Ms. Jody #10 The New Generation

Daddy B. Nice's #10 ranked Southern Soul Artist



Portrait of Ms. Jody #10 The New Generation by Daddy B. Nice
 




"Just Let Me Ride"

Ms. Jody #10 The New Generation

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Listen to Ms. Jody singing "Just Let Me Ride" on YouTube.

June 26, 2021: Daddy B. Nice's Profile

In 2005 Dale Pickens, the brother of Vertie Joanne Delapaz (Ms. Jody), took her to her first blues show--Denise LaSalle--and the experience inspired Vertie to consider performing herself. "I can do that," she remembers thinking. That fall in 2005, a still young O. B. Buchana and his band, Total Control, were celebrating a CD Release Party in Meridian, Mississippi, just up the road from Bay Springs. Pickens knew some of the band members, and he introduced Ms. Jody to them and the band's manager, William Day.

Day was so enamored of Ms. Jody's talent that he asked her if she'd like to travel to Memphis and meet John Ward and Morris J. Williams of Ecko Records, who were also impressed, and Ecko released Ms. Jody's first album, You're My Angel, in March of 2006.

The first single from the album was a Lillie Pickens-composed song entitled, aptly enough. "Ms. Jody," and the upbeat number, although diverting, wasn't strong enough to make an impression. Soon after, however, deejays discovered a country-influenced song on the album called "I Never Take A Day Off (From Loving My Baby)."

"I Never Take A Day Off," with Ms. Jody's unaffected, Nashville-inflected vocal riffing over John Ward's solid instrumental track, sounded almost revolutionary in a soul context, and the record soon caught on across the South.

A slew of new female performers were making their debuts between 2004 and 2006, in the aftermath of the death of Jackie Neal: Nellie "Tiger" Travis ("If I Back It Up"), Little Kim Stewart ("Bootleg Baby"), Tazz Calhoun ("Stroke It Easy"), Miz B. ("My Name Is $$$$$$"), Renea Mitchell ("Seventeen Days Of Loving"), Betty Padgett ("Never Coming Home"), and Pat Cooley (who had both recorded in the 90's but had just returned to performing). Sweet Angel would break out a year later.

Yet of all these artists, many of whom possessed arguably greater talent (and many of whom are gone), it was Ms. Jody who out-hustled and out-performed all, filling a niche in Southern Soul's diva ranks that nobody else seemed ready, willing or able to fill.

Ms. Jody hit the scene around the same time as Nellie "Tiger" Travis, and your Daddy B. Nice remembers singling out the two of them amongst all the divas from that period as the surest bets to survive and flourish. Both had good songwriters behind them, Travis with Floyd Hamberlin and Ms. Jody with John Cummings (composer of "I Never Take A Day Off") and Ecko's extended stable of writers.

Ms. Jody and Nellie "Tiger" Travis have remained linked together at the top of the female division of the chitlin' circuit for almost two decades, like T.K. Soul and Sir Charles Jones at the top of the males.
But of the two (Nellie and Vertie), Vertie---aided and abetted by her Ecko cohorts---had her career concept down. Travis may have had a more intense triumph or two, but for quality and volume no one compares to Ms. Jody. As her first single proclaimed, she was the female version of Marvin Sease's "Mr. Jody". She was Mizzus Jody. She could cheat, lie, party, dance, cajole, prevaricate, pontificate, and oh---by the way---fuck like an angel, and do any of it without a whiff of self-consciousness.

And Ms. Jody's still doing it after all these years. If she hadn't filled the "Jody" vacuum and braved its minefields of cliches, someone else would have had to. But who? Who could have done it with her common-sensical demeanor and oft-times brilliance?

At her best, Ms. Jody shakes those old cliches like Raggedy Ann dolls, transforming them into universal truths as she does in her mid-career classic, "When Your Give A Damn Just Don't Give A Damn". By the end of that anthem, Ms. Jody has morphed into Every Woman's Woman, a dispenser of wisdom, equal parts confidante, psychiatrist, therapist and spiritual advisor.

