Daddy B. Nice’s Corner – news and opinion on Southern Soul music and artists
September 23, 2023
News & Notes
King George and the Bruce Wayne Band were surprise performers on the last eve of the Southern Soul Radio Music Conference in Atlanta last month….Wendell B’s passing has ignited a resurgence of interest in his work, with multiple albums on the charts, including his last and greatest, Real Talk, at #1….Money Waters, the rapper who partnered with Jus Epik on the homespun and catchy “Country Girl” last year, has released a new hiphop set, The Porch II….New southern soul CD releases, on the other hand, are at an all-time low (recording artists would do well to take note when timing their releases next year)….Late-summer albums by Bigg Robb, Jeter Jones, William Bell and Ms. Jody are taking up the slack….New southern soul stars—Pokey Bear, King George—and old southern soul stars—Lenny Williams, Theodis Ealey—and fellow performers will head for the Mid-Atlantic (Norfolk, Baltimore) in October….
Who is Frank Johnson? Well, he’s not southern soul’s legendary songwriter/performer, Frank-O Johnson. Just one of a multitude of new southern soul singers. What distinguishes him is he’s the first performer whose artistic influences can be definitively traced back to King George, right down to the eerily similar vocals…..Oh, and guess what. Johnson’s new single “Hate On Me” was produced by George’s producer, Kang803….
Adrian Bagher has come a long way since his first single “Come Around This Corner (99 Problems I Can Help You Solve)” in 2013. He routinely scores singles in the millions of views on YouTube, and he has just released his new album ISM with no less than seventeen apparently all-new songs. See New Album Alert….Unkle Phunk is back with King Russell on a track titled “Wop That Thang”. The YouTube video features some downright serious twerking….
“Part Time Lover” is suddenly a popular song title again. New artist Lady Reddtop has released a single called “Part Time Lover” and a new male artist named J. Lake has done the same. Longtime southern soul aficionados know “Part Time Lover” as the unique, out-of-print classic by little-known yet legendary southern soul diva Lady J. Her “Part Time Lover” has generated dozens of letters to DBN’s Mailbag over the last two decades requesting a copy.
The Blues Is Alright tour picks up steam this fall, with dates in Raleigh N.C. 9/29, Greenville S.C. 9/30, Baltimore MD. 10/6, Norfolk VA. 10/7, Huntsville AL. 10/13, Monroe LA. 10/15, Orlando FL 11/3, Fayetteville N.C. 11/4, Tupelo MS. 11/10, Biloxi MS. 11/11, Greensboro N.C. 11/17 and Albany GA. 11/18. For new fans, the Blues Is Alright Tour is southern soul music’s most prestigious concert tour featuring the genre’s highest-grossing artists. See Concert Calendar.
—Daddy B. Nice
September 3, 2023
TOP 40 SOUTHERN SOUL SINGLES: SEPTEMBER
An expanded list of the songs vying for “Top Ten Singles” in September 2023.
1. “Auntie Outside”—Mike Clark Jr.
2. “Dip”—CuznJed feat. Koray Broussard
3. “Gotta Do Right”—P2K DaDiddy feat. FPJ
4. “Talk My Shit”—Jay Morris Group
5. “Trail Ride Jump”—Cheff Da Entertainer feat. Poka Jones & Sticky P
6. “I’m Packing My Clothes”—O.C. Soul
7. “You Must Be Smokin'”—Rodnae Da Boss
8. “Sexy Real Bad”—Avail Hollywood feat. DJ Trac
9. “Here I Stand”—Nellie “Tiger” Travis
10. “Just Like That”—L.J. Echols
11. “If You Can’t Add”—Ms. Monique
12. “It’s Been A Long Time”—Memphis Jackson (Re-entry)
13. “Woman In The Middle”—Bre Wooten
14. “That Trail Ride Life”—J.B. Hendricks
15. “Get My Party On”—Sema’j
16. “Shawty”—Willie Clayton
17. “Your Good Stuff”—Mark “Muleman” Massey
18. “Busted Cheating At The Holiday Inn”—Mr. Midnight
19. “Full Tank Of Gas”—P2K DaDiddy
20. “Please Come Back To Me”—The Swinging Bridgettes
21. “Whole Check”—Lady Q
22. “Change My Mind”—K.D. Dawson
23. “Want Ads”—Dolla Bill Dodson
24. “Reset Button”—Mr. Nelson
25. “At The Trailride”—Chauncey Likes
26. “Trailride Shawty”—Marcellus The Singer
27. “Chop It Up”—King George & Joe Eddy Jr.
