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Preview: Trunk of F.U.N.K.

Trunk of F.U.N.K.

funk, soul, records, 45 rpm, vinyl, mix, record collecting, dj, music

Updated: 2018-03-02T10:38:33.753-06:00


Heatrocks for Haiti


I realize I've been absent from posting new material here for a bit, but didn't want this to fall by the wayside. In an attempt to collect funds for those currently in need in Haiti, two different collector message boards have started a series of rare record auctions in which all money is to be donated to the charity of the sellers choice.

For those in the funk/soul/hip hop vein, check here:

For those in assorted other veins, check here:

For what it's worth, I am responsible for the New Life Trio - Visions from the Third Eye auction listed here: so if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email at

Otherwise, bid with confidence

Our nation's capital


Hey regular readers and new visitors, I don't have any new musical goodies today (I promise to put up something new by the end of the coming week), but instead wanted to send out a request. I'm in D.C. until Wednesday for work and don't have much of anything to do outside of normal work hours. I'm heading over to Som Records in a few minutes, but am looking for other suggestions of things to do (outside of the obvious visitor stuff like the monuments and the Smithsonian museums). Digging advice is always much appreciated, but I'm also interested in any other happenings (is anyone worth checking out playing records in the next few days?) as well as good places to grab food and lesser known places to check out as a visitor. You can either hit me up in the comments or shoot me an e-mail at Thanks in advance, GA.

The Funky Whistlers


(image) Well... I promised a new mix about a week ago and it is finally ready to go. In the past I've whipped together mixes with a particular theme (take Windy City Workout and Baby Do Right By Me as fine examples), but have yet to put one together that focuses entirely on a single instrument. The idea of pooling together funky tracks that highlight the importance of a single instrument is by no means a new one. For instance, our dear friend Vincent the Soul Chef whipped together a funky guitar mix for Jemsite a few months back, while Mr. Funky 16 Corners has provided a number of smoking hot organ mixes in the past. With the solid staple of previous mixes highlighting key funk band instruments in tow, I decided to take the opposite route and throw together a mix focusing entirely on a rather 'un-funky' instrument, the flute. To keep things interesting, this mix highlights the flute playing a variety of roles. For example, in cases like Herbie Mann's Memphis Two-step, the flute plays a prominent role throughout the entire song, vamping along in a funky mode that really sets the tone for the entire track. In other cases, like Lonnie Liston Smith's Expansions, the flute remains hidden in the background while the other instruments really get things cooking, only to emerge for a brief time to treat the listener's ears to a killer funky solo. Regardless of the specific role played in each track, one thing is for certain, this mix demonstrates that in the hands of the right player even an instrument as unfunky as the flute can be mighty soulful.

The Funky Whistlers - Trunk of F.U.N.K. vol. 017

Artist – Song title - Flautist

Yusef Lateef – Nubian Lady – Yusef Lateef
Michael Howell – In The Silence – Bennie Maupin
Bobbi Humphrey – Chicago, Damn – Bobbi Humphrey
Mongo Santamaria – The Whistler – Grant Reed or Roger Glenn
Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes – Expansions – Donald Smith
Hank Crawford – Funky Rooster – Jeremy Steig
Herbie Mann – Memphis Two-step – Herbie Mann
Ron Carter – Uptown Conversation – Hubert Laws
Harold Johnson Sextet + - Delores – David Crawford
Cymande – Changes – Mike Rose

Rocking Chair - Brothers of the Ghetto


After a VERY long hiatus, I've finally found some free time to resume providing funky nuggets for your listening pleasure. In the time since I've been withdrawn from the blogosphere this site passed the one-year anniversary mark, an event that unfortunately passed by without any commemoration by yours truly (it's not that I didn't want to do something. This site has always been a "labor of love" that sometimes needs to take the back-burner to real-life responsibilities).Hopefully, now that I've got a better handle on the whole being a dad thing, I'll be able to get back to a level of output similar to what was common in the "early" days of Trunk of F.U.N.K.With the extended break from mixes and singles running through my mind, I thought I'd mark my return with a blistering funk 45 from a group out of the southside of Chicago.Rocking Chair - Brothers of the Ghetto - GhettoThe bits of information that I have on this band are few and far between. The Brothers of the Ghetto marked the first instance of recording, arranging, and performing original music for bass player Sam Cockrell. As far as I'm aware, this 45, on the Ghetto label, is the only recording by the group known as the Brothers of the Ghetto. This is recording is not, however, the only recording by the core group of musicians. Sometime after recording this 45, the group changed their name to Majik and recorded three 45s with Willie Mitchell for the Hi label (including the highly sought dancer "Back into your Heart"). After this time, I have no idea what happened to most of the musicians in the group. What I do know is that Cockrell later went on the record a minor national hit, "Gotta Get Up" with Kevin Bell of Kool and the Gang fame. Since that time, Cockrell has remained musically active, recording and performing with his group The Groove.Today's single, "Rocking Chair", blasts out of the gate with a short, choppy drum break that's guaranteed to get beat nerd ears ringing. Luckily, the short break isn't what makes this track, but rather the full band joining in at a similar raucous pace after only a few bars of open drums to really get things moving. When everything gets going full speed ahead, it's clear that this 45 packs the kind of energy that is guaranteed to get people out of their chairs and onto the dance floor. Clearly, that must have been what the band had in mind, as the vocals serve little purpose beyond describing in detail how to make your body do the "Rocking Chair" (if you listen closely, unlike a lot of other 'dance craze 45s', I think the vocals herein allow for a pretty great mental image of what the guy on stage doing the "Rocking Chair" must have looked like). All in all, this 45 encompasses everything that funk 45 fans look for: a great party single, a killer break, and the relished, yet rarely found energy that truly defines the funk 45.Enjoy, and I'll be back in the next few days with an all-new mix dedicated entirely to an oft-overlooked instrument, the funky flute.[...]

