Daddy B. Nice’s Corner – news and opinion on Southern Soul RnB music and artists
May 16, 2022
Southern Soul News & Notes
I had been wondering what happened to Chris Ardoin, one of zydeco’s biggest stars, and one who had crossed over into southern soul during the last few years with his blend of zydeco and “swing” in such songs as “Boo Thang” and “Candy Man”. It turns out Ardoin was shot last July while onstage closing down a show in Colfax, Louisiana. In a follow-up article in the “Louisiana Advocate” this past February, Ardoin said he’s been quietly building back—“as a musician and a man”—in the six months since, trying to get his career back to “a place of forward motion and regain his passion for music”. The Zydeco musician said the danger wasn’t obvious until the second barrage of shots were fired near the side and back of the stage. Ardoin said he was attempting to pull his bass player down behind the drum riser when he was struck. His bass player said he felt the whizz of the bullet and heard the thump as it struck Ardoin in his right side, near his armpit. Ardoin said doctors later told him he got lucky: because of his muscular build and the way he was moving when struck, the bullet moved toward his back instead of inward and avoided his lungs and other major organs. A perennial zydeco headliner, Ardoin still hasn’t returned to touring…..WDIA’s Bobby O’Jay died of a heart attack at 68 on May 3, 2022 in Memphis. WDIA was the country’s first black-owned radio station and Bobby O’Jay was its longtime program director, figurehead and lightning rod, speaking “to, for and with the people,” fulfilling a vital community function similar to what the late Mr. Charles Evers (with more lineage and gravitas) performed via WMPR in Jackson, Mississippi. O’Jay, on the other hand, brought a younger-generation perspective and breadth of engagement to his greater-Memphis radio audience. Read about Bobby O’Jay’s life and times in the Memphis Commercial Appeal’s fascinating and inspiring obituary…..She made quite a “splash” when she first emerged, but Redd Velvet hasn’t been heard from in years. So it was a surprise to hear two different internet/mix deejays recommending Redd Velvet’s new “answer” song to King George’s “Keep On Rolling”: “You Got To Leave (The Clapback Track)”. Subsequently, Redd Velvet told your Daddy B. Nice her absence was due to “obligations and duty to my family” (read extensive caregiving)…..Another King George-oriented song comes from new artist Sky Whatley, more of a cover, or sampling/extension: “Bae Changed Me”. Both tracks charted in May……
Incidentally, King George’s “Keep On Rolling” is #1 on the iTunes Top 100 Blues chart, which I didn’t even know existed until I saw it in the fine print of one of Jerry Mason ‘s “Boogie Hot Pick” promotional e-mails. I thought, “Great, this is just what we’ve been needing—a true sales chart from a big entity.” But my enthusiasm quickly dampened as the rest of the list is made up of a bewildering variety of oldies and classics (by white as well as black). And does iTunes include Apple, which is the bigger seller at this point? Personally, I didn’t want to leave iTunes, but Apple actively encouraged it by the way they set up the two websites (favoring Apple)……It was still great seeing King George on top of a major-market sales chart, not to mention Mel Waiters, Theodis Ealey and a couple of others…… By the way, King George is doing the right thing right now, touring as a headliner (see Daddy B. Nice’s Calendar), rubbing shoulders with the other southern soul headliners, fronting a band, soaking up exposure, getting his feet planted solidly on the “higher ground” of being famous, paying a few dues along the way and not least tasting the fruits of his success…..Surprise. Southern Soul has a “couple” again. They’re old-school—you know, like J. Blackfoot and Ann Hines.
The duo goes by the name of Wilke & Pam and the song is called “Get On Out The Door,” #13 this month. Musicians may initially let out a faint smile—the chords are among the first beginners learn when picking up the guitar or bass—but the song soon proves to be the real deal and the singers seasoned and genuine…..C. Jones aka “Mr. Willy,” (#1 this month with “Mr. Willy”) has passed another milestone: his first southern soul concert, on a bill headlined by Jeter Jones July 9th in Houston.