28. “Good Energy”—Carlin Taylor
29. “Party”—Terry B feat. Tonio Armani
30. “Ooh Wee”—Hisyde
31. “Am I Not Enough?”—J’Cenae
32. “I Don’t Wanna Go Home”—Freaky B
33. “I Don’t Know (What You’re Doing To Me)”—Big 251
34. “Creekwater”—Country Boy
35. “Pimp Down”—J.B. Hendricks
36. “Thick”—Chauncey Likes feat. Don Gotcha
37. “Life Of A Blues Man”—Robert Day & Hoosier Blue
38. “Come Home With Me”—Jeter Jones feat. LaMorris Williams & Volton Wright
39. “Fake Ass Family Folk”—Steve Perry
40. “Trailride”—Tyrone Grant
August 13, 2023
Daddy B. Nice’s News & Notes: Coach Prime, Wendell B
Southern Soul & College Football: Coach Prime from Jackson State to University of Colorado
I’ve had two great passions in my adult life. The first is music, of course, with southern soul filling that niche over the last quarter century. The second is college football, although that passion was a faded memory up until a few months ago, a relic of the late 80’s, 90’s and early 00’s when my hometown Colorado Buffaloes were players on the national scene—with Notre Dame, Michigan, Miami and Nebraska among Colorado’s intense rivalries. I’d buy recruiting magazines and all of the stuff football fans do.
Then came Colorado’s entry into the Pac-12, where they seemed to be at home with the more sophisticated and academically-superior programs of the West Coast. CU fancied itself another Stanford, and with Stanford-like hubris, football became a low priority, and for close to two decades I couldn’t even bear to follow college football, much less turn on ESPN’s Saturday-morning “College Game Day”. Sky-high academic requirements decimated CU’s recruiting, and long before CU became the stars of the transfer portal (this winter under Coach Prime), Colorado endured years of being picked over like a plucked chicken by the USC’s and Oregon’s of the Pac-12, falling to an all-time low with a one-and-eleven record in 2022.
Then—fresh from Jackson State in Jackson, Mississippi, the birthplace of my southern soul career and musical home-away-from-home—came Coach Prime (Hall-of-Famer Deion Sanders) to the rescue of the worst Power-5 football program in the country. Nothing could have been more earth-shattering. Suddenly the impossible became possible. Colorado football was relevant again. Trawling for music on YouTube gave way (especially at the end of my days) to trawling for podcasts on Coach Prime. I had never been inside the walls of Colorado’s gleaming and luxurious athletic digs. Suddenly it was all on social media, courtesy of no less than three Coach Prime-related entities who were taking me inside the facilities on their podcasts: Well-Off Media (produced daily by Deion Sanders, Jr.), Thee Pregame Show (produced daily by C. Darryl Neely), and Reach The People Media (produced daily by Darius Sanders).
Only Deion Jr. was an immediate family member. Darius (Deion Jr.’s age but not a family member) and Neely (a big teddybear of a man who had become an intimate of Coach Prime from the Jackson State tenure) were nevertheless so ingrained into the “Coach Prime family” that they mingled with the athletes and recruits at will, filming and recording the players and the coaches in the midst of the daily routines with Kardashian-like transparency. It was quite literally a first in college football, further enhancing the Colorado brand. And around this core of social media sources sprang up a veritable cottage industry of podcasters chronicling the Coach Prime era in every conceivable manner. The result was Colorado’s transformation from college football outcast to darling and a legion of podcasters riding Coach Prime’s coat-tails and gleefully quitting their day jobs.
The dovetailing of southern culture in the form of Coach Prime and southern soul music, my daily passion and regimen, will reach its first milestone in just a couple of weeks, September 2nd, with CU’s nationally-televised game on ESPN with TCU, who got shellacked by Georgia in the national championsip game last year. You may remember that ESPN also televised Colorado’s sold-out spring football game (with snow!) over the likes of Alabama and Georgia just a few months ago. Yes, I’m pinching myself. Am I dreaming?
