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


Daddy B. Nice's Corner

November 18, 2020: Frank "Scrap Iron" Robinson Passes, Wendell B & A Southern Soul Thanksgiving...

News & Notes

“2020 may be the year you want to put behind you,” I write this month in my 5-star review of Wendell B’s Real Talk, “but before you evacuate, pack a little Wendell B along with your pets, precious papers and memories.” Yes, the end of this weird and grim year will soon be upon us. (If only we could say the same for the pandemic.) And as I write this for deadline, the news is finally in. The presidency has changed hands from Trump to Biden. Only think how much worse 2020 would have been if we hadn’t been blessed with a steady stream of new southern soul singles to transport us beyond the sad scenes unfolding daily around us. Thanks to the hundreds of southern soul recording artists and producers who gave us the tunes that kept us smiling. Thanks for buoying our spirits. Thanks for the musical balm for our masked loneliness.

And by the way, Wendell will be appearing Thanksgiving night (Thursday, November 26, 2020) in Columbus, Mississippi. See Daddy B. Nice's Concert Calendar.

Frank "Scrap Iron" Robinson, born in Yazoo City, Mississippi in 1951, died on Friday, November 6th, at the age of 69. Robinson was the longtime road manager for the late southern soul star Little Milton, with whom he spent three decades, dressed "to the nines," touring the chitlin' circuit. Robinson resided in Memphis. Visitation will be held 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Friday, November 20, 2020, at N.J. Ford & Sons Funeral Home, 12 South Parkway West in Memphis (901-948-7755). Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm Saturday, November 21, at Greater Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, 1098 South Wellington St., Memphis, Tennessee.

---Daddy B Nice

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November 1, 2020:

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

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

1. "Won't Disapprove"---Tucka
2. "Check Now"---Wendell B
3. "Flashlight"---Jeter Jones feat. Arthur Young
4. "Good Thang (Remix)"---Johnny James feat. Adrena, Lady Q, Miss Portia, Summer Wolfe & Mz. Hollywood
5. "Let That Hurt Go"---Avail Hollywood
6. "Another Weekend"---Dr. Dee
7. "Get It"---Big Yayo
8. "Keep On Rockin'"---Big G
9. "Ready For Love (Remix)"---Evette Busby
10. "Wipe Me Down"---Pa Rooze

11. "Closet Freak"---Miss Portia feat. Ice Doll
12. "Can We Just Talk"---Wendell B
13. "The Book Of Isaiah"---Johnny James
14. "I Love My Blues"---Gerod Rayburn
15. "Nosy Neighbors"---J.T. Watkins
16. "Wanna Party"---James Redd
17. "Be Your Friend"---Calvin Richardson
18. "Torn Between The Two"---Lady Q
19. "Turkey Walk"---Stan Butler
20. "Step Out"---Terrence Davis

21. "Blues Chose Me"---Adrena
22. "I'm Free"---Uncle Wayne
23. "If You Let Me"---C-Wright feat. D-Rich
24. "Southern Soul Garden"---Jeter Jones feat RnB Pooh, Volton Wright, JD
25. "Sometimes"---E.Z. Patterson
26. "For The Gram"---B Streezy feat. Juvenile
27. "Grind On Me"---Lamar Brace
28. "The Other Side Of This"---Angie Cleveland
29. "I Need To Know"---Shunte
30. "She Said I'm Tired"---Willie White

31. "Let Me Put That Thang In It"---Chuck Roberson
32. "Soul Stroke"---Uncle Wayne
33. "Flex"---Cupid
34. "Back In The Days"---Rico C feat. Jeter Jones, Big Mucci
35. "If You Wanna Party"---Stan Butler
36. "Action"---Sweet Nay feat. Roi "Chip" Anthony
37. "Shake"---Uncle Wayne
38. "Dixie"---Raymond Dickerson
39. "A Beautiful Dream"---Randy Hall
40. "Sho' Wasn't Me"---Isaac Lindsay

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October 18, 2020: Pictured: T.K. Soul

