in slight confusion as the Liberties nightclub part of his Basildon residency has closed down although the New Yorker pub part hasn’t . . . Colin Hudd has been joined at Dartford Flicks by young blood David Williams for Tuesday’s under-18 ‘Teen Scene’ . . . Martin Waine does Fri/Sats at CJays on Colwyn Bay pier, but I was barbequeing in Denbigh the night he invited me there! . . . Peter Powell may have an annoyingly indistinct way of burbling on but he does at least sound different from his Radio One colleagues (and play more than the same six records over and over again!), as I came to realize once my cassettes had run out while exploring mainly sunny Central Wales later last week . . . John Tracy (Sheffield Leadmill/Manchester Hacienda) is one of several jocks who returned from hols in Spain full of praise for the standard of mixing and even sound and air conditioning in clubs there . . . New Yorker David Franco is new DJ and fellow American Elizabeth Krall the lighting jock at London Piccadilly’s Xenon, while around the corner in Bond Street The Embassy (celebrating its 3rd birthday tonight Thursday 8) has organised a petition to stop redevelopment of the site, which has housed a nightclub since 1870 . . . Dougie Mack, resident jock at Brighton’s Pink Coconut, says an earlier announcement of Jon Kutner’s that he’d also be working there was premature to say the least — he didn’t pass the audition! . . . Norman Scott similarly reports from the pink zone that despite muck raking by the gutter press there were over 1,200 gays at Brighton Bolts a couple of Sundays ago . . . Carl Richardson boogies with the boys this Saturday (10) at Hull Bali Hai . . . Adrian Dunbar (Southampton Warehouse) reckons the attitude of WEA plugger Fred Dove is very strange, as if DJs should feel honoured to be on his mailing list, and he now understands how pressure on DJs to chart any old track off dogpoop albums can distort the record’s real potential . . . IDA rep Martin ‘Fast Eddie’ Edwards, who also jocks at Harrow’s Mirrabeau winebar (Sunday MoR oldies his busiest night), says that in the current sales chart it’s easy to get to number 80 just on sales to DJs alone . . . Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre has yet to sell a single Clark Sisters 12in, despite discounting ’em to 99p in the cheapo bin . . . Nancy Wilson’s old 67bpm ‘How Glad I Am‘ is nice out of Carmel ‘Bad Day‘, inspiring me at another of my 6am closedown mobile gigs last Saturday to dig out Ketty Lester ‘Love Letters‘, Nina Simone ‘I Put A Spell On You‘ and Esther Philips ‘Moody’s Mood For Love‘ too . . . Tyneside’s peripatetic DJ Dirty Harry writes from Abu Dhabi that he’ll be reporting soon from Poland! . . . Hartlepool DJ Paul Gough, without being on radio, has got an impressive scale of sponsorship from Datsun dealers Bradleys of Blackhall & Peterlee, who gave him a free (but signwritten) Datsun Cherry courtesy car in return for plugs at all his many North-Eastern gigs . . . Chris Britton (Watford Baileys) used to drive “expensive limos” like a Jag, Audi, Merc, but now has a new 1.6 Ghia Escort which does 0-60 in 10 secs and 32mpg (is that all? — what a gas guzzler!), although he’s yet to see how much disco gear fits in the back . . . Graham Hunter (Basingstoke) finds guest appearances easier now with a Ford Cortina Mk. 4 Estate, which takes all his records in the back instead of as before on the passenger seats (OK, I know you’re all agog, I get five big and two small LP boxes in the normal concealed boot of my Cherry!) . . . Herbie Hancock has really brought the electro revolution out into the open, lots of electro mixers which previously would have been confined to certain black London and Birmingham clubs now moving chartwards fast, while it’s interesting that the chief critics of electrophonic phunk are all white suburban DJs working outside the city centres . . . WIKKI WIKKI!


HOT STREAK: ‘Body Work’ (Polydor PSOPX 642)
Starting with a US Army style “sound off” chant, the instrumental flip’s acappella version of which is dynamite played un-synched as a cross-fade out of ‘Autodrive’, this Jellybean Benitez-mixed vocodered and chanting catchy jittering 121bpm 12in tuneful electro rattler has taken off like a rocket already.

