14 Jun 2021


'It takes me back on 1988, One year before the death of Franco. Amazing rhumba of TP OK JAZZ!' -abdull sadiq

This song marked Ndombe Opetum’s glorious return to TPOK Jazz. He had joined the band in 1975, then left in 1984 on a sojourn in which he formed a band known as Tiers Monde Cooperation along with Sam Mangwana and Empopo Loway. When the band folded, he went solo before rejoining Tabu Ley’s Orchestre Afrisa in 1987. After his stint with Afrisa, he rejoined Franco’s TPOK Jazz much to the delight of TPOK Jazz fans.

He marked his return with this song Angela and a second track (Tawaba). The songs were released around the time of Franco’s passing in 1989.

The song Angela is about a long lost love. The theme of the song is Ndombe Opetum pleading with Angela to come back or at least get in touch with him. -rexxt80

Pepe Ndombe Opetum (March 3, 1944 – May 24, 2012)

Composition & Lead Vocals: Pepe Ndombe Opetum

Anje, mokolo nini okozonga?
Ngai awa nazanga molongani ya kobima na ye.
Eloko elingi solo motema,
Ebayakate posa ya kozala na ngo seko.

Anje, which day are you coming back?
Me here I am missing a partner to go out with.
The thing that the heart truly wants,
Is no longer there.

Anje, nalingi yo mingi yo, moko oyebi.
Elembo otikela ngai pete na mosapi mpo nabanzaka yo ezali
Bolingo na yo esilaka te. Anje, epayi nazali.

Anje, I love you very much, you yourself know that 
The symbol you have left me is a ring on the finger that makes me think of you,
I cannot stop loving you. Anje, I am here.

Nazali na ba défaut nayebi, Anjela
Défaut ya liboso napusa kolinga yo mingi.
Nasala lingomba lingomba ya losambo,
Bongo nateyaka bato yaka tokutana na yo.

I know I have flaws, Anjela;
The first flaw is that I love you very much.
I make prayer meetings,
I preach to people of how we shall meet.

Likambo yo osali ngai na solo, Anjela
Nakomituna soki okoki kobosana ngai te

What you have truly done to me, anjela.
I ask myself if you could forget me.

Zuwa epayi, makanisi epayi
Ngai na kati navanda lokola Emusu

I have feelings of jealousy, thoughts;
At this time, I am living like Emusu.

Eloko esala ngai nzoka nde makanisi
Bolingo tovanda bambula sanza, mposo mpe makolo.

The only thing that keeps me going, thoughts
Thoughts of the love that we lived for years, months, weeks and days.

Otindelaka ngai ata mongongo, Anjela
Na kati ya cassette osilisa ngai souci na makanisi.

Send me at least your voice, Anjela
In a cassette to eliminate the worries and thoughts.

Oko telephonaka na ndako te, Anjela
Naboyi ozuwa matata na libala epayi ozala.

Do not call me while at home,
I do not want you to have marriage problems where you are.   


Anjela, bolingo mpasi mingi,
Anjela, bolingo ekomi etumbu,
Tindela ngai maloba ata na cassette,
Uta okende nakoma malheureux

Anjela, love is full of problems,
Anjela, this love has become a punishment;
Send me some words even on a cassette
Since you left I’ve become unwell.

Butu eyinda, anjela, nalala mpongi te
Tongo etana mokili ekomela ngai bololo
Soki bolingo ya magic, fungola ngai
Yebi nazali mwana moto,
Osala ngai boye te, mawa.

Night comes, Anjela, but I cannot sleep.
When it dawns, the world becomes bitter to me.
If this is a magical love, then let me go.
Understand that I am a human being,
Don’t do me this way, mercy.


Ngai naleli mwana mama x2
Ngai naleli Joe Kitantu
Anjela motema yaya Pepe.

I am crying,
I am crying, Joe Kitantu
Anjela, the heart of Pepe.

Yebisa Anjela soki omona ye ngai naza kolela
Yebisa Anjela soki omona ye Pepe aza kolela
Yeba nazali mwana ya moto, 
Asala ngai boye te, mawa.

If you see Anjela, tell her I am crying;
If you see Anjela, tell her Pepe is crying.
Know that I am a human being,
So she should not do this to me, mercy.

Libala ekufa ezonga, tosi tomesana;
Libala ekufa ezonga, tosi tomesana.
Oyebi bapanza biso sango tosalana nkisi;
Oyebi bapanza biso sango tomelana na makila.
Yeba nazali mwana ya moto,
Kosala ngai boye te, mawa.

Marriages end and start all over again, we are used to that;
Marriages end and start all over again, we are used to that.
They are spreading rumours that we used love potion on each other;
They are spreading rumours that we took a blood oath.
Know that I am a human being,
Do not do this to me, mercy.


'TPOK Jazz- Nalobi na ngai rien (Ntesa Dalienst) 1988'

Vocals: Malage de Lugendo, Ntesa Dalienst, Aime Kikwana
Solo: Gerry Dialunguna
mi-solo: Dizzy Mandjeku
rhythm: Petit Pierre
bass: Flavien Makabi

'TPOK Jazz- Dodo (Ntesa Dalienst) 1988'

Sublime....... Quel charme qu'ont ces grands chanteurs !!

Vocals: Malage de Lugendo, Ntesa Dalienst, Aime Kikwana
Solo: Gerry Dialunguna
mi-solo: Dizzy Mandjeku
rhythm: Petit Pierre
bass: Flavien Makabi

Le Grand Maître Franco Et Le Tout Puissant O.K. Jazz - S/T

Label: Sonodisc – CD 8475 (1990)

1. J'ai Peur 7:31
     Composed By – Luambo Franco
2. Anjela 10:27
     Composed By – Ndompe Opetum
3. Tawaba 9:12
     Composed By – Ndompe Opetum
4. Nalobi Na Ngai Rien 8:17
     Composed By – Ntesa Dalienst
5. Dodo 7:53
     Composed By – Ntesa Dalienst

Guitar – Franco
Vocals – Baniel Bambo, Josky Kiambukuta, Madilu System, Nana Akumu, Pepe Ndombe, Ntesa Dalienst

13 Jun 2021


Voici la musique classique Africaine !!!

'Magnifique prestation de l'Ok Jazz dans cette oeuvre et notamment des chanteurs, surtout du soprano Youlou. La belle époque!' -Jules Mutu

1966/1967 (Sonodisc CD 36554) While Franco picks or plucks his guitar, Vicky sings ballads, boleros and, of course, lots of rumba -- mostly mid-tempo. ("Lumbumba, Heros National", "Mbanda Akamwe", "Que Ne Numera El Son") -Joe Yanosik

1. G.G. Yoka 4:52
2. Dis Laurence 5:24
3. Tozonga Na Nganga Wana 3:57
4. Lumumba, Héros National 6:08
5. Yayi C. 5:34
6. Natali Yonso Pamba 4:42
7. Nandi Mi Kosasa 4:48
8. Nazali Koluka Ye Likambo 3:45
9. Mbanda Akamwe 4:24
10. Naboyi Libala Na Koko 4:11
11. Nalingala Balobela Ngaïte 4:34
12. Que Ne Numera El Son 4:01
13. Babotoli Ngai Ye 4:13
14. Obi Mi Mbwe 3:12
15. Heureusement Nkisi Ya Mabete 4:14

Written-By – Franco (tracks: 3,4,5,6,7,10,11), Lutumba Simaro (tracks: 1,2), Vicky Longomba (tracks: 8,9,15), Youlou Mabiala (tracks: 13,14)

See also
Global Groove


Franco. Monstre sacré de la musique congolaise.

