Monday, June 1, 2009
Monday's Special: Filet Of Soul
From All Music:
Little is known about Emanual Laskey, a jet-black-complected, rail-thin Detroit soul singer. His discography lists 12 singles and no albums. Producer Don Davis wrote and produced Laskey's first four singles, the best of his disappointing career. This was before Davis worked with Steve Mancha, Darrell Banks, the Dramatics, Johnnie Taylor, and others. Nothing like those singers, Laskey was similar to Deon Jackson and Jimmy Ruffin; his light, engaging first tenor fluttered with little effort and hinted of falsetto.
Thelma Records, owned by Thelma Coleman-Gordy, Berry Gordy's Jr.'s first wife, issued Laskey's first two releases. "The Monkey" from 1963 got played in Michigan and surrounding States; a trumpet solo on the break made it different, but its flip, "Welfare Cheese," written by Davis, Richard Street, Thelma Coleman, and Emanuel Laskey was more popular. It also graced the flip of his second Thelma release, "Crazy," which had potential, but the label's limited resources couldn't do the catchy ditty justice.
I've heard what I believe are all of those Thelma singles, thanks to a friend who compiled them all from vinyl onto one CD. None match the charm (?) of "Welfare Cheese," which is a song I first heard on "Shakin' Fit," a long out of print CD compilation that compiles some seriously rocking obscurities of soul and rhythm & blues. You will need some water and a cold compress before this CD is over.
In the meantime, have some "Welfare Cheese" to get you moving on a Monday morning, which starting today and continuing every Monday, will be "Soul Monday" on BURNING WOOD."