Total Sound was recorded at Greensboro’s Crescent City Sound Studios in 1969 as part of a fundraising effort for Winston-Salem State University’s budding stage band, the Swingin’ Rams. “We bought band uniforms with proceeds from that album,” reflects saxophonist James Funches, who is pictured on the cover of this collegiate oddity. Although Total Sound boasts numerous young talents, from Sunshine Band saxophonist Eugene Timmons to future WSSU musical director Emory Jones, we relish “Ram Strutt” for a string of solos by a triumvirate of hometown royalty. Bassist Hobert Sharpe (the Blenders), saxophonist Galvin Crisp (Opus 7), and flutist James Funches (the Eliminators) would all go on to record seminal Carolina soul records upon completing their educations at Winston-Salem State University. Everyone gets an +A!
This week’s Sunday listening comes a few hours late, apologies. We’re featuring the 1987 release of Reverend LaDana Clark, aka LadyJam “The Lady With The Plan”, on JAM Records out of Hanahan, South Carolina. An interesting mix of electronics, soul, Christianity, and inspiration, to these ears it keeps sounding better and better. The spacey music breathes a little more on the instrumental side, which is also recommended, and another reason to look out for a copy of the 45. Clark has a strong web presence, and for more reading start with her myspace page, the “about” section of which is shown below. Sadly she reported in an online conversation on January 31st that no more copies of the original 45 are available.
Meet Reverend LaDana Clark aka The Lady With The Plan - LADYJAM!—-Devoted, Sincere and a Black Lesbian Christian Woman on a Mission to Save Lives! The Reverend LaDana Clark is a rare blend of cleric, energetic creator and spiritual guide who has pledged her mission and her ministry to uplifting, enhancing and ultimately, saving lives. Her “Professional Music Ministry” is rooted in her desire to make a difference. Her own personal story of triumph over some of the most despicable, terrifying and life-threatening circumstances is an absolute inspiration to all who listen to her as she speaks, raps and sings from her heart with an authentic faith in her Lord and Savior. Audiences quickly discover that there is not an insincere cell in her body—- from heart to Heaven, her motivation is unimpeachable and her drive—- unconquerable. Reverend Clark is the founder of NJ’s, Inclusive “Hip-Hop 4-Life!” Outreach Ministry! The much-heralded, CHURCH-N-THE-HOOD!; a ministry specifically designed to reach out to young people and the young at heart, in their milieu and at their most open level of understanding. Even those that don’t “want to” hear, find themselves involved, uninhibited, unafraid, open and grateful to hear so much of what they’re feeling put into a delivery that encapsulates their own fears and feelings, questions and concerns in a manner that they embrace. The Reverend is driven not to ‘preach’ , per se, but to ‘reach’ those who would listen. She challenges the participants not to settle for anything less than their absolute best—- never to compromise one’s self-worth and dignity and to consider walking with a life rooted in Faith. We are completely humbled and honored to represent the Reverend to sponsors, presenters, producers, congregations and corporations worldwide. A stirring, energetic, truth-telling, non-threatening messenger is dedicated to this mission. Her desire—- to offer help to the disenfranchised, the uninspired and those who have been treated as outcasts and feel that they have little hope to see the light of a better day. You can rely on the Reverend LaDana Clark aka LADYJAM to achieve your goals of uplifting and inspiring those that you serve each day! Team up with the Reverend and let her help make a difference in the lives of the people you want or need to reach. Let’s get her on your inspirational events calendar or intervention programing schedule for this year. For bookings or further information send a message today! Please also check out CHURCHNTHEHOOD.org
The Fabulous Fryers were a tragic assemblage of singers whose spirit machine inspired both staggering loss and epic victory for a pair of sports institutions in the early ’80s. Debuting in their home state of Iowa, “Hawkeye Hut-Hut” and “Bringing Home the Roses” harkened a scoreless performance for the University at the 1981 Rose Bowl. Feeling unfulfilled, the Fryers attempted to sprinkle their Anglican juju on another promising franchise whose season was reaching a climactic end. The Fryers stripped the vocals from their nauseating suite, adapting both songs to reference the 1982 Tarheels on route to the NCAA championship title. The ensuing victory over Georgetown would be the result, somewhat poetically, of Michael Jordan’s last-minute shot and James Worthy’s last-second steal, securing a hard-fought title for coach Dean Smith, and a resounding victory for the state of North Carolina.
After tonight’s somewhat discouraging loss to Duke, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude. The disco peril of “Tarheel Stomper” is a reminder that greatness often exhibits misleading symptoms, and that even a song this bad can preempt historical success. Perhaps the Fryers could cook us up some embarrassing manner of rap rock to get the championship blood flowing once again?
The Pilgrims of Joy out of Fayetteville, North Carolina turn the heat up on critical churchgoers who may be more concerned with gossip than the gospel. Impassioned screaming and boisterous instrumentation make this cleverly disguised church track a real treasure.
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.