CURTIS HAIRSTON: ‘I Want You (All Tonight)’ (US Pretty Pearl PP 510)
Chix-backed new soulster, sometimes sounding more like a soulstress (without any effeminacy), on an excellent creamily pushing 114bpm 12in chugger that already has the feel if not lyrics of a classic in the Newberry/McFadden & Whitehead mould (dub/edit flip). Should be huge.

THE B BOYS: ‘Two, Three, Break’ (US Vintertainment VTI-001)
‘Buffalo Gals’ and ‘Rockit’ paved the way, now here’s the ultimate scratcher — pure and simple, just a 104bpm 12in judder ‘n thud rhythm box beat programmed by Guy Vaughn with Chuck Chill Out scratching over it, giving it musical form minus anything as off-putting as an actual tune or real instruments! (Same track on flip). Continue reading “September 10, 1983: Hot Streak, Curtis Hairston, The B Boys, Skyy, Hamilton Bohannon”

September 3, 1983: “Now seems the moment to put recent developments into their historical perspective.”


MICHAEL JACKSON has just cut another duet with Paul McCartney, mixed by Jellybean Benitez, but first we’ll finally get ‘Thriller’ on 12in in a month, while Alan Coulthard’s Disco Mix Club Jackson megamix has evidently been closely copied on a remade Belgian bootleg (please do not ask how to find it!) . . . Tom Browne has been produced by the Jonzun Crew in ‘Rockit’ style — and Herbie Hancock is now top US Dance/Disco hit . . . Bensons of Henley at Remenham Hill hold a music business barbeque next Sunday (11) at 7pm, £3 a head, all DJs and record company people welcome — if they can bear WEA’s Fred Dove as guest jock! . . . Randy Crawford will sing and talk to you all this month on 01-388 5188 . . . Lillo Thomas’s LP is already out here (Capitol EST 7122901), and Ryan Paris last week should have been 120½bpm . . . Brass Construction ‘We Can Work It Out’ is now on import 12in as a negligible remix . . . Philip Bailey’s import ‘Continuation’ LP doesn’t exactly scream “dance to me!” . . . Canada’s Power label soon reissues Antonia Rodriguez ‘La Bamba‘ and Dee Dee Jackson ‘SOS (Remix)‘, and in fact Power’s Vince Degiorgio is looking for new “high energy” masters at 190 Colin Ave, Apt 108, Toronto, Ontario M5P 2C6, Canada . . . Paul Travis has just started a free admission/pub bar prices boys town night at Wigan’s old Tiffany’s, now renamed Maxine’s, every Thursday . . . Norman Scott (Haringey Bolts — current big oldie, Connie Francis ‘Where The Boys Are‘!) passes on from regular Bolter Steve Jolley that Imagination’s next album will include some strong disco tracks . . . Pete Haigh (Standish Cassinellis) observes that boys town music seems to be crossing over to pop audiences who dislike electro-funk’s rigidity . . . Carl Richardson (Hull 0482-711874) is after the old “Josephine Baker tribute” LP by Phyliscia (Felicia?) Allen & The Village People . . . Paul Gough (Hartlepool 0429-70036) will pay big bucks for the old Prince Philip Mitchell ‘Top Of The Line’ LP . . . ‘New Blackbeat’ is a fax ‘n’ info crammed deep soul fanzine 34 closely printed pages long, £3.75 for 6 issues bi-monthly, from 101 Sevenacres, Orton Brimbles, Peterborough, Cambs PE1 OXJ — October’s will include the complete 1962-83 Frankie Beverly discography . . . Main Ingredient’s ‘Happiness Is Just Around The Bend’ has been remade by ex-lead singer Cuba Gooding for Streetwise . . . Sundays at Basildon New Yorker, Cosmic revives the likes of Mighty Fire ‘Love Fantasy‘ . . . Darren Fogel, now doing Saturdays at Tottenham Valentinos, is compiling the Top 100 Soul Singles for Christmas broadcast on Radio Invicta 92.4 FM (his ‘Soul Searchin’ spot’s 4-6pm Sunday), so send your nominations to Invicta at 8 Southampton Row, London WC1 . . . Alan Reid, ex-Bacchus/Julianas jock (he had to learn to mix in Canada, as if he talked the club emptied!) and ex-Birmingham Powerhouse lighting operator, has opened his own Gingers in Pontypridd with a full lightshow (Wed-Sun) even though it’s only small . . . Jon Alsop’s high energy bias is bowing to the ‘Rockit’ influence with increased electro-funk on Mondays at Edgbaston Faces French ‘Kilohertz’ night, while at Faces this Thursday (1) Steve Dennis has a visit from Kenny Lynch — who’s then on Friday (2) with Peter Lee at Bolton’s Dance Factory . . . Jeff Young guests Thurs (1) at Hemel Hempstead’s Whip & Collar, Dave Rawlings has a St Trinians Friday (fancydressers in for free) at Basingstoke Martines . . . Steve Walsh starts funking Mondays at Bermondsey Old Kent Road’s Dun Cow next week (5), Lyndon T electro-funks Tuesdays at Soho Jean Pierres (first drink free) . . . Frenchie’s Sunday Funk Club has moved to the later licensing hours of Wednesdays at Charnock Richard’s Bowling Green Inn (£1 before 10.30, half price drinks) . . . Rickmansworth’s very American style restaurant the Long Island Exchange (by the station roundabout) does alcoholic milk shakes — um yum, schlurp schlurp! . . . Colin Hudd has gone megamix crazy at Dartford Flicks on Saturday nights, and now that Thames Valley DJ Assn big boy Frank Smith has started editing the Disco Mix Club mag, all the TVDJA members are being told how to mix! . . . Steve ‘Dover’ Day (Sheerness Woodys) recommends mixing Hazell Dean ‘Searchin’ into Change ‘Searching’ in a synch from “where the drums sweep down and back up again” . . . Tom Edgar, jocking as Tom Mator (in a cockney accent?), is busy enough but could handle more club/pub gigs on 01-855 2064 (night)/855 7777 (day) . . . Rob Harknett (Roydon 027-979 2329), booked solid on Saturdays until 1985, needs more MoR jocks to cover some venues, small rigs OK but music must be “tame” for fees around £35/45 . . . Chris Cole (Bramley) recorded himself at a 21st gig to make a demo for a club where he wanted a residency, and was told he was “too confident, cocky and frantic” — presumably a nervous, shy and quiet jock got the job, but Chris’s own approach does at least bring in lots of mobile work! . . . Steve ‘Walthamstow’ Day similarly applied for a gig, only to be told he was “behind the times and much too old”! . . . Gary Oldis, now back at Aycliffe Bee Jays after fracturing his skull in a road accident, recuperated in Jersey where he reckons Chris Tandy at the Madison is the Island’s best night . . . Richard ‘Lofty’ Lofthouse (Tyneside) reckons the name LaFleur sounds like the Peter Sellers French pronounciation of what you dance on! . . . WIKKI WIKKI!

