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"Do You Qualify?"
Composed by Marvin Sease
Listen to "Marvin's Final Testimony" on You Tube
"Marvin is a monolith, and eight years into the 21st century Southern Soul scene, both his fans and critics think of him as "Marvin" in the same way Pryor fans think of the late comedian as "Richard"--that is, with a familiarity and affection born of a long history of recorded levity, lewdness, and street-wise marital lore."
--Daddy B. Nice, October 31, 2008
Listen to the YouTube Stream of Marvin Sease's "Gone On" While You Read On. . . .
See Daddy B. Nice's #1 "Breaking" Southern Soul Single for March 2011!
February 18, 2011: Update
See Daddy B. Nice's feature on Marvin Sease in News & Notes: "Huge Public Interest in Marvin Sease," in Daddy B. Nice's Corner.
See related Marvin Sease material in Daddy B. Nice's Mailbag.
MARVIN SEASE "GONE ON"
Marvin Matthew Sease Sr.
Southern Soul & Blues Legend
(February 16, 1946 - February 8, 2011)
Funeral services for Marvin Sease will be held on
Thursday, February 17, 2011
at 1:00 pm
5573 Voorhees Road
Denmark, South Carolina 29042
A celebration of Marvin Sease's life will be held on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 1:00 p.m.,
Word and Worship Church
6286 Hanging Moss Rd.
Jackson, Mississippi 39206.
The event is open to the public.
Bishop Jeffery A. Stallworth is the designated pastor for the church.
Marvin Matthew Sease Sr. died Tuesday, February 8, 2011, at River Region Medical Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi at the age of 64 after a lengthy illness battling pneumonia.
W.H. Jefferson Funeral Home in Vicksburg, Mississippi has charge of the funeral arrangements and will release more details as they become available. Send your condolences to the Sease family by visiting:
Marvin Matthew Sease Sr was preceded in death by his parents, Charlie and Hester Youmas Sease; a brother, Charlie Sease; and three sisters, Evelyn Sease, Juanita Sease and Mattie Sease.
He is survived by his wife, Alwillie Williams Sease of Elmont, N.Y.; five sons, Mark Sease of Vicksburg, Matthew Sease and Marvin M. Sease Jr., both of Atlanta, Corey Sease of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Tarrin Williams of Elmont; four daughters, Tonia Sease and Daphne Sease, both of Charleston, S.C., Daytona Sease of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Richarda Dorsey of Tallulah; three brothers, William Sease and Johnnie Sease, both of Brooklyn, and Favor Sease of Greensboro, N.C.; a sister, Christine Sease of Greensboro; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives.
Send Flowers and Condolences to the Sease Family at:
W.H. Jefferson Funeral Home
800 Monroe Street
Vicksburg, Mississippi 39183
Courtesy of Zydeco Online
--Daddy B. Nice
See Daddy B. Nice's Mailbag for Letters & More Memorial Details
February 8, 2011:
MARVIN SEASE PASSES
Multiple sources are reporting that Marvin Sease, one of the two or three greatest masters of modern Southern Soul music, has died. Sease was scheduled to perform at various Blues Is Alright venues in February and March despite recent rumors he was in failing health.
--Daddy B. Nice
See "Tidbits" below for the latest updates on Marvin Sease.
To automatically link to Marvin Sease's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other references, go to "Sease, Marvin" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.
Daddy B. Nice's Original Critique
How important is Marvin Sease to Southern Soul rhythm and blues? Before the death of Johnnie Taylor in 2000, Sease was already a chitlin' circuit favorite--a rung or two beneath Taylor, perhaps--but a thoroughly popular and beloved artist due to his "wild man" reputation as the author of such bawdy classics as "Candy Licker," "Ghetto Man" and "Hoochie Momma."
Sease's songs were too sexually explicit for the radio air waves, an adult R&B tradition stretching back through Chick Willis's "Stoop Down, Baby. . . Let Your Daddy See" and Clarence Carter's "Strokin'." But (as is so often the case) the very X-rated notoriety of the tracks stimulated a strong and loyal underground response that propelled Sease's career through a steady succession of colorful and increasingly creditable 90's albums.
Fans just discovering Marvin Sease should first enjoy those crazier, mid-period discs so perfectly captured in "Hoochie Momma" and 1994's "I'm Mr. Jody." It's the best place to become acquainted with Sease's sense of humor and storytelling abilities. In a revved-up voice that sounds like it's coming from a Sunday pulpit in front of three-hundred gospel-hungry women who wouldn't accept an ounce of exertion less, Sease testifies:
"A man called me and said,
'Mister, please let me speak to my wife.'