In my early years I’d hunker down in B.B. King’s motel at the intersection of I-20 and Ellis Avenue on the fringes of south Jackson, recording southern soul from the radio 24/7 on boombox cassettes. (King wasn’t an owner; he had a permanently-reserved two-story room. He stayed in the top, the band below) I didn’t know anybody or anything in those days. I was on a mission to “save” a music no one outside of the Deep South had any idea existed. It was definitely an “If a tree falls in the middle of the forest/Does anyone hear it?” situation.
Over the years I became an “insider”—a participant in that contemporary southern soul community—shuttling back and forth between the Delta and the mountains. And knowing the South so well, and knowing that the South has the best musicians and the best athletes, I worried through Colorado’s most bitter winter in memory that Coach Prime and his “family” would pack up and go home. I worried about the culture shock for any Southerners in Boulder—in particular the lack of southern-style food, the dearth of black people in the city, the utter lack of reasonably-priced housing. The two cities (Boulder and Jackson) couldn’t be more dissimilar, and yet Coach Prime has changed the culture at the University of Colorado with even more flair than he did at Jackson State. Fans in Boulder are delirious with excitement. It’s a feeling Jackson once had—and knows well.
Wendell B We Hardly Knew Thee
Now that the shock of his death has subsided, the most striking thing about Wendell B is how secretive he was. The St. Louis native’s family never published a local obituary, nor were services posted, although it is rumored that they took place on August 10th at Greater Grace Church in St. Louis. Diagnosed with cancer in 2022, Wendell Brown went through treatment in secret with the possible exception of one family social media post. Meanwhile, he was missed on the concert circuit, prompting comments on my part that health issues might be the cause.
Was Wendell ambivalent about his success in southern soul? Only his fellow artists truly know. But in general his music says otherwise. His family might have been another matter. Did they keep his southern soul at arm’s length? We may never know. Also surprising was Wendell’s age—sixty-five. He sang with the energy and verve of a younger man, leading me to remark often that his best work (and acclaim) lay ahead.
Wendell Brown, aka Wendell B., was born in St. Louis, Missouri. His parents were from the South, and as a child Brown attended family reunions in Mississippi and Alabama, where he soaked up the blues and gospel culture. He also sang in family-oriented gospel groups, where he inevitably became the lead singer.
In his teens Wendell Brown met Oliver Sain, the St. Louis-based R&B legend (Ike Turner’s sax player) who had also been instrumental in St. Louis-born Barbara Carr’s career. Brown began supplementing his gospel work with performances in local secular bands, playing with and learning from such local singers as Marvin Rice (Masters Touch) and Carl Holmes (Vision Band). He later became lead singer of the Vision Band and recorded a single in Minneapolis with Jesse Johnson (of The Time). Brown also worked in advertising singing jingles.
Brown’s debut solo CD was released by Atlanta label Raw Deal in 1998 under the name Wendell Brown. Roger Troutman was featured on one of the tracks. Now out of print, Make It Good For Ya did not appear in chitlin’ circuit venues.
Wendell Brown returned to St. Louis in 1999, upon his father’s passing, and with his cousin, NBA player Jahidi White, started his own label, Cuzzo. The label released Good Times, Wendell’s solo debut under the name “Wendell B.,” in 2005.
Anchored by its oft-played single, “Just Don’t Understand You,” the album became a “signature” work, gaining air play and fans throughout the South and beyond.
Wendell’s deep, rich, variable baritone drew comparisons with mainstream R&B crooners like Luther Vandross, Will Downing and Barry White. Southern Soul fans, however, flocked to the music because Brown infused his ballads, produced by Mike “360” Brooks, with a gritty, gospel-influenced sound.
Wendell changed the record label’s name to Smoothway for his next CD, Time To Relax…Love, Life & Relationships in 2007. The CD featured the singles “This Ain’t Livin'” and “She Didn’t Have To Treat Ya Boy Like That.”
