Daddy B. Nice’s Corner – news and opinion on Southern Soul music and artists
May 15, 2023
Daddy B. Nice’s News & Notes:
Who Will Fill The Vacuum In The Top Ranks of Female Southern Soul Artists?
Comparing Today’s Top Divas With the Stars of Yesteryear….And Assessing Heir Apparents….
2023 finds a dearth of female artists at the top of southern soul’s recording charts and performance venues. And yet there is a glut of females on the lower levels churning out a song or two a year and more often than not getting lost in the crowd. Is this a crisis? A troubling trend? The southern soul market is driven by its female-dominated audience’s thirst for great and stimulating male performers, but does this mean there is no market for great female artists?
From the late nineties to the early teens, southern soul featured women (led by Shirley Brown, Denise LaSalle and Peggy Scott-Adams) who were shoulder to shoulder with the male stars in the profession in terms of artistic heft, cultural influence and financial reward. Denise LaSalle produced dozens of albums, Shirley Brown released at least a couple of dozen, and Peggy Scott-Adams, although less prolific, left an incandescent trail of great product during her glory years. Keisa Brown, Barbara Carr, Lynn White, Jackie Neal, Sheba Potts-Wright and Big Cynthia, to name only a few of their peers, were household names among blues and southern soul fans throughout the South.
Today (at this moment in time) there are no women on the album/CD charts. Granted, albums themselves have become an endangered species, so it may not be fair to make comparisons based on record sales. But even from a concert perspective (the main source of income for today’s artists), women have a meager percentage.
Four artists dominate today’s female southern soul ranks: Ms. Jody, Nellie “Tiger” Travis, Karen Wolfe and Lacee. But to use the word “dominate” is misleading. In reality, they all occupy a space that is more of a vacuum right now. Ms. Jody is by far the most prolific recording artist, but she doesn’t tour as much as she could, or as much as her sixteen-album oeuve would suggest.
Lacee and Nellie Travis, on the other hand, are fixtures on the touring circuit. Lacee gigs as much as L.J. Echols. Nellie is as big as it gets for a southern soul star, playing for stadium-sized audiences in the national Blues Is Alright tour. Yet, neither Lacee or Nellie has recorded an album in five years! Finally, Karen Wolfe only has four albums in her career, although she puts a lot of work into her occasional singles and tours more than Ms. Jody. In short, this is not a hungry group of competitors jostling for fame and supremacy with the obsessive drive and determination of the divas of yesteryear. There’s a lot of “room at the top” in southern soul music for female heir-apparents.
Who might those aspiring stars be? Well, let’s preface it by noting the staggering number of talented women who’ve made their mark in the genre but have either passed away or chosen to forgo a career in southern soul for “real-life” issues such as making a living, changing genres, house-wiving, raising children or caregiving:
Stephanie Pickett, Falisa JaNaye, Gina Brown, Sweet Angel, LaKeisha, Bobbye Johnson, Miz B, Katrenia Jefferson, Miss Portia, Chandra Calloway, Ms. Monique, Uvee Hayes, Monique Ford, Betty Padgett, Roni…. That’s just the tip of the iceberg in regards to divas lost in the last two decades. And we must not forget a small group of artists who are saddled with stage names that have had so many iterations it’s hard to establish a brand, among them Miss Lady Blues (which also gets confused with various Miss Lady Souls), Coco Wade (along with Coco and Lady Coco), and Mz Brown Suga, which has also been used by previous artists. Even the relatively uniquely-named Sassy D has spawned at least two name clones.
That leave us with two—maybe three—major categories of female artists who could seize the vacant throne of southern soul’s undisputed “queen”. Among the “Hot Before / Now Not So Much” contenders—those who have shown the promise to succeed but cooled off lately in recording and touring—are: Pat Cooley, Krishunda Echols, Nicole Jackson, Sharnette Hyter, Jureesa McBride, Jennifer Watts, Dee Dee Simon, Diedra, Tazz Calhoun, WestDawn, Lady Q, Itz Karma, Jesi Terrell, Toia Jones, Nikita, Vickie Baker, Veronica Ra’elle, Adrena and Annie Washington. Prominent among a short group of “Hot Now” performers are Mz. Connie, Angel Faye Russell, Sweet Nay, Tasha Mac, Rosalyn Candy, Summer Wolfe and the aforementioned Sassy D.
But if I had to bet at this particular moment in time on the strongest contenders with the best odds of seizing this unique opportunity at the all-too-vacant highest ranks of southern soul, it would be West Love, J’Cenae, Carolyn Staten, Val McKnight, Crystal Thomas and Stephanie McDee. You can check out all but one of these artists in Daddy B. Nice’s The New Generation Southern Soul, and check out any of the artists in the Comprehensive Index.
What do you think? Should southern soul divas be raising their “ceilings”? Let me know.
May 1, 2023
TOP 40 SOUTHERN SOUL SINGLES: MAY
An expanded list of the songs vying for “Top Ten Singles” in May 2023.
1. “Night-Time”—King George
2. “Talk To Me”—Arthur Young
3. “Brown Liquor”—M. Cally
4. “When I Stop Loving You”—William Bell
5. “Good Ole Lovin'”—Mr. Nelson
6. “Won’t Be Your Fool”—Teslanay
7. “Just Came To Party”—T. Howell
8. “Groove Together (Slide)”—Uncle Gymini & Lady Jacquelyn (The Married Couple of Southen Soul)
9. “Mz Connie’s Curvy Queens Slide”—Mz Connie
“My Own Party”—C.J. Hill (Daddy C)
“Hell When You Well”—Troy Murriel
11. “Meet Me”—Jeter Jones
12. “I Will Remember Tonight”—William Bell
13. “Walky Talk”—Big Trey D
14. “Mr. DJ”—Jus Epik
15. “Keep Your Dog On A Leash”—Sheila B. Sexi
16. “Giddy Up”—Mz. Tequi feat. Bad Azz Cutie
17. “We Love Our Southern Soul”—Stephanie McDee
18. “Good Woman”—Mz Brown Suga
19. “If Walls Could Talk”—M. Cally
20. “Good Man Bad”—Black Diamond
21. “That Power Grip”—Jaye Hammer
22. “If It Ain’t Broke”—David Brinston
23. “Designated Driver”—Columbus Toy
24. “Big Truck Driva”—J.L. Thompson feat. Key Graves
25. “I Got To Get Your Number”—Jaye Hammer
26. “It’s Been A Long Time”—Memphis Jackson
27. “Mz Connie Roll”—Mz Connie
28. “Something Real”—Champagne Coleman
29. “Daisy Dukes & Cowboy Boots”—M. Cally feat. Jeter Jones
30. “Ain’t Got Time”—Big Mel
31. “Too Much To Lose”—Roi Chip Anthony feat. Sir Charles Jones
32. “Liquor In My Cup”—Rodnae
33. “Same Song”—Lokey Kountry feat. Mz Poochie & Portia P
34. “Bad Country Girl”—Freaky B 2.0
35. “Rulezzz”—Till 1
36. “Cheater Man”—Sons Of Funk
37. “Late Night Lover”—Sebastian Southern Soul feat. Johnny James
38. “We In This Bit”—Unkle Phunk
39. “The Handy Man”—D. Riggs
40. “Lay Low Play Slow”—Young Guy
April 12, 2023
Daddy B. Nice’s News & Notes
Services For Peggy Scott-Adams will be held this weekend: Visitation: 1-7 pm, Friday, April 14th, / The Catavant At Joe Morris, 521 West Cervantes St., Pensacola, Florida / Celebration of Life, 2 pm, Saturday, April 15th / Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 2601 West Strong St., Pensacola, Florida. See “Peggy Scott-Adams Passes: An Appreciation….
At last, after years of being marginalized by the mainstream media, southern soul charts are appearing along with the usual Gospel, R&B, Soul, Hiphop & Rap genres, and they’re slick. The Urban Influencer’s weekly Newsletter features a Top 30 Singles with bonus “adds,” and Radio Airplay Experts also offers a southern soul chart with southern soul relegated to the “caboose” position. Actually, both entities feature identical charts and arrive in the inbox back to back, but they arrive from different email addresses.
The new William Bell album, “One Day Closer To Home,” is scheduled for release April 14th. Bell’s last—“This Is Where I Live”—won a Grammy Award for Best Americana Album in 2016….
New artist T. Howell flunks his southern soul history, confusing Sir Charles Jones and T.K. Soul in his otherwise interesting new single “Just Came To Party.” “I’m not Sir Charles Jones,” he sings, “but I’m looking for a lady”. Gee, that would be a bit embarrassing—would it not?—having a mistake like that memorialized in an mp3, albeit not as bad as on vinyl?….
Word is Tucka’s new album will be officially released in April (no specific date yet). Also watch for up-and-coming new artist Big Mel’s debut album “Old Soul”. Big Mel made Daddy B. Nice’s Top 10 Singles this month with “Drink My Liquor”. Also watch for another new artist coming on strong: M. Cally….
By coincidence, two of this month’s Top 10 Singles, one by a woman and one by a male group, form perfect bookends around the issue of partner break-ups while offering deejays a nifty back-to-back for rotations. In “Come Get Yo Shit” Queen Denae sings: “Ain’t no more talking / Come get your shit / You know I love you / But I’m so tired of this…You played me for the last time / So come get yo shit”. In “Get Out” the Sons of Funk sing: “I packed yo shit / To the left to the left / I packed yo shit / You gots to go!” Both are new artists….
Stan Butler has been added to the June 24th celebration (joining his colleague West Love, among others) for the 20th Year Anniversary of KOUS 96.3 in Monroe, Louisiana. Lady A is asking for donations: 318-538-9070. See Daddy B. Nice’s Concert Calendar…. Meanwhile, up in Memphis, one-hit wonder (and what a hit! (“Keep Knockin'”) Anita Love makes a rare appearance at the Annual Bike & Hot Rod Show at 2381 Elvis Presley Boulevard April 29th. “Keep Knockin'” was produced by Terry Cotton….
The Jackson Music Awards will be held Sunday July 23rd through Monday July 24th. The Gospel awards will be held in the Trustmark Ballroom of the Jackson Convention Center on Sunday and the City With Soul Awards (Southern Soul) will be in the same location on Monday….
