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

June 16, 2024

Daddy B. Nice’s News & Notes

Jackson, Mississippi’s “Ellis Avenue” Renamed…

BOBBY RUSH BOULEVARD!

In the hierarchy of fame few honors are more prestigious than having a municipal street named after you. It’s a tribute usually reserved for presidents and politicians. And yet, at 1 pm on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, at the Cadence Bank at 1005 Ellis Avenue, Jackson, Mississippi, the blues and southern soul music’s last remaining superstar from the Johnnie Taylor/B.B. King/Tyrone Davis generation was feted with a street-sign unveiling transforming Jackson’s north/south artery through the heart of this largely black city from Ellis Avenue to Bobby Rush Boulevard.

When I heard the news everything stopped for me. I’d encountered one of those “it’s a small world” moments that, like the Dude’s rug in “The Big Lebowski,” ties one’s life together. For it was in the hotel at the northwest corner of I-20 and Ellis Avenue in south Jackson in the late nineties and early aughts that I got my street-wise doctorate in southern soul.

It was situated on the hill just north of the I-20 interchange, and to this day I cannot remember its name, although I can remember Ellis Avenue as if it were yesterday. Kitty-corner across the highway was a supermarket where I was introduced to packaged chitlin’s (on a rack, just like potato chips!) and—and, although it isn’t culturally correct to say so anymore—more chicken products than I had seen in a lifetime.

The hotel I stayed in on Ellis was a national chain, at least in those years. It had a large, two story building in front with a big convention ballroom, surrounded by a parking lot with a L-shaped perimeter of one story rooms, two connected rooms of which I would rent as a suite for less than a hundred dollars a day. B.B. King had a permanently-reserved two-story room in that complex. His band would stay on the ground floor and King on the top floor. Of course I didn’t find that out until years later, when I had become something of a regular.

What was I doing on Ellis Avenue? I was recording southern soul music on cassette tapes on a couple of boomboxes (like the one Radio Raheem carries in Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing”). I’d shut myself in, hardly going out to eat, stuffing cassette after cassette into the boombox 24/7. Waking up in the middle of the night and popping in a fresh cassette (or turning it around, as old-timers used to do), trying to cram it all into two or three days. And it was in those wee hours of the night where I encountered Uncle Bobo, the deejay version of producer Senator Jones, the pivotal figure in contemporary southern soul who opened the door that Jackson’s Malaco Records had shut on Sir Charles Jones. And some of my most cherished memories are of Uncle Bobo playing early Sir Charles cuts (probably just mastered) at 3 and 4 am in the morning, gushing in ecstasy over the results.

Charles Evers’ radio station WMPR, located not far away, was the only station in the South that played southern soul on a consistently daily basis (along with gospel in the mornings). Its signal came through with a cathedral-like sound on Ellis Avenue. And not much farther away was the Suit Store, home for celebrity black clothing, but that too came later for me. I recorded it all: music, public service announcements and commercials, including the unsinkable Reverend Mother Walker, the Deep South’s answer to psychiatrists.

But as voracious for the culture as I was in those days, it never occurred to me to go to a club or concert. I was totally preoccupied and infatuated with the sound of the records, and trying to figure out if southern soul was a “thing”. Anything else—people, small talk—was pretty much out of the question.
Music on the internet was in its infancy. There was no YouTube, there were no websites, and even when I succeeded in finding the name of an artist who went with a particular song—for instance “Let’s Straighten It Out” by Latimore—I had to continue my investigation into whether it was “just out” or an “oldie”. I knew nobody and nothing.

And yet it was in those days of blissful mystery and discovery on Ellis Avenue—longggg before the idea of a platform like Daddy B. Nice’s Southern Soul ever entered my brain—that my passion for southern soul ran its purest. All I cared about was finding some new songs to take me through the next month or two. (That’s right, close readers—the genesis for what would become the Top 10 Singles.) And I approached it with the fever pitch of a convert. And, frankly, still do. Only now, twenty-five years later, I know everybody, including Bobby Rush, and pretty much everyone knows me. How things have changed. And the onetime folk-funkster? He’s now the Dean of All Bluesmen. And Ellis Avenue? Well, it now goes by the name of Bobby Rush Boulevard. How amazing! How fitting!

