Pye Records rather misguidedly change names next month to Precision Records and Tapes, making black product plugger Morgan Khan “the brat from PRAT”! Anyway, as previously mentioned, Morgan has copied the US DJ-bootlegged mixer medley idea by creating the first ever officially released UK version, out next month (CABP 1) as ‘Calibre Cuts’ and containing 32 cleverly juxtaposed snippets from 24 different tracks. Running for 6:47 and building from 93bpm to a flutter echo 132bpm finish, the rhythmically flowing cut-up includes moments from Lowrell, Chanson, Sugarhill Gang, Positive Force, ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’, Players Assn ‘I Like It’, ‘We Are Family’, Tony Rallo, ‘Bad Girls’, Two Man Sound, Black Ivory ‘Big Apple Rock’, L.A.X., Osibisa, Jupiter Beyond, Seventh Avenue ‘Miami Heatwave’, Real Thing, ‘HAPPY Radio’, ‘Boogie Wonderland’, El Coco, Players Assn ‘Everybody Dance’, ‘We Got The Groove’, Aquarian Dream ‘Phoenix’, ‘East 6th Street’ and Norman Connors ‘Captain Connors’ – some of them contributing just one beat! Mailed to DJ’s in increasing waves, at the moment there are only eighteen copies of the white label 12in in circulation (and Morgan’s numbered them so he knows who the jock is who’s already sold his!), although advance orders from shops already total more than 8,000. Incidentally, starting with ‘Calibre Cuts’, all future PRAT 12in promos will be at 33 1/3 rpm with just the commercial copies at 45rpm. Pity about the PRAT initials (it’ll actually be printed PRT), as Pye are currently anything but that!
Los Angeles differs drastically from New York in that the buzz of hearing brand new releases is totally lacking on radio (and in the clubs) . . . making radio less than compulsive listening. The only newies to be heard last month were some slowies on the mellow soul KJLH and some jazz-funk on KACE. Considering there are 31 FM and 31 AM stations servicing the area (along with 11 TV stations), this was disappointing to say the least. The first thing I actually recorded on air was a breakfast show playing – it seemed appropriate for LA – the Beach Boys ‘Fun Fun Fun’, which the DJ unbelievably came out of paraphrasing “drugs drugs drugs, until her daddy took the teaspoon away”! This was the Kenny Everett-ish Fraser Smith on KLOS, a rock FM station paired with the AM all-talk KABC and sharing the same building – as I discovered when accompanying Robbie Vincent, Radio London’s morning phone-in and interview man – and funnily enough it’s an expatriate BBC veteran who grabs over a million listeners daily with the same format in LA, Michael Jackson (no, not that one). A South African residency having added a Paddy Byrne-like tinge to his voice, Michael left the Beeb in 1959 and now only puts on his exaggeratedly British accent when reading hamburger commercials and the like! Sitting in a tiny studio in the extremely compact glass-walled jigsaw puzzle of on-air facilities, he interviewed TV chat show host Phil Donahue (himself on the Johnny Carson TV show only the night before) and Joan Baez while we were there, as well as answering several carefully vetted telephone calls . . . the switchboard though was decidedly unlit-up in comparison with my experience of Capital Radio. As well as talk, soul, jazz and rock, LA radio covers the usual spectrum from Spanish to classical, country to gospel (lots and lots of gospel!), the main ‘‘disco’’ stations seemingly being devoted still to David Naughton’s ‘Makin’ It’. The best thing I managed to record was, luckily while delayed at the airport on the way home, the legendary Dr Demento on KMET, his Sunday evening show featuring a strongly idiosyncratic 1920s/30s flavour even when the material is new . . . in his way the Charlie Gillett of Los Angeles.
