Billy "Soul" Bonds

Daddy B. Nice's #29 ranked Southern Soul Artist



Portrait of Billy "Soul" Bonds by Daddy B. Nice
 


Sample or Buy


Due to repeated requests. . .




From artists, their familes, friends and fans. . .




For a limited time only. . .




From Daddy B. Nice's archives. . .




Over 100 Southern Soul drawings. . .




Original Daddy B. Nice sketches. . .




All caricatures and satirical renderings are untitled. . .




It's a little piece of history. . .




For those in the "know". . .




Who want a keepsake, memento or souvenir. . .




To commemorate their time. . .




In the Southern Soul limelight.




Browse through all the Southern Soul satirical sketches in Daddy B. Nice's archives.




Browse through all the Southern Soul sketches in Daddy B. Nice's archives.




Browse through all the Southern Soul collectibles in Daddy B. Nice's Southern Soul Products Store. . .



"Scat Cat, Here Kitty Kitty"

Billy "Soul" Bonds

Composed by Billy "Soul" Bonds


February 1, 2014: NEW ARTIST GUIDE ALERT!


Billy “Soul” Bonds is now the #23-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 Billy “Soul” Bonds.

*************
Scroll down to Tidbits #2 to read Daddy B. Nice's "Appreciation of 'Scat Cat, Here Kitty Kitty'"

Listen to Billy "Soul" Bonds' "Scat Cat Here Kitty Kitty" on YouTube

*************

April 1, 2011: STILL COMIN' 'ATCHA DEPT.: NEW MUSIC ALERT

DADDY B. NICE INTERVIEWS BILLY "SOUL" BONDS ON UPCOMING BONDS MUSIC:

Reprinted from Daddy B. Nice's Corner, News & Notes, September 5, 2010:

Billy "Soul" Bonds' New "Cat" Song and CD's

. . . And each day brought new discoveries on Southern Soul radio, many by new artists out of the Jackson, Mississippi area. But the most amazing surprise was a new song by Billy "Soul" Bonds which told the story of how Billy's wife felt compelled to walk her cat each evening at the exact moment his neighbor left the house to walk his dog.

See Daddy B. Nice's #1 "Breaking" Southern Soul Single for September 2010.

So I called up Billy, who also now lives in the Jackson area, and told him I'd heard a new song that I was convinced was going to be a big hit for him, and described the lyrics.

"Where did you hear that song?" Billy said with the underlying tone of paranoia that artists get whenever they sense they may have copyright infringement issues. "No one's supposed to know about that yet."

I paused, realizing that I couldn't exactly remember. "Well, it must have been WMPR," (Southern Soul's flagship station in Jackson, Mississippi). "But it wasn't one of the main deejays. It wasn't Ragman or Outlaw. They haven't been there lately. I don't think it was Handyman. It was. . . I just don't know. I can't remember. It was one of the other guys over there."

Then Billy told me that the song and the new album containing the song was still under negotiation, although close to being finalized. But he had to be careful until all the "'i's got dotted and the 't's got crossed."

He said it would be released very soon after the Labor Day weekend. "Sometimes," Billy said, "I'll ask a deejay to play a new song on the radio so I can listen to it over the air waves."

"So it was more or less a demo?" I asked. "A trial run?"

"Yeah."

"Well, you hit the bulls-eye."

"You think?"

"Oh yeah. That song's going to be a smash. I mean, it's kind of silly and all, but musically it works to perfection."

Now we were both getting excited.

Billy said the title of the upcoming album is "The Much Right Man." The CD will contain another amusing and somewhat controversial track that was inspired by listening to Peggy Scott Adam's "Bill."

"You remember that, Daddy?

"Oh, yeah."

"Well, this song will be titled, "I Went To Bed With A Woman But Woke Up With A Man."

"Do you know the TV show "Cheaters"?"

"No, I don't know that one."

"Well, I'll have a country-western song that takes off on that show," Billy said. "I've also got a gospel album in the works, but I'm not calling it a gospel album. The title of the album is going to be 'Message Music.' It will also have a couple of patriotic songs."

