Daddy B. Nice's - Guide to Today's Top Chitlin' Circuit Rhythm and Blues Artists


Daddy B. Nice's Corner

RE: Blues And Southern Soul

Dear Daddy B. Nice,

First, I want to thank you so much for your website. I dj on Saturdays, 3 to 5 PM, on 90.5 WERG FM in Erie PA. My dj name is Sweet Tea. You can stream the show on; that is, unless we get pre-empted by college football or basketball as WERG is a college station.

It used to be nearly impossible to find southern soul music in Erie. I had to wait until somebody went home to Mississippi on vacation and brought me some music. But now with your Top Ten guidance, I can sound like the dj's down south and my audience loves it.

I wanted to comment on your editorial about blues. I have to admit I do see two genres here and I play two on my show; first hour is predominantly blues; second hour, southern soul. A dj from Jackson once said he saw it this way: "in the blues, the guitar or harp rules; not so in southern soul." I see it this way as well. I am not a snob about the blues but I do see the difference in a Toronzo Cannon song and a Donnie Ray song. And I love BOTH!!

Thank you again for your website. It is a jewel!!

It's a good day for the blues,


Daddy B. Nice replies:

Thanks so much, Joan/DJ Sweet Tea. I don't think I've ever received a letter from Pennsylvania, unless it was from Philly. Here's a shout-out to all the southern soul fans in PENNSYLVANIA!

Daddy B. Nice - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

RE: Southern Soul "Haters": Daddy B. Nice Explains The Hostility To Southern Soul

Hi Daddy B.,

Are white blues fans really Southern soul haters?

Having been an ”activist” on the Swedish blues scene (and with some insight in the European ditto) since 1971, and also an avid fan of soul music, including today´s Southern soul (Ms. Jody, Luther Lackey, Bigg Robb et al), from my experience I wouldn´t go as far as to say blues fans over here are hostile to Southern soul. Rather it´s simply a matter of disinterest for that particular music form. In my blues and soul shop (when I still had it) most customers who dug ”deep soul” from the 60/70´s (”purists”), was turned off by the often computerized drums and horns, no matter how soulful the singer sang. They were already turned off, to the extent that they (with very few exceptions) didn´t care to listen to Southern soul productions that used musicians with ”real” instruments. Uninterested yes, hostile no.

I would stick my neck out and apply the same phenomenon on white American soul fans too. I've been to numerous southern soul/blues clubs and concerts, and always me and my Swedish travel companions are among the v-e-r-y few white attendants. To give an example; I was at the Jus´ Blues Music Awards in Memphis 2009, and as far as I can remember the only other white person there was one certain David Whiteis. But, of course, this isn´t exactly big news for anybody.

Shirley Brown

In Chicago 1974 I went to a big soul show at 42nd & Halsted with Kool & The Gang, The Bobby Blue Bland Revue, Shirley Brown, Latimore (still Benny Lattimore then) and more, while my three Swedish buddies stayed at home showing no interest (!). I didn´t see many white faces, and from what I´ve seen it´s the same today going to Southern soul/blues concerts and juke joints/clubs.

If European blues fans are aware of what music form Southern soul/blues is (and those that read Jefferson was indeed well informed), they don´t give a damn. But hate it? — no way! It´s a cultural thing, with caucasians leaning over to the rock side of the spectrum, and African-Americans leaning over to hip hop and remaining on the soul side.

Tommy Löfgren

PS The work Daddy B. Nice does with his website is priceless. Before flying to Dallas 2015 I of course checked his Concert Calendar and saw that it was Dallas Blues Festival (= a stop in The Blues Is Alright! Tour) a few days after I would arrive. In Dallas I saw no signs of a Dallas Blues Festival and the white blues fans and musicians I talked to didn´t have a clue about it. I went to the festival together with soul/blues vocalist, DJ, etc Bobby Patterson (my interview with him is in next issue of Jefferson). As usual I didn´t see but a few white faces in the huge Verizon Theatre among the 2508 (checked with ticket office for review in Jefferson) populated arena.

Daddy B. Nice notes:

Tommy Löfgren's columns and interviews can be read in Jefferson Blues Magazine. Scroll down for more letters on the topic and see Daddy B. Nice's column in the DBN Corner's September 12th "News & Notes." - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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RE: Information On Tickets

Daddy B. Nice,

Good morning, I am trying to get a number for ticket information for this show. I called the venue and basically didn’t get anywhere. There wasn’t a number to call on your website to get tickets regarding the show. Could you point me into the right direction. I would greatly appreciate it.

8 pm, Saturday, September 24, 2016. Durham Armory, 220 Foster Street, Durham, North Carolina. The Heavy Hitters of Soul. Ms. Jody, Sir Charles Jones, Lacee, Lenny Williams, J. Red. Doors open at 7 pm.


Daddy B. Nice replies:

Here is a website for the event:

Durham Southern Soul Festival

Here is a ticket location:

Aura Salon 919-419-9868

Hope this helps….

Daddy B. Nice

Ed replies:

Thank you... - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

RE: Bishop Bullwinkle

Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" on YouTube while you read.


Where can I get a copy of “hell to the naw naw”??


(2nd Request)

Daddy Nice,

How can I purchase his cd… hell to the naw naw?


Daddy B. Nice replies:

I ignored your question at first, Veronica, because I’ve been asked it so many times. Sorry. Bishop Bullwinkle is a YouTube phenomenon. He has never released a single, much less an album. His fame/notoriety as an X-rated preacher/performer was ignited by an open-air appearance singing “Hell Naw To The Naw Naw” on the Tom Joyner morning show on WDLT, Mobile, Alabama a couple of years ago. The performance was posted on YouTube, gradually gaining millions of views.

You’ll have to content yourself with listening to the many YouTube versions of the song currently online, because Bishop Bullwinkle has shown no eagerness to release even an online mp3. Be aware that many YouTube versions continue to be deleted by southern soul artist Bigg Robb for copyright infringement even as new versions proliferate.

Daddy B. Nice

See Daddy B. Nice’s #1 Southern Soul Single of 2015: “Hell Naw To The Naw Naw” by Bishop Bullwinkle.

See Daddy B. Nice’s Artist Guide to Bishop Bullwinkle.

Veronica replies:

Thank you for reply and information….

Another reader responds:

Daddy B. Nice,

In fact, Bullwinkle does have a self-produced CD; he gave me a copy after I saw him at a show in Southaven, Tennessee a few weeks ago. There's no label name and no number, but the CD contains "Naw Naw" and "Some Preachers" as well as his sampled James Brown tribute, a cover of "Dock Of the Bay," and a few other originals. None of his other spoken routines are included, though.

I'm not sure whether he actually sells these at his shows, but I'm assuming he probably does. What I'd really like to see, though, would be a "Live, In Concert" set -- not only would that probably sell well, it would give everyone a full taste of the Bishop at his unexpurgated best.

David Whiteis

Whiteis is the author of Southern Soul-Blues (Music in American Life).

Daddy B. Nice notes:

Until Bishop Bullwinkle and Bigg Robb come to some compromise on the publishing rights (compositional copyright) to "Hell Naw," the chances of any kind of record release remain problematic. Scroll down to "Tidbits #4" in the Bishop Bullwinkle Artist Guide for an explanation of copyright law in the music industry. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

Thank You Letter From Joe Nice.... RE: "Hiphop As Southern Soul's Co-Opter" (News & Notes 8-20-16)

Listen to Joe Nice's "Party Starter" featuring Nelson Curry while you read.