The same year, Wendell released a Christmas CD entitled Save A Little Room For Me.
In 2010 Brown released a pair of CD’s, one which he designated as Southern Soul (In Touch With My Southern Soul) and one which he characterized as R&B (Back Ta Bid’ness). The Southern Soul disc was a favorite on the chitlin’ circuit, spawning popular singles such as “Mississippi Girl,” “The Best Time I Ever Had In My Life,” “I Can Deal With The Leaks” and “Working On The Building.”
Continue reading at Wendell B #8 The New Generation of Southern Soul.
—Daddy B. Nice
August 1, 2023
TOP 40 SOUTHERN SOUL SINGLES: AUGUST
An expanded list of the songs vying for “Top Ten Singles” in August 2023.
1. “Cowgirl Trailride”—S. Dott feat. Tonio Armani
2. “Lil’ Weight Don’t Bother Me”—King George
3. “Get It! Get It! Pt. 2”—Ms. Jody
4. “Southern Man (The Anthem)”—Cecily Wilborn feat. West Love
5. “Good Ole Boyz”—Jeter Jones
6. “Do The Trucker Slide”—Arthur Young feat. DJ Trucker and Mrs. Ty
7. “Witcha When Ya Right”—Marcellus The Singer
8. “Party People”—Tucka
9. “Most Wanted (Dead Or Alive)”—Jeter Jones feat. Jake Carter
10. “Man Bout A Horse”—Mz Tequi
11. “Sally”—R.T. Taylor
12. “Trailride Anthem”—Jeter Jones feat. DJ Big Tony
13. “Rock With It”—Chavonna Adams feat. Wolfman Delliyo
14. “Cafe Shuffle”—Mtm Rara
15. “Chill And Make Up”—Ciddy Boi P feat. C. Jones
16. “She Rock My Boat”—Mr. Same Thang
17. “Ain’t No Bitch In Me”—Keith Brougham
18. “Rock The Boat”—Mr. House feat. Ciddy Boi P
19. “Rescue”—West Love
20. “It Is What It Is”—Big Mel
21. “Good Thang Man”—Klay Redd aka KoolAce
22. “Southern Soul Bounce (Remix)”—Ms. Jody
23. “Soul Tie”—Mike Rob
24. “Southern Soul Party”—Big Eez
25. “Go On And Leave”—Tiffany Rachal feat. Jeter Jones
26. “Southern Soul Anthem”—Lady Shabazz
27. “Pop That Thang”—Johnny Be Good
28. “Til This Weekend”—Methrone
29. “I’ve Got Amnesia”—Nellie “Tiger” Travis
30. “If He Don’t Wanna Love You”—Ms. Jody
31. “Yappin'”—Summer Wolfe feat. Narvel Echols
32. “Use To Be My Man”—Eisha The Incredible
33. “Auntie Love”—Sky Whatley
34. “Showout Showout Step”—Al Davis feat. Showout Girl Que
35. “Let’s Party Right (A Night To Remember)”—Ms. Jody
37. “Something Real”—Highway Heavy feat. Champagne
38. “Took A Chance On Me”—Ciddy Boi P
39. “Go Home With You”—Portia P feat J-Wonn
40. “Something In The Water”—Fat Daddy
July 7, 2023
Daddy B. Nice’s News & Notes
Hard to believe, but half of 2023 is already behind us. Here’s a glimpse of what’s transpired in southern soul music so far, beginning with an unusually fabulous start. Usually, the charts take a month or two after the holidays to warm up. This year the trio of Sir Charles Jones, Jeter Jones and King George showered tunes….
January opened with Sir Charles’ #1 single “Highway 55,” one of the most personal and revealing (not to mention musically sophisticated) southern soul songs ever published, encompassing everything from poisoning to potential gun suicide to belief and faith in God. Interestingly, as autobiographical as the lyrics are, “Highway 55” was co-written by Jearmine Rayford…..
Sir Charles wasn’t the only Jones to make 2023 one of the hottest starts in chitlin’ circuit history. Jeter Jones dropped his latest—and one of his very best—albums, Sugar Hill Highway 84, landing three singles (“Church Candy,” “I Ain’t Leaving My Lady” and “We Be Acting Up”) in January’s Top 10 Singles, and scoring three more singles, including the #1 single “I Found Love,” in February. Jeter also made fans nervous with the news of impending retirement….