I said, 'Who shall I say is calling?'
'You mean, you don't know my name?
After all I've done for you?'
I said, 'Mister, what do you mean,
--What you done for me?--'
'Well you see, I'm the man that
Bought that car you're riding in.
I'm the man who bought all those
Clothes you're wearing.'"
The message comes from the shadows of Gospel called the Blues. It's the story of Mr. Jody. And the victim--the cuckold--seems powerless in the face of Mr. Jody's sheer power.
"'Tell me one thing, Mister.
What is it you got,
That I don't have?
And what do you do,
That I don't do?
That make her stay out
All night long?"
Marvin Sease is only too happy to consider the question and amplify. He's more than adequate to the task.
"Mr. Jody" is the chitlin'-circuit version of black folklore's Staggerlee--at least he's a modern descendent--and the reference fills countless Southern Soul songs. He's the smooth wolf you play hell keeping away from your wife. As Sease defines Mr. Jody in "Candy Licker":
"The husband have to work
To pay the bills.
But Jody ain't got no job.
Jody ain't got no bills.
You know where Jody's at?
Jody's at your house,
Giving you a thrill.
And I'm Jody."
With "I'm Mr. Jody," the extended bar-blaster "Hoochie Momma," and the sexual anthem "Candy Licker" ("I will lick you until you come") already under his artistic belt by the turn of the century, it was hard to see where Marvin Sease would go next. But the passing away of Johnnie Taylor seemed to inspire and motivate Marvin Sease. And Sease's breakthrough was musical, not lurid or sensational.
The run began with 2001's Women Would Rather Be Licked (Jive), and in particular the tracks "I Gotta Clean Up" and "Stuck In The Middle," and it was powerfully reinforced by 2002's I Got Beat Out (Jive). With the album's mid-tempo "I'm Going Out" and the radio single "Do You Qualify?", Marvin Sease achieved a maturity that perhaps surprised even his most ardent fans.
"Do You Qualify?" is the evidence of how casual and smooth--how Jorndanesque--a master artist can make his chosen line of art appear. "Hoochie Momma" and other crowd-pleasing favorites like "I'm Mr. Jody" convey the Sease persona at its happiest and most titillatingly horny, but "Do You Qualify?" sublimates those precious R&B moments into one of the tightest, most ethereal-sounding little bar songs ever made.
It's as if all of the momentum of Sease's past R&B achievements--all of the musical prowess, humor and celebratory lewdness stored in reserve by his grateful and appreciative audience--were buoying Sease up like a surfer riding a monster wave.
"Oh, I need a woman,
And I'm looking at you, girl.
Let me ask you, honey,
Do you qualify?"
While early Sease reveled in raunch, the post-2000 work emphasizes music (good, bass-oriented, slow-tempo grooves) over lyrics that are more compressed, universal and elliptical.
"Oh yes, I do," sings the female backup.
And the lyrics to "Do You Qualify" do tease. Sease says he's not looking for a one-night stand. He even mentions an eventual "wife." So maybe--the fan of Sease thinks--Marvin is mellowing. Maybe Marvin's starting to settle down.
Maybe--hey!--you can make a Marvin Sease fan of your wife. Then again, Marvin does keep asking that one question over and over, like a hammer hitting on a nail. "Do you qualify?" It could mean a lot of things. It could mean some of that "hoochie" thing, and then you'd be in trouble with the wife.
(Now, years later, when "Do You Qualify" comes through my speakers, it's the woman's point of view--presented in the second half of the song--that comes through the strongest. It's all about the money. Does the man qualify?)
Daddy B. Nice loves the fact that "Do You Qualify?" leaves it open to interpretation. It's a snapshot of a rhythm and blues master at the peak of his powers, making great music effortlessly.
--Daddy B. Nice
About Marvin Sease
Marvin Sease was born in Blackville, South Carolina in 1946. As a teenager he sang in gospel groups, and after moving to New York he sang in a group called the Gospel Crowns before starting a back-up R&B singing group with his brothers called the Sease.
He was a middle-aged man when he at last scored a record contract and released his self-titled debut. The success of the single "Ghetto Man" from that album brought him chitlin' circuit fame, and Polygram Records re-released his debut with a ten-minute version of "Candylicker," which became an even bigger hit on the blues circuit.
