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

Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival, #41

Venerable Durham, North Carolina cultural arts festival Bimbé enters its 41st year, tomorrow, Saturday, May 22, at the CCB Plaza downtown.

1976 looks to have been a good year, with three Carolina Soul outfits on the bill, Blue Steam and Duracha, both of Durham, and the allegedly never-recorded Black Genesis of Raleigh. (Newspaper advertisement comes from The Carolina Times.)

Full line-up for 2010, also promising, is below. More details at http://www.ci.durham.nc.us/departments/parks/bimbe_index.cfm.

12 p.m. - Procession of Elders (Led by the Magic of African Rhythms)
Presentation by African American Dance Ensemble

12:45 p.m. - Special Presentations
Patricia Taborn’s Modeling Agency
Winner of Poetry Slam Contest
Campus Hills Angels

1:30 p.m. - Dezrick Dixon (Gospel)

2 p.m. - Mixed Water featuring Veeda (Jazz)

2:45 p.m. - Ohenemma (African music)

3 p.m. - Rough Draft (Old Skool)

4 p.m. - Casino Crisis and Lil Y.I.T.

4:45 p.m. - Crucial Fiya (Reggae)

5:30 p.m. - TA Grady Steppers

5:45 p.m. - Tyrand (R&B)

6:45 p.m. - Brian Dawson’s DJ Musical Medley

7:30 p.m. - Feature Headliner Act: Special Ed and Slick Rick

“Smoothed Out on the R&B Tip”

James Funches, who we profiled in Sophisticated Fight Song, has played in a number of memorable ensembles over the last three decades, teaching music within the Forsyth County School System for the better part of that time. Reggie Buie, a native of Chicago, grew up next door to drummer Isaac “Red” Holt, one of Ramsey Lewis’ preferred timekeepers, who would one day comprise one half of the soul-jazz franchise, Young-Holt Unlimited. The two were making decent money backing Carolina vocalist Janice Price, when a performance opportunity arose at Wayne’s Lounge, located in the long-demolished Ramada Inn on N. Marshall Street in downtown Winston-Salem. Buie loaded drum patterns and bass lines onto floppy disks, and the duo played smoothed-out standards and R&B numbers for a consistent crowd. “I wasn’t crazy about it until I saw the first check,” reflected Funches of the sessions. “We got paid like there was six of us!”

Recorded on April 29th, 1993, new jack swing’s newly minted song book was put to good use, with Today’s “Why You Gettin’ Funky on Me” (from the House Party Soundtrack), Johnny Gill’s “Fair-Weather Friend,” and perhaps the genre’s most infamous offering, “Poison,” by Bell Biv Devoe. 

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Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison,” as performed by Funches & Buie

Bring It Back, That Ol’ Tre Fo Rap

(Click Article to Enlarge)

Wax Poetics is a fantastic publication, for whom I have been granted the liberty of telling many a Carolina tale over the years. The latest, from Issue 40, sheds some light on the roots of Winston-Salem’s permanently burgeoning rap scene. Due to lack of infrastructure and negligent radio, rappers from Winston never seem to gain true traction, and no one’s willing to back me on the brilliance of PWISD’s “Scared of the Tre Fo” (Keep your heads up, fellas). The magazine is available at Borders, Barnes and Noble, and a grip of independent bookstores, most of which can be located here. You’ve got ‘til the end of month. 

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“Must Get Funky” by Resume

The Voice Gets a New Voice

If you’ve never tuned in to North Carolina’s A&T’s collegiate frequency, 90.1-WNAA, you are assuredly missing out on some of the state’s finest, commercial-free programming. The latest addition to the Voice’s rich roster is local legend, Busta Brown, who spent ten years at 102 Jamz before making a grown-and-sexy migration to 97.1 WQMG. Despite generating meaningful, socially constructive content and unifying generations of Triad listeners in the process, WQMG declined to renew Brown’s contract. Brown is now at 90.1 where he continues to host “An Afternoon Thang.” Advantages: He can play old school hip-hop and mention weed. Disadvantages: He is not getting paid for his services. “For me,” explains Brown, “doing the show here is not about the money—it’s about continuing to connect with my audience.” 
“The Afternoon Thing,” can be heard from 3-5pm, Monday-Thursday on 90.1-WNAA.


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.