Daddy B. Nice’s Corner – news and opinion on Southern Soul music and artists

February 18, 2024

Daddy B. Nice’s News & Notes

Will Southern Soul Deejays Play Country Western/Southern Soul?

“Texas Hold ‘Em,” Beyonce’s unabashedly country-western-styled dance jam, is generating controversy amongst country music deejays across America. The same thing—in reverse—is happening on a lesser scale in the world of southern soul. I’m not just talking about the preponderance of cowboy hats, “daisy dukes” and boots, horses, trail rides, pickups and musical blending of country themes into southern soul that has been going on now for roughly a decade since Big Yayo’s pre-cowboy-hat-wearing “Cowgirl” appeared and a half-decade since Jeter Jones’ “Black Horse” officially kicked off the “country-fication” of southern soul. Nor am I even talking about the avalanche of country-styled tunes and titles that have followed, songs like Jus Epik’s & Money Waters’ “Country Girl,” in which country influences both musical and lyrical customize a still sturdy southern soul chassis.

Which brings me to the present moment: the pure country-western vocals of Jeter Jones new “Country Girl” and Cecily Wilborn’s “Red Cup Blues”. Yepp. Two major artists have crossed the boundary between southern soul and country. All the way. Are they experiments? It’s hard to say. Jeter Jones recorded a song that’s become a southern soul classic: “My Country Girl”. But his new “Country Girl,” from the just-released Big Boss EP, is pure country—not least the exaggerated vocal. But even that shocker is surpassed by Cecily Wilborn’s new song, “Red Cup Blues,” in which she nearly outdoes Beyonce in her genuine transformation into a bonafide country singer. So much so that your Daddy B. Nice’s Top 10 Singles for March might sound more like a country-western chart than southern soul. As if that weren’t enough, the producer for “Red Cup Blues” is Kang 803, King George’s producer and the hottest southern soul producer of the moment. If you remember, Kang 803 inserted delicate steel guitar fillips into King George’s #1 song of 2023, “Night Time”. And they—he and George—used to be rappers!

I recently stumbled upon a song that came out in the latter part of 2023 called
“Back Roads” by GMB Li Curt and ShawtyMac, just a couple of the black artists including K.D. Conner, Curt The Countryman and Countryboi Tye currently recording country. Marcellus The Singer actually guests on another version of the song by Curt The Countryman. “Back Roads” is too good to ignore, but I confess to almost feeling guilty enjoying it because it is country, man, so much so that when the rap verse came in I felt a twinge of relief because, ironically, the rap validated it as a contemporary southern soul song!

As long as there has been country music there have been black country artists. The great Ray Charles straddled both genres like a colossus back in my young day. But here’s the kicker. These new songs ARE pure country. They’re not southern soul. If a new generation of musicians follows suit, you can’t really call it southern soul anymore. Or can you?


Bobby Rush has done it again—won his third Grammy. Best Traditional Blues album of 2023 for All My Love For You. The singer is a living legend. He out-lived his fabled contemporaries—Johnnie Taylor, Marvin Sease, Mel Waiters, Little Milton—and having reached the pinnacle of visibility for a traditional black artist, made the necessary adjustments to his recording style and performance routine to make fame stick. Congratulations, Bobby! We love you back!

Jerry “Boogie” Mason, the indefatigable and longest-running media facilitator in southern soul music, will be honored at the 2nd Annual Radio Music & Film Conference in Atlanta Saturday, August 17, 2024.

Need more evidence of southern soul infiltrating the white audience? Larry Chambers of Ecko Records in Memphis recently sent out an email for a new Ms. Jody single, “Burger King” from her 5-star-rated album A Night To Remember. The email blast included a YouTube video of white folks line-dancing to “The Southern Soul Bounce”. They’re not the kind of people you’d think of as southern soul fans if you saw them on the street, to say the least, and there’s not a black body in the room, but click the link above—it’s great, they get it.

Gina Brown Passes

Southern soul singer Gina Brown died Wednesday, January 31, 2024. A Celebration of Life Concert was held at the Fillmore At Harrah’s in New Orleans on Thursday, February 15th. Gina Brown’s song “We’re Having A Party” was Daddy B. Nice’s #1 Southern Soul Single in December of 2011 (click link). Find hyper-links to more appearances by Gina Brown on the website in Daddy B. Nice’s Comprehensive Index.