Hello Daddy B Nice,

I hope this message finds you. I follow your website avidly. I constantly check for updates, new singles, concerts and up and coming artist. You literally have a one stop shop for everything Southern Soul, although I know I'm not telling you anything you don't know. I am extremely grateful that you have had the opportunity to hear some of my music and even seen it fit enough to include my music on several of your countdowns. I read your new article today on how you feel hip hop may be the door way for Southern Soul to make it into the mainstream. I couldn't agree with you more. That has been my goal since day one. I do so many features because I enjoy spot lighting the Southern Soul artist. I'm just a fan working with the people I look up to. Nelson Curry (former lead singer of the Klass Band Brotherhood) and I talk all the time and he will tell you that's my goal. He even calls me the pioneer of this new Soul Hop or Hip Hop Soul. Coming from him that's an honor, not so sure if I would accept the title, but I'm still humbled and honored non the less. I would actually take it a step further. Maybe you've noticed but my goal is not to make southern soul rap, but create a hybrid of southern soul, hip hop, and new jack swing. In short I want to bring feel good music back. And not only that, most tracks I'm included on I write and executive produce as well. If you were to speak to Nelson Curry, Big Yayo, Nellie Tiger Travis, Simeo, Rashad the Blues Kid or J. Red the Nephew, they will all tell you the same thing. Im passionate about my work and i have a skill set thats extemely hard to come by and i do it all my self. No label, manager, promoter, nothing. I'm truly independent. My project is almost done and will be out real soon and I hope it reflects that. I have a new single featuring Nelson Curry, Rosyln Candy and Big Mucci (of the bikers shuffle) coming out in the next week or two. I would love to hear your feedback. After reading your article, I just wanted to touch bases with you and give you a better understanding of who I am and how Joe-Nice fits into the grand scheme of things. Thank you for your time. And again I love your website, keep up the good work!!! Niiiicccceeeeeee!!!

Listen to the Joe Nice Remix of Nellie Travis singing "Mr. Sexy Man," featuring Nelson Curry.

Daddy B. Nice notes:

Joe Nice is one of the "young guns" from the hiphop world transforming southern soul into a more popular medium. We are not related.

********** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide



Hi Daddy B Nice from Blues & Rhythm magazine

Hi daddy B Nice,

you may be interested to learn that the UK based Blues & Rhythm magazine's latest issue features a review of the new Theo Huff release and the upcoming issue (issue 313) will feature a review of the Porretta Soul Festival in Italy along with photo's of the performing artists.

Ms. Jody

Also in this issue will be reviews of the new JJ Thames, Ms Jody, Adrena releases.

Thank you for your kind attention and keep up the great work you do for us soul/ blues fans.

Mike Stephenson

Daddy B. Nice notes:

Mike Stephenson’s interview with Vick Allen was featured in Daddy B. Nice’s “New & Notes” for August 20th.


Regarding Jefferson Blues Magazine (& Hostility To Southern Soul Music Among the European Blues Establishment)

Dear Daddy B Nice

First would like to thank you for your kind words regarding the Vick Allen interview. I feel honoured! But I would like to inform you that 2 years ago I left Jefferson both as editor and as president for the Swedish (then Scandinavian) Blues Association. The new staff decided to scrap the southern soul blues section which was my real pride and joy after spending close to 15 years to learn about the music (I started in 2000).

But before leaving The Jefferson Blues Magazine I was surprised by the anger and aggression some of our readers, but also some of the old timers, had regarding southern soul blues. It’s a big NO-NO. I tried hard to convince some Swedish festival arrangers to book at least one real southern soul act, but no. I still don’t understand why people who all their life has embraced blues music, reject southern soul blues as the functional projection of the 50’s and 60’s blues.

I’m stunned because the difference between the blues of Blind Lemon Jefferson and BB King is greater than between BB King and Ms Jody. Do You understand? Living Blues Magazine made some attempts in the late 90’s but today they are as far as I know concentrating on the nostalgic retro folk music market. The rest of the magazines go for a rock audience or for nostalgica where 60’s Stax soul and 50’s blues are in high esteem. The same goes for the European festival arrangers.

But I haven’t given up. Today I’m submitting articles and reviews to second oldest blues magazine in the world, the Finnish Blues News.

I’m cooperating with Mike Stephenson who was the writer of many great interviews for Jefferson. So far they have published a history of Southern Soul of today I wrote + interviews by Denise LaSalle and J-Wonn by Mike.

Yours truly
Anders Lillsunde
Contributor to Blues News in Finland/Former editor of Jefferson
Stockholm, Sweden

*********** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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Hello Daddy B. Nice,

I'm sure you already know this -- but Falisa JaNaye has received rave reviews for her show at Porretta; so has Stan Mosley. Great to see contemporary southern soul artists along with the venerated veterans at this festival!

Stan Mosley.

(And yes, I know that Toni Green and a few others have been similarly well received in previous years, so this is nothing new.) Even some old-school soul "purists" have spoken highly of Falisa and Stan. Theo Huff also earned kudos, but -- as much as I like and admire Theo -- his set is styled specifically to be an "old-school" tribute (the songs he chooses, his vocal delivery, etc.), so it's not quite the same thing as a more modern-minded artist like Falisa or Stan.

Not to flog a deceased equine, but I think that a lot of the reason is that when the "purists" finally get to hear someone like Stan or Falisa -- or, for that matter, many other contemporary southern soul artists -- in person, with a live band behind them, they realize how good a lot of these younger artists really are, and how much "true" soul they really have. It's the synthesized studio production on a lot of their recordings, I'm sure, that turns the old-schoolers off.

And yes, I agree with you that increasing numbers of artists are eschewing the fake horns, but the overall production (esp. the beats) remains largely synthesized in many (most?) cases. Bobby Rush's new live-band-in-the-studio recording is a rare exception. (And even that one, it turns out, has one track constructed from samples from previous studio recordings, along with some store-bought beats, all mixed so deftly that it's almost impossible to tell which one it is!)

David W.

Daddy B. Nice notes:

Originally inspired by the death of Otis Redding, the Porretta Soul Festival takes place annually in Porretta Terme, a picturesque mountain town in northern Italy. The festival is renowned as an international showcase for southern soul.

Coincidentally, Falisa JaNaye' charted this month on Daddy B. Nice's Top Ten "Breaking" Southern Soul Singles" for the first time since 2010 with "I Love You." An excerpt:

The Memphis diva returns with an adept vocal, a fine piano-dominated arrangement and a song with an atypically (for southern soul) lovely bridge and sophisticated key change, all within an admirably brisk three minutes.

Listen to Falisa JaNaye singing "I Love You" on YouTube.

Listen to Falisa JaNaye singing "You Won't Miss Your Water" live at the 2016 Porretta Soul Festival via YouTube.

Listen to Bobby Rush singing "Get On Up" live at the 2016 Porretta Soul Festival via YouTube.

See the official Porretta Soul Festival website.

Listen to Latimore's recorded version of "Let's Straighten It Out" while browsing photos by Pierangelo Gatto of the 2013 Porretta Soul Festival (where Latimore was featured) via YouTube.

*********** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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I really enjoy your site! I work with Living Blues magazine, and was putting together a caption for Larry Milton. Do you know how long he's been on the scene, and which labels that he's recorded for?


Scott Barretta
Greenwood, MS

Daddy B. Nice replies:

Larry’s definitely an “underground” artist. Don’t think he’s recorded a solo album. If so, it’s a long time ago-—long enough ago for me to forget. He has strong connections in Jackson, and if you want to pursue your search I’d start with the staff at radio station WMPR, starting with Wanda Evers. DJ’s Ragman, Handyman, or Cadillac Zack might know more.

Thanks for the compliment!