Not to be outdone, King George—what in sports is called a “generational” talent—proved he wasn’t a flash in the pan. His single “Messy” (with Coldrank) was the #3-ranked song in February while the monumental “Night-Time” would later top the charts at #1 in May. However, due to his highly-sought-after services as a guest artist, George’s presence was felt long before that. P2K Dadiddy achieved his biggest hit to date with the King George-aided “U-Turn,” new artist Tyronica “Badgir” Rawls scored a solid debut with George’s help with “Steppin’ Out,” Stephanie McDee covered the King’s “Girl You Got It” with her “Boy You Got It,” and West Love brought King George onboard for her single “The Mac”—all of them before the year could barely toddle across the room….
J-Wonn continued his astonishing maturation in The Foundation, his second strong long-play set in a row, charting the singles “My Kinda Crazy” and “Take You Down Through There”. Grammy-winner William Bell thrilled fans with the sounds of live violins on his new album One Day Closer To Home. Dee Dee Simon hit #1 with her most stellar southern soul ballad to date, “I Wanna Slow Dance”….
Bigg Robb checked in with another blockbuster album, including the Top 10 singles “Smiling And Crying” and “Black Woman Magic”. Narvel Echols, Nelson Curry and Carolyn Staten all captured #1 singles. Magic One, Jaye Hammer, Arthur Young, T.K. Soul, Pokey Bear, Vick Allen, Marcellus The Singer, F.P.G. and Terry Wright all released significant music, nor can we forget Avail Hollywood’s vocal on “Hallelujah & Amen”….
Amongst a slew of newcomers, M. Cally, Big Mel, Queen Denae, Young Guy and Teslanay stood out. Meanwhile, Wendell B returned after a hiatus for health issues, and, sadly, southern soul great Peggy Scott-Adams and (Lewis Clark) The Love Doctor, the “slow roll it” man himself, passed through the velvet rope to Soul Heaven.
In other news, the Southern Soul Radio, Film & Music Conference—a first of its kind gathering of all types of southern soul industry veterans and fans—takes place August 17-19th at the Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Airport. Click the link for information….
The ZBT (Zydeco, Blues & Trailride) Awards are scheduled for December 10th in Houston. Big Yayo, Crystal Thomas, Magic One and Lady Q are among the honorees….
“A Night To Remember,” Ms. Jody’s 18th (congratulations!) album on Ecko Records has arrived. Ms. Jody talks about the new music with Heikki Suosalo in Soul Express.
Had an interesting back-and-forth this month with DJ Sir Rockinghood about West Love’s winsome duet with King George, “The Mac,” which charted here at #2 in January. I especially like it because at times West Love sounds like the inimitable Della Reese (you young’uns’ll have to google her). But I did not know—or had forgotten—the melody came from Tyrone Davis’ “In The Mood” until Sir Rockinghood obligingly schooled me. (Click the link for “The Mac” above to hear his seamless mix of the two.) Then we got into what’s up with the title. Of course, for me especially, “Return of the Mack” comes to mind, but there appears to be no connection. Rockinghood is leaning towards the 1973 blaxploitation movie “The Mack” with Richard Pryor. If you have an insight into the origins of this title—well, to quote Coach Prime—“I ain’t hard to find.”
Daddy B. Nice
July 4, 2023
TOP 40 SOUTHERN SOUL SINGLES: JULY
An expanded list of the songs vying for “Top Ten Singles” in July 2023.