GA's Groove


(image) I've been promising a new mix for sometime and have finally had the opportunity to whip something together. Luckily for the listeners here, my wife actually told me that I should take some time out of this evening to put something together (I secretly think she wanted some Mother's Day alone time with Isabel, which is definitely OK by me), so I gladly present to you...

Trunk of F.U.N.K. vol 016 - GA's Groove

Due to the limited amount of time available tonight, I'm not going to go into details on the individual tracks provided in this mix. Suffice it to say that this mix is a collection of some of my all-time faves on the 45 format, many of which are old hat to seasoned diggers, but great nonetheless.


Title - Artist - Label

House of the Rising Funk - Chubukos - Mainstream
Synthetic Substitution - Melvin Bliss - Contempo
Marvins Groove - B.W. Souls - Round
Expo 83 - Backyard Heavies - Scepter
Ghetto Man - Tony Clarke - Chicory
Let A Woman Be A Woman, Let A Man Be A Man - Dyke & the Blazers - Original Sound
Compin' & Smokin' - Calypso King & the Soul Investigators - Soul Fire
Hot Grits - Elijah & the Ebonies - Capsoul
Shootin' the Grease - Jesse Gresham + 3 - Head
Wasted - The Gaturs - Gatur
Get Down People - Fabulous Counts - Moira

P.S. Thanks to everyone who has sent e-mails as of late, feedback is always appreciated.

Far Out - The Hip Sound


After a bit of a hiatus, I'm back again with a little something different for your listening pleasure...Far Out - The Hip Sound - LimelightThis 45 is another recent addition to my collection, having been acquired during the same bit of Chicago digging as the Stanley Keeble & Voices of Triumph 45 posted a few weeks ago. While working my way through a stack of mostly trash, I came across a white label promo that begged to be placed upon the portable for further inspection*. Within seconds of dropping the needle on the record I heard a rather strange, electronic sound that I was sure I'd heard before. At the time I couldn't place exactly where I had heard this song before, but a quick perusal of the label helped push my further inquisition in the right direction. This particular track is credited to two individuals: musique concrete pioneer Pierre Henry and French composer Michel Colombier, who, as far as I was aware, had only worked together on one project, Maurice Bejart's ballet masterpiece, Messe Pour Le Temps Present**. I know what you're all thinking at this point, "how in the hell does a track off of a 'ballet masterpiece' fit into the Trunk of F.U.N.K.?", well luckily for you, this particular track takes some interesting off-kilter electronics typical of musique concrete pieces and applies them over some fairly standard 'freak-beat' fare, resulting in a great, dance floor-friendly 45.Now back to my quest to figure out where I'd heard this record before. With the bit of insight that Henry and Colombier had only worked together on one occasion fresh in my mind, an important series of events needed to be worked through upon arriving home: get the family settled, grab something to eat, and check out the tracklist from Messe Pour Le Temps Present as soon as possible to determine if "Far Out" is included on the record. After a quick once over of the tracklist, it appeared as though today's selection may have been a similar sounding one-off recorded by Henry and Colombier that hadn't made it onto the record. However, a quick listen of Messe Pour Le Temps Present finally answered my questions once and for all. Today's selection does appear on that LP, although on the LP it is titled "Teen Tonic" and is at a slightly lower BPM. I'm still not sure why this track was re-named "Far Out" for this 45, or why Henry and Colombier chose to work under the moniker of The Hip Sound for this particular record only, so if anyone out there has any additional information, passing it along would be greatly appreciated.Enjoy, and I'll try to be back with a new mix for your listening pleasure in the not too distant future.* Those that occupy their free time, however fleeting it may be, huddled over boxes in the dingy confines of a used record store can appreciate the sense of curiousity evoked by a 45 titled "Far Out" recorded by a group called The Hip Sound.** Fans of Futurama will recognize the opening track off of this record, Psyche Rock, as this song was adapted for the opening credits of the show.** For those curious, Michel Colombier is pictured first and Pierre Henry is pictured second[...]

Masterpiece - Grover Washington, Jr.


(image) (image) I'm going to keep it short and sweet this week, as the job, the lecture I still need to prepare for tomorrow, family affairs, and upcoming travels this weekend are keeping me pretty busy.

Rarely does a song with a title as boastful as 'Masterpiece' live up to the hype. However, when that song happens to be a Norman Whitfield classic that has been 'jazzed up' by a Bob James arrangement, and includes killer players (e.g. Airto, Ron Carter, Richard Tee, and Idris Muhammad), the likelihood of living up to the hype increases significantly. Instead of simply taking my word for it though, why don't you go ahead and judge for yourself...

Masterpiece - Grover Washingon, Jr. - Kudu
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Ultimately, Grover Washington, Jr. is credited alongside artists like George Benson, John Klemmer, and Herb Alpert as being responsible for developing the smooth jazz genre. Prior to helping move jazz to a more radio friendly format though, Washington recorded a handful of records with a much stronger soul-jazz vibe, as exemplified by today's selection. His break into the recording business was an extremely lucky one, resulting from Hank Crawford missing a Kudu records recording session in the early 1970s. Despite only playing in back-up roles prior to this point, Crawford's absence opened a door for Washington in a lead role. The result of the opportunity was Washington's first LP, Inner City Blues, released in 1971 on the Kudu label. Between 1971 and 1976, Washington recorded and released a total of 6 LPs for the Kudu label, with his most significant early commercial success resulting from the release of the album Mister Magic in 1974. After his time recording for Kudu records, Washington's recording career continued at a rather steady pace through the release of his final album, Aria in 2000.

