KDHX is member supported community media, broadcasting at 88.1 FM in St. Louis, and offering a full spectrum of music and cultural programming.
Nov 17, 2022 7:00 AM – 10:00 AM
With John Wendland
Join John Wendland for Memphis to Manchester, a fun-filled and action-packed three hours of soul, R&B, rock, pop, country and other great music.
Chuck Berry Low Feeling
One Dozen Berrys Chess 1958
Music bed. Instrumental composition written by Chuck Berry and found on his second album release. Basically "Blue Feeling" - also on the album - slowed down.
Roland Johnson Promised Land L
Imagine This Blue Lotus Recordings 2016
This is incredibly sad news. Roland Johnson passed away on Tuesday. He performed for over fifty years but really came into his own since 2016 with two albums of (mostly) original material. A St. Louis soul legend, indeed. This is really a big loss. RIP Roland Johnson and condolences to his family, everyone at his Blue Lotus label, and all his friends in St. Louis. He touched so many people. Duet between St. Louis's own Roland Johnson and Renee Smith. Written by Roland Johnson, Paul Niehaus IV, Kevin O'Connor, and Rob Barnard. "Let's walk together in this promised land..."
Roland Johnson Imagine This L
Imagine This Blue Lotus Recordings 2016
Written by Roland Johnson, Paul Niehaus IV, and Kevin O'Connor. Great upbeat title track to his debut album. He was 69 years old when this came out.
Roland Johnson You're My Best Friend L
Set Your Mind Free Blue Lotus Recordings 2019
RIP Roland Johnson. Soulful and unexpected version of the Queen song written by bassist, John Deacon. Backing vocals by the River Kittens. Big string and horn arrangement on this.
Roland Johnson Mean Mistreatin'
Set Your Mind Free Magroove 2019
Roland Johnson was 71 years old when this sophomore release came out. This one grooves mightily and shows he could sing blues and soul equally well.
MFSB Something for Nothing
MFSB Philadelphia International Records 1973
Music bed. Instrumental composition by Thom Bell, Roland Chambers, and Kenny Gamble. Engineered by Joe Tarsia (more about him to follow), arranged by Thom Bell, and produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.
The Orlons Don't Hang Up
Cameo Parkway 1957-1967 ABKCO 2005
RIP Joe Tarsia who passed away at age 88 on November 1st. He started out as the chief engineer in 1962 for the Cameo Parkway label ("I had the title chief engineer because I was the only engineer") and later sold almost all of his possessions to buy the out-of-business Sound Plus Studios building to start his own Sigma Sound Studios label. Depending on the source, the studio was responsible for 150-200 gold or platinum records. Joe Tarsia was regarded as one of the shapers of the "Sound of Philadelphia" along with Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell. Thanks to David Cantwell (author of "The Running Kind: Listening to Merle Haggard and co-author of "Heartaches by the Number: Country Music's 500 Greatest Singles) for suggesting this tribute. - Joe Tarsia was the engineer on this 1962 recording by the Philadelphia soul quartet.
The Intruders (We'll Be) United
Cowboys To Girls: The Best Of The Intruders Epic 1995
This was written and produced by Kenny Gamble and Leo Huff and was their first release on their own label called Gamble Records. It was recorded in 1966 and was engineered by Joe Tarsia. It went to #14 on the R&B charts. The Intruders started out as a doowop band in Philadelphia before reaching success as a soul band. This partnership between producers Gamble and Huff and engineer Joe Tarsia was the start many more and larger successes to follow.
The Soul Survivors Expressway to Your Heart
Beg Scream & Shout! The Big Ol' Box Of '60s Soul Rhino Records 1997
Written, produced, and arranged by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and recorded in 1967 at the Cameo Parkway studio for the Crimson label. This was recorded and mixed by Joe Tarsia. The Soul Survivors might have only had one hit but this is a soul classic and went to #3 on the R&B and #4 on the pop charts. The Cameo Parkway label was coming to an end around this time in no small part because of changing tastes (think The Beatles) and because Dick Clark's Philly-based "Bandstand' show who used the Cameo Parkway label for much of its material moved to Los Angeles, rebranded itself as "American Bandstand," and now looked to Los Angles for the bulk of its material. After this, Gamble and Huff would use Joe Tarsia's Sigma Sound Studios as their recording base.