Daddy B Nice

Daddy B. Nice notes:

I whipped this reply back to the reader at a point when I was pressed for time. Subsequently, I looked a little more into Larry Milton's presence (or lack thereof) on YouTube and was surprised to find a lot of material and information on the artist posted in the last couple of years.

Here are Daddy B. Nice's most important entries historically, as traced through the Comprehensive Index, along with relevant YouTube links and credits previously unpublished.

Daddy B. Nice's Top 25 Southern Soul Songs Of 2006....

12. "Back In Love Again"--Larry Milton

Lush, romantic, yet its driving beat carries you along like a swiftly-moving river.

Listen to Larry Milton singing "Back In Love Again" on YouTube.

YouTube Credits:

Published on Dec 13, 2015
Produced William Woodard Jr., Arranged by Morris J. Williams
Wood Rat Publishing Company BMI

DBN notes: The antecedents for "Back In Love Again" (in terms of tempo, rhythm track, and background instrumentation) are Jesse Graham's "Mr. Mailman" and "Think Of My Baby." Also note the arranging duties by Morris J. Williams, the longtime Ecko Records-affiliated writer/producer.

Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles For. . .

FEBRUARY 2010....

1. "Knock My Boots"------------Larry Milton

After all the year-end hoopla of awards and listening to last year's records over and over again, I was craving something original, a fresh sound to usher in the new year. This is it. Based on the "Slow Roll It" melody, and taken to new heights by a much-deserving artist best-known for the song "Back In Love Again."

Listen to Larry Milton singing "Knock My Boots" on YouTube.

YouTube Credits:

Published on Mar 3, 2014
Knockin' the Boots
Original release Date: February 18, 2014
Label: CDS Records
Copyright: 2014 CDS Records

Daddy B. Nice's


4. "Knock My Boots"--------------Larry Milton

Who would have imagined that a "Slow Roll It" knock-off (and an underground hit at that) could make you forget the Love Doctor's star-crossed classic? In the space of four atmosphere-packed minutes Larry Milton goes from journeyman to genius.

Best Out-Of-Left-Field Song of 2010:
Larry Milton
"Knock My Boots"

In addition, YouTube also has a surprising number of Larry Milton singles that never charted or received air play, published and posted by Knock On Wood Records, including some live appearances.

--Daddy B. Nice

Scott replies:

Thanks for following up on that -- I found a number of the videos and saw that he was on a Susie Q comp years ago.


*********** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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RE: RIP: Longtime Tyrone Davis Producer Leo Graham Passes

Tyrone Davis

Daddy B. Nice & Readers,

Leo Graham, longtime songwriter/producer for Tyrone Davis and also the writer of the Manhattans' "Shining Star" among other well-known songs, has passed away. We in Chicago mourn his loss deeply.

David Whiteis

See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide To Tyrone Davis. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

RE: MYSTERY LADY'S "He Caught Me With The Wrong Drawers On"


It’s always a pleasure to check in on you & your website. I was wondering is this the same "He Caught Me With The Wrong Drawers On" song you’ve been referring to that DJ Big Money out of Lexington, MS plays on WAGR in the link? If so that’s actually her stage name! “The Mystery Lady” If not back to the drawing board! lol Anyways, THANKS for all you do!

Parrish "DJ PC Baby" Cratic
Aberdeen, MS

Listen to The Mystery Lady singing "Wrong Draws (He Caught Me With The Wrong Drawers On)" on YouTube.

Daddy B. Nice replies:

DJ PC Baby,

You just made my Saturday morning! Thank you for clearing up one of those long-standing "looking-for-a-song questions" I just love to pursue. First, here's my original write-up from the BEST OF 2015 page:

-------DECEMBER 2015---------

1. "He Caught Me With The Wrong Drawers On"----(Another Mystery Lady)

Here's something I've never done before--touting an unknown artist with a #1-ranking single--but I can't close out the year without giving "Wrong Drawers" the recognition it deserves as the greatest underground record of the year after Bishop Bullwinkle's "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw."

DJ Big Money (662-834-1025) plays the song every shift at 102.5 WAGR (Lexington, Tchula, Yazoo City, Mississippi), but he won't give out the name. There's a long southern soul tradition of female singers adopting aliases so as not to be disowned by their families, and I suspect that's the case here, only this singer may not yet even have an alias. Outrageously licentious, unrelentingly deadpan and funny, "He Caught Me With The Wrong Drawers On" cries out to be distributed as an artist's record and posted on YouTube.

I called her "Another Mystery Lady," so when I read your letter, my first impression was, "My God, you mean she actually took the arbitrary name I'd given her?" Then I went to the video and was stunned by the even greater coincidence. The singer is actually the original Mystery Lady who recorded "I Hear You Knocking (But You Can't Come In)." I just stumbled and bumbled upon her actual artist's name--as you point out--by accident!

Daddy B. Nice

P.S. On the YouTube version I hear what sounds like a cat meowing. I keep reaching down beside my chair to stroke one of my cats before they jump up on my computer keyboards. Does anyone else hear this?

Listen to The Mystery Lady singing "Wrong Draws (He Caught Me With The Wrong Drawers On)" on YouTube.

"DJ PC Baby" replies:

LOL, GREAT CATCH! That’s EXACTLY what it is & it’s also on the iTunes version. I just took a listen so it’s not your cats acting up! :D Glad I was able to be of some assistance & once again thanks for giving us southern soul lovers a platform & guide to keep up with those funky down home masterpieces!

One love

Parrish "DJ PC Baby" Cratic

Check out the original Mystery Lady/CD Baby album from which "Wrong Drawers" was re-discovered by DJ Big Money.

See Daddy B. Nice's most recent story about DJ Big Money and "He Caught Me With The Wrong Drawers On" in the July 24th "News & Notes" column of Daddy B. Nice's Corner. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

Daddy B. Nice says: Thanks for all the "Get Well" letters...

Daddy B. Nice replies:

Any more, it seems like your Daddy B. Nice can't have one surgery without having two. (Kinda like a musical twin-pick.) My favorite "cheer-up" e-mail was the first, a little one-liner:

Just sending wishes for a speedy recovery to our beloved Daddy B Nice.


DBN: Noah, that "beloved" made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Thanks to all the well-wishers--you make me want to work even harder!

Daddy B. Nice

********** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide



RE: Ricky White, etc.

Daddy B. Nice,

Interesting points -- although, to my ears, Ricky did do a fine job on Donny Ray's latest -- good, strong, robust sound, at least in my opinion. I also liked Floyd Taylor's CDS release ("I'm 'Bout it 'Bout it" is just about the most infectious southern-soul dance track I've ever heard, and I admit I liked Simeo's hip-hop flavored fillips that gave it a more contemporary "mainstream" sound) -- CDS got some good work out of Stan Mosley, too. On the other hand, I remember being somewhat critical of Barbara Carr's CDS release, saying that she sounded a little stiff and uncomfortable, as if she hadn't been familiar with the material before she recorded it. Later on, she told me that that was exactly what had happened!

The Nellie Travis/Carl Marshall project -- yeah, for the most part, I agree as well. I don't have my CDs in front of me right now, but wasn't that the one on which they had Nellie singing an entire song that was obviously too high for her range? I was surprised that track actually got released.

Technically, I agree with you about programmed horns (for that matter, I'm not a big fan of programmed beats or programmed anything else) -- however, they're so ubiquitous that I've come to realize that I have to accept them if I'm going to listen to this music on its own terms. The rare sax solo or guitar break only serves to remind us what "might have been" . . . but then, after all: in a age of driverless cars, pilotless drones, workerless factories, etc., is it surprising that the same corporate forces that are de-skilling people and making them obsolete in other fields of endeavor have decided to make musicianless recording studios the mainstream state of the (ahem) "art" in recorded music?