However, if you just can’t wait for awards season, a new awards show will be held this month. The first annual North Louisiana People’s Choice Southern Soul Awards will take place Sunday, April 23rd at the Arcadia Event Center in Arcadia, Lousiana. The show is being advertised as a “black-tie event” with “formal or semi-formal black and gold attire strongly encouraged”. Honorees have been announced, including T.K. Soul (Soul and Blues), DJ Scott Banks (Southern Soul RnB & Soul Blues DJ), Ronald “Slack” Jefferson (Southern Soul RnB & Soul Blues Producer), Omar Cunningham (Songwriter Southern Soul RnB & Soul Blues), Ms. Jody (Queen of The Trail Ride Southern Soul and Blues), Crystal Thomas (International Blues), Evangelist Mary Echols (Southern Soul Gospel), Nellie “Tiger” Travis (Southern Soul & Blues), Kenne’ Wayne (Soul and Blues), Ghetto Cowboy (Juke Joint and Southern Soul Blues) and Benito Glosson (Southern Soul RnB and Blues). See Daddy B. Nice’s Concert Calendar for tickets.
—Daddy B. Nice
April 2, 2023
TOP 40 SOUTHERN SOUL SINGLES
An expanded list of the songs vying for “Top Ten Singles” in April 2023.
1. “Let’s Chill”—Carolyn Staten
2. “My Kinda Crazy”—J-Wonn
3. “Come Get Yo Shit”—Queen Denae feat. M. Cally
4. “Get Out”—Sons of Funk
5. “No Woman, No Cry”—King Fred
6. “Lovin’ Me”—Magic One
7. “Just Like That”—Lamarr Deuce Lubin
8. “The Cowboy Slide”—Jeter Jones
9. “Super Fine”—Magic One
10. “Drink My Liquor”—Big Mel
11. “Kookie Munsta”—Narvel Echols
12. “Good Cat Ain’t Cheap”—E.J. Soul
13. “Cougar Trap”—Breeze MrDo2Much feat. Jennifer Watts
14. “I Like It”—Nino The Gentleman
15. “Don’t Be Late”—Narvel Echols
16. “Her Sneaky Link”—Jeter Jones
17. “My Baby Back”—Ra’Shad The Blues Kid feat. T.J. Hooker Tayor
18. “Southern Soul Lady”—Darrell Ruger
19. “Get The Hell On”—Lamar Brace
20. “Can’t Wait Till Friday”—Sky Whatley
21. “Henpecked”—Magic One
22. “I Got A Good Woman”—Brutha The Sugar Daddy of Southern Soul
23. “Turtle Snapper”—Carolyn Staten
24. “Living For The Weekend”—Willie Clayton
25. “Plumma Man”—T. Howell
26. “Sneak A Piece”—Tina Brown
27. “I Took Another Woman’s Problem”—Stephanie McDee
28. “My Down Syndrome Sister”—Stan Butler
29. “Pretty Girl Walk”—YV Da Prince feat. Rich Wright & Mr. Hot Topic
30. “Sumn Gotta Shake”—Magic One feat. Lacee
31. “Two Step Wit’ My Baby”—Mr. Sam feat. Vick Allen
32. “Body Talk”—Oliver Dollar & Mike “Agent X” Clark feat. D13
33. “Big Grown Love”—G-Sky
34. “I Feel Like Making Love”—Mz. Suga
35. “Let Me Show You Love”—Terrell Moses
36. “Naughty Party”—Lysa feat. Sean Dolby
37. “Giddy Up”—Mz. Tequi feat. Bad Azz Cutie
38. “Dancing Lady”—Darrell Ruger
39. “Little Willie”—El’ Willie
40. “Too Good”—J-Wonn
March 30, 2023
Daddy B. Nice On Peggy Scott-Adams’ Passing
So you think fame and loving fans insure one against the buffeting winds of time and mortality? The void of information surrounding the death of Peggy Scott-Adams in Pensacola, Florida Monday, March 27th, can be explained in a couple of ways. First, it takes time. I lost my dearest friend of sixty years (and longtime traveling companion to southern soul events) on March 20th and we (the family and my buddy’s close friends) still have not been able to get an official notification and obituary published for the public. Second, fame does not guarantee a textbook transition to the afterlife. I am reminded of Marvin Sease’s passing. Other than Peggy Scott-Adams, I cannot think of a more beloved figure in contemporary southern soul. Yet he was buried in an unmarked grave in South Carolina with scant notice until LGB (Linda Gray Barnwell), who lived in a neighboring town, took it upon herself to arrange a more fitting and honorable burial presentation. This led to some conflict with the Sease family but was eventually worked out to everyone’s satisfaction. Ironically, one of the Sease heirs posted a heartfelt condolence to Peggy Scott-Adams only yesterday.
Peggy Scott-Adams was the dominant female singer when I first encountered southern soul music—the real thing—chitlin’ circuit rhythm and blues—in the late 90’s. I loved her work. I knew her songs by heart. Still, years later when I interviewed her, Peggy (a thoroughly religious and gospel-inspired person) downplayed the very things that drew me to her work, in particular the salacious and coarse lyrics (“That was Jimmy, Jimmy Lewis,” she said more than once) while acknowledging their key in making her popular.
Absent from the scene for the better part of two decades now, Peggy Scott-Adams nevertheless defined contemporary southern soul. She pioneered the musical template of the little genre that could, and be assured longtime fans will never let the memories she created in her songs be forgotten.
—Daddy B. Nice
Read Daddy B. Nice’s interview with Peggy Scott-Adams.
March 28, 2023
Media Reports Signal Peggy’s Death
Peggy Scott-Adams’ Wikipedia page has a new entry under “Death”: “Adams died on March 27, 2023. She was 74.” (No reference listed.) Peggy’s Facebook page contains new posts stating “R.I.H.” (“Rest in Heaven”), “Rest in Peace,”My Deepest Condolences” and “My Prayers for The Family”. Peggy Scott-Adams has long ran a funeral home business in Los Angeles with her partner, but there are currently no official announcements from there or any other funeral facility.
—Daddy B. Nice
See Daddy B. Nice’s Artist Guide of Peggy Scott-Adams.
March 13, 2023
Daddy B. Nice’s News & Notes
News came this month that Jeter Jones is retiring. The bombshell came less than a month after I had written in The Year In Review:
“Country” has always been a southern soul touchstone, and your Daddy B. Nice has frequently described southern soul music itself as “country soul,” but one person more than any other made the theme of country (“no service on my phone”) trendy and buzz-worthy in 2022: Jeter Jones. In song after song and video after video the Kang of Trailride Blues pounded home the blessings and vicissitudes of rural life and small-town culture, a message that reverberated throughout the genre by virtue of the sheer number of songs and accompanying music videos produced by Jeter, producer Slack and their team of supporting musicians and videographers (2 double-albums, four total, in back-to-back years). And in a year that marked the lowest traditional-record-label publishing on record, Jones Boy Entertainment put out the most music in the southern soul demographic.
That’s right. The most music in southern soul. Now here’s Jeter’s incendiary message.
Don’t know (Jeter wrote on Facebook) how much longer I’m gonna have these jood knees, but as of today I think 2024 will be my last year as an Southern Soul Artists. It’s been a good run and I have enjoyed being the Peoples Champ of Southern Soul. Thanks everyone that listens to my music and that follows me. Please enjoy these last concerts and the new music. I’ve done enough to make the hall of fame for Southern Soul music. I will retire the crown Trailride Kang with me as well. Thanks so much for the jood times. Him No tour just me sanging and cutting up. Come Come
Your Daddy B. Nice’s reaction? Noooo. I can’t see it. The way this guy drops songs like a horse drops chips? I can’t conceive he’d be able to wean himself from recording. Jeter taking off from touring? Now that’s a different matter. A grind—exhaustion—in spite of the exhilaration. Notice he mentions his knees. Like Pokey Bear’s lower back (from doing all that onstage poking), Jeter’s carrying a hefty, middle-aged man’s weight on those prancing and springing knees. (Not to mention the high heels of cowboy boots.)
Finally, he says 2024, not this year (2023), will be his final year. Now that’s hedging bets a bit on his part, is it not? Jeter qualifies it further when he says he’s thinking about retiring, the implication being he’s not entirely sure. He might change his mind. And on top of those demurrals there’s this to consider. How are we (southern soul fandom) going to get along without Jeter Jones product? Wouldn’t that necessitate some withdrawal symptoms, and wouldn’t that weigh on Jeter? And how is Jeter Jones going to be able to quell the competitiveness in his nature (satisfied by making music) that propelled him to such success in the first place?
So I’m in denial on the subject of Jeter Jones leaving southern soul music. Ironic, too, that this announcement should come in the same month I’m doing a retrospective—“Squandered Talent?”—on Luther Lackey. A dozen years ago, Lackey was one of southern soul’s most highly-regarded singer/ songwriter/ producers. Then he made the decision to quit and it hasn’t been the same since—for him or for southern soul.
“King George—King Of Soul Honoree 2023″…Yes, King George is due to be feted once again, at the Jackson Music Awards Monday July 24th. Tickets available at www.jmaainc.com….
Wendell B returns to the stage May 6th at Union County Fairgrounds in El Dorado, Arkansas (South Arkansas Soul Fest Part 2)….And
Crytal Thomas makes a rare appearance way out in the boonies March 24-25 at the Red Fox, Texas trailride….See Concert Calendar….
After years of being quietly overlooked by the Blues Is Alright Tour, J-Wonn is finally coming into his own this year as a multi-venue participant….Columbus Toy is releasing a new album this month. His last longplay, “Love Soul,” appeared in 2009….And at last!… Mobile, Alabama’s prestigious Spring Fling has announced a final line-up for their annual April 1st gathering of southern soul artists—an event that draws huge crowds—all overseen this year by rapper Doug E. Fresh (also on Concert Calendar)….
Other new albums dropping this month… Charles Wilson releases his first new album in seven years: “Return Of The Mississippi Boy”….Evette Busby, who just charted at #3 in Daddy B. Nice’s Top 10 Singles with the Malaco-produced cover of “Mr. Big Stuff,” teams up with Leroy Allen on a new album entitled “The Singers”….And finally, Choppa Law drops what, if I’m not mistaken, is his debut album, “No Strings Attached”.