Brenda & The Tabulations That's the Price You Have to Pay
Nothing But A House Party-The Birth of The Philly Sound 1967-71 Kent 2017
Written by Jerry Jones and Brenda Payton, produced by Gamble and Huff, and arranged by Thom Bell and Bobby Martin. This was recorded for the short-lived Philly-based Dionn label at Sigma Sound Studios and was engineered by Joe Tarsia.
The O'Jays Back Stabbers
Back Stabbers Philadelphia International Records 1972
Philadelphia International Records was formed by Gamble and Huff in 1971. Their number of productions required another studio so they purchased the old Cameo-Parkway Studio. They needed the same production values that were coming out of Sigma so they had Joe Tarsia rework and revamp the studio, he rented the studio from Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell, and used the room on a client basis with Philadelphia International Records. It had to be a crazy time for Joe Tarsia because he still had the Sigma Sound Studio in Philadelphia and would set up another Sigma Sound facility in NY in 1976. But enough of that. This is one of the greatest soul albums of the seventies and this song was arranged by Thom Bell and written by Leon Huff, Gene McFadden, and John Whitehead, and went to #1 on the R&B charts and #3 on the pop charts. This album was recorded by, you guessed it, Joe Tarsia.
MFSB & The Three Degrees T.S.O.P. (The Sound Of Philadelphia)
The Philly Sound: Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and The Story Of Brotherly Love (1966-1976) Philadelphia International 1997
Music bed. This was the TV theme for Soul Train from 1973-1975. Written and produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and arranged by Bobby Martin. Vocals by The Three Degrees. Recorded at Sigma Sound.
The Spinners I'll Be Around
Spinners Atlantic 1973
Most of this information about Joe Tarsia is from the book "The There's That Beat! Guide to the Philly Sound" written by Dave Moore and Jason Thornton which is 692 pages of exhaustive research and the bible about Philly soul. Written by brothers Mervin and Melvin Steals and arranged, conducted, and produced by Thom Bell. Engineered by Joe Tarsia. Backing female vocals on this and other Spinners hits (and Stylistics hits, among others) were by Barbara Ingram, Carla Benson, and Evette Benton. They became known as The Sweethearts of Sigma and were given that name by Joe Tarsia. Fun fact: The Spinners were together for eighteen years before they had their first charted hit.
Dusty Springfield A Brand New Me
The Complete Atlantic Singles: 1968-1971 Real Gone Music / Atlantic 2021
This 2021 collection features all the original mono single versions recorded by Dusty Springfield and released by Atlantic. Written by Kenny Gamble, Theresa Bell, and Jerry Butler and originally released in 1969. Engineered by Joe Tarsia. Highly recommended.
Jerry Butler Only the Strong Survive
The Ice Man Cometh Mercury 1968
Written by Jerry Butler, Kenny Gamble, and Leon Huff and arranged by Bobby Martin and Thom Bell. Engineered by Joe Tarsia and recorded at Sigma Sound.
Billy Paul Me and Mrs. Jones
360 Degrees of Billy Paul Philadelphia International 1972
Hard to believe that I haven't played this since 2016. Merely one of the greatest cheating soul songs of all time and inspired by an overheard conversation in a restaurant. Written by Kenny Gamble, Cary Gilbert, and Leon Huff. Engineered by Joe Tarsia and recorded at Sigma Sound. Billy Paul first rejected the song but began inserting in live shows and after getting a great reaction from his audiences, he went into thge studio and finally recorded it.
The Three Degrees When Will I See You Again
The Three Degrees Philadelphia International 1973
Written and produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Arranged by Bobby Martin and #4 on the R&B charts and #2 on the pop charts. Engineered by Joe Tarsia.
Bobby Gregg & His Friends The Jam, Pt. 1
Cameo Parkway 1957-1967 ABKCO 2005
Music bed. Recorded at Cameo Parkway for the Cotton label. Recorded in 1962 and written by drummer Bobby Gregg. Roy Buchanan plays lead guitar on this.
Bill Frisell We Shall Overcome
Valentine Blue Note Records 2020
Music bed. Excerpt from his instrumental interpretation of the traditional gospel song dating back to around 1900 to close out this album.
Dylan Triplett Brand New Day...Same Old Blues L
Who Is He? VizzTone 2022
Dylan Triplett is a pianist, singer, and songwriter out of East St. Louis. When this debut album was released earlier this year, he was 21 years old. This ballad is bluesy and soulful.
From an STLPR interview transcript: Dylan Triplett: "Another song called 'Brand New Day, Same Old Blues.' It’s not my original song, this song was originally by Annika Chambers, another very big-name blues performer in the Chicago area. And I asked her, “Can I redo the song?” because it hadn't been released through her. And she was like, “Yeah, go for it.” And I did it, and it pretty much spoke about my entire life."