I'm sure you've heard the story of the musician (I forget who it was, now) who was quoted as seeing an orchestra playing in the pit of a Broadway theater, turning to his friend, and saying in mock-shock, "Look at this! This will put two synthesizer players out of work!"

David W.

Read the story--Daddy B. Nice On Dylann DeAnna And The "Sound" of CDS Records--on Daddy B. Nice's Corner.

Go to Daddy B. Nice's reviews of the new DONNY RAY and RICKY WHITE CD's.

*********** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide


RE: Thanks From El' Willie

Daddy B Nice,

I was made aware last night that you actually placed me in your top ten breaking singles..and I must say that I was totally surprised. So I would like to thank you for that.. and another thing I would like to point out that, there was a lot of truth in the past critiques that you gave me , and i knew it to be true , and because of that , it made me better represent myself as an artist , a songwriter, a producer , and a vocalist..and it made me do something about it.. and the results were very pleasing to me, so to be honest I appreciate you for checking me at a time that I needed checking ,, so for that I say thank you.. Because, a wise man will listen his or her critics, because your so called friends , and your friends , won't always tell you the truth.. because in the business that i chose to be in you, I know that you can't please everyone, but everyone does have a voice, and an opinion , So I do think it is important to at least listen to it..and if one is true to oneself , one may find some truth in what someone else is saying , and if there is no truth in it you move on , but if there is just a little bit of truth in it ,, it can cause one to take that truth and expand on it ,,So i think it's important to listen and if , there is truth , it's always a plus ...

I'm not trying to jump on a bandwagon nor am I trying to make a songs that may sound like your favorite song, or artists, but I am trying to create a body of work that have real substance, and meaningful lyrics, that may touch someone in a more meaningful way, not just a song that's funny because I'm not a comedian, but if that work for some, God bless them, but my style is an extension of who I am and who I am is good enough for me, I'm a songwriter and I take it very serious,

So Daddy B Nice, thank you for your honesty, it helped me get myself back on the right track, but what It really did more than anything, it helped me make a conscience decision to stay true to myself, don't try to fit in, just be the best me that I can be.. and if I do that at the end of it all, if I do that, I will be pleased with the outcome whatever it may be, because all I had to give, was the best of me that I gave .. to some it may be enough, to others it may never be enough, but to me giving my best is enough for me as long as I can truly say, I truly gave my best..So thank you again Sir.. and may peace be with you and your family always .....

El' Willie

See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to El' Willie.

To instantly link to all of the awards, citations and other references to El' Willie on the website, go to Willie, El' in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.

********** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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RE: The Demise of the Blues Harp (ala Bobby Rush) in Southern Soul: Dorothy Moore playing blues harp!

Have you seen this? (She breaks out the harp at about 2:25)

Listen to the Dorothy Moore interview and playing of the blues harp on YouTube.


See original article--The Demise of the Blues Harp (ala Bobby Rush) in Southern Soul--on Daddy B. Nice's Corner.

********** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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Looking For A Song Letters: Echoes of Frank Mendenhall

Hi Daddy B

Your recent discussion in the Mailbag about the Jeff Floyd song prompted me to write in about a song I'm hearing DJ Ragman play in the afternoons on WMPR in Jackson. I think I heard him say it's by TJ Hooker Taylor. The song reminds me of another song, but I just can't put my finger on it. Do you know what I'm talking about?

Thanks for your help, hopefully,


Daddy B. Nice replies:

I do know the song you're talking about, George. It's T.J. Hooker's new single, "In The Rinse." The song you're hearing between the lines is Frank Mendenhall's "Party With Me Tonight," and I think TJ crossed the line--the professional line--in recycling the iconic rhythm track. He doesn't lift it per se, but his guitarist does such a faithful copy it demands a "shout-out" to the late great southern soul troubadour.

Daddy B. Nice

See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Frank Mendenhall.

Listen to the late Frank Mendenhall singing "Party With Me Tonight" on YouTube.

Listen to T.J. Hooker Taylor singing "In The Rinse" on YouTube.

See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to T.J. Hooker Taylor. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

LOOKING FOR A SONG LETTERS: Where can I find Robert "The Duke" Tillman's "Actions Speak Louder Than Words"?

Daddy B. Nice -

Good afternoon - Do you all know where I can purchase Robert Tillman's song, "Actions Speak Louder Than Words"? Im a mobile DJ in Clinton Mississippi.

DJ Double Dee

Daddy B. Nice replies:

Sorry for the delay, DJ Double Dee. I confused you with Doctor Dee, southern soul songwriter/performer and deejay at WMPR in Jackson, and I thought if anyone would know the answer to that question, you would. But you're not him, although I see you're from Clinton, so you may even know Doctor Dee. At any rate, I'd recommend calling WMPR (601-948-5950 request line / 601-948-5835 office) and asking Doctor Dee, Ragman, Handyman, Randy "Wildman Brown," Wanda Evers or Cadillac Zack where you can buy some kind of local copy of "Actions Speak Louder Than Words". That's all you're going to find, I'm afraid. Robert "The Duke" Tillman isn't known for taking care of business.

Daddy B. Nice

DJ Double Dee replies:

Good afternoon,

Thank you for the response. I did call WMPR last week. WMPR only had a promo copy and was not sure if song was released for purchase. I was unable to find the song on ITunes, BluesCritic, or CDbaby. Its a nice song so hopefully it will be made for purchase soon and I can add to my playlist. Thanks.

DJ Double Dee

Daddy B. Nice replies:

Incidentally, Tillman is performing at the Elks Club in Jackson this weekend (Saturday night) and at the Elks Club in Brookhaven (Sunday night).

See Concert Calendar.

DJ Double Dee replies:

Unfortunately, I will be out of town for family reunion and will miss the show. Hopefully I can find someone thats going and have them secure a cd from him. Thanks

DJ Double Dee

See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Robert "The Duke" Tillman.

Listen to Robert "The Duke" Tillman singing "I Found Love" on YouTube.

********** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

RE: “These are the good old days, the glory days…”

Hey Daddy,

You have become indispensable. I especially like the way you tell it like is and hold southern soul to a high standard and don’t rubber-stamp everything for the sake of keeping everyone happy. If everybody did that, southern soul would be in a sadder state. Thanks in large parts to you, it’s thriving.

I wanted to give you a little shit about a column you must have taken down from Daddy B. Nice’s Corner—about the Memorial Day Concerts? You said “These are the good days, the glory days,” or something like that. What’s that? Just hyperbole? I mean, our acts aren’t even “national,” right? How can these be the “glory” days?

Thanks again for everything, and no offense intended,


Daddy B. Nice replies:

Hey, Demond’, no offense taken. When I look at the southern soul scene today, I feel like I’ve seen this before. I go back to when I was a little kid—long, long ago—pulling in the deep-south radio stations playing this wild, exotic pre-Rock&Roll R&B in the middle of the night, and much of it made it onto Top 40 and American Bandstand in those days (unlike today). (Actually, today YouTube is Top 40 radio, and sites like Daddy B. Nice are Dick Clark's Bandstand.) Elvis, the first white guy to play R&B, came in the late fifties. The Beatles came in the early 60’s, when all the young Brits were discovering blues records. Those early (black) R&B artists were eclipsed by (white) Rock and Roll. But for that magic time in the 50’s and early 60’s when it all sounded so new, those were the “glory days” for guys like Clyde McPhatter (”A Lover’s Question”), Little Richard ("Long Tall Sally”), Barrett Strong (”Money”), Ernie K-Doe (“Mother In Law”) and Little Eva (“The Loco-Motion”).

