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Records Indicate: Tarheels, #1

Saturday, March 5th, one college-basketball powerhouse will emerge ACC conference leader, and one will take an L in the anything-BUT-civil war that is Carolina v. Duke. As the moment of truth approaches, we need all the spirited wind that our Carolina-blue sails can withstand. Although fight songs like “Tarheel Stomper” pre-empted historic gameplay, others celebrate the certified triumphs of some of our most successful squads. Case in point: “Number One” by Hoke Simpson is a faux Calypso ode to the 1957 Championship Tarheels, a cluster of talented New Yorkers (still “works” for Duke) who eventually eked out a victory over Wilt Chamberlain’s Kansas squad in triple overtime. Colonial Records was home to Andy Griffith’s breakthrough concept monologue, “They Called It Football.” I like the part where he says “Big Ah-range Drank.” Colonial Records was owned by former Daily Tarheel Editor Orville Campbell, who can be seen here with his most successful act.

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“Number One” by Hoke Simpson with Ken & Ralph, Roy & Jerry

Brandon D Works at the Mall

Greensboro rapper Brandon D is basically the man. Here he is seen ringing up my purchase of Nixon’s Songs About Him at his independent music kiosk inside Hanes Mall, Winston-Salem. Similar transactions have transpired regularly between Brandon and I, from the trunk to the flea market, for several years now. Brandon Davis is second generation rap family here in the Carolinas. His uncle, “Fly” Eli Davis, was instrumental in bringing the Payroll Records roster to prominence in late-‘80s Greensboro, and presently manages Charlotte R&B phenom Anthony Hamilton. Although Brandon received major-label attention from a tailspinning Elektra, the independent rap game has afforded Brandon complete control of his craft, immortalized most recently in his top-grossing Carolina Legend mixtape and the autobiographical Purple Rain-style dramamentary, Trap Boomin’. My first exposure to Brandon was via 2005’s Carolinacentric classic, “Da Kak Joint,” which uses Billy Joel’s “Moving Out” to great effect. Yes, that Range Rover has a Brandon D graphic wrap, and yes the name of that store is Hood Locker. This is Greensboro. Get used to it.

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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.

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