News & Notes

Last weekend your Daddy B Nice uploaded new, upcoming southern soul concerts. It was as if someone (God?) snapped his fingers and… Presto! No Covid-stress. Ordinarily one of the most popular pages, the Concert Calendar has been less visited lately. And yet, while many of the concert-event sites around the country shut down, Southern Soul's Concert Calendar kept on going. Just keeping track of cancellations and updating postponements was a chore. And while most of the big, multi-act, southern soul events have moved to 2021, a batch of new multi-act concerts---almost all outdoors, almost all requiring masks and social distancing---has arrived to fill the vacuum. So take care and rejoice, southern soul lovers. Live music is back.

Here’s a cautionary note, though. Outdoor venues, inherently safer than inside venues, are bound to dwindle and disappear as winter approaches. That the Concert Calendar lists no upcoming events for December or January reflects the uncertainty still looming over the club scene. On Sunday, to my surprise, I again spent most of the day transcribing concerts, among them the first gig in December! Most of these live shows are taking place in Mississippi---a few in Alabama. The other hotbed of southern soul music---Louisiana---is conspicuously lacking live music, either due to the hurricanes, Covid-19, or both.

Jeter Jones, the "King of Trail Ride Blues," told me he's been getting through the pandemic in better shape than a lot of recording artists. A major segment of his fan constituency is the trail-ride circuit, and that has kept him relatively busy.

Avail Hollywood asked your Daddy B. Nice to give a shout-out to all his fans. His Apple/iTunes sales and streaming passed the 3 million all-time plays mark this month. The most recent songs bringing in the bulk of the plays: "Twenty-five And Up," "Sinking In Quicksand" and "Don't Rush".

Chuck Roberson released---if that's the right word---a new album, "Let Me Put That Thang In It" before the pandemic hit, assuring your Daddy B. Nice he'd get it on CD Baby. Then CD Baby closed its doors, and the record still can't be found on the platforms of any of the major music retailers, although I've been told it's available at a local record outlet.

Another seasoned and even more obscure singer/songwriter is enjoying a resurgence---at least behind the deejay turntables. Her name is Lady J, and I've been getting one or two letters annually for years asking where to buy her (unfortunately out-of-print) albums. Like the late Jackie Neal, Lady J made a big impression with a very small body of work, combining svelte vocals with realistic and totally convincing lyrics. DJ Sir Rockinghood begins his latest YouTube mixtape with the most requested of her tunes, "Same Old Bullshit," and pristine copies of "I Fell In Love" and "Part Time Lover" have just recently been posted on YouTube by DJ George S, gaining more views (along with praise-giving comments) in a month than scores of new tunes by current artists. My particular favorite Lady J song is "Part Time Lover," which I've been known to play over and over for an hour at a time just to put me in a special, magical frame of mind. "Caught Up In The Wings Of Love" and "Teaser Warrant Out For A Pleaser" from Lady J's second album, Missing You, are also worth checking out.

Listen to Lady J singing "Part Time Lover" on YouTube.

Vintage southern soul sounds carry over into this month's Top 10 Singles, where C.C. Miles' "Want That Feeling (Dedicated to Roy C)" is reminiscent of the great music put out by past stars like Eddie Holloway and Maurice Wynn, and where Isaac Lindsay's gospel-tinged "Chokin' Kind" lends new life to the great Joe Simon original.

Bigg Robb's "black-lives-matter" single, "America" made the Top 10 this month. So many artists are recording their "takes" on this most recent push of many for true civil rights in this country, it's hard to stand out from the crowd. Like the Christmas songs soon to be pouring in, they're easy to get lost in the shuffle, but "black-lives-matter" singles by three singers besides Robb's deserve special mention: Dr. Dee, Bill Avery and Billy "Soul" Bonds. The first two are titled "Black Lives Matter," the third "I Can't Breathe".

And don't forget to check out this month's featured artist Syl Johnson's perspective on "black lives matter" from many years ago. The first verse of "Is It Because I'm Black?" gives me goose pimples every time I hear it, even now. And it's so personal and non-accusatory, making it even more powerful and damning. One of the lines runs, "You keep on putting your foot on me..." And, folks, that was some twenty years ago.