Enjoy, and I'll try to be back in a few days with something new for your listening pleasure.

Can't You Love Him - Rev. Stanley Keeble & The Voices of Triumph


(image) I am by no means a religious person. Unfortunately for my record collection, this choice has left me with a plebian knowledge of gospel music, a member of the musical specturm that often demonstrates serious funk and/or soul tendencies (a fine example: the Good God! collection compiled by the fine folks at the Numero Group a few years back). The addition of funky gospel sides to my record colleciton has been further limited by the lack of "funky tip-offs"* on gospel records. Fortunately, the aquisition of a portable turntable has made it a little bit easier for me to stumble on gospel finds as of late. One such example**, acquired just this last weekend during a dig at one of my favorite spots in Chicago, has been provided for you listening pleasure today...

Can't You Love Him - Rev. Stanley Keeble & The Voices of Triumph - Sounds of Soul

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Stanley Keeble was born in Chicago in 1937. His musical career started in 1952 with the Fellowship Bible Church choir, a group he directed, as well as accompanied on the piano and organ. His career in gospel music was continued through connections with artists like Inez Andrews and Jesse Dixon. In 1968, he decided to start his own gospel choir, The Voices of Triumph***, who back him on today's selection. Although I'm not sure how long the group was active, I do know that he worked with the group through at least 1974, as that is the publishing date stamped on the 45 label. More recently, he is credited with establishing the Chicago Gospel Music Heritage Museum, as well as hosting a weekly radio program on WKKC.

*Examples include, but are not limited to, the word "funky" in the song title or an artist name like, "(insert first name here) and the (insert object here)".

**There's no use in denying that I was initially drawn to this record by the imprint name, Sounds of Soul. Luckily, as has happened a great many times in the past, the imprint name tip-off didn't fail to impress.

***The Voices of Triumph are also featured on the Good God! collection released by Numero Group.

Philly Barracuda pt. 1 - Holly Maxwell


Hello again. Most of the regulars in these parts probably noticed that there wasn't much action around here last week. The onslaught of dirty diapers coupled with getting back to the daily grind full time left me wiped out to the point that it felt like I couldn't keep my thoughts straight, let alone write anything worth reading. Luckily things have been a sailing a bit more smoothly over the last few days, so I figured it was high time to get back here and provide you with a nice slice of dance craze 45 action...Philly Barracuda pt. 1 - Holly Maxwell - Star Interestingly, despite the reference to Philly in the title, this single was actually a Windy City product, as publication and production credits are given to Monk Higgins' Special Agent company, which he started during his time working in Chicago. Higgins, who shares writing credits with Holly Maxwell for this single, was a staple in the Chicago R&B and soul scene throughout the 1960s*. Despite the absence of a date on the 45 label, it's safe to assume that this single was recorded during or before 1969, as Higgins left Chicago for L.A. in that year to begin working with a number of west coast labels, including United Artists. Holly Maxwell was born and raised in Chicago, spending a significant part of her life trying to break into the music scene there. She got her start in the music business singing with the group the Tourjourettes during her high school years. She later attended Chicago Musical College in 1965, where she pursued studies in classical music. Her collegiate career ended early, however, after signing a deal with Constellation records, where she would record two singles that sold well locally, but never really picked up steam regionally or nationally. At least two more singles were recorded for the Star label in the mid- to late-60s, including today's selection. In 1969, Maxwell landed a deal with Curtom records that resulted in the release of one single, while in 1970 she cut a single for Smit-Whit records. With only limited success achieved in Chicago, Maxwell headed west for L.A. sometime in the early 1970s. During her time in L.A. she was managed by Monk Higgins' cousin Barbara Acklin who landed her a gig working with Ike Turner as Tina Turner's fill-in. Holly remained in L.A. until 1985, at which point she relocated back to Chicago. Despite never really amassing a level of critical acclaim in the states, Holly had/has a steady gig at Maxwell's Cafe (which is of no relation to her) in Paris, France.With fingers crossed, but no promises, I hope to be back in a few days with the next volume in the Trunk of F.U.N.K. mix series.*Monk Higgins is also credited with a single entitled "Barracuda" that was recorded by Alvin Cash and the Registers for the Mar-V-Lus label sometime during the 1960s. Despite the similar name, the two singles share very little, if any, musical qualities in common.[...]

Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries


Hello again. Although my time's been pretty well occupied with all things related to caring for a child, it looks like we're starting to develop a bit of a schedule. Luckily for me, the change of pace has afforded a bit of free time to pull out a nice little Latin side for your listening pleasure.Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries - Willie Bobo - VerveA little while back I stumbled across this box set from Verve records that I couldn't reasonably pass up*. A big part of my inability to avoid it's purchase stemmed from the great cover art (see the photograph above). However, what really sealed the deal was a "nice price" opportunity to hone in my knowledge of a jazz percussionist that was effectively unknown to my ears at the time. Luckily for me, this was a wise choice as the set includes five 45s containing tracks from each of Willie's three Verve LPs (Spanish Grease, Uno Dos Tres/1,2,3, and Feelin' So Good). Also included was a one-page info sheet which, aside from giving a fair bit of biographical information, identifies jazz pianist (and digger's dream) Mary Lou Williams as the party responsible for breaking Willie into the scene**. The insert also mentions that after his work with Williams, Willie played with Cal Tjader for 4 years and was a featured player with Tito Puente before deciding to start doing his own thing in 1961. While recording under his own name he released sixteen albums, including a staggering seven LPs for the Verve label between 1965-1968 and the funky classic Do What You Want To Do, Tomorrow Is Here for Sussex in 1971. Unfortunately for the music world, Willie passed away at the age of 49 after complications from illness.Relying only on an echo-ey chorus singing the title over and over, some fairly simple percussion, and a smooth, slinky horn line, Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries burns along at a nice slow pace. In reality, I think it's the simplicity of this song that really makes it so great, as there's no unnecessary filler muddying things up. This track has always been the standout of the box set for me, as it creates a vibe that reminds of warm summer nights. Enjoy, and I'll try to be back in the next few days with something new for your listening pleasure.*This box set is from the "Verve Celebrity Scene" series, which also features boxes from Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery.**I've since read that Willie Bobo (born William Correa) was given the nickname "Bobo" by Mary Lou Williams during his time playing with her.[...]

Get It Together


(image) Hello again. A few weeks back Ava from Jemsite sent me an e-mail asking if I'd be interested in putting together a guest post for her blog. For those not in the know, Jemsite is a community dedicated to guitars, rock and roll, and the music industry as a whole. Her invitation indicated that she was particularly interested in a post on the collaboration between rock and funk. While I wouldn't consider myself foremost expert, I figured I could put something interesting together. So, with notion of the marriage between funk and rock fresh in my mind, I dug through my collection and hand-picked a dozen or so tracks that fall under one of three categories: 1) rock songs influenced by funk, 2) covers of funk songs by rock artists, or 3) covers of rock songs by funk/soul/jazz artists. The result is available on the Jemsite blog by following the link below.

Get It Together - Trunk of F.U.N.K. vol. 015 - Jemsite Guest Mix


Title - Aritst - LP Title (if applicable) - Label

Prelude – The Millenium – Begin – Columbia
Black Dog – Deodato – First Cuckoo – MCA
Train – The Buddy Miles Express – Expressway to Your Skull – Mercury
As I Lay Dying – Melting Pot – Ampex
(I Know) I'm Losing You – Rare Earth – Rare Earth
Funk-In-Wagnall – Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds – Dunhill/ABC
Go On Home – Gee Gee Shin – La Louisianne
Taurus – Dennis Coffey – Goin' For Myself – Sussex
Let A Woman Be A Woman – Roy Head – Same People – Dunhill/ABC
Get It Together – The Grass Roots – Dunhill/ABC
Season of The Witch – Al Kooper, Steven Stills, Mike Bloomfield - Super Session – CBS

(image) And now for some really important news.... I was a bit slow in putting up this post as this has been a huge weekend for myself and my family. My wife and I welcomed our first daughter, Isabel Jane (photo at left), into the world late Friday night. We're finally home again, as mom and baby are both doing quite well (we've all actually had a reasonable amount of sleep over the last few nights, which is a nice surprise). I'd like to say that I hope things won't change too much around here, but there's really no way of knowing how busy the little bugger is going to keep us over the coming weeks. Hopefully I'll be back in a few days with a new single, but until then, enjoy.

The Bushman - The Tenth Dymentions


(image) Hello again. I hope that this last weekend has treated you well, as it did me, instilling a renewed sense of energy to approach the upcoming week with a full head of steam. I've got some huge news on the horizon (more on that in a few days), which, coupled with the time to finally sit back and relax a little bit, has left me feeling a lot better about things on the whole. It was with these feelings of excitement and energy that I chose today's single, a track that storms out of the gate from the first note and doesn't even consider quitting until the final note is played...

The Bushman - The Tenth Dymentions - Sapphire

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We seem to have stumbled upon a trend here in the last few weeks, as this single is yet another example of a side that I've held onto for a bit in the hopes of being able to dig up any relevant information on the group. What I can tell you is that the Tenth Dymentions were a Chicago group, that this single was produced by Joe Savage, an individual with a reasonably long track record in Chicago indie productions in the late 60's and early 70's, and that writing credits on this single are given to Vern Ryan, who is presumably a member of the band. This band may in fact be the same group (or at least similar to) the Fantastic Dimensions who released a Northern mover on the Sapphire label (also credited to Vern Ryan). Other than that, there aren't a whole lot of other specifics out there on the band or the label.

The Bushman, a dance whose steps are not very well explained in vocals, relies on a full horn section that's blasting away throughout most of the song, a choppy guitar line that's really similar to the sound of Alvin Cash's Keep on Dancing, a fairly subtle organ line to round out the sound, and some hand drumming to help set the groove right for getting bodies moving on the dance floor.

Enjoy, and I'll be back in a few days with another guest mix.

Instrumental # One - Richard Terry & Co.


