Daddy B. Nice's #86 ranked Southern Soul Artist
"My Name Is $$$$$"
Composed by Miz B.
Listen to Miz B singing "My Name Is $$$$$" on YouTube.
Daddy B. Nice's Original Critique:
"My Name Is $$$$$" is a litmus test for the Southern Soul fan. If you don't like its raw elemental power, its humor and outrageousness and low-budget, early-rock-and-roll, black-upon-black intensity, you're not likely to care for much of Southern Soul music.
"My Name Is $$$$$" is the last, great gasp from Hep'Me Records, the creative playground of the late Senator Jones.
Miz B has said (regarding her entry into the business) that Ecko Records' spokesman Larry Chambers reacted favorably to a tape of a single brought to him by Miz B's husband, Memphis-area deejay Captain Curtis Lee, but it's not clear if that tape was "My Name Is $$$$$," or if Ecko's CEO, John Ward, ever heard the single in question. Even if Ward had listened to "My Name Is $$$$$," it might have been too "far out" for the Ecko style.
Although, your Daddy B. Nice might add, no more extreme than The Marcels' version of the Rodgers & Hart Broadway song "Blue Moon" sounded when it came out in 1961 (like it had been rung through the heart of the Congo).
("Blue Moon," the song that started, "Bomp ba ba bomp / Ba bomp ba bomp bomp / Ba ba bomp ba ba bomp / Da dang da dangdang / Da ding a dong ding," was we early baby-boomers' version of a hiphop sample, and the fastest-rising (to #1) single on the Billboard charts between Elvis and The Beatles.)
Carl Marshall once told your Daddy B. Nice that Senator Jones wasn't a real producer, in the technical sense of the term. He was more of a talent promoter, a judge of talent. And yet, Senator Jones had something Marshall and many other Southern Soul producers today don't have.
He had an astounding vision, an ear for the right sound, and that vision was Southern Soul before anyone else had really defined it. In fact, Sir Charles Jones and The Love Doctor and Senator Jones pretty much resuscitated the form as a viable genre.
I can imagine Senator Jones seizing on the demo of Miz B's My Name Is $$$$$ with unbridled delight. And history does confirm that. Miz B. appears as the very first track of the very 1st Family Of Southern Soul compilation series from Hep'Me Records in 2006.
Listen to a sample of Miz B's "My Name Is $$$$$".
Regrettably, this contemporary classic is not on YouTube to hear in its entirety. The CD Baby sample of "My Name Is $$$$$" (the best your Daddy B. Nice has to offer at this time) does give a good snippet of the pumped-up rhythm section, the shamelessly in-your-face synthetic horns, along with a snippet of Miz B's vocal style and the basic hook, but totally absent is the "Bomp ba ba bomp" of this song: the Barry White-deep voice-over that begins and ends the song. And without that voice-over, you just don't get an accurate representation of the impact of the song.
This is the probably the best male voice-over (with a genuflection towards Latimore's "Let's Straighten It Out") and certainly one of the FUNNIEST male voice-overs ever recorded in Southern Soul music.
(Its competition is likely Senator Jones' other digitalized man/woman coup, the Love Doctor's and Thomisene Anderson's "Lies.")
The timbre of the unknown speaker is more robust than Barry White. This is the hipster of the hipsters. This is a voice so deep and surround-sound-masculine you can imagine ladies removing clothes to its cadence.
And yet, what the guy says is so trite: every-day, hit-on-a-woman-in-a-bar talk.
"I've been noticing you
From across the room,
I was just wondering, hey!
Do you come here often?
You're mighty appealing
To one's eyes,
I was just kind of
Wondering like, uhhh,
Could you probably just
Tell me your name and your number?
I was just wondering,
We could start off with that,
Just let me know your handle,
And we can go from there."
Somehow, the gap between the golden-toned, bottomless, baritone voice of the speaker--a booming voice that wouldn't be out of place in a pulpit--and the mundane solicitation of sexual favors is hilarous. You cannot listen to it without smiling.