By the way, C. Jones wasn’t the first to record a “Mr. Willy” song. Lomax recorded “Call Mr. Willie” prior to that. Although I haven’t been able to find it published for sale, the Lomax song was distributed by publicist Jen Weber and logged considerable air time from Texas to the Carolinas…..Finally…Think white southern soul singers are an impossibility? An oxymoron? (And we’re not talking Elvis here.) There was a time, around the turn of the century, when a white guy out of Nashville was played regularly on the black-owned stations of the Deep South. His name….Stacy Mitchhart. And I’m not talking about an exclusively white bluesman—because they’re a dime a dozen. I was listening to a digitalized version of an old cassette tape of mine recorded on a boombox around 2000 and there it was, “Turn Me On” by Stacy Mitchhart, played by DJ Outlaw at WMPR (Jackson, MS), sandwiched between Eddie Leon (remember him?) and Tyrone Davis (still gloriously alive at the time). “Things Have Changed was another popular tune by the International Blues/Albert King-Award Winner Mitchhart.…..Speaking of awards…Don’t forget. The Jus’ Blues Music Awards Conference takes place August 3rd-6th at Horseshoe Tunica in south Memphis.
— Daddy B Nice
May 8, 2022
TOP 40 SOUTHERN SOUL SINGLES
An expanded list of the songs vying for “Top Ten Singles” in May 2022.
1. “Mr. Willy”—C. Jones
2. “Party 2 Hard”—DeMond Crump
3. “She Could Never Be Me (Remix)”—K. Renaa
4. “Grooving In Love”—Simply Wayne
5. “Ain’t Nobody”—J’Cenae
6. “Sexy Lady”—C. (Chad) Jones
7. “Bae Changed Me”—Sky Whatley
8. “Brown Liquor”—Theodis Ealey
9. “I Wanna Feed Ya”—Rosalyn Candy
10. “Travelin’ Man”—K. Renaa
11. “50 Bottles Of Champagne”—Highway Heavy feat. Champagne
12. “Somebody Else Will”—Westdawn
13. “Get On Out The Door”—Wilke & Pam
14. “Second Of Your Time”—Highway Heavy feat. Johnny James & Robert Butler
15. “Corner Sto”—Mz. Connie & Ciddy Boi P
16. “One Foot In”—Chris Ivy
17. “2-Step”—MoonChild Sampson
18. “Shorty Wanna Hear A Blues Song”—Tyree Neal
19. “Recipe For The Blues”—Adrena
20. “Do The Crazy Leg”—Damian Hall
21. “I Can’t Make Love When I Want To”—Little Kim Stewart
22. “Candy Land”—K. Renaa
23. “Bend Over”—Bruce Wayne Band
24. “Sometimes She Loves Me (Remix)”—King Russell
25. “Whole Lotta Woman”—Gwen Yvette
26. “You Got To Leave (The Clapback Track)”—Redd Velvet
27. “Looking For My Baby”—Morris Parsons
28. “Dry Hump”—Uncle Phunk feat. Jeter Jones
29. “Play My Record”—K. Spade
30. “Come Git It”—Ms. Yanni & Lebrado feat. Bruce Billups
31. “Shake That Booty”—Tyree Neal
32. “Angel”—Roosevelt Wade
33. “Roll And Rock”—Melani
34. “Side Chick Woman”—Chavonna Adams
35. “Don’t Let Me Be Blind”—King George
36. “Grandma Drawers”—Arthur Young
37. “It’s A Party”—FPJ
38. “Lighters In The Air”—King South
39. “I Don’t Ever Wanna Break Up”—J’Cenae feat. Wendell B
40. “Country Boy (Remix)”— Chu’Zu & Vince Tucker feat. Jeter Jones
May 3, 2022
Daddy B. Nice News Alert!
WDIA MEMPHIS DJ BOBBY O’JAY HAS DIED.
Read the well-informed and wide-ranging obituary by Bob Mehr of the “Memphis Commercial Appeal”.
April 20, 2022: News & Notes Update!
C. Jones aka “Mr. Willie”, the recording artist referred to as “super-shy” in this month’s “News & Notes” because his “Mr. Willie” song has been unavailable to YouTube listeners, has now posted videos on YouTube. Here are the links:“Mr. Willie”…..“Sexy Lady”……..DBN