After Franco
Published 1 February 2010 | Kasongo Musanga

'From the 1950s until the 1980s, Franco Luambo Makiadi and his TPOK Jazz orchestra profoundly shaped the sound of African music across the continent, and subsequently the popular music of the world through artists such as Paul Simon and Talking Heads. Yet Franco is little known outside Africa and his 1,000 compositions are hardly represented on recordings. Now just over twenty years since Franco’s death in 1989, Kasongo Musanga tells the story of ‘The Sorcerer of the Guitar’, from whose shadow Congolese music is still emerging.'

The music of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has faced a dilemma since the death of its greatest exponent, Franco Luambo Makiadi. The leader of TPOK Jazz, Franco’s orchestra defined the sound of Congolese music from the late 1950s until his death in 1989. Within Africa, Franco is an icon. His death, however, prompted a steady decline in Congolese music in the 1990s and in many ways it remains overshadowed by him.

Sam Mangwana, one of his most celebrated collaborators, described Franco’s importance in Graeme Ewens’ Congo Colossus: ‘Franco was unique. Like Shakespeare or Mozart, combined with Pelé or Muhammad Ali. He was irreplaceable. The sort of man who appears once every 100 years.’ Mangwana’s sentiments may seem a bit exaggerated, but they would be shared by many Africans. His words and actions were as influential as his music. Yet outside of Africa Franco and his orchestra remain virtually unknown, and there are a number of reasons for this.

African music exploded onto the world music scene in the late 1980s following the success of Paul Simon’s Graceland album. Graceland, however, may not have been possible without the pan-African influence Franco and TPOK Jazz exerted in the 1960s and 70s. Almost every African band since then owes something to the sound he pioneered. For Franco, Graceland came a decade too late. In the late 1970s he was at the height of his powers, but by 1988 he was dying and rarely able to perform. In essence, he missed the African music boom that could have made him a global star. Consequently, nowadays one would be hard pushed to find any of Franco’s music in even the biggest music stores. Disputes between Franco’s family, former band members and record companies have meant the music is poorly distributed and promoted. This is being partially redressed by Sterns African Music, who have recently released two compilations of some of Franco’s most important songs under the title Francophonic.

These two compilations however cannot do Franco justice. He is said to have recorded over 3,000 songs with TPOK Jazz, 1,000 of which are said to be his own compositions. While many songs were released on CD on the Sonodisc label, this catalogue is no longer in print and only a few of these records are available on iTunes. Worse still, these Sonodisc recordings were poorly produced, often mixing two or three tracks from different LPs recorded at different times. Very few Franco albums, therefore, have ever been released outside of Africa in their original track-listing.

Other factors may have influenced the lack of appreciation for Franco’s music outside of Africa. The term ‘jazz’ in the orchestra’s title, for example, is misleading. Many African orchestras use the word ‘jazz’ in their title but don’t play what we generally known as jazz. Similarly, the term ‘orchestra’ is misleading because the instrumentation of an African orchestra is completely different to a classical one. At its peak TPOK Jazz contained forty musicians consisting of multiple electric guitars, a large group of singers, drums, percussion, dancers and a powerful brass section containing trumpets, trombones and saxophones. Most TPOK Jazz songs are also sung in the native Lingala language, so there is also a language barrier, which prevents many from understanding the social importance of the lyrics.

This is the key differentiation between the reception of the Nigerian pioneer of Afro-beat, Fela Kuti (1938–97), and Franco in the English speaking world. In 2004 the Barbican in London presented a huge festival honouring Fela Kuti’s legacy. Last year was the twentieth anniversary of Franco’s death, but the event was marked only by a handful of small events outside of Africa. Kuti’s greater reception in the West is largely because most of his songs are in English. They also relate more closely to the sound of James Brown, so there is more of a Western aspect to his music. This is not to demean Fela Kuti – he was a true original – but it is widely agreed that TPOK Jazz was the most influential orchestra Africa has produced. The sound Franco pioneered can be heard across Africa and subsequently the world through recordings by artists such as Paul Simon and Talking Heads. Yet how many of their admirers have ever even heard of Franco and OK Jazz?

Some context is needed. In the 1950s the Democratic Republic of the Congo was a Belgian colony. The country was ruled ruthlessly by the Belgian King Leopold II until its independence in 1960. Prior to independence, Congolese troubadours such as Jean Bosco-Mwenda had fused their own folkloric music with popular Latin American imports such as the rumba, cha-cha-cha, merengue and bolero. In doing so they created an intricate finger-picking acoustic guitar style. Mwenda’s biggest hit ‘Masanga’ is known internationally; guitarist John Williams is amongst those who have recorded it.

One of the few positive outcomes of colonialism was the fact that one Belgian, Bill Alexandre, a colleague of Django Reinhardt, was sent to record the newly developing Congolese Rumba. Alexandre encouraged some of the finest Congolese musicians of the time to record for him. Perhaps most importantly, he introduced them to the electric guitar. In doing so he helped to create the instantly recognisable chiming African guitar sound, which gained such worldwide currency after Graceland. It was Franco, however, who really developed this sound.

Franco’s mastery of the guitar brought him his initial fame with OK Jazz in the late 1950s, earning him the nickname ‘The Sorcerer of the Guitar’. His guitar playing is the highlight of the early OK Jazz recordings. His voice didn’t match his guitar skills, but he was a master band leader and through the years he surrounded himself with some of the finest singers of the time.

That said, there was a distinct character to his voice, which ensured he could deliver a song with passion or authority when needed. In the bolero ballad ‘Kinshasa Mboka Ya Makambo’ (1982) (Kinshasa Town of Problems), Franco combined his guitar skills and distinct vocal delivery to powerful effect. He didn’t sing the song so much as preach it like an evangelical minister, passionately praising the virtues of the Lord before unleashing a guitar solo straight from the heavens.

The first performance of this song took place during TPOK Jazz’s crowning moment, a two-and-a-half hour special on national television, which showcased the orchestra in its full glory. (Thankfully this performance has been preserved and excerpts from it are available on YouTube.) Watching this performance gives a sense of how seriously Africans take this music. The audience sit politely, listening like an audience at a classical music concert. This is because the musicianship of the players and important social context of the lyrics demanded serious listening at the time.

