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


Daddy B. Nice's Corner

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

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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.

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

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

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April 1, 2020: Daddy B. Nice Book Review

Denise LaSalle (w/ David Whiteis): The New Posthumous Autobiography!

Reading Always the Queen
The Denise LaSalle Story
is like eating candy. LaSalle's journey from growing up in Jim Crow-era Belzoni, Mississippi to early-seventies Gold Record recording artist (for "Trapped By A Thing Called Love") to, a generation later, reigning queen of 21st-Century southern-soul divas is told in the vernacular, as direct and zesty as one of LaSalle's sexually-explicit, chitlin'-circuit anthems. As such, it also marks a high point in the publishing career of David Whiteis, who forgoes the weighty analysis of his last book, the genre-defining Southern Soul Blues, to bury himself (and most of the critical kudos) in LaSalle's riveting, street-wise, tell-all voice.

LaSalle was no china doll. When Billy Emerson, her first man-slash-manager on the Chicago R&B circuit in the early sixties, beat her up badly near the end of their relationship, LaSalle kicked him out. When he returned to get his belongings, Emerson had a friend bang on Denise's locked storm door. When she answered, she saw Billy and told him to wait.

By then I had bought a pistol from a lady across the street. I went back in and grabbed that pistol. When I got back to the door, he saw it, turned around, started running. So I opened the door and shot up in the air--POW! POW!--behind him. He was gone. And he never did get his stuff back.

Later, in Memphis, she hooked up with a high-roller named Nate Johnson who had a habit of leaving for Atlanta or other cities for a few days at a time and returning with what he said were gambling earnings. He turned out to be a bank-robber and achieved even greater notoriety for a time as the alleged killer of famed Stax and Hi musician Al Jackson.

Yeah, it was kind of dangerous, Denise remarks, but I didn't care. You have to remember. I was still pretty young, and Nate was coming in with two and three thousand dollars stuck up in the glove compartment of his car, giving me half of it.

Indeed, what comes through most vividly in LaSalle's accounts of musicians and night life in Chicago, Memphis, Detroit and other cities is how these entertainers--both those who had "made it" and those who had not--lived like sly aristocrats amidst racism, poverty and violence. No one needed to reinforce their sense of worth in spite of the barriers put up by the society surrounding them. They had moxie in spades, and Denise as much or more than anyone.

Chicago in particular was a teeming hotbed of talent and showmanship, and LaSalle's journey took her everywhere, touching virtually everyone who would become legendary either nationally or on what would become the contemporary southern soul circuit: Bobby Rush, Tyrone ("The Wonder Boy" in those days) Davis, Johnnie Taylor, Cicero Blake, Gene ("Duke of Earl") Chandler, McKinley ("The End Of The Rainbow") Mitchell, Dee ("Raindrops") Clark, Lonnie Brooks, Major ("Um, Um, Um, Um, Um") Lance, writer Floyd Hamberlin, Etta James, Koko Taylor, Syl ("Is It Because I'm Black?") Johnson and his brother Jimmie Johnson, Otis Rush, Joe Simon, even the pre-teen, pre-famous Michael Jackson.

In fact, one of the most charming and affecting motifs of the autobiography is Denise's frank and feminine takes on the sexual appeal of the many artists she worked with.

Part of McKinley's (Mitchell's) appeal to me was that he was pretty. I'm just being honest and saying the truth!...Oooh. When he was young? That was a pretty boy. But then as he got older, he got fatter and didn't look as good anymore. But he was pretty 'til then. And Dee Clark? Oooh, yeah. He was cute, too.

Later in the book, she says about Latimore:

I love him from the bottom of my heart, and in fact, I'll admit it: I probably liked him enough to break my rule about not having an affair or anything like that with an entertainer. Oooh, I lusted after that man. But never would I go that route with him, and what I like bout Lat is that Lat's so cool. Throw hints, throw hints, but we'd laugh them off.

