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Soul Detective Burning Questions

Updated: 2017-08-05T06:14:59.133-07:00




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Question Four - Joni Wilson


Ok folks, this one's been on the back burner here for a while... Soul Detective Marc from Belgium contacted me a while back with this:"I'm in touch with former Soul singer Tommie Young (nowadays Tommye Young-West)... I found this ad for 'No Explanation' by Tommy (yes, with a Y at the end) Young in Billboard (21 November 1970). Tommye doesn't remember that song, however she recognizes her picture in the advert. I'm trying to find out if some 'Pompei' 45's on 'Tommy Young' were ever issued (titles and issue numbers and more). I wonder if you would be so kind to help us with our enquiries. Any info is really appreciated."Yes, as we've talked about in the past, the fact that almost every issue of Billboard is now part of the searchable database at Google Books is truly amazing, and provides an invaluable window into the week-to-week goings on in the record business back in the day. The issue in question, from 11/21/70, included a 'Spotlight On Texas' section, and an outfit called Pompeii Records from Dallas was all over it. They were featured in a full page profile, and bought up a bunch of ad space in addition to the 'Tommy Young' ad above.Founded in 1968 by a nightclub owner and entrepreneur named Pat Morgan, Pompeii was nothing if not ambitious. After merging with something called 'Computer Systems Management', Morgan soon had his own record pressing plant, and created subsidiary labels Vesuvius and Turtle Creek. His bread and butter was apparently in High School 'athletic albums' and 'a series of patriotic records'. The 'executive producer for the R&B division of Pompeii records and publishing' (and only black person in the room in the staff photo at left) was named Paul Kirk.A quick look at the listing for Pompeii over at the Texas Soul Recordings site reveals no sign of 'No Explanation', nor any other release by 'Tommy' Young. Hmm...Tommie Young, on the other hand, was born and raised in Dallas, the daughter of a Superintendent and Bishop in the Dallas/Mid-Cities District Church of God in Christ. According to soulwalking, she "started singing in her fathers’ (Bishop T. L. Young) church, at the age of five years. Since an adolescent, she has worked and performed nationally in the Church..."When local Dallas label Jet Star folded in 1970, Bobby Patterson signed with Stan Lewis in Shreveport, Louisiana. In addition to continuing to record his own great records on Paula, he served as an in-house A&R director, songwriter and producer for Stan's growing roster of artists. In 1972, Patterson worked out a deal with Lewis which gave him and his songwriting partner Jerry Strickland half interest in (and full creative control of) his own label, Soul Power. After cutting records on Louisiana natives Shay Holiday, George Perkins and the African Music Machine, Bobby was on the lookout for some new talent for the label.As he told David Cole (in In The Basement #56), "...when I found Tommie Young, I was doing an album on myself and I heard Tommie singing in The Flying Fox Club [in Dallas] one night and I said, 'I'm going to make you a star' because she had a natural ability, like Aretha Franklin. She was just a natural... I said, 'I'm going to cut a record on you' and, two weeks later, I came back with the track for 'That's How Strong My Love Is'... we did a moderate number of records on that."Her second 45 for the label was featured over on good ol' detective Dan Phillips' Home of the Groove way back in 2005, where he had this to say:SOUL POWER 112 B src="" height="20" width="106" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">Everybody's Got A Little Devil In Their SoulMy kind of stuff, this one just lays me out... Joni's slow burn delivery is simply top shelf. You mean you're not familiar with Joni Wilson? Well, join the club! In the accompanying post, Darcy said; "Nearly two years after my original post on Joni Wilson and I have st[...]

QUESTION THREE - The Ideals featuring Tim Maia?