Much is made of the similarities between Congolese and Cuban music. Indeed, when one first hears the opening bars of an early OK Jazz recording, the casual observer may think it is, in fact, Cuban music. It is easy to forget that African slaves brought their music to Latin America, and as a result Cuban music is infused with rhythms that originated in Africa. Franco explained that in using Latin rhythms, Congolese were simply bringing their music back home.

Over time the Latin influence would wane and the name soukous (meaning ‘to shake’) was given to the Congolese sound – and it was Franco who brought this sound to maturity. Franco’s ambition increased as recording technology improved. He developed from a shy young man into the natural leader of the group, taking over from its founder Jean-Serge Essous in 1957. It wasn’t long before he rechristened them Tout Puissant OK Jazz (The Almighty OK Jazz). Between the late 50s and early 70s the orchestra grew into its classic orchestra line up. Many African orchestras followed their lead, but none reached the size and standard of TPOK Jazz. By then the song styles had evolved from short Latin-influenced songs into epic masterpieces, with many extending beyond ten minutes. The recording technology couldn’t keep up with the evolution of the songs and in the 60s and 70s it became commonplace for one song to be divided over the two sides of a vinyl record, with the vocalised rumba section on one side and the instrumental sebene section faded in on the other side.

It is the sebene that really distinguishes Congolese music from any other style, and in order to understand it, one must understand the function of each section of the Congolese orchestra. At the heart of this orchestra are the drums, percussion and bass guitar. In early Congolese rumba there was no drum kit; congas, shakers and clavé produced the polyrhythms. As the music evolved, a drum kit was introduced and the congas served a semi-melodic function, filling in gaps left by the syncopated bass lines. TPOK Jazz recordings from the 1970s reveal a fascinating dialogue between these instruments.

The guitar is not such an important instrument in Cuban music, but it is so important in Congolese music that in the golden era of Congolese rumba, in the 1970s and 80s, most Congolese groups had three guitarists with very specific roles: rhythm, mi-solo and lead. While the rhythm guitar lays down a basic cyclic pattern, the mi-solo and lead guitar create intricate intertwining lines. The mi-solo is a bridge between the ecstatically high-pitched lead guitar and the low-pitched rhythm guitar.

The vocal style of Congolese rumba is naturally influenced by the Lingala language in which it is sung. If one listens to Lingala, one will notice the similarities between the speaking style and the singing style. Vocalists sing long melodic lines in a swinging, disjointed rhythm against the clavé rhythm that underpins most of the songs. These complex melodies are often sung in harmony by four vocalists, and when the singing ends, the instrumentalists raise the temperature with the sebene.

The singing style naturally influenced the brass playing which gives Congolese music its edge. In early Congolese rumba a clarinet or saxophone would often provide short jazzy solos between song verses. As the music developed through the 60s and 70s these solos were less common and the clarinet fell out of fashion to be replaced by increasingly larger brass sections. These brass sections were used sparingly but they came to the fore in the sebene.

In the sebene, there are at least three or four contrapuntal guitar lines which repeat against each other with slight variations – strummed chords are rare. After repeating one section of contrapuntal ostinati a number of times, new sections are introduced and the instrumental timbre thickens until powerful antiphonal phrases are exchanged between trumpets, trombones and saxophones, bringing the sebene to an exhilarating climax.

While this is the general formula of these songs, there are some variations, including the use of lilting 6/8 mboshi rhythms. In the 1960s, James Brown-like funk could be heard in some of TPOK Jazz’s songs, but Brown’s influence was only fleeting. What is remarkable is how Franco and his colleagues wrote so many songs in the same basic formula, yet never repeated themselves.

At over seventeen minutes, ‘Bina Na Ngai Na Respect’ (Dance with Me with Respect), is perhaps the finest example of the orchestra’s epic songs from this period. The four-volume LP set from which it comes, Le Quart de Siécle (1981), is the towering achievement of Congolese music. Unfortunately it has never been re-issued in its original LP sequence since its release, and has instead suffered the Sonodisc butchering treatment. But the internet age brings its advantages, and one enlightened blogger has digitised the four LPs. Intrepid googling can reveal great riches!

Other excellent LP sets are the double albums Editions Populaires (1974), 20éme Anniversaire (1976) and Vraiment en Colére (1980). Missile (1983), in which Franco overdubs up to nine guitars on some tracks to create intricate guitar orchestrations, is significant for demonstrating his use of the modern studio.

In his lyrics, Franco addressed issues ranging from politics to social matters. His biggest hit, ‘Mario’ (1986), a hypnotic fifteen-minute duet with Madilu System, the star TPOK Jazz singer of the 1980s, was a damning song about a gigolo. Though generally supported well by President Mobutu, Franco was imprisoned in 1979 for ‘Helene’ and ‘Jacky’, two songs with graphic sexual content deemed obscene by the Attorney General Kengo wa Dondo. Franco later used the song ‘Taillieur’ (Tailor) to satirise Dondo, who was by then the Prime Minister.

Franco’s most notable social commentary came in his foreboding epitaph ‘Attention na SIDA’ (Beware of AIDS) (1987), in which he preached in French to ensure as many Africans as possible would understand his warnings against the disease that ultimately claimed his own life. This powerful sixteen-minute sermon sent shivers through Africa and was a vital educational tool in the battle against AIDS.

Congolese music has never really recovered from Franco’s death, but its decline was set in motion long before he passed. In the 1970s a younger breed of band appeared, spearheaded by Zaiko Langa Langa and Viva La Musica. They posed a threat to the popularity of TPOK Jazz by appealing to younger audiences, discarding brass instruments and the slow rumba section in favour of guitar histrionics and a faster rhythm.

While their initial recordings were fresh and innovative, early signs of the superficiality that would plague Congolese music from the 1990s were apparent in the outlook of the main force behind both groups, Papa Wemba. Wemba, who died in 2016, was a style icon and his obsession with fashion has clearly influenced modern Congolese musicians. The 2003 BBC documentary The Importance of Being Elegant cruelly demonstrated how Wemba had fallen foul of the worst aspects of commerciality. He proudly exclaimed how fashionable he was in purchasing the finest fur coats in Paris, and sang about how wonderful his designer clothing collection was. This had a terrible effect on young Congolese who felt compelled to keep up with Wemba’s latest fads. Wemba was doing this from the comfort of Paris whilst his homeland was torn apart by civil war. His passing is indeed sad, but one hopes he is remembered more for his vibrant recordings of the 1970s than his latter opulence.

Wemba’s decline demonstrates that the important social context of Congolese music pioneered by Franco has almost totally disappeared – now many Congolese musicians seem more intent on bland westernised entertainment than musical integrity. Gone are the powerful brass sections, which have been replaced by grating synthesized brass sounds; gone are the chiming guitar sections, a lone distorted guitar now often maintains the sebene.

The superficiality of Congolese music reached its nadir in the 1990s with the band Empire Bakuba. They were initially an excellent band but they are mostly remembered for Emoro, a dancing dwarf who counter-balanced singer Pepe Kalle, called ‘L’Elephant’ because of his huge size. The image of Emoro gyrating with scantily clad dancers is an enduring one, but not one that does Congolese music much favours!