"Speaking of gospel, Billy. You put out a gospel song I was just wild about a few months ago. I couldn't find anything on it, but I kept hearing it on WMPR. DJ Outlaw would play it every morning there for awhile at the end of his show (9 am) as a segue into the gospel show. It was with the Reverend Joe A. Washington. 'Ask Me!' That's it. ('If there's anybody here/ Who don't know Jesus/ Ask me.') I liked it so much I put it on one of my top ten R&B lists. Is that going to be on your new gospel album?"

"Yes it is," Billy said.

"Well, Billy, you're going to have some real happy fans. And the new song is going to be as big as 'Scat Cat Here Kitty Kitty,' you wait and see. Which reminds me of the reason I called. What is the exact title of that song?"

"Every Time My Neighbor Walks His Dog, My Wife Have (sic) To Walk Her Cat," Billy replied.

I laughed. "The whole phrase. Boy, that's a mouthful. Well, don't you worry, Billy. That song is going to win over people hands down. You've really got something there."

The next morning--I believe it was a Saturday--brought an amusing postscript.

"Every Time My Neighbor Walks His Dog, My Wife Has To Walk Her Cat" was playing again on WMPR. DJ Love Child was on the mike.

Billy "Soul" Bonds was giving the song one more on-air run-through.

--Daddy B. Nice

*****


*************

See "Tidbits" below for the latest updates on Billy "Soul" Bonds.

To automatically link to Billy "Soul" Bonds' charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other references, go to "Bonds, Billy 'Soul'" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.

***********

Daddy B. Nice's Original Critique:

Lovers of sixties' soul would do well to acquaint themselves with Billy "Soul" Bonds. If Bobby Rush spent much of his career in the shadow of Marvin Sease, not exactly a household name himself, then Billy "Soul" Bonds--a younger version of Rush--can be said to toil in even deeper obscurity, confined to the back roads of the Bible Belt and rotations on Deep South radio outposts.

Like Rush, Bonds specializes in humorous accounts of common folk, often adopting a conversational tone that insures an easy familiarity with his small-town Southern fans. In "I Just Came Out To Party" (2002), he speaks through the voice of a woman who's just "out to have a good time."

"Ain't trying to be picked up.
I don't need no romance. . .

My man gave me money,
So I can drink,
So if you're gonna put a move on me,
You'd better stop and think."

In "Tell It To The Judge," he builds a funny treatment of a "Jerry Springer" kind of couple arguing on the show "Court TV" around the old Joe South hit, "Games People Play."

"I'm gonna tell Judge Wapner,
You've got another sex partner."

And in "Reverend Joe" (from 2003's Going Public With My Love), Bonds even ventures to tell the story of a preacher with a hard-to-kill sex drive.

But Billy "Soul" Bonds has another side. He's a sensitive romantic and an accomplished balladeer, modeled in many ways after his probable namesake, Bobby "Blue" Bland. "I'm Searching" from 1998's I'm On My Way Back is his most memorable effort. (Bonds must think so, too. He reprised the track on 2002's I Just Came Out To Party.)

Bonds' vocal delicacy shines on his ballads, and the female backup of Thomisene Anderson (of Bobby Bland and Love Doctor fame) and Jewel Bass shimmers with an almost angelic sheen.

Although "I'm Searching" is pure pop artifice in form, the vocals lend it the solemnity of Gospel. Certain key phrases in the lilting, cradle-like rhythm are so affecting one almost feels the compunction to kneel or genuflect. (Your Daddy B. Nice once sandwiched "I'm Searching" in a playlist between Gospel singer Keith "Wonderboy" Johnson's version of "I'll Fly Away" and country artist Shania Twain's version of "God Bless The Child.")

"I'm looking for a girl
To rock my world,
To understand
How to love a real man."

Women may look askance at Bonds' comment that:

"She don't have to be too smart,
Or have a strong mind."

But the innate goodness in Bonds' voice would melt all but the most politically-correct and hard-line of feminists. He explains it further in this way:

"I'm looking for a girl
To treat me nice.
And with the warmest heart,
Melt the coldest ice."