Listen to Syl Johnson singing "Is It Because I'm Black?" on YouTube.

In other featured artist news, Daddy B. Nice goes in depth on Ronnie Bell and the dear, departed Roy C, while beginning a new "labor of love"---his new “top 100” chart---at the top, where Big Pokey Bear edges out Sir Charles Jones at #1 with "My Sidepiece," but in a new album alert pans Pokey's new Crown Me album.

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

October 1, 2020:

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

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

1. "Pour Me A Drank"---Narvel Echols
2. "Want That Feeling (Dedicated to Roy C"---C.C. Miles
3. "America"---Bigg Robb
4. "Swangin'"---RnB Pooh
5. "Listen Girl"---Pretty Kenny
6. "Choking Kind"---Isaac Lindsay & The Soul Experience
7. "Reasons"---Pokey Bear
8. "Tell Me Is It Love"---Beat Flippa & Sir Charles Jones
9. "Ain't Gonna Lie"---Dee Dee Simon
10. "A Lil' Of You Is Better Than None"---Avail Hollywood

11. "Just Good-bye"---Karen Wolfe
12. "Stir It Like Coffee"---Sojo
13. "We Need Each Other---J-Wonn
14. "In Those Jeans"---Tyree Neal
15. "Obama"---Darnell Da Bachelor
16. "901"---Mr. Sam
17. "Wipe Me Down"---Parooze feat. Lady Coco
18. "Southern Soul Cowboy"---King South feat. Jeter Jones
19. "Gary's Juke Joint"---Gary Shelton
20. "Played Yourself"---Mr. Sipp

21. "A Taste Of Your Love"---Andre' Lee
22. "Crazy Over You"---Benito
23. "Good Enough"---Rich Wright
24. "Run Joe (Joe Biden Shuffle)"---L.A. Creole Funk
25. "I'm Good"---Larry Dodson
26. "I Need A Man"---Lady Redd
27. "Grind On Me"---Lamar Brace
28. "Can't Tell Nobody"---Big G
29. "Young People Love The Blues"---Mz. Hollywood (Tamara McClain)
30. "Come Go With Me"---Montrell

31. "Work For It"---P2K feat. T.K. Soul
32. "The Interview"---Mr. Amazing
33. "Norma Jean"---Napoleon Demps
34. "Tiptoe In The Bedroom"---Certified Slim
35. "Back Down Memory Lane"---Big J Southern Soul
36. "Rodeo Remix"---Jeter Jones feat. Itz Karma
37. "These Bills"---Stacii Adams
38. "Bust A Groove 2.0"---Cheff da Entertainer feat. Jennifer Watts, Unkle Phunk, Zeb Seeman
39. "Lick Dat Candy"---Stuff Music feat. Biggs & D. Rich
40. "Nosy Neighbors"---J.T. Watkins

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September 17, 2020: Obituary; Scroll down for September 20 update on funeral arrangements.

ROY C. (R.I.P.)

Roy C., the undisputed godfather of the Carolinas' southern soul community and an inspiration to artists as diverse as Hardway Connection, Big G and the Carolina beach music circuit, died in his home in Allendale, South Carolina Wednesday, September 16, 2020.

Roy C. (the artist's pseudonym for Roy Hammond) was born in Newington, Georgia August 3, 1939, leaving for Long Island, New York when he was seventeen. He began his career as the lead singer of the Genies, a group that first entered the charts in 1958.

Not as lavishly talented as Johnnie Taylor or Bobby "Blue" Bland, Roy C was nevertheless just as ambitious and driven. He embarked on a solo career roughly approximating the span of Taylor and Bland, but with one glaring difference. In more than a dozen albums spanning every decade to the present, Roy C's catalog was bereft of a bona fide R&B hit. And yet, the performer never wavered.