This superficiality continues today. Artists such as Koffi Olomide create cheap imitations of American rap videos with fashionable clothes and jewellery in abundance. The contemporary Congolese rumba style is known as ndombolo, but the dancing style that goes with it has been banned by the government for being obscene. This ban has made the music very popular with younger people, but the music lacks the soul and integrity that made Franco’s music so vital.

Much of the blame for the demise of Congolese music can be put down to the decline of DR Congo itself. It remains a country in turmoil following President Mobutu’s exile in 1997. For all his evils, Mobutu was a champion of authentic Congolese culture in the 1970s and he treated TPOK Jazz like they were the national ensemble.

Without Mobutu’s support, TPOK Jazz may have disbanded long before their implosion following Franco’s death. Since then various splinter groups including TPOK Jazz vice president Lutumba Simaro’s Bana OK emerged due to disputes between the remaining musicians. None of these groups have come close to matching Franco and TPOK Jazz at their peak.

The final nail in the coffin for Congolese rumba was the death in 2007 of Madilu System, whose passing brought a collective national mourning not seen since Franco himself passed.

Despite this pessimistic thesis, there is room for optimism about the future of Congolese music. A new sound has emerged through Konono No.1, an innovative amplified ensemble featuring three traditional likembé instruments and junkyard percussion. Though active since the late 1970s, their album Congotronics (2004) received international attention which has seen them record and tour with Bjork and headlining a concert in London’s Barbican Theatre during the 2006 Steve Reich Phases Festival.

Konono No.1’s sound is quite different to any Congolese orchestra, yet within the group’s full name, L’orchestre folklorique TP Konono No.1 de Minigiedi, one can see the influence of Franco – the TP here is short for ‘Tout Puissant’ (The Almighty), the same prefix Franco gave his orchestra.

Another artist worthy of mention is Niwel Tsumbu. Currently resident in Ireland, Tsumbu has developed an innovative style which draws on his roots in Congolese rumba and his studies of classical music, flamenco and jazz. This combination of influences could help Tsumbu build a large international following if he is given the kind of promotion Konono No.1 have received.

The success of Konono No.1 demonstrates that Congolese music is emerging from the dark days of the 1990s when it seemed that Congolese music had died with Franco. Perhaps Tsumbu and Konono No.1 will help re-energise Congolese music to the point where Franco’s legacy will finally be appreciated outside of Africa as much as it is inside Africa, where he is simply regarded as one of the most important musicians of all time.  

The definitive reference book on the life and music of Franco, from which some of the material in this article is sourced, is Congo Colossus written by Graeme Ewens, published by BUKU Press in 1994. Sterns African Music’s Francophonic compilations are currently the only widely available CD recordings of the music of Franco and TPOK Jazz. Sonodisc released many of their recordings but this catalogue is no longer available on CD. Much of it remains available in MP3 format in online stores. Many live performances of the group are available on YouTube. A recommended youtube channel where these performances and many songs can be heard is www.youtube.com/user/AboubacarSiddikh

Published on 1 February 2010

Kasongo Musanga was a Congolese scholar and musician. For more of his work, visit http://francorestored.blogspot.com.

Bill S • 9 years ago
The digitized version of the four-volume LP set 'Le Quart de Siécle' (1981) referred to in the article can be found through the link below. Franco et le TPOK Jazz produced incredible music; it's been giving me great pleasure since I first heard it during the late 1980s.

Rumba2River • 10 years ago
This is a great article but I can't believe no one has been able to point out a discrepancy in information there. Papa Wemba* is still alive and did not die in 2008. He was imprisoned but released a few months later, they were rumours of his death roaming around in the community but he did not die. He's still alive, strong and still recording and performing. Please provide the right information. Other than that, great job on the articlen.

*Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba (14 June 1949 – 24 April 2016), known professionally as Papa Wemba, was a Congolese singer and musician who played Congolese rumba, soukous and ndombolo.

Aduna • 11 years ago
This is great article but it is wrong to criticise Empire Bakuba, they were great band and Emoro was great part of their show. He was loved by many people in Africa.

Still it is wonderful that you give this coverage to Congolese music

1. Ya Luna Umbanzili 2:25
2. Nzenga 4:39
3. Na Kisoka 7:46
4. Kukisantu Kikwenda Ko 4:43
5. Kikonzi Ki Tata Mbemba 3:26
6. Kimpa Kisanga Meni 10:07
7. Kinsiona 4:06
8. Luvumbu Ndoki 4:41
9. Sansi Fingomangoma 2:26
10. Oh ! Miguel 3:37
11. 12600 lettres 12:10
12. 12600 lettres (Débat) 11:53


''I’m 38 now and I remember them as a kid growing up in the Watts area. They had beautiful voices. Mom knew them and they came to Greater St. Rest Missionary Baptist church. And even as a kid I wasn’t scared of them I knew then it was something different about them. I remember visiting their home a couple times with my mother. They were very genuine women. Always smiling. I remember when they passed away. My mom attended their service. Yvonne and Yvette. Wow.'' -tristie mcginnie

'Norton enters the gospel field with super scarce recordings by our favorite Siamese twins! Yvonne & Yvette spent many hard years as sideshow attractions, but were tapped by their church to go into the gospel field. These recordings were private pressings not made for public distribution, and include their raucous 60's pairing plus a sweet childhood chant and an unusual incantation by their mom, set to spook show organ grinding. Look for our Kicks Publishing Company scrapbook on the girls in the months to come! May they revel in posthumous glory always.'

'Craniopagus twins Yvonne and Yvette McCarther were born in Los Angeles California to their mother Willa McCarther. Straight after birth, many people confronted her about the possibilities of offering the infants to perform in show business. The mother clearly declined these offers, but turned back on her word once she found she was too poor to pay for their hospital bills. After six months of touring with the circus, they gained enough money to pay off bills and take the children back home.

Later on into adult life, they spent their time as successful gospel singers and toured to various churches across the nation. The sisters grew to become very close and got along well. Although conjoined, interestingly enough they referred themselves as “I” as opposed to “we”.'

Yvonne, Yvette McCarther; Siamese Twins

JAN. 5, 1993 12 AM PT

Yvonne and Yvette McCarther, Siamese twins who were joined physically at the head and emotionally at the heart, have died in Long Beach, it was learned Monday.

The Rev. John Shepherd, who worked with them during their career as gospel singers and remained their friend, said the 43-year-old women were found in their home on Saturday.

Death, he said, resulted from natural causes, and their family has decided against an autopsy.

Services are pending.

They were 32 years old in 1981 when their existence was made public through a lengthy article in The Times.

It told of their birth at Los Angeles’ old General Hospital, how doctors had tried to persuade their mother, a then-divorced 38-year-old woman with five other children at home--four of whom survive--that she should institutionalize them. But there was this response:

“God gave them to me, so I guess he’ll show me the way to raise them.”

After a brief tour with a circus, to which their mother was forced to agree to because of thousands of dollars in medical bills, the girls grew up as normally as possible under the circumstances. Over the years, they developed a sense of humor about themselves, one feigning ignorance of the other, for example, when she would introduce herself to a boy.