As LaSalle matured she returned to the South, recording in Memphis, Jackson and even Muscle Shoals over a remarkable run of decades, along the way mingling with an even wider array of musical celebrities: Bobby "Blue" Bland, Z.Z. Hill, Don Bryant, Ann Peebles, Shirley Brown, Millie Jackson, Little Milton, Bill Coday, not to mention writer/producers Harrison Calloway, Frederick Knight and George Jackson. Contemporary Southern Soul fans and readers will want to skip ahead to the contemporary era for Denise's backstage gossip on all of them--including Sir Charles Jones--then double back (as I did), to read the whole book. LaSalle is refreshingly frank but never mean-spirited, and what shines through reads like the truth.

About Z.Z. Hill, she notes:

Z.Z., by the way, also became a good friend of mine. One of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet. Good performer too. But he was strange. He didn't clown like the other guys on stage. He'd walk up there, get the microphone, just stand there and rock back and forth, just rockin' in rhythm. Some people used to kind of laugh at him, but it wasn't a laughing matter. He was just a little different, that's all it was.

And about Bobby Rush:

Bobby Rush takes gigs where nobody else could go...Not many of us can do equally well with the black and white audiences, but Bobby can do it, and I think it's great.

Along the way we find out that LaSalle signed with Malaco Records right after Z.Z. Hill in the mid-eighties and brought Johnnie Taylor to the label. We get the real story behind LaSalle's surprisingly fortuitous recording of the zydeco novelty hit "My Toot Toot," arguably her most popular legacy-tune. Throughout, LaSalle shines the same incandescent lamp of "no bullshit" upon herself that she directs toward others.

In describing how she constructed her stage act ("I'd go into a little spoken-word thing mixed up with the verses...then I'd be sashaying around, playing with all the guys, sitting on their laps") in her early years in Chicago, Denise gives this no-nonsense comparison to Aretha Franklin:

Aretha could take a phrase and build these incredible vocal ad libs around it. But every time I'd try to sing with the power she had when she sang, I fell flat on my face... I couldn't sing it like she could, so I just dropped down to saying it. It wasn't written down; it was just coming off my head, and I got to be really good at that... When I found out it worked, I kept it in my act. Same thing with my monologues on my records later on.

When, in the course of my southern travels in the late nineties, I first stumbled upon what was to your Daddy B. Nice a new and better kind of black music, there were three divas ruling the then murky and mysterious (pre-Internet-presence) chitlin' circuit: Peggy Scott-Adams, Shirley Brown and Denise LaSalle. (With honorable mention to Barbara Carr, Lynn White and Keisa Brown.) And the underground "southern soul" scene--a tentative term at the time--was so chaotic, dispersed and disjointed that even these three divas didn't really understand what was going on. (See Daddy B. Nice's interview with Peggy Scott-Adams.)

Peggy Scott-Adams was the artist who absolutely slayed me--the woman who more than any other made me forage for more, more and more southern soul. At one time I had her ranked even above Johnnie Taylor on the first Top 100 Southern Soul chart. But this was because she had a southern-soul genius and genre pioneer, the late Jimmy Lewis backing her, writing and producing her material, as Peggy is the first to admit.

Shirley Brown was second in the hierarchy. Like Denise (and to a lesser extent, Peggy), she had scored a gold record in her youth ("Woman To Woman"), and of the three Shirley was the most gifted, boasting a phenomenal set of pipes and incredible range and clarity. And yet, of the three musical "mothers" of the modern genre, Denise LaSalle was the most durable and accessible, playing the consistent and long-lived Rolling Stones to the Beatles-like brilliance and flame-out of Scott-Adams and Brown. (And, ironically, she is the only one of the trio who has passed.)

LaSalle was around, year after year, gigging and recording, meeting and greeting, mingling and singing with new and unfamiliar entertainers. Sheba Potts-Wright began her career as Denise's back-up singer, as did Karen Wolfe. Denise accepted invitations to perform or record with artists in what she called the "modern" southern soul style, even those as exotic and seemingly ill-fitted as the techno-funky Bigg Robb.

