As I sit here tonight sifting through my que piles, I decided that as of late, I needed to hear so more Soul. I popped on the cover Lp “Solid Soul” by the Soul Buttercups (a definite review in the near future), and my mood turned Soulful for the rest of the evening, so here we are. I have so much Soul, whether it be sweet, funky, or jazzy. I am going to make it a point to incorporate it a bit more here at FMF, it’s just that good. Vince from FuFu Stew dropped a Sand Pebbles gem during the 45 Sessions this past month, which led me to drag out another side of theirs I had in the “to be reviewed” pile. So, without any further delay, let’s jump into “Love Power” by the Sand Pebbles from 1967 on Calla Records.
The Calla label was based out of New York City, and run by Nate McCalla, a man who had an open ear for music of different styles. McCalla ran a powerful black owned Soul label, and had a stable of assorted artists such as Little Jerry Williams (who later became Swamp Dogg) J.J. Jackson (of “I Dig Girls” fame), Jean Wells, the Emotions, the Fuzz, Lonnie Youngblood, and Geraldine Hunt among others. They even released some sides by the Persuaders during the mid 70’s. Part of Roulette records (but operating independently), as stated before, this label, though small, was a powerful label that released some great sides. They were distributed by Shakat, then later by CBS. The label was around from 1965-1972, taking a few breaks ( 1972-75 ) in between where they didn’t release any records. The Calla label shut it’s doors in 1977. McCalla left the country until 1980, where he returned and was murdered shortly after.
I don’t know too much about the Sand Pebbles, other than they did get their start in the church, only to move on to secular music a little while later. Their main songwriter was Teddy Vann , who would go on years later to share a Grammy with Luther Vandross on “Power of Love/Love Power.” In all, they released around 12 sides, and a greatest hits package was put out that would document the band with their records, plus unreleased sides and exclusive radio ads for the band. This trio consisted of two female and one male vocals, which would provide for some sweet harmonies. “Love Power” is a combination of Sweet Southern style Soul mixed with a tinge of Gospel, which makes for a some super dynamite Soul. I can say for sure that the next Soul mix I do will include this tune. Listen for the horn break down in the middle, followed by drum break from Harold “Smiley” Davis, who was only 16 when he recorded the record in secrecy from the Drum Corps he was in. To give you an idea on just how good this side is, the one and only Dusty Springfield deemed it necessary to put her own spin on this nugget.
It’s going to be a big weekend here at FMF. Both days will be consumed by digging, as I hit the spot on Saturday, then make the biannual Groovy Productions Record Show, at it’s new location in Hazlet, NJ on Sunday. There will be a lot of diggers out, as this show usually brings out the who’s who of NJ producers, DJs, and diggers. While some dealers say it’s a waste, I will disagree. I always find records, and I don’t have to spend a lot of money doing so. That being said, if you see me, say hello. See you over the weekend. Keep Diggin’.