Tag Archives: Curtis Mayfield

The Impressions – Stay Close To Me (1968)


Close to you, close to me… get it? The pressing of the LP This Is My Country looks and reads as if it should be a protest album by Chicago-based The Impressions. However, aside of the title track, the album was anything but. For example, the Curtis Mayfield-penned track ‘Stay Close To Me’ sounds more like upbeat Motown than gritty Chicago soul. In fact, The Five Stairsteps & Cubie version would become a Northern Soul dance floor staple. Both records were released in 1968 on Mayfield’s Curtom Records label. Have a great weekend.

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Baby Huey – Hard Times (1971)


Baby Huey

Better known as Baby Huey, James Ramey was the front man to The Babysitters. He was just 26 years old when he died in 1970. The long player The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend was released posthumously on Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom Records in 1971. Produced by Mayfield, the album featured ‘Hard Times’ – a track that’s up there with the Superfly’s best as one of the most influential and sampled slices of deep funk. Have a great weekend.


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Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up (1970)


Curtis Mayfield

I knew The Jam’s cover of ‘Move on Up’ before I ever heard the Curtis Mayfield original. Heresy. (Now that I mention it, I think Paul Weller also introduced me to Tammi Terrell, but that’s another story.) The former frontman of the Impressions featured the song on his ground-breaking debut long player Curtis. This funk classic summons a dance through a combo of mad bongos and a brass riff extraordinaire. Mayfield would never get better – a high bar, nonetheless. Have a great weekend.

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Mayer Hawthorne – Your Easy Lovin’ Ain’t Pleasin’ Nothin’ (2009)

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Mayer Hawthorne makes me smile. The sheer audacity of Andrew Cohen, a young Jewish boy from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to turn up in L.A. and draw on the influences of Smokey Robinson, Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes etc. No afro here, just a sweet falsetto set to an infectious soul sound that could have been of Holland–Dozier–Holland vintage. ‘Your Easy Lovin’ Ain’t Pleasin’ Nothin” is off his debut album A Strange Arrangement, indeed.

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