Listen to Bigg Robb and Denise LaSalle singing "Blues And BBQ" on YouTube.

The collaboration became successful beyond expectations (2 million-plus YouTube views) chiefly because of the two singers' mutual voice-over skills, Bigg Robb being a master of the audience-loving "ad lib" LaSalle explains with such loving detail in this autobiography.

Clashing styles and labels are a recurring motif in LaSalle's long career. Classified by the industry as "R&B" in her younger years, she was encouraged to record as a "blues" singer in her later years. LaSalle alternately rebelled and compromised, and knowledgeable southern soul readers will delight in her thoughts on the "blues," specifically the chasm between what "white folks" call the blues and "black folks" call the blues.

I never will forget. Wolfe (her husband and manager) brought a show to Jackson one time; I think it was at the Fairgrounds. And I guess he was trying to attract a white audience, because he brought in this old guy from Leland, Mississippi, playing some "Dump-da-dump-da-dump" shit on an old guitar. Boy, I stood out there and listened to him. I wouldn't have paid him fifty dollars to do a show for me. But those white folks were out there fallin' out, jumpin', and jammin', just going crazy over him, while all of us black folk were standing around saying, "What the hell is this?"

It kind of stunned me, how that could be. But that's the way it was. I always felt like a lot of white folks still love to see us lookin' like country slave niggers, anyway. We came here as slaves, and "slave" was where they wanted to keep us, okay?"

And LaSalle continues:

Even Bobby Rush. He'll go and sit down with them white folks, playing solo guitar, wearing some overalls and a hat. How much money you think Bobby could make sitting in a club, playing that guitar and that harmonica, for black folk? Black folk want musicians! They don't want no one-man band. They'd walk out on his ass in a minute!


Bobby’s show when he plays for a black audience is not the same as when he plays some of those sit-down gigs for the white folks. Honey, Bobby’s raunchy when he’s with us! Bobby be turnin’ it out with them nasty girls up there. They’ll be up there dancing, all the men looking real hard at ’em, and Bobby just say, 'You can look, but you can’t have nothin’ up here on this stage! Your eyes may shine, your teeth may grit, but ain’t shit up here you gon’ git!'

And there you have the difference between what white folks call the blues and black folk call the blues.

Now Bobby knows what he’s doing. He’s keeping his gig, and no matter how he does it, it’s always the real Bobby Rush, just a different side of him. He won’t bow, and he won’t shuffle. And there’s nothing wrong with that, either. I don’t mind it. I don’t mind it because when he does that, we’re singing two different kinds of blues. I do not sing Muddy Waters-style blues. I do not sing Koko-style blues.

LaSalle sums up her life with similar mettle, humor and candor. After noting a couple of things she might have changed, she says:

But I like who I am, and I like the way I am. I'm a rounded performer, whereas a lot of other people aren't. You talk about songwriter, artist, producer, manager--I'm all of those things...I've done it all.

And also, people might find this hard to believe, but I never really cared about becoming a superstar, making it that big. I'm happy doing the work. I like what I do. I've enjoyed it.

--Daddy B. Nice

Buy Always the Queen
The Denise LaSalle Story.

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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

March 1, 2020:

TOP TEN "SPILLOVER": Top 40 Southern Soul Singles

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

1. "I Ain't Studdin' You (Dolomite Soundtrack)"---Bobby Rush
2. "Grown Folks Step"---Karen Wolfe
3. "Do You Wanna Party"---R.T. Taylor feat. Jeter Jones
4. "I'm An O.G."---David Brinston
5. "Bothered"---Highway Heavy feat. Miss Portia & Dave Mack
6. "Love Thyself"---Poka Jones
7. "I Just Want To Ride"---Tasha Mac
8. "Southern Soul Nation"---Ricky White
9. "I Ain't With It"---Itz Karma
10. "Whole Lot Of Bills) In My Name"---Highway Heavy feat. Johnny James & Pokey Bear