Fans of fifties-era rhythm and blues will recognize a familiar but less than excellent production on many of Roy C's early discs. "Shotgun Wedding," a minor R&B hit from 1966, captures the far-out flavor of those recordings, displaying rhythm and blues in a bizarre, almost surreal setting, complete with whizzing gunfire and ricocheting bullets.

But over the years Roy C refined his craft and his production standards. 1998's I'm Working Hard For You, Baby (Three Gem) marked a "comeback" of sorts, both reminding the Southern Soul audience of Roy C's longevity and introducing Roy C to a new generation.

Around the same time reggae star Shaggy (of the How Stella Lost Her Groove soundtrack), sampled Roy C's "Love Me, Love Me" on the Stella disc, garnering an urban R&B hit in the process. Roy C. followed it up with an LP called Stella Lost Her Groove (TEG, 1999).

Meanwhile, a sequence of compilations of Roy C's work from the seventies, eighties and nineties has appeared in the early 00's, reacquainting Southern Soul audiences with forgotten Roy C classics. Roy C's radio single "I See Angels" (Roy C. Meets The Root Doctor, Jacques Johnson) entered many chitlin' circuit playlists in 2004.

Unfortunately, Roy C's extensive catalog--almost exclusively the domain of ultra-small label, Three Gem--remains out of reach for all but the most aggressive 21st century buyers.

--Daddy B. Nice

Note: More details on Roy C's death and funeral arrangements will be posted as it becomes available. See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Roy C.

To automatically link to Roy C's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other citations on the website, go to "Roy C" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.

Listen to Roy C.'s "Slow Roll It" on YouTube.

Listen to Roy C.'s "Leaving On The Morning Train" on YouTube.

September 20, 2020:

Services for Roy Hammond (Roy C)...

...Will be held 11 am. Saturday, September 26, 2020 at the Allendale-Fairfax football field in Allendale, South Carolina. Social distancing and mask-wearing will be required. Viewings will be held Friday, September 25, 2020 at the B.F. Cave Funeral Home, 1521 Razor Road, Allendale, South Carolina 29810 (803-584-3110). DBN. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

September 13, 2020:

News & Notes

A couple of months ago, I heard Sir Charles Jones’ “Friday” on a “bump” between radio segments on a Denver, Colorado sports-talk station (KKFN “The Fan”), and for a minute I thought I had been transported Star Trek-style to Jackson or Memphis, Mobile or Shreveport, Montgomery or Houston, storm-ravaged Lake Charles or Monroe, Louisiana. The fact that I was hearing it in Denver literally staggered me. Colorado is a lily-white state. Oh, of course, there’s an African-American community in Denver and its blackest suburb, Aurora. But make no mistake. Anyone from the South travelling through Colorado would call it “fifty shades of white”.

What they call the blues up here ended in 1956 (with a couple exceptions like B.B. King). They know nothing about the southern soul scene, and yet, here it was, Charles singing, “Gonna go buy me/ A fresh pair of gaiters”…. I never actually knew what “gaiters” were, but to hear “Friday” on week-day, prime-time radio in Denver was one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard. Truthfully, it sounded sacred. And I shook my head in amazement and said to myself: “Southern soul has made it into the white mainstream at last!”

Then, just last week, I heard another bump from Sir Charles’ “Friday” on the same sports-talk show. “Mel Waiters on the radio / Singing about the whiskey”…. And once again Charles sounded superb, as natural and unique as Smoky Robinson back in the day. My spirits soared. Was it a black deejay or producer (with ties to the South) slipping a little southern soul into this “urban cowboy” demographic? Don’t know, but
"Invisible Man" author Ralph Ellison once said, "American culture IS African-American culture." Like hiphop thirty-five years ago, southern soul music is the next wave of that culture, and the most powerful musical secret currently stirring beneath white America.

Action movie buffs no doubt remember “Marked For Death,” the Steven Seagal movie with the reggae and Jamaican gangs. The head gangster was a tall, wild-eyed Jamaican called “Screwface”.

