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


Daddy B. Nice's Corner

August 1, 2020: Charles Evers, Daddy B Nice, Denise LaSalle, Claudena Harold, DJ Sir Rockinghood, Rojene Bailey, Mr. David, Arthur Young and more.

News & Notes

Charles Evers, who died July 22nd at the age of 97, was a larger-than-life figure, ramrod-straight physically and intellectually, a "man among men". He came from an era when black leaders were courageous beyond anything seen today, and yet his death was overshadowed by the passing of one of his brethren, John Lewis. The brother of civil rights martyr Medgar Edgars, Charles Evers was active in black empowerment before the catch phrase "civil rights" had even caught on in the national consciousness. His office, where I once had the honor of an audience, was overflowing with framed pictures of himself alongside presidents and other personages of world renown. And although he was a confidante of Martin Luther King---not to mention scores of civil rights leaders who followed---I was always most drawn to the disdain that Mr. Evers (as he was called by all around him) showed for political posturing and fawning, his fearless individuality (he was a Republican, he was as “rough” as Medgar was “smooth”) and the fact that his career, beginning with his early years as a racketeer/entrepreneur, followed a colorful trajectory more akin to Malcom X's than Reverend King's.

A small part of this great man's life had a profound influence on contemporary southern soul music. Evers bought and guided Jackson, Mississippi's radio station WMPR through the latter half of his life. The station featured gospel music in the mornings and blues and southern soul in the afternoons and a variety of community programming and late-night R&B and southern soul, and it never wavered. No other black-based gospel/blues outlet in the South ever came close to WMPR'S accessibility and longevity. The station's office on Pecan Park Circle in southwest Jackson was the beacon---the far-reaching lighthouse---for all rhythm and blues artists touring the Deep South. They all made their pilgrimages to the small house to be interviewed and promote their shows.

In the early years of SouthernSoulRnB, I ran a column comparing my "conversion" to southern soul music to the biblical story of St. Paul being "struck blind from his horse" on the way to Damascus. As a lifelong and widely-traveled music "junkie," I was sure I knew every popular music and performer in the American "world" and beyond. WMPR, more than anything else, changed all that. There were other stations throughout the South, but none of them with the power to "blind" me---none of them who promoted the music on a daily basis. I'd hole up in motel rooms in the "hood" in south Jackson, taping music 24/7 on boomboxes and taking the cassettes back North with me to supplement the meager bits of R&B I was getting from national radio, and soon I was forsaking national radio and listening to these unsophisticated tapes, complete with deejay patter and commercials, all the time.

As far as my personal mission, the rest is history, and to this day I feel like the luckiest person alive to have been in the right place at the right time. I vowed I would do everything in my power not to let this music die out, and I memorialized all of the songs and recording artists I could in case it did die. In those days southern soul artists were not on the internet, and had it not been for peer-file-sharing and a pocketful of people who were willing to do it, I might never have been able to tie it all together, but that's another story. If it hadn't been for Charles Evers, your Daddy B. Nice's small part in southern soul's rebirth and popularity never would have happened.

Speaking of the deceased, Denise LaSalle's headstone was placed on her grave in Parkway Memorial Gardens in Jackson, Tennessee this past month. Due to the Covid pandemic, there was no public gathering, although a few family members were in attendance. The headstone proclaims: "Ora D. Allen Wolfe / 'Denise LaSalle' / Queen Of The Blues / July 16, 1934 / Jan. 8, 2018 / "God's Got My Back". For more on LaSalle, read Daddy B. Nice's enthusiastic review of her posthumous autobiography.

Bobby Jonz, the iron-lunged, crystal-clear vocalist who hopped among the blues, gospel, southern soul and country genres for thirty-plus years, also passed away this past month. Read his obituary at Bobby Jonz, R.I.P.

The University of Illinois Press, the same publisher who brought out Denise LaSalle's Always The Queen, has announced a new tome on gospel music in the soul and hiphop eras. The author, Claudena N. Harold, a professor of African American studies at the University of Virginia, describes the network of black record shops, churches, and businesses that have nurtured gospel music. Of particular note are chapters on Yolanda Adams, Andraé Crouch, the Clark Sisters, Al Green, Take 6, and the Winans. Read more about (and purchase) When Sunday Comes here.

William Bell (not to confused with the performer William Bell), aka DJ Sir Rockinghood, one of the most popular deejays on the Internet, and one who has come in for repeated praise on this website for his emphasis on the latest-trending southern soul music, is calling it quits. Among the frustrations the rest of us endure---proliferating and intrusive advertising, vanishing playlists, questionable mixes---he cites the influx of unschooled deejays and the record executives' heavy-handed restraints on the music of new artists. He told your Daddy B. Nice that "internet radio might be the way to go".

Speaking of internet radio, I'm impressed with the far-flung reach of Rojene Bailey's syndicated weekend radio show, "Blues Time In The City". The broadcast brings southern soul to the "hinterlands"---and I do mean way beyond the Mississippi/Louisiana Delta---giving folks who otherwise would get no southern soul radio at least a taste of the good thing. Check out this station roster:

WBCX-FM 89.1 Gainesville GA Sat 4pm-6pm WJAB-FM 90.9 Huntsville AL Sat 4am-6am WQOX-FM 88.5 Memphis TN Sat 8am-10am WRBQ-FM 91.9 LaGrange GA Sat 12n-2pm WCSU-FM 88.9 Wilberforce OH Sun 12n-2pm WNAA-FM 90.1 Greensboro NC Sat 10am-12n WFSK-FM 88.1 Sun 3pm-5pm Nashville TN Sun 8pm-10pm KPVU-FM 91.3 Prairie View/Houston TX Sat 10am-12n KBBG-FM 88.1 Waterloo IA Sat 8am-10am KALU-FM 89.3 Langston OK Fri 8pm-10pm WANM-FM 90.5 Tallahassee FL Sat 2pm-4pm Sun 2pm-4pm WOWE-FM 98.9 Flint/Saginaw MI Sat 10am-12n WVSD-FM 91.7 Itta Bena MS Fri 8pm-10pm WURC-FM 88.1 Holly Springs MS Sat 8am-10am MOOD-FM 106 Lords Banks Belize Sat 1pm-3pm Sun 1pm-3pm WASU-FM 92.7 Albany GA Sat 12n-2pm WURK-FM 996.3 Tampa FL Sun 6pm-8pm KUAW-FM 98.3 Kansas City MO Fri 8pm-10pm Sat 8pm-10pm Sun 8pm-10pm KLUM-FM 97.5 Hooks TX Sat 8am-10am KSIP-FM 91.5 Forest City AR Sat 8am-10am KJMC-FM 89.3 Des Moines IA Sat 8am-10am KZZC-FM 94.3 Hope AR Sat 8am-10am KTHN-FM 88.3 Texarkana TX/AR Sat 8am-10am WQEE-FM 96.1 Newnan GA Montgomery AL Fri Atlanta GA Sun 12n-2pm Paris France Sat 8pm-10pm Gilroy CA Fri 8pm-10pm Dallas TX Sat 8pm-10pm Hampton GA Sun 8pm-10pm WYKG-AM/FM 105.5/1430 THE KING Atlanta/Covington GA Sun 4pm - 6pm WCQC-FM 91.3 Clarksdale MS Sat 8am - 10 am WRNE-AM 980 Pensocola FL Sat 9 pm - 11 pm.

Lastly, hundreds of new southern soul releases come across my desk every month, and they range from the very poor to the very good and everywhere in between. Once in a great while, however, a song appears that is so good it flashes like a fist-size diamond in a pile of coal. There's no hesitation---there's no argument---among anyone who hears it. And the reaction from all of the artists who wrestle with writing good songs is: Why didn't I think of it? It's so obvious! It's so simple, so direct, so pure! Bishop Bullwinkle's "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" was such a record. J-Wonn's "I Got This Record". Will T's "Mississippi Boy".

And Mr. David's new single "Cheatin' With The Deejay" is such a record. Like all southern soul veterans, he's struggled to replicate early successes, crafting and submitting singles for release on an annual basis, some better, some worse, but nothing in years that even comes close to "Cheatin' With The DJ".

