In the fall of 1957, North Carolina’s State Baptist Convention upheld a 1937 ruling prohibiting dancing on the campus of Wake Forest. After burning Convention president Reverend J.C. Canipe in effigy, the entire student body staged a walkout during the next morning’s mandatory service at Wait Chapel. Nearly two thousand students bunny hopped across campus, dancing well into the night. The protest attracted the attention of Life Magazine, who published an impressive spread on the conflict, quoting an anti-dance delegate as saying, “Dancing deteriorates the spiritual atmosphere, wherever it takes place,” and campus sweetheart/baton operator Linda Kinlaw as saying, “The riot was more fun than a panty raid.”
Pitt Records was the house label for Roy Matthews’ Pitt Sound Studio, located in Greenville, North Carolina (in Pitt County, consequently). Fans of typographical errors can relish the Southern Spiritual’s possessive properties or the gripping case of Want v. Won’t, while gospel fans are encouraged to suspend their grammatical standards and enjoy this optimistic ditty.
“It Want Be This Way (Always)” by Robert Fuller and the Southern Spiritual’s
I’ve just completed my 8th Annual Carolina Soul “Thursday Night Feature” on WXYC 89.3 FM in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The program is available for download below, in two parts, and the playlist, annotated with links for further reading, follows.
Harold Dickey and The Passions “She Was Always Around” (Prescot) Further reading.
Chuck Wells “Why Did You Lie To Me” (ELL)
Chuck Wells “The Love Knot” (Goldleaf)
The Superiors Band And Their Soul Singers “Darling I Love You” (Barvis)
Clay Brown “Everybody’s Talking” (Aljon)
Chuck Cockerham “Have I Got A Right” (Mala)
Moses Dillard And The Dynamic Showmen “Go ‘Way Baby” (Mark V)
Prince Paul & The Swingin’ Imperials “In The Beginning (You Really Loved Me)” (Parker)
The Originals Orch. “Who Dun It” (Sok-It)
Frankie & The Damons “The Man From Soul” (JCP) Follow-up 45 is on “Carolina Funk”.
Soul, Inc. “What Goes Up Must Come Down” (Emblem)
The Nomads “Somethin’s Bad” (Mo-Groov)
The Soul Set “Will You Ever Learn” (Bi-Me) Further reading.
Johnny White and the Mighty Crusaders “Physical, Healthy And Trim” (Valle-Dalle) Current website.
Jessie Woods “For Once In My Life” (Leo)
Eloise L. Jackson and the Bloommanets “Tender Loving Care” (United)
The Originals Orch. “Philly Dog” (Sok-It)
Souls Unlimited “The Raving Vampire (Pt. 1)” (Wigwam) Website of member M. Dupuy.
The Golden Toadstools “Silly Savage” (Minaret)
Sound Inc. “Go Away” (Aquarius)
Bob Meyer “I Only Get That Feeling” (Blue Soul)
The Opells “Day And Time” (Linco)
James (Mr. Soulfingers) Arnold “Your Chain Of Love” (Je-eeca)
Moses Dillard And The Dynamic Showmen “Pretty As A Picture” (Mark V)
The Magnificents “Mr. Kool” (Red Coach)
The Appreciations “No, No, No” (Aware)
Gene Barbour And Cavaliers “I Need A Love” (Hit) Further reading.
Kip Anderson “I Can’t” (Tomorrow) Further reading.
Buddy Tee and the Thrillers “If You Don’t Want Me” (Thrill)
Lu’s Grooves to Satisfaction “The Time Is Now” (United)
The Funk Connection “Going Our Way” (TFC)
The Funk Connection “Dedication” (Strawberry Jamm)
The D. J. Band “Ridin’ High” (Lake View)
Harry Deal And The Galaxies “Fonky, Fonky” (Eclipse) Current website.
PART 2 —————-
Moses Dillard & The Tex Town Display “We Gotta Come Together” (Shout)
Opus Seven “Hey Big Brother” (Source)
Manifest Destiny “I’m Missing You” (Mark V)
Exit “I Wanna Be Close To You (When It Rains)” (Rex)
Sudden Change “Used To Think We Were Lovers” (Blackout)
One-On-One “Why Must (It Be That Way)” (Digital Sound Studio)
Tanger Harris & T.M.S. Band “This Lonely Dream” (Showcase) Flipside was reissued.
Toby King “Operator” (Cotton)
The Saints “Love Can Be” (Wigwam)
The Travelers “Love Is A Part Of Living” (Love)
Dorothy Glass & Dorothy Glass Singers “By The Time” (TAP)
The Sensational Brown Sisters and Mother “Tribute To Friends And Relatives” (Florentine) Related to the Brown Brothers?