1. “I Wanna Slow Dance”—Dee Dee Simon
2. “Nana Pie”—Chris Ivy
3. “Smoke Slide”—Mr. Smoke
4. “Back It Up Remix”—Nellie “Tiger” Travis feat. Uncle Daddy aka ERealist
5. “Second Of Your Time (Reloaded)”—Highway Heavy feat. Dave Mack & Robert Butler
6. “Sexy When You Stepping”—T.K. Soul
7. “Love Joy Peace Happiness”—Malcom Simmons feat. Meme Green
8. “Black Woman Magic”—Bigg Robb
9. “Chicken And Cheeks”—Lacee
10. “I’m Ready”—Donna Renae
11. “Get Some Other Girl”—Karen Wolfe
13. “Leaving Me”—Stevie J. Blues
14. “Come On Baby”—Mr. Smoke
15. “Summer Tyme”—Uncle Gymini feat. DJ Trans
16. “How Do I Tell Her”—Avail Hollywood
17. “Every Day Is A Party”—Mr. Jimmy
18. “Old Days”—Big G
19. “Pull Up On Me”—DJ Chill Will Baby feat. Jeter Jones, B. Pureese & Volton Wright
20. “Mr. Pay Them Bills”—Ollie Moore
21. “I’m A Soul Man”—Patrick Green
22. “I’m Lovin’ On You”—Unkle Phunk
23. “Dope Love”—Mr. Smoke
24. “Grown Folks Party”—Radio Rasheed
25. “In My Cup”—Solomon Thompson
26. “Put Something On My Mind”—Portia P
28. “Handyman”—D. Riggs feat. Jeter Jones
29. “Rulezzz”—Till 1
30. “Ain’t Trickin’ If You Got It”—Sugar Daddy Mike
31. “Set The Groove”—J’Cenae
32. “Fool For You”—Tre’ Williams (Re-entry)
33. “Jody Got Your Girl And Gone”—Unkle Phunk (Re-entry)
34. “Medicine”—Pokey Bear feat. Tina P
35. “When He’s Gone”—Tha Big Dude
36. “Sunshine”—Roi “Chip” Anthony feat. Lil’ Keke
37. “Dancing Lady”—Darrell Ruger
38. “Baecation”—Johnny James
39. “Imma Good Dog”—Gene Munns
40. “Cornbread”—Lady Jacqueline & Uncle Gymini
June 19, 2023
THE LOVE DOCTOR R.I.P.
June 14, 2023
Daddy B. Nice’s News & Notes
If you’re in the Black South and you’re going to a blues festival, you’re going to a southern soul concert. Let me say that again for the Coastals and Northerners. If you’re going to a blues festival in the Black South (east Texas to the Carolinas) you’re going to a southern soul concert…
So, for example, if you’re going to the Annual Biloxi Blues Festival in Biloxi, or if you’re going to the Father’s Day Weekend Blues Blow Out in Jackson, you’re going to shows featuring southern soul stars: Sir Charles Jones, Pokey Bear, Tucka, King George…. and the like. This year’s Mother’s Day festivities were a typically high-grossing weekend, with multi-act line-ups in Hattiesburg MS., Baker LS., Orangeburg S.C, Pensacola Fl., Dothan AL., Clarksdale MS., and Tulsa OK., to name only those featured in Daddy B. Nice’s Concert Calendar. The venues hosted audiences in the thousands with average tickets/merch sales in the quarter-million bracket.
Southern soul lovers may not be buying the music, but they’re paying to see it, and they’re doing so with an insatiable appetite and rhythm: Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Father’s Day, 4th of July, and the weekends in between as well, and in the winter inside the auditoriums. The South cannot get enough southern soul. A phrase from this month’s #1 southern soul single says it all. The song is Nelson Curry’s cover of the late great Mel Waiters’ “Got My Whiskey,” and the phrase is
“Play me some Marvin Sease
And some Marvin Gaye”.
Dismissing whether Gaye was technically a blues musician (most of us would probably say “soul”), the way you react to that couplet tells whether you’re a Northerner or a Southerner in 2023.
In Other “News & Notes”….
…Frank-O Johnson channels his best Tyrone Davis in his new song written for Isaac Lindsay, “Work Out At Home”….DJ Sir Rockinghood has an 8-minute remix of “The Mac” by West Love and King George running on YouTube….As only he can, Heikki Suosalo goes in depth on Rufus Thomas and Bettye LaVette in recent columns at Soul Express….
Watch for the sophomore album from Mr. Smoke this month. The CD is called “Still Smokin'” and is being released by Tucka’s label, Hit Nation…..Jeter Jones is cruising again this year, departing Galveston TX October 9-14th…..Uncle E (Ector Norman) passed away June 1st. The funeral was held in Atlanta….