The genesis of the song is likely a general idea to craft a tune that would catch the eye and ear of deejays, who when all is said and done are the prime distributors of popular records. What deejay could resist playing a song that features a record-spinner who by virtue of his expertise tempts, and then succeeds, at taking the beautiful girlfriend away from a hapless club-goer?

But the record itself, in terms of both composition and production, catapulted far beyond its sly, preliminary formula. I have neither the time nor space to analyze all of the factors that make "Cheatin' With The Deejay" an exciting and potentially monster hit single, and one capable of lifting Mr. David's "pay grade" a couple of levels. Suffice it to say: Originality. Inspiration. And not least: Spontaneity.

Let's talk about spontaneity. It' so hard to maintain the spontaneous feel of a song when "cleaning up" a rough musical concept for production and release. "Cheatin' With The Deejay," like the three classic singles mentioned above, sounds like it coursed from God's extended finger through Mr. David's brain straight to the recording/mixing board.

I mention this because frequently (not always, of course, or we wouldn't have many good records) the very process of taking an inspired "demo" through the professional producing process sucks the spontaneity out of the record. And I have an example of that, too.

I was lucky enough to hear an early recording of Arthur Young's "Catfishing" on his Facebook page. Young, as southern soul insiders well know, broke out on the scene earlier this year with "Funky Forty," and just like the classic songs mentioned above, "Forty" instantly drew thousands of fans in spite of the young man being a complete unknown. (A testament and confirmation, by the way, of how great music creates its own audience.)

Young's rough recording of "Catfishing" featured himself smiling and playing an acoustic guitar. It had spontaneity. It had charm. Unfortunately, "cleaning it up," or "getting it professionally produced," did not make it better. It made it worse---it made it less than it was in "demo" form---losing the spontaneity and charm, the very qualities, mind you, that made "Funky Forty" such a hit. I don't mean to say it's a bad record. I'm just saying that somewhere between the inspiration and the outcome some key elements that made the song potentially outstanding were lost. Something incredibly easy to do.

This is why I hold recording artists in such high regard. When they're hot, when they're on "their game," they exist on a creative level that is almost unearthly. And yet, in the real world, many get lost in the forest of their own words and musical phrases and production techniques. To achieve the originality and spontaneity of a "Cheatin' With The Deejay" takes almost inhuman will power, super-relaxed prowess and lots of luck.

---Daddy B. Nice

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July 23, 2020: Obituary

Bobby Jonz Dies

Bobby Jonz passed away on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at Veteran’s Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jonz was a victim of the COVID-19 virus. He was 84.

Many longtime southern soul fans came upon Bobby Jonez through the song "Lee 'Shot' Stole My Freak," one of the "response" songs generated by Lee "Shot" Williams' turn-of-the-century trilogy of "freak" songs ("Somebody's After My Freak," "She Made A Freak Out Of Me," and "Somebody Blew The Whistle On Me").

The song was released on a small label, Red Dot, and quickly fell back into obscurity. However, the strength of the vocal, despite its seemingly "tossed-off," spoken delivery, introduced many new fans to perhaps the most muscular vocalist in Southern Soul.

Jonz was a member of a stratum of singers one could best call "interpreters." Along with such singers as Chuck Roberson, Bill Coday, and Rue Davis, Jonz's song catalog was specifically built around his live audience's day-to-day tastes (what they wanted to hear on a particular Saturday night). Thus his career featured a kind of chameleon-like picture of Southern Soul music.

Jonz' signature songs, "Innocent Til Proven Guilty" and "In The Mood For Love" from the album In The Mood For Love, stood above all that, however. They were Jones' claim to fame and became chitlin' circuit classics.

Listen to Bobby Jonz singing "Innocent Until Proven Guilty" on YouTube.

Listen to Bobby Jonz singing "In The Mood For Love" on YouTube.

Originally written by Kirk Landry and Michael Lockett for young artist Kenne' Wayne and first recorded on Wayne's Old Fashion Love CD, "In The Mood For Love" was nevertheless transformed into a vehicle of even more depth and excitement in the reworking by Jonz, whose high-energy vocals lent a cold-water-in-the-face immediacy to almost any song he covered.

Bobby Jones (Bobby Jonz) was born in Farmerville, Louisiana in 1936 and moved to Chicago in 1959. In the 60's he recorded for many labels (Vee-Jay, TMP-Ting, Expo, USA, Kack, including an album for Expo, and in the 70's and 80's Jonez continued his label hopping (Lionel, Kap, Crooked Road, Capri, Adam, Top Hit, Dispo, Expansion, S.O.L.V. and Fantasy), including the CD entitled Thought You Were Loving Me in 1982. Jones performed in many of the popular clubs of the day on the South side of Chicago including Pepper's Lounge, Theresa's and the Trocadero, but his first big break came when he was asked to replace Junior Wells in the Aces.

Many years passed before he re-emerged as a bonafide Southern Soul artist in 1997 with his well-received album, In The Mood For Love on the now defunct Ace Records label. He followed it up with Bobby Jonz Sings Country on Avanti in 1998 and Your Freak Is Here on Big Bidness in 1999.

Other Bobby Jonz albums, self-produced for small labels, followed in the new millenium, but none were of the quality of the masterful In The Mood For Love. Among his finer late-career releases was You Ain't Got No Proof, which found Jones, along with instrumental track impresario Eric "Smidi" Smith, returning to a Southern Soul style. In recent years Jonz fronted a blues band---The Mannish Boys---that played the casinos in Las Vegas, where he also appeared with respected bluesman Kenny Neal.

Bobby Jonz' Discography:

1982: Thought You Were Loving Me (Expansion)

1997: In the Mood for Love (Ace)

1998: Bobby Jonz Sings Country (Avanti)

1999: Your Freak Is Here (Big Bidness)

2003: (approx): Lee Shot Stole My Freak (Red Dot)

2009: Comin' Back Hard (Delta Groove)

2010: You Ain't Got No Proof

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July 10, 2020:

JULY TOP TEN "SPILLOVER": Top 40 Southern Soul Singles

An expanded list of the songs vying for "Top Ten Singles" in July 2020

1. "Put It On Him"---Dee Dee Simon
2. "I Got The Good Good"---Kinnie Ken feat. Sojo
3. "Cadillac Willie"---Wendell B.
4. "Touch Me"---J-Wonn
5. "Southern Soul"---R.T. Taylor
6. "Sad Rat"---Chris Ivy feat. Omar Cunningham
7. "City Country BooThang"---Mr. Lyve
8. "One Freak To Another"---Sheba Potts Wright
9. "Loopty Loop"---Arthur Young
10. "Teacher Wha You Ought To Know"---Jennifer Watts

11. "Quarantine Shuffle"---Rita Brent
12. "Jood Wood"---Jeter Jones feat. Rhomey Rhone, Stan Butler, Mr. Smoke, King South & DJ Big Tony
13. "Love My Fans For Life"---T.K. Soul
14. "Breaking Up Don't Feel Good"---LaMorris Williams.
15. "Don't Mess With My Man"---Adrena
16. "Knee Deep"---Jay Morris Group
17. "Candie Love"---Missy B
18. "Boy Toy"---Sassy D
19. "Where The Party At?"---T.J. Hooker Taylor
20. "Good Woman"---Ronnie Bell

21. "Candy"---Jeter Jones feat. Sir Charles Jones
22. "Can You Rock Me Like A Pothole?"---Rita Brent
23. "Stay With Me"---Sir Charles Jones
24. "Thinking 'Bout"---Ronnie Bell
25. "Jody's Girl"---Tamara McClain
26. "Go Live"---Solomon Thompson feat. Jeter Jones
27. "America"---Bigg Robb
28. "I Love You"---Leroy Allen
29. "He Working Me"---Coco Wade
30. "My Baby"---Columbus Toy

31. "I Can't Breathe"---Avail Hollywood feat. DJ Trac
32. "For The Weekend"---Joe Nice feat Nelson Curry & Mr. David
33. "My Ex"---Stevie J Blues feat. L.J. Echols
34. "Something Different This Time"---Alvin Garrett
35. "Bust A Groove"---Cheff Da Entertainer
36. "Anaconda"---Dee Dee Simon
37. "Do Something Freaky"---Andre' Lee
38. "Revolution"---Rashad The Blues Kid
39. "Big Girls (Do What You Do)"---Tara Sabree
40. "Wake Up Call"---D. Saunders

***************** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide
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July 1, 2020:

News & Notes

Live concerts are returning. Pokey Bear played Madison County Amusement Park in Canton, Mississippi June 21st. El Dorado, Arkansas's Mr. Mike Productions produced a multi-act concert (J-Wonn, Bigg Robb, Jeter Jones, P2K and more) at the Fairgrounds the same weekend (complete with municipal health permit) and has another scheduled at the Good Times Back Yard Plaza over the 4th of July weekend with Kenne' Wayne, Adrian Bagher, ColdDrank and Luster Baker. Jeter Jones is touring again (see Concert Calendar), with at least four new live appearances in the coming weeks.