The sisters had distinct personalities. Yvette was quiet and shy, Yvonne more outgoing. Yvette loved to eat, and Yvonne complained that she gained weight because of it.

They also shared an unflappable faith in themselves and humanity, reaching out to people who seemed taken aback by their strange appearance as they walked crab-like through the neighborhood.

Six years after their initial introduction to the frenetic world of the media, they were in the news again, this time as college students.

Over the objections of their then-ailing mother, who fought to protect them from the stares and gibes of strangers, they enrolled in Compton Community College.

It seems an unsolicited catalogue had arrived at their modest home and they discovered--simultaneously, as they did with all things--that there was a world beyond private tutoring and television.

“I just decided the time had come,” said Yvonne.

“Me too,” said Yvette.

Without discussing it with their mother, they called the school, determined that the high school equivalency certificate they had received through home tutoring made them eligible, and enrolled.

Because their academic skills had been dormant for so many years, they were assigned to basic math and English classes. To accommodate their new-found interest, the college ordered round tables and armless chairs to be moved into the classrooms where the young women would sit.

At their death, Shepherd said, they were looking forward to graduation this year with degrees in nursing. They had lived by themselves for five years after their mother’s physical condition worsened and she moved to a convalescent home.

Before deciding on nursing, though, the sisters had enjoyed a reputation for singing.

“They started singing gospel at the age of 6 and continued to have a long, beautiful career,” Shepherd said. “They traveled all over the United States, singing with most of the top gospel groups.”

In 1974, the women recorded “He, Sweet I Know” and “After It Is All Over Down Here.”

Despite a strong religious belief, they were not without their vices.

Both drank galloping excesses of coffee and smoked steadily.

They also said they often stayed up late and had trouble getting up early enough each day to get to class.

Monday mornings, they agreed, were particularly difficult.

“If I don’t get to bed by 1 a.m. (Monday morning), said Yvette, “I’m really tired the next day.”

“Me too,” Yvonne said.

1. Siamese Twins Yvonne & Yvette - After It's All Over 2:25
2. Siamese Twins Yvonne & Yvette - He's Sweet I Know 2:46
3. Willia B. Jones McCarther - Your Mother [Narrator – Willia B. Jones McCarther] 2:45
4. Siamese Twins Yvonne & Yvette - We Are Workers For The Lord 3:04

12 Jun 2021


Uptempo soukous dancer by the kings of Benin

Afrobeat Gold
'I would rate the Orchestre Poly Rhythmo de Cotonou as one of the major artists in the history of Afrobeat. As their name suggests, they were masters of complex rhythms but they could also arrange a formidable horn section. Furthermore, the guitar work is buoyant and lively, giving their best songs an irrepressible sense of energy. This is particularly evident in Part 2 of this song, where the song achieves its greatest sense of uplift and drive.' -paddlesteamer

Cuban-inspired soukous for any time or place!

Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou Rep. Pop. Du Benin – Houzou-Houzou Na Yi Noukou

Label: Albarika Store – ASB 228
Format: Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM, Single
Country: Benin
Released: 1976
Style: African, Soukous

Vinyl rip by Digging 4 Gold

A Houzou-Houzou Na Yi Noukou (Part 1) 6:00
B Houzou-Houzou Na Yi Noukou (Part 2) 5:37

Lyrics By – Melome Clement
Music By – Poly Rythmo


Super heavy and rare as hen’s teeth, these gospel forty-fives are pure fire. We’re talking music for the lawd! people. We’re talking dressed to the nines on a Sunday morning in 90 degree Georgia heat sweating it out for the sake of their lord and savior JC. Get the picture?

'A heavenly set of funky tracks from the indie scene of the 70s – titles that were all recorded as singles for the gospel market, but which have a fair bit of funk in the rhythms. These tunes all have massive appeal well beyond their spiritual message – heavy drums, amazing basslines, and nicely gritty instrumentation that sets these cuts up right next to funky 45 treasures from the mid 70s – but which also gives them a slightly different feel, too – thanks to some uplifting messages in the lyrics, which also means that the vocal styles are nicely changed up from more standard funk-based lyrics. The blend is wonderful, and completely captivating – and we'd not heard most of these cuts before digging into the collection – which goes every bit as deep as the Good God gospel/funk collections on Numero.' -Dusty Groove

'Following on from the success of ‘Greg Belson’s Divine Disco’ series Greg Belson and Cultures of Soul team up again to explore the world of Gospel Funk. Belson is one of the world's leading collectors and DJs of gospel music. You hold in your hands a collection of some of the rarest Gospel funk records from Belson’s amazing collection featuring everything from the laid back breakbeat laced “I Don’t Want to Be Alone by Allen Gauff Jr to the high octane and socially-on-point take of the Gospel classic ‘This Little Light Of Mine’ by the Gospel Ambassadors to drum break funk of the Wearyland Singers ‘If You See Me Doing Wrong” to the sublime soulfulness of Zella Jackson’s “Days Are Just People.

Without a doubt though, all of the artists included in this compilation, believed in themselves, the message, and the direction of the Gospel Funk intensity you hear within these grooves. Gettin’ on the Good Foot for God? Listen and decide for yourselves!' (Cultures Of Soul)

Greg Belson

'Greg Belson is a vinyl archaeologist. He’s been amassing an archive of obscure, previously undiscovered recordings from all over the United States for over 25 years, and he likes to share these original 45’s and LP’s with whoever lends their ears. His first movements into collecting were inspired by mid-‘80s hip-hop filtering in the golden era… from there began a steady spiral into vinyl police work. A passion for finding the next sound recorded for pennies, and left unheard for too long. He’s played dance parties around the globe to whoever wants a serious dose of what LA heads call the ‘natural raw’… and expect to see this ‘vinyl madman’ spin on the regular at Funky Sole at The Echo on Sunset Blvd.'

'The last time the monkey heard proof that the Devil didn’t quite have all the best tunes was with the release of Naomi Shelton’s excellent 2014 LP Cold World though Greg Belson seems to have dug up another twelve. It is these that form the contents of his forthcoming compilation Divine Funk – Rare American Gospel Funk And Soul on Boston label, Cultures Of Soul Records which will be available in both LP and CD formats. If the title sounds a little familiar, maybe that’s because ten of said tracks comprised the contents of Greg Belson’s Divine Funk 45 Box, a hundred hand-stamped and limited copies of which sold out so promptly ahead of the full comp’s drop date, that the label has decided to press another fifty. The LP and 45 Box Set form something of a sequel to Belson’s Divine Disco series and you can rest assured that the contents are equally, well, divine.

