Memphis 60: Soul, R&B and Pronto Funk from Soul City USA

Memphis 60: Soul, R&B and Pronto Funk from Soul City USA


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The concept behind this 20-track compilation of Memphis soul, blues, and R&B from the 1960s is a little vague around the edges. Basically the idea seems to be to compile some of the best such material that's both raw and rare, taken from the vaults of a bunch of Memphis labels. That includes not just Stax (which is well represented), but also smaller imprints, including the Goldwax and XL labels, both of which have cults among collectors. The Memphis 60 title is pretty awkward too. But the quality of the music counts more than being able to neatly classify and file it, and on that score, this is a pretty good anthology, though not one that's a starter Memphis '60s best-of due to the absence of big hits or star artists. Spencer Wiggins, Barbara & the Browns, Ruby Johnson, the gospel group the Dixie Nightingales, and Isaac Hayes (on the rare 1965 single "Blue Groove" by Sir Isaac & the Doo-Dads) all have some name recognition, and the original version of Willie Cobbs' blues standard "You Don't Love Me" is a highlight, but otherwise it's doubtful even big Memphis '60s soul collectors have much of this. The material tends toward the bluesier end of the Memphis R&B/soul scene, and while the grooves and the performances are more impressive than the material, it's a good cross-section of the style at its swampiest and funkiest. There are some near-gems in Prince Conley's brooding "I'm Going Home"; the Dixie Nightingales' spooky "Assassination," about the killing of president John F. Kennedy; and the Cobras' instrumental "Restless," which is like a very unrefined Booker T. & the MG's. Too, Junior Kimbrough (who became far more famous about 25 years later) is represented by his rare, and very gutbucket, 1967 cover of Lowell Fulsom's "Tramp." There's no sense in getting hot and bothered about the fuzziness of the CD's focus when the music is good, and this is recommended to soul fans looking for something different on a well-annotated compilation where rarity and quality aren't mutually exclusive.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/09/2009
Label: Beat Goes Public Bgp
UPC: 0029667520126
catalogNumber: 201
Rank: 87582

Album Credits

Technical Credits

Willie Cobbs   Composer
Lowell Fulson   Composer
Eddie Kirkland   Composer
Jimmy McCracklin   Composer
Sam Cooke   Composer
Steve Cropper   Composer
Charlie Feathers   Composer
John Lennon   Composer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Doug Sahm   Composer
Carmol Taylor   Composer
John Russell   Composer
Roger Armstrong   Memorabilia
Charles "Packy" Axton   Composer
Homer Banks   Composer
Quinton Claunch   Composer,Photo Courtesy
Donald "Duck" Dunn   Composer
Isaac Hayes   Composer
George Hudson   Composer
Booker T. Jones   Composer
David Porter   Composer
Tony Rounce   Memorabilia,Photo Courtesy
Dean Rudland   Memorabilia,Sleeve Notes
Ollie Hoskins   Composer
Peter Gibbon   Memorabilia
Larry Chambers   Composer
Prince Conley   Composer
Johnny Keyes   Composer
Brian Nevill   Cover Photo
Raymond Moore   Composer
Jimmy Johnson   Composer
Betty Prudhomme   Composer
Beverly Prudhomme   Composer
Percy Welch   Composer

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