Congratulations, Bobby Rush!!!

Listen to Bobby Rush singing “Up In Here” on YouTube.

Listen to Bobby Rush singing “Bare Mouth Woman” on YouTube.

Buy Bobby Rush’s “Night Fishin'” album at Apple.

Read Daddy B. Nice’s Artist Guide to Bobby Rush.

And in other news…

Speaking of harmonica-playing Bobby Rush, watch for a history-setting concert this fall in Greenville, Mississippi: King George and Bobby Rush on the same bill September 21st. Bigg Robb will be honored July 27th in the Black Music Walk of Fame. William Bell’s “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” published by Stax Records in 1961, has made the Grammy Hall of Fame song list. The awards span all genres and eras.

And more on touring…

Another concert tidbit. Quite a few southern soul concerts are selling out in advance. So far your Daddy B. Nice hasn’t been listing these venues on the Concert Calendar, but I’m open to readers’ preferences. July 4th arrives on Thursday this year, and it will be a monster weekend for live outdoor southern soul. I don’t post ticket prices on the Concert Calendar, but I just had to share this one as an outstanding bargain: Jeter Jones, J’Cenae, Adrian Bagher, Jeff Floyd, P2K and Coldrank: $25 for all day long. The gig takes place Sunday, July 7th in New Albany, Mississippi. The reason for the low price is probably the location. I’d guess New Albany is a good two-hour round trip from either Jackson or Memphis, the nearest cities.

–Daddy B. Nice

 


June 4, 2024

 

TOP 40 SOUTHERN SOUL SINGLES: JUNE

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

 

1. “I’ll Beg”—Stacii Adams
2. “One More Day”—Ciddy Boi P
3. “I’m Soul Country”—Black Koffee
4. “Tell Me Baby”—B.J. Moodswing
5. “The New Jody”—Ced Wade feat. Ciddy Boi P
6. “(Two) Faces”—Catt Daddy
7. “Under There”—Hisyde
8. “Sorry”—Ty Daniels feat. Boss Lady
9. “Just Won’t Break”—Sky Whatley feat. Tonio Armani
10. “My Kind Of Man”—Crystal Thomas

11. “Cheating On Me”—Magic One
12. “Where The Party At?”—Lacee
13. “I Can’t Choose”—Sir Charles Jones
14. “Slow Hand”—Big Yayo
15. “Soul Party In VA”—Souja Kwan
16. “What You Won’t Do”—Mr. Boo Leggs
17. “Do U Wanna”—Mr. Magic
18. “Stepping And Swinging”—Magic One
19. “Cornbread Fed”—Mr. Beatz
20. “What’s It Going To Be?”—Boss Lady feat. Ty Daniels

21. “Juke Joint Lover”—Joe Nice & Nelson Curry
22. “The BK Shuffle”—Black Koffee

(DBN notes: Also see #3 single “I’m Soul Country” by Black Koffee, the same song.)

23. “Back To The Streets”—Sunshine The Singer
24. “Cut Up”—Dolla Bill Dodson
25. “Too Young For Me”—J. Red The Nephew
26. “Hey Pretty Lady”—Cuz Band
27. “Are You Serious?”—Arthur Young
28. “I Ain’t Gone Spill No Drank”—Cupid
29. “Hey Mr. DJ”—Teeza
30. “Come And Play”—Miss Storm

31. “I Will”—J-Wonn
32. “He Lied”—J’Cenae
33. “Country Boys”—Big Yayo feat. LaMorris Williams
34. “Cafe Messie”—Shonta Greer feat. Messie C
35. “I Can’t Walk Away”—Mz. Suga
36. “Lying On Me”—Jo-Us Band
37. “Keeper Not A Sweeper”—Lonne G
38. “Dump Truck”—Terry B
39. “Man Of Mine”—Mz. Dria
40. “I Wanna Love”—Mose Stovall