The track order differs on the LP and the 45 boxset but between the organ-driven, female-fronted funky soul of Chariettes Gospel Singers’ Nobody But Jesus on the LP and the stanky black rock chugger of The Christian Harmonizers’ Troubles Of The World, you get a pretty good sense of the quality and range on this drop. Elsewhere things are more mellow with Preacherman Isidore Womack’s I’ve Got Power On My Mind vaguely recalling the melody of Betty Wright’s Clean-Up Woman and the smouldering organ ‘n clattering drums of Allen Gauff Jr. and his Combo’s I Don’t Want To Be Alone. Look out also for the unusual drum break syncopation of the drums on The Wearyland Singers If You See Me Doing Wrong and scorching uptempo soul bomb from Gospel Ambassadors This Little Light Of Mine. Of course, it goes without saying that the lyrical content can get a little bit what you might call ‘non-secular’ at times but, for those that might bother, the elemental power of the music and singing is such that you’re liable to overlook it – for truly the Lord works in mysterious ways!' (Cultures Of Soul)

'For anyone interested in the various interrelated genres orbiting funk, a new Greg Belson compilation is always an event, and …Divine Funk is another superlative collection of little-heard songs by obscure artists, this time with a gospel theme. Many of the greatest artists associated with funk – the Staple Singers spring to mind – began their careers with sacred music, so it’s no surprise that delving into religious recordings should have unearthed some real gems.

The album opens with “Nobody but Jesus” by Nashville’s Chariettes Gospel Singers, originally released by Chanita records. This is full-bodied, raw funk, dating, by the sound of it (no date is given) from the early ‘70s. The main vocalist is Carrie Crittendon, one of those singers that you would assume would stand out in any era, but who remains more or less unknown. She sounds a bit like an impassioned, hoarse-edged Betty Wright; this is gospel which relinquishes none of the grit or energy of secular music to deliver its message. If anything, even less self-consciously pious is “I Don’t Want to Be Alone” by the Phoenix-based Allen Gauff, Jr. And His Combo, from 1975. One of the undoubted highlights of the album, Gauff has a good, light-but-powerful voice, somewhat influenced by Al Green. But the band is what really makes the record; a superb bass/drums/organ combo, the organ at once appropriately churchy and utterly funky, it’s tailor-made for sampling; mellow bass, breakbeats and all.

The name The Christian Harmonizers suggests a gospel choir, but although their “Troubles of the World” is indeed a more traditional gospel song than anything that precedes it, it’s packaged within a driving, heavy, urban-sounding funk track, the bass in particular standing out for its bounce and fluidity. Lead vocalist Tyrone Birts declaims with authority and if one of the album’s more conventional tracks, the energy of the performance really brings it to life. By stark contrast, “If You See Me Doing Wrong” by the Wearyland Singers is vital in a completely different way, beginning like an ominous, almost doomy-sounding, flickering, reverb-laden religious tribute to King Curtis’s “Memphis Soul Stew.” The sinister (but of course funky) bass and clattering drums herald powerful, incantatory vocals which lead the listener to a thunderous prayer session. The hypnotic quality continues – as does the somewhat sinister vibe, title-wise at least, with “Jesus is Watching You” by the Gospel Travelers. Initially soothing and mellow, its laidback vibe is undermined along the way by puritanical lyrics; “Men trying to be women/And women tryin’ to be men/It’s a sin/Where will it all end?” and rising tone of hysteria.

Breaking with the obsessive mood is the equally serious but far more ebullient “Who’s Your Boss” by Boston’s Pearl Farano and the High Lites of Joy. Pearl (a guitarist as well as singer) was a wide-ranging and adaptable artist, releasing rock ‘n’ roll 45s like “I Want You To Love Me” and the fantastic, moody “Rumble”-esque instrumental “High Noon” under her maiden name Pearl Reaves, but here she leads her extremely funky band through a bustling, slightly frantic song that has something of the sound now associated with blaxploitation soundtracks. Great backing vocals supporting Pearl’s deep, powerful voice add a welcome touch of lightness, as does the light, funky guitar. More dancefloor-oriented is the eminently sample-able 1976 “This Little Light of Mine” by The Gospel Ambassadors, an almost disco version of a true gospel classic, notable for Jay Caldwell’s Wilson Pickett-like vocal and a throbbing bassline. Equally up-to-date for the era, the Vocalaires had an old fashioned name, but their infectious “Save a Seat for Me” is one of the most P-Funk oriented tracks on the compilation with several great vocalists trading lines back and forth over a dynamic funk backing.

With an intro that is almost gospel-rock, the Birmingham Traveleers (sic) “Call Me, Answer” is another forceful track, propelled by the powerful lead vocals of Henry Burton and superb bass played high in the mix, the only downside being that, by this point, a slight gospel fatigue may be setting in if listening to the album in one sitting. Time for a change of mood, then, and thankfully Zella Jackson is on hand with the original, Jackson 5-flavoured version of her “Days are Just Like People.” With its light tone and somewhat baroque pop instrumentation, flute and harpsichord-toned synth, it’s in contrast to everything that has come before, a refreshing change of pace as well as a fantastic track in its own right.

Back into the deep funk with the Original Christian Harmonizers (presumably some relation to the Christian Harmonizers), whose “Blackman, Keep on Doing your Thing,” is a high quality Funkadelic/Sly Stone-flavored, politically-charged anthem. Isaac Hayes played on several tracks on their debut album, if apparently not this song, but it’s in keeping with his mid/late ‘70s vision. Preacherman Isidore Womack draws proceedings beautifully to a close with the irresistibly laidback “I’ve Got Power in My Mind,” a warm, groovy 1978 (but sounds earlier) recording with rumbling bass and nimble, if sometimes uncertainly pitched guitar.

The term “vinyl archaeologist” is often bandied about, but Greg Belson is the real deal and it’s amazing how many real gems are still out there waiting to be rediscovered. Greg Belson’s Divine Funk perhaps suffers slightly in comparison with more straightforward funk or disco-themed releases, simply because the conventions of gospel music – and especially gospel singing – are a little more narrow. But this is a collection of real depth, breadth and beauty, and like any great compilation also serves as a stepping off point for further exploration.' -By Will Pinfold

1. The Chariettes Gospel Singers - Nobody But Jesus 3:00
2. Allen Gauff, Jr. And His Combo – I Don’t Want to Be Alone 5:11
3. The Christian Harmonizers - Troubles of the World 3:01
4. Wearyland Singers – If You See Me Doing Wrong 4:41
5. Gospel Travelers - Jesus Is Watching You 3:13
6. Pearl Farano and the High Lites of Joy – Who’s Your Boss 2:49
7. Gospel Ambassadors - This Little Light of Mine 2:57
8. Vocal Aires - Save A Seat For Me 3:48
9. Birmingham Traveleers - Call Me, Answer 3:43
10. Zella Jackson - Days Are Just Like People 2:18
11. The Original Christian Harmonizers - Blackman, Keep On Doing Your Thing 2:49
12. Preacherman Isidore Womack - I've Got Power In My Mind 3:09

11 Jun 2021


''In fact I was the man who first made a conscious attempt to project the 'hi-life' music as it is played today by Guitar Bands''. A very proud pronouncement coming from the mouth of E.K Nyame himself.

