Download or listen to The Village Choir – The Switch from the Paramount 45
Here we are at the beginning of the week. The weather sucked until yesterday. However, this weekend, football wise was fantastic. The Red Bulls won their final game ever played at the Swamp, and Liverpool crushed Man. U 2-nil at home. I couldn’t have asked for better football. We did it without Stevie G. and Sir Alex had to go home and drink lots of wine and whiskey to get over it. But I digress, we’re here for records, and here’s something I picked up a few years ago, have definitely played live, and included on a FMF mix. Here is The Village Choir with “The Switch” from 1973 on Paramount Records.
Not a tremendous amount of info around about this band. They were a New York City band I believe, and at least one member, guitar player Edward Arrington, Jr., ex-Motown backing player, recorded with the band Village Soul Choir on their “Talk To Me Sometime” 45 in 1972. I do not know how the Village Soul Choir morphed in Village Soul Choir, but Arrington was involved with that as well. This record was produced by Sir Charles Matthews and arranged by Clip Hightower. Matthews described the band as ” a choir that sang R & B and Pop. Village denoted the sound in it’s uniqueness, Soul denoted that it was church oriented, and Choir denoted it was heavy.” I was able to find out that it was recorded in George Klabin’s 46th Street studio called Sound Ideas, with Geoff Daking engineering the sessions. The Village Soul Choir also recorded one helluva children’s record in “Soul on Sesame Street”. The players also included arranger Clip Hightower, Don Otis Parker, Pat McQueen, Dolores Cooper, and Jimmy Marshall. The released a 45 that was included on that record of “The Cat Walk” (the bass line on this thing is KILLER).
“The Switch” starts out with a stanky little bass line, and a decent little beat. Honestly, before I did any research for this record, I just chalked it up to a funky, sexy lil’ number. I didn’t take into the consideration the Church influence the band members had, and as I’m listening it to it again, I hear the Gospel influence. It almost has a traditional/ folk quality to the lyrics, like some spirituals that would be sung at home on a Sunday. Then it switches (no pun intended). The string arrangement gets pretty tough, and the chorus of “rickity rack, sock boom bah”, while kind of corny, still fits in with this Funky Soul piece. I’m definitely feeling this on a late Sunday/ early Monday morning. Hopefully you will too. Keep Diggin’!
Check Out some of this Children’s Funk Gold! (Not sure if it’s the Village Soul Choir but it’s FUNKY as hell!
Cool record. Phat bass line! Cheers Brutha!
Peace and SOUL,
The chunky male singer in the pinkish red stripe shirt is Luther Vandross.
Go on Luther….
Looking back, It’s not a surprize that “Listen, My Brother” ended up on Sesame Street. “Listen My Brother” was a 16 member theater workshop ensemble which was put together by Peter Long who worked at The Apollo. When Sesame Street was created, Peter’s wife Loretta was cast to play the role of Susan.
Members included Luther & Shades Of Jade group-mates Robin Clark, Fonzi Thornton, Diane Sumler, Anthony Hinton & Carlos Alomar, amongst others. In November of 1969, within Sesame Street’s initial 5 shows, they appeared twice. They had the singles, “Listen My Brother” & “Only Love Can Make a Better World”.
This above song “The Counting Song” is from the December 15, 1969 episode of Sesame Street. Another thing that I find interesting about this clip is the percussion at the fade. It reminds me more than a little of the percussion breaks found in “Got To Get A Knutt” by New Birth. Sounds very similar to me : )
Nice site I been looking it over for a few months now. Keep up the good work.
Sir Charles Matthews IS A FUCKING CUNT OK?
PEOPLE FIND THIS GUYS RECORDS AT FLEA MARKETS AND RECORDS SHOWS AND HE CLAIMS COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT WHENEVER SOMEONE TRIES TO SELL ONE OF HIS RECORDS ON EBAY
FUCK YOU “Sir” Charles Matthews,YOU ARE A WASHED UP LOSER, YOU’LL NEVER GET PAID FOR YOUR 40 YEAR OLD RECORDS YOU OLD CUNT SO STOP FUCKING WITH PEOPLE’S AUCTIONS….FUCKTARD!
I just listed a copy The Village Choir’s “Street Opera…” album on ebay and received a notice from Sir Charles Matthews that selling it is a violation of copyright laws. L13- do you, or anyone else here, have any insight into this, and do I, in fact, have to remove it? Thanks!
Hello, I’m looking for Sir Charles Matthews’ contact! Do you have his email address or facebook or whatever? This would be very useful… Thanks a lot!