On the other side of the Covid 19 divide, T.K. Soul (with a new single, "Love My Fans For Life") is streaming "radio" shows. Vick Allen, Karen Wolfe and Jeff Floyd have lined up "virtual" concerts as well. This year's Jackson Music Awards will also be streamed. Look for video performances by honorees Wendell B, Jeter Jones, Miss Portia, Cupid, Rosalyn Candy, Bobby Rush, Vick Allen and Ms. Jody. On the other hand, the Jus' Blues Music Awards will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary LIVE at the Horseshoe Tunica Casino Hotel in south Memphis during the week leading up to August 1st.

Sir Charles Jones and Jeter Jones, who recently guested on each other's singles ("Trailride," "Still In Love With You") have released a new album of collaborative material called "The Jones Boyz: 2 Kings," not to be confused with Jones Boyz Entertainment, the Louisiana label (Jeter and brother Gary Jones) that publishes Jeter's music.

In addition to his new album with Sir Charles Jones and his new solo album "Mufassa," Jeter Jones has yet a third long-play release in the works, "Da Fish Grease Friday Compilation Vol. 1". The first single from the sampler is "Jood Wood," a remix of Lady Q's "Lumberjack," featuring Rhomey, Mr. Smoke, Stan Butler, King South and DJ Big Tony. Jeter also co-sings on West Dawn's newest single, "Put It In Your Face" and on a new Solomon Thompson single.

On June 23rd The National Endowment for the Arts announced that William Bell is a 2020 Recipient of the Nation’s highest honor in the Folk and Traditional Arts, The National Heritage Fellowship Award. Denise LaSalle co-auto-biographer David Whiteis was interviewed by WDLT Mobile's Beverly Johnson on June 24th (online at WDLT), and the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame (Rentiesville) honored Lawrence Wright and 17 years of past inductees on June 20th.

Stevie J's overdue tribute to the late Jackie Neal, long stalled for lack of funds, has finally been published. The collection features covers of Jackie Neal classics by current artists. LaMorris Williams has dropped a surprisingly somber new album, "Unfinished Business". Nelson Curry (the "Sugar Shack" man) has a new album out ("It's Time For Soul") and a new single featuring Joe Nice, "It's Time". Currently-overlooked, longtime southern soul artist Chuck Roberson has a new CD out (Clean Up Man) but it's not easy to find. Sheba Potts-Wright's new album, "So Damn Good," garnered a 5-star review (highest rating) from Daddy B. Nice (see CD Reviews).

Covid 19 and Black Lives Matter have stimulated a spate of recordings. One of the best examples of the former is "Quarantine Shuffle" by new Jackson artist Rita Brent and one of the best of the latter is "America," Bigg Robb's newest. Other protest songs of note are Avail Hollywood's "I Can't Breathe" featuring DJ Trac (based on Marvin Gaye's "Make Me Wanna Holler"), Alvin Garrett's "Something's Different This Time," West Love's "I Can't Breathe," Rashad's "Revolution" and Chuck Strong's and Bill Avery's separate but similarly-titled "Black Lives Matter".

Adrena's newest single "Don't Mess With My Man" is getting lots of airplay on DJ Handyman's daily, late-afternoon show at WMPR Jackson, Mississippi. Guest deejays are currently holding down DJ Ragman's early-afternoon slot. Speaking of WMPR, I'm surprised they're not all over Jackson's Rita Brent ("Quarantine Shuffle," "Can You Rock Me Like A Pothole?") the way they were when an unknown J-Wonn stood on Farish Street singing "I Got This Record". However, Brent identifies herself as a comedian and has not promoted herself as a southern soul performer other than posting her songs on YouTube.

Fat Daddy and T.K. Soul have collaborated on a new single, as have Vick Allen and Terry Wright, as have Stevie J. and L.J. Echols. Summer Wolfe returns with help from L.J. Echols on a new track called "Leave Me," and Nathaniel Kimble returns with his first new song in awhile, "Thinking Of You". Dee Dee Simon's "Put It On You" is #1 with a bullet in July's Top 10 Singles. Omar Cunningham lends great background to Tyree Neal's new single, "Can Somebody Take Me?" Also pairing up on new singles are Cupid and new artist Banky Live, as well as Mr. Sam and Nil Jones (from Gentry-Jones).

T.J. Hooker has published a solid new EP, "Who Is T.J. Hooker Taylor?," a title reminiscent of "Who Am I?" by the late, legendary Reggie P. Popular new band The Jay Morris Group has a new single, "Knee Deep," and watch for new artist Kinnie Ken's new single, "I Got The Good Good". Coco checks in with a new track called "Do It Again," Leroy Allen returns with the single "I Love You," and Sassy D is back with a song called "Boy Toy". 2019 Best Male Vocalist R.T. Taylor ("The Mule Man") is out with a Slack-produced debut album, as is Ronnie Bell ("I'll Pay The Shipping Cost") with his first southern soul album, Ronnie Bell 365. Daddy B Nice's recommends Bell's "Go Get A Room".

"Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn,
Go get you a room so you can do it again.
Go get a room---so you can check out at noon,
Because if you take a chance, it may be your last romance..."

One last treat--a little bonbon. There's nobody more fun to watch in concert than J-Wonn. Remember him shirtless onstage with Big Yayo in Pickens, Mississippi and again in Dothan, Alabama, singing "Cowgirl?" His capacity for happiness is so off the charts.

Listen to J-Wonn singing "I Got This Record" live in a hole-in-the-wall in Itta Bena, Mississippi on YouTube.

--Daddy B. Nice

Postscript: David Whiteis informs me that, as follows:

Jus' Blues will not have its event "live" at the casino this year. They will be presenting a "live stream via YouTube" on Sunday August 2nd, from 3 pm EDT, featuring memorable performances from previous award ceremonies, many featuring some of the biggest names in southern soul and blues. They're already planning their 2021 conference, to be held from July 29th through August 1st next year.

Postscript 2:

T.K. Soul WILL be appearing live in the near future, specifically at the "For The Love Of Southern Soul" festival in Hammond, Louisiana July 10th. Also appearing: Dr Dee, Sassy D, P2K & Chef Da Entertainer. Hosted by Sweet Nay & deejayed by DJ Trucker. See Daddy B Nice's Concert Calendar.

***************** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide
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June 18, 2020:

Singer/Songwriter Larome Powers Dies

The artist passed away at 67 Wednesday, June 17th, in Dallas, Texas.

Under his given name, Gerald Robinson, longtime songwriter Larome Powers had over 100 registered song titles at BMI, including Jesse James' "I Can Do Bad By Myself." Here are new YouTube links for Powers' most well-known songs as a solo artist:

Listen to Larome Powers singing "Shake And Shimmy" on YouTube.

Listen to Larome Powers singing "I'm Knockin'" on YouTube.

Robinson was born in Tupelo, Mississippi--the birthplace of Elvis--in 1952, but spent most of his formative years in Michigan (Ann Arbor), moving to Detroit in his twenties.

Proficient as a singer, producer, bassist and pianist, Powers entered the music business in the 70's as a composer while also performing at various West Coast venues.

Under his given name, Robinson, Powers worked as a staff writer under producer/writer Don Davis at Groovesville Productions for a decade, then became CEO of his own company, Super Disc Productions (later SGH&R), working with artists like Harvey Scales on Casa Blanca and Melvin Griffin on the Henry Stone label. Five of Super Disc's writers, including Larome, also toiled as writers in the April Blackwood Division at CBS.

During that time Powers wrote or cowrote such hits as "I Can Do Bad By Myself" (Jesse James), "It Ain't What You Do" (Johnnie Taylor) "Come Inside" (The Dramatics) and "That Thing That You Got" (Harvey Scales). He also produced Kenne Wayne's debut album, Old Fashion Love (1996), and Reggie Wayne Morris's touted Blues Binge CD (2001).