LATEST UPDATE: 12/18/07Hi Red,I'm a huge fan of Brazilian soul music (yes, it does exist with quite a catalogue to support the claim too) and the giant in this field is known as Tim Maia. He spent several years in the U.S. before returning to Brazil and launching his career in earnest. During this time in the states he sang with a couple of vocal groups. This was the early 1960s. He claims to have founded a multi-racial group called "The Ideals" during this time, either living in Tarrytown, NY or maybe even NYC. He claims to have recorded a song he later re-recorded in Brazil, called "New Love."I have never found anything to confirm the existence of this record other than Tim Maia's insistence that he recorded it during his time in the US. He is also known for saying, "I don't burn, I don't snort, and I don't drink. My only problem is that sometimes I lie a little." (Often said with a joint in hand)The style of the group was probably Doo-wop and Tim may or may not have sung lead with his deep voice and possible portuguese accent.There is a Tim Maia compilation coming out on Luaka Bop next year that I helped work on. See it here: www.timmaia.comThanks,AllenOK, detectives, you really have to check out the Tim Maia story...This guy was indeed larger than life, and personally responsible for importing real soul music to Brazil. He was also an absolute trip! The Ideals 45 is kind of like a 'holy grail' to fans of this music... let's see what we can find out!11/9/07OK folks, we've had some input here (although some of it is in Portugese), and it looks like Tim's son Carmelo will be joining us in our quest. In the meantime, Allen Thayer (the guy who started us on all of this) has submitted the Brazilian remake Maia did of the Ideals' song back in 1973: src="" height="20" width="106" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">New LoveAs Allen said, "it's not my favorite song of Tim's," but maybe it will jog somebody's memory. Taken from Maia's fourth solo LP, it's got this whole lounge thing happening... break out the Caipirinhas, baby! I'll tell ya, this whole inquiry has been an eye opener for me. I had read Allen's article 'Black Rio' in Waxpoetics back in April of last year, but never really dug any deeper than that. This is getting interesting! Be sure to check out Soul Spectrum, 'the Ambassador's' new Brazilian Soul site where he's 'cross-posted' our investigation.It's all good.12/18/07OK folks, I'm not sure if you've been following the 'comments' here, but there's been a major breakthrough in this case. As reported by Allen over on Soul Spectrum, he was able to track down the co-writer of 'New Love' (and original member of The Ideals), Roger Bruno, through the (continually amazing) internet..."Hello Intrepid Investigators - I met with Roger Bruno and his lovely partner Ellen in Tarrytown last night and talked with them for an hour and a half about Tim Maia. There's a lot to share here, but I don't have my notes in front of me and the best stuff is still yet to come. But let me share with you that indeed a recording exists of "New Love" but its an acetate in the possession of a past girlfriend of Roger's. The song was never released commercially. The Ideals were planning on shopping it around to different labels, but Tim got arrested and deported before they had a chance! Roger confirmed that the famous Brazilian drummer Milton Banana played on the session as did well-known jazz and rock bassist Don Payne (look him up). Roger said that this song was an attempt to get in with the then burgeoning appreciation for Brazilian Bossa Nova, but fused with a soul vocal harmony sound. He's in the process of tracking down the acetate and he'll get me a copy as soon as he is able...."How cool is that? I can't wait to hear the record!In the meantime, you can check out the full details of their meeting a[...]

QUESTION TWO - Randy & The Soul Survivors



Hi. My name is Brian Toscano.

I am trying to find out more about an R&B singer named Randy Madison. In the 1960's, Randy worked in Boston and led a band in 1965/1966 called Randy And The Soul Survivors.

The band was made up of local Boston musicians who were going to Berklee College Of Music at the time. The band included saxophonist Jack Schroer (1944-1995) and bassist John Klingberg (also deceased), who are both best known for playing in Van Morrison's band in the late 1960's/early 1970's.

At the time of the Soul Survivors, John Klingberg was playing trumpet. Besides him and Jack, the band also included Steve Hall (guitar), Al Leto (bass), and Tom Hall (drums)

Tom Hall left The Soul Survivors shortly after the band formed and moved to Florida. Drummer Jim 'Bat' Kaddy, a friend of Jack Schroer and John Klingberg, was his replacement.

Randy And The Soul Survivors played James Brown and Otis Redding covers. They played at such venues as Izzy Ort's Golden Nugget Bar, which was located in a part of Boston known as 'The Combat Zone.'

Guitarist Steve Hall remembers Randy as being a great leader. When speaking to me about Randy, Steve said...

'Randy Madison was extremely organized, knew what he wanted to accomplish and knew how to get others to pull towards the same goal. He would lead the rehearsals and sing everybody's part to them. He was a very good intuitive musician. I learned a lot from him.'

Randy And The Soul Survivors never recorded, but Steve Hall said that Randy was working with a musician/producer named Teddy on a project that was completely separate from The Soul Survivors.