'One of the most important innovators of Highlife, EK Nyame. Always with his lead singer Kobina Okai, he developed a unique style that was very successful and influential. Listen to the typical Ghanaian way of singing harmony, three voices not blending together but each going his own way. A small warning: this is really an acquired taste and no easy listening!' -Akwaboa

(b 1927, Kwahu, Ghana; d 1977) Composer, singer, guitarist; the most popular guitar-band leader in Ghana. Self-taught; first played with amateur groups, clerking in his day job. He wanted to modernize highlife, the national style, introducing notation, training of musicians; he formed his own group in 1950 including guitars, clips, bongos, drums and string bass; formed Akan Trio '52 for concert parties (African comic theatre) with the band entertaining the audience before and after performances with highlifes, ragtimes, calypsos. He toured Liberia with Prime Minister Nkrumah, playing at state functions; the succcess of the tour and the trio's growing popularity at home enabled him to turn pro full-time. The concert parties were initially in English, but Twi became standard. He had begun recording in '51 after success with his song 'Small Boy Nye Me Bra', during the next two decades made a phenomenal 400 singles on Decca, Queenophone, HMV, Skanaphone. His biggest hits included 'Menia Agya Meni Na' and 'Maye Maye Meni Aye'; he continued to innovate in the guitar-band context and to develop highlife. He remade some of his most popular tunes mid-'70s on LP Sankofa ('Go Back And Retrieve'). On his sudden death he was given a state funeral for which over 10,000 turned out. His longtime associate and friend Kobina Okine (1924-85) composed memorable highlifes including the classic 'Tetteh Quashie'.

E. K. Nyame (feat. E.K.'s Band) - Small Boy: Evergreen Tunes Vol.2

1. Small Boy 3:21
2. Onipa Enye Me 3:27
3. Meye Maye 3:59
4. To Me Da Mu 2:47
5. Mene Agya 2:44
6. Amne A Mahu 3:06
7. Awurade Yesu Oreba 3:02
8. Boafo Yena 3:09
9. Onipa Ode Na Ade 3:14
10. Mohwe Nea 2:59
11. Onyame De Woakye 3:09
12. Meba Wiase Mu 3:17

See also
Global Groove

Eastern Europe

Funky fusiony goodness. I never cease to be impressed by the talents of the session musicians of the '60s and '70s. -stereobread

'Subtitled 'Rare Grooves From Eastern Europe 1967-1978' and with a fetching photo of Berlins Fernsehturm (television tower) on the cover this CD is a complete must-have. 16 tracks from (mostly) Polish and Czechoslovakian artists, my personal favourites are:'Sorcery' by Big Band Katowice (the 70's copshow theme that never was),'Divka S Jablky' by Mahagon (very 70's) and 'Sextant' by Impuls.' -karldelgado

'On the trail of jazz in Eastern Europe (almost everything from Poland or the CSSR) with the connoisseurs of Crippled Dick Hot Wax, who have unearthed many a lost pearl here. The 16 pieces range between rare groove, cocktail jazz, fusion and funk, especially the vocal numbers are really exceptional (Mahagon, Novi Singers).'

'Crippled Dick have done it again – and come up with another groundbreaking batch of lost grooves. This time, they're unleashing rare 70s tracks from Eastern Europe – obscure jazz and funk numbers that were cut for private and state-owned labels, most of which never got any distribution outside of the Soviet Block. The tracks are a mix of modal groovers, electric funky tunes, and some sweet breezy vocal sides with a wonderfully warm feel – and the documentation of the material is fantastic, so that you'll learn just as much about the music as you will enjoy hearing it.' -Dusty Groove

'Between or Beyond... is back, this time concentrating on the little known but incredibly unique and diverse Jazz of Eastern Europe. The time is the late 1960ies to the 70ies in the midst of the Cold War: while the Communists tried to supress Jazz from the beginning as "western ideologie", musicians in Poland, the GDR and Czechoslovakia claimed the universal language of Jazz to be their medium of artistic freedom.

From the small jazz cellars dwelled a movement, that soon became the pride and sign of a nation; Poland in special looks back on a huge tradition in Jazz, followed close behind by Czechoslovakia, that can be traced back to the early twenties.

From this tradition grew such talents as ZBIGNIEW NAMYSLOWSKY, ADAM MAKOWICZ, LACO DECZI, KAREL VELEBNY, GUSTAV BROM, or mindblowing groups and projects like LABORATORIUM, IMPULS, PRAG BIG BAND and the BIG BAND KATOWICE from the famed Higher School of Music in Katowice.

The very special quality of east european Jazz seems to be, that it embraces other musical styles with a passion: it mingles slavic influences with bits and pieces from the rest of the world; Latin percussion meets heavy funk grooves flavoured with electronics, bewitching vocals and high energy instrumentalism.

With the compilation at hand we proudly present an overview of exceptional grooves, and we did not select old DIXILAND, that's for sure.' -Crippled Dick

1. Wojciech Karolak - A Day in the City 5:27
2. Gustav Brom and His Orchestra - Bounty 6:47
3. Adam Makowicz - Drinking Song 3:56
4. Mahagon - Divka's Jablky 3:16
5. Novi Singers - Tanczace Orzechy / Dancing Nuts 2:04
6. Jazz Celula - Probuzeni 4:50
7. Big Band Katowice - Sorcery 4:38
8. Martin Kratochvil's Jazz Q - A Dance 4:00
9. Zbigniew Namysłowski Quartet - Mango Boogie 6:59
10. Grupa Organowa Krzysztofa Sadowskiego - Alfa Centaura 3:51
11. Karel Velebný and His SHQ - The Newcomer 5:38
12. Impuls - Sextant 4:45
13. Mahagon - Pisecne Presypy 3:57
14. Prague Big Band - Helemese / Gee Whiz 3:28
15. Laboratorium - Funki Dla Franki 4:46
16. Hubert Katzenbeier Quintett - Quartet 5:04

"Between Or Beyond The Iron Curtain" - Rare Grooves from Eastern Europe 1967-1978

01 (P) 1974 Polskie Nagrania MUZA cat# SX 1069 - rec. 1974
02 (P) 1977 Supraphon cat# 11 5 2143 - rec. 11.12.1976
03 (P) 1973 Polskie Nagrania MUZA cat# SX 0963 - rec. 1973
04 (P) 1978 Supraphon cat# 1 15 2145 - rec. 09.03.1977
05 (P) 1967 Polskie Nagrania MUZA cat# XL 0415 - rec. 1967
06 (P) 1976 Supraphon/Panton cat# 11 0638 - rec. 11.04.1976
07 (P) 1977 MUZA cat# SX 1560 - rec. 1977
08 (P) 1977 Supraphon cat# 1 15 1983 - rec. 22.02.1977
09 (P) 1977 Polskie Nagrania MUZA cat# SX 1493 - rec. 1977
10 (P) 1972 Polskie Nagrania MUZA cat# SXL 0748 - rec. 1972
11 (P) 1972 Supraphon cat# 1 15 1138 - rec. 09.02.1971
12 (P) 1977 Supraphon/Panton cat# 11 0684 - rec. 25.08.1977
13 (P) 1978 Supraphon cat# 1 15 2145 - rec. 14.03.1977
14 (P) 1977 Panton cat# 11 0692 - rec. 30.09.1977
15 (P) Polskie Nagrania MUZA cat# SX 1418 - rec. 1976
16 (P) AMIGA cat# 8 55 307 - rec. 1972

Tracks taken :
1 from LP " Easy! " ( 1975 )
2 from LP " Polymelomodus " ( 1977 )
3 from LP " Unit " ( 1973 )
4 & 13 from LP " Mahagon " ( 1978 )
5 from LP " Bossa Nova " ( 1967 )
6 from LP " Oheň Až Požár " ( 1976 )
7 from LP " Elegy " ( 1977 )
8 from LP " Music For My Friends " ( 1978 )
9 from LP " Zbigniew Namysłowski " ( 1977 )
10 from LP " Na Kosmodromie " ( 1972 )
11 from LP " Motus " ( 1972 )
12 from LP " Impuls " ( 1978 )
14 from LP " Portrait = Podobizna " ( 1978 )
15 from LP " Modern Pentathlon " ( 1976 )
16 from LP " Jazz " ( 1973 ) credited to Friedhelm Schönfeld / Hubert Katzenbeier

Comparing the CD booklet with the information from Discogs and other sources, the years of publication of some albums are different.

10 Jun 2021


A Must For The Fans of the STAX Sound

'This comp features 24 Stax/Volt b-side tracks from 1964-1968. The release notes informs us that this is the first time out on cd for all the 24 and for most the first time seen the light of day since the initial single release back when. Source wise all it seems are from the original singles mono masters apart from Johnnie Tailor's opener which is offered up here via a new stereo mix.'

'The premise of Kent/Ace's compilation The Other Side of the Trax: Stax-Volt 45rpm Rarities 1964-1968 is so simple, it's startling that it's taken until 2016 to do: anthologize the flip sides of singles whose A-sides previously saw release on compact disc. Remarkably, none of the 24 singles on The Other Side of the Trax have seen release on CD and these are no obscure acts, either. Johnnie Taylor, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, William Bell, the Mar-Keys, Eddie Floyd, Sir Mack Rice -- these are the artists that built Stax-Volt into a Southern soul powerhouse between 1964 and 1968, the years when Stax released their 45s on a blue, not yellow, label. Each of these B-sides fell through the digital cracks but The Other Side of the Trax does a wonderful service of collecting these dynamite sides, presenting almost all of them in their original mono mixes (Taylor's "Changes" is the only one with a new stereo mix). Sometimes, the flip is nothing more than a fun throwaway -- the Mar-Keys' grooving "Beach Bash" pops to mind -- but usually these ingles are inspired: sharply written tunes that hum along to a tight groove. To those who aren't hardcore collectors -- i.e., the kind who would already own the original 45s -- this is something akin to a revelation: it's like finding a jukebox full of classic Stax you've never heard.' -Allmusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

'The Other Side Of The Trax' brings you two-dozen Stax and Volt B-sides that have thus far managed to avoid release on CD. Given how well-known some of the artists are, that might seem unlikely, but this is indeed the official CD debut of all 24 tracks. And what great tracks they are. It must have been really difficult for the company’s A&R team to consign them to B-sides when they are clearly of A-side quality.
 In the time that has passed since they were issued on 45s, many have achieved greater popularity among collectors than their A-sides. With the exception of Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and Booker T & the MGs – whose entire Stax/Volt catalogues are available elsewhere on CD – you will hear from every major act to have recorded for the company between January 1964 and March 1968. All tracks are taken from the original singles masters, with the exception of Johnnie Taylor’s northern soul classic ‘Changes’, which appears in a new stereo mix. The rest are the way they were meant to be heard – in pristine Memphis mono. (Tony Rounce)

1. Johnnie Taylor - Changes 2:30
2. Carla Thomas - Separation 2:40
3. Ivory Joe Hunter - This Kind Of Woman 2:21
4. Rufus Thomas - Sho’ Gonna Mess Him Up 3:03
5. Barbara & The Browns - You Belong To Her 2:37
6. William Bell - Don’t Stop Now 2:18
7. The Mar-Keys - Beach Bash 2:05
8. Eddie Purrell - My Pride Won’t Let Me 2:31
9. Johnny Daye - I Need Somebody 2:44
10. Eddie Jefferson - Uh-Oh (I’m In Love Again) 3:02
11. Dorothy Williams - Watchdog 2:30
12. Oscar Mack - You’ll Never Know How Much I Love You 2:14
13. Barbara & The Browns - Please Be Honest With Me 2:36
14. William Bell - Ain’t Got No Girl 2:49
15. Carla Thomas - A Boy Named Tom 2:31
16. Gorgeous George - Sweet Thing 2:45
17. Eddie Floyd - Hey Now 2:14
18. Sir Isaac & The Do-Dads - The Big Dipper 2:22
19. Rufus Thomas & Carla Thomas - We’re Tight 2:09
20. Sir Mack Rice - I Gotta Have My Baby’s Love 2:20
21. Eddie Floyd - Under My Nose 2:41
22. Johnny Jenkins - Bashful Guitar 3:05
23. Linda Lyndell - Here Am I 2:12
24. Johnnie Taylor - Strange Things (Happening In My Heart) 2:18

Incl. 16 page booklet

9 Jun 2021


Sought-after, superb late 70s DJ cut

'Dillingers tuff adaptation of Lee Perry / Milton Henry's This World.'

'Much sort after obscure late 70's roots gem. Dilinger in singing style riding a rockers cut of the 'Fever' riddim.'

'Heavy roots from Dillinger in singing mode, originally released in 1978 on deep relick of the “Artibella” riddim with great dub version and nice repo of original J.A. label ‘Gorgon’ TUFF.'

'Dillinger, real name Lester Bullock, is a prolific reggae artist from Jamaica. He was part of the second wave of DJ 'toasters' who rose to prominence during the mid '70s. He continued to record and perform, his last tour was in 2014 with Yellowman. His classic from 1978 'Dread No Warrior' originally appeared on the Gorgon label. With its classic roots reggae swagger, you can hear why this one is a favourite with the heads out there. Typically, there's a dub version over on the flip. Bullock was also known for starting his own label called Scandal Bag.'

A Dread No Warrior 2:43
B Version 2:55


Killer late seventies Larry Marshall steppa.

'Repress. Reissue of a sought-after roots stepper with banging dubwise from producer Larry Marshall.'

Larry Marshall ‎– It Dread In A Rome

Format: 7'' Vinyl (Reissue)
Label: Onlyroots Records
Style: Roots Reggae, Dub
Year: Originally released in 1979 JA2011 - France

A Larry Marshall - It Dread In A Rome 3:15
B Amanda All Star - Dub Out A Rome 3:07

Mastered By – Sam John
Producer – Larry Marshall

See also
“Come Let Us Reason” – Interview with Larry Marshall