The dominant track of her later career has been the indefatigable, rollicking and frollicking, Jody-perfect, double-entendre-ing "Just Let Me Ride," in which she "saved the horse and rode the cowboy"... And when that "(chestnut brown) cowboy left the stables, he was wearing a smile."

Before, during and after, the albums have rolled out on an annual basis, culminating in 2019's 4-star rated ”Get It! Get It!” album and its modest but captivating crown jewel, ”A Man Like That,” in which Ms. Jody rhapsodizes about the good men some of the women she knows have the privilege of sharing life with. Like Dusty Springfield, Ms. Jody knows it won't do any good just "Wishin' And Hopin'," and her matter-of-fact-ness about her friends' good luck is replete not just with good-natured envy but admiration for what they have. What comes through Ms. Jody's performance is the strength of women. Few men could assess their intimate life with such clarity, much less celebrate the domestic bliss of their peers.

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Scroll down for biography, discography and more. To automatically link to Ms. Jody's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other citations on the website, go to "Ms. Jody" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.
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Note: Ms. Jody also appears on Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 21st Century Southern Soul (2000-2020).
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Note: Ms. Jody also appears on Daddy B. Nice's
Top 100 Southern Soul Artists (90's-00's)
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--Daddy B. Nice


About Ms. Jody #10 The New Generation

Vertie Joann Delapaz (Ms. Jody) was born on November 10th in Chicago, Illinois. Two years after she was born, her parents--contractors in the Chicago area--returned to their former home in Bay Springs, Mississippi, about 65 miles southeast of Jackson, where they continued to live (and listen to a lot of Delta-flavored R&B around the house) through Ms. Jody's childhood.

Ecko Records in Memphis released Ms. Jody's first album, You're My Angel in March of 2006, and it immediately drew air play on legendary WMPR, Jackson, Mississippi, and other southern soul stations of the deep south.. Prominent singles from the debut included the country tune that would become one of Ms. Jody's all-time classics, "I Never Take A Day Off".

Ms. Jody's What You Gonna Do When the Rent Is Due, a more than adequate sophomore effort, came out surprisingly soon, on Ecko in November of 2006. The new disk also featured an against-the-grain, novel-sounding single, "Your Dog's About To Kill My Cat," with a vintage, throwback-sounding, string section-drenched arrangement. The album was fuller and more professional overall than her debut, with tracks such as "Big Daddy Don't You Come," "One Way Love" (with O. B. Buchana), and "You Got To Know How To Work It" showcasing Ms. Jody's unique vocal qualities. 

I Never Take A Day Off, Ms. Jody's third album, brought the title cut (the gem from her debut) to a larger audience while recycling the previous year's success with "Your Dog Is Killing My Cat" (2007 "Daddy" for Best Female Southern Soul Vocal) into the more overtly formulaic "Energizer Bunny." The set featured many compelling radio singles, among them "It's The Weekend," "Ms. Jody's Thing," "I'm So Thankful" and "Lonely Housewife".

It's a Ms. Jody Thang, Ms. Jody's fourth release on Ecko Records, followed in 2009. Besides a "Ms. Jody's Thang (Remix)," however, the CD lacked the spectacular song that anchored the three previous Ms. Jody albums.

Ms. Jody's In The Streets Again (Ecko, 2010) returned Ms. Jody to the top of the Southern Soul singles charts with the throwback-sounding, mid-tempo "The Bop," but there was little else of enduring value on the set, and the follow-up, Ms. Jody's Keepin' It Real (Ecko 2011), failed to generate much enthusiasm, gaining a rare two-star rating from Daddy B. Nice.

2011's Ms. Jody's In The House righted the ship in resounding fashion, showcasing a revitalized Ms. Jody negotiating some of the finest material since her early CD's. In actuality, the music was even better.

The centerpiece of Ms. Jody's In The House was a song that both broadened and amplified the musical virtues of Ms. Jody's signature hit, "I Never Take A Day Off." The song, recorded in both a radio version and a long, voice-over (talking) version spanning over six minutes, was ”When Your Give A Damn Just Don't Give A Damn Anymore”.