"Screwface’s secret is he has two heads,” an incredibly beautiful woman tells Seagal in a club where Jimmy Cliff is singing. What she means is that Screwface is actually two people---identical twins---who exert power over their minions by pretending to be one. Seagal, after much effort, finally subdues both "Screwfaces," sighing after violently dispatching the second twin, “I hope they’re not triplets.”

Which made your Daddy B. Nice wonder: Is Jeter Jones a benevolent version of Screwface? Is Jeter Jones twins? It seems impossible for him to be in all the places he's at, and impossible for him to release all the records he’s recording: "Go Live" with Solomon Thompson, "Like A Cowgirl" with Rodnae, “Like Voodoo” with Sir Charles Jones & King South, "My Baby” with Volton Wright, “Zydeco With Me” with Sir Charles Jones, “Step With Me” with J-Wonn, “Pretty Girls Rock” with Tina P., “Southern Soul Party” with the J. Morris Group, "Private Party" with Highway Heavy, Dave Mack & Tyree Neal, "Candy" with Sir Charles Jones, "Get It On" with Tasha Mac, "Do You Wanna Party" with R.T. Taylor, "(Soul Brothers) Moonshine" with Sir Charles Jones & R&B Pooh, "Lookin' Good" with King South. All current---and the list goes on.

Jeter isn’t the first southern soul artist to embrace collaboration and the exposing and enabling of new southern soul performers. Sir Charles did it before him, as did T.K. Soul. But Jeter has taken collaboration to unimaginable heights. Like a whirling dervish, he careens from one artist to the next, seemingly everywhere at once. That’s why you're hearing it here first. Like “Screwface” in the movies, there are two Jeters. Jeter’s secret is he has four eyes. Jeter is actually twins, doing the work of one.

Speaking of Jeter Jones alumni, two artists who made their southern soul debuts on Ronald "Slack" Jefferson's best-of-the-year album, Slack: My Music, My Friends: Southern Soul Compilation, make bids to further their solo careers with singles this month, following the successful album release by fellow album mate R.T. Taylor.

Volton Wright, who was given the coveted opening spot on Slack's sampler, has a debut album about to drop and a new single, “My Baby,” a reworking of The Temptations' “It Was Just My Imagination”. Volton even inserts a snippet of the Temps' "My Girl," and it'll be interesting to see if this flashback to one of Motown's most iconic groups catches on with today's fans.

Luziana Wil has a new song, “People Be Hating”. Crystal Thomas, who collaborated with Wil on the Slack sampler, returns once again to co-sing. Most fans will easily relate to this latest in a long line of “haters” tunes, but one segment of the lyrics had your Daddy B. Nice smiling ironically.

“People be hating me,” Luziana Wil sings, “because all I want to do is be great.” I understand the positive motivation inspiring that line, but there’s something inherently arrogant in getting in someone’s face and telling them you’re going to be "great". I can see why someone might "hate" on the speaker of those words. In a telling moment shortly after, Luziana Wil sings, “But time will tell.”

In other news, longtime Birmingham, Alabama deejay Curtis Bell passed away this past month. Absent from the recording studio of late, Billy "Soul" Bonds aired a rare new single inspired by Black Lives Matter over Jackson's WMPR the other day: "I Can't Breathe". Fellow veteran Lenny Williams released a new album, FINE, accompanied by a new single release from the album, "Southern Girls". Big Yayo has a smooth new single making the rounds called "Grown Folks Business," the first time (if memory serves) Christopher Mabry has recorded without a vocal enhancer.

Annie Washington's new single, "Man Like You," slows down the chorus ("I've been down one time/ I've been down two times...") of Joe Simon's classic, "Drowning In A Sea Of Love," transforming it into a funk/blues jam. Annie throws down her most sophisticated vocal yet---although not necessarily her best (I still think that's "Show Pony"). Karen Wolfe also dips her toe in the blues with "The Older The Berry (The Sweeter The Juice)".

A fistful of new artists make notable debuts this month: Lokey Kountry with "Going Out," Benito with "Guademala," Calvin Taylor with "Southern Soul Kind Of Vibe," JL with "Party (Casino)" and Marcell Cassanova with "Rock With Me, Baby".