In his cover of Glen Frey's rock standard, "The Best Of My Love" (from I Just Came Out To Party), Bonds approaches the material with the same muted tenderness he does on "I'm Searching," achieving an eerily similar effect. The chord changes of the two songs are nearly identical, and Bonds lavishes the same reverent arrangement on the Eagles' classic, turning what could be a lightweight undertaking into a surprisingly durable cover.

"Every morning I wake up worried.
What's going to happen today?
You see it your way,
I see it mine,
But we both see it slipping away."

As always, the voice is so glove-soft you get the impression Billy "Soul" Bonds couldn't harm a flea. If you're tired of today's musical fare--tired, that is, of the attitude, cynicism, and glitter--be advised that the sensitive ballads of Billy "Soul" Bonds, not to mention the hilarity contained in his up-tempo work, are the perfect antidote. Bonds is a country boy with impeccable manners, a fine ear for melody and an indefatigable desire to make music that soothes and ingratiates.

--Daddy B. Nice


About Billy "Soul" Bonds

Billy "Soul" Bonds--the self-styled "Mister Sock-It, Sock-It"--grew up in Biscoe, Arkansas, non-Mississippi "blues" country on Route 70 halfway between Memphis and Little Rock, just up the road from West Helena, Ark. and Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Bonds began his professional career in the eighties, notching a regional hit with "Baby, I Been Missing You." Ace Records featured the track (along with "I'm Going Public With My Love") in its compilation/sampler, The Kings And Queens Of Ace, in 1997.

Bonds' debut LP, the aptly titled Soul Of The Man, came out on the small Sog Secret label. A follow-up, Heart and Soul, followed in 1994. I'm On The Way Back (which included "I'm Searching") was released in 1998 (Avanti).

Since then Billy "Soul" Bonds has put out a CD every couple of years, the most recent being his 2002 disc, I Just Came Out To Party (Hus-La). Going Public Again (Avanti, 1999) and I Just Came Out To Party have proven to be the most popular and durable of Bonds' albums, appealing to both fans of Bobby Rush-style light-hearted fare and fans of sensitive ballads in the Bobby "Blue" Bland vein.

Despite a recording hiatus, Bonds continues to perform across the chitlin' circuit, most recently headlining the 2003 Pre-Father's Day Show in Jackson, Ms. The memorable songs from his catalog are staples of Deep South radio outlets. Favorites include (in addition to those listed above) "I Just Came Out To Party," "One Way In, No Way Out," "You Can't Do Wrong Right" and "I Failed."


Song's Transcendent Moment

"Just the other day,
I had to turn down your best friend Smitty.
When you say 'Scat cat!'
Another man say, 'Here kitty kitty.'"


Tidbits

1.

August 30, 2006. The wait for another Billy "Soul" Bonds CD is over. Here Kitty Kitty (Waldoxy), led by its title cut, "Scat Cat, Here Kitty Kitty," is vintage Bonds.

"Here Kitty Kitty"--a typically gentle, finely-focused portrait of a domestic squabble--was one of the most highly-requested songs across the Stations of the Deep South in the summer of 2006. Once again Thomisene Anderson and Jewel Bass participated, delivering scintillating background. (These ladies sang back up on Ronnie Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me".) DBN

2.

November 24, 2007: Appreciating "Scat Cat, Here Kitty Kitty"

Author's Forward: Jerry "Boogie" Mason once told your Daddy B. Nice how taken by surprise he'd been by the success of Theodis Ealey's "Stand Up In It." "I never saw that one coming," he said.

That's how I'd describe my reaction to the enthusiastic response to Billy "Soul" Bonds' "Scat Cat Here Kitty Kitty." When it came out in 2006, "Scat Cat" seemed to me like just another fine tune in the typical Bonds mold. But before the fact, who would have believed it was destined to make Bonds a major Southern Soul star?

If great Bonds songs like "I'm Searching" and "I Failed" and "Tell It To The Judge" could "try and fail" (to quote from "I Failed") to become hits, what reason was there to believe the equally sentimental and throwback-sounding "Scat Cat, Here Kitty Kitty" would be received any differently?

