It’s Monday again. I’m lucky I made it out of the weekend with enough unscarred brain to type, let alone string together some meaningful thoughts. Much like the magician in Frosty the Snowman I’ve been “BUSY BUSY BUSY!!!”.
Busy...sleep deprived...You know the drill.
I’m going to start out by being honest, in that I know almost nothing about Joe Haywood.
I’ve been a-Googling, and checking all of my standard references, and the end result is that I’ve been able to dig up a bunch of “standard” (or sub-standard as the case may be) facts. Among this throbbing chunk of history are the facts that Haywood recorded for a number of labels in the 1960’s, including New Orleans based outfits like White Cliffs and Deesu, nationally distributed indies like Enjoy and Kent, and one other label I’ve never heard of (Front Page) that may or may not be NOLA-based.
That’s about it (that and the fact that Haywood does not appear to have hit the R&B charts).
I’ve seen a bunch of his records show up on sale lists, and decided to grab ‘Sadie Mae’ after hearing a soundclip on a friend’s website. That the price was also agreeable is beside the point, though after spinning it a few times I can safely say I would have (and could have) paid more.
This record is a burner.
A slice of 66-67-ish funky soul, ‘Sadie Mae’ doesn’t have what I would call a typical “New Orleans” sound. The production is a little on the muddy side, with the bass turned way up, aided by combo organ, powerful horns and loud drums. Haywood is a solid soul shouter who reminds me more than a little of someone like Oscar Toney Jr. In fact, that comparison should go even further. If I had to guess (without knowing what little I do about Haywood’s recording history, or that this 45 was released on Deesu) I would have thought ‘Sadie Mae’ was a product of a label like Fame or Goldwax. It really has that “Southern” soul sound, without any of the trademark style, or filigree that one might expect to hear on a New Orleans based session of that era.
Though the 45 label lists Marsaint publishing and Tou-Sea productions, the producer (Larry Lucie) is unfamiliar to me. That info along with the Deesu release would suggest to me that it was a New Orleans session, but I may be wrong.
Either way, I dig the tune (maybe you will too) and I’ll be on the lookout for more Joe Haywood sides.
As they say on CNN, updates as they become available....
That said, my inaccurate calculations what they are, I believe that this is the 100th record blogged in this space. A small milestone, but a milestone nonetheless.
This blogging thing has turned out to be a lot of fun. The Funky16Corners blog hasn’t really taken on much of the “personal journal” aspects of many blogs, but I think I manage to make my feelings pretty clear, and hopefully exposed some of you to some cool music you hadn’t already heard.
I started out writing about music over 20 years ago, first in a succession of fanzines, then later in local newspapers and then a few years ago with the Funky16Corners web zine. After my son was born, it became increasingly difficult to find the free time necessary to pull together new “full” issues of the web zine. I figured then that I would try out blogging as a way to keep writing about the kind of stuff I was covering in the web zine, but to do shorter form pieces, more often than not concentrating on individual records.
In the 11 months since I started the Funky16Corners blog, I’ve gotten a lot of cool feedback from readers, and made some new friends.
Hopefully that’ll continue.
UPDATE: Dan Phillips from the mighty Home of the Groove blog sent along some more info on Joe Haywood: Hi, Larry. Let me add my congrats on your 100th! I like this track, having never heard it. But I am pretty sure it is not a New Orleans record, except for its label. As far as I know, Joe Haywood was from Spartanburg, SC and was a drummeras well as a vocalist. At one time he either played or sang (or both)with guitarist Larry Lucie's band. Lucie and the other co-writer on "Sadie Mae", Lucky Dixon, worked out of New York, I believe. Since some of Haywood's other sides were done for Bobby Robinson's Enjoy and Fury labels, based in NYC, and since Marshall Sehorn, who started Deesu with Toussaint, was previously a rep and talent scout for Robinson, I am going hazard a guess that "Sadie Mae" was recorded in New York with Lucie producing and that Sehorn agreed to release on Deesu. It is possible that they came to NO to do it; but you are quite right that it doesn't have that NO sound. While there is somewhat of a Memphis/Muscle Shoals feel to it, my money is on a NYC session for this one. Let me know if you find out more, as I just pieced this theory together from some available sources around here."