Last of the Vinyl Unicorns

Car load of 45s

Just a quick note.

In 2010, it’s still possible to find untapped 45 jukebox distributors in the Fifth Ward of Houston.
Now get out there and find some history.

-b

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Coming at You in Waves

Tonight I’m proud to be the special guest on the Phunkwhatchaheard Show on KTRU 91.7 FM in Houston. The only radio show in town really challenging listeners with an array of eclectic soulful music. It’s their 100th episode and Jaekim was kind enough to ask me to put together a set of some eccentric soul and funk records for the occasion. I’ll bring a couple brand new things and I swear to keep it entertaining at the least. Thursday 7-8pm Central Time or stream at http://www.ktru.org

You can find out more about the Phunkwhatchaheard Show here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=12735718321&ref=ts

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Dirty Honey Friday August 7, 2010

Dirty Honey Aug 2010

Your monthly dose of rare funk and soul 45s is back with Brett Koshkin and special guest from Austin Second Line Social.

I’m very excited to have my Soul Happening cohort down to Houston to wreck the dance floor. He’s a busy man these days. When not doing Soul Happening in Austin with me, he’s DJing the Second Sunday Sock Hop at the Shangri La and providing some of the best soul music around to the public at his store Breakaway Records.

FREE as always, nothing but the best and rarest soul vinyl will be played.

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Dancing the Gulf Coast Better

For close to ten years now, I’ve been DJing with a group of fantastic guys in Austin under the moniker “Soul Happening” formerly, WAXPLOITATION! The shows we do together are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to toot my own horn, I just see more people having nothing short of a blast at the shows, something I’m very proud of.

We figure it’s time we do some good because, well… we can. We should. So we’ve put together this show with our very bitter friends/enemies the Second Sunday Sock Hop. I hope to see you there.

Soul Happening vs SSSH Benefit 07-30-2010

Soul Happening vs Second Sunday Sock Hop Benefit 07-30-2010

The Battle for Soul Supremacy!!!
Soul Happening vs. Second Sunday Sock Hop
A Benefit for the Gulf

Friday July 30th, 2010
At The Mohawk – 912 Red River
Austin, Texas

Nobody is happy about the BP spill in the gulf. We’ve watched friends and family lose their way of life, their livelihood, all they know striped from them by a black plague of sorts. States on the Gulf of Mexico have always played an important role in our lives. Most, if not all of the record collections you hear at the two big soul nights in Austin seem to have a rather large percentage of singles from these areas. Gulf States artists like Eddie Bo and Little Beaver have been staples at Soul Happening and the Second Sunday Sock Hop since their inception and have worn out many a dance floor. When Mardi Gras comes around, the Sock Hop celebrates it to the fullest, putting on a decadent party every year. When Katrina’s dark waters ran amuck, Soul Happening held a benefit show playing nothing but Louisiana soul and funk. These lands provide the food we eat, the music we love and more culture and traditions than entire countries could dream about having. And now these lands need our help.
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How a Crazy Cajun Shaped Houston’s Musical Landscape

Huey Meaux

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, only a few men held enough water to influence the sounds of soul music on a commercial scale in Houston. The men that could put your record in the Billboard charts or put your musical career in the ground, the gate keepers so to speak of the Bayou City.

There was Don Robey, owner of the illustrious Duke-Peacock-Backbeat family of labels. He recorded everyone from Bobby Bland and Junior Parker to OV Wright and Carl Carlton. He built a small empire from his office over on 2809 Erastus Street (The building which still stands today as the Charity Baptist Church) including the legendary nightclub the Bronze Peacock.

Skipper Lee Frazier split his time as a radio DJ on KCOH 1430AM (he still broadcasts today on KWWJ 1360AM) and as owner of his Ovide Records imprint. The 1968 release of Archie Bell and the Drells “Tighten Up” firmly cemented Lee’s stature amongst the heavyweights of Texas record label men. But even if it didn’t, having other acts like the TSU Toronadoes and Masters of Soul on his roster certainly did.

But neither Robey nor Lee had the influence on the scale that Huey Meaux had.
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We Dance Just As Good As We Want

Photo by Mark Roach


Archie Bell Tightens Up

Last Week, I went out with Photographer Mark Roach and Assistant Extraordinaire Alex LaRotta to finally meet Mr. Tighten Up, Archie Bell and his lovely wife Juanita in the flesh. If you want to write and record the history of Houston soul music, you’d be hard pressed to come up with someone else that played such a vital roll in the story to start with.

The two were nothing but a pleasure to spend the afternoon with and Archie loaded us up with stories about starting out in Houston, what it was like touring Africa and plenty of other nuggets. Most interesting were some facts I had never learned in my years of research like the different figures that filled rolls as members of his group The Drells through their career and how Archie may have got his start in one very, very, very infamous local high school band.

You’ll be able to read all about it when the Bayou City Soul Project finishes later this year. Until then, check out a few of these great photos Mr. Roach took to tide you over and watch this video of Archie Bell and the Drells doing a live version of “Tighten Up.”
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Dirty Honey Turns Three Years Old

I never thought I’d get my act together to put on a soul and funk 45 night in Houston, let alone one that I’m proud of. Here I am three years later and we’re still going strong thanks to all the kind folks out there that love their music enough to get out of the house. Special thanks go out to Shawn at Boondocks and DJ Witnes, it was their continual encouragement and downright prodding at times that have made this night happen. Come out tonight and help celebrate three years by shaking your tail feather on the dance floor.

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The Mexican Detour

Hello All,
I know things have been quiet around here lately, sorry about that. I’ve been down in Mexico for a while seeing what I can learn about Mexican musical history through vinyl. Turns out, a rather good deal. Mexicans do things their own way from interpreting Rufus Thomas’ “Funky Chicken” into Spanish to original psychedelic rock work outs. I came to have a better understanding of a country and culture that’s five hours away from Houston by car but remains worlds apart.

In the future, I’ll try and post some audio of some of my more interesting finds.

For now, here’s some photos.



















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Leon’s Lounge Needs Some Soul

The new owner of Leon’s Lounge will apparently be doing an all vinyl playlist when it reopens. Chris Gray over at the Houston Press hit me up to write about some soul albums that I think should be on rotation in such circumstance.

Leon’s Lounge, the venerable Midtown throwback dive, is currently closed for renovations as new owner Pete Mitchell (Under the Volcano) gives it a good scrubbing, but it should be back open before too much longer. Maybe as soon as next month. Earlier this week, Rocks Off heard some equally good news. Instead of a jukebox like at the Volcano – which is reportedly about to be updated for the first time since Lucinda Williams’ Little Honey and Hayes Carll’s Trouble In Mind were new albums – Mitchell is in the process of accumulating an LP library for the bar so that when Leon’s reopens, the music will be vinyl only. We also heard that it would be all vintage ’50s, ’60s and ’70s soul and R&B, but since have been corrected that Mitchell’s bar will spin all kinds of music. Nevertheless, no lounge should be without as much product from Stax/Volt, Motown, King, Chess and Duke/Peacock – to name just a few labels – as it can get its hands on. Rocks Off hit up Houston’s resident expert on the subject, our buddy, onetime co-author and Dirty Honey DJ Brett Koshkin, earlier this afternoon for his suggestions on which LPs Mitchell should add to the Leon’s library. Take it away, Brett…

You can read the rest of the story here.

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Meet Little Eddie Taylor

Long before there was Bushwick Bill, Houston had two and three quarters feet of dynamite known as Little Eddie Taylor.

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