 


May 19, 2024

Daddy B. Nice’s News & Notes:

 

Record-Setting Mother’s Day Weekend Crowds Presage Big Revenue Summer For Southern Soul

To name just a few of the top revenue-generating festivals from this past Mother’s Day Weekend, Tucka’s second annual, 48-hour Tucka James Music Fest took place at the Evangeline Downs Casino Event Center in Opelousas, Louisiana, featuring Lenny Williams, Fat Daddy, Mz. Suga, Big Pokey Bear, Mr. Hot Topic, Dee Dee Simon, Mr. Smoke & J. Paul Jr, while down the road at Parc International in Lafayette, Louisiana, Cupid entertained the crowds at the Spring Swing Music Festival with Roi “Chip” Anthony, Chris Ardoin & J.J. Caillier.

The redoubtable Sir Charles Jones held court at Rock Hill, South Carolina’s Southern Soul Mother’s Day Extravaganza while Big Yayo performed at the newly booming and revamped V.I.P. Center on Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis, assisted by Big John Cummings, David Sylvester, O. Emmons, Zach McGhee & Cassandra The Soul Child. The event was hosted by deejay personality Jazzii A.

 

The Jay Morris Group headlined a stellar bill including three of the most accomplished songstresses in southern soul—J’Cenae, Karen Wolfe & Carolyn Staten—along with newcomer Big Mel in Monroe, Louisiana’s Richwood Park. Meanwhile, L.J. Echols and Narvel Echols (no relation) were entertaining fans on a multi-act bill held at the Civic Auditorium in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

The grounds at Forrest City, Arkansas’s Larry Bryant Multi-Purpose Center hosted a capacity crowd for performances by Cecily Wilborn, Jeter Jones. L.J. Echols, Marcellus The Singer, & FPJ while over at Hattiesburg, Mississippi’s Multi-Purpose Center Fairground, fans were feted by Pokey Bear, West Love, Jay Morris Group, Young Guy, FPJ, J-Wonn, PC Band & Lady Trucker, with WMPR Jackson’s DJ Ragman among the celebrity hosts.

The Mother’s Day festivities were preceded by an unprecedented number of Easter holiday bashes, from the King George-headlined Gateway Blues Festival in St. Louis to the The Good Friday “Blues You Can Use” shindig in Fairhope, Alabama to the Blues Is Alright Tour in Indianapolis to the Aries Celebration at the Vicksburg City Auditorium to the Latimore & Lenny Williams-headlined Grown Folks Blues Party in Greenville, South Carolina to the Pre-Easter Bash in Monroe LA. to the Easter Sunday Blues Extravaganza starring Jeter Jones, Tucka, Ms. Jody, Lenny Williams, Tre Williams & Arthur Young at the Liddell Ranch in Utica, Mississippi. From MLK to Valentine’s Day to Spring Fling and on through Memorial Day, Father’s Day and the heart of the summer, concerts are the lifeblood and payday for southern soul artists, and for every major venue starring southern soul’s top-grossing performers there are dozens of smaller venues catering to aspiring musicians eager to make it to the top of the genre.

 

Jackson Music Awards

 

Award shows are proliferating like kudzu on utility lines, but none have been around longer than the Jackson (MS.) Music Awards, hosted by the city where I learned to recognize and cherish southern soul music. The 50th (that’s right, the “Golden”) Jackson Music Awards takes place July 29th. The theme is “A Night Like No Other, Celebrating the Best of The Best”. The honorees are Bobby Rush, The BarKays, Dorothy Moore, Benny Latimore & Lenny Williams. The performers are Lenny Williams, Latimore, Cecily Wilborn, S. Dott & Bre Wooten. The event will take place at the Jackson Convention Center’s Trustmark Ballroom. For information call 601-862-6629.