Powers made his solo recording debut on the Blues Club International label in 2003: Somebody's Chasin' My Cat.

That led to a recording contract with Southern Soul label Waldoxy Records (a Malaco affiliate) and the release of Larome Powers' signature single, "Shake And Shimmey," and the album, What's Life Without Love, in 2006.

Five years went by without Powers recording until, in 2011, he released the single "I'm Knockin' (At Your Door)" (Waldoxy), awakening fan interest and becoming Power's biggest Southern Soul single since "Shake And Shimmy."

Larome Powers Discography

2003 Somebody's Chasing My Cat (Blues Club International)

2006 What's Life Without Love (Waldoxy)
Stepping Out (2014)

2014 Stepping Out (Waldoxy)

--Daddy B. Nice

Read more in Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Larome Powers.

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June 1, 2020:

JUNE TOP TEN "SPILLOVER": Top 40 Southern Soul Singles

An expanded list of the songs vying for "Top Ten Singles" in June 2020 (Expanded to 50 this month)

1. "Rock With You"---R.T. Taylor
2. "Mind Playing Tricks On Me"---Jeter Jones
3. "Staying In Love Ain't Easy"---Wendell B.
4. "Go Get A Room"---Ronnie Bell
5. "Can Somebody Take Me"---Tyree Neal feat. Omar Cunningham
6. "Last Few Dollars"---David J feat. Tony Tatum
7. "Still In Love"---Sir Charles Jones feat. Jeter Jones
8. "Can You Keep A Secret?"---Big Pokey Bear
9. "I Sing Da Blues"---Chrissy Luvz
10. (Tie) "Operate On Me"---Sheba Potts-Wright
"Give Him Love"---T.J. Hooker Taylor

11. "Cadillac Willie"---Wendell B
12. "Sad Rat"---Chris Ivy
13. "Put It On Him"---Dee Dee Simon
14. "Southern Soul"---R.T. Taylor
15. "Take Me Back"---Kami Cole
16. "Thinkin' Bout"---Ronnie Bell
17. "It's Time"---Nelson Curry feat. Joe Nice
18. "Candie Love"---Missy B
19. "Be With You"---Sir Charles Jones
20. "Let The Juices Flow"---LaMorris Williams

21. "Pass The Wilson"---Shell-B
22. "Where The Party At?"---T.J. Hooker Taylor
23. "Breaking Up Don't Feel Good"---LaMorris Williams
24. "I Got A Real Good Woman"---Jo Jo Murray
25. "Country Girl"---Fat Daddy feat. T.K. Soul
26. "She Got Me Trippin'"---Mr. Laidback feat. Tyree Neal
27. "Freight Train"---Koffee Black feat. Lomax
28. "Get Your Money"---N.J. Speights
29. "Stay With Me"---Sir Charles Jones
30. "Jody's Girl (Remix)"---Tamara McClain feat. Johnny James

31. "Let's Straighten It Out"---Night Affair Band
32. "Love U Right"---Connie G
33. "Different From The Rest"---King Fred feat. DJKJ
34. "Quarantine Crazy"---Marquee of Soul
35. "Put It In Your Face"---West Dawn
36. "Pokey Bear Birthday Bash 2020"---Dia Grover
37. "Electrical Love"---Kae Divine feat. Rodnae
38. "Good Love (Remix)"---Cadillac Man
39. "Things Will Get Better"---Jamelia Scott
40. "Watching The Clock"---Billy Cook feat. Marcell Cassanova

41. "She's Got The Juice (Remix)"---Geno Wesley feat. Fatman Scoop, Sean Dolby & Lina
42. "A New Way Of Love"---Randy Hall
43. "Dancing In The Mirror"---Napoleon Demps feat. LaMorris Williams
44. "Tonight"---Lady Soul
45. "House Party"---Mr. David
46. "Show Us Your Line Dance"---Mister Cotton, Redboy & Mose Stovall
47. "Hey Boo"---B. Dupree
48. "Drinking And Smoking"---Reesy
49. "I've Been Downhearted"---Frank Rimmer
50. "The Meat Man"---Freaky B 2.0

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May 25, 2020:

Covid-19 restrictions are loosening...

...Commerce is reopening, and everyone wants to know: When will we be able to return to concert-going? The Concert Calendar shows mostly cancellations and postponements in early May, but Mobile, Alabama’s huge, rescheduled Spring Fling on May 30th is still on tap to proceed. The even bigger Blues Is Alright Tour sites (Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Macon, etc.) have rescheduled to the July-through-October months, with all venues honoring early ticket-holders.

But will we return? And how will we do it? Will we maintain social distancing? Will we wear face masks or scarves? And what in the world will that experience be like?

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

May 10, 2020. Betty "Clean-Up Woman" Wright Enters Soul Heaven.

Link to the many references to Betty Wright on Daddy B Nice's Southern Soul pages.


May 9, 2020. Little Richard Enters Soul Heaven.

Link to the many references to Little Richard on Daddy B Nice's Southern Soul pages. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

May 1, 2020:

MAY TOP TEN "SPILLOVER": Top 40 Southern Soul Singles

An expanded list of the songs vying for "Top Ten Singles" in May 2020

1. "Get'cha Head Right"---Wendell B
2. "Talk In Your Sleep"---.Vickie Baker
3. "Booty Roll"---Tucka
4. "Deeper In Your Body"---Stan Butler
5. "Grown Folks Party"---Leroy Germaine
6. "Clockwise"---Jeter Jones feat. Gary "Lil' G" Jenkins
7. "Milk"---J. Red The Nephew
8. "Kiss Me Where You Miss Me"---Jennifer Watts
9. "Nobody Said"---Rosalyn Candy
10. "Thickness"---Roi Chip Anthony feat. DJ Jubilee & Pallo Da Jiint

11. "Can We Talk About It?"---Charles Wilson
12. "Old School House Party"---Freddie G
13. "Same Ole Thang"---Urban Ladder Society (w/ Stevie J)
14. "Call Mr. Willie"---Lomax
15. "I Don't Want Your Man"---Crystal Clark
16. "Somebody's Gettin' It"---Mose Stovall
17. "Back It Up"---Solomon Thompson feat. Lebrado & Jeff Floyd
18. "Ladies Do It Better"---P2K
19. "Keep It On The Dance Floor"---MeMe Yahsal
20. "Hey Puddy Puddy"---Mz. Barbie Dolle

21. "Can Somebody Take Me?"---Tyree Neal feat. Omar Cunningham
22. "On A Mission"---Tanji Emmeni
23. "When We Said Good-bye"---Simone De
24. "Ya Ya Slide"---MeMe Yahsal
25. "I Want A Mirror At The Head Of My Bed"---William Calhoun
26. "If Walls Could Talk"---Stevie J feat. Vick Allen
27. "Full Course Meal"---J. Morris Group feat. L.J. Echols
28. "Call Me"---Andrew Jackson
29. "Do What You Do"---Tara "Southern Girl" Sabree
30. "When I Get There"---Just Allen

31. "Somebody Stole My Honey"---Sir Jonathan Burton
32. "You Can Lean On Me"---T.J. Bridgewater
33. "Chill In The Air"---Tony O.
34. "Trump Check"---Luther Lackey
35. ""Lunch Break Lover"---Jay Morris Group
36. "Corona Blues"---Adrena
37. "Yoonek-Yeehaw Slide"---Cheff Da Entertainer feat. Mr. Woo
38. "Birthday Behavior"---DJ Adam T
39. "Sweet Thang"---Bill Avery
40. "Pass The Wilson"---Shell-B

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April 18, 2020:

So long! CD Baby Closes Its CD Store!

In these strange days dominated by the Covid 19 virus, yet another--can-this-really-be-happening?--event has shaken the southern soul world. CD Baby, the low-cost, easy-entry, longstanding, online bazaar for recording artists to market their compact discs, has closed its doors.

Hundreds if not thousands of southern soul artists have been affected, from aspiring newcomers to grizzled stars like Bigg Robb, who posted every collection he ever produced on the independent, artist-friendly website.