The album represented a career-defining pinnacle for Ms. Jody, with almost every selection garnering airplay and acclaim. Memorable singles included: "Southern Soul Dip," "I Did It," "I Never Knew Good Love Could Hurt So Bad," "Something I Want" (a duet with David Brinston), "Just A Little Bit Won't Get It," plus excellent covers of her own hits ("Ms. Jody's Thang Zydeco Remix") and others (Lorraine Turner's "You Lost A Fortune" and Brenda Williams' "Let Me Be The Shoulder").

Still Strokin', Ms. Jody's eighth consecutive Ecko-published CD, arrived in 2013. While not quite as strong a set as MS. JODY'S IN THE HOUSE, Still Strokin' was nevertheless a disc of very high quality, notching another series of popular radio singles, led by the propulsive "Just Let Me Ride," closely followed by the title tune, "Still Strokin'," "Another Get Drunk Party" (a remake of an early Ms. Jody tune), "Where Can I Find A Good Man," "You Didn't Appreciate What You Had When You Had It," "Good Love," and two more well-executed cover songs, "Ms Jody Don't Mind Breaking Up Somebody's Home" (from the Ann Peebles standard) and "Dance Party" (from the Quinn Golden standard).

It's All About Me followed in 2014. The set featured a duet with fellow Ecko label-mate Donnie Ray, ”I'm Gonna Keep My Love At Home,” along with more mediocre redo's such as the "Your Dog's Killing My Cat" clone, "My Cat Smells A Rat”.

Talkin' Bout My Good Thang! was released by Ecko in 2015 and found Ms. Jody "reaching" unsuccessfully for formulas behind her biggest hits, such as "If He Knew What I Was Thinking" (a pale imitation of "When Your Give A Damn Just Don't Give A Damn") and lesser remixes of popular hits such as "Just Let Me Ride". Less spectacular but more satisfyingly authentic, the bluesy "I"m Gathering Up The Trash" had antecedents in Ann Peebles' "I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home" and Pat Brown's "I'm Taking Out The Trash." The album was also one of the first to acknowledge Pokey Bear's emergence on the southern soul scene with Ms. Jody's take on a "A Piece On The Side".

A greatest-hits compilation, The Best Of Ms. Jody (Ecko 2015) was followed by I Got The Feeling (Ecko 2016), a veritable triumph. Blues Critic, in a blurb, gushed that, "At this point in time it's safe to say Ms. Jody is the "Queen Of Southern Soul Blues," and Daddy B. Nice awarded the album five stars ("southern soul heaven"), noting that:

Is there any sight in southern soul more rewarding and reassuring than Ms. Jody slipping out of her shoes and singing and dancing barefoot onstage? How lucky are we fans to have such a natural woman at the helm of our musical ship? Earthy, sexy, unfailingly scandalous yet somehow not obscene, Ms. Jody accommodates all the onstage, "grown-folks-only" shtick that LaMorris Williams and other male artists indulge in to make the audience howl--flirting, lap-dancing, grinding and rolling with a member of the opposite sex beckoned onstage for the fans' vicarious delight--and yet she endures as a country girl, humble and practical, an "every-woman" whom all women and even the "mens" can identify with.

The CD review in its entirety (as well as many other Ms. Jody album reviews) can be read in Daddy B. Nice's 21st Century Artist Guide to Ms. Jody, Tidbits #8.

2017's Thunder Under Yonder was also a fine set, garnering 4-stars in a Dadddy B. Nice review and introducing the hit single, ”I Had To Lie,” with Daddy B. Nice remarking, "Every song on Ms. Jody's new album, Thunder Under Yonder, embraces the social incorrectness of life and times in the Delta, and does so with a brio worthy of illustrious forbears like the just-passed Fats Domino.

Ms. Jody's I'm Doing My Thang rolled off the Ecko Records production line in 2018, with a theme of club-oriented singles such as, "I'm Ms. Jody (I'm Doing My Thing)," "Let's Play Hide And Seek," "Southern Soul Bounce" and "We Got The Real Thing".

And right on schedule, Get It! Get It! arrived in 2019, featuring the zydeco-tinged title cut and a fine, mid-tempo anthem, "A Man Like That".

Ms. Jody failed to publish an album in the Covid-19 shut-down year of 2020, but in 2021, as this article was being written, an upcoming new Ms. Jody album was in the works and slated for release in July of 2021.