Those are the artists and the “raw & elemental” records that I equate to today’s Sir Charles Jones, T.K. Soul, Nellie “Tiger” Travis and Ms. Jody. None of them achieved the widespread fame they should have (well, maybe Little Richard), but they are remembered. And if and when a white southern soul artist comes along, followed by a rock and roll-like wave of Caucasian southern soul artists (it sounds strange even saying it, because the face of the music is black)….If and when that occurs, today’s artists will be lost in the din. You can see this effect already in the recent inroads made by African-American artists, totally unknown even five years ago--acts such as Tucka, Bishop Bullwinkle, J’Wonn and Big Pokey Bear--who have surpassed or at least equaled longtime performers like Sir Charles Jones and T.K. Soul in terms of drawing power on the chitlin’ circuit. So that is why I say these are the “glory days.” I think they’re going to get even better for southern soul, but I don’t think that’s necessarily true for all the artists popular today.

Daddy B. Nice

********** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide



THANK YOU LETTERS....Do you review Zydeco?

Daddy B. Nice,

I love your website. Your reviews on southern soul and blues music are excellent. I was wonder do you review Zydeco and if not can you tell me of a website that does.

Thank You.
D.J. Bigg-Mac

Daddy B. Nice replies:

Thanks, DJ Bigg-Mac. I don't know if there are any good zydeco information sites, but I can tell you that the best zydeco will increasingly be covered here. There's another great button-accordion tune coming in next month's Top Ten Singles: it's by Chris Ardoin. By the way, this southern soul connection to zydeco is not just a recent phenomenon. Denise LaSalle was singing "Don't Mess With My Tutu" way back when.

Daddy B. Nice - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

THANK YOU LETTERS.... Introducing Southern Soul's YouTube Mix Tape Deejays

Whats up Daddy B,

I enjoy reading your site and looking at your charts. Thanks for recognizing me, I appreciate it.

Melvin (Mr. Melvin)

Daddy B. Nice replies:

Appreciate it, Melvin. You’re the only one who got back to me. Keep up the good work.

But subsequently...

Hello Daddy B.

How you feelin.? Hey I just wanted to thank you for giving me, Dj Whaltbabieluv, a shout out in your April 21, 2016 article. It's a pleasure knowing that someone is taking notice and was thoughtful enough to write a article on us. Thank you for taking the time to do that.

If you don't have my youtube channel, you can checkout my mixes youtube @: Dj Whaltbabieluv

Daddy B. Nice replies:

I'm feelin' good, Dj Whaltbabieluv, I'm playin' new southern soul just like the Top 10 when I was a little kid, and I'm feelin' good. Thanks for all you're doing, and keep up the good work.

Daddy B. Nice

And subsequently, Daddy B. Nice wrote Mr. Melvin:

Saw the visual shout-out (to Daddy B. Nice) on your new mixtape. Thanks, Melvin. It’s cool.

And Mr. Melvin replied:

No problem man lol. You the man!


Daddy B. Nice notes:

To listen to Mr. Melvin's latest mixtape, go to Southern Soul Showtime: Zydeco Beat by Mr Melvin.

To listen to Dj Whaltbabieluv's latest mixtape, go to Southern Soul Mix 2016 - "Southern Fried" (Dj Whaltbabieluv)

Read the original article on Daddy B. Nice's Corner 2016 (Scroll down the page.)

********** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide




Hi Daddy B Nice!

I am Nikita Randle from Vicksburg, MS. I wanted you to be one of the first to know that I was formally known as Mys Niki. #10 single in October 2015 -- Candy Lover and #2 single in February -- Don't Make Me Do It. I have recently changed my stage name to "Nikita" and joined forces with T.K. Soul to produce my latest "Rules to the Game." There was a little confusion about another Soul/Blues singer who uses Ms. Niki as her stage name. I am a newcomer so I decided to use "Nikita" from this point on. I appreciate and respect everyone's gift. I don't want to step on any toes in this business as long as I can! Thanks for sharing the best music and knowledge!

Be blessed,

Listen to Nikita singing "Rules To The Game" on YouTube.

Daddy B. Nice replies:

Thank you so much, Nikita. That certainly clears up the mystery of such a "seasoned" debut. You are a very good vocalist, and you select good material. Sorry about drawing attention to your name. Maybe it's because people have always drawn attention to mine.

Daddy B. Nice

Daddy B. Nice notes:

"Don't Make Me Do It" was actually the #2 single in March 16, not February as Nikita states, beaten out for the top (#1) spot only by Jaye Hammer's "Trail Ride."

See Daddy B. Nice's original commentary on the song in Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 Singles. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

RE: Blues and Southern Soul

Daddy B. Nice,

I just wanted to say what a great website you have. I just heard of Southern Soul for the first time from a book called "Dispatches From Pluto" about a guy who moves from New York to the Mississippi Delta. I did a Google search to find out more about it and came across your website. I'm amazed how many great groups there are that I've never heard of out here in California. I'm looking forward to exploring their music, which reminds me of the soul and R&B music me and my friends used to love back in the 70s, which I thought was gone forever.

Thanks again and God bless!


Daddy B. Nice replies:

Thanks so much. Like you, most of us fans came from other genres--rock, rap & hiphop, alternative & dance & electronica, country & folk & bluegrass, etc--looking for something more raw and elemental, not knowing it still exists in all its vitality. I think you'll find southern soul music will never let you down.

Daddy B. Nice

Mark replies:

Yes, raw is a good word for it. It doesn't have the perfect, flawless production values of some of the more popular music, but that's part of its appeal. By the way, I want to buy Bishop Bullwinkle's song but I can't find it for sale anywhere. I can only find it on Youtube. Is it available for sale anywhere?

Daddy B. Nice replies:

You must be an anomaly, Mark, just like Bishop Bullwinkle, because you want to buy the one southern soul song that's not for sale, in spite of accumulating some 20 million hits on its various YouTube postings. There is hope, however. The newest version of "Hell Naw" is registered with BMI, which means it may eventually be for sale. For the background on this and the latest on Bishop Bullwinkle, go to Daddy B. Nice's Guide to Bishop Bullwinkle.

Mark replies:

Gotcha, that is funny. This isn't the only southern soul song I wanted, I did buy a few others. When it came to BBW's song, I was able to download it from Youtube so I could listen to it on my Walkman, but, ironically, I wanted to pay for it so that he could reap the fruits of his labor. It turns out the labor wasn't entirely his! I think I will buy Bigg Robb's song so that HE can enjoy the fruits of his labor. : )

I appreciate the info.

Mark - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide


********** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide




Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 Souther Soul Singles

7 pm, Thursday, September 29, 2016.Promontory Chicago, 5311 S. Lake Park, Chicago, Illinois. KoKo Taylor Celebrity Aid Foundation: An Evening With The Queens. Barbara Carr, Trudy Lynn, Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Jackie Scott, Chick Rodgers, Sheryl Youngblood and more.

Friday, September 30, 2016. Federal City Auditorium, 2485 Guadalcanal St., New Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans Views Awards Show. Jeter Jones, Big Pokey Bear, Tyree Neal, Veronica (Ra'elle). 504-217-5003.

10 pm, Friday, September 30, 2016.The Elks Club, 862 East Burdeshaw St., Dothan, Alabama. Tucka, Big Pokey Bear. Doors open at 8 pm.

Friday, September 30, 2016. Club Visions, 3386 Buena Vista Rd., Columbus, Georgia. Vick Allen & Velvet Soul Band.

