"Discotheque over the hills" - 16 ska, soul and r&b stompers from 1958-1970


In The Trashcan Records       GARBAGE256
"Feed the Kingston mule with a wooden spoon and take me by the hand to the discotheque over the hills to listen to the funky sax in guava jelly..."

1. jamaica ska - johnny de miranda

Born in 1924 in Suriname, he moved to the Netherlands in the early 1950s after a short stay in the Dutch Antilles to join compatriot Max Woiski in his band in Amsterdam. This 1966 single was his first solo output. It has become a ska classic. A Relax Records release.

9. doing the mule - billy bland

I always spin this at popcorn parties. Although it is easy to find, people still keep on asking me about this tune. Recorded in 1963 by the fabulous Billy Bland, a much underrated rhythm and blues artist, whom I first noticed thanks to his fantastic "Chicken hop" from 1955. Originally released on Old Town. This is the Belgian release.

2. over the hills - eric morris busters group

Fantastic Jamaican ska tune by one of the founding fathers of ska, which he recorded with Prince Buster's early backing band. It's his third single, after his minor hit "Humpty dumpty".  He began his recording career at the age of 18 in Trenchtown, Kingston in 1960. He has been working with every ska and rocksteady singer in the 1960s.

10. wooden spoon - joe tex

Who is Yusuf Hazziez? That's Joseph Arrington aka Joe Tex, a big name in soul land. Groovy funky scorcher from 1968 on Dial. See also volume 216.

3. slowboat - al t. joe

Don't get fooled by the song title, it is a very fast ska song from 1963. Al T Joe is an anagram for T(revor) Aljoe, born in Jamaica. Great two-sider on Blue Beat.

11. lazy woman - eric morris busters group

And here is the flipside to "Over the hills".  As Monty he still is one of the big ska names. In 1960 a new record label was founded, Blue Beat. This is from 1962 and it is already #128. Amazing how many releases came out in those early years. About 400 singles were released in the period 1960-1967.

4. the soul - rhythm kings

Written by Bob Hafner (of surf combos such as The Revels, The Sentinals, The Surftones, ) as a B-side for "Border town". Great instrumental rocker. First released on Challenge in the US and then on London in the UK in 1963.

12. fatso - al t. joe

He was famous for his Fats Domino impersonation, hence his nickname Fatso. A lot slower than the A-side "Slow boat", yet an excellent early 60s ska tune.

5. funky sax - tommy wills

The "Man with a horn" sure can play some nasty sax. Also the swirling Hammond in the middle of this instrumental can entertain me. Bluesy jazz perfect for the dance floor. A 1968 release on Airtown. For more info, check out vol 174.

13. discotheque - big dee irwin

Difosco Ervin was his real name. Known for "Swinging on a star" recorded two years earlier in 1963. This fast dance floor fillin' "Discotheque" is my fave Big Dee Irwin song. A 1965 Roulette Records release. See also volume 64.

6. 8th wonder - king curtis

"8th wonder" was issued with different flipsides, all from 1968. Funky soul B-side of "Harper Valley PTA", an Atco release. See more King Curtis songs on volumes 165 and 251.

14. guava jelly - ernie smith

Bob Marley recorded his version in 1971, a year after this original from 1970. An excellent rocksteady instrumental. Kingston born Smith began his Jamaican recording career in 1968, aged 20. Released on Steady Records and on FRM.

7. the swivel - ken mackintosh

A big band led by sax player Mackintosh from the UK.  They recorded this instrumental in 1958 for His Master's Voice. For more info see vol 223.

15. speak to me - p. p. arnold

Don't you love "The first cut is the deepest"? If you do, please flip over that 45 and enjoy this catchy soul song performed by one of the most beautiful faces in American soul music with a tremendous voice. Born Patricia Ann Cole in 1946 in L.A she was one of the Ikettes, the backing vocal group of Ike and Tina Turner. One year later in 1968 she had another smash hit with "Angel of the morning". A 1967 Immediate release, also featured on her debum album "The first lady of Immediate".

8. trouble - kent & the candidates

Originally released on Double Shot in the USA, this is a German release on Palette Records. A splendid mix of garage and soul from 1967. The band was founded by Kent Sprague in 1966.

16. take me by the hand - kent & the candidates

B-side  of "Trouble" is this uptempo garage stomper "Take me by the hand". At the end of the 60s garage rock added or psychedelic sounds or funky soul variations. It was their first release and the end of this volume.