These are the breaks…

NOW SEEMS the moment to put recent developments into their historical perspective. Black American music began outside when Southern slaves relieved the tedium of picking cotton with rhythmic call-and-answer “field hollers” derived from dimly remembered tribal chants, vocal music being the cheapest to make — and maximum effect/minimum outlay still holds good today.

Christian church music, military bands, the patronising “plantation songs” of touring nigger minstrel shows, and the attention grabbing antics of street corner medicine sellers (whose increasingly eccentric dance steps were the basis of most we know now) all combined in the late 19th century to produce the different strains of a new and specifically American black tradition.

The banjo, an approximation of certain African stringed instruments, gave way to the Spanish guitar as the go-anywhere accompaniment for an emergent type of solitary “blues” singer, the blues being a simple secular adaptation of the mixture of call-and-answer with church music which at the opposite extreme resulted in gospel (the eventual inspiration of vocal harmony groups and ultimately soul).

The other solitary black musicians were the pianists in brothels, who experimenting amidst their exotic surroundings came up with sexy, sleazy, syncopated rhythms of “ragtime”, which when played with jaunty abandon on military band instruments became a dance craze lasting nearly thirty years with increasing acceptance (and white copyists) until the soloing fervour of its more adventurous musicians became known to the world as “jazz” in the early ’20s.

The urban jazz bands had no problem making a loud enough noise for dancers, but the rural blues guitarists had to play open-tuned chords with a broken bottleneck on their finger to make a shrill sound, or use metal bodied guitars fitted with resonators.

Following the spread of radio in the early ’20s came electrical recording in 1925, enabling “whispering” crooners to be heard where previously only the bellowers cut through, microphones replacing megaphones for the featured vocalists on ballroom bandstands.