I remember in particular omitting "Scat Cat" from my Top 25 Southern Soul Singles of 2006, but I was aware even then that I was going against the grain of public sentiment. Six months earlier, in an August 2006 Billy "Soul" Bonds artist-guide update, I had already written that "Here Kitty Kitty" was "a gentle, finely-focused portrait of a domestic squabble, and one of the most highly-requested songs on the Stations of the Deep South in the summer of 2006."

So you can imagine my bafflement in 2007, a year later, as month after month passed with Bargain-Priced "Scat Cat, Here Kitty Kitty" at or near the top spot of the chitlin' circuit charts, a breaththrough hit for Bonds in just the way "Stand Up In It" had been for Ealey.

When a song proves itself with the audience the way Theodis Ealey's "Stand Up In it" or T. K. Soul's "Cheating And Lying" have recently done, all a pundit can do is marvel at the unpredictability of art and consumer taste and try to grab hold of the rear bumper as the bandwagon passes. Popularity, in other words, forces even the most recalcitrant critic to reassess his initial judgments. What may have sounded familiar or trite to him somehow managed to have the opposite effect on a great number of people. Anybody has to respect that.

And as your Daddy B. Nice searched the stanzas of "Scat Cat Here Kitty Kitty" over the hundreds of times I heard the song over the ensuing year, I gradually settled upon the one ingredient in the song's success that had been eluding me. And that was the power--the reality--of the woman's complaint.

Perhaps, being a man and a husband myself, I wasn't so different from the man in the song, the guy taking his wife for granted. I may not have committed his laundry list of domestic crimes, but I wasn't unfamiliar with "tuning out." And in a sense I had let the nursery rhyme-like title--"Scat Cat Here Kitty Kitty"--and to an extent Bonds' own ingratiating politeness, lull me into disregarding the pain and frustration so finely detailed in the lyrics.

Chronically betrayed and neglected by her husband, the heroine in "Scat Cat" was very much at the end of her relationship.

It was that grievance, that sense of being wronged, that I believe struck such a chord with fans, and particularly women. And when Barbara Carr issued her cover of "Scat Cat" (Ecko Records) in 2007, the contrast with the original was illuminating. Covers of good songs always are, but hearing the Bonds-composed words sung by a woman gave the song new and added force. It was no longer a man telling a story second-hand; it was the woman herself--or such was the conceit of the record.

And when Barbara sang verses like,

"All this neglect and disrespect,
I can't take that from my man.
Why just the other day,
A man said I was still pretty."

--Not only was it more direct; it was rougher, tougher and more bitter in all the places where the Bonds version had been possibly a little too sweet. And yet, the credibility and power in Carr's words reflected back on the artistry of Billy "Soul" Bonds. And when you went back to Billy's version, so sugar-coated compared to Barbara's, you heard things you hadn't heard before. You heard more of the substance which had been there all the time.

What's even more remarkable about the "Scat Cat, Here Kitty Kitty" is how old-fashioned it is. "Scat Cat's" melody and arrangement wouldn't have sounded out of place on the radio in the late 50's or early 60's. There are the saccharine violins, the orchestral trimmings, the tinkling background sound (Bonds' trademark), the show-tune-like crescendos on the choruses, not to mention Bonds' typically humble and soothing vocal.

Also not to be overlooked is the subtle but powerful texture created by female back-up singers Thomisene Anderson and Jewel Bass, who along with Tina Diamond were present at Southern Soul music's equivalent of the "Sermon On The Mount," the late great Ronnie Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me" sessions.

The warbling of these two near-invisible divas ratchets up the classic Southern Soul ambience--an atmosphere that seems almost out of place in these frantic, perfunctory, rat-race times. And it still mystifies your Daddy B. Nice how such an old-fashioned-sounding song could have garnered so much love and appreciation from a 21st-century audience.

And yet, the Southern Soul audience does love it and does crave it. The proof is that three of the biggest Southern Soul hits over the same period--Ms. Jody's "Your Dog Is Killing My Cat," Carl Marshall's "Good Loving Will Make You Cry" and J. Blackfoot's "I'm Just A Fool For You"--also mined the same "retro" ambience.

It's a throwback sound so drenched in nostalgia that in today's musical universe the records sound daringly original. It's a remarkable comment on today's entire Southern Soul genre.