Laurence Miller & The Carolina Playboys “I’ve Never Been To Vegas” (JSJ)
Cal Brandon “I Kept On Smilin’” (Hit Man) R.I.P. Cal “Skeeter” Brandon (1948-2008).
Brown Sugar Inc. “Sweet Love Of Mine” (Impel)
Style “Do You Miss My Love” (Panda) Myspace page of guitarist Garry Percell.
Babay “In Her Eyes” (SoundTrax)
The Gospel Impressions “Simple Prayer” (Pro Sound)
Ivan R. Sturdivant “The World That Died” (Strategy) Further reading.Video.
The Funk Connection “Dreams” (TFC)
The Funk Connection “Good Night” (Strawberry Jamm)
Harold Dickey “Dance” (DBF)
Garry Percell is one of the fundamental figures in the concentrated soul community of Reidsville, NC. Although Percell’s most recognizable Carolina contribution came as guitarist for beach phenoms Chairmen of the Board, Percell’s sonic portfolio contains a number of interesting indie releases, including this fine relic of below-the-radar boogie, “You’re a Star.”
The members of Style would converge at the Budweiser Superfest via three different outfits—Spectrum, Obladi, and the Butlers. Recognizing their collective potential, the groups incorporated, soon approaching Greensboro’s newly constructed Sound Lab Recording Studio. Smitten with the powerful nonet’s sound and compositional prowess, the Lab waived recording fees, minting “You’re a Star” on their house label, Panda. Their freshman folly was omitting the band’s name from the release, heralding a death knell for the fledgling imprint. Style would also disband soon after this record’s conception, leaving one to ponder, “What happened to all of those glorious uniforms?”
While we are on the topic of Florence, South Carolina, and because only yesterday, after several years of searching, I finally secured a copy of “The Lowdown On Crack”, here’s a tribute to its maker, the late King Clyde Perkins. Exactly five years ago today, on February 16, 2005, Mr. Perkins’ name came up in conversation with a Florence radio disc jockey who was chatting with me about 1960s- and 1970s-era bands from the area. I had previously never known anything about a record I had by a Soul Impossibles band (but check the songwriting credits):
Musicians traveled from all over the state to record in Columbia, so the Impossibles could have been from anywhere, and I was grateful that the DJ remembered them and was still in contact. The next day I spoke with Mr. Perkins himself and learned that in 1963, when he was fresh out of Wilson High School in Florence, he formed his first group, the Royal Scots, who lasted for only a year. In 1967, he formed the Impossibles, who made the record near the end of their tenure in 1971, and who toured as far north as New York, playing gigs there for a week straight. Trumpeter Ivory Joseph has held onto these photos from a break in the action on Atlantic Beach, back in the Carolinas:
After constantly being on the road for four years, Mr. Perkins wanted to do something different, and in 1975, he started disc jockeying himself, using the handle “Cosmic Angel”. In 1977, he opened up his own club, the Celestial, and then in 1979 moved it to a bigger spot, the former Po Boy Club, which he renamed the Celestial II and kept open for six years. Billboard was hip to his sound-system activities in the Florence area, including a trademark innovation dubbed “Live Style”, and this small feature was printed in 1981:
Eighteen years in the making, 1989 saw a follow-up release to “Soul Power No. 1”. Mr. Perkins penned and rapped “The Lowdown On Crack” and released it in conjuction with the Columbia label Samarah, which was owned by members of one of that town’s most successful ‘80s R&B outfits, Midnight Blue. I’ve only ever heard about this record from the artist himself, but he didn’t have a copy on hand, and it was exciting to finally find and hear one elsewhere. We hope you enjoy what sure seems like an extension of his socially-conscious message first put forth in the ‘70s.
Meanwhile that first document “Interpretation - Soul Power No. 1” can be heard on the Jazzman/Now-Again “Carolina Funk” compilation. The cover image of the domestic version also came from Ivory Joseph’s archives. Mr. Perkins and Mr. Joseph met with us in the summer of 2006 to reminisce, lend us photos, and license the Soul Impossibles track, but sadly Mr. Perkins passed away before its reissue. We dedicate this posting to you, King Clyde Perkins, the Cosmic Angel.
The Carolina Soul website serves as a living encyclopedia of soul music made in North and South Carolina. We strive to share Carolinian songs and stories of the last half century, and we invite the input of musicians and fans. We hope you will contact us if you have information on bands or recordings from the region.