Daddy B. Nice
March 4, 2023
TOP 40 SOUTHERN SOUL SINGLES
An expanded list of the songs vying for “Top Ten Singles” in March 2023.
1. “Top Of The Line”—Narvel Echols
2. “Taking You Down Through There”—J-Wonn
3. “Mr. Big Stuff”—Evette Busby
4. “Good Time”—Tyree Neal
5. “What’s Happening Now”—Jeter Jones
6. “Just A Man”—Volton Wright
7. “Pour Up (Southern Soul Music)”—Neko G (Neko Grinday)
8. “Good Country Girl”—Freaky B 2.0
9. “Steppin’ Out”—Tyronica “Badgir” Rawls feat. King George
10. “Still With Her”—F.P.J.
11. “My Kinda Crazy”—J-Wonn
12. “Put A Title On It”—J-Wonn
13. “Crae Crae For Country”—Sharnette Hyter feat. Ciddy Boi P
14. “Let’s Make Loving Great Again”—William Bell
15. “Leaving With Me”—Memphis Jackson
16. “I Can’t Get Enough”—Meme Yahsal
17. “Country Swagg”—Gwen Yvette
18. “You”—Omar Cunningham
19. “Too Good”—J-Wonn
20. “Made Me Leave”—Stan Butler
21. “Hold Me Down”—Mr. Sam
22. “I Still Believe In You”—Luther Lackey
23. “In The Bedroom”—Lomax
24. “Thug On”—Neko Grinday
25. “Do It”—Memphis Jackson
26. “Rockin’ The Same Old Boat”—Donald Ray Johnson
27. “Buy You A Drink”—P2K
28. “Brown Liquor”—M. Cally
29. “Sling Your Weave”—Royal D feat. Ricky White
30. “Back Up Plan”—Ben Ether
31. “If This World Were Mine”—Adrian Bagher
32. “Trailride Love”—Sonny Boy feat. Jeter Jones
33. “Big Daddy”—Mose Stovall
34. “Don’t Be Late”—Narvell Echols
35. “Gotta Go”—Mr. Frayser
36. “Shushing”—Tony Warner
37. “I’m Coming Home”—Uncle Luck
38. “I Ain’t Doing A Damned Thang”—Redd Velvet
39. “Mr. Right”—X-Man Parker
40. “Say You Want It”—Mz. Poochie
February 12, 2023
Daddy B. Nice’s News & Notes
Inactive and largely forgotten in the southern soul demographic where he was never entirely comfortable, Chicago’s Stan Mosley (“Rock Me”) has released his 11th album, interestingly enough, on Eddie Stout’s blues-oriented Dialtone Records out of Austin, Texas. This is the same label featured in your Daddy B. Nice’s recent feature on Crystal Thomas and her apparent exit from southern soul. Mosley’s NO SOUL NO BLUES is critiqued by Heikki Suosalo in Soul Express, Europe’s last remaining website devoted at least partially to southern soul music….
Coming soon…. An interesting concept for an album: THE UNTOUCHABLES, a compilation based on the song choices of a broad spectrum of southern soul’s currently dominant producers: Big Yayo, Slack, Tony T, Ciddy Boi P, DJ Callie, Rodnae, Mississippi Hummin’ Boy, Cecil Green and Bo Richardson.….
Narvel Echols’ new album FOR THE LADIES was released February 4th, including previously-released singles “Luv Dem Blues” and “18 Wheeler Truck”….
DJ Trac, whose musical collaboration with Avail Hollywood on “Girl You Bad” secured his entree into southern soul, is releasing a new album, ANOTHER SIDE, on Nlightn Records, Avail’s label….
It’s only been a few months, but the promotional material says “The wait is over”. Close on the heels of the well-received “Mr. Right Now,” the never-idle J-Wonn has another new album in release. THE FOUNDATION includes new singles “Put A Title On It,” “Too Good” and “Take You Down Through There”….
Magic One’s third album, MAGIC SHOW 3, will appear soon;
The legendary William Bell has released a second single (“Let’s Make Loving Great Again”) from his forthcoming album, ONE STEP CLOSER TO HOM. The title cut was the first single, released late last year….
Rumor is that R&B Pooh (Dalton Parrish) has had a falling-out with Jeter Jones, his mentor and frequent collaborator over the last few years….
96.3 KOUS Radio, Monroe, Louisiana (playing southern soul, jazz, zydeco, gospel and oldies) will celebrate its 20th anniversary June 24th. Presided over by Lady A, KOUS is the oldest African-American, female-owned radio station in Louisiana. An anniverary concert featuring West Love and Vince Hutchinson and hosted by Angel Faye Russell will be held at the University of Louisiana-Monroe on June 24th. (See Daddy B. Nice’s Concert Calendar)….
Southern soul artists, producers, publicists, record labels, deejays, podcasters, radio stations and even film makers and actors are invited to attend the first conference of its kind in the genre’s history. The Southern Soul Radio, Music & Film Conference will be held Saturday, August 17th through 20th, 2023, at the Doubletree by Hilton, 3400 Norman Berry Drive, in Atlanta. Media influencers Daddy B. Nice and Jerry “Boogie” Mason, Ecko Record’s Larry Chambers and Malaco alumnus Lee Parker, entertainment attorney Reggie McDaniel and recording artist Angel Faye Russell and radio personalities Tyrone “Da Don” Davis and Ronald Donald are just a few of the dozens of well-known speaker/panelists featured in the workshops devoted to furthering the careers of people in the music industry. The conference will also feature unique opportunities to meet with professionals from the film and acting worlds. Read all about it at Southern Radio, Music & Film Conference….