–Daddy B. Nice



January 3, 2024


An expanded list of the songs vying for “Top Ten Singles” in February 2024.

1. “Swing Out”—West Love
2. “In Front Of Me”—The Jay Morris Group
3. “You Baby”—Marcellus The Singer feat. Cecily Wilborn
4. “Crazy About You”—Derek The Change Man Smith
5. “Put It In Ya Life”—Lil’ Runt feat. Jeter Jones
6. “Too Soon”—Kandy Janai
7. “Love Bone”—Donnie Ray
8. “Yo Truck (Ain’t Better Than Mine)”—Jeter Jones
9. “Let It Be Said”—J. Lake
10. “Can I Get A Witness?”—LaMorris Williams

11. “Back To Myself”—Karen Wolfe
12. “Mz. Judy”—CuznJed feat. Prince Hodge
13. “Wet Anthem”—Big 251
14. “Southern Soul”—El Willie
15. “Let Me Know”—Big Mel
16. “Why Not?”—J-Wonn
17. “Henn Peck Man”—Lady J
18. “Swing My Way”—Ice Doll feat. Cupid
19. “Loving You Wright”—Champagne Wright feat. Dope Boy Bluez
20. “He Ain’t Gone Do Right”—Shae Nycole

21. “God Still Working On Me”—Avail Hollywood
22. “Alone”—King South
23. “Elevator”—Royal D feat. Cupid
24. “Give Him His Papers”—Big G
25. “Yapping”—Summer Wolfe feat. Narvel Echols
26. “Don’t Fuck With Me”—Lady Shebazz
27. “Sexy”—Black Diamond
28. “Just Us 2”—Memphis Jackson
29. “Outside”—Mz. Pat feat. Ciddy Boi P
30. “Transition”—Columbus Toy

31. “Make It Rain”—Vick Allen
32. “Baby Come Home”—Mz. Poochie
33. “Living My Life”—Jeff Floyd feat. Roi “Chip” Anthony
34. “You Can Make It”—Maia B
35. “Put It On Me”—Shell-B
36. “Good Good Man”—T.J. Hooker Taylor
37. “Thick Country Girl”—Mr. Laidback
38. “Tootsie”—O.B. Buchana
39. “Ain’t Nobody Crazy”—Princess Towanna Murphy
40. “Party People”—Ms. Priscilla feat. Narvel Echols


January 8, 2024


An expanded list of the songs vying for “Top Ten Singles” in January 2024.

1. “Until We Meet Again”—Marcellus The Singer
2. “Down In The Sippi”—FaLisa JaNaye
3. “Busted Cheating At The Holiday Inn”—Mr. Midnight
4. “I Can’t Live Without You”—Memphis Jackson
5. “Party”—Cecily Wilborn
6. “Let’s Get Married Today”—Stan Butler
7. “Cut Friend”—Sky Whatley
8. “Good Tyme”—P2K DaDiddy feat. Frank Johnson
9. “Older Woman”—S. Dott
10. “Sooner Or Later”—Tonio Armani

11. “Trail Ride”—Jonathan Burton
12. “Mr. Right”—Ced Wade feat. Willie Clayton
13. “Let’s Ride”—David J
14. “Feenin'”—Urban Mystic
15. “Here For You”—Big Mel
16. “Why Not?”—J-Wonn
17. “Mr. Fix It”—Ty Juan
18. “Rooty Tooty”—Cadillac Cho
19. “Ayyyeeee”—Sean Dolby feat. Dani Dolce
20. “Pull Up On Me”—Keneisha

21. “”Steppin’ And Swingin'”—Magic One
22. “Get My Party On”—Meeka Meeka
23. “Big Bone Girl”—Ced Wade feat. Big Mel
24. “How Does It Feel”—Dee Dee Simon
25. “Used To Love Her”—Willie Rich
26. “Show Me That You Love Me”—Delo Brown
27. “Stress Me Out”—Marcellus The Singer
28. “Cafe Shuffle”—MTM Rara
29. “It’s U”—Volton Wright feat. Songbird
30. “Glide”—Rosalyn Candy