Thousands of CD-buying links at SouthernSoulRnB have been rendered obsolete and invalid, from the hyperlinks contained in hundreds of artist guides to vast swathes of artist albums listed in Daddy B. Nice's CD Store. All CD-purchasing links now dead-end at a page which proclaims:

Where's the CD Baby Store? CD Baby retired our music store in March of 2020 in order to place our focus entirely on the tools and services that are most meaningful to musicians today and tomorrow.

One would think that paramount among the "tools and services most meaningful" to independent recording artists would be the sale of CD's, but CD Baby's closure makes obvious one of the dirty little secrets of the southern soul recording industry and popular music as a whole. Namely, CD/album sales have been declining for years, so much so that even the CD "charts" published online are pallid indicators of the true data on newly-arrived albums, with numbers that would prove more embarrassing than enticing if actually listed. According to entertainment industry chronicler Variety, CD Baby reported that:

By 2009, sales through our store accounted for only 27% of the total revenue we paid to artists every week. By 2019, sales on our store comprised less than 3% of our clients’ total earnings. With a few exceptions, the store is no longer a money-maker for most of our artists.

For recording artists striving to find outlets to market their collections, options to CD Baby still exist, of course: the goliaths Amazon and Apple, not to mention Barnes & Noble, CD Universe and other lesser entities. Among indie labels, Dallas-based, southern soul label Music Access is rumored to be taking "any artist who breathes," and googling CD Baby on the search engines turns up a new competitor called Tune Corps.

Nevertheless, the demise of CD Baby's retail music store is a hard loss for southern soul artists, who by definition are independents (without major labels). One of southern soul's fundamental edifices has crumbled.

--Daddy B. Nice

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April 11, 2020:

TOP TEN "SPILLOVER": Top 40 Southern Soul Singles

An expanded list of the songs vying for "Top Ten Singles" in April 2020

1. "Nukie Pie"---Carolyn Staten feat. Jennifer Watts & Unkle Phunk
2. "Stroking"---Arthur Young
3. "Tasty Girl"---Ju Evans
4. "Just Hang Tonight"---Sir Charles Jones feat. Wilson Meadows
5. "I Want To Love You"---West Dawn
6. "While You Was With Your Sidepiece"---Certified Slim
7. "Southern Soul Train"---Luster Baker feat. Unkle Phunk
8. "Take It Off"---Bigg Robb feat. Wendell B.
9. "Private Party"---Highway Heavy feat. Dave Mack & Tyree Neal
10. "Come To Daddy"---Stevie J. Blues

11. "Southern Soul Paaarrrteee"---Mr. J
12. "Booty Shakin'"---Big Ro Williams
13. "Act Right"---Car'letta
14. "Southern Soul Groove"---Princess Towanna Murphy feat. Jeter Jones
15. "Doing The Right Thing With The Wrong Man"---Towanna Murphy
16. "There's A Party Up In Here"---Frank McKinney
17. "Stay In Your Lane"---Banky
18. "Move Around"---B. Streezy feat. Roi Chip Anthony
19. "A Woman's Worth"---Ju Evans
20. "Just My Imagination"---Big Mike

21. "Why You Mad At Me (Remix)"---Terrence Davis
22. "Ain't No Fun (When The Rabbit Got The Gun)"---Mr. Fredlo
23. "Holiday"---Highway Heavy feat. Dave Mack
24. "Yard Man"---Chrissy Luvz
25. "Party"---Magic One
26. "Ripping And Running"---Narvel Echols
27. "Sugar Daddy"---Blind Ricky McCants feat. Joe Nice
28. "Ride That Pony"---Jennifer Watts feat. Unkle Phunk
29. "End It All"---Adrian Bagher
30. "Hey Puddy Puddy"---Barbie Doll feat. Unkle Phunk

31. "I Left My Sidepiece"---C.C. Miles
32. "Love's Like A Boomerang"---Sharnette Hyter
33. "In Those Jeans"---J. Fitz
34. "That's My Boo (Remix)"---Luster Baker
35. "Let's Ride"---Nadia Green
36. "Big Girls (Do What You Do)"---Tara Sabree
37. "I Didn't Take Yo Man"---Lady Soul
38. "Treat You Right"---Adrian Bagher
39. "Get'cha Head Right"---Wendell B.
40. "Booty Roll"---Tucka

*********** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide
P.O. Box 19574
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March 28, 2020:

Music is the fourth great material want, first food, then clothes, then shelter, then music.

Christian Nestell Bovee

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

Top 10 Singles Charts (Continued from right-hand column

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

-------FEBRUARY 2020-------

1. "Love Train"----Avail Holly-

The only reser-
vation I have about this crowd-pleasing, superbly-sung, mid-tempo anthem is that it would have been better named "Black Locomotive," the title of Avail's intoxicating new CD.

Read Daddy B. Nice's 4-star CD review.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Love Train" on YouTube.

2. "Da Fire"-----Dee Dee Simon

The multi-talented Bay area diva strikes gold with an Isley-inspired tune instructing her enamored to "Put your wood in my fire/ 'Cause, baby, my flame is running low."

Listen to Dee Dee Simon singing "Da Fire" on YouTube.

3. "Funky Forty"------Arthur Young

Bargain-priced sexual favors in the shadowy corners of the chitlin' circuit make for a funny and memorable tune that has already garnered a quarter-million YouTube views.

Listen to Arthur Young singing "Funky Forty" on YouTube.

4. "Funky Forty Reply"-----Rosalyn Candy

And, like Pokey's "My Sidepiece," "Funky Forty" has its very own "Funky Forty Reply," courtesy of Rosalyn Candy. "You can keep your little funky forty/I need more than that!"

Listen to Rosalyn Candy singing "Funky Forty Reply" on YouTube.

5. "That's Life"-----T.K. Soul

T.K. flashes all of the serious vocal firepower at his command on this uncompromising and passionate self-examination of himself and his significant other.

Listen to T.K. Soul singing "That's Life" on YouTube.

6. "Mr. VIP"----Highway Heavy featuring Coldrank

Coldrank takes his most front-and-center musical role to date, spinning a tale of artistic assertion.

Listen to Coldrank singing "Mr. VIP" on YouTube.

7. "Facebook"-----Ricky White

Glory to Ricky! Now, once again, you can hear his incredible vocal prowess without the distraction of those faux-horn riffs he's been infatuated with for years.

Listen to Ricky White singing "Facebook" on YouTube.

8. "That Booty"-----Solomon Thompson featuring Lebrado

Solomon and Lebrado team up on a sparkling ode to a mesmerizing club dancer.

Listen to Solomon Thompson and Lebrado singing "That Booty" on YouTube.

9. "Country Folks Party"----Narvel Echols

Another Echols family member (after L.J. and Krishunda) makes his finest musical bid to date with a club song appropriating the same K.C. & The Sunshine Band horn lick Floyd Hamberlin used in Nellie "Tiger" Travis's "Back It Up".

Listen to Narvel Echols singing "Country Folks Party" on YouTube.

10. "Lookin' Good"-----King South featuring Jeter Jones

Jeter Jones is a one-man, talent-finding machine, and he does it again with King South.

Listen to King South and Jeter Jones singing "Lookin' Good" on YouTube. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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

-------JANUARY 2020-------

1. "Yo Luv Baby"----J-Wonn

J-Wonn's "I Got This Record" is still arguably the greatest southern soul single of the last decade, and "Yo Luv Baby" shares some of its characteristics: superb vocal, melody, arrangement and similarly universal lyrics: "I'll travel miles/ Girl, I will travel cities/ Girl, I'll travel states/ Just to get to your love."

Listen to J-Wonn singing "Yo Luv Baby" on YouTube.

2. "If You're Thinking About Leaving"----Calvin Richardson

The showcase track from Calvin's new GOLD DUST album will become one of his most treasured songs.

Listen to Calvin Richardson singing"If You're Thinking About Leaving" on YouTube.

3. "Tonight Gonna Be Your Night"----Banky Live

The first southern soul debut artist of the new decade has a knack for conveying community and good times. Also check out his previously-released and equally accessible single, "Last Night". Great name, by the way--almost as good as Bullwinkle.

Listen to Banky Live singing "Tonight Gonna Be Your Night" on SoundCloud.

4. "I Been Loving You"----Rich Wright

Another fine debut. Wright is already a solid southern soul singer who gives the necessary depth and texture to this stepping-styled tune.