Anybody watch Cartoon Network late at night? Great stress reliever. Check it out: Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Season 9, Episode 7. Frylock (the black-voiced character who looks like a red-orange box of french fries) says, "Hell Naw to the Naw Naw!", responding to something preposterous Shake (the milk shake) has said. Here's yet another instance of southern soul (this meme courtesy of the late Bishop Bullwinkle) continuing to filter into mainstream American culture.

Nellie "Tiger" Travis only releases a song every year or two, but when she does it consequently counts for more. And Nellie deserves kudos for trying something different with her new single “Kept Yo Man At Home”. Don’t forget. “Mr. Sexy Man” was an extremely odd sound (brash, funky, harsh) when it first arrived, but its hook sunk in and "Sexy Man" quickly gained the momentum to become a huge hit single. But “Kept Yo Man At Home” is a Frankenstein's monster of disparate parts (including an excruciatingly dissonant bridge). The sense of confusion extends to Nellie's own vocal, wherein she's apparently trying to go "country". Travis and Beat Flippa, both great talents, should just write this one off.

--Daddy B. Nice

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August 16, 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

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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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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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.

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Top 10 Singles Charts (Continued from right-hand column

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

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."

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, Nakita 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


Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 Souther Soul Singles

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

-------NOVEMBER 2020-------

1. "Won't Disapprove"------Tucka feat. Marcus Fisher.

Now you take the geo-
graphy of a woman... Who has expanded our apprec-
iation of the contours, the smells, the intoxicating pheromones of the fair sex more than Tucka? "Lick, lick, lick" from "Sweet Shop" is a flat-out illumination of Marvin Sease's "Candy Licker," as is this latest portal into the ways a woman's movement mesmerizes a man and brings heaven to earth.

Listen to Tucka and Marcus Fisher singing "Won't Disapprove" on YouTube.

2. "Check Now"-----Wendell B.

When Wendell gets to, "Can't you see Martin shaking his head?", the pounding piano and the gorgeous musical depth transported me back to Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On?" This is looking like the album of the year. Read Daddy B. Nice's 5-star review of Wendell B's Real Talk.

Listen to Wendell B singing "Check Now" on YouTube.

3. "Flashlight"----Jeter Jones feat. Arthur Young

Jeter pumps some life into this shopworn old metaphor, and how about Arthur Young? The man can sing. Can anyone beat him out for best new artist of the year?

Listen to Jeter Jones and Arthur Young singing "Flashlight" on YouTube.

4."Good Thang (Remix)"----Johnny James feat. Adrena, Lady Q, Miss Portia, Summer Wolfe & Mz. Hollywood

Even more---much more---than having talent, becoming a star requires the aggressiveness and persistence of a badger. Few of us have it; Johnny James does. He's back with a troupe of ladies on a memorable remix of "Good Thang". He's stingy with the YouTube postings (only samples) but you can hear the tune in its entirety at the beginning of....

Listen to Johnny James singing "Good Thang (Remix)" on DJ Whaltbabieluv's Southern Soul Quick Mix VI 2020.

5. "Let That Hurt Go"-----Avail Hollywood

Avail's after another man's gal. Love this verse: "Now all he can do for you/ Is lay on his back./ But most of the time,/ He ain't even good at that./ He had a good job, Shorty/ But he blew it./ Must I remind you/ I'm the King of Grown Folks music?"

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Let That Hurt Go" on YouTube.

6. "Another Weekend"-----Dr. Dee

A Jackson-area artist who has been matriculating in southern soul music for the past decade, Dr. Dee delivers a nice, tight instrumental track with a lot of punch.

Listen to Dr. Dee singing "Another Weekend" on YouTube.

7. "Get It"------Big Yayo

Big Yayo gets back to the kind of dance groove that made "I Need A Cowgirl" such a big hit single. In fact, the introductory rhythm track is identical. Not quite as inspired as "Cowgirl," but we'll take it.

Listen to Big Yayo singing "Get It" on YouTube.