Teddy had an office near the Boston Commons and sang with a large group that had 4 vocalists, hammond organ, guitar, drums, etc. This group played regularly at Hurley's in Revere Beach.

Steve Hall says Randy didn't say much about the project with Teddy, but recordings might have been made, or there might have been rehearsals for recordings. I don't know if anything ever came of Randy and Teddy's partnership.

No one seems to know whatever happened to Randy Madison. If anyone reading this knew, or knows anything about, Randy Madison, please leave a message at Soul Detective. I want to find out anything I can about Randy, and any help you can offer would be very appreciated.


Question One: Toussaint in 1953?


LATEST UPDATE: 12/18/07OK -Detective Tim G. of New Orleans wrote me with this thorny dilemma:"Great blog! I just happened across it while trying to research a 1953-ish B-side of my father's creation that Allen Toussaint did the A-side for. The record, sadly, was lost years ago, and my dad (who's about to turn 80) has been pining to hear it again since I was little. I'm an Internet search maven, and *nothing* has turned up through traditional channels, and judging from your own blog, few people even realize Toussaint pressed recordings (on the "Mallory" label, my father says) prior to the 1960's. This is a long shot, but is there any chance you have access to resources that we mere mortals don't? I'm trying to do this research in my spare time, and only have these specifics to go by: Year: circa 1952-1953A-Side: Toussaint ( et al ) "All These Things (You Do That Make You Mine)" [title not precise]B-Side: The Four Sharps "Seeing is Believing"Publisher: MalloryFormat: 45 RPM I've found plenty of "Four Sharps", none of whom seem to resemble the group in question, and I've found virtually zero leads on any "Mallory" publishing (except a modern-day one in Nashville). Allen Toussaint himself recently told a friend of my father's that he recalls the album in question, so I should probably follow up on that angle and see if "anybody knows anybody with a copy" etc. But, for now, since I see only dead ends before me, it made sense to drop you a line. Clues, please? :-)"To which I (rather arrogantly) replied:"Tim -That certainly opens a can of worms!Allen Toussaint is currently 69 years old, which would put his birthday in January of 1938. In 1952, he would have been 14. I only point this out, as the dates you're looking for seem to be off by about a decade... maybe that will help.As far as I know, "All These Things" was first released on INSTANT 3246 - ART NEVILLE - All These Things / Come Back Love in 1962.At that time, Toussaint was using the 'pen-name' of "Naomi Neville", which was his mother's maiden name.The original publishing was held by a company called "Tune-Kel" that was set up by Instant/Minit label owner Joe Banashak... according to BMI, it is now owned by 'Screen Gems-EMI Music Inc.'All These Things was a big regional hit, and was covered by a whole bunch of folks in the area, becoming an obligatory number at any club date, as 'the slow-dance'.I DID, however find this listing on BMI:MALLORY MUSIC PUBLICATIONSCAE/IPI #: 19268377Phone:(205) 234-2173Contact:MALLORY MUSICPUBLICATIONS C/O MELVIN A MALLORY AND MARGOT MALLORY HENSON 111 CACTUS DRIVE BOURG, LA 70343-362Maybe that's the lead you need, brother!Good Luck!"Well, Tim got back to me and:"Hi Red, And many, many thanks for the info you provided. The net result was my father called and spoke with Mel Mallory (Jr.) about the pressing in hopes of further leads turning up. Let's hope a copy survives somewhere! After confirming with my father, I can assure you that 1953 is the correct year. He recalls Toussaint already being a known entity, even if he was only 14. Furthermore, the Korean War interceded, marking Dad's memory indelibly of the occasion. What's more, my mother recalls clearly that he had the album in hand when they married just a few years later. Check the Wikipedia page for Snooks Eaglin, and you will note that the two artists comprised the group The Flamingoes, which Toussaint began in 1952 (at age 13). I've yet to discover whether the A-side recording would've been under this monicker (but that would make sense), nor whether Snooks might've participated at all. Just think: Such a recording would be precious to any collector now! My father has been lamenting for years its loss, and I'm beginning to understand why now." There you have it, detectives. Anybody ever hear of the New Orleans version of The Four Sharps? Is it possible that Toussaint may have recorded much earlier than previously thought (currently, I believe the legendary 19[...]



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