11. "Just Hang Tonight"---Sir Charles Jones feat. Wilson Meadows
12. "Mr. Right"---Marcell Cassanova
13. "Party"---Magic One
14. "Private Party"---Highway Heavy feat. Dave Mack & Tyree Neal
15. "Trail Ride" Marcell Cassanova feat. Itz Karma
16. "Dolomite Kid"---Bobby Rush
17. "Fever (Remix)"---Amber King
18. "Monkey Stick (Remix)"---Royal D. feat. Jeter Jones
19. "Jump On It"---CoCo Wade
20. "This Is The Real Blues"---David Brinston

21. "Take Dat"---Cupid feat. Pokey Bear
22. "Backdoe Jody"---Antwaun Oliver
23. "I Think I Fell"---Tina P. feat. Theodis Ealey
24. "A Fool"---Darnell
25. "Tasty Girl"---Ju Evans

26. "The Last Time"---T.J. Hooker Taylor
27. "Showed Me Different"---Mr. Amazing
28. "Just What I Need"---Sweet Nay
29. "Booty Shakin'"---Big Ro Williams
30. "Side To Side"---J. Morris Group

31. "I'm Hot In Mississippi"---David Brinston
32. "Work It (DJ Ish Remix)"---Lacee
33. "Two Wrongs"---Kae Divine
34. "Who Came To Party"---Soul Collective
35. "Move Around"---B Streezy feat. Roi Chip Anthony

36."Concrete"---Highway Heavy feat. Johnny James & Krystal Parker
37. "Into The Mouth Of The Serpent"---Sayed Sabrina
38. "Would You Rock Me"---Bobby Bowens
39. "Looking For Love"---James Redd
40. "Knock Dat Coochie Out"---Parooze

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

February 22, 2020:

Mr. X (Mark Safford) R.I.P. (Gone But Not Forgotten) by Tony Gideon

Daddy B. Nice,

It is with great sadness in my heart that I am passing on this information. Happened around 2:00 AM October 22, 2019. (Heart Attack). We had just finished our phone conversation around midnight, Over the past 10+ years that we worked together, we had become quite close, he was like a Son to me. Would have informed you earlier but lost my computers and quite a bit of information and contacts 2 years ago in storm. Still recovering information. As you may or may not know, I am 82 years old and have been in the Music Industry 63+ years, starting here in Birmingham, AL (1956) moving with my Vocal Group, The Daylighters to Chicago,IL (1958). Started with Bea & Baby Records (1959). (Singer, Songwriter, Producer, Promotion - Marketing). As you may have heard, Mark had a stroke approximately 3 years ago and never fully recovered. But, he was one of the most positive individuals I have met during my lifetime. He was still writing, Playing keyboards (with one hand) and Producing. (He was not able to play the guitar anymore). He was as talented as any of the musicians that I worked with through the years. This includes friends of mine that I worked with over the years, (Willie Henderson who produced Tyrone Davis early hits, "Can I Change My Mind" and more .. Thomas 'Tom Tom' Washington (Arranger for Earth Wind & Fire and more) .. Gerald Sims (who joined The Daylighters in 1959 as guitarist along with Betty Everett), etc. Mark was special. He will surely be missed. I will keep in touch now that I have you in my system again.
T.F. 'Tony' Gideon - LIP International/Sound Mindz Records

See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Mr. X.

