Monday, August 08, 2005

The Performers - I Can't Stop You

Example

Today’s selection is unique in the annals of the Funky16Corners blog, in that I confess to knowing almost nothing about the artist. Despite that fact, I cannot deny that the record is a banger, from a label chock full of similar sides, so I figured, “what the hey...”. Mirwood records was a Los Angeles based soul/R&B label (along with sister label Mira, which featured jazz, pop and rock sides. Founded in 1963 by Randy Wood – who had been the West Coast sales manager for VeeJay records – Mirwood had it’s first hit with Jackie Lee’s ‘The Duck’. Much of the label’s success (aside from the artists talent) can be attributed to the work of Fred Smith and James Carmichael. Smith and Carmichael would produce and arrange much of the Mirwood catalog as well as records on other LA labels like Arvee, Keyman and Tri-Disc, and guiding the career of the Soul Runners/Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band crew. Aside from Jackie Lee (actually Earl Nelson, who with Bob Relf was responsible for almost a third of the labels released recording together as Bob & Earl, and separately as Earl Cosby and Bobby Garrett), the label also featured later sides by the Olympics, Mirettes (former Ikettes), and the Performers among others. The Mirwood “sound” made for some of the best soul dancers of the era, many going on to be favorites with the Northern Soul crowd. The Olympics ‘Mine Exclusively’ and e‘Dancing Everywhere’ by Bob & Earl are in my opinion one of the greatest 60’s soul sides on any label. The Performers two 45s for Mirwood fall at the very end of the label’s discography (circa 1968). They appear to have recorded at least one other (very rare and expensive) 45 for the Sir Graham label (“Little Angel”), and the info on the 45 label suggests that Hank “Sir” Graham (apparently a local entrepreneur) brought them to Mirwood as well. Graham seems to have had something to do with Mirwood artist Jimmy Conwell, and the Sir Graham label also released 45s by local garage bands as well. I first discovered the Performers 45 in a box of dead stock in one of my old 45 haunts. I grabbed several copies (all of which – aside from my personal copy – have since been sold or traded away), largely because I had so many other great records on the label. I have been eternally grateful I did, since both sides of this record burn. The a-side ‘I Can’t Stop You’ is an exciting slice of group soul with a pounding beat. There’s some very nice guitar and drums (drums and tambourine are nice and loud for the dancers), the horns are bright and the vocals have a Temptations-esque vibe. The chorus/breakdown is a killer. The flip side, ‘L.A. Stomp’ is an instrumental dub of ‘I Can’t Stop You’, and without the vocals in the chorus several drum breaks pop out in the open. I wouldn’t go so far as to classify either side of this record as out and out funk, but the sound is definitely on the way there. Despite its apparent obscurity, this 45 was also issued in the UK on the Action label. The Kent label has compiled many of the best Mirwood sides on ‘The Mirwood Soul Story’ (the first of two planned volumes), which includes ‘I Can’t Stop You’ by the Performers.

NOTE: If anyone has any additional info on the Performers, please let us know...

6 Comments:

Blogger MackMcCoy said...

Nice one, Larry!

Question about the Mirwood material...the Bob Relf/Earl Nelson extended family of pseudonymous recordings are some of my favorite and most personally sought after sides...your post exposed a new one to look out for, "Earl Crosby." Have you heard/do you own any tracks under this name? How are they? Basically the same as the other Bob/Earl stuff? I would love to see one on your blog someday, if you think they are worthy...

Keep up the good work!

8/08/2005 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Grogan said...

Mack
I haven't heard the Earl Cosby, one side of which is a cover of 'Land of 1000 Dances'. Unfortunately it hasn't been comped yet (that I know of), but there's supposed to be a second volume of Mirwood stuff coming out, so I have my fingers crossed.
Larry

8/09/2005 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger guapo said...

great stuff Larry!

8/10/2005 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger ady croasdell said...

Hi Larry I 'm just doing Vol 2 that will have LA Stomp on it. Did you ever find out any more on the group. I put a bit in the notes to Vol 1 and in 2 I've said producer Robert McGlothin was also Bobby Mac on Moonglow & Original Sound.
Do you know the garage groups items on Sir Graham?
And Earl Cosby had one side on Vol 1, the flip's not made the cut on 2

Cheers

Ady

7/05/2006 05:00:00 AM  
Blogger Shelley said...

Hi Larry,
The Preformers are a group of brothers, Bobby, Kenny and Scobie Scarbough out of Daly City Ca. After "I Can't Stop you" the group changed it's name to the Scarboughs, Bobby and Scobie have sinced past away but Kenny is still in music.

1/05/2009 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

Hi Larry,
The Preformers are a group of brothers, Bobby, Kenny and Scobie Scarbough out of Daly City Ca. After "I Can't Stop you" the group changed it's name to the Scarboughs, Bobby and Scobie have sinced past away but Kenny is still in music.

1/05/2009 04:03:00 PM  

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