8. "Keep On Rockin'"-----Big G

As I've testified before, Big G is at his best when he inserts a little novelty into his tunes. This time he hits the bullseye with a jam glorifying the real old folks. Reminiscent of Stan Butler's "Took My Grandma To The Club".

Listen to Big G singing "Keep On Rockin'" on YouTube.

9. "Ready For Love (Remix)"-----Evette Busby

Listen to Evette Busby singing "Ready For Love (Remix)" on YouTube.

10. "Wipe Me Down"----Pa Rooze feat. Lady Coco

Listen to Pa Rooze and Lady Coco singing "Wipe Me Down" on YouTube. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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

-------OCTOBER 2020-------

1. "Pour Me A Drank" ------ Narvel Echols

By now it sounds perfectly natural, but only in contemporary southern soul will you hear the blues interwoven with rap. This isn't the "same-old" blues. This is blues through the southern soul prism. Impressive lyrics. Impressive delivery. Narvel joins the big boys.

Listen to Narvel Echols singing "Pour Me A Drank" on YouTube.

2. "Want That Feeling (Dedicated to Roy C)"-----C.C. Miles

This is sweet southern soul music in the nineties' style of Eddie Holloway and Maurice Wynn. It's also a reference-filled homage to Roy C, who just passed, making it even sweeter.

Listen to C.C. Miles singing "Want That Feeling (Dedicated to Roy C)" on YouTube.

3. "America"------Big Robb

There have been scores of "black lives matter" tributes in the last few months, but no one does it like Bigg Robb. His instrumental palette, on which he lays and mixes his musical colors, is simply palatial. This song is quite a contrast with James Brown's celebratory "Living In America".

Listen to Bigg Robb singing "America" on YouTube.

4. "Swangin'"------RnB Pooh

Producer Ronald "Slack" Jefferson whips up an instrumental concoction that will go down as deliciously as a root-beer-and-vanilla float. Remember K.P. & Envyi's "Swing My Way"? From RnB Pooh's fine debut album, The Prince of Trail Ride Blues.

Listen to RnB Pooh singing "Swingin'" on YouTube.

5. "Listen Girl"-----Pretty Kenny

This absorbing and original debut illustrates the old maxim, "It's not what you say (because everything's been said); it's how you say it. All it takes is belief in yourself.

Listen to Pretty Kenny singing "Listen Girl" on YouTube.

6. "The Chokin' Kind"-----Isaac Lindsey & The Soul Experience

Here's a cover (Joe Simon) by a newly secular artist (he's also a pastor) who recasts the song with a striking, orchestral, gospel-based arrangement that's begging to be widely disseminated. And to Mississippi Delta residents...Yes, this is the stentorian voice you've heard for years making announcements on WMPR (Jackson) and WAGR (Lexington). He's still raw, but what a sound.

Listen to Isaac Lindsey singing "The Chokin' Kind" on YouTube.

7. "Reasons"----Pokey Bear

A riveting ballad from the new, .#1-ranked artist in southern soul music, from his new album Crown Me. Is the orneriest womanizer in southern soul really turning in his playa's card for true love?

Listen to Pokey Bear singing "Reasons" on YouTube.

8. "Tell Me Is It Love"----Beat Flippa & Sir Charles Jones

The Flippa purloined (fancy word for "stole") this repeating, dah-dah-dah-dah, ascending progression from somebody, but I can't put my finger on it. It goes down smooth. Charles excels.

Listen to Beat Flippa and Sir Charles Jones singing "Tell Me Is It Love" on YouTube.

9. "Ain't Gonna Lie"----Dee Dee Simon

Great hook and arrangement provide a dynamic backdrop for another lively Dee Dee Simon vocal.

Listen to Dee Simon singing "Ain't Gonna Lie" on YouTube.