8 pm, Saturday, October 1, 2016. The Centre, Halifax Community College, 200 College Drive, Weldon, North Carolina. The Down East Southern Soul Concert featuring The Heavy Hitters Of Soul. Vick Allen, T.K. Soul, Sir Charles Jones, Kenne' Wayne, Lacee. Doors open at 7 pm. 919-827-2033.

12 pm, Noon, October 1, 2016. Cook Family Park, Highway 79 Between Pine Bluff & Altheimer, Altheimer, Arkansas. Ms. Jody, Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Bobby Rush, Jaye Hammer, Bishop Bullwinkle, Willie P., Diedra. 501-413-7683.

Saturday, October 1, 2016. Leflore County Civic Center, 200 Highway 7 North, Greenwood, Mississippi. Mississippi Blues Fest. Theodis Ealey, O.B. Buchana, L.J. Echols, Willie Clayton and more. 662-453-4065.

8 pm, Saturday, October 1, 2016. The Event Center, 3201 Navy Center, Pensacola, Florida. Mike Hall Birthday Bash. LaMorris Williams, Jeff Floyd, Solomon Thompson, Snatch Nelson, Walter Waiters, Solomon Thompson, Summer Wolfe and more. 850-529-0614. Doors open at 7 pm. Hosts: Papa Rock, Nikki DeMarks.

6:30 pm, Saturday, October 1, 2016. Holmes County Multi-Purpose Complex, Lexington, Mississippi. Pink Gala. JR Blu.

Saturday, October 1, 2016. Alabama Theatre, 4750 Hwy. 17 South, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The Coasters, The Platters, Clyde McPhatter's Drifters. 843-272-1111.

6 pm, Sunday, October 2, 2016. Mr. G's Supper Club, 1547 West 87th St., Chicago, Illinois. Lomax, JoJo Murray, Willie White. Doors open at 4 pm.773-445-2020.

9 pm, Sunday, October 2, 2016. The Comfort Zone, 5526 West Fondlac Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ms. Jody.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Ruffins Downtown Daquire, 602 Main Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Veronica Raelle Birthday Bash. Big Pokey Bear, Big Cynthia, Tyree Neal, Summer Wolfe, Coldrank, Drummergirl.

Saturday, October 8, 2016. Majestic Theatre, 224 East Houston Street, San Antonio, Texas. Smokey Robinson. 210-226-5700.

Saturday, October 8, 2016. The Forum Arena, 301 Tribune St., Rome, Georgia. Ms. Jody. 706-291-5281.

Saturday, October 8, 2016. The Amp at Craig Ranch, 628 West Craig Road, North Las Vegas, Nevada. 3rd Annual Southern Soul Blues In The Park. Sir Charles Jones, Bigg Robb, Willie Clayton. 702-633-2418.

Monday, October 10, 2016. B.B. King Blues Club, 237 W. 42nd St., New York. Bobby Rush. 212-997-4144.

9 pm, Friday, October 14, 2016 & Saturday, October 14, 2016. Blue Chicago, 536 N. Clark St., Chicago, Illinois. Nellie "Tiger" Travis. 312-661-0100.

9 pm, Saturday, October 15, 2016. Big Skate Event Center, 12099 Marsh Road, Bealeton, Virginia. Tribute to Hardway Connection: 35th Anniversary. Roy C, J. Red, Donnie Ray, Maurice Wynn, Shay Denise. Doors open at 8 pm. 301-233-2951.

3 pm, Saturday, October 15, 2016. Oyster Festival, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Violet, Louisiana. Rosalyn Candy. See festival website.

Sunday, October 16, 2016. Sellersville Theater 1894, 24 West Temple Ave., Sellersville, Pennsylvania. Bobby Rush. 215-257-5808.

Sunday, October 16, 2016. Ferdinand's, 1803 Bear Forks Road, Eight Mile, Alabama (Mobile). Celebrity Libra Birthday Bash. Mr. David and more. 404-781-8060, 251-643-2608.

Friday, October 21, 2015. Hinds Community College, 34175 Miss. #18 West, Utica, Mississippi. Omar Cunningham. 601-885-6062. Host: Dave Mack.

9 pm, October 22, 2017. The Last Good Spot, 109 Elam St. Ruston, Louisiana. C-Wright (Soulsanger), G'Que (Mickens). 903-331-6940.

Saturday, October 22, 2016. Peabody Opera House, 1400 Market St., St. Louis, Missouri. Aretha Franklin. 314-499-7600.

Saturday, October 22, 2016. Thalia Mara Hall, 255 East Pascagoula, Jackson, Mississipi. We Are Jackson Soul Celebration. Vick Allen, Eddie Cotton, Fade 2 Blue and more. Doors open at 7 pm.

10 pm, Friday, October 28, 2016. The Last Good Spot, 109 Elam St., Ruston, Louisiana. Summer Wolfe, Ricky "Da Soul Man" Burton. 903-331-6940.

Saturday, October 29, 2016. National Guard Armory, 170 Highway 84 East, Brookhaven, Mississippi. Halloween Southern Soul Throwdown. Omar Cunningham, Vick Allen, Dave Mack, T-Baby.

7:30 pm & 9:30 pm, Saturday October 29, 2016. Corner Theatre, 211 E. Pleasant Run Rd., Desoto, Texas. The Metropolitan Dream Center of Dallas Presents. Eddie Cotton, B'Nois King Band. 972-524-8900

Saturday, October 29, 2016. Tunica Roadhouse, 1107 Casino Drive, Tunica, Mississippi. Ms. Jody, Grady Champion. 800-391-3777.

9 pm, Saturday, November 5, 2016. Delta Blues Alley Cafe, 353 Delta Ave, Clarksdale, Mississippi. Ricky "Da Soul Man" Burton, Soul Ingredients Band, Summer Wolfe. 662-902-4626, 662-902-6078.

Saturday, November 5, 2016. 505 Bayshore Avenue, Bldg. 505, Mobile, Alabama. 3rd Annual Red Carpet Event. G'Que (Mickens), C-Wright (Soulsanger), MP Soul and more.

10 pm, Saturday, November 5, 2016. The Last Good Spot, 109 Elam St., Ruston, Louisiana. Klutcher. 903-331-6940.

Sunday, November 6, 2016. Ferdinand's Place, 1803 Bear Fork Rd., Eight Mile, Alabama. Ricky "Da Soul Man" Burton.

Saturday, November 19, 2016. City National Grove of Anaheim, 2200 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, California. Lenny Williams. 714-712-2700.

Saturday, November 19, 2016. Trotter Convention Center, 402 2nd Avenue North, Columbus, Mississippi. Willie Clayton. 662-328-4164.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016. Montgomery Performing Arts Centre, 201 Tallapoosa St., Montgomery, Alabama. T.K. Soul, Bigg Robb, Calvin Richardson, MC Lightfoot. 334-481-5100.

Friday, November 25,2016. Pelican Landing Event Center, 6217 Mississippi 613, Moss Point, Mississippi. Black Friday Blues On The River. Mr. David & Band, Dave Mack, David J., Katrinia Jefferson. Hosts: Levi Sims & Ms. Mary. 228-474-1406.

8 pm, Saturday, December 3, 2016. M W Stringer Grand Lodge, 1072 John R. Lynch St, Jackson, Mississippi. Potentate & Commandress Ball. Vick Allen & Velvet Soul Band. Formal attire. 601-613-2419, 601-354-1403.


E-mail concert listings and corrections to:


******** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide


All material--written or visual--on this website is copyrighted and the exclusive property of, LLC. Any use or reproduction of the material outside the website is strictly forbidden, unless expressly authorized by

--Daddy B. Nice


Overflow From Daddy B. Nice's BEST OF 2015 page...