31. “It Ain’t Good For You”—Tyree Neal
32. “Make That Body Roll”—Ciddy Boi P
33. “Wind It Up”—Choppa Law
34. “If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)”—Joe Nice feat. Jonathan Butler
35. “Flow With It”—Meme Yahsal
36. “Club People”—UNYQC
37. “Take You Out Tonight”—T-Man
38. “Don’t Get Mad At Jody”—Uncle T
39. “Hot And Spicy”—Gentry-Jones
40. “Grownman”—Rico C


January 1, 2024


Two questions preoccupy my end-of-year thoughts. 1/ How famous is King George, really? And…2/ What happens to southern soul music if someone becomes so famous, so dominant (say, like Elvis bringing the black sound and style of rhythm and blues into early rock and roll in the late 1950’s) that he or she transcends chitlin’ circuit-based southern soul?

In spite of the Deep South being the birthplace of nearly all American popular music, contemporary southern soul has long been marginalized as a kind of “local” music, not ready commercially or technically for the “prime time” of the national scene, with occasional exceptions elbowing their way onto the national best-selling charts. Now comes the phenomenon of King George. How famous is he? Fame implies that a person has transcended the boundaries of his or her chosen field. I was trolling through a college football-recruiting podcast chat thread recently when I came upon this post:

Minister Philly: “Ohhh, I said ‘King George’ but I meant King Joseph.”

For those who don’t follow college football, King Joseph was a much sought-after linebacker recruit. But the fact that King George was thrown into the post by mistake astounded me, as did the fact that the poster assumed that King George was a name that everyone reading the post would recognize not as a football player but as a well-known performer.

And consider this. In the summer of 2023, in only his sophomore year as a southern soul singer and with only one album-length, solo collection under his recording belt, King George hung out with the likes of Erykah Badu and Snoop Dogg, the latter even reportedly considering signing him to the hiphop label Death Row Records he had bought from Suge Knight in 2022. (FYI, it didn’t get done but not for reasons having to do with King George.) And meanwhile, King George became the “must-see,” indispensable headliner on the Blues Is Alright Tour on every darned tour stop, be it the East Coast, West Coast, the North or the South. 2023 proved King George is a generational talent and the biggest thing to happen to southern soul since Johnnie Taylor.

Southern soul advocates can already see where I’m going with this. Will King George drag the rest of southern soul music along with him like a bride with a long-trained wedding gown, reflecting the comforting glow of his fame over the entire genre as Bob Marley did for reggae in the 80’s and 90’s? The comparison is apt because George’s vocals, like Marley’s, are incomparable in their tone and ability to communicate, and George operates in that mid-tempo “sweet spot of southern soul” (to use a Daddy B. Nice phrase) just as Bob Marley used to do in reggae.

One thing we do know. King George dominated 2023 just as he dominated 2022. Not only was he not a flash in the pan; his 2023 recordings (“Night Time,” “Grown Man,” “Messy,” “U-Turn,” “Lil’ Weight” etc.) were of the same rarefied quality (songwriting, vocalizing, producing) that catapulted him to the top of the southern soul charts in 2022. His collaborations with colleagues were the most coveted projects in the genre. P2K DaDiddy’s “U-Turn,” for instance, changed the trajectory of his entire career, lifting him to an entirely new “pay-grade”. And scores of singers piggy-backed on King George’s songs, recording covers and tributes and parodies and posting them on YouTube.

Meanwhile, for longtime southern soul veterans and prognosticators in particular, 2023 was a year of sheer chaos, illustrating the old adage, You can’t expect something to grow and then be sorry you can’t control it. The workings of the southern soul industry had been changing for years but 2023 seemed to mark a definitive end to the “old” era.

I remember opening my post office box and being surprised I had received an actual CD in a brown mailer (Ecko Records’ “Blues Mix 34: Sensational Southern Soul”). It was the first physical piece of southern soul product I’d received since “Da Legend of Sweet Jeter Jones” a year earlier. Back in the day, I’d get a couple of CD’s a week—and from a much smaller pool of active recording artists. I still have two huge chests of drawers in a back bedroom stuffed with nothing but return-addressed mailers I used to save in case I ever wanted to visit.

