- Audio CD (29 July 2013)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Original recording remastered
- Label: Ace
- ASIN: B00D8ZO14K
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 249,407 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Foxy R&B: Richard Stamz Chicago Blues Original recording remastered
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Richard Stamz was a colourful Chicago R&B and soul DJ who operated throughout the 50s and 60s. He was a slick jive-talker who hosted a groundbreaking black TV show in the city in 1956. He took over the Cobra /Artistic/Abco studio around 1960; this also included the ownership of the owner s active Paso label which he continued to run alongside his own Foxy operation. Bluesman Harold Burrage was already at Paso and he and Richard Stamz began to work closely together with Burrage recording, composing songs, playing sessions and even voicing ads for Stamz s radio show. His three 45s for the two labels are superb examples of the early 60s where the blues was beginning to move towards soul. Burrage would eventually do this completely at M-Pac. The extremely rare original version of Betty Everett s Please Love Me is featured here which will be of great interest to New Breed R&B fans, as will many of the tracks on these largely uncharted labels. Out-and-out blues fans will be thrilled by the presence of some of Howlin Wolf s sidemen in the Willie Williams band including guitarist Hubert Sumlin. That outfit provide three previously unreleased blues jam instrumentals. Influential guitarist Freddy Robinson appears as a session-man on many tracks and adds his own 45 from the Queen label including an alternate take of one side of the disc. Tough-voiced female blues singers Mary Johnson and Flora D provide excellent R&B sides that complement the male contenders from Burrage, Lee Shot Williams and Detroit Jr, while the Ideals and Ze Majestics represent the vocal group side with R&B-flavoured numbers. The other previously unheard masters include a good R&B dance tempo song from Tony Gideon a member of the Daylighters, a jazz influenced groover from one Loretta Branch, while the rare and mysterious Robert & The Rockin Robins are as cool as it comes singing about Romeo Joe . US musicologists Richard Shurman and Patrick Roberts, who has written a book on Stamz life, provide fascinating musical and entertaining sociological facts about the recordings and the man. Richard Stamz daughter Phyllis has given the compilers and writers access to the family s memorabilia and the package is well illustrated to provide a taster of Chicago musical life at the start of the 60s.
Top Customer Reviews
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Only Ace would go to the trouble of compiling material this obscure but yet so historically significant more than 50 years later. That most of this stuff had to be salvaged from an old cardboard box decades after it was first recorded and yet sounds so clear and vibrant (just don't expect pristine on all tracks and you'll be OK) seems like a minor miracle. This is one of Ace's most lovingly assembled compilations, with a colorful and photo-filled 20-page booklet featuring a biographical essay on Richard Stamz by author Patrick Roberts (who collaborated with Stamz on a book) and notes on all the recordings and artists, although in a few cases very little is known about them.
Soul-blues fans will be most familiar with Harold Burrage, Lee "Shot" Williams, Detroit Junior and sax instrumentalist Monk Higgins (here still using his real name, Milton Bland) who had a pair of subsequent national soul charters. Teenager Mary Johnson, with her mature-for-her-age vocal mixture of gospel and growling blues, is stunning on her two singles here from 1961-62. She went on to record for the Federal and Sue labels but alas remained hitless. There are also a couple of dated novelty songs trying to horn in on the Coasters' and the Olympics' territory, one of which would now be politically incorrect with its mockery of a stammerer named "Sam."
Whether originally issued in 1960-62 or else unissued previously, I enjoyed nearly everything on this disc, especially the aforementioned artists, along with obscure blues belter Flora D and the slow-burning, lowdown electric guitar and organ instrumental "The Buzzard" by Freddy Robinson with Paul Hankins.
This amazing Ace compilation provides an essential missing link in the history of soul and should not be missed.