The Unemployed – Funky Rooster

The great producer Wardell Quezerque

The Unemployed – The Funky Rooster from the Cotillion 45

If you haven’t already read about Sunday’s record show, it was a blast. I was able to really get a great pile of records, and it’s funny because this particular record is a record I’ve been trying to locate for a while. I probably could have just sought it out on E Bay, or rang up Craig Moerer and got it, but I guess it’s just the thrill of the chase for me. This record really isn’t rare, it’s on a subsidiary label of Atlantic, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s still a good record. While we’re gonna be a bit brief today, let’s check out The Unemployed with “Funky Rooster” on the Cotillion label.

I couldn’t really turn a whole heck of a lot up on these guys. I know for sure that they were produced by Wardell Quezerque, and that this was possibly his son’s band. A producer and a co-owner of Nola Records, Quezerque would score hits such as Robert Parker’s “Barefootin’ “, King Floyd’s “Groove Me”, Jean Knight’s “Mr. Big Stuff”, Professor Longhair’s “Big Chief”, and many others. Known as the Creole Beethoven, he would orchestrate hits and become the maestro for many a recording session. He was associated with the Malaco label out of Jackson Mississippi, and was a well known fixture in the New Orleans music scene. So much so that his success with the King Floyd and Jean Knight singles (originally rejected by Atlantic for being not being commercial enough) would lead him to record with Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, the Pointer Sisters, and many other bigger stars. Let’s not forget he was sessioning and recording giants of New Orleans like Eddie Bo and Richard Tee as well before he took off.

This record is some Barnyard Funk if I ever heard it. Put your Fabulous Emotions records away on Nico because the Funky Chicken is no match for the Rooster. Some decent hitting drums and Southern style horns plus the requisite rooster calls keep your head nodding in this once forgotten side. The Unemployed had another record, “Funky Thing”, while it did not make much of a splash on the charts, found it’s way many years later to Funk comps and New Orleans area comps alike. Like I said earlier, this record really isn’t a rare one, and not necessarily the greatest Funk side, but it’s definitely unique enough to have caught my attention. With the production of Wardell Quezerque you just can’t go wrong. I’ll be back on Friday with another dusty gem from the crates. Keep Diggin’!

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