Gregg A. Smith (21st Century)
Daddy B. Nice's #82 ranked Southern Soul Artist
"Stacked In The Back"
Gregg A. Smith (21st Century)
December 7, 2019:
NEW ALBUM ALERT!Buy Gregg A. Smith's new THE REAL DEAL album at Apple.
THE REAL DEAL Track List:
Wouldn’t Treat a Dog (The Way You Treated Me)
Jumpin' At the Juke Joint
Living On the Dark Side of Love
Home To You
Don’t Cry No More
I Still Love You
Quiet As It’s Kept
Having a Party
Everybody Ought To Praise His Name
Don’t Cry No More (Party Remix)
Daddy B. Nice notes:One of Daddy B. Nice's Original Top 100 Southern Soul Artists 1990-2010 (#82 "Stacked In The Back") Gregg A. Smith has declined to enter the contemporary southern soul movement. Instead, the singer has used his mellifluous vocal talents to celebrate vintage, blues-based, southern soul as it was practiced by the genre's pioneers such as Bobby "Blue" Bland and Little Milton up to the turn of the century. For fans of that era, or for contemporary southern soul fans who want to revisit the music that made way for today's artists, The Real Deal is an exceptionally-produced and brilliantly-sung primer.
Listen to all the tracks from Gregg A. Smith's THE REAL DEAL on YouTube.
Download Gregg A. Smith's new THE REAL DEAL album at Music Rider.
Buy Gregg A. Smith's new THE REAL DEAL album at iTunes.
See "Tidbits" below for the latest updates on Gregg A. Smith. To automatically link to Gregg A. Smith's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other references, go to "Smith, Gregg A." in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.
Daddy B. Nice's Original Critique:It's tempting to say Gregg Smith and his song "Stacked In The Back" came out of nowhere, but how do you call Texas nowhere? Texas is a whole 'nother country when it comes to Southern Soul, sort of like the Saul Steinberg drawing of the USA from a New Yorker's perspective in which everything between New Jersey and a palm-treed L.A. is represented by Chicago and a lone cow.
Gregg Smith is the ultimate everyman blues/soul musician: obscure, regional, without major dollars, without national distribution. He's toiled away in the bars and small clubs, playing the standards and playing his own material. He's the face of every musician who has never had a big break, yet is sophisticated enough to write, arrange, produce, tour blues-loving Europe, and to work the local denizens of the USA to keep bread on the table.
His signature song, "Stacked In The Back," has a wonderful opening:
"I never thought that I would
Get acquainted with someone like her,
The girl is so right for me.
She changed my personality."
--and it just gets better and better.
"She was tossin' and flossin',
She made me stare.
From across the room,
She caught my eye."
"Stacked In The Back" is a song that radiates energy and good vibes--a killer combination. Written by Steve Washington, it's as cheerful as a show tune. But being Southern Soul, it also luxuriates in its lasciviousness, and even without knowing what Gregg Smith looks like, one imagines a cherub-cheeked vocalist with a big frame, all the better to throw off the song's booming lines.
Few songs of today are so unabashedly uplifting. And few lyrics have so perfectly captured the physicality of sexual attraction, and the way in which a woman's body and movement mesmerize a man.
"She was stacked in the back,
She's built up like that. . .
The girl is stacked in the back
With junk in her trunk.
I got to get to know her name."
"Stacked In The Back (With Junk In Her Trunk)" is the kind of song Bobby "Blue" Bland would have recorded in his prime. In fact, if Bobby "Blue" Bland had recorded "Stacked In The Back," it would have joined his very best material. But if "Stacked In The Back" is good enough to stand with Bland's best work, it's also a testament to the profound influence Bland has had on the younger generation of Southern Soul artists.
"Stacked In The Back" has the big-band-like arrangement, the classic front-and-center horn charts, the wondrous female chorus and, above all, Gregg Smith's bluesy "I-yam-what-I-yam" tenor to make a casual listener almost believe he is listening to a classic from yesteryear.
Be forewarned, though. Unless one is lucky enough to hear it occasionally on a Station of the Deep South, "Stacked In The Back" is hard to find, and difficult to acquire. Don't be tempted into buying other, less interesting, straight-blues versions of the same title (but not song) by Excello Legends or Johnny Johnson.
July 26, 2006. Two and a half years after the essay above was written, Gregg Smith has a chitlin' circuit hit on his hands, which is good news indeed from this hard-to-find performer. The song is "Has It Come To This." It has a nice, rocking-in-slow-tempo melody line and a long, talking monologue (in a style reminiscent of Latimore's "Let's Straighten It Out") that lends the track an enhanced authenticity. It's also recorded live in front of an appreciative and sizable-sounding audience.