I hope you've been enjoying the guest mix I dropped last week over at This Is Tomorrow. I was definitely pleased to be given the opportunity to contribute to one of my current favorite music blogs. And if you haven't made your way there yet, be sure to stop by, not just for my guest mix, but for all of the other great singles and mixes hosted on the site. With that said, I know I had promised a fresh new single late last week, however, an untimely bout of the flu left me in a wholly unproductive state. In an attempt to make up for the lateness of it's delivery, I've chosen a newly acquired 45 from a powerhouse songwriting duo out of Chicago that will definitely be in heavy rotation over the coming months...Instrumental # One - Richard Terry & Co. - NickelMy first glance of the artist name listed on the 45 left me confused, as I was not familiar with an artist by the name of Richard Terry out of Chicago. However, taking a closer look at the writing credits cleared things up immediately. Instead of Richard Terry & Co., the artist name should have read Richard, Terry & Co., as Richard is none other than Richard Pegue (a prominent Chicago DJ and songwriter whose been in the business since the early 1960's*), while Terry is Terry Thompson (Pegue's long-time songwriting partner). Over the course of his career, Richard Pegue has worked at the Toddlin Town', Met, Nickel, Penny and TwiNight labels, among others where he wrote songs not only for himself, but also for The Perfections and Ronaldo Domingo. The songwriting duo of Pegue and Thompson was featured previously in the Windy City Workout mix, as the duo is credited with writing the Brothers and Sisters track, Nobody is Gonna Turn Us 'Round on the Toddlin' Town label. Aside from his work with Pegue, I haven't been able to dig up too much information on Terry Thompson. Additionally, I unfortunately still don't know who is involved in the Co. credited on this record as there isn't a ton of information out there on this particular side**.*As far as I know, Richard Pegue is still hosting a radio show on Saturday nights on Chicago's WKKC 89.3 fm**The flip to this single is the very soulful I've Got To Find A Way by the Hallelujah Chorus.[...]

Can I Get A Witness?


A few weeks back, Mike over at This Is Tomorrow got in touch with me to see if I'd be interested in putting together a guest mix for his blog. For those that don't head over there regularly, he does some mighty fine work covering all things funk, soul, and hip hop, so with little hesitation I whipped together a handful of current favorites...

Can I Get A Witness? - Trunk of F.U.N.K. vol 014. - Guest Mix for This Is Tomorrow


Title - Artist - Label

Gossip – Cyril Neville – Josie
Free Your Mind – The Politicians – Hot Wax
What Can You Bring Me – Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – WB
Razor Blade – Little Royal and the Swingmasters – Tri Us
(Do The) Hot Pants – Mr. Jim and the Rhythm Machine – Wizdom
Jukebox – Fried Chicken – Stone
Football – Mickey and the Soul Generation – Maxwell
Family Affair – The Family – North Bay
Will You Be Ready – Samson & Delilah – ABC
Something or Other – Richard's People – Tuba
Can I Get A Witness? – Barbara Randolph – SOUL
Fight Fire With Fire – Delia Gartrell – Right-On
Who's the King? (You Know That's Me) – Joseph Henry – Daptone
(I've Got) So Much Trouble On My Mind – Sir Joe and Free Soul – Mantis
Here's Some Dances – The Eight Minutes – Jay Pee

Enjoy, and I'll be back later in the week with a new single.

A House by the Side of the Road - Lee Martell


(image) Up this week is another single out of Nashville, Tennessee...

A House By The Side Of The Road - Lee Martell - Renegade

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Much like Eddie Mobley last week, there isn't a whole lot of information available on Lee Martell (a.k.a. Lee Bynem). What I do know is that he recorded two very soulful 45s for the Renegade label under the name Martell, A House By The Side of the Road* (1970) and A Good Woman (1971) as well as one 45 under the name Bynem for the True label, Two Warm Bodies. As a whole, the Renegade label only released four 45s in all, the two credited to Martell listed previously, one from Lattimore Brown that is supposedly relatively easy to score, and one from Jimmie Baker that's considered to be fairly rare. The soulful nature of the Renegade 45s is somewhat surprising based on the label credentials, as the label was run by Chuck Chellman, a Nashville-area country music promoter and producer (who is also credited with starting the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame in 1974).

*While Bynem is credited with writing his later Renegade single, A Good Woman, today's selection is credited to Gloria Shayne and Pearl Bender. I haven't been able to dig anything up on Pearl Bender. What is still leaving my curious is if the Gloria Shayne credited with writing today's single is the same woman credited with the Christmas classic, Do You Hear What I Hear?

P.S. For more Renegade records coverage, head over to Sir Shambling's Deep Soul Heaven

Stick It In Your Ear Hole - Eddie Mobley


(image) Well, here we are, back again with an all-new single for your listening pleasure...

Stick It In Your Ear Hole - Eddie Mobley - Sound Plus

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I picked this record up a fair bit ago, but have waited on adding it to the old blog in an attempt to find any relevant information on the artist. However, a good deal of searching using the traditional avenues has yielded nothing pertinent to date*. The little bit I can provide you with is taken directly from the 45 label. Of note, the song is credited to a fellow by the name of Robert S. Riley, Sr.; Sound Plus is the product of JR Enterprises of Nashville, Tennessee, so presumably, Eddie Mobley was from the greater Nashville area; and the record was distributed by T-K productions of Court Hialeah, Florida (the T-K label was home to K.C. and the Sunshine Band, among many others). Like a good bit of the other work on T-K, this track has a refined sound thats not quite disco (maybe more appropriately classified as "pre-disco"?) with a fair amount of hand drumming and heavy brass worked into the mix to give a really full sound.

*If anyone out there has any additional information, it would be appreciated if you could pass it along.