Miz B replies with an agenda (and seemingly a history) guaranteed to raise the hairs on a player's neck.
Proceed with caution!
And I want to warn you
To buckle up real good.
Because this could very well become
A bumpy ride."
Miz B commences a litany of material things that even applying for her love requires, which brings up the strange title of the song, "My Name Is $$$$$."
When I first started hearing the song, I couldn't figure out the title. At last I settled on, "My Name Is Condo," which is the first revelation Miz B utters. However, it took me a long time before I even made out "condo," so bizarre was the use of the metaphor. It sounds like she's going to say, "My name is Rambo," or "My name is Hondo," (halfway between Rambo and a Western movie).
The second stanza of the chorus sounds like "fool-i-fers." That one puzzled me for a long time, until finally I realized it was "full of furs." "My name is full of furs," again a strange use of a metaphor, rendered even more odd by its peculiar vividness.
But by the time Miz B gets to--
"My name is clothes on my back,
Shoes on my feet,"
--you're beginning to get the message.
At last, Miz B winds down her tirade:
Now that you know my name,
Do you still want
To stake your claim?"
Oh, no. The big guy who hit on her is already leaning for an exit. Even his voice seems to have come down to earth: there's not so much Superman in it, just frustration.
"Damn, woman," he groans even while she's still finishing her rant. "All I asked you for was your name....
TOO MUCH INFORMATION!"
One of the epiphanies of your Daddy B. Nice's Southern Soul life was listening to DJ Ragman playing Miz B's "My Name Is $$$$$" back-to-back with Lijuana's "Wasn't None Of You" (the best female voice-over in Southern Soul) while staying in a motel suite just a couple of miles from the station's (WMPR's) tower in south Jackson, Mississippi.
Talk about your street-wise black women. And that close to the transmission's source, the speakers trembled with the resonance of every word, every note, for all the world like listening to music live there in the room. It may seem like an unlikely place to get your little piece of heaven, but such was the case.
Senator Jones' vision was gospel-based: it was gospel turned upside-down, befitting the hours (the middle of the night) that the Senator worked, and the milieu (drinking, dancing, whoring) that blossoms in the darkness.
Miz B's "Guilty As Charged" makes this gospel connection more evident.
"I'm Guilty As Charged" shows what a fine singer Miz B. really is, something not readily evident in the more humorously dramatic role she plays in "My Name Is $$$$$."
Besides, Miz B's background singers (Miz B. and whomever) are magnificent, spinning gospel harmonies so sensuous it would be a sin not to put them into secular music.
So this music doesn't so much stand gospel "on its head" as it absorbs its best qualities and translates them for the secular world. Dave Marsh (in "The Heart Of Rock & Soul") relates how the "ba boom" parts in "Blue Moon" was an accident--guys fooling around in the studio before a take. The producer noticing it was the key to success.
I don't know if Senator Jones made the decision to put the male voice-over into "My Name Is $$$$$"--not to mention a voice-over with such impact--but that was this song's equivalent of the "happy accident," the "genius" move behind "My Name Is $$$$$."
The bottom line is Senator Jones was the producer with the steel to release the song. And Miz B, who is talented--but no more talented than dozens of her peers--was catapulted into the upper stratosphere of Southern Soul classics.
--Daddy B. Nice
About Miz B
A lifelong devotee of soul music, Miz B. passed up a musical career to be a housewife and mother. She began writing songs in private in the early OO's, and in 2005 (with the aid of her deejay husband Captain Curtis Lee's solicitations) the tracks "My Name Is $$$$$," "Back It Up" and "Guilty As Charged" began circulating around Delta radio stations and creating strong fan response.
Song's Transcendent Moment
If You Liked. . . You'll Love
If you liked The Silhouettes' "Get A Job," you'll love Miz B's "My Name Is $$$$$."
Honorary "B" Side
"Guilty As Charged"
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