Listen to Rich Wright singing "I Been Loving You" on YouTube.

5. "Just Like A Woman"----The Ladies of Southern Soul

"Curly hips and thighs/ Pretty brown eyes..." As bluesy as you'll find these days. The ladies of southern soul are: Lady Q, Nikita Randle, Sweet T, Annie B, Itz Karma, Crystal Thomas, and Tanji Emmeni. An album--also including Vickie Baker, Ci Kelly, Simply Lovely and Monro Brown--is in the works.

Listen to The Ladies of Southern Soul singing "Just Like A Woman" on SoundCloud.

6. "That's My Job"----Bigg Robb

Another easy-going, high-character single from Bigg Robb's bountiful Good Muzic CD.

Listen to Bigg Robb singing "That's My Job" on YouTube.

7. "Happy Weight"----The Jay Morris Group

The most popular song from the Jay Morris Group's debut album, Like Food For My Soul. Written up in Daddy B. Nice's The Year In Review.

Listen to the Jay Morris Group singing "Happy Weight" on YouTube.

8. "Party Warrior"----Gregg A. Smith

Texas southern soul with a big-band sound. From Smith's new The Real Deal album.

Listen to Gregg A. Smith singing "Party Warrior" on YouTube.

9. "Sneak Up On It"----Ghetto Cowboy featuring L.J. Echols

From the new Ghetto Cowboy album, Southern Soul Legend.

Listen to Ghetto Cowboy and L.J. Echols singing "Sneak Up On It" on YouTube.

10. "Black Girl Magic"----G-Sky

Originally published in 2018, this overlooked single still has "legs".

Listen to G-Sky singing "Black Girl Magic" on YouTube. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

under construction! under constant revision!! - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide


Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 Souther Soul Singles

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

-------AUGUST 2020-------

1. "Cheatin' With The DJ"-------Mr. David

Smashing vocal. Monstrous rhythm track. Every bar of this dance jam pulses with energy and excitement. It's so direct it takes your breath away. Tell the deejay to play it over and over, dancers, and get wild with it. Mr. David hits the mainline.

Listen to Mr. David singing "Cheatin' With The DJ" on YouTube.

2. "Leave Me"-----Summer Wolfe feat. L.J. Echols

Summer sounds ballsy and vulnerable, like she was just discovered and pulled off the street. And LJ? Who else would dare use mariachi-band horns? Southern Soul would be poorer without his unique producing talents.

Listen to Summer Wolfe and L.J. Echols singing "Leave Me" on YouTube.

3. "After Hours"-----2 Buck Chuck feat. Dee Dee Simon

Sugar Daddy debut artist 2 Buck Chuck returns with a great new song simmering with tempo and melody, and Dee Dee Simon nails it for good with her trademark brio.

Listen to 2 Buck Chuck & Dee Dee Simon singing "After Hours" on YouTube.

4. "You Know I Miss You"----Jeter Jones

A worthy successor to Jeter's trail-blazing "My Country Girl" from Trail Ride Certified. From J.J.'s new album "Mufassa". See Daddy B. Nice's 5-star CD Review.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing "You Know I Miss You" on YouTube.

5. "He Working Me (Over)"------CoCo Wade

A briskly-paced, one-of-a-kind ballad sweating with atmosphere. This is the more recent CoCo Wade of "Get Loose" and "Jump On It," not to be confused with the more veteran Coco of "Crazy About You, Baby" and "Old Man's Sweetheart".

Listen to CoCo Wade singing "He Working Me Over" on YouTube.

6. "It's Over"------Terry Wright & Vick Allen

How do you describe the amount of soul that can be contained in the voices of two men trained like ballerinas since childhood in their art?

Listen to Terry Wright and Vick Allen singing "It's Over" on YouTube.

7. "Call Me Daddy"-----Omar Cunningham

The only thing I can't figure out is... Do we call him "Daddy," or don't we call him "Daddy"?

Listen to Omar Cunningham singing "Call Me Daddy" on YouTube.

8. "I'm Sorry, Baby"-----Cheff Da Entertainer feat. Yoo Neek

You may be running for the exits on first listen, but give these young amateurs a chance and their deep-soul keyboard and brazen vocals may just engulf you in their rap/blues/bayou quicksand.

Listen to Cheff Da Entertainer and Yoo Neek singing "I'm Sorry, Baby" on YouTube.

9. "I'll Be Down In A Minute"-----J'cenae feat. Wendell B.

What singer wouldn't want Wendell B. singing back-up on her debut single? And it's a good single, with a lot of staying power. Wendell must have been working on this project just about the time he was working on his superlative 2020 album, Real Talk.

Listen to J'cenae and Wendell B. singing "I'll Be Down In A Minute" on YouTube.

10. "Ripping And Running"-----Narvel Echols

I've been watching Narvel Echols knock around since a decade ago with Luther Lackey on "Mississippi Twerk" and later, my favorite, the under-produced "Going Solo". Now, with this new album Return Of The Country Boy, he's finally coming into his own.

Listen to Narvel Echols singing "Ripping And Running" on YouTube.

Comprehensive Index Archives: See Daddy B. Nice’s original write-up on Narvel Echols' "Mississippi Twerk".

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

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

-------JULY 2020-------

1. "(I) Put It On Him"----Dee Dee Simon

Dee Dee Simon hits the sweet spot of southern soul in this smashing culmination to her quest for a hit single, "southern-soul style". Not only is it great music. Dee Dee sings it with a technical intensity and passion few divas even dream of. This anthem goes on southern soul's top shelf and will be played--as Vick Allen says in "Soul Music"--"twenty years from now".

Listen to Dee Dee Simon singing "Put It On Him" on YouTube.

2. "I Got That Good Good"----Kinnie Ken feat. Sojo

You'll be saying, "Put it on me, big boy!" Kinnie Ken has a big, burly voice, with a female co-singer (Sojo) who can match his power. The strength of the record is in its over-sized vocals.

Listen to Kinnie Ken and Sojo singing "I Got That Good Good" on YouTube.

3. "Cadillac Willie"----Wendell B

The secret to this song is not in the lyrics, which are incredibly likable, descriptive and exotic. I've been waiting to see if the music--specifically the tempo/rhythm--would endure, and it does. Wendell scores his third consecutive top ten single.

Listen to Wendell B singing "Cadillac Willie" on YouTube.

4. "Touch Me"----J-Wonn

With "Yo Love, Baby" (January '20) and now this song, "Touch Me" (July '20), J-Wonn has taken his writing to a new level, making his total package--writing and performance--first-rank, unparalleled for sheer hormonal excitement.

Listen to J-Wonn singing "Touch Me" on YouTube.

5. "Southern Soul"----R.T. Taylor

"Do you wanna go to southern soul?" R.T. asks. "Yes, I do," I answer breathlessly. Southern soul is the place-name of the club we lucky few enjoy. This beautiful ballad and message is anchored by the truly unique vocal quality of its ageless singer. Slack on the track.

Listen to R.T. Taylor singing "Southern Soul" on YouTube.

6."Sad Rat"-----Chris Ivy feat. Omar Cunningham

Now this is what drives the black academics nuts and makes them even more determined to sweep southern soul music under the rug: chitlin' circuit balladeers in a "sidepiece" culture justifying polygamy on the basis of the pain a monogamous husband feels when cuckolded. This song has been waiting in my "wings" for months. For a long time I couldn't get past the "rat"stuff, but I began to enjoy and revel in its Harrison Calloway-at-Malaco-like instrumental track. And the vocals are good.

Listen to Chris Ivy and Omar Cunningham singing "Sad Rat" on YouTube.

7. "City County BooThang"----Mr. Lyve

The vocal's tentative at times, the production sketchy, the mix off, but the ingredients of a hit single are here: great tempo, melody and lyrics. "Drives a Mercedes/But she still rides horses too..."

Listen to Mr. Lyve singing "City County BooThang" on YouTube.

8. "One Lover To Another"/ "One Freak To Another"----Sheba Potts-Wright

Take your pick. They're the same song. Your Daddy B Nice gravitated naturally to "One Freak To Another".

Listen to Sheba Potts-Wright singing "One Freak To Another" on YouTube.

9. "Loopty Loop"----Arthur Young

He's a natural, and if the breaks break right, he should have a long career.