January began without holiday hangover, as up-and-coming producer Big Yayo debuted as a performer with a piece of "southern soul electronica" called "Cowgirl" featuring his protege, "I Got This Record's" J'Wonn, the ultimate balladeer, singing an uptempo chorus on his first-ever club jam.

February ushered in a Valentine's Day weekend to be remembered with southern soul concerts across a broad spectrum of the South, from Hooks, Texas (Avail Hollywood) to Memphis (Bertha Payne) to south Atlanta (Lomax) to Greenville, Ms. (J'Wonn) to Canton, Ms. (L.J. Echols, Terry Wright, J-Wonn, Krishunda Echols, Bigg Robb, Napoleon) to Vicksburg (Shirley Brown, Carl Sims, Jaye Hammer, Wilson Meadows, Pat Brown, Adrena) to Corpus Christi (Mel Waiters) to Decatur, Ga. and Talladega, Alabama (T.J. Hooker Taylor) to Tuscaloosa (Tre' Williams, Jeff Floyd) to Panama City, Florida (Ms. Jody) to Germantown, Tenn. (Mavis Staples) to Montgomery (Bigg Robb, O.B. Buchana, Tucka, Lebrado, Lomax, Toia Jones) to Farmerville, La. (Avail Hollywood) to Mobile (L.J. Echols, Andre' Lee, James Payne, Geno Wesley) to Dallas and the annual Blues Is Alright Tour (T.K. Soul, Theodis Ealey, Mel Waiters, Clarence Carter, Latimore, Millie Jackson) to Shiner, Texas (Rue Davis) to Texarkana (Omar Cunningham, Wendell B) to Indianola, Ms., B.B. King's hometown (Chris Ivy, Lil' Jimmie) to Baytown, Texas (Kenne' Wayne, AP Heavy But Sweet) to East Tyler, Texas (R. Kelly, Avail Hollywood) and back to Memphis (Jarekus Singleton), setting the bar for a record-breaking year in Southern Soul clubs.

Mindful of the concert bonanza, Daddy B. Nice urged fans in March to get out of the airport hubs (Memphis, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans) and "walk on the wild side," visiting the "holes-in-the-walls" in the verdant countryside where the true contemporary blues reigns supreme. In Jackson, premier nineties' vocalist Robert "The Duke" Tillman (Ace, Ichiban) re-emerged, as did storied DJ Outlaw at WMPR, while young Jackson guitar-blues stars Jarekus Singleton, Grady Champion and Mr. Sipp parlayed their mass audience-friendly blues far beyond the Delta.

April saw the breakthrough collection THE LOUISIANA BLUES BROTHERS, explode in the southern soul demographic via its suddenly iconic single,
"My Sidepiece," featuring the powerful-piped, Reggie P.-like vocalist Pokey (or Big Pokey Bear), whose electric stage show featured the singer thrusting and gyrating with a passion not seen since Bobby Rush's twerking dancers.

The song's message that it was okay to have a "woman on the side" because it's in the "genes" alternately fascinated and disgusted listeners, and not always along gender lines, and the "sidepiece" theme became a motif in countless new southern soul songs. Meanwhile, Pokey et. al.'s new album, BEAT FLIPPA I GOT THE BLUES VOL. 1., released in February, shot up the charts, bringing a rock-and-roll-like energy, immediacy and accessibility to the southern soul scene that thrust its brilliant producer (Beat Flippa) and roster of talented artists (Pokey, Tyree Neal, Adrian Bagher, Vince Hutchinson, Mz. Pat, Veronica Ra'elle, Rosalyn Candy, etc.) into a level of popularity even southern soul's veteran artists had to envy.

Also in April, the great sixties' artist Percy Sledge, who recorded one of the most powerful southern soul songs of the last fifty years, "When A Man Loves A Woman," passed away with scant fanfare.

May was the worst month, the cruelest month...

....Mother's Day and Memorial Day weekends witnessed another slew of record-breaking fan-friendly southern soul concerts, but the nation and entire world mourned the passing of B.B. King, whose ties to Indianola and Jackson, Mississippi were real and renewed each summer, when B.B. always returned for the Medgar Evers Homecoming Celebration and played for his original chitlin' circuit fans in the Delta.

But for contemporary southern soul fans it was the passing of song-master Mel Waiters that really hurt. Unknown outside of blues circles (unlike the world-famous B.B. King), Waiters was an irreplaceable part of the southern soul pantheon of recording artists, having largely kicked off the contemporary scene with his "Hole In The Wall," fashioned in the late nineties in the tradition of Mel's inspirations, Z.Z. Hill and Buddy Ace. For many fans, Waiters was the number-one performer in the South, and Mel never shied away from the kudos. YouTube videos document his exciting "contests" with Sir Charles Jones, which did so much to enliven the concert scene.

June marked the appearance of a rapping preacher named Bishop Bullwinkle, whose "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" continued a trend of unknown artists (like J'Wonn, Tucka, Pokey) eclipsing southern soul's veteran artists in notoriety-slash-popularity in one fell swoop (be it a single or album). Whereas J'Wonn had stunned the southern soul community a couple of years earlier with his straight-forward youth and sensitivity, the nearly seventy-something Bishop Bullwinkle simultaneously astonished and dumbfounded fans with his fearless, back-woods vision of the world compressed into a six-minute, no-holds-barred sermon castigating hypocrisy in the church and gangsterism in the hood.

While J'Wonn had seemingly thrust the entire world off his back with the momentous words, "I Got This Record," the grizzled Bullwinkle did the same with his proclamation, "My name is Bishop Bullwinkle / From the church of nothing but the truth..."

....In less than a month his YouTube video (there was no published record) had a million views--unheard-of for a southern soul song--and by the end of the year it was approaching ten million. Clearly, Bullwinkle's "Hell To The Naw Naw" had cut through layers of padding and pretension to strike a deeply-felt, common nerve with fans.

In August Tucka and T.K. Soul sold out the 3,000-seat Houston Arena Theatre, notching a new high in audience numbers for a pair of southern soul acts.

Jackson's own James "Hot Dog" Lewis, keyboardist, performer and producer, passed away in October.

Late summer sizzled with gigs--July 4th, Labor Day--the fans' thirst for the music couldn't be slaked--culminating in the biggest concert-venue weekend ever Thanksgiving.

From Thibodeaux, Louisiana (Cupid, Lebrado, Pokey) to Montgomery, Alabama (T.K. Soul) to Canton-Jackson, Ms. (J'Wonn, Big Yayo) to Opelika, Alabama (T.K. Soul) to Hattiesburg, Ms. (J'Wonn, Big Yayo) to Tchula, Ms. (Tre' Williams) to Grenada, Ms. (J'Wonn) to DC area Pomonkey, Md. (Jeff Floyd, J. Red, Hardway Connection) to Birmingham, Alabama (Calvin Richardson, Nellie "Tiger" Travis) and back to Hattiesburg (T.K. Soul) and way out to San Diego (Cupid) and back to Vicksburg (Bishop Bullwinkle, Terry Wright, Bigg Robb, Lacee, Stevie J) to New Orleans (T.K. Soul) to El Dorado, Arkansas (T.K. Soul, Ghetto Cowboy, Summer Wolfe) to Charlotte, North Carolina (Lenny Williams, Ann Nesby) and Wilson, North Carolina (Jeff Floyd, Wilson Meadows, Hardway Connection) down to Tampa, Florida (Clarence Carter, Bishop Bullwinkle, Betty Wright, Shirley Murdoch) and Sebring, Florida (Bobby Rush, Theodis Ealey) and way up to Gary, Indiana (Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Willie Clayton, Latimore, Otis Clay) and back to the Delta in Tchula, Mississippi (Big Yayo, J'Wonn) and Pickens, Ms. (The Love Doctor, Terry Wright, Sorrento Ussery, Pat Brown, Nathaniel Kimble, Doctor Dee, Lady Di) to Meridian, Ms. (Big Robb, Vick Allen, Lacee, JR Blu) and thence back north to St. Louis (Bobby Rush, David Dee) and Chicago (Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Willie Clayton, Otis Clay, Latimore) and back home to Jackson (Andre' Lee, T-Baby) and the re-opened Evers Blues Lounge on Pecan Park Circle next to WMPR (Roy C., LGB, Doctor Dee, Dennis Fountain).... From all of these venues, enthusiastic fans supplemented their turkey with southern soul music.