"Hoochie Mama," though not as seminal a record as "Candylicker," was--musically speaking--more muscular. Easily one of the greatest bar anthems in Southern Soul, it became one of those "Have-you-heard-this?" tunes that instantly drew converts to Southern Soul R&B in the 90's.
CD's full of strong material--mostly on Jive Records--followed, among them Please Take Me, Bitch Git It All, Hoochie Mama, Women Would Rather Be Licked, Do You Need A Licker, Don't Come Now, I Got Beat Out and Playa Haters.
Many of Sease's best radio singles have arrived in the first years of the new century, light-hearted, mellow anthems to sensual pleasure. Songs like "Do You Qualify?", "I Wanna Do Ya," "I Want To Rock You," and "Sit Down On It" (a response to Theodis Ealey's "Stand Up In It") have kept the Sease name at the forefront of Southern Soul artists.
Sease is one of the top half-dozen headliners in Southern Soul, and he tours frequently. In later years he has recorded with Malaco out of Jackson, Mississippi.
Marvin Sease Discography:
1986 Marvin Sease (London)
1987 Breakfast (London)
1989 Tell Me Why (Polygram)
1989 The Real Deal (London)
1990 It's Christmas Time (London)
1991 Show Me What You Got (Mercury)
1993 The Housekeeper (Jive)
1994 Do You Need a Licker? (Jive)
1996 Please Take Me (Jive)
1997 The Bitch Git It All (Silvertone)
1999 Hoochie Momma (Jive)
2001 A Woman Would Rather Be Licked (Jive)
2001 Modern Soulman: The Collection (Connoisseur Collection )
2002 I Got Beat Out (Jive)
2003 20th Century Masters-The Millennium Collection: Best Of Marvin Sease (Mercury )
2004 Playa Haters (Malaco)
2004 The Best of Marving Sease (BMG)
2005 Live with the Candy Licker (Malaco)
2006 Candy Licker: The Sex & Soul Of Marvin Sease (Jive-Legacy)
2008 Who's Got the Power (Malaco)
Song's Transcendent Moment
"I'm not looking for a one-night stand.
I'm looking for a woman who needs a man.
And I'm not looking for a bump and grind.
If you do right, girl, I'll make you mine."
A live Marvin Sease album, Live With The Candy Licker (Malaco), has been issued (2005), and it succeeds in recreating the loving frenzy that Sease extracts from his audiences.
June 4, 2006. Your Daddy B. Nice has a new, favorite Marvin Sease song, "Do You Want To Make Love Tonight?" Unless this is some never-before-heard track from an earlier album, "Want To Make Love Tonight" must be the next big thing from an as-yet-unannounced CD.
The track puts the Sease vocal up front and naked. On the first couple of listens, it may sound thin. But all the while, the jazzy arrangement is working its way into your brain.
The lead guitar twists an addictive little hook in the most tasteful manner, and that hook is answered by yet another, tinkling, piano-generated hook. Add the famous Sease horn section and female chorus and you've got something to put a smile on your face.
Marvin Sease has hit an extremely high artistic plateau in the last couple of years (since "Do You Qualify" in particular), and with the recent deaths of Tyrone Davis and Little Milton, the unthinkable has happened. Marvin Sease is really the current "king" of Southern Soul.
This thought is occasioned by the frequent references to Sir Charles Jones being the new "king of Southern Soul." Yet everyone who's been into Southern Soul more than half a decade knows that Sir Charles is really only the crown prince. (And let's not forget Willie Clayton.)
Clearly, those mainstream R&B dudes who long ago wrote off Marvin Sease as the appealing but limited bad-boy of "candy-licking" are in need of some serious revisionist re-education.
The most ironic development in Marvin Sease's late-rising career is his "elder" status as an almost Buddha-like therapist figure for women. How did this transformation come about?
First, Sease has mellowed.
Second, he's matured to the point that he can toss off remarks like, "I don't know what's wrong with the men in the world today," or "In fact, if I were the president/I'd make every man come home tonight," with perfect ease and authority.
Finally, the world--and morality itself--has changed so much over the last 10-20 years that Sease's "adult" material now seems the norm, even (maybe especially) to women.
August 2, 2006. Candy Licker: The Sex & Soul Of Marvin Sease, has come out via Jive, Sease's early label. It's a sampler including "I'm Still Waiting On You," "Hoochie Mama," and "Do You Qualify"--all the biggies--in an uncensored format that will appeal to fans who want to hear Sease's explicit side.