Jeb Loy Nichols United States of the Broken Hearted N
The United States of the Broken Hearted On-U Sound 2022
Stunning title track from American born singer-songwriter who now calls Wales his home. Written by Jeb Loy Nichols. Highly recommended.
Nina Simone Turn, Turn, Turn (To Everything There Is a Season)
To Love Somebody RCA Victor 1969
Pete Seeger wrote the music for these words taken from the Book of Ecclesiastes and the Byrds had a big hit with it in 1965. Backing is by her touring band at the time which included backing vocals by Doris Willingham (aka Doris Duke) and Virdia Crawford and organ by Weldon Irvine.
John Grant God's Gonna Cut You Down N
Inside Man Bella Union Records 2022
Fine version of the traditional song recorded to be the theme song for the cable series, "Inside Man."
Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros Redemption Song
Streetcore BMG Rights Management (US) LLC 2003
This is the one track that doesn't feature the Mescaleros. This Bob Marley song features Joe Strummer on vocals and acoustic guitar, Smokey Hormel on acoustic guitar, Benmont Tench on harmonium, and Rick Rubin (who produced this track) on piano. This album was released posthumously and this song was included at the request of his widow Lucinda Tait (Luce).
Joe Strummer Nica Libre
Walker OST Astralwerks 1987
Music bed. Instrumental written and produced by Joe Strummer.
The Paranoid Style Until Birnam Woods Comes To Dunsinane N
For Executive Meeting Bar/None Records 2022
The thing about singer/songwriter Elizabeth Nelson is that she's way more well-read than I am and for all the references in her songs that I get and appreciate, I'm missing a lot. I mean a whole lot. American politics, Macbeth, director Hal Ashby, and so much more gets referenced in a song clocking in at 2:18. One of the best albums of the year.
Secret Name Chair Kicker's Union 1999
RIP Mimi Parker. Beautiful duet between Mimi Parker and Alan Sparhawk.
Low Surfer Girl
A Lifetime of Temporary Relief: 10 Years of B-Sides & Rarities Chairkickers' Music 2016
Live duet version of the Beach Boys song composed by Brian Wilson. They never did a studio version. This was recorded "somewhere in Belgium" and no year is cited in the liner notes. A lovely take, I think.
Robyn Hitchcock Socrates in Thin Air N
Shufflemania! Tiny Ghost Records 2022
What is this album about? Well, let's have Robyn Hitchcock explain. "What is SHUFFLEMANIA!? It’s surfing fate, trusting your intuition, and bullfighting with destiny. It’s embracing the random and dancing with it, even when it needs to clean its teeth. It’s probably the most consistent album I’ve made. It’s a party record, with a few solemn moments, as parties are wont to supply. Groove on, groovers!"
Camera Obscura I Need All the Friends I Can Get
Let's Get Out of This Country Elefant records 2006
Written and sung by Tracyanne Campbell and found on this indie-pop album masterpiece from the band out of Glasgow, Scotland.
Dean Wareham & Britta Phillips Family Conference
The Squid and the Whale soundtrack Ultra Records 2005
Music bed. Instrumental composition by Dean Wareham.
The Cactus Blossoms Went to See the Gypsy N
If Not for You (Bob Dylan Songs, Vol. 1) - EP Walkie Talkie Records 2022
Alright, I've now played all four Bob Dylan songs off this new EP by the Everlys-inspired brothers out of Minnesota. And if the album title is any indication, I'm looking forward to a second volume. Originally recorded by Bob Dylan for his 1970 "New Morning" album.
Bob Dylan Dignity
Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol. 8 Columbia 2008
This is a previously unreleased version recorded during the "Oh Mercy" sessions in 1989. Produced by Daniel Lanois. Kind of a loping rockabilly take that works.
Plains I Walked with You a Ways N
I Walked with You a Ways Anti/Epitaph 2022
Plains is a collaboration between Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield and singer-songwriter Jess Williamson. The songwriting is split evenly on this album. This title track was penned by Jess Williamson.
Miko Marks & The Resurrectors This Time N
Feel Like Going Home Redtone Records 2022
Miko Marks and Rissi Palmer will be doing a co-headlining tour in 2023. Please bring this thing to St. Louis. Miko Marks just made her Grand Ole Opry debut last month and deservedly so. I can pick any song off this album and be happy to play it. Go get it! Available at Feel Like Going Home | Miko Marks (bandcamp.com)
Jake Xerxes Fussell In Florida
Good and Green Again Paradise of Bachelors 2022
Music bed. Instrumental composition by Jake Xerxes Fussell.