Daddy B. Nice on Tony Gideon:

I don't think any one e-mail music-submitter has frustrated me as much over the years as Tony Gideon. First, the e-mail submissions came in almost daily, clogging the box. Second, in almost every instance the mp3's were old music, music I was familiar with and had heard long before. Finally, the songs were often labeled "new" when they were really "old," and more than once I contemplated "outing" Tony Gideon for this practice. Now, reading his account of himself (82 years old and still passionate about the music), my annoyance has blossomed into understanding and admiration. I'm currently reading Denise LaSalle's autobiography (like eating candy) in her vernacular about all the music people in her life. It's made me doubly mellow about all the people in this business trying to "do what they do" the best they can. Even the story of Mark Safford's passing is somehow Tony Gideon-like, i.e. after-the-fact. When I first read the letter, I went through a thought process. "Did I know this? That Mr. X had died?"--and just forgotten? Obscure as he was, Mr. X's songs (first sold to Senator Jones and The Love Doctor) have really held up. And if I had known of Safford's death, I would have memorialized it in the Artist Guide to Mr. X.. No. Mark Safford's passing is "breaking news" in the Tony Gideon fashion, and we are the richer and more well-informed for it. DBN. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

February 15, 2020: Listen to DJ Big Al's innovative and seamless mix blending half-century-old classics with new southern soul. So, for example, Clarence Carter's "Slip Away" segues into Nellie "Tiger" Travis' "Mr.Sexy Man," and Ms. Jody's "I Did It" segues into Betty Wright's "Clean Up Woman," and "Clean Up Woman" into Tucka's "Sweet Tooth". The rapturous comments by listeners are seemingly unaware that half the songs are by contemporary southern soul artists.

February 9, 2020: Spring Fling Line-Up Announced! See Daddy B. Nice's Concert Calendar, April 4th!

February 3, 2020:

TOP TEN "SPILLOVER": Top 40 Southern Soul Singles

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

1. "Love Train"---Avail Hollywood
2. "Da Fire"---Dee Dee Simon
3. "Funky Forty"---Arthur Young
4. "Funky Forty Reply"---Rosalyn Candy
5. "That's Life"---T.K. Soul
6. "Mr. VIP"---Coldrank
7. "Facebook"---Ricky White
8. "That Booty"---Solomon Thompson feat. Lebrado
9. "Country Folks Party"---Narvel Echols
10. "Lookin' Good"---King South feat. Jeter Jones

11. "Don't Cry No More (Party Remix)"---Gregg A. Smith feat. Jeter Jones
12. "You Are The One"---Willie Clayton
13. "Box Top Chevy"---Avail Hollywood
14. "Put It On Him"---Dee Dee Simon
15. "Hap Here"---Hisyde
13. "Playing House"---Candace G.
14. "All I Do Is Cry"---Isaac J. feat. Miss Portia
15. "Cake"---Big Yayo
16. "Boom Boom Room (Remix)"---P2K feat. J-Wonn
17. "Eye Candy"---MeMe Yahsal
18. "Cake"---Big Yayo
19. "Treat Her Right"---Calvin Richardson
20. "Ride It"---Highway Heavy feat. Champagne

21. "Can I Get Some"---Ronnie Bell
22. "When I Go Down"---Willie Clayton
23. "Shake It Baby"---Stan Butler feat. West Love
24. "Back Dat Booty"---Donyale Renee feat. The Party King
25. "Twerk It"---King Fred feat. Lady Soul
26. "New 2 Someone Else"---Big Yayo
27. "Coming Home To Stay"---Dee Bradley
28. "Private Party"---Highway Heavy feat. Dave Mack & Tyree Neal
29. "Let It Go"---Darryl Morris Band
30. "Make Love To Myself"---Jules Truly

31. "Walk That Walk"---William Calhoun
32. "Party"---Hummin' Boy
33. "Operation Move Around"---Frank Lucas
34. "That Side Chick Song"---Evette Busby
35. "Jump On It"---Coco Wade
36. "In The Morning"---Corey Rudolph feat. Little Kim Stewart
37. "Snowstorm Shorty"---Cat Clark
38. "Country Roots"---Annie Washington
39. "OSBL"---AshleyMarie
40. "Come And Get It"---C-Wright

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


under construction! under constant revision!!

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Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 Souther Soul Singles

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

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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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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

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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

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P.O. Box 19574
Boulder, Colorado 80308
Or e-Mail:




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