I’m constantly amazed and heartened to run across old southern soul classics—the latest is Robert “The Duke” Tillman’s “I Found Love”—with a whole new generation of viewers and listeners, and with numbers (324,000 views) that dwarf anything (mere thousands)in the past when it came out…
The annual southern soul awards—Best of 2022—dominate this month’s content. King George presides, rightfully so, as he did all year. But there’s plenty of variety, which I won’t give away here. What I will give away is two pieces of New Year’s advice to recording artists.
To the veterans…
You are immersed in southern soul. It flows through your veins. The obstacle for you is sameness. You must find the courage to surprise. The southern soul element in your work will abide and shine through. Think of Nellie “Tiger” Travis. The P-F funk of “Mr. Sexy Man” was a shock at first, but it went on to become her biggest single and the engine of a long career. Success is never guaranteed. Failures will occur, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
To the newcomers…
Southern soul fans absolutely love new artists who have southern soul in their genes, King George being only the latest example. You already have a leg up! You’re new! But beware. Imposters are scorned. Ignorance is shunned. Immerse yourself in the southern soul canon. Listen to the music in the archives. True southern soul fans can smell what you’re cooking in the first sixteen bars.
— Daddy B Nice
February 2, 2023
TOP 40 SOUTHERN SOUL SINGLES
An expanded list of the songs vying for “Top Ten Singles” in February 2023.
1. “I Found Love”—Jeter Jones
2. “Moving At Your Speed”—J’Cenae feat. J-Wonn
3. “Messy”—King George feat. Coldrank
4. “Boy You Got It”—Stephanie McDee
5. “Free”—Jeter Jones
6. “Woman In Love”—David Brinston
7. “You Know I Love You”—J. Rizo
8. “Lick It”—David J & Solomon Thompson
9. “Ooh Wee Baby”—Jeter Jones feat. Volton Wright
10. “It’s A Southern Soul Thang”—DJ Harvey
11. “Toot The Boot”—Ciddy Boi P
12. “Full Time Job”—Kue
13. “Strong Strokin’ Woman”—Mr. Lyve
14. “Chatty Patty”—Nellie “Tiger” Travis
15. “Steppin’ Out”—Tyronica Rawls (Badgir) feat. King George
16. “Put It On Me”—Tucka feat. Fat Daddy
17. “I Can’t Dance”—Poka Jones
18. “Old School (Remix)”—Jeter Jones feat. Dirty Boyz
19. “Will You Be My Valentine—The Winstons
20. “Hennessy And Honey”—S. Dott
21. “Grown Folks”—Klay Redd
22. “Sexy Baby”—Drea’C.
23. “Hen Pecked”—Magic One
24. “Classy Lady”—Kryste Jamese
25. “Quarter In The Jukebox”—Jeter Jones
26. “Get Down Southern Soul”—Mr. Jayy Smooth
27. “Too Close”—Mr. Amazing
28. “I’ma Spoil You”—J.J. Callier
29. “Ain’t Got Time”—Big Mel (Melvin Nettles)
30. “Bounce 2”—Stephanie Luckett
31. “Party Like We Used To”—Narvel Echols feat. Bonez
32. “It’s Crazy”—Big G
33. “Living My Life”—Jeff Floyd feat. Roi Chip Anthony
34. “Ride It Like A Rodeo”—Shell-B
35. “Do Ya Lil’ Dance”—Avail Hollywood feat. DJ Trac
36. “If Loving You Is Wrong”—R.T. Taylor feat. Volton Wright
37. “Slow Motion”—Snatch Nelson
38. “Good Man Bad”—Black Diamond
39. “Blue Pill”—Ollie Moore
40. “Big City Lights”—Tameka Jackson
January 2, 2023
TOP 40 SOUTHERN SOUL SINGLES
An expanded list of the songs vying for “Top Ten Singles” in January 2023.
1. “Highway 55”—Sir Charles Jones
2. “The Mac”—West Love feat. King George
3. “Church Candy”—Jeter Jones
4. “I Ain’t Leaving My Lady”—Jeter Jones
5. “Bayou Classy Lady”—Ciddy Boi P feat. Keyun & The Zydeco Masters
6. “Hallelujah And Amen”—Avail Hollywood
7. “Bet Yo Mama Like It”—Carlin Taylor
8. “Ol Skool Game”—Chris Ivy
9. “We Be Acting Up”—Jeter Jones
10. “Shot Of Moonshine”—Marcellus The Singe
11. “Dhat Juicy”—Tasha Mac feat. Jeter Jones
12. “Free”—Jeter Jones
13. “Lost My Mind”—Jay Morris Group (Official Video)
14. “Soul Taker”—F.P.J.