The Heights & The Depths According to Sir Charles

Having a hard day? So it goes, even for the best of us.

The Heights:

“Don’t be hating on me
Because I’m blessed.
I’m the K-I-N-G of southern soul.
Birmingham, Alabama
Is where I come from.
Just a little country boy
That went #1.
Like Biggie said, baby,
It was all a dream.
Little did I know
That I’d be a king.
And the ladies,
They won’t leave me alone.
They say, “Oooh we love that pretty boy
Named Sir Charles Jones.”
I’m the chosen one.
You can’t beat me, boy,
Even in your dreams.”

The Depths:

“Driving down Highway 55
With tears in my eyes,
Pulled over to gain my composure.
I grabbed the gun
And put it to my head,
Thinking about my life.
What have I to live for?
Because everything’s going wrong.
And all the fortune and fame.
So many depend on me.
Using and taking and using,
And don’t know what’s wrong with me.
Oh Lord, forgive me.
And I began to cry.
Lord, I’m feeling all alone,
So alone.”

Miscellany

David Brinston has been inducted into the Alabama Blues Hall of Fame. Crystal Thomas has returned to her southern soul roots with a new single inspired by West Love’s “Southern Man”. It’s called “My Kind Of Man”. Robert “The Duke” Tillman will make a rare appearance June 1st in Selma, Alabama. Uncle Fallay, formerly known as Lil’ Fallay, has returned to recording, as has the Jo-Us Band, with a new song titled “Lying On Me”. Long-absent Rick Lawson has also returned to the recording studio with a new single titled “Trying To Love Two Ain’t Easy”.

 

Arthur Young has published a new version of Tyrone Davis’ “Are You Serious?” Meanwhile, Willie Clayton has recorded a new cover of Al Green’s “Tired Of Being Alone”. And perhaps influenced by the success of the 2023 Sean Dolby/Nelson Curry remix of Mel Waiter’s “Got My Whiskey,” Joe Nice & Nelson Curry have paired up on a lyrical redo of Marvin Sease’s “Candy Licker” called “Juke Joint Lover”.


May 5, 2024

TOP 40 SOUTHERN SOUL SINGLES: MAY

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

1. “Back Road”—Curt The Country Man feat. Marcellus The Singer
2. “Can’t Make ‘Em”—Koffee Bean feat. Jeter Jones
3. “Fishing Hole”—Ciddy Boi P
4. “Take You Out Tonight”—T-Man
5. “Jeans And Boots”—Country Boy
6. “On Ya Feet”—Big Mel
7. “Body Roll, Fast Or Slow”—Narvel Echols
8. “In Love With You”—B.J. Moodswing
9. “No Way”—Sheba Potts-Wright feat. L.J. Echols
10. “On The Way”—Big Nick J

11. “Do Me”—Marcellus The Singer
12. “Mama Don’t Worry”—ERealist feat. Big Mel
13. “Found My Peace”—Breeze MrDo2Much
14. “One More Day”—Ciddy Boi P
15. “She Wants That Money”—Mr. House feat. Ciddy Boi P
16. “Karma”—Cecily Wilborn
17. “Party At Home”—Sean Dolby feat. Ms. Nikita & Joe Nice
18. “Tell Me Baby”—B.J. Moodswing
19. “Hole In The Wall”—Lamar Brace
20. “Better Man”—Curt The Country Man

21. “Follow Me”—Lacee feat. J-Wonn
22. “I’m With You”—Dee Dee Simon
23. “Let Me See It”—Gold Gillis feat. Narvel Echols
24. “Good Time”—Tamara “Mz Hollywood” McClain feat. Audi Yo
25. “Put That Thang On Me”—Nelson Curry
26. “Fed Up”—Ronnie “Rude” Perkins feat. Lacee
27. “You Can’t Use Me”—Freaky B 2.0
28. “If I Step Out”—Lisa Denevo feat. Ciddy Boi P
29. “Big Boi Stroke”—Big “Ro” Williams
30. “Country Girl”—The Signature Band