Together with Live With The Candy Licker (see above), released in 2005, Candy Licker: The Sex & Soul Of Marvin Sease documents both a consolidation and a "breather" of sorts in the continuing career saga of Marvin Sease. DBN.
September 5, 2008: New CD ALERT:
Who's Got The Power -----------Marvin Sease (Malaco)
Bargain-Priced Who's Got The Power CD
First single: "I'm Coming Home"
(See Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "Breaking" Southern Soul Singles: June 2008)
October 31, 2008:
Marvin falls off a little with his new album, Who's Got The Power, if the first radio single, "I'm Coming Home," and the newest one, "She's My Woman," are any indication of the CD as a whole.
Marvin is a monolith, and eight years into the 21st century Southern Soul scene, both his fans and critics think of him as "Marvin" in the same way Pryor fans think of the late comedian as "Richard"--that is, with a familiarity and affection born of a long history of recorded levity, lewdness, and street-wise marital and ex-marital lore.
But "I'm Coming Home," which has made a strong and lengthy showing on Southern Soul playlists in 2008, strikes your Daddy B. Nice as a little like overdone pasta--not cooked to the al dente crispness of the finest Sease material ("Do You Qualify," "I'm Mr. Jody," etc.)
In fact, Marvin's latest is irritatingly middle-of-the-road, which is to say the music is competent and even pleasurable up to a point. On the other hand, there's not an original note or motif to be had--nothing to get the blood boiling or the legs itching to move.
Marvin sings and produces "I'm Coming Home" as if he were comfortably esconced in a rocking chair or leaning against a wall, and it's tempting to speculate that, like Latimore's "My Give A Damn Gave Out," much of the enthusiasm for the cut on the chitlin' circuit was based as much on reputation as any specific merits of the song itself.
That's not an inconsiderable accomplishment. Even the great Al Green's comeback album failed to crack the Southern Soul market in any appreciable way, so both Marvin and "Latt" deserve credit for showing up and delivering the goods.
And your Daddy B. Nice heard a remix of "I'm Coming Home" in the fall of 2008 that contained a talking dialogue between a man and woman in the best Sease tradition. The exchange was funny and real, giving the song some much-needed momentum. However, I never heard the talking version played again, nor saw it on any other deejay playlists. Did I dream it? Stay tuned.
Who's Got The Power (Bargain-Priced CD) contains three James Brown-inspired cuts: "Who's Got The Power," "My Dog Won't Bark" and "Blues Town." The thing is, I don't really want to hear Brownian tunes from Marvin. I want to hear "Hoochie Mama"-type songs.
There's also a nice tribute to the deceased stars of Southern Soul ("Gone On"), including--for a change--the late Jackie Neal. But overall, Marvin's latest finds him staring at us with his chin propped on his hands, just a little too mired in languor and lassitude to get us truly excited.
--Daddy B. Nice
Update: March 7, 2009. "Gone On," from Marvin's new CD Who's Got The Power is a winning single. Yes, it's a compendium of Southern Soul and other stars passed, but it's more than that. Lurking underneath is a sweet melody and tempo that never grows tiresome. It's a quintessential Marvin Sease groove.
See Daddy B. Nice's Top Ten Southern Soul Singles for January 2009. (Holding down the #5 position.)
If You Liked. . . You'll Love
If you liked Smoky Robinson & The Miracles' "I Second That Emotion," you may go bonkers over Marvin Sease's "Do You Qualify?"
Honorary "B" Side
Do You Qualify?
CD: I Got Beat Out
CD: Hoochie Mama
|Sample or Buy
I'm Mr. Jody
CD: Do You Need A Licker
I'm Still Waiting On You
CD: Candy Licker: The Sex & Soul Of Marvin Sease
Is It Over?
CD: Hoochie Mama
|Sample or Buy
I Can't Believe
CD: Live with the Candy Licker
I Made You A Woman
CD: The Real Deal
|Sample or Buy
The Real Deal
I'm Going Out
CD: I Got Beat Out
Sit Down On It
CD: Playa Haters
|Sample or Buy
CD: Best Of Marvin Sease
I Gotta Clean Up
CD: Women Would Rather Be Licked
I Wanna Rock You
CD: Playa Haters
|Sample or Buy
I'm Coming Home
CD: Who's Got The Power
Please Take Me
CD: Please Take Me
Stuck In The Middle
CD: Best Of Marvin Sease