Daddy B. Nice's #40 ranked Southern Soul Artist
March 1, 2015: REGGIE P. RETROSPECTIVE, PART 1
Listen to Reggie P. singing "Dropping Salt" on YouTube.
February 1, 2014: NEW ARTIST GUIDE ALERT!
Reggie P. is now the #13-ranking Southern Soul artist on Daddy B. Nice's new 21st Century Top 100 Countdown.
Go to Daddy B. Nice's new 21st-Century Artist Guide to Reggie P.
Reggie P.'s "WHY ME?" is now #13. Go to Top 100 Southern Soul Songs 21st Century Countdown.
Listen to Reggie P. singing "Why Me?" on YouTube.
April 26, 2011 Update:
Reggie P. Funeral Details and Information for Condolences and Gifts:
The funeral services for Reggie P. will be held Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 2 pm at First Baptist Church, 500 Pine St., West Monroe, Lousiana.
Internment is scheduled afterward at Richwood Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Contact Hester Central State Funeral Home, 811 Louise Ann Avenue in Monroe (318-325-6207).
Love offerings or donations to help with burial costs are welcome at Hester Central State Funeral Home, 811 Louise Anne Ave., Monroe, Louisiana, 71201 (318-325-6207).
--Daddy B. Nice
Update April 17, 2011: Untimely & Unexpected: Reggie P. Dies
The Boogie Report is announcing the death of Reggie P., one of the premier performers in Southern Soul's younger generation, known for his gritty, soulful vocals on songs including, "Why Me?," "Your Love Is A Bad Habit" and "Droppin' Salt."
"It is with a great deal of regret," J. Boogie states, "that we report that it has been confirmed that soul singer Reggie P. died last night in Biloxi, Mississippi. It is reported Reggie passed on in his sleep. More details to follow."
--Daddy B. Nice
See Related Stories on Daddy B. Nice's Corner & Daddy B. Nice's Mailbag.
Reggie P. had only recently been featured in a Daddy B. Nice article titled "Ten Great Albums For Holiday Giving" as follows:
Reggie P., Why Me? (Allison, 2005) No one--not even the masterful Mel Waiters--has sung a better Southern Soul rocker than Reggie P's "Why Me?" This CD set the standard for gritty, O.V. Wright-style Southern Soul in the new millennium.
Outstanding tracks: "Why Me?," "Droppin' Salt," "Hold On," "Come On Girl," "Soul Steppin'."
Bargain-Priced Why Me? CD
Comparison-Priced Why Me? CD
See "Tidbits" below for the latest updates on Reggie P.
To automatically link to Reggie P's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other references, go to "Reggie P" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.
Daddy B. Nice's Original Critique:
As someone who has spent the last decade championing the cause of contemporary Southern Soul music, it pains me to have to admit that, like the apostle Paul, I sometimes succumb to doubts. There are times--most recently this past winter--when I wonder where all the great new music is, times when the overall new product seems "thin," times when I have a dreadful, creeping suspicion that perhaps this nascent soul genre that I've spent so much time and energy trumpeting as the "next big musical thing" has in fact already played itself out.
And if, at the end of the nineties, anyone had told me that the core stars of contemporary Southern Soul--the "cream of the crop," the very artists who had seduced me and turned me into a passionate fan and believer--would all be dead or diminished in less than a decade, cut down at the height of their musical production, who knows if your Daddy B. Nice would even be here, writing about Southern Soul music, today?
Consider the "greats" who have fallen. Johnnie Taylor. Ronnie Lovejoy. Tyrone Davis. Little Milton. Quinn Golden. Jimmy Lewis. Jackie Neal. Frank Mendenhall. Add to this the vastly reduced output of Peggy Scott-Adams and Marvin Sease--not to mention the peripheral losses of James Brown, R. L. Burnside, Gerald Levert and Luther Vandross--and the depth and seriousness of the loss in talent (including the top five performers on Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 Southern Soul chart) is nothing short of staggering.
Of course, faithful fans are well aware that new "flowers" are continually sprouting up on the graves of each departed hero and heroine. The question then becomes whether these young and often raw and unseasoned artists can produce legitimate music, music that justifies the attention of the record-buying public, music that taps into the tradition of the fallen stars while at the same time pushing it to fresh, new heights--no small task.
Not only must these new artists perform the dual task of recapturing the "magic" of their fallen mentors while pushing ahead with original perspectives of their own, they must do so in a commercially-hostile (or commercially-indifferent) marketplace in which self-publishing (not to mention self-promotion) is usually a financial and artistic necessity.
Not surprisingly, the result is a soul-music subculture strewn with both successes and failures. Thus, you have the triumph of Theodis Ealey, one of the best of the new stars, who self-published and self-promoted and finally broke through in a big way with a song--"Stand Up In It"--which very few people indeed ever guessed had "classic" written all over it.
And on the other hand, you have an immensely-talented vocalist, Robert "The Duke" Tillman, who since his initial breakthrough a few years ago with the dazzling "I Found Love," has either chosen not to (or simply not had the means to) self-publish. Unable to "buy" a record contract since, he has--artistically-speaking--withered on the vine.
