Vintage Ads: Chubby Checker, ‘Reggae My Way’ (1973)

Chubby Checker, 'Reggae My Way' ('Cashbox' magazine, July 14, 1973). Click to enlarge.

Chubby Checker, ‘Reggae My Way’ (‘Cashbox’ magazine, July 14, 1973). Click to enlarge.


“With the sound of today.”

Yes, it’s Chubby Checker with a reggae record in 1973. Is your mind slightly blown?

Chubby Checker, ‘Reggae My Way,’ 1973

(Image source: Cashbox via American Radio History)

Previously on Vintage Ads: Archie Bunker Sings (1972)

In The News: The Clash’s Mick Jones Remembers

Mick Jones for Krug Island Festival UK, 2016

Mick Jones for Krug Island Festival UK, 2016

Mick Jones of The Clash, set to appear at the Krug Island Festival, UK, on September 1st, is reminiscing about his childhood and years with The Clash over at The Guardian.

The Guardian reports: Mick Jones: ‘Spaghetti House was the place to go when we were writing in Joe Strummer’s squat’

Quote:
“When I was about 12, a group of us from Strand grammar school used to go down to Chelsea and hang around outside Mick Jagger’s house, 48 Cheyne Walk. One day he was sat eating dinner in his basement and because we were gazing down through the railings like Dickensian urchins, he gestured theatrically with his fork for a blind to be closed.”

Vintage Ads: Archie Bunker Sings (1972)

Carroll O'Connor, 'Remembering You' ('Cashbox' magazine, July 01, 1972). Click to enlarge.

Carroll O’Connor, ‘Remembering You’ (‘Cashbox’ magazine, July 01, 1972). Click to enlarge.


“Television’s most controversial character sings.”

Say what now? Carroll O’Connor, aka Archie Bunker on TV’s All in the Family, released an album of 1930s tunes in the early Seventies? ‘Tis true!

O’Connor’s Remembering You album hit shops in 1972 and included a number of tunes such as; “Sweet and Lovely,” “Can’t We Talk It Over,” and “Just a memory.”

(Image source: Cashbox via American Radio History)

Previously on Vintage Ads: Captain & Tennille, ‘Love Will Keep Us Together’ (1975)

Disco Lab: Cheryl Lynn – ‘Got To Be Real’ (1978)

Cherl Lynn Got To Be Real 1978

Disco Lab #24: Cheryl Lynn – ‘Got To Be Real’ (1978)
Summer in a can. Another of those songs that puts me not in a disco but on the streets; here I’m in some glorious New York street party, perhaps with an open fire hydrant providing even more cool. It’s no wonder this track has inspired (and underscored) countless hip hop jams since then. (It’s not really a summer song; it charted in early 1979. But it sure sounds like one.)

This glorious, funky, happy record appears to be modeled on 1977’s disco smash “Best Of My Love” by the Emotions: same lusty vocal, same punchy horns, same staccato rhythm, similar descending piano line. But Lynn goes one better on the Emotions record, making this not only flirty but irresistible. She sings with a couple backing vocalists, but they’re in unison nearly the whole time, only busting into shock harmonies on “whatcha know… to be REAL!” (Article continues after song…)

Cheryl Lynn – ‘Got To Be Real’ (1978)

This classic remix (you’ll find longer ones online but this is the original) embraces a simple Part 1/Part 2 structure; after most of the vocal plays out, it lapses into a very tasty instrumental mix, adding a simple keyboard solo that presages the ’90s G-funk hip hop sound. Then Cheryl and the gals turn up at the end to take it all home. Unlike the usual fade, the song ends cold on a fancy brass motif, allowing DJs and dancers to show off their mastery of the record’s finer points.

So listen up and groove—it’s time to be real! (Fun fact: rhythm guitar courtesy of Ray Parker, Jr. Who else were they gonna call?)

Bonus track: One of the first records to borrow the groove from “Got To Be Real” was 1979’s “Rappin’ and Rocking the House” by early rap group Funky Four Plus One More. It doesn’t actually sample the record but features a band giving the riff a bit of a Latin feel.

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Previously on Disco Lab: Marvin Gaye – ‘Got To Give It Up’ (1977)

Vintage Commercials: American Sound Stereo Systems (1975)

Seeking a Sansui sound system?

Seeking a Sansui sound system?


At the American Sound price of only $333.

If you’re in the market for a high-powered, top-of-the-line 1975 stereo system – look no further. American Sound of Sacramento, California has got you covered. The commercial below aired in ’75 and you’ve got to love the hip spokesperson. Outta sight!

Vintage 1970s Stereo Commercial (American Sound, 1975)

Previously on Vintage Commercials: The O’Jays, ‘So Full Of Love’ Promo (1978)

Playback!: The Clash, ‘London Calling’ (1979)

'The Ice Age is coming...' (The Clash, 'London Calling,' 1979)

‘The Ice Age is coming…’
(The Clash, ‘London Calling,’ 1979)

The Clash’s London Calling (song & L.P.) made its debut in the UK at the tail end of 1979. It’s one of the best albums of the Seventies, but is often name-checked as one of the finest of the ’80s – due to its US release and success early the following year.

Here’s the band’s official video for the title song filmed in London on a rainy evening in ’79.

The Clash, ‘London Calling’ Official Video, 1979

Previously on Playback!: Al Stewart, ‘Year Of The Cat’ (1977)

More of The Clash at Cherry Stereo: Playback!: The Clash, ‘Tommy Gun’ (1978)

Vintage Ads: Captain & Tennille, ‘Love Will Keep Us Together’ (1975)

The Captain & Tennille, 'Love Will Keep Us Together' ('Cashbox' magazine, May 17, 1975). Click to enlarge.