Listen to Arthur Young singing "Loopty Loop" on YouTube.

10. "Teacha Wha You Ought to Know"----Jennifer Watts

This song's been marinating for about a year. What has me hooked is the chord change (or bridge) that begins with the lyrics--
"I'm gonna give you everything
You've been missing,
What them school teachers
Didn't mention..."
In that moment the song rocks hypnotically. It mesmerizes.

Listen to Jennifer Watts singing "Teacha Wha You Ought to Know" on YouTube. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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

-------JUNE 2020-------

1. "Rock With You"-----R.T. Taylor

Even after honoring him with Best Male Vocalist Of The Year for his debut southern soul single "It's A Mule," your Daddy B. Nice didn't know if R.T. Taylor could ever do it again. A man's loving life compressed into three verses and choruses, "Rock With You" proves it wasn't a fluke. Was Taylor delivered to southern soul fans to make up for the loss of the late Bishop Bullwinkle? My guess is that he will become as beloved. When R.T.'s voice occasionally cracks and wavers with the frailty of age, it makes the effect of the vocal even more powerful. One of Ronald "Slack" Jefferson's finest productions, from R.T.'s new debut album The Mule Man.

Listen to R.T. Taylor singing "Rock With You" on YouTube

2. "Mind Playing Tricks On Me"----Jeter Jones

Everybody should give this song to their rap and hiphop-loving friends. It'll blow their minds while giving them an instant vision of what southern soul is. Bigg Robb had a #1 Single in July of 2019 sampling this same Geto Boys song. From Jeter's hot new album, Mufassa.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing "Mind Playing Tricks On Me" on YouTube.

3. "Staying in Love Ain't Easy"----Wendell B

Following on the heels of last month's #1 Single, "Get'cha Head Right," from The Boss's new LP Real Talk, "Staying In Love Ain't Easy" is the next hit single from what is increasingly sounding like the best solo-artist album since Tucka's Working With The Feeling.

Listen to Wendell B singing "Staying in Love Ain't Easy" on YouTube.

4. "Go Get A Room"----Ronnie Bell

With over 15 million views on YouTube and counting, recording artist Ronnie Bell struck a chord with his women’s power-enhancing “I’ll Pay The Shipping Cost”. Now he's back with an equally fetching, cautionary song for the men. From his long-awaited new album, Ronnie Bell 365.

Listen to Ronnie Bell singing "Go Get A Room" on YouTube.

5. "Can Somebody Take Me?"----Tyree Neal feat. Omar Cunningham

This is a sweet southern soul tribute with an intoxicating rhythm track and maybe Tyree's best vocal ever. Regular readers know your Daddy B Nice touts Tyree as one of the best guitarists in southern soul (I'd probably say the best right now) but gives short shrift to his laid-back solo efforts. (Felt the same way about Eric Clapton, so don't feel bad, Tyree.) However, "Can Somebody Take Me" takes the cousin of the late Jackie Neal to another level. Mostly invisible on the recording, lending an obviously inspirational hand, is Omar Cunningham. It's from Tyree's new album, I'm Missing My Baby.

Listen to Tyree Neal singing "Can Somebody Take Me?" on YouTube.

6. "Last Few Dollars"---------David J

"I've got two kids/ I got a cat and a dog/ I've got a whole damn wife at home/ But tonight I'm gonna risk it all." This is one hell of a southern soul song, and one hell of a vocal. Note that this is David J, the performer who recorded "Super Woman" and co-sung "Sunshine" with Solomon Thompson, not David G, a former artist who recorded southern soul in 2008 and 2009.

Listen to David J singing "Last Few Dollars" on YouTube.

7. "Still In Love"-----Sir Charles Jones feat. Jeter Jones

The verses in this song are right up there with the best Charles has ever done, but they seem wasted on an unfulfilling chorus. This caused your Daddy B Nice no end of aggravation this month as I listened and wrote comments that went near-viral on the Sir Charles page. Read more.

Listen to Sir Charles Jones and Jeter Jones singing "Still In Love" on YouTube.

8. "Can You Keep A Secret?"-----Pokey Bear

The Big Pokey Bear throws down his strongest track in awhile. That's not only because "Can You Keep A Secret?" is the perfect material for our favorite, cuddly but ornery, southern-soul grizzly. It's also because, like in Josephine Son Pokey, he "sangs" the heck out of it.

Listen to Pokey Bear singing "Can You Keep A Secret?" on YouTube.

9. "I Sing Da Blues"----Chrissy Luvz

This is a singer to watch out for; she's shined on a number of recent projects. Here's how I referred to Chrissy in a new review of Dee Dee Simon: "For a look at a tune that qualifies as southern soul because it is doing something original with "funk," check out Chrissy Luvz's new jam, 'I Sing Da Blues'."

Listen to Chrissy Luvz singing "I Sing Da Blues" on YouTube

10. (Tie) "Operate On Me"-----Sheba Potts-Wright

"Give Him Love"-----T.J. Hooker Taylor

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

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

-------MAY 2020-------

1. "Get'cha Head Right"-----Wendell B.

1. He's this generation's Ronnie Lovejoy, and if you were going to record a new version of top-rated southern soul classic "Sho' Wasn't Me," Wendell would be the no-brainer choice to sing it. From the Boss's new album Real Talk, "Get-cha Head Right" is nothing short of magical and unique--instrumentally, lyrically, vocally. Most of all, it's believable, from the heart--like it's really coming from Wendell's life.

Listen to Wendell B singing "Get'cha Head Right" on YouTube.

2. "Talk In Your Sleep"----Vickie Baker

Vickie Baker harks back to the flickering dawn of contemporary southern soul, recording with Shreveport's legendary Suzie Q maven Stan Lewis at Paula Records. Somewhat inactive in recent years, Vickie scored a solid but mostly overlooked single called "Honey Hole" (#2 Single/Feb 17). "Talk In Your Sleep" is even better, and you'll love the way Vickie leads into her rant, real subtle-like... Beware, fellas! From Unkle Phunk's Juke Joint Vol. 1.

Listen to Vickie Baker singing ""Talk In Your Sleep" on YouTube.

3. "Booty Roll"----- Tucka

The sophistication is evident from the opening guitar phrase and yet, like a lot of Tucka songs, it shouldn't work. The melody is minimal and repetitive. But once again Tucka seems to make something out of nothing, and that something is "being hypnotized by the motion" of a loved one. "I see nothing but trouble," he says. "That thing is out of control."

Listen to Tucka singing "Booty Roll" on YouTube.

4. "Deeper In Your Body"----Stan Butler

Imagine The Beach Boys going from "Little Deuce Coupe" to "Good Vibrations". Imagine Michael Jackson going from "I Want You Back" to "Billy Jean". Or imagine Sir Charles Jones' and Wilson Meadows' sincere attempt at a masterpiece at #4 in this same spot last month. We're talking hubris. We're talking exhaustive length--six and a half minutes. "Deeper In Your Body" may or may not be the greatest thing Stan Butler has ever done, but those three-minute Motown hits were constructed to be memorable, too--and they are.

Listen to Stan Butler singing "Deeper In Your Body" on YouTube.

5. "Grown Folks Party"-----Leroy Germaine

The highest-rated debut this month, Leroy Germaine's "Grown Folks Party" displays a remarkably seasoned vocalist over a compelling tempo and swaggering, take-no-prisoners rhythm track. The rudimentary keyboards reminded me of Question Mark & The Mysterians, from my childhood, with a whiff of the carnival that hooked me for good.

Listen to Leroy Geremaine singing "Grown Folks Party" on YouTube.

6. "Clockwise"---- Jeter Jones feat. Gary "Lil' G" Jenkins

"Clockwise, "a duet with Silk lead singer Gary "Lil' G" Jenkins, a nice ballad and prime-time, urban R&B fodder, proves Jeter Jones could go mainstream if he wanted to. Let's hope he doesn't. What a loss it would be for southern soul music.

Listen to Jeter Jones and Lil' G Jenkins singing "Clockwise" on YouTube.

7. "Milk"-----J. Red The Nephew

When J. Red gets it all going--the sweet-spot mid-tempo, melody, vocal and lovingly fleshed-out production--he is untouchable.

Listen to J. Red singing "Milk" on YouTube.