The 2002 Ichiban release, Forbidden Fruit, contained a catchy song--"Stayed So Long"--which had a monologue that foreshadowed Gregg (A.) Smith's rendition of "Has It Come To This," and now sounds like a warm-up for that record. DBN.
January 17, 2007. More good news. Gregg Smith's Greatest Hits Collectors' Edition has finally scored a distribution deal. At last fans can hear samples from Gregg Smith's oeuvre, not to mention purchase the CD, which includes the notable "Stacked In The Back." This is good for Smith, and good for Southern Soul. See Daddy B. Nice's Recommended Tracks for Gregg Smith, updated with links to sound samples and buying opitons. DBN.
--Daddy B. Nice
About Gregg A. Smith (21st Century)
Gregg Smith was born in 1951 in Honey Grove, Texas, a small town northeast of Dallas. The family moved to Albuquerque, where Smith began playing in local bands. Then Smith spent time in Oregon and Chicago before moving back to the Dallas area in the eighties.
Update: 7-7-18Here is Gregg A. Smith's self-penned biography from his Facebook page:
"Born July 25, 1951 in Honey Grove, Texas (about 70 miles northeast of Dallas)..moved to Portland, Oregon when he was about 17. I got into the community choir, the high school band, and joined a working band, The Antoine Brothers with Nolan Struck as the lead singer. Some years later in 1985 Smith released a live record, "The Texas Blues Wailer" to little fanfare but in 1990 Smith managed to get his first studio record, "Money Talks", distributed through the then hot Soul/Blues label Ichiban Records. A second LP, "It's My Time", was also distributed through the label before he was signed to the label for 1997's "I Wanna Rock Ya". Unfortunately this was during Ichiban's decline and the record was soon relegated to cut-out bins. Smith sauntered on with his finest album to date, "Stacked In The Back" before temporarily eschewing his Soul/Blues sound for a contemporary R & B feel on "Forbidden Fruit". In 2005 he released a greatest hits compilation containing the hit "Has It Come To This". Currently he has one of the top rated Radio Shows in North Texas on station KNON,89.3Fm. You can listen every Friday from 9:00am-12:00pm."
Song's Transcendent Moment
"The girl is stacked in the back,
1.January 27, 2007. As far as your Daddy B. Nice knows, Gregg Smith's "Stacked In The Back" is the first Southern Soul song to articulate the phrase "junk in her trunk," which--taken along with "stacked in the back"--constitutes one of the most original and enduring catch phrases of Southern Soul. Recently, for instance, both David Brinston and Robert Hill have put out songs called "Junk In Her Trunk."
Those words never fail to bring a smile to a man's face. But as with all music, there are surely precedents. If you know of a song lyric containing "junk in her trunk" which precedes Gregg Smith's "Stacked In The Back," please write your Daddy B. Nice at firstname.lastname@example.org. DBN.
2.October 30, 2008: Update
I have a friend--a body-builder, Mr. Universe-contest-type--I turned onto Southern Soul music two or three years ago. At first he went crazy over the Love Doctor's songs. Since then, however, the track he brings up again and again is Gregg Smith's "Stacked In The Back." Every time I see him he wants to talk about that "junk in the trunk."
In the early days of the new century, Smith was one of the most obscure of the artists on Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 Southern Soul Artists (90's-00's). Of late, however, he's become increasingly visible and his work readily accessible, thanks to his albums' inclusion on CD Baby and his work as a deejay for KNON, Dallas, Texas. He regularly sends in his playlists to sites such as the "Boogie Report."
If Barry White was alive today and singing Southern Soul, he'd probably sound a lot like Gregg A. Smith. The vocals and arrangements are always polished, and the spoken monologues reminiscent of White's reassuring, deep-bass sensuality.
Smith has a new CD out, Triple Play Swing , although longtime fans likely won't find enough new material to justify the $13 asking price. The best tracks ("Stayed So Long," "Has It Come To This") are recycled from earlier albums. And new fans are best directed to last year's "Greatest Hits" CD, which includes "Stacked In The Back," "Romeo & Jez," and other Smith standards.
"Looking For A Lady," the new showcase track, has a competent "shimmer" but lacks originality, and most of the other new tracks ("Rest My Bones," "One Day At A Time," "Crying In The Chapel" and "Stand By Me") are curiously restricted to sample-length snippets, one to two minutes in length, as if Smith were only testing the waters. Of these new demo-like tracks, "Trouble" seems to be the most promising.
--Daddy B. Nice
3.November 24, 2010: NEW ALBUM ALERT!
Bargain-Priced Forever Young CD
Comparison-Priced Forever Young CD
If You Liked. . . You'll Love
If you loved Stevie Wonder's "Happy Birthday," you'll love Gregg Smith's "Stacked In The Back."
Honorary "B" Side
"Has It Come To This"
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