31. “Red Rooster”—Coldrank
32. “Club House”—Rico C
33. “You Don’t Have To Down Me”—Son Of Soul
34. “Feel Sumthin'”—Zach Stewart McGee & Dolla Bill Dodson
35. “Party Ride”—Lamar Brace
36. “Loving Girl”—Rylo
37. “Summertime Fine”—Cadillac Man
38. “Love Me No More”—Tee Dee Young
39. “Big Girl World”—Gwen Yvette
40. “I Put A Claim On That Thing”—Jesse James feat. Millie Jackson

 


April 15, 2024

Daddy B. Nice’s News & Notes

Will Southern Soul Deejays Play Country Western/Southern Soul?

(We Discuss Two Months Later.)

February’s “News & Notes” asking if southern soul deejays are playing or will play countrified southern soul drew an overwhelmingly positive response. As one deejay wrote, “The fans are comfortable with country music because it is a parallel genre to Southern Soul. Because of the explosion of Trailride music it does fit well.” I might add that in addition to trail-ride, southern soul has welcomed funk (Nellie Travis’s “Mr. Sexy Man”), zydeco (T.K. Soul’s “Zydeco Bounce”) and hip-hop (Joe Nice & Sean Dolby’s “Take Your Time”) into its inclusionary tent with results that have energized the genre.

Why does “country” sound so good right now? There’s a lot of emotive power coming through. Sometimes branching into fresh styles frees recording artists from the constraints that—unconsciously or consciously—make the music too familiar and formulaic. Certainly that was the case with Nellie Travis’s “Mr. Sexy Man”. That brash, biting, funk/disco guitar riff was as shocking in a southern soul playlist in 2013 as Curt The Country Man’s “Back Road” is today, and yet it elevated Travis’s career to a stature unthinkable before.

Am I advocating for every southern soul artist to record “country”-style? Please no! By no means. What I’m advocating is something every fan wishes for. What do we want? To be surprised. This “country” thing has been building momentum for some time. Only think of songs like “Country Boy Remix” (Chu’Zu, Vince Tucker & Jeter Jones), “Down In The Country” (Stan Butler, West Love) and “Country Girl” (Jus Epik, Money Waters.) Nor is there anything truly new under the sun, even in our beloved southern soul. Check out Carl Marshall’s “I’ve Lived It All” (1999).

Speaking of country, not to mention zydeco, 39 years ago the Lake Charles native and accordionist Sidney Simien, better known as Rockin’ Sidney, had a Top 20 hit on the country charts with a song called My Toot Toot”” (aka “Don’t Mess With My Toot Toot”). The tune had already been a smash in New Orleans and the Delta. Covers by Jean Knight and Denise LaSalle soon charted on the pop and R&B charts. To say it was a boost to LaSalle’s career in particular would be an understatement, and she often acknowledged it.

As was evident in her no-show at this year’s Best of 2023 awards, where she’s perennially a “Best Vocalist” nominee, Tasha Mac—who has been on “sabbatical” of late—is rumored to be back on the southern soul scene soon.

A year after the Dialtone release of his No Soul, No Blues album, Stan Mosley’s “Blues Man” remains the sole track available on YouTube. No comment here, as my views are known, but what struck me is the difference in marketing between the “major” independents and southern soul labels. NO SOUL NO BLUES, for those who missed it, features one of the all-time, southern soul wailers backed by one of the greatest live soul bands ever assembled. Imagine southern soul in an alternate universe. (Read the review before it’s deleted: under “Recently Reviewed,” right-hand column of CD Reviews.)

William Bell is no longer with Wilbe (his own longtime label). The Grammy Hall of Famer has signed with Concord.