In a recent “News & Notes” I complained about another seismic shift in the way things are done: songwriters and producers self-promoting with intrusive “bumps” in the middle of the masters of their songs. That is the direct result of the demise of small indie labels, once the backbone of southern soul distribution, a good portion of which were owned by artists, just as they could be today. The indies sent out bio’s, liner notes and credits. Songwriters and producers (two-thirds of the triumvirate necessary for a hit record) were given their due. Now at best we have a Tower of Babel of social media postings, mostly visual. Amateur hour.

Not only are the old ways becoming extinct. The “old guard” itself has changed. There are a few exceptions. Sir Charles Jones still resides on three Daddy B. Nice Top 100 charts representing successive eras in contemporary southern soul, but Bobby Rush does not; he’s now a nationally-recognized blues artist and no longer qualifies as a practicing southern soul artist. O.B. Buchana, who spans two generations and two charts, occupies a similar yet different kind of no-man’s-land, no longer recording with Ecko or recording much of anything, but still singing what the fans want to hear. That would be his original classic, “Let’s Get Drunk”.

Ten and twenty years ago, there was a set group of artists and it didn’t change much from year to year. It was difficult to break into this insular world of southern soul, but once you did, you were in. You had a long-term lease. Nowadays—and especially in 2023—it’s as if a giant fist swept across the surface of the industry and sent a tableful of fine china flying across the room. All that is gone, and it’s almost easier to be an unknown breaking into southern soul than it is to be a veteran trying to hang in there and retain relevancy. In this sense current southern soul music recalls the insane, tumultuous, and predatory creativity of early rock and roll.

YouTube has been such a game-changer and a veritable playground for the chaos that now characterizes southern soul. I remember when MTV transitioned from 24/7 music videos. Awful. And yet, another generation later, we have MTV music videos to the zillionth degree in YouTube, where once you start playing your favorite southern soul songs your algorithms feed you a never-ending diet of southern soul in the style you prefer. And on this platform you have dozens upon dozens of aspiring southern soul artists a month and hundreds upon hundreds of newcomers a year.

In spite of the demise of the old ways of doing things, however, the music lives on—indeed prospers as it hasn’t since the heyday of Stax and Hi and Malaco, with old stars passing through one set of turnstiles and promising newcomers coming through another. In 2023 we said good-bye to the magnificent Wendell B, the legendary Love Doctor and the beloved Billy “Soul” Bonds while welcoming the inspiring and talented M. Cally, Lady Redtopp, Big Mel, Mike Clark Jr., Cecily Wilborn, Young Guy, Queen Denae and Miron Simpson amongst many, many more. Life is a wheel of change turning inexorably and southern soul mirrors life.

—Daddy B. Nice


December 17, 2023

Daddy B. Nice’s News & Notes


Fame-Seeking Songwriters

It used to be that composers (creators of music and lyrics) recognized that they were a different breed from the performers who had the off-the-charts talent and fearlessness to negotiate those songs in front of an audience. Only think of the great, seminal figures who transitioned what was a fragile thread of southern soul music through the turn of the century into what it is today: Peggy Scott-Adams, Johnnie Taylor, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Marvin Sease, B.B. King, Denise LaSalle, Uncle Milton, Shirley Brown, Z.Z. Hill. Their catalogs were fueled by composers whom the sophisticated and paying-attention segment of the southern soul audience holds in the deepest regard, legendary figures such as Floyd Hamberlin, Lawrence Harper, Harrison Calloway, George Jackson, Charles Richard Cason, Frederick Knight, Jimmy Lewis, to name a few. And as we listen to their tunes today—Frederick Knight’s “Sleep With One Eye Open” sung by Shirley Brown for instance—we can’t imagine a “bump” inserted into the recording saying, “Frederick wrote this.” It would sound almost sacrilegious.

That was what was going through my mind as I listened to “Real Real Woman,” Omar Cunningham’s outstanding new composition, both musically and lyrically, as performed by J’Cenae (#2 Daddy B. Nice’s Top 10 December ’23), in which Omar does just that—says “Omar wrote this”—once in the beginning and once again near the end. It was the second one that killed me, and a few readers noticed when I called out Omar, one noting, “You sure don’t pull punches.” But I believe featuring Omar as Songwriter Supreme the last few months should signal my heart is in the right place. I’m thinking of Cunningham’s own legacy. Twenty years from now, how will he feel when he plays it for himself and/or others? How will he feel about it when the need for promotion is no longer a factor? Will the bumps ever give him a twinge of discomfort?

