Good Monday morning to all of the FMF Family. It’s been a long weekend here, and I apologize for no Friday post, but I was working on my website. soon DJ Prestige Dot Com will be streamlined, lots of new photos, a rotating mix page, and lots of other goodies. Also a big shout out to Larry Grogan from Funky 16 Corners for a speedy recovery this week. Until then, what I have here is a good old slice of Soul. I couldn’t resist putting one of my favorite all time Soul songs on here. Get into the groove y’all with Edwin Starr and “Agent Double O-Soul” from Ric Tic Records in 1965.
Born Charles Edwin Hatcher in 1942 in Nashville, Tennessee, Edwin Starr moved away to Cleveland, Ohio. He formed the Doo Wop group The Future Tones in 1957. Moving to the Big D (not Dallas), Detroit in the 60’s, he started his career on the Ric Tic label, the very label this 1965 45 is on. Other artists on the label included JJ Barnes, The San Remo Golden Strings, Andre Williams, Fantastic Four, Flaming Embers and others. He then switched to Motown when they bought up Ric Tic. A couple of minor hits gave way to “25 Miles” in 1969, before the most notable of his career (and originally written by Norman Whitfield and Barret Strong for the Temptations, but deemed a bit too aggressive for them), the soon to be Vietnam anthem “War” was rerecorded in 1969. Starr moved to England in 1973, where he released the sequel to the James Brown themed Black Caesar Soundtrack, the soundtrack to Hell Up In Harlem in 1974. He had another single, “Easin’ In” (which was reissued on the Pulp Fusion Series) The Disco sensation was in full swing and Starr embraced it soon after that. He would go on to record for such labels as Avatar, Calibre, 10 Records, Century, and again Motown. In the 80’s he recorded for Virgin, and was sampled by various UK acts (Cookie Crew for one), and teamed up with Utah Saints for a remake of his “Funky Music Sho’ Nuff Turns Me On” and Three Amigos for “25 Miles”. He got on Ian Levine’s Motown revival label Motor City in the late 80-‘s/ early 90’s, and released and wrote a handful of singles. Edwin Starr died of a heart attack in 2003.
“Agent Double O-Soul”, a take from a James Bond cue, was a soon to be Northern Soul classic. With the heavy drums and even heavier harmonizing, Starr croons his tale of international Soul mystery from start to finish. I particularly dig the lines: “At my job I work real hard/ I’m on the go/ rain, sleet, or snow.” He did work hard, as Double-O Soul or not. He was writing, performing, and producing music right up until his death. Edwin Starr has been covered many times, and a hometown musician, he’s unknown in Asbury Park, Bruce Springsteen, (I keed, I keed) has been known to do his own take on Starr’s “War”. See you midweek. Also, if you’re in the Asbury Park area this coming Saturday, I’m doing a show with an old DJ friend from LA on 4 turntables, should be a blast. It’s free so come on out for the fun. Keep Diggin!