Calvin Arnold – Funky Way

Calvin Arnold

Funky Way 45

While I can’t grant DJ Bluewater his wish of providing him with an extra copy of this record (sorry my man, I just found this damn record!), I can provide the growing Flea Market Funk family with a little taste of heavy, funky soul courtesty of one brother Calvin Arnold, and Venture Records.

Having just left Motown in early 1967, ex A & R man William “Mickey” Stevenson with his wife Kim Weston, formed the People Record label. When Weston got signed to MGM, Stevenson was offered a chance to help out Venture Records, a blundering label owned by MGM as an avenue for some of their Soul artists. The label was based out of Los Angeles. Drawing from his previous success from Motown, Stevenson captained the ship. He brought along a talented crew from Motown, including writers, sound engineers, and artists. His resume included writing credits for Martha Reeves and the Vandells and Marvin Gaye among others. His greatest credits were “Dancing in the Street” and “Stubborn Kind of Fella”. The continuation of his Motown success with Venture however, would not happen. It was most definitely short lived, as the label folded just after 18 months. A major factor for the downfall of the label was the inexperience of the marketing staff at actually marketing black music. In addition to that, Stevenson was too busy running the label, not writing and producing as he had done in the past.

All is not lost people, as this record I’m about to share with you from 1968, is one of the gems that came from the Venture camp. This record, is Calvin Arnold’s “Funky Way”. This song has been covered a few times, by Rufus Thomas, and later by Ray Johnson. The latter which can be found on DJ O-Dub’s Deep Covers mix cd over at Soul Sides. Known for being more of a Soul man than a a funk guy, Arnold must’ve been hanging around Wille Hutchinson (aka Willie Hutch) or James T. Shaw (the Mighty Hannibal) at the Venture offices. This record is a good combination of some heavy funky soul. Arnold has been treated bad, as a matter of fact, he’s been treated baaaaaaad. His woman has done a “good lovin’, sweet lovin’ man” like him wrong. I’m kind of glad she did, because without the mistreatment of old Calvin, we would not have this guitar driven groover. Backed by the 7 Souls (who played on all the Venture releases), Arnold keeps up nicely with the rhythm section and some funkay ass organ. Women will push you to do many things, and this woman pushed Calvin Arnold too far, so far he had to get funky on her. We’re all lucky she did. Keep Diggin’!

Calvin Arnold Funky Way ripped from the Venture 45

11 responses to “Calvin Arnold – Funky Way

  1. Top tune. This 7″ was released on the parent MGM label in the UK, as was another of Calvin Arnold’s Venture sides, “What a Lovely Way”, which is another good play-out number! keep it up! phil

  2. Pingback: Coming soon, more posts! « Dance A Jig·

  3. Where can I find Calvin Arnold, He is an old friend from Atlanta, back in the late 60’s and early seventies. I loved his music, but I have a special adoration for him, because he saved my younger sister’s life,Linda Meadows. Can you locate a website or address, is he still among the living. I am not a groupie, just want to get touch and say thanks again.
    I love you Calvin, and enjoyed when you played your guitar in Atlanta
    Josephine

  4. Josephine Meadows- I am Kimberly, Calvin Arnold’s daughter. Yes he is among the living and still living in Atlanta. I called him as soon as I read your post. He remeberd the incident just like it was yesterday. He told me that you use to date Lloyd. Well he would love to talk to you please email me at kimora3000@yahoo.com and leave your number.

  5. I worked with CALVIN ARNORD back 1969 or 70.
    He had a record out,” I THINK I’D BETTER REST”.
    My name is LARRY”BONES”MCCALL, I was the
    drummer with the “AMERICANS OF ’69. We worked
    at a CORRECTIONAL FACILTY right outside of
    HOUSTON TX.

    LARRY”BONES”MCCALL
    larrymcall@sbcglobal.net

  6. It took me 30 years, but I finally found my own copy of “Funky Way” 45 with zero scratches, like “new”. That song brings back some awesome memories; I was 16 at the time, and WOLFMAN JACK on XERB introduced me to SOUL, and it’s powerful forces. One of my favourites was Funky Way; And I can still hear Wolfman’s “howling” as he grooved to mighty Calvin Arnold. Thank You Mr. Arnold! ( And Wolfman, I still miss you). Peace.

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