Here’s some Indiana Soul via Florida for you this morning by none other than Timmy Thomas. From the first time I found “Funky Me”, with it’s primitive use of a drum machine (after Sly Stone) on the old Glades label, I bought all I could find by this guy. There was always something about him I liked. I have been looking for this side for a minute, and found it right here in my own Brooklyn back yard. Also, it seems like my Big Ups section is starting to take off. The latest with Super DJ/ Producer/ Writer/ Black Sabbath lover Cosmo Baker and NJ Artist/Musician/ Vinyl nut Pat. James Longo are “Stone Cold” reads. If you haven’t checked them out, please do. I’ve got a huge amount of people lined up, including DJ Andy Smith, Jukka from Timmion Records, Skeme Richards, Mr. Finewine and many, many more. Stay tuned for them. For now, let’s get into Timmy Thomas with “Sexy Woman” on Glades Records from 1975.
Born in 1944 in Evansville, Indiana, Timmy Thomas started out early in the music business. Playing keyboards and singing, but eventually moving his role over to producer, he started working on the side with Cannonball Adderley and Donald Byrd. He then became affiliated with Goldwax Records (Hello! James Carr on this roster). Unfortunately, he had no luck there as a solo artist, but put out a few sides with Phillip & The Faithfuls in 1964. Thomas migrated to Memphis where he picked up work as a sideman, but continued to release singles over at Goldwax. Most notably, he put out “Have Some Boogaloo” and a few others in 1967. Trying his hand with the Climax label with a single release, it wasn’t until he made the switch to Henry Stone’s Glades label that he found the success he wanted. We all know that Stone’s Florida empire had artists like Betty Wright, Clarence Reid, Archie Bell and the Drells, and Lattimore, and Timmy Thomas was about to leave his mark. His side “Why Can’t We Live Together”, which went on to sell over 2 million copies. Duets with Betty Wright and more sides for Glades and the Disco Stone imprint T.K. would follow, but he would never equal the popularity of “Why Can’t We….”. He went on making music after Glades, but moved to role as a producer in the modern day, and appearing Soul siren Joss Stones Soul Sessions record (produced by Betty Wright).
Sandwiched in between The Back Yard Heavies “Expo ’83” and Kool and the Gang’s “N.T.” on the now infamous DJ Shadow/ Cut Chemist 45 freak out Brainfreeze, “Sexy Woman” is definitely one reason I have a soft spot for Glades 45’s. Even before Brainfreeze when I was digging up Lattimore and Clarence Reid joints, I was hot for Glades. I was hot for the Betty Wright releases too. Don’t sleep on “The Babysitter” (a favorite by Devil Dick soon to be in a Big Ups section). Shadow and Chemist showcased it, but I never ever see it in the field. This past week digging I did, so I figured “why the hell not?”. The open drum break in the beginning sets this off, and by the time the horns jump in, well it’s like sneaking out at Summer Camp to meet the girl of your dreams and getting to second base. This song is a definite favorite of mine. As my old friend Miss Delores would say: “Jamison, this is some wall grinding music…oooh child!” Keep Diggin’!