Bill Black's Combo Smokie Pt. 1
Teen Beat - Volume 4 Ace Records 1997
Music bed. 1959 instrumental that went to #1 in 1959 and featured Reggie Young on guitar.
Jerry Lee Lewis Good News Travels Fast
When Two Worlds Collide Elektra 1980
Written by Rick Klang.
Moe Bandy Bandy the Rodeo Clown
Bandy the Rodeo Clown GRC Records 1975
Leadoff and tithe track written by Lefty Frizzell and Sanger D. Shafer.
Katy Moffatt Ninety Miles an Hour (Down a Dead End Street)
Katy Columbia Records 1976
Composed by Hal Blair and Don Robertson and found on her debut album. I don't think I've ever heard a version of this song that I haven't liked. And, yes, that include's Dylan's version on "Down in the Groove."
Darrell McCall Pictures Can't Talk Back (feat. Johnny Paycheck)
Pictures Can't Talk Back Artap 1997
Written by Johnny Paycheck. Some great lyrics on this. "On the wall there’s a picture / In the picture there’s a smile / On the lips I haven’t kissed / For a long long while / I’m talking to your picture / Through days so cold and back / But it does no good / ‘Cause pictures can’t talk back." Johnny Paycheck provides backing vocals on this.
Johnny Paycheck He's In a Hurry (To Get Home to My Wife)
The Real Mr. Heartache: The Little Darlin' Years Country Music Foundation 2000
Written by Joe Poovey and recorded in 1966. "He's on his toes now but I guarantee he better stay there / She gives a lot but demands a lot and that's only fair / Just one lapse in love and he'll wind up here by my side / Watching someone else hurry home to our wife."
Buck Owens Foolin' Around (Instrumental)
Buck Owens Sings Harlan Howard Sundazed Music 1961
Music bed. Composed by Harlan Howard and Buck Owens.
Courtney Marie Andrews Ships in the Night
Old Flowers Fat Possum Records 2020
Fri 12/2 Courtney Marie Andrews – Off Broadway. Highly recommended. This is what I said about this album on my 2020 year-end recap show. - "Stripped-down and beautifully sad album chronicling the end of a nine-year relationship. Sounds bleak but these are ten gorgeously rendered songs about love and heartbreak. It's really a wonderful album." I don't feel any differently about it now.
Linda Ronstadt I Ain't Always Been Faithful
Linda Ronstadt Capitol Records 1971
Written by Eric Anderson and recorded in 1971. This one features Buddy Emmons on pedal steel.
Rodney Crowell Old Five and Dimers Like Me N
Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver New West Records 2022
Written by Billy Joe Shaver and found on this new tribute album that also features contributions by Miranda Lambert, Steve Earle, Willie Nelson, Margo Price, and Amanda Shires among others.
Amanda Shires Take It Like a Man
Take It Like a Man ATO Records / Fontana North 2022
Written by producer Lawrence Rothman and Amanda Shires. A big leap forwards. Powerful.
Roy Orbison Love Hurts
The Monument Singles Collection (1960-1964) Monument/Orbison Records/Legacy 2011
1961 Monument single b-side recorded in Nashville. Written by Boudleaux Bryant.
Johnny Jenkins Spunky
Teen Beat - Volume 1 Ace Records 2009
Music bed. 1964 instrumental composition by Johnny Jenkins recorded for the Volt label.
The Zutons Valerie R L
Tired of Hanging Around Deltasonic 2006
I had a request for this song written by the band out of Liverpool. Glad to oblige because this is a great song! More people are probably aware of the Amy Winehouse's cover version of the song.
Lana Del Rey Mariners Apartment Complex (Radio Edit)
Norman Fucking Rockwell! Interscope / Polydor 2019
Written by Jack Antonoff and Lana Del Rey. I didn't think I'd like this album. I was wrong.
Phoebe Bridgers Scott Street (Clean Edit)
Stranger in the Alps Dead Oceans 2017
I heard this on Caron House's "Wax Lyrical" program (airing Saturdays from 9-11AM) last week and thought it needed to be heard again. One of this generation's best songwriters.
Alejandro Escovedo Andare
The Crossing Yep Roc Records 2018
Music bed. Instrumental composition by Alejandro Escovedo and Antonio Gramentieri.