The Tempests (part 5): Hit Attractions

E. Mark Windle 13 June 2021 Whether it was the Branch’s decision or that of other members to extend the horn section in The Tempests is unclear. Personnel in the early days was fluid, though Jim Butt (trumpet) and Rick White (tenor sax) had already been with group for some time, and Jim had takenContinue reading “The Tempests (part 5): Hit Attractions”

The Tempests (part 4): Ready for the Soul Explosion

E. Mark Windle, June 2021. Whilst new bass guitarist Van Coble was an only child whose birth father who was killed in service during World War II, his childhood was otherwise reasonably comfortable. His mother Helen, who was a nurse, eventually remarried. The musical talent came from his Helen Coble and her sister: “My motherContinue reading “The Tempests (part 4): Ready for the Soul Explosion”

The Tempests (part 3): Finding Hazel

E. Mark Windle. 27 May 2021 The backing of Mike Williams and a record release on a major label, even if not more than a regional success, had given the Branch brothers a taste for what could be, and they were shooting for a recording contract. Within a short few years, the group had progressedContinue reading “The Tempests (part 3): Finding Hazel”

The Tempests (part 2): Love Have Mercy! Atlantic Records.

E. Mark Windle. 16 May 2021 You could say music was in the family genes. But it was country, not R&B, that first inspired the Branch children to pick up an instrument. John Roger Branch’s grandmother was a not-too-distant relative of the famous Carter family, and a pretty competent guitar player at that. When notContinue reading “The Tempests (part 2): Love Have Mercy! Atlantic Records.”

Redressing the History Books. The Soul of Music City

By E. Mark Windle, May 2021. Regarding what has been pretty much an obsession with writing about 1960s southern soul themes since I started over ten years ago, “House of Broken Hearts: The Soul of 1960s Nashville” was undertaken in an attempt to resolve a nagging omission. A fair chunk of my travels (both realContinue reading “Redressing the History Books. The Soul of Music City”

It’s Better to Cry: The Appreciations of Charlotte

E. Mark Windle 20 November 2020. The Appreciations’ recordings are well known within rare soul record collecting circles, with tracks such as “I Can’t Hide It” and “It’s Better to Cry” played and loved on the northern soul scene for decades. Despite that, the group’s history was virtually unknown until 2013, other than that theyContinue reading “It’s Better to Cry: The Appreciations of Charlotte”

Bigger and Better: The Hytones and Sandra King Story

E. Mark Windle 30 October 2020 William Everett Justis Jr. (1926-1982) was an example of a key industry player who bridged the gap between rock ‘n’ roll, pop and R&B in the 1950s and 1960s. Justis would play a pivotal part in developments at Sun records in Memphis. Graduating from Tulane University, New Orleans, theContinue reading “Bigger and Better: The Hytones and Sandra King Story”

Southern City Records: Hal and Jean, and the Paramount Four

E. Mark Windle 29 October 2020. Gallatin is a tiny rural town in Sumner County, a mere thirty miles from Nashville. Author Ken Abraham noted in More Than Rivals that Gallatin was a typical segregated main street southern town in the 1960s, with segregated drinking fountains, parks and pools and engagement in sports activities. Working class familiesContinue reading “Southern City Records: Hal and Jean, and the Paramount Four”

Hound Dog! Big Mama Thornton

E. Mark Windle. 25 August 2020 Among other genres, Elvis Presley was informed by the blues. Even as a young teenager, the songs he heard on Beale Street were a source of significant musical inspiration. And it would not be unreasonable to suggest that his interpretation of Arthur Crudup’s blues number “That’s All Right” helpedContinue reading “Hound Dog! Big Mama Thornton”

“Nashville Could Eat Its Young!” The Athens Rogues Story

E. Mark Windle 22 August 2020 “To us, back in 1968 Nashville was all country. Not a place for our stuff” recalls Gerald Fleming of Georgia’s Athens Rogues. “Especially the soul part. Producer and musician and label owner Pete Drake really took a huge chance on us. We guess we were the first of ourContinue reading ““Nashville Could Eat Its Young!” The Athens Rogues Story”