2016 marked Southern Soul's most serious forays into the mainstream yet, and Bishop Bullwinkle was southern soul's "Donald Trump," refreshingly candid, wildly off-the-wall. At year's end, Bigg Robb took down Bullwinkle's video for copyright infringement. Turns out the Bishop had used the instrumental track from Robb's "Looking For A Country Girl" for the backing track to "Naw Naw," but Bishop Bullwinkle was uncontrite, telling Daddy B. Nice in a profanity-laced interview that he "dared" Robb to take him to court. As one industry insider noted, it didn't matter that the song hadn't been published (as a record); its online streaming revenues alone amounted to the same thing. And so it went in the raucous, wild-west-like cradle of the musical universe--the Deep South--where the music is as primeval and super-sized as the SEC. (And still unknown nationally...Go figure!) And as Jaye Hammer (one of 2015's finest vocalists) says in his juking new ode to the Delta, "I Ain't Leaving Mississippi." ....

"You know, someone came up to me the other day and said, 'Hammer! They told me you had moved to Chicago."

I said, "What? Man! People are always spreading rumors. But let me say this. I ain't leaving Mississippi. Mississippi is my home. If you think I'm gonna leave Mississippi, you might as well leave me alone."

--Daddy B. Nice

*********** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide


From Daddy B. Nice's BEST OF 2014 page...


The year did not begin auspiciously. Floyd Taylor, son of the late great Johnnie Taylor and a contemporary southern soul headliner in his own right, passed away on February 21st, causing his stepbrother TJ to remark, "He died pretty much the way my dad died: a heart attack (at too young an age)." A masterful and discerning vocal interpreter, Taylor's career was notable for spanning southern soul's two generations of songwriters, from the best of Charles Richard Cason and Lawrence Harper (of his father's generation) to Simeo Overall of the new.

A few days later Eddie Holloway, a lesser-known but seminal figure renowned for contemporary southern soul classics like "I Had A Good Time," "Poor Boy" and "My Mind's Too Strong," passed away in obscurity, without fanfare.

A young recording artist (Jeter Jones) trying to break into the southern soul market released an album whose instrumental tracks Daddy B. Nice--in a CD review--recognized as identical to certain Bobby Jones and Chuck Roberson songs of the recent past, setting off a firestorm of litigation between Desert Sounds CEO Charles Peterson and his former producer, Eric "Smidi" Smith.

Daddy B. Nice himself underwent a lung cancer scare and finally had surgery in May, returning successfully after two bouts in the hospital to discover that "Funky" Larry Jones, owner of the Soul & Blues Report, a monthly compendium and summary of southern soul deejay playlists and a vital niche in the southern soul internet community, had died. Other websites (Boogie, Blues Critic) made attempts to provide the same function, but at year's end the loss was still felt and seemed irrevocable.

That, along with the June death of Don Davis (the producing genius behind Johnnie Taylor) and the early-September passing of Joe Poonanny, the Weird Al Yankovich of the chitlin' circuit and the last of a dying breed of blues parodists, was the bad news.

The good news was that, stimulated by an invitation to Kim Cole's Celebrity Birthday Bash in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in July, your Daddy B. Nice rebounded to attend (and chronicle) three multi-act southern soul concerts in thirty hours, including getting out on the dance floor.

There was cause. Southern Soul stars were appearing everywhere across the Deep South, from Texas to the Carolinas. A month later, Southern Soul Labor Day concerts and associated sales would surpass a million, and the concerts continued to proliferate, populating weekends throughout the calendar that would have been few and far between ten years ago.

But what really uncorked the euphoria in 2014 was the return to recording of southern soul's younger-generation leading lights, Sir Charles Jones and T.K. Soul. After long absences (especially in Sir Charles' case), both performers produced sets of significant material with fresh yet authentic sounds, in T.K.'s case stripped-down, acoustic-dominated arrangements.

The two CD's, combined with the much-anticipated debut by J'Wonn (I GOT THIS RECORD) and the latest drop from O.B. Buchana, made it a banner year for male vocalists.

Women, not so much. For the second year in a row Denise LaSalle and Shirley Brown were sorely missed. Both appeared only rarely, and neither released new product. Ms. Jody and Nellie "Tiger" Travis were relatively quiet after big years in 2013. Sweet Angel reposed and, as expected, Peggy Scott-Adams (whose early partner, JoJo Benson, died just before Christmas) failed to follow up on her 2012 return to southern soul. Candi Staton and Uvee Hayes returned with new CD's, however.

Some of the major male stars--known for productivity--were also MIA in 2014. Mel Waiters, Theodis Ealey, Latimore and Bobby Rush produced little new studio work, and in pursuit of an elusive Grammy that even the late Johnnie Taylor and Tyrone Davis never won, Willie Clayton's new album disconcerted some longtime fans with its slide into atmospheric, Isley-style soul.

Young Grady Champion was the year's sensation (following fellow Jacksonian J'Wonn in 2013). Champion drew a cover story in "Living Blues" magazine after signing with Malaco Records for his new album BOOTLEG WHISKEY. Rare for a Delta artist, Champion drew national interest and crossover appeal.

Waiting in the wings, and getting no respect, was Chicago phenomenon Theo Huff, whose "It's A Good Thing I Met You" drew high praise (#5 for the year) from Daddy B. Nice for its approximation of--you guessed it--vintage Willie Clayton.

Lil' Jimmie's dance jam "She Was Twerkin'" was the underground sensation of the year, the subject of constant fan queries on where to buy--the answer was always, "Nowhere." Which reminded your Daddy B. Nice of an old Lil' Jimmie song called "I'm Not Going Nowhere," a song so full of double-negatives you're not sure what he means.

A young artist named Wood redid Nellie "Tiger" Travis's "Mr. Sexy Man" with a lounge-band sound ("Foxy Lady"), drawing copyright ire.

Tyree Neal, Pokey and Adrian Bagher formed a group called The Louisiana Blues Brothers.

Memphis-based Anita Love (Humphrey), former back-up singer for Sweet Angel, had an out-of-left-field smash with "Keep Knockin'", while Memphis-based songwriter John Cummings continued his transformation into a first-rate recording artist.

Vick Allen was in a stage play in Jackson, Mississippi, while singles ("Crazy Over You," "True To Me") continued to spit out of his going-on-three-year-old SOUL MUSIC album like candy from a child's Christmas wind-up toy.

Steve Perry of "Booty Roll" fame thought better of his name change to Prince Mekl and became good old Steve Perry again.

WAGR in Lexington, Mississippi and its colorful deejay, Big Money, became the exciting new southern soul station to stream on the Internet.

And last but not least, storied DJ Ragman returned in December to WMPR in Jackson, Mississippi--also on the Web--doling out southern soul music in the afternoons with his trademark, champagne-fizz optimism.

By the end of the year, life in Southern Soul was good.

--Daddy B. Nice

*********** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide




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