15. “Momma & Daddy”—Sir Charles Jones
16. “Moving At Your Speed”—J’Cenae feat. J-Wonn
17. “Trailride Certified 3”—Jeter Jones feat. Level
18. “Do It”—Memphis Jackson
20. “Miss Independent”—T.K. Soul & Willie Clayton
21. “Remain The Same”—O.B. Buchana
22. “Gone”—Jeter Jones
23. “Best Friend For Life”—LaMorris Williams
24. “Just Us 2”—Memphis Jackson
25. “Umma Make A Man”—Angel Faye Russell
26. “She Got That Good Good”—T.K. Soul
27. “Come Home”—Mr. Don’t Leave (Eric Hunter)
28. “I Think You’re Ready”—Dee Dee Simon
29. “Pinch Myself”—Nelson Curry
30. “Shake It Baby”—Stan Butler feat. West Love
31. “Your Love Is So Good”—Sharnette Hyter feat. Ciddy Boi P
32. “Can I”—Bruce J feat. Mizz Val
33. “Stranger In My Home”—Soul Blaque
34. “I’ll Take Her”—Highway Heavy feat. Mark Holloway
35. “Mr. DJ Bounce Mix”—Chris Ivy
36. “Liquor Store”—Mz Sassy
37. “It’s The Weekend”—Kayla The Love Note
38. “Trail Ride Anthem 23”—Sir Jonathan Burton
39. “Southern Soul Party”—Kreep Squad feat. Thrilla
40. “Donald Trump (Remix)”—Stan Butler feat. West Love
January 1, 2023
2022: THE YEAR IN SOUTHERN SOUL
King George. It was his year…
Prior to 2022, if anyone had suggested that a complete unknown could come out of nowhere and not only dominate southern soul music but change and influence it, rising to headliner status on the prestigious Blues Is Alright Tour by year’s end, they’d have been laughed out of the room. But that’s exactly what South Carolinian King George did. Four of his singles—“Keep On Rollin’,” “Can’t Stay Too Long,” “Friday Night” and “Leave And Party”—made the Top 25 Songs of 2022. Two of those songs, “Keep On Rolling” and “Can’t Stay Too Long,” amassed 32 million and 28 million YouTube views respectively. Artists queued to collaborate, most prominently Tucka with the “Jukebox Lover” remix and P2K with his surprise hit single “U-Turn”. And scores of artists imitated him, recycling his melodies, favoring his mid-range tempos, absorbing his tasty guitar backgrounds, imitating his non-adorned yet confident vocal style.
With the phenomanal “Knee Deep” (now running at 32 million YouTube views) the Jay Morris Group was the hottest thing in southern soul music as 2022 began. Then the hurricane known as King George made landfall and they were blown away like the sand and the dunes—out of sight, out of mind. Female artists rushed to record “answer songs” to King George’s most incendiary single, “Keep On Rollin’,” in the same way, years earlier, female performers had rushed to record ripostes to Pokey Bear’s “My Sidepiece”. Both tunes featured men doing and saying things that normally infuriate women, who make up the overwhelming percentage of the southern soul audience. And yet, through some strange osmosis, what turned off women in real life turned them on when transported to music, ringing a bell and engendering a perverse love of what would normally be hated. The “outlaws” (Pokey, KG) suddenly became sympathetic characters by simply being brave enough to publicize their outrageous behavior. Thus, in concert after concert, King George sang “I gotta have three (women)” to throngs of black women in love with the swagger, enthusiasically pumping their fists in the air and singing those very words along with him.
Country was the theme dominating the music in 2022…
Everyone wanted to record their country bonafides. New artists put “country” in their names. Ms. Jody and Val McKnight and Angel Faye Russell and countless other ladies joined the men (Jeter Jones, Arthur Young, Big Yayo, Narvel Echols) and donned cowboy hats. Songs like “Country Girl” (Jus Epik feat. Money Waters) and “Country Boy (Remix)” (Chu’Zu & Vince Tucker feat. Jeter Jones) proliferated monthly.
“Country” has always been a southern soul touchstone, and your Daddy B. Nice has frequently described southern soul music itself as “country soul,” but one person more than any other made the theme of country (“no service on my phone”) trendy and buzz-worthy in 2022: Jeter Jones. In song after song and video after video the Kang of Trailride Blues pounded home the blessings and vicissitudes of rural life and small-town culture, a message that reverberated throughout the genre by virtue of the sheer number of songs and accompanying music videos produced by Jeter, producer Slack and their team of supporting musicians/videographers (2 double-albums, four total, in back-to-back years). And in a year that marked the lowest traditional-record-label publishing on record, Jones Boy Entertainment put out the most music in the southern soul demographic.
The big boys were relatively quiet in 2022…
And “the big boys” would include Nellie “Tiger” Travis, whose “Mr. Sexy Man” remains a nationally recognized hit single, and one of those major stars who will be touring in front of stadium-capacity audiences across the country in the coming months in the Blues Is Alright Tour. Pokey Bear put out an Omar Cunningham-written single, “Here Come Pokey,” tailor-made for his swagger. Tucka released two versions of his iconic single “Jukebox Lover”. The original boasted a typically virtuoso vocal. Tucka’s rapping in “The Remix,” however, was reduced to a near mumble in the mix, but it was “all good” and even more popular with the stunning guest addition of King George. King George, by the way, leaped to recurring headliner status on that Blues Is Alright line-up. Sir Charles Jones squeezed into the year’s activity at the last minute with a new solo gospel/contemplative album and a shockingly personal single called “Highway 55”. And Calvin Richardson, the remaining regular on the tour, did what Calvin Richardson does—namely recording nothing in the southern soul vein—apparently content to be the urban r&b “bridge” to the southern soul stars. Finally, Theodis Ealey, Latimore and Lenny Williams, the aging stars of the tour, saw their appearances wane.