Odds ‘N Bods
Fern Kinney (originally on US 7in in 1977) and Detroit Spinners are due on belated 12in, while Donna Summer and Niteflyte are now on 12in, with Kleeer ‘Close To You’ and a 4-track Randy Brown 12in to follow . . . 1968’s classic ‘This Is Soul’ sampler LP (as it was then) is out again on Atlantic . . . PRAT could be picking up which famous Philadelphia-based label? . . . Caroline Roadshow need two heavy metal DJs, apply in writing with full details and photo to them at BCM, Box 1962, London WC1 . . . Havering DJ Assn and potential members meet at Harold Hill Community Centre on Monday (17) at 7:45pm . . . Chris Britton (High Wycombe Tuesdays) actually said “yes” to a leap year proposal on Feb 29th – congrats! . . . Michael Jackson on TV recently came out of the closet, locked the door behind him and threw away the key – did anyone catch it? . . . USofA’s Reggie, David & Chris are all Viola Wills’s kids . . . Brian Sinclair, probably paranoid about Steve Walsh’s Wednesday publicity, confirms that he himself spins the very best in soul at Catford J. Arthur’s on Thurs/Fri/Saturdays . . . Dennis Brynner is delighted that conditions are funkier again at Southampton Barbarellas . . . London DJ Ian Brolin wants to know where to find Johnny Hammond’s old ‘Shifting Gears’ LP – Hill, what have you started?! . . . Paul Macey, at Kingston-On-Thames South Western Tavern on Fri/Sundays, followed up my mention of Erik Jack’s Life Entertainment Services and landed a summer season at Ladbrokes Nodes Point holiday camp . . . Bristol mafiosi Martin Starr & Dennis Richards (Just 4U/Turntable/Manhattans) are now attracting funksters from London, a crowd of 20 or so spending a week in Bristol going to all their venues . . . Alan Hughes reports that pubs in the Worcester area are cutting right back on discos – what, even the Wally ones? . . . Martin Sanders (Blackburn) may care to note that I paid with my own money to go to LA for a holiday, and not specifically for the forum which past experience had shown would be exactly as it indeed was . . . CBS & Polydor are mailing some strange material to DJ’s these days . . . Capital Radio must be helping London’s discotheques by making them the only place you can be sure of hearing so many established hits . . . Liquid Gold presumably fill a void for many people somewhere, so maybe “disco” isn’t dead at all? . . . US disco chart placings however have been largely discredited now it’s known they relate merely to those records that bring down drugged gays the least . . . Chris Jones (Cardiff) says “Disco isn’t dead, it’s just had a shot in the arm – a little variety does you good, as punters at large South Wales gigs prove by loving 2-Tone/Pretenders/Ska and booing the Nolans, the overriding aim surely being everybody has a good time” – hmm, it may be danceable but is it disco? . . . MAKE IT FUNKY!
BOBBY THURSTON: ‘Check Out The Groove’ (Epic EPC 13-8348) (BNDA debut 3/1/80)
Import LP smash now on UK 12in, this happily jumping Brass Construction-ish chugger built around a series of 16 bar progressions goes through 121-119-121-120-122-120(instr)-122-123 bpm to reach a 125-126 bpm rhythm break and outro. ‘Shakit’ chops perfectly out of the first half.
PLAYERS ASSOCIATION: ‘The Get-Down Mellow Sound’ (Vanguard VSL 5017) (BNDA debut 3/22/80)
Still temporarily printed as ‘Mellow Mellow’ (PRAT were confused by Lowrell) this is indeed the correct US title, and the steadily thumping and bumping brassy jogger is now on 115 bpm 12in which should mix even better with the Whispers.
DONALD BYRD: ‘Dominoes’ (Blue Note 12-UP 622)
Attractive atmospheric lazily jiggling 106-104-105-104-103-102 bpm 12in jazz swayer from 1976 with tootling trumpet and chanting chaps is sadly not the even hotter ‘Live At The Roxy’ version. Continue reading “March 15, 1980: Bobby Thurston, Players Association, Donald Byrd, Chico Hamilton, GQ”