8. "Kiss Me Where You Miss Me"-----Jennifer Watts

Watts gives a contemporary southern soul, girl-group treatment to the Tyrone Davis classic, making it accessible for a new generation. The iconic guitar riff is the best of any version I've ever heard. Another keeper from Unkle Phunk's Juke Joint Vol. 1.

Listen to Jennifer Watts singing "Kiss Me Where You Miss Me" on YouTube.

9. "Nobody Said (It Was Going To Be Easy)"-----Rosalyn Candy

Listen to Rosalyn Candy singing "Nobody Said" on YouTube.

10. "Thickness"-----Roi Chip Anthony feat. DJ Jubilee &
Pallo Da Jiint

Listen to Roi Chip Anthony & friends singing "Thickness" on YouTube. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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

-------APRIL 2020-------

1. "Nukie Pie"-----Caroline Staten feat. Jennifer Watts & Unkle Phunk

Unkle Phunk is the second southern soul producer in less than a month (after Ricky White) to use the suddenly "in" riff from the 80's New Wave band Laid Back's "White Horse," and Carolyn Staten, the most under-rated female singer in southern soul music, absolutely mugs it, obliterating any memory of the original. The three words, "My, My, My..." never sounded so good. Jennifer Watts admirably grafts her vocal onto Staten's tour de force, making it even more powerful, and Unkle Phunk mixes this club classic to perfection. From the best new southern soul compilation since Slack's award-winning "My Music, My Friends". It's called Unkle Phunk's Juke Joint, Vol. 1. and it's going to be a thing.

Listen to Carolyn Staten & friends singing "Nukie Pie" on YouTube.

2. "Stroking"----Arthur Young

Clarence Carter would be proud of this young man's authoritative "Stroking". Young has already brought us the surefire classic "Funky Forty" (See #3, Top 10 Singles February 2020), and just as with that hit single, he has a knack for the right phrase. "I'll be crying in the morning/ I'll be begging in the evening/ But I bet I'll be strokin' tonight." From Arthur Young's Funky Forty EP.

Listen to Arthur Young singing "Stroking" on YouTube.

3. "Tasty Girl"----- Ju Evans

A John Ward (Ecko Records) discovery, Ju Evans is the latest recording artist to testify to the changing mores among young black males about "going down". "Candy-licking" no longer repulses; Ju likes "that apple pie between those thighs". From his Ecko debut, All About Soul.

Listen to Ju Evans singing "Tasty Girl" on YouTube.

4. "Just Hang Tonight"----Sir Charles Jones feat. Wilson Meadows

First impressions of this song might be too slow and ponderous, too much style over substance, too long. Second impressions might be: But what style! We tend to forget what a great producer Charles is. And what a vocal! Charles puts his ("The Letter/Guilty") all into it, as does Wilson. I've played it a lot, and it grows on you.

Listen to Sir Charles Jones and Wilson Meadows singing "Just Hang Tonight".

5. "I Wanna Love You"----West Dawn

Not to be confused with West Love (a Stan Butler discovery), West Dawn is yet another great find by the indefatigable Jeter Jones. Dawn's song belongs to the Staples' "Do It Again" family tree, insuring its southern soul bonafides, but it's also different in that it hinges on the melody, not the iconic bass line (as in "Slow Roll It" etc.).

Listen to West Dawn singing "I Wanna Love You" on YouTube.

6. "Southern Soul Train"-----Luster Baker feat. Unkle Phunk

All grown up, Vickie Baker's little brother Luster, aka Mr. Juicy, records one of his best tunes yet: another compelling (I was going to say "infectious" but I may have to retire that term) track from Unkle Phunk's Juke Joint Vol.1. Choo-chooo!

Listen to Luster Baker singing "Southern Soul Train" on YouTube.

7. "While You Was With Your Sidepiece"-----Certified Slim

Certified Slim is a talented guy with a good singing voice and a good grasp of the genre. The only thing holding him back? He needs to record a lot more material--good stuff like this.

Listen to Certified Slim singing "While You Was With Your Sidepiece" on YouTube.

8. "Take It Off"----- Bigg Robb feat. Wendell B.

Whew! What a team these two musical giants would make. From Bigg Robb's otherwise marginal new album, Smooth, Grown & Sexy, this tune shoots up from the "smooth" debris like an awesome rhythm and blues star-ship. Unlike Wendell's own overly-dense mixes, you can hear his phenomenal voice with crystal-clear brilliance.

Listen to Wendell B. and Bigg Robb singing "Take It Off" on YouTube.

9. "Private Party"-----Highway Heavy feat. Dave Mack & Tyree Neal

If many of us old-guard guys were young again, this is very likely the kind of lyrics we'd sing, exulting in our newfound notoriety.

Listen to Dave Mack & Tyree Neal singing "Private Party" on YouTube.

10. "Come To Daddy"------Stevie J. Blues

Stevie J.'s newest.

Listen to Stevie J. singing "Come To Daddy" on SoundCloud. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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

-------MARCH 2020-------

1. "I Ain't Studdin' You" (Dolo-
mite Is My Name Sound-
track Remix)
------Bobby Rush

The iconic bass line from the two-decade-old anthem begins like a gorgeously-prolonged instrumental with heavenly-sounding live horns and mouth harp (the vocal an unfortunately-truncated afterthought). This is the sound of the King of the Chitlin' Circuit--the last of southern soul's older generation--making it on the nation's highest stage.

Listen to Bobby Rush singing "I Ain't Studdin' You" on YouTube.

2. "Grown Folks Step"------Karen Wolfe

Karen Wolfe redoes Willie Clayton's "Wiggle In The Middle". And nope! We southern soul steppers never, ever tire of "two steps to the right, two steps to the left"--it's all in the style. Produced by Gary and India Wolfe, Karen rocks like never before.

Listen to Karen Wolfe singing "Grown Folks Step" on YouTube.

3. "Do You Wanna Party?"-----R.T. Taylor feat. Jeter Jones

Fresh from his Best Male Vocalist honors for "It's A Mule," the "Mule Man" teams up with young mentor Jeter Jones on a super-smooth, mid-tempo party blast.

Listen to R.T. Taylor and Jeter Jones singing "Do You Wanna Party?" on YouTube.

4. "I'm An O.G."------David Brinston

From David Brinston's new album of the same name, "I'm An O.G." blends great guitar work by John Ward with one of David's inimitable vocals.

Listen to David Brinston singing "I'm An O.G." on YouTube.

5. "Bothered"-----Highway Heavy feat. Dave Mack & Miss Portia

Miss Portia delivers a primer on how to sing southern soul: no histrionics, technique invisible. Her exquisitely natural vocal merges with the passion of Dave Mack, who has left Jackson, Ms. for Baton Rouge and the creative vortex that is Highway Heavy's Pinky Ring family.

Listen to Miss Portia and Dave Mack singing "Bothered" on YouTube.

6. "Love Thyself"------ Poka Jones

Sunny and irresistible debut by a rapper who captures the perfect southern soul tone as he negotiates a little "to the left, to the right" stepping of his own.

Listen to Poka Jones singing "Love Thyself" on YouTube.

7. "I Just Wanna Ride"-----Tasha Mac

Produced by Slack, "I Just Wanna Ride" has all the charisma and appealing modesty of early rock and roll. Tasha Mac looks and sounds like the new Big Cynthia.

Listen to Tasha Mac singing "I Just Wanna Ride" on YouTube.

8. "Southern Soul Nation"-----Ricky White

Hold onto your hats. Monster groove about to hit land. Ricky White transforms "California Love" into a southern soul anthem. From his new album of the same name.

Listen to Ricky White singing "Southern Soul Nation" on YouTube.

9. "I Ain't With It"----- Itz Karma

Karma's double-tracked choruses go down as sweetly as southern-style lemonade. From her Slack-produced album, Karma: Unleashed. Read Daddy B. Nice's 4-star CD Review.

Listen to Itz Karma singing "I Ain't With It" on YouTube.

10. "(Whole Lot Of Bills) In My Name"------Highway Heavy feat. Johnny James and Pokey Bear

More southern soul from the dark and empty, early-morning streets of Baton Rouge.

Listen to Johnny James and Pokey Bear singing "(Whole Lot Of Bills) In My Name" on YouTube. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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Top 10 Singles Charts Continued in Middle Column Of This Page.... - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide


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

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