Two of southern soul’s few remaining, older-generation greats will be “back home” this summer. Bobby Rush will appear in a rare multi-bill, southern soul concert in Memphis August 19th, and Latimore will appear in a multi-act southern soul event July 2nd at the Wolf Creek Amphitheater in Atlanta….
Congratulations to the Jay Morris Group and O.B. Buchana (long overdue), who will be joining the Blues Is Alright Tour in Tupelo MS November 10th….Where is Beat Flippa….? I’m missing him…..
While compiling names of divas in last month’s “News & Notes” feature Who Will Fill The Vacuum In The Top Ranks of Female Southern Soul Artists?, I missed many who have since come to mind…:Champagne, Mrs. Sham, Ms. Ty, Portia P., Shell-B, Nadia Thee Primadonna, Tip The Singer, Sheila B. Sexi, Ms. Kida, Rita Brent, Donyale Renee, Mz. Juicy, Annisa Hampton, Beatrice, Lady Di, Little Kim Stewart, DeShay…… And did you know? 2022 was the only year in the history of Daddy B. Nice’s Best Debut Awards that there were no female nominees? I didn’t realize that until six months after the fact….
Artists updated with new listings and links in Daddy B. Nice’s Comprehensive Index this month…..
(CLICK HERE TO FIND THE NAMES.)
Mississippi Hummin’ Boy
Ciddy Boi P
Mr. Don’t Leave (Eric Hunter)
Mr. Hollywood (Calvin Jenkins)
Marcellus The Singer
Miss Lady Blues
The Jay Morris Group
–Daddy B. Nice
June 1, 2023
TOP 40 SOUTHERN SOUL SINGLES: JUNE
An expanded list of the songs vying for “Top Ten Singles” in June 2023.
1. “Got My Whiskey”—Nelson Curry
2. “Smiling And Crying”—Bigg Robb
3. “Take Heed (The Same Thing)”—Young Guy
4. “Cowgirl”—Mz. Brown Suga
5. “The Party Ain’t Over”—Ronnie Bell
6. “What It Is About You”—T.K. Soul
7. “B.Y.O.B. (Bring Yo Own Bottle)”—Queen Denae feat. Big Yayo
8. “You Played Too Long”—Terry Wright
9. “She’s The One That Do It For Me”—Wendell B.
10. “(I Don’t Want) My Sidepiece (No More)”—Pokey Bear feat. Tyree Neal
11. “Good Thang”—Stan Butler
12. “FYA”—Summer Wolfe
13. “Pull Up On Me”—Mr. Oboi feat. Big Yayo
15. “Work Out At Home”—Isaac Lindsay
16. “Southern Soul Groove Step”—CoCo Wade
17. “Belly On Ya”—Bigg Robb
18. “Moonshine In The Trunk”—Nephew Jones
19. “Shake Sum”—Arthur Young
20. “That Thang Good”—Vick Allen
21. “Mama Knows”—Sir Charles Jones feat. J-Wonn
22. “Georgia Peach”—William Bell
23. “The Other Woman”—Angel Faye Russell
24. “Joyous”—Gwen Yvette feat. Sean Dolby & Joe Nice
25. “No Man’s Used To Be”—Rosalind Candy
26. “Come On Over”—Sky Whatley
27. “I Wanna Take Care Of You”—Audi Yo
28. “No Time”—Royal D feat. Methrone
29. “Turn ‘Er Loose”—PC Band
30. “Loyalty Over Love”—Redemption feat. Volton Wright
31. “Chicken And Cheeks”—Lacee
32. “Go To Work”—Joe Nice & Sean Dolby
33. “Cash Money”—Chuck Strong
34. “Friends Before Lovers”—Leroy Allen
35. “Party Like We Used To”—Narvel Echols feat. Bonez
36. “Sling Your Weave”—Royal D feat. Ricky White
37. “Good Love”—Carlin Taylor
38. “My Sidepiece Side-Stepped Me”—Grady Champion
39. “Loving On You, You Loving On Me”—Evette Busby
40. “How Low Can You Go (Remix)”—L.J. Echols feat. Doobie
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
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
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
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)
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