Jesse James, another seasoned veteran, charted with legendary partner Millie Jackson on Daddy B. Nice’s Top 25 Songs of 2011 with the single “Let’s Get A Room Somewhere”. Then, in 2014, James had the #1 Song of the Year with “I Lost My Baby On Facebook”. After a near-decade-long absence he has a new album in the works. The first single will be “I Put A Claim On That Thang,” once again teaming with Millie Jackson. The track was first released in 2022.

Cecily Wilborn’s “country” style in “Red Cup Blues” reminds me of Ms. Jody when she first appeared. Ms. Jody’s first successful radio single was “I Never Take A Day Off,” a whiff of pure country if ever there was one, and that sugary country tone has remained in Ms. Jody’s vocal arsenal ever since.

Finally, country-style once again topped Daddy B. Nice’s Top 10 Singles in April, with Ciddy Boi P’s flagrantly country “This Is Texas” in the #1 spot and King George’s quasi-country “It’s Over” at #2.

—Daddy B. Nice

 


April 6, 2024

TOP 40 SOUTHERN SOUL SINGLES: APRIL

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

1. “This Is Texas”—Ciddy Boi P
2. “It’s Over”—King George
3. “Keep Pushing”—West Love
4. “Puttin’ In Work”—Mr. Jimmy
5. “I Gotta Leave Home”—Mr. Laidback
6. “Swing My Way”—LaMorris Williams
7. “Do You!”—Big Nick J
8. “(He Ain’t Gon’) Do Right”—Shae Nicole
9. “Goin’ Jackie Neal (At The Zydeco)”—Tyree Neal feat. Pokey Bear, C-Loc, Adrian Bagher, Johnny James & Bro Bro)
10. “Ride It”—Mikal feat. Angel Faye Russell

11. “Rub My Head”—Unkle Phunk
12. “Put It In The Bag”—Solomon Thompson
13. “Southern Soul Type Of Lady”—Ciddy Boi P
14. “Can I Vibe”—The Jay Morris Group
15. “Big Ol’ Wagon”—Avail Hollywood
16. “No Getting Over Me (Re-Entry)”—Tucka
17. “Blues Paradise”—F.P.J.
18. “Back Road” (Re-Entry)—Curt The Country Man feat. Marcellus The Singer
19. “In Love With You”—B.J. Moodswing
20. “Zydeco Swing”—Eric Hunter aka Mr. Don’t Leave

21. “No Poking”—Jeter Jones
22. “Back To The Blues”—Mr. House
23. “We Riding”—Mama Do
24. “Good Time”—Willie Rich
25. “I Hear You Knocking”—Mr. House feat. Ciddy Boi P
26. “Big Bone Girl II”—Ced Wade feat. Willie Clayton
27. “Gumbo Love”—Le’Jit Brothers
28. “Not How It Goes”—Mz. Poochie
29. “Dreamin'”—Rico C. feat. Cupid
30. “Big Boss Moves”—Lady Redtopp

31. “Coming In Hot”—Arthur Young feat. J-Wonn
32. “That’s My Man”—Mz. Dria
33. “I’m An Undercover Lover” (Re-Release)—Bobby Rush
34. “Doggone Shucky Ducky””—Anissa Hampton
35. “Every Night”—T.J. Hooker Taylor
36. “Thursday”—Carlin Taylor
37. “Monkey See Monkey Do”—Angel Faye Russell
38. “Good Loving”—Alex Williams
39. “Put That Thang On Me”—Nelson Curry
40. “Hard On Me”—Highway Heavy feat. Dave Mack

 


March 17, 2024

Daddy B. Nice’s News & Notes

New Faces: Comprehensive Index

Here is a list of newly installed southern soul artists in Daddy B. Nice’s Comprehensive Index, with hyperlinks to their first-time appearances on the southern soul charts. Click on the highlighted name to be transported to their page locations in the Index, then click the hyperlink(s).

Lady Redtopp

Big Mel

Al Davis

Bre Wooten

DJ Chill Will Baby

Miron Simpson

Mr. House

Cadillac Cho

Charmeka Joquelle

DJ Trac

T. Howell

Rodnae

Cheff Da Entertainer

ERealist aka Uncle Daddy

Mike Clark Jr.