Old vs. New was the major conflict and competitive dynamic of the industry…
Namely, the overwhelming influx of digital singles airing on the YouTube platform by new and aspiring performers versus the “old,” second tier of stars, formerly “young guns,” who frequently found themselves in the unlikely position of having their product overlooked in the general chaos of new offerings. Included in this group were well-recognized performers like O.B. Buchana, Willie Clayton, T.K. Soul, David Brinston, L.J. Echols, Vick Allen, Avail Hollywood, Ms. Jody, Karen Wolfe, Nelson Curry, Lacee, Big G, LaMorris Williams and even nationally recognized stars such as Bobby Rush and William Bell, who all released distinguished work that did not make the “splash” it had in years past when the pool of artists was much smaller. One industry veteran even told your Daddy B. Nice that she didn’t know why (name witheld) was even recording new material because all the audience wanted to hear was his old songs.
Meanwhile, the new talent flooded the air waves with music teeming with energy and surprise, illustrating Blues Critic’s observation that southern soul music is the easiest genre to break into but the most fiercely competitive. Among the most important new performers were J’Cenae, West Love, Jay Morris Group, Magic One, Arthur Young, P2K, Stan Butler and Adrian Bagher, and even newer artists like Sassy D, Sweet Nay, Ciddy Boi P, Marcellus The Singer, C. Jones, Jus Epik, F.P.J, Carlin Taylor, K. Renaa, Mr. Hollywood, Kinnie Ken, Tasha Mac, Mr. Don’t Leave and Volton Wright, to name only a few. Which brings us around and back to King George, the “new” being exactly what he did. Music self-produced, put out digitally, and consequently blowing up TikTok and YouTube. Actually, KG didn’t even put out his music digitally UNTIL it had blown up social media. The ultimate irony and triumph of King George was that in the very same year he would ace the “Best Debut” awards—normally a “first step” in an artist’s career—he would become a bonafide southern soul superstar and the undisputed recording artist of the year. Take my word for it. It had never been done before. And it left more than one southern soul artist shaking his or her head and wistfully thinking, “If only that had been me…”
R.I.P. in 2022…Memphis’s Bobby O’Jay and Jackson’s Demond Crump.
—Daddy B. Nice
December 22-31, 2022
Top 25 Southern Soul Singles Of 2022
1. “Keep On Rollin'” by King George
2. “Can’t Stay Too Long” by King George
3.“Jukebox Lover” by Tucka/ “Jukebox Lover (Remix)” by Tucka feat. King George (Take your pick.)
4. “Can I Get It” by Ciddy Boi P feat. Till 1 & Mississippi Hummin’ Boy
5. “Mr. Willy” by C. Jones
6. “Country Girl” by Jus Epik feat. Money Waters
7. “Here Come Pokey” by Pokey Bear
8. “Friday Night” by King George
9. “Don’t Make Me Beg” by Willie Clayton
10.“Come To The Trailride” by Jeter Jones
11. “My Corner Sto” by Ciddy Boi P feat. Mz. Connie
12. “Leave And Party” by King George
13. “Country Boy (Remix)” by Chu’Zu & Vince Tucker feat. Jeter Jones
14. “Mr. Right Now” by J-Wonn
15. “Keep It 100” by Carlin Taylor feat. Soul Cartel Band
16. “Let Me Take You There” by Stephanie McDee
17. “This Time It Was Me” by Arthur Young
18. “Don’t Go” by Volton Wright
19. “Bad Bitch” by LaMorris Williams
20. “Step Into My Room” by Lil’ CJ
21. “I Swear (Remix)” by Mr. Don’t Leave (Eric Hunter) feat. Johnny James
22. “She Could Never Be Me” by K. Renaa
23. “All For You” by Crystal Thomas feat. Crystyle
24. “Magic Woman” by Binky Womack
25. “Ms. Fine Thang” by Mr. Hollywood (Calvin Jenkins)
Corner December 2022
Daddy B. Nice's Corner - news and opinion on Southern Soul RnB music and artists Watch for the next three songs tomorrow! Top 25 Southern Soul Singles Of 2022 DBN notes: Merry Christmas everybody! I'm going to count down the Top 25 Songs of 2022 over the next...
Corner November 2022
Daddy B. Nice's Corner - news and opinion on Southern Soul RnB music and artistsNovember 12, 2022 Southern Soul News & Notes Whatever happened to Carl Marshall? Z.Z. Hill Jr.? Robert "The Juice" Lenoir? Willie P. Richardson? Prince Kenyatta? Judi Blue Eyes?...
Corner October 2022
Daddy B. Nice's Corner - news and opinion on Southern Soul RnB music and artistsOctober 15, 2022 Daddy B. Nice's News & Notes The Blues Is Alright Tour has been posted for 2023. Line-ups will change from venue to venue, but you can pretty much count on the usual...
Corner September 2022
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