This practice of inserting commercial bumps that interrupt or “voice-over” the music began in Baton Rouge in the mid-teens with Beat Flippa (Daniel Ross) and Highway Heavy (Charles Lewis). This, you might remember, was the era of the much-heralded Louisiana Blues Brothas and Pokey Bear, a tremblor that shook the southern soul scene in a precursor to the King George earthquake of the last couple of years. Beat Flippa injected each song he wrote/produced with an introductory bump that went, “B-b-b-b-Beat Flippa!” A few years later, another prolific Louisiana composer/producer, Ronald “Slack” Jefferson, would mimic the practice with the bumper “Slack-Traxxxx!”). Tony T (Tony Tatum) was yet another producer who bumped, and in his case, being lesser-known or at least less-visible, it at least had the benefit of being informative.


Lewis (Highway Heavy) took the self-promotion to an even higher level with his “pinky ring music”. Not content to just insert a bump, Heavy insisted on headlining as the performer, in effect elevating the instrumental track over the vocal and turning the credits upside down. Lewis relegated the primary vocalist to “featured artist,” as in “Highway Heavy featuring Champagne” or “Highway Heavy featuring Dave Mack”. Heavy has even appeared in YouTube videos as a vocalist of late, but his rapping hasn’t translated well to southern soul. By the way, in charting Highway Heavy’s hit singles over the years your Daddy B. Nice has almost always switched the primary credit to the vocalist, in keeping with the genre’s long-accepted routine.


Dee Dee Simon Triumphs at Harlem’s Famed Apollo

Dee Dee Simon was crowned winner of “Amateur Night At The Apollo” in New York City on November 22nd. In this history-rich contest, begun in 1934, audience members decide the winner, participating in the competition’s tradition of “cheering” or “booing” each contestant to determine who advances. Former winners include luminaries like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and The Jackson Five. Simon performed “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Coming” and was awarded the Amateur Night Grand Prize of $20,000.


West Love makes her first appearance on the prestigious Blues Is Alright Tour Saturday, February 24th at the Altria Theatre in Richmond, Virginia. And that’s not all. She will be a headliner March 1st at the Savannah Blues Fest (another tour stop) taking place at the Johnny Mercer Theater in Savannah, Georgia’s Civic Center.


A new “Sir Charles” is piggy-backing on the Sir Charles name and trademark. The artist is marketing his music under the name Sir Charles Cary and he has recently posted a song video on YouTube titled “The Door” featuring Trinity Eubanks.

“Dance With Me,” the very first CD that El’ Willie released, has been re-released, along with its semi-famous single, “You Got Me Where You Want Me”El’ Willie first gained renown under his given name William Travis for writing or co-writing (although Theodis Ealey has been loath to acknowledge it) “Stand Up In It” and “All My Baby Left Me Was A Note, My Guitar & The Cookie Jar”—the two hits, in fact, that made Theodis a star. Daddy B. Nice awarded El’ Willie the prestigious Best Male Southern Soul Vocalist of 2007 for the song “You Got Me


Where You Want Me,” but Travis’ solo career under the El’ Willie brand soon devolved into a soft-jazz style (think Michael Franks) which he relentlessly marketed to Daddy B. Nice over the years, a practice which DBN finally skewered in a scathing review titled “What About El’ Willie?”, a parody of the Bill Murray movie “What About Bob?” in which a psychiatrist played by Richard Dreyfuss is driven crazy by a patient (Murray) who obsesses on being close to him.

Website Stuff

The original website went down for ten days in December, a casualty of a server hosting renovation that went awry. The outage took hundreds of southern soul artist guides off-line and interrupted new postings. At its worst I worried that my life’s work, a quarter-century of chronicling southern soul artists, might never be recovered. Because Featured Artists of the Month could not be accessed, either through the original or new website, December’s featured artists will be extended through January 2024.

While we’re on the subject of websites, I will acknowledge the demise of Daddy B. Nice’s monthly “Newsletter”. I know some readers really enjoyed it and the more personal revelations (like my struggles with severe glaucoma and blindness), but it was just too much to handle. SouthernSoulRnB is still a one-man show, with a little help from Nat on ads and new-website postings. I do all the content and am always “behind”.