From The Jazz Stacks


Another few weeks have passed, which means it's time for another mix. With the current schedule of a new mix every ~2 weeks (sometimes needing an extra week to tend to real-world moves), reaching number 13 means that I've been doing this for just over half a year. I'm always amazed at how quickly time seems to pass by lately, but I guess that's just a sign of growing up and taking on new responsibilities. Regardless of how quickly it's come and gone, these last 6 months have been pretty great (both in real life and at this here blog, where I've learned a lot, while also making some new e-quaintances), and it was this rare feeling of positivity that initiated the concept of today's mix...

(image) From The Jazz Stacks - Trunk of F.U.N.K. vol 013

Title - Artist - Label

Hip Walk - Cal Tjader - Verve
Soul Power - Richard "Groove" Holmes - Prestige
Grazing In The Grass - Hugh Masekela - Uni
Groove Grease - Jimmy McGriff - Groove Merchant
Them Changes - Ramsey Lewis and Co. - Cadet
BO Ghana - Lonnell Dantzler - Met
Booty Butt - The Ray Charles Orchestra - Tangerine
Soulful Strut - Young-Holt Unlimited - Brunswick
Express Yourself - Idris Muhammad - Prestige

Enjoy, and I'll be back in a few days with a new single for your listening pleasure.

Save That Thing - Rimshots


Here we are, back with the first post of the new year. Hopefully things have been as good on your end as they have been here at the Trunk of F.U.N.K. compound. Back around Christmas (if you can remember back that far...), I provided an example of a house band, Motown's Funk Brothers to be exact, stepping out on their own to record a fantastic little slice of funk. More recently, when going through the records to be blogged pile, I realized that I had another great side that was the product of a similar situation...Save That Thing - Rimshots - A-1In the 1970's, The Rimshots worked alongside Wood, Brass and Steel as the house band for Sylvia and Joe Robinson's family of labels, including Stang, All Platinum, and Vibration. During this time, the Rimshots backed artists like Hank Ballard, Brook Benton, and Chuck Jackson, as well as also being credited with providing the music for the great disco-funk collaboration, Girls, recorded by the Moments and Whatnauts. When the Robinson family of labels started moving towards the more refined disco sound, the Rimshots started recording funkier material under their own name. In 1972, the group released an LP, Soul Train, as well as two singles, today's selection and Soul Train pt. 1&2. Some readers may be familiar with the Rimshots song, Soul Train pt. 1&2, which served as the theme song to the TV show of the same name somewhere in between the versions provided by The Ramrods, Blue Mink and MFSB. Later in the decade, the Rimshots recorded an additional staple of non-LP singles, such as Dance Girl, and Who's Got the Monster, before firmly planting themselves in the disco-sound in 1976 with a series of singles that included, Super Disco and We've Got You Singing.Today's selection starts off with some heavy electric piano work from keyboardist Bernadette Randle, which prompts the vocalist to ask the question, "Ain't it funky now?". The answer to this question is a resounding YES, as the whole band comes in chugging along in a groove much like that of the Isley Brothers classic with a strangely similar name. Things then cool down a bit to open up room for additional electric piano work from Randle and a wailing saxophone from an unknown player, until the groove is finally resolidified by the rest of the group and carried out through the end of the side.Enjoy this single over the rest of the week, and be sure to check back in this weekend, as I'll have an all-new mix available for your listening pleasure.[...]

Cracker Jack - Mickey and His Mice


(image) This week's single is one of many finds from last Sunday at the Milwaukee record show. Luckily for me, a pretty good turn out dealer-wise led to the pick up of a good number of great sides that will be making an appearance here one way or another over the next few months. This week's single comes to us from a small label (I'm only aware of 3 releases) out of Baltimore, Maryland...

Cracker Jack - Mickey and His Mice - Marti

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"Mickey" is actually the prominent Baltimore jazz tenor player Wilfred "Mickey" Fields, who is featured prominently wailing away throughout the track. Aside from "Mickey", I don't know who any of the other players on this record are. What I do know is that this song was arranged by Eddie Drennon*, who presumably is the same Eddie Drennon as that of Eddie Drennon & BBS Unlimited, the D.C. group responsible for the disco hit, Let's Do The Latin Hustle. Aside from today's selection, Mickey and His Mice also recorded for the Bell and Samar labels.

*Drennon is credited alongside "Mickey" and the record producer M. Cantine with writing the song

Enjoy the new year, and be sure to check back in next week for a new single and mix.

Xmas Twist - Twistin' Kings


(image) (image) Well, it's the first Christmas here at Trunk of F.U.N.K., so I figured I'd spread a little holiday cheer with an appropriately themed 45...

Xmas Twist - Twistin' Kings - Motown

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Very early on in the Motown records days, a little group known as The Twistin' Kings recorded two 45s that, White House Twist b/w today's selection and Congo Twist pts 1/2 (both obvious attempts to cash in on the current twist craze). Despite only having a short recording career as the Twistin' Kings (and subsequently one LP as Earl Van Dyke and the Soul Brothers), the group actually had a huge hand in great number of Motown singles, as The Twistin' Kings are actually the Funk Brothers, the Motown house band. Outside of the players, very little seems to be known about the specifics of this record, with one looming question being who the vocalists are. If anyone has any additional information, it would be greatly appreciated if you could pass it on.

