Too Little, Too Late vocalsit Yogi Rose 2nd from Left

‘Too Little, Too Late’ (A Tribute to Black History Month) Pulse M

R&B with a conscience: the story behind the song:

            Fancying myself to be something of a scribbler, I had just finished two additions to my ‘My Special Music People’ series, which is my Raycollection of my careen working for Record Labels in Canada (The U.S. is different and the UK different again, the end goal always being the same however) and I find myself still IN the Music Business, just on a different level. I am no longer the Power behind the Throne, my current throne being porcelain and power, willful.

            The two pcs I’d written were about Otis Redding and Sam Cooke and a day or so after, some lyrics tumbled from my empty head, words really, I didn’t see them as lyrics at that point, I wrote them down then left them to one side.

            A day or so later I came across them loitering on my desk, looking for attention, so I read the lines over and added a few more, then trickle turned to torrent and I had what I thought was a whole song, a melody now playing in my minds ear. The melody was a Classic early 60’s Atlantic/Stax R&B tracks that we so dearly loved, having cut our Musical teeth on that era’s R&B/Soul tunes. Sadly we heard little of them on Radio, we learned about them from reading Rolling Stones LP jackets to see who wrote the song and then tried to track it down at a Record shop. Mainly we got our new Music from Heart & Soul or Bill & Bobs but you’ll have to read ‘Rayquiem for a Soul Man’ for the rest of that story.

            It didn’t dawn on me at the time of writing, that all the people in the song were Black: Otis, Sam, Jesse, Martin Luther King, but there it was. I’d like to say at this point that I have no problem with colored people, two of my brothers are Brothers but its OK, Mom knows.

            I had thought the song complete until I realized all the people were MEN and it didn’t feel right to not include a female, and I settled on the Venerable Rosa Parks as she made such a big contribution to the moving forward of the Civil Rights Movement as an Icon. While the characters are all colored the message is the same for EVERYONE…whatever your lot in life, whatever hand you’ve been dealt, no matter how tough things are, RISE above it, make adversity your greatest teacher and not your worst enemy, take something Good and make it GREAT!

            My songwriting partner and co-conspirator in Music, Down Home Jerome took a minute to get into it and after a bit changed the melody (Why YOU!!!!) to what it is today. Compared to me, he’s Houdini on the guitar and as a guitarist I’m a pretty fair drummer but he put a lot of right Bastard acrobatic chords in that were painful for me to play and he’s never allowed to do that again, OW! Bm7th my left foot!

            There’s a few people that were critical to the development of the song and I’d like to thank a few of them here; John Foster Pearson, Tom Lavin, Sully& Angus Ian Estabrooks and most specially Yogi Rose as he was our voice and emotion.

            The studio used is Studio Downe Under-32535 Downes Road in Abbotsford BC, Canada and it’s GREAT to work in, Engineered by Soren Lonnqvist, Producer of the sessions was John Ellis and he and his crack studio Musicians are a treat to work with, check’em out….

www.studiodowneunder.com

www.johnmacarthurellis.ca

Tha Playas~

Jerry Adolphe - drums

Dennis Marcenko - bass

Jay Buettner - guitars 

Mike Sanychyn - fiddle, mandolin

Tom McKillip - acoustic guitar, alto sax
John Ellis - guitars, pedal steel

Darryl Havers - keyboards

 

Recorded by Soren  Lonnqvist

At Studio Downe Under, Abbottsford BC 

 

Photo Attached

John Ellis-Producer, Yogi Rose-Vocal ‘Too Little, Too Late’, Emma-Lee-Vocal ‘Sugar On    Top’ (Pop), Syd Gibson-Vocal “Waitress’/Country & ‘Sugar On Top’ (Hot!), Anne-Marie Vocal “Waitress’/Rock, ‘Waitress’/Country, Ray & Jerry –writers who both thought they were John Fogerty that day.

 

Johnny Jenkins /Otis Redding-MSMP Addition~ Ray Ramsay     May 21/15

            I stumbled across him yesterday while checking something on Sam Cooke.