Ms. Jody Discography:

You're My Angel (Ecko, 2006)

What You Gonna Do When The Rent Is Due (Ecko, 2006)

I Never Take A Day Off (Ecko, 2008)

It's A Ms. Jody Thang (Ecko, 2009)

Ms. Jody's In The Streets Again (Ecko, 2010)

Ms. Jody's Keeping It Real (Ecko, 2011)

Ms. Jody's In The House (Ecko, 2011)

Still Strokin' (Ecko 2013)

It's All About Me (Ecko 2013)

Talkin' Bout My Good Thang! (Ecko 2015)

The Best Of Ms. Jody (Ecko 2015)

I Got The Feeling (Ecko 2016)

Thunder Under Yonder (Ecko 2017)

I'm Doing My Thang (Ecko, 2018)

Get It! Get It! (Ecko, 2019)


Tidbits

June 26, 2021:

1. Ms. Jody on YouTube:

Listen to Ms. Jody singing "It's The Weekend" on YouTube.

Listen to Ms. Jody singing "A Man Like That" on YouTube.

Listen to Ms. Jody singing "Still Strokin'" on YouTube.

Listen to Ms. Jody singing "You've Got To Play With It Before You Lay With It" on YouTube.

Listen to Ms. Jody singing "When Your Give A Damn Just Don't Give A Damn" on YouTube.

Listen to Ms. Jody singing "My Cat Smells A Rat” on YouTube.

Listen to Ms. Jody singing "Just Let Me Ride" on YouTube.

Listen to Ms. Jody live onstage, singing "Looking For A Sugar Daddy Lover" on YouTube.

Listen to Ms. Jody live onstage, singing "Big Daddy Don't You Come" on YouTube.

Listen to Ms. Jody singing "I Did It" on YouTube.

Listen to Ms. Jody singing "Big Daddy Don't You Come" Live Onstage with an audience participant on YouTube. (aka "The Healing Power of Hoochie.")

Listen to Ms. Jody singing "The Bop" Live Onstage at the Carolina Beach Music Awards at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on YouTube. (Excellent sound quality.)

Listen to Ms. Jody singing "The Spank" on YouTube.

Listen to Ms. Jody singing "Ms. Jody's Thang (Zydeco Remix)" on YouTube.

Listen to Ms. Jody singing "I Ain't Gonna Lie This Time".


Honorary "B" Side

"When Your Give A Damn Just Don't Give A Damn "



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Just Let Me Ride by  Ms. Jody #10 The New Generation
Just Let Me Ride


CD: The Best Of Ms. Jody
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
The Best Of Ms. Jody


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy When Your Give A Damn Just Don't Give A Damn  by  Ms. Jody #10 The New Generation
When Your Give A Damn Just Don't Give A Damn


CD: The Best Of Ms. Jody
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
The Best Of Ms. Jody


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy A Man Like That by  Ms. Jody #10 The New Generation
A Man Like That


CD: Get It! Get It!
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
Get It! Get It!


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy All True Man by  Ms. Jody #10 The New Generation
All True Man


CD: I Got The Feeling
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
I Got The Feelikng


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Big Daddy Don't You Come by  Ms. Jody #10 The New Generation
Big Daddy Don't You Come


CD: The Best Of Ms. Jody
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
The Best Of Ms. Jody


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Had To Lie by  Ms. Jody #10 The New Generation
I Had To Lie


CD: Thunder Under Yonder
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
Thunder Under Yonder


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Never Take A Day Off by  Ms. Jody #10 The New Generation
I Never Take A Day Off


CD: You're My Angel
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
You're My Angel


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy It's The Weekend by  Ms. Jody #10 The New Generation
It's The Weekend


CD: I Never Take A Day Off
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
I Never Take A Day Off


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy The Bop by  Ms. Jody #10 The New Generation
The Bop


CD: The Best Of Ms. Jody
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
The Best Of Ms. Jody


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Your Dog's About To Kill My Cat by  Ms. Jody #10 The New Generation
Your Dog's About To Kill My Cat


CD: The Best Of Ms. Jody
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
The Best Of Ms. Jody


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