With the big bands of the ’30s came an acrobatic black dance style known as “jitterbug”, which had been germinating in Harlem since 1923 and really erupted in ’28 when marathon dancer ‘Shorty’ George Snowden amazed onlookers by doing a “breakaway” flinging out his partner and improvising some solo steps. Shorty and other inventive dancers, egged on by money throwing celebrity socialites, became a big attraction as they tried to out-dance each other in the “Cats Corner” at the Savoy Ballroom, where two battling bands would drive the dancers so hard the music became called “swing”.

It was Benny Goodman who gave swing the white face of respectability in 1936, the same year young black teenager Charlie Christian (following the lead of Count Basie’s guitarist Eddie Durham) began experimenting playing jazz on a guitar plugged into a rudimentary electric amplifier. The Jimi Hendrix of his day, Charlie Christian went on to play with Benny Goodman, but more importantly his improvisational style influenced saxist Charlie Parker and the whole ’40s be-bop movement.

Probably the first electric blues guitarist was flamboyant showman T-Bone Walker (some of whose moves were copied by Elvis Presley!), but during World War II many rural bluesmen moved north and west to the industrial cities where they too plugged in and formed raucous “rhythm & blues” groups, augmented at war’s end by “booting” saxists splintering away from the no longer viable big bands.

Black kids who couldn’t afford an instrument would hang out on street corners copying such gospel-derived tenor/bass/harmony groups as the Ink Spots and Ravens, singing silly phrases like “doo-wop” in a style which influenced the Temptations onwards. Other street corners often had blues players plugged into portable speakers, some maybe talking rather than singing their blues, while in the churches were preachers whose crescendoing rhythmic sermons moved the congregation to frenzy.

Rapping and ranting radio DJs spread rapidly as R&B became “rock ‘n’ roll” in the ’50s and men like Alan Freed copied the black style, which right through the ’60s often incorporated a carefully prepared rhyming rap lead out over an instrumental from the playlist.

Around 1970 such street poets as the Last Poets recorded their angry, staccato, musically flowing raps (the era when Gary Byrd started out), all of this sewing the seeds of rap as we know it today.

However, apart from the total commercialisation of black music and increasing sophistication in the making of it, things stayed pretty much the same out on the street corners, in the subways and stairwells (anywhere there’s an echo!) . . . until, that is, another advance in the use of electronics. The ghetto blaster. Now every kid can make a loud noise out on the street, even miking up to rap along to the beat. Cheap electronics and the boom in synthesizers like the rhythm box which can be programmed to any automatic beat pattern have revolutionized the creation of black music, cutting costs and replacing musicians.

Out of the portable discos of Brooklyn, base of New York’s big Jamaican population with their sound systems, came the use of rhythm boxes allied to DJs “scratching” records over the top of them — often out in the street, where of course the “break” dancers carry on their tradition.

It’s sad to think that in this revolution we’ve probably lost the vocal group tradition, but the current breed of young men out there today are in fact merely following in the footsteps of all that went before them — and every new development mentioned above was greeted in its day with the abuse of many and total horror of some. Think about it!


LADY M: ‘Please (Don’t Break My Heart)’ (Calibre CABL 116)
Sneakily catchy with an interest-holding good frisky arrangement, this soulfully wailed soaring jaunty 114bpm 12in wraggler weaves around a booming bass line (good out of Kenny Lynch) with so much zest that it’s really quite high energy too and could well get pop attention (inst flip). The lady’s vocal is outstanding.

BAISER: ‘Summer Breeze’ (Canadian Celsius 12CLS-7013)
Chording piano, sassy brass and tootling sax start this attractive chick-sung long ever developing unhurried sinuously pumping gently jiggly 109¼bpm 12in swayer, which eventually hits a cowbell percussion break (inst flip) and initially had boys town attention though should win wider favour. Incidentally, check the chart in case any more hot imports arrived after this week’s early deadline.

K-9 CORP (Featuring Pretty C): ‘Dog Talk’ (US Capitol 8562)
Coinciding perfectly with renewed interest in the original, this is a great rap version of ‘Atomic Dog’ using George Clinton’s 107bpm 12in backing track behind and between mentions of Pluto, Goofy, Scooby Doo, Snoopy and other canine cartoon faves — “watch me raise my leg” being the nicest line! — flipped by Clinton’s own 113bpm instrumental of ‘Man’s Best Friend‘. Woof . . . woof! Continue reading “September 3, 1983: “Now seems the moment to put recent developments into their historical perspective.””