10. "A Lil' Of You Is Better Than None"----Avail Hollywood

Superb single from the new, love-oriented Avail.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "A Lil' Of You Is Better Than None" on YouTube. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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

-------SEPTEMBER 2020-------

1. "I Don't Under-
-------Sir Charles Jones

Only two people in southern soul can concoct synthesized symphonies this sumptuous---Bigg Robb and Sir Charles Jones---and only one can sing like an angel: Sir Charles. "I Don't Understand" is almost six minutes long, but it goes by in what seems like three. Read Daddy B. Nice's enthusiastic review of The Jonez Boyz: Two Kings, in which he compares "I Don't Understand" to "The Letter" and "Is Anybody Lonely?"

Listen to Sir Charles Jones singing "I Don't Understand" on YouTube.

2. "That's What We Gonna Do"------Wendell B.

It's just a routine stepping song, but The Boss transforms into something unique. He could make us dance to the Burger King menu. From that great new album, Real Talk.

Listen to Wendell B singing "That's What We Gonna Do" on YouTube.

3. "Nose Wide Open"------Magic One

Not a cocaine song. Nevertheless, the melody is addictive, as is the impressive vocal, a follow-up to Magic One's popular "High Heels & Jeans". That's pronounced "Juan" in the Deep South---Magic "Juan"---and he works magic on this "juan".

Listen to Magic One singing "Nose Wide Open" on YouTube.

4. "Step With Me"-----J-Wonn feat. Jeter Jones

This tune is all J-Wonn "want-to". The mesmerizing young star has matured amazingly as a vocalist, assembling a whole bag of J-Wonn-tailored techniques and phrasings, including a refreshingly youthful, voice-over personality. The "just give me some...drums and a bass line" chorus brought smiles because I criticized J-Wonn a couple albums back for ignoring the bass clef.

Listen to J-Wonn & Jeter Jones singing "Step With Me" on YouTube.

5. "Netflix And Chill"------Sassy D. feat. Arthur Young

This is a match made in southern soul heaven: two up-and-comers with real credibility and authenticity. Love Sassy punctuating her phrases with "Mmmm's," and love Arthur's yapping-dog-like styling. They know what to do and they do it.

Listen to Sassy D and Arthur Young singing "Netflix And Chill" on YouTube.

6. "Goin' Out"-----LoKey Kountry

Two or three melodies intertwine to make a rousing southern soul debut by this oddly-named act. Didn't know if it was a band or a solo artist until I found the YouTube video. Thanks to music buddy DJ Sir Rockinghood for the "heads up".

Listen to LoKey Kountry singing "Goin' Out" on YouTube.

7. "Southern Soul Kinda Vibe"-----Calvin Taylor

I fell under the spell of this song before I knew Calvin was a son of Johnnie Taylor, and I wish I hadn't said that because he doesn't need the hype, and I liked the track even better before I knew. (But I have to be a reporter.)

Listen to Calvin Taylor singing "Southern Soul Kinda Vibe" on YouTube.

8. "Memphis Blues Brothers"-----John Cummings

John Cummings adds to his gospel of Delta-themed compositions---"Here In The South," "I'm Going Home" (O.B. Buchana), "Arkansas Caramel"---with this tuneful postcard from Ecko Records' Blues Mix 31: Dirty South Soul.

Listen to John Cummings singing "Memphis Blues Brothers" on YouTube.

9. "Like Voodoo"-----Sir Charles Jones, Jeter Jones & King South

"This southern soul will take control of you..." All three vocalists excel on this ethereal hymn to the genre. Charles crows like a rooster strutting across the barnyard, King South is an eye-opener, and Jeter's verse is truly transcendent. From The Jones Boyz: Two Kings.

Listen to Sir Charles Jones, Jeter Jones & King South singing "Like Voodoo" on YouTube.

10. "Southern Soul Party"------Jay Morris Group feat. Jeter Jones

More love for southern soul, this time from the best new group to grace the scene since The Revelations and the Klass Band Brotherhood. The omnipresent Jeter Jones once again lifts the ensemble to another, higher level.

Listen to the Jay Morris Group and Jeter Jones singing "Southern Soul Party" on YouTube.

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

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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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Boulder, Colorado 80308
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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

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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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