Tonio Armani

DJ Trucker

Meme Green

Malcom Simmonns

Jake Carter

Shay Nycole

Teslanay

Mr. Nelson

Young Guy

F.P.J.

Mz. Brown Suga

Uncle Gymini

Lady Jacquelyn

LaRon Reaves

Robert Butler

Ms. Ty

Koray Broussard

Cecily Wilborn

Koray Broussard

Sticky P

O.C. Soul

Troy Murriel

Royal D

Hasan Green

Tyronica Rawls aka Badgir

S. Dott

B. Pureese

Melvin Riley

Bri Rocket

Myia B.

Meeka Meeka

 


March 17, 2024

Daddy B. Nice’s News & Notes


Southern Soul Clubbing: A Fresh Look

Entertainment clubs come and go. The hardest business in the world. Southern soul music survives and thrives on audience revenue and nothing compares to seeing southern soul stars in intimate, small to mid-size clubs. Here’s an update on performance venues old and new, indoor and outdoor, based on Daddy B. Nice’s stewardship of the genre’s Concert Calendar.

Union City Fairgrounds, El Dorado, Arkansas

This long-standing outlet for southern soul singers stands out amidst all the other city, county and state civic and convention centers, colliseums, parks and fairgrounds (most of which are located in the Mississippi Delta to the east and far too numerous to mention) by virtue of its resourceful promoter Michael Jackson’s frequent shows.

Vicksburg City Auditorium

This venerable facility is renowned for its successful, once-a-month “Southern Soul First Fridays,” although L.J. Echols and Young Guy will be onstage Saturday March 30.

Liddell Ranch, Utica, Mississippi

Situated in the boonies south of Jackson and Vicksburg, this venue has played host to an amazing run of multi-act concerts over the last few years, most recently this coming Easter weekend’s show with Tucka, Jeter Jones, Ms. Jody, Lenny Williams, Tre Williams and Arthur Young.

Palace Theater, McComb, Mississippi

New place! Said to be beautiful and tasteful. Avail Hollywood, Arthur Young, Adrian Bagher, Johnny James and Ms. Ty will be appearing May 18th.

R.L.’s Blues Palace, Dallas, Texas

The place for southern soul and blues in Dallas, run by storied host R.L. Griffin.

Club Oasis, Hazlehurst, Mississippi

Temporarily closed, and so it goes….

Magnolia Lounge, Forest Park, Georgia

Atlanta just isn’t “country” enough for southern soul to saturate its collective consciousness, but suburbs like Forest Park and Lithonia are doing their best to change that.

The Original Red Rooster, Houston, Texas

Located on Almeda Road, this relative newcomer to the southern soul scene hosts Jeter Jones April 14th.

The Queen’s Lounge, Houston, Texas

Hosts Southern Soul Sundays, just like the M. Cally song.

Kandy Factory, Crystal Springs, Mississippi

Relatively new—opened during Covid era. The Jay Morris Group, Tonio Armani and Derek “The Change Man” Smith performed in February.

Club Oasis, Hazlehurst, Mississippi

“Temporarily closed”. We deliver the bad news with the good.

The Grounds

Just outside Pensacola, this Mobile-area outdoor facility is famous for Spring Fling, the biggest outdoor audience venue on the southern soul circuit.

Huntsville Dragway, Huntsville, Alabama

Hosts King George and Sir Charles Jones on the same bill May 25th, one in a series of high-profile events here in the last few years.

440 JXN

Located at 440 Mill Street in Jackson, this new club enters the small-club niche formerly dominated by Underground 119 and F. Jones Corner. The club will host T.K. Soul and Young Guy April 5th.

Classic Soulz, Memphis, Tennessee

A new venue on East Brooks Road in a city that has a brutal record when it comes to sustaining southern soul clubs. FPJ will appear in April.

C C Blues Club, Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis’s longest-running southern soul club. Gritty. Hole-in-the-wall, but huge.

