The Tempests (pt. 9): Winds of Change

E. Mark Windle 29 August 2021 “We were always messing around” says Nelson Lemmond. “At one point, Ray Alexander had joined us to replace Jim Butt who quit to go to college by late 1968. Ray’s a talented musician; one hell of a trumpet player and had been with The Rivieras before us. In muchContinue reading “The Tempests (pt. 9): Winds of Change”

The Tempests (pt. 8): Touring, Boston’s Sugar Shack, and the LP release

E. Mark Windle 19 August 2021 Touring was relentless. In between it all, the Premier Talent Agency pushed The Tempests through a couple of multi-artist events, at The Mariners Festival, a USO show at Fort Eustis, Virginia. Then it was onto another at Trenton, New Jersey where a local promoter took all the money andContinue reading “The Tempests (pt. 8): Touring, Boston’s Sugar Shack, and the LP release”

The Tempests (pt.7): The Mercury-Smash Sessions Begin

E. Mark Windle. 2 August 2021 Mercury was a prominent player in the recording industry, owing much of its commercial success to astute activities of the founding fathers in the Chicago R&B and jazz recording industry through the 1940s and 1950s. The label had its ear to the ground and anticipated potential in exploiting theContinue reading “The Tempests (pt.7): The Mercury-Smash Sessions Begin”

The Tempests (pt. 6): Ted Bodnar and the Road to Mercury-Smash

E. Mark Windle July 2021. The Tempests were ready to take on the world, no doubt about that. Musicianship, vocal talent and enthusiasm for live performance were all there. What was needed now was a new industry link to point them solidly towards a fresh recording contract. Someone with local knowledge, connections, and production andContinue reading “The Tempests (pt. 6): Ted Bodnar and the Road to Mercury-Smash”

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”

Giving Back: Soul Direction

E. Mark Windle  Jan. 2021 By its very existence, the soul scene has a responsibility to hold safe the history of the music it reveres. In various ways, much has been done to achieve this end; and not just through the physical support of soul nights, all-nighters, weekenders and Sunday chill-outs. Numerous websites and socialContinue reading “Giving Back: Soul Direction”

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”

Introducing North Broad Street Records

E. Mark Windle 11 October 2020 COVID and lockdown has given the soul music community a lot of time to reflect on the state of the scene; not only on how the pandemic is shaping the social landscape, but also on changing musical directions. Regardless of individual sub-genre preference, the constant for many is theContinue reading “Introducing North Broad Street Records”

Mocha and Cream. The Global Records Story

E. Mark Windle 12 September 2020 The passing of Edwin James Balbier a couple of years ago went virtually unnoticed in UK northern scene circles: indeed few outside of the industry will recall his name. Yet, this individual would be the unwitting driving force behind one of the most popular (if brief) soul re-issue labelContinue reading “Mocha and Cream. The Global Records Story”