Cultivating Classics


With a number of holidays fast approaching here in the states, I figured it was only appropriate to provide you all with a little gift of my own…Trunk of F.U.N.K. vol. 012 – Cultivating ClassicsTracklistArtist – Song – LabelSyl Johnson – Is It Because I’m Black – TwinightFirst Natural Hair Band – Ripped Open By Metal Explosions – United ArtstsQuincy Jones – Summer In The City – A&M RecordsWar – Magic Mountain – MGMLinda Lyndell – What A Man – StaxJimmy ‘Bo’ Horne – Let Me Be Your Lover – Sunshine SoundJames Brown – Funky President – PolydorRufus Thomas – Do The Funky Penguin, Pt. 1 – StaxCymande – Brothers On The Slide – JanusMonk Higgins and the Specialties – Big Water Bed – United Artists A quick perusal of today’s tracklist is probably all that is necessary to figure out the underlying connection of each of these tracks. For those not readily making the connection, today’s mix starts with Syl Johnson’s classic race relations anthem, Is It Because I’m Black, which has been sampled a boat-load of times, but was used most notably for the Wu-Tang Clan’s, Hollow Bones. Following up is The First Natural Hair Band, a musical project headed by Hair composer Galt Macdermot, with Ripped Open By Metal Explosions, used most appropriately for the Artifacts track, C’mon Wit Da Get Down. Next on the list is one of my all-time favorite electric piano sides, Summer in the City, from none other than Quincy Jones, which was sampled for The Pharcyde’s, Passin’ Me By, off of their album, Bizarre Ride II. The pace then picks up a bit with Magic Mountain by War, the intro to which later served as the basis for De La Soul’s, Potholes in my Lawn. Lynda Lyndell then follows things up with a little tune about the greatness of the man in her life, What A Man, which is one of those tracks with a sample that’s easily recognized from the very first note by just about anyone who listens to it. Up next is a tune with a sample that I recognized almost immediately upon putting the needle to the wax, however, I couldn’t quite put my finger on the exact tune that used it quite so easily. A quick bit of Google searching informed me that the track I was listening to, Let Me Be Your Lover by Jimmy ‘Bo’ Horne later re-emerged as the backing track to Stereo MC’s, Connected, a song I was only previously familiar with from radio play, which is probably why it didn’t jump to mind right away. The Godfather of Soul and the Crown Prince of Dance then serve up two classic breaks back to back, which have been used so many times that there’s hardly a point in putting together a list. The mix then moves to a song that is most likely the least recognizable sample of the bunch, as it was recently chopped up by MF Doom as the basis for John Robinson’s, The Replenish. The mix then closes out with a Monk Higgins and the Specialties classic, Big Water Bed, which provided the horn sample for Big Daddy Kane’s, Ain’t No Half Steppin’. Hopefully this mix suits your fancy and provides some solid listening enjoyment over the course of the upcoming weeks. I’ll be back early next week with an all-new single, so be sure to check back in.[...]

Boogalo-Tramp - A.C. Reed


Welcome back, listeners.Hopefully things are well on your end. After a few hectic weeks in a row, there's finally been some good news at the Trunk of F.U.N.K. compound. Luckily for me, good news typically allows for some free time, which was aptly spent this last weekend getting in some digging at a spot I'd only been to once before. While browsing through boxes and boxes of uninteresting 45's, I stumbled across this little nugget, which caught my eye almost immediately due to the interesting label design and name of today's selection...Boogaloo-Tramp - A.C. Reed - NikeA.C. Reed (birthname: Aaron Corthen) was a blues saxophonist working out of Chicago from the 1940's through the early 2000's. Born in Missouri, Reed moved to Chicago during World War II and got his start in the music business shortly thereafter playing for the likes of Earl Hooker and Willie Mabon. Throughout the 1960's Reed recorded singles for a number of small Chicago labels, including the Nike label, the home of today's selection. In the late 1960's, Reed joined Buddy Guy's band, during which time he went on tour with Guy, Junior Wells and the Rolling Stones. He later formed his own band, The Sparkplugs, and continued writing and performing music until he passed away in 2004. The Nike* record label was started in Chicago in 1961, by Charles Colbert, Sr. as a means to release a single recently recorded by The Daylighters, his son's band, after the group had been dropped by Talty. The label was reorganized in 1962, resulting in the formation of two new subsidiaries, TipTop and Jive. Over the course of it's existence, the Nike record label was primarily home to DooWop groups, however, today's selection would defnitely not fall into that category. Writing for today's selection is credited to Corthen, a individual by the name of Neal (who I can't find any relevant information on), and Tony Gideon, a founding member of the Daylighters. Today's selection was recorded in 1966. The track opens with drums and a twangy blues guitar not unlike Lowell Fulsom's version of Tramp, is quickly filled out with some backing horns for a few bars, and finally capped off with Reed's saxophone, introduced immediately after the title of the song is yelled out. *The letter I in Nike represented by a missile on the label is most likely a reference to the Nike missile sites in the land around Chicago.Be sure to check back in on Friday, as an all-new mix will be ready to get your weekend started off right.[...]