            He was/is a left handed Southern Blues guitarist (Shades of Jimi to come!) but not a singer at that point (and no relation to Harold Jenkins, known better to the world as Conway Twitty) , that pulled up at Stax/Volt studio one day to cut an instrumental side and did it so quickly it left about 40 minutes on the clock so up steps his roadie/vocalist and used the remaining time to start something only a tragedy could stop.

            The vocalist was a young Otis Redding and the song was his self-penned ‘These Arms of Mine’ and the name of the group was Johnny & the Pine-Toppers.

            Johnny obviously got his vocal chops together later as the track ‘Walk on Gilded Splinters’, a Dr John cover, attests to.

            Years later/ago when RCA Canada was on a signing spree in Vancouver and among others, we had Powder Blues (which I brought in) and Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band which Leagh (Alden RCA Vancouver Branch Sales Manager)  brought in, and he was a big fan of Jim Byrnes and hearing Jims single ‘Shout Bamalama’ on the radio he beamed that Jim had written that, and I said, nope, he din’ but had to go home and dig out the single and bring it in to show him, the single was by a Southern Soul singer name of Mickey Murray, and 1ce Leagh heard it he declined the fries I offered to go with his Crow. No idea if Leagh wanted to sign Jim away from Polygram who had just signed him, but was an ardent fan.

            The ORIGINAL version written and sung by Otis with Johnny & the Pine-toppers is a rarity and all Mickey Murray did was copy what Otis had done, shhhhhucks.

            I have always loved Otis songs, especially his ballads, actually I thought his biggest hit ‘Dock of the Bay’ was the least of his work, and he had a voice/style like NO other and it’s a considerable compliment to him to hear people like Mick Jagger do Otis on some of those early Stones LPs and Otis version of ‘Try a little tenderness’ (originally by Frank Sinatra) was a tour de force, especially the Live version from ‘Stax/Volt Revue Live in Europe’ it’s both powerful and timeless, as is Otis after that plane crash in Wisconsin, Dec 10 1967, ‘Dock of the Bay’ was released posthumously in January 1969 and was his first and only #1 on the Pop charts;  but not, to us, his fans, we knew.

The material herein remains the property of Ray Ramsay / ALadinLadner Publishing:The Written Werd and Dirty Book Store is not intended for Publication, Reproduction, or Broadcast without the Authors permission. Yeah.

 

 

Sam Cooke!

It seems Sam is little recognized today for his outstanding talent and contribution to the Art of Music, Black or White.

He had more than 30 Hits between 1957 and 1964, excluding his secular recordings with his Gospel group, The Soul Stirrers (another sneaky cooking reference?) his Hits include ‘Chain Gang’, ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ (and it did), ‘You Send Me’, ‘Ain’t that Good News?’ (yes it was) and others came back to North America as musical salvos during the British Invasion, the Animals galvanizing version of ‘Bring it on home to me’ as a prime example.

…and then, the Music died.

On Dec 11 1964, at the age of 33, Sam Cooke was shot dead at a hotel in Los Angeles.

But, he left a Legacy of soul stirring recipes (AGAIN with the reference!) for future artists to follow and develop on.

Sadly, in spite of the efforts of Sam and other ground-breakers like him, the dues paying days of the Music Biz are all but extinct (save for a few die-hardy creative forces) leaving us with Pre-fabricated Producers Projects that leave our (the older generation) Musical Libidos limp with Britney-brained, Boy Bland, Butthead Biebers acting out of control without a single Creative Bone in their collective bodies; essentially, Meat Puppets.

It’s enough to make one weep, but, no crying over spoilt Milk, we can be thankful we can still turn to those ground-breakers of yore; maybe some of the Best Music has already been made.

The material herein remains the property of Ray Ramsay / ALadinLadner Publishing:The Written Werd and Dirty Book Store is not intended for Publication, Reproduction, or Broadcast without the Authors permission. Yeah.