Thalia Mara Hall, Jackson, Mississippi

Hosts more upscale southern soul concerts a few times per year.

Evangeline Downs Casino Event Center, Opelousas, Louisiana

Occasionally hosts multi-acts southern soul such as Tucka’s big to-do Mother’s Day Weekend. Lafayette and Monroe, Louisiana also boast frequent southern soul events.

Fiesta Center, Lubbock, Texas

Coming on strong for southern soul but pricey.

Pantheon, Austin, Texas

New southern soul venue, mostly local talent. Hosting Southern Soul Saturdays and Sundays.

Southern Soul Lounge, Shreveport, Louisiana.

Small club with great atmosphere in the land of Jeter Jones.

Ranking the top ten states for southern soul events in order:

Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Arkansas, North Carolina, Georgia.

See Concert Calendar.

See Concert Calendar (new website).

Send updates, suggestions or comments to…daddybnice@southernsoulrnb.com

—Daddy B. Nice


March 7, 2024

TOP 40 SOUTHERN SOUL SINGLES: MARCH

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

1. “Red Cup Blues”—Cecily Wilborn
2. “Back Roads”—GMB Li Curt feat. ShawtyMac
3. “Texas Hold ‘Em”—Beyonce
4. “Come Over Baby”—Lady Redtopp feat. Bri Rocket
5. “Let’s Get Drunk”—L.J. Echols
6. “Church Girl”—Tex James feat. Stan Butler
7. “You My Man”—Jay Morris Group
8. “Party Tonight”—P2K DaDiddy feat. Urban Mystic
9. “Lost And Found”—Volton Wright feat. Sir Charles Jones
10. “Going Out”—Curt The Country Man feat. Countryboii Tye

11. “Biggest Mama”—Rosalyn Candy
12. “Keep Your Dog On A Short Leash”—Sheila B. Sexi
13. “Big Boss”—Jeter Jones feat. T. Howell
14. “This Is Texas (Beyonce Reply)”—Ciddy Boi P
15. “Chocolate”—Mz Tori feat. Pardeeboy
16. “I Gotta Leave Home”—Mr. Laidback
17. “Rumors”—LaMorris Williams
18. “Got It Going On”—Mike Clark Jr. feat. DJ Trucker & Mr. Hanky
19. “Where They Do That At”—Al Davis feat. Princess LaShelle
20. “Show Me”—Brutha

21. “Rock That Man In The Boat (Remix)”—Chuck Strong
22. “Langadang”—Hambone Bandicoot
23. “Me And My Hennessy”—Sema’J
24. “5-Star Kitty”—Darnell Da Bachelor
25. “Swing My Way”—LaMorris Williams
26. “The Electric Slide”—Klay Redd
27. “Boots On”—Lokey Kountry
28. “Let’s Stay Together”—Willie Clayton
29. “Get Loose”—Cecily Wilborn feat. Bre Wooten
30. “I’m So Ready”—Uncle Luck

31. “Tell Me Where You From”—Solomon Thompson
32. “Big Girl World”—Gwen Yvette
33. “Puttin’ In Work”—Mr. Jimmy
34. “Ride It”—Mikal feat. Angel Faye Russell
35. “Don’t Forget About Me”—Adrian Bagher feat. Big Yayo
36. “Really Love You”—Keneisha feat. Omar Cunningham
37. “Give Me Love”—Melodic Princess
38. “Heaven”—Carlin Taylor
39. “Trailriders Party”—Electrohorse feat. Nigel Perkins
40. “Should’ve Been Home”—J. Red The Nephew

 


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?

Miscellany

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

TOP 40 SOUTHERN SOUL SINGLES: FEBRUARY

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

TOP 40 SOUTHERN SOUL SINGLES: JANUARY

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

2023: THE YEAR IN SOUTHERN SOUL

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.

Finally…

….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

TOP 40 SOUTHERN SOUL SINGLES: DECEMBER

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


 






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