African Walk - Oliver Sain


Today’s selection is one of the 45’s I picked up during my last visit to Chicago a few weeks back…African Walk - Oliver Sain - VanessaBorn in Mississippi in the early 1930’s, Oliver Sain relocated to St. Louis, Missouri in the late 1950’s, only after a military stint in Korea and a short-lived musical career in Chicago playing behind a number of big names. The choice of St. Louis was a wise one for a man so heavily rooted in the blues (he’s from Mississippi, after all), as Sain would quickly emerge as a prominent saxophonist, releasing recordings for a number of different Midwest imprints, including Bobbin and Vanessa. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of information out there on either of these imprints. Of the few details available for these imprints, it has been noted that the group led by Sain on his Bobbin imprint recordings featured future soul greats Fontella Bass (featured in the most recent Trunk of F.U.N.K. mix) and Little Milton. As these recordings are some of the earliest in the careers of both Milton and Bass, Sain is often credited with “discovering” these artists. Additionally, Sain is given responsibility for kick-starting the career of Bobby McClure, a northern soul singer who would record at least one 45 for Sain’s own Vanessa imprint, I Got A Good Woman, before moving to Chess records out of Chicago. Later in his career, Sain would release a string of recordings for the Abet imprint, including the fantastically funky, Saint Louis Breakdown, as well as a number of sides aimed at the emerging disco craze, like Booty Bumpin’, Bus Stop (previously featured at FleaMarketFunk), Party Hearty, She’s a Disco Queen, and B-OO-G-IE. Today’s selection, released on the Vanessa imprint, is one of Sain’s funkier outputs. The song features his saxophone prominently wailing away over tightly snapping backing drums and a twang-y, funky, blues guitar line that really helps move things along at a great pace.Enjoy this tune for now, and be sure to check back in next week, as there’ll be a new single and mix available for your listening pleasure.[...]

Don't Touch That Dial


Well ladies and gentlemen, here it is, the next installment in the Trunk of F.U.N.K. mix series. In a slight change of pace from the first ten mixes that have appeared here, I’ve whipped together a little something for all the soulies (as well as the regulars who don’t fancy themselves the soulie-type). Looking over the course of mixes here, it’s pretty obvious that the soul end of the spectrum has been pretty well overlooked to date, so I figured now to be as good a time as any to remedy that situation. I’m gonna keep things short and sweet this time around, that is, no back-story on the particular artists or singles, as things are still pretty hectic at the Trunk of F.U.N.K. compound. So, without further ado, I bring you…

Don’t Touch That Dial – Trunk of F.U.N.K. vol 011


Song – Artist – Label

S.O.S. (Stop Her On Sight) – Edwin Starr – Ric-Tic
I Want My Baby Back – Tyrone Ashley and the Funky Music Machine – Phil-LA
There Oughta Be A Law – Joe Hinton – Backbeat
What Kind of Fool (Do You Think I Am) – Bill Deal and the Rhondels – Heritage
I Can’t Rest – Fontella Bass – Checker
Tell Mama – Etta James – Cadet
I’m Not Tired Yet – Jay Jay Taylor – Dynamite
I’ve Got To Get Over – Syl Johnson – TMP-Ting
Mr. Pitiful – Otis Redding – Volt
Truer Words Were Never Spoken – Chris Bartley – Vando
We Gotta Make Up – Spencer Wiggins – Goldwax

I hope you dig the sounds, and be sure to tune in early next week for the next installment in the Trunk of F.U.N.K. singles series.

Stop Sneaking Around - Brenda and the Tabulations


Well, hello again regular visitors. It's been quite some time since I last posted anything, but don't worry, now that things are back in order at the Trunk of F.U.N.K. compound, I should be at this on the regular again for at least the next few months. All aspects of my life, both personal and work-related, have been beyond hectic lately. In particular, my hard drive failed a little over a week ago, leaving me without a home computer for a bit and making it impossible to put anything up here. Luckily, nothing of significance was lost with the untimely demise of the hard drive, as I've learned my lesson in the past. This unfortunate event, mind you, was coupled with 80+ hour work weeks that made it even less possible to put anything up here. Taken together with some major personal life events that I'm not going to get into here, things have been pretty poor lately. Luckily, last weekend was a long holiday here in the states, so I got to head down to Chicago to see some family and friends that have been sorely missed (as well as getting in some great digging at a new spot and a pretty alright set at a party on Saturday night).So, to get things back in working order around here, I figured I'd send out a good bit of sister soul from the city of brotherly love...Stop Sneaking Around - Brenda and the Tabulations - Top and BottomA fluke of quite serendipitous sorts is the easiest way to describe the early incarnation of Brenda and the Tabulations. During the summer of 1966, two teenagers, Brenda Payton and Maurice Coates, were working a summer job at a children's park. They decided it would be fun to practice a few popular numbers that they could peform for the kids at work one day. Luckily for them, as they were performing the newly learned numbers, the wife of a prominent Philly radio jock and owner of a couple of Philly record labels, Gilda Woods, drove past and liked what she heard. She approached the duo and asked if they had any original material, to which Coates responded that they did, prompting the duo to put together the future hit, Dry Your Eyes, at the ripe old age of 15 or 16. The original incarnation of the group (featured in today's selection) assembled for this recording consisted of Brenda Payton as the lead with Eddie Jackson, Maurice Coates, and Jerry Jones providing backing harmony vocals. This group lasted until 1971, at which point the guys parted ways with Payton. Payton didn't call it quits, however, chosing to be replace the men with the female backing vocalists Pat Mercer and Deborah Martin. During the decade-long existence of Brenda and the Tabulations, three albums and a number of singles were recorded for the labels Dionn and Top & Bottom, both of which were run by Gilda Woods. Today's selection was written by Maurice Coates and Brenda Payton, with arrangements prepared by Sam Reed.I should also mention that a few months back, I posted a single from a Philly group, The Broad Street Gang, despite having little/no information on the group. A few weeks back, the brother of the bass player sent me an e-mail with the following information: The bass player on this particular track is my brother "James Alexander Fox" (a stage name). Chester Greere, Mitch AKA Mitchell Rowe, and the brother of the bass player were present during recording of several of the tracks for the LP.Additionally, I've heard a bit of speculation on the group Lunar Funk, who[...]