The Captain & Tennille, ‘Love Will Keep Us Together’ (‘Cashbox’ magazine, May 17, 1975). Click to enlarge.


“A new duo with one of the hottest records on the street today…”

The Captain & Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together” (written by Neil Sedaka & Howard Greenfield) hit #1 on the US Hot 100 and ended up as the top-selling single of 1975.

The song appeared on the L.P. of the same name in the spring of ’75.

(Image source: Cashbox via American Radio History)

Previously on Vintage Ads: The Babys, ‘Head First’ (1979)

In The News: Bee Gee’s Mum, Barbara Gibb, Dies At 95

Barbara Gibb Photo by Rodrigo Varela WireImage for Rogers & Cowan via 'Billboard'

Barbara Gibb Photo by Rodrigo Varela WireImage for Rogers & Cowan via ‘Billboard’

Barbara Gibb, mother of the Bee Gees; Barry, Robin, and Maurice, as well as Andy Gibb, has died at the age of 95.

Billboard reports: Barbara Gibb, Mother of the Bee Gees & Andy Gibb, Dies at 95

Quote:
“She had lived in Miami for the past 20 years, but she was born in Manchester, England, as Barbara Mary Pass on Nov. 17, 1920. Barbara married Hugh Gibb, with whom she had five children. Together, Barbara and Hugh managed their sons’ early careers.”

Disco Lab: Marvin Gaye – ‘Got To Give It Up’ (1977)

Marvin Gaye Got To Give it Up 1977

Disco Lab #23: Marvin Gaye – ‘Got To Give It Up’ (1977)
Dat cowbell. Dat falsetto. Dat lawsuit!

If you’ve heard this magnificent, minimalist party barnstormer recently, it was likely in its 4:08 7” single edit, dubbed “Part 1.” Here’s your chance to hear parts 2, 3, and probably 4.

This cool li’l groover was written by Gaye himself, in response to his label’s request to record a disco number. This isn’t quite disco in my opinion but funk, and sweeter than most thanks to Marvin’s slinky, sexy vocal. Happily, because this was recorded within the extended dance mix era, we have it in its full, almost 12-minute glory. (Note that this is a 12” that will never be rare, since it was issued as one side of a live double-album.)

Of course, this isn’t a remix at all but a full, long live take, likely an edit of one or more takes of the song. Marvin and several other players recorded the tune at his own Hollywood studio in December 1976. This elaborate yet minimalist track includes guitar, bass, keyboard, synth, cowbell, percussion, drums, but no funky horns or disco-ball strings. It’s like a cooler and more polite P-Funk record.

Marvin mixed it the following month, adding in a loop of party chatter not unlike that of his earlier hit “What’s Going On?” (Midway through the track, Marvin says, “Hey, Don!,” greeting the visiting Soul Train host Don Cornelius.)

The verse finds Marvin’s character as a party wallflower (hard to picture that!) who eventually relaxes and joins in the dance groove, later finding a female partner to boogie with: “You can funk me when you want to, baby.” At least that’s what I think he said…

Things to listen for in this blissful extended jam:

• Bass player cranking it up an octave at about 1:40 and elsewhere.
• Marvin ad-libbing vocals he later overdubbed with harmony parts (tricky!) at 6:45 and beyond
• Rhythm guitar borrowing from James Brown’s “Mother Popcorn” at 8 minutes and later.
(Article continues after song…)

Marvin Gaye – ‘Got To Give It Up’ (1977)

Now about dat lawsuit… In 2013 singer Robin Thicke and producer/songwriter Pharrell Williams were successfully sued by Marvin Gaye’s estate, claiming that Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines” infringed on Marvin’s 1977 hit. I’ve listened to both records a lot, and I gotta say… I love Marvin and his family but man I do not hear it. Sure, a lot of elements were borrowed: the cowbell groove, keyboard rhythm, falsetto style, and party sounds. But the melody’s totally different.

Besides, “Blurred Lines” wasn’t the first record that ripped off Marvin’s. In 1978, the year after “Got To Give It Up,“ the Jacksons’ disco hit “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)” shamelessly stole Marvin’s chant “Let’s dance, let’s shout” (heard at about 9 minutes in) for its own chorus. To my ears, Marvin’s record sounds like it’s borrowing from Stevie Wonder’s “Boogie On Reggae Woman.” Steal from the best!

Finally, how about that title? Who’s giving up what? I’ve always thought it was Marvin attempting to shed his shyness and abandon himself to the funk. But it’s probably an exhortation to the crowd to give up their inhibitions — or perhaps to a lady friend to share a little lovin’. If you want to, baby.

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Previously on Disco Lab: MFSB – ‘Love Is The Message’/’TSOP’ (1973 & ’77)

Vintage Ads: The Babys, ‘Head First’ (1979)

The Babys, 'Head First' ('Radio & Records' magazine, January 19, 1979). Click to enlarge.

The Babys, ‘Head First’ (‘Radio & Records’ magazine, January 19, 1979). Click to enlarge.


Will knock you over.

The Baby’s third L.P., Head First, was recorded in 1978 and hit shops in January of 1979. The record contained the hit singles, “Every Time I Think of You” (US #13) and “Head First” (US #77).

(Image source: R&R via American Radio History)

Previously on Vintage Ads: Bob Marley, ‘Rastaman Vibration’ (1976)