Spanky Wilson – Little Things Mean A Lot

Spanky on stage with Quantic

Download or Listen to Spanky Wilson – Little Things Mean A Lot from the Mothers Records & Snarf Company 45

It’s midweek here at Flea market Funk and with a holiday approaching, it is going to be nice to have a day off. So much in fact I might get out to do some digging on Friday. I have to DJ Friday and Saturday nights, but having the day off (hopefully minus the rain) will be a good thing. I got a great response on the Don Gardner track, one that I have been sitting on for a while, but killer nonetheless. My man John Noll from Retromedia Studios informed me that his new band, Shimmytang will be performing that, along with a boatload of REAL Funk and Soul songs in the Greater Tri-State area soon. Gonna try to get them for the 4th and Kingsley Soul Club. This should be fun. Now I’m gonna get serious. This is one serious record by a very serious Soul Sister. Here’s Spanky Wilson with “Little Things Mean A Lot” on Mothers Records & Snarf Company.

Born in Philadelphia, PA (man these posts this week have a Philly theme, purely coincidental!), Wilson emerged on the music scene in the 1960’s. She lived in Pittsburgh until 1967 before locating to Los Angeles until 1985. After ’85 she would settle in Paris, France. Influenced by Nat King Cole, Louis Jordan, and Eddie Jefferson, she deveoped her unique vocal style. During her long career, she has shared the stage with many of Jazz’s royalty including Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Nat Adderley, and Willie Bobo among others. She also performed with the likes of Marvin Gaye and Sammy Davis, Jr. Wilson has even collaborated with super soundtrack maestro Lalo Shifrin for a cut on the Kelly’s Heroes Soundtrack. Her relentless touring of the Jazz Festival circuit led her all over the world. She’s released on Mother’s Records and Snarf Company ( “Spankin’ Brand New”, “Doin It”), Westbound (“Shake Your Head”), Eastbound and Big Blue. As of late, she has hooked up with powerhouse DJ/ Producer Quantic (and the Quantic Soul Orchestra) to put out a few sides and a full length, I’m Thankful. This collaboration has been really well received, here in the States and abroad. The woman still has it, what can I say?

The piano riff starts and Spanky Wilson’s voice just makes you melt. Her cooing and carrying on (in a good way) of what’s really important get your attention. It’s not the expensive things, you see. It’s the little things, a smile, a loving touch, and I really think she is on to something. I especially like how it’s just the piano, drums (barely) and Wilson’s great voice throughout. It’s simple, but if there was a lot going on, I think it would really be too busy and less effective. This collaboration with producer/ arranger HB Barnum and his label are killer. Despite being a Jazz vocal singer, Wilson knows how to belt out some Sweet Soul. It just goes to show you how versatile she really is. Dig this side, it’s a good one. I’ll see you Friday, maybe with some more Philly stuff, who knows? Keep Diggin’!

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