Speaking of which, apologies to veteran southern southern soul star Jeff Floyd. As I was working with the Comprehensive Index recently I noticed that there was no Jeff Floyd! No links whatever—not even to his two Artist Guides. I have no idea how this happened, but I will be working on rebuilding Jeff Floyd’s links soon. I also need to resume work on the Top 100: New Generation Southern Soul chart after a couple of months of inactivity. The countdown is now up to thirty artists (those at the top) and the next segments will begin appearing in 2024.


….A letter-writer in the current Mailbag opines that “one part of the Southern Soul style that I appreciate is the (almost) complete absence of profanities”.” Well, although that’s usually the case….Not always. And you know your Daddy B. Nice isn’t going to shy away from the “grown-folks” aka prurient stuff, don’t you? There’s a new female-version parody of King George’s “Keep On Rollin'” by a young thing named Kam Tunechi. The clothes she’s wearing alone take me back to childhood, as do the weeds growing robustly through the dilapidated steps leading up to her front door. Tunechi uses the “N” word liberally and substitutes “hoe-ing” for “roll-ing”. The video has already drawn 43,000 views. And—as an extra bonus—the hilarious comments below the video are not turned off! It does remind me of the shock of hearing KG’s “Keep On Rollin'” the first time. Now King George is the establishment, “Keep On Rollin'” is the status quo, and it takes this to make our ears perk up.

Merry Christmas, everybody! And Happy New Year!

—Daddy B. Nice


December 2, 2023


An expanded list of the songs vying for “Top Ten Singles” in December 2023.

1. “Grown Man”—King George feat. CharMeka Joquelle
2. “Real Real Woman”—J’Cenae
3. “Trail Ride”—Lady Redtopp feat. Bri Rocket
4. “Do You Wanna Go?”—Tucka
5. “Fallin’ For You”—Adrian Bagher
6. “Walk Out On My Love”—Dee Dee Simon
7. “Party”—Mike Clark Jr. feat. E. Realist & Charity Harris
8. “I Need Me A Drink”—Ju Evans
9. “Do It Right”—Meeka Meeka (Meeka Noble)
10. “Country Party”—Myia Bry (Myia B)

11. “Letter”—West Love feat. Myia B
12. “Yummy Yummy”—Itz Karma
13. “Take Care Of Home”—Volton Wright
14. “Sistah”—Sweet Nay, Donyale Renee & Miss Lady Blues
15. “Ladies Night Out”—C.J. Hill
16. “Still Alive”—Freaky B
17. “Jeans & Boots”—Country Boy
18. “Hate On Me” (Re-Entry)—Frank Johnson
19. “Slide”—Madam Latrese
20. “Party All Night”—Royal D

21. “Door Knob”—Nelson Curry
22. “Rock Me Baby”—Vluva
23. “Daddy’s Home (Remix)”—Carolyn Staten feat. Omar Cunningham
24. “That Comeback” (Re-Entry)—M. Cally
25. “I Got Time Today”—Otis Flowers
26. “Old School Love”—Cold Drank
27. “She Took My Drawers”—Lenny Williams
28. “Wiggle”—Michael Brown
29. “Auntie”—F.P.J.
30. “Bigg Rigg”—DJ Trucker feat. Arthur Young

31. “Can’t Make ‘Em Drank”—P2K Dadiddy feat. West Love
32. “Wrapped Up Tied Up Tangled Up”—Jaye Hammer
33. “You Got Me”—Darrell Ruger
34. “Mr. Right”—Ced Wade feat. Willie Clayton
35. “Sideshow”—Willie Rich
36. “Turn It Up”—Chrissy Luvz feat. Hisyde
37. “Lucky Charm”—Jus K
38. “Auntie Love”—Sky Whatley
39. “Make You Moan”—Eric Hunter
40. “Juicy”—Joe D



Daddy B. Nice’s

Index to Artist Guides

Daddy B. Nice’s

Comprehensive Index

Top 100 Charts

Daddy B. Nice’s

Top 100 Southern Soul Artists

CD’s and Links

Daddy B. Nice’s

CD’s, MP3’s

Daddy B. Nice’s

Southern Soul Sites Links

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