How big is the triumph of "Scat Cat Here Kitty Kitty" for Billy "Soul" Bonds? Well, prior to its release, Bonds fans would have been hard-pressed to settle upon the signature song by this unheralded, chitlin' circuit, singing-songwriting master. One might have said, "I Just Came Out To Party," another one "Going Public," another "I'm Searching," and yet another "I Failed" or "Best Of My Love."

There's no disagreement any more. "Scat Cat Here Kitty Kitty" has without a doubt become Billy "Soul" Bonds' signature song.

DBN


If You Liked. . . You'll Love

If you liked Jerry Butler's "He Will Break Your Heart," you'll love Billy "Soul" Bonds' "Scat Cat Here Kitty Kitty."


Honorary "B" Side

"I'm Searching"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Scat Cat, Here Kitty Kitty by Billy 'Soul' Bonds
Scat Cat, Here Kitty Kitty


CD: Here Kitty Kitty
Label: Waldoxy

Sample or Buy
Here Kitty Kitty


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy I'm Searching by Billy 'Soul' Bonds
I'm Searching


CD: I Just Came Out To Party
Label: Hus-La

Sample or Buy
I Just Came Out To Party


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Best Of My Love by Billy 'Soul' Bonds
Best Of My Love


CD: I Just Came Out To Party
Label: Hus-La

Sample or Buy
I Just Came Out To Party


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Failed by Billy 'Soul' Bonds
I Failed


CD: Going Public Again
Label: Avanti

Sample or Buy
Going Public Again


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Going Public With My Love by Billy 'Soul' Bonds
Going Public With My Love


CD: Going Public Again
Label: Avanti

Sample or Buy
Going Public Again


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy One Way In, No Way Out by Billy 'Soul' Bonds
One Way In, No Way Out


CD: Going Public Again
Label: Avanti

Sample or Buy
Going Public Again


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Tell It To The Judge by Billy 'Soul' Bonds
Tell It To The Judge


CD: I Just Came Out To Party
Label: Hus-La

Sample or Buy
I Just Came Out To Party


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Baby I Been Missing You by Billy 'Soul' Bonds
Baby I Been Missing You


CD: Kings And Queens Of Ace
Label: Ace

Sample or Buy
Kings & Queens Of Ace


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Bedroom Workout by Billy 'Soul' Bonds
Bedroom Workout


CD: Here Kitty Kitty
Label: Waldoxy

Sample or Buy
Here Kitty Kitty


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Da Dawg Song by Billy 'Soul' Bonds
Da Dawg Song


CD: I Just Came Out To Party
Label: Hus-La

Sample or Buy
I Just Came Out To Party


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Just Came Out To Party by Billy 'Soul' Bonds
I Just Came Out To Party


CD: I Just Came Out To Party
Label: Hus-La

Sample or Buy
I Just Came Out To Party


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Movin' On Again by Billy 'Soul' Bonds
Movin' On Again


CD: Here Kitty Kitty
Label: Warlock

Sample or Buy
Here Kitty Kitty


2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy Ain't That Loving You by Billy 'Soul' Bonds
Ain't That Loving You


CD: Going Public Again
Label: Avanti

Sample or Buy
Going Public Again


2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy Let Me Prove It by Billy 'Soul' Bonds
Let Me Prove It


CD: Going Public Again
Label: Avanti

Sample or Buy
Going Public Again


2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy Reverend Joe by Billy 'Soul' Bonds
Reverend Joe


CD: Going Public Again
Label: Avanti

Sample or Buy
Going Public Again


Browse Through
Daddy B. Nice's
'Bargain CD' Store


©2005-2014 SouthernSoulRnB.com

All material--written or visual--on this website is copyrighted and the exclusive property of SouthernSoulRnB.com, LLC. Any use or reproduction of the material outside the website is strictly forbidden, unless expressly authorized by SouthernSoulRnB.com. (Material up to 300 words may be quoted without permission if "Daddy B. Nice's Southern Soul RnB.com" is listed as the source and a link to http://www.southernsoulrnb.com/ is provided.)