Your Daddy B. Nice has been slow to acknowledge many of this hardy new breed of Southern Soul newcomers. Partly, it's due to a natural tendency to avoid the hype that accompanies the latest album "du jour." But besides the new artists already on the Top 100 chart, there are a number who deserve to be, and among that up-and-coming elite none merits consideration more than a man named Reggie P.
When I first started hearing Reggie P.'s music years ago, I visualized a chunky guy with ham-hock hands and basset-hound-sized bags under his eyes, a grizzled old blues veteran on the lines of Charles Wilson or J. T. Watkins. Reggie P.'s music was so "vintage"--and the singer sounded world-weary and worldly-wise.
The song I was listening to was "Droppin' Salt," although in those days I knew it as "Droppin'." I couldn't make out the "salt," I was actually proud of making out the word "droppin'," and the name of the artist remained "anonymous" for months and then years, through dozens of listenings--always at unexpected intervals--on Deep South radio stations.
"Droppin' Salt" didn't bowl you over. It worked its way into your consciousness in a subtle manner, with a mid-tempo, middle-of-the-road atmosphere on the order of Quinn Golden's "I'm Going To Be A Man About It." With a memorably insidious female chorus, as sugar-coated and charming as its message was tart, "Droppin' Salt" was the kind of song you didn't know you liked until you heard it again.
And gradually, as each new listen revealed more sophisticated textures--in the horn charts, in the spare, impeccable lead guitar, in the catchy but understated chorus, but above all in the many-nuanced vocal performance of Reggie P.--I came to understand I was hearing the thing I most appreciated in Southern Soul music: a minor masterpiece shrouded in mystery. There was no hype--not even a name or an image of an artist--to divert attention from the primal flow of the music, a mellow-as-yellow melody saved from being overly saccharine by a vocal of gritty originality and intensity.
"Every time you see me,
I have tears all over my face.
I get so tired of being abused. . .
"But what does it take
To get along with you?
I've done all I can do.
I just can't seem to please you."
The arrangement of the song was the most marvelous example of achieving the "golden mean"--of having the musical "goods" while holding back--outside the Willie Clayton song catalog. Yet the text of the song--the crisis of a passionate, needful man and an indifferent, unnecessarily cruel woman--remained almost a footnote to the mesmerizing musicality of the song.
And the female chorus kept on:
"You keep droppin'
Why (do) you keep on droppin'?
You keep droppin'
Salt on me I don't need."
At last, roughly five years into his unheralded solo career, the sun began to shine on Reggie P. with the emergence of his third album, Why Me? The title cut was a rocking record--a defining track--in the mode of Johnnie Taylor's "Big Head Hundreds" or the aforementioned Theodis Ealey's "Stand Up In It."
Again the subject was a sensitive, passionate man, albeit one who was a litte more experienced, worn down, less romantic, and again his friends were asking him, "Why do you put up with it, Reggie P.?" And, as with "Droppin' Salt," the musicality of "Why Me?" was overpowering. The driving tempo was a refreshing contrast to the laid-back, rocking-the-cradle rhythm of the former, and the gritty, gospel-drenched Reggie P. vocal rode astride the galloping tempo as if it had found its perfect medium.
The "can't-miss" chords to "Why Me?" blended with its blistering rhythm section and Reggie P.'s growls, sighs and vocal pirouettes to seduce an audience that might never have noticed the more modest "Droppin' Salt." "Why Me?" took off on Southern Soul radio stations and dominated airplay for the better part of the year. In one fell swoop, with a hit song and at least four or five other radio-worthy singles, Why Me? catapulted the once-obscure Reggie P. into the relatively lofty status of Southern Soul enfant terribles Sir Charles Jones and T. K. Soul.
When it came time to compile Daddy B. Nice's Top 25 Songs of 2006 (which included songs published in 2005), I awarded Reggie P. two of the coveted positions with these remarks:
3."Droppin' Salt"------Reggie P.
An artist who combines the emotional power of Sir Charles Jones with the vocal chops and intensity of Bobby "Blue" Bland.
And . . .
13. "Why Me?"-------Reggie P.
It dominated Southern Soul radio station airplay in the early months of the year, but it never got boring or grating. Just better.
The Bobby "Blue" Bland comparison was not given lightly. Indeed, I had never likened another musician to Bland, the grandmaster of Southern Soul vocalists. And yet, there is no one to whom Reggie P.'s vocals more closely resemble--in pitch and timber, in power and intensity, in the elusive ability to communicate the human condition. Reggie P. is one of a chosen few who over the years could actually replace one of those fallen monuments of soul music with whom we began these observations.
--Daddy B. Nice
About Reggie P.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Reggie P. (born Reginald Pettes) entered the music business via the legendary funk band, the BarKays, in the late nineties. His first solo effort, Who Am I (Avanti, 2000), was an uneven assortment of songs and styles ranging from rock ("Dream Weaver" and "Your Lover Is A Bad Habit") to urban-smooth ("In The Air Tonight") to the Southern Soul promise of "Let Me. . . " and "Nobody Wants You."
Song's Transcendent Moment
"We've been through this once before.
If You Liked. . . You'll Love
Honorary "B" Side
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