Saturday, 4 June 2011

Northern Soul Classics - Hey America - James Brown

Back in the early 1980's I remember going on a demo with my old friend and comrade Mark Dobson, a.k.a. Butch. At that time, Mark was a member of our Socialist Organiser Branch in Stoke. Besides being a great Northern Soul DJ, he's also a very good plumber. Around the time, I ws still living in my first house, and he fitted me a new bath, and additional radiators. A very good job he made of it too.

Anyway, we were coming back on the coach from this demo, the details of which I can't remember now, but we were discussing at the back of the coach with some local SWP friends various things, and Northern Soul came up. Me and Mark were arguing that there were a number of Northern toons that had a "message". I cited "The Bottle" by Gil Scott Heron, and "Hey America". Mark added a few more, but said he didn't think "Hey America" was actually a Northern toon.

Well, maybe, technically, but back around 1970/71, it got played a lot at the Torch. I can see clearly Phil Morgan, Eddie Whiston, and Frank Booper spinning and foot sliding to it, just as happily as to "Baby Reconsider", which was the other big sound of the time. Anyway, if the theme tune to Hawaii Five-O can count as Northern, then so can JB in my book. So here he is. Also check out the instrumental below.

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