King’s Funky Nursery Rhyme

Love this playful take on the old nursery rhyme – for extra credit, count all the key changes:

“Three Soulful Mice”     carlton “King” Coleman      1967

Somehow this single has eluded the attention of the fine catalogers at 45Cat (i.e., not in their datbase).  I have to assume – as Discogs.com claims – that “Three Soulful Mice” really was a B-side, as there are no images of this flip side anywhere to be found online.   Zero to 180 is, frankly, puzzled as to why this fetching (and funky) arrangement by (Old) King Coleman is not more widely known.  45 years later, an original 45 would command $36 on Ebay.   So there.

The musicians backing King Coleman on this track, according to Ruppli’s The King Labels — A Discography, would come from James Brown‘s musical organization – and it sure sounds like it!  Determining which musicians played on this recording, however, might require a small team of researchers.

Ruppli indicates that a string of March, 1967 sessions were recorded in New York City and that the King Coleman session used a “similar band” as the preceding one with Vicki Anderson.  The musicians for Vicki Anderson’s (ultimately unissued) recording are “probably the same” band members as the preceding James Brown session that produced “You’ve Got the Power” — and only a small number are identified:

Ernie Hayes:  trumpet & piano
Jimmy Nolen or Wallace Richardson:  guitar
Al Lucas:  bass
Bernard Purdie:  drums
Sammy Lowe:  arranger & director

King would release two King Coleman singles in 1967 [“The Boo Boo Song (pts. 1&2)” and “Hang It Up” b/w “Three Soulful Mice“] – plus one final 45 in 1971 “Boo Boo Song (pt. 1)” b/w “Rock Gospel Mash.”

Coleman would record for over a dozen labels in his lifetime, including Columbia, Atlantic & Philips.  Kudos to Norton Records for including “Three Soulful Mice” on It’s Dance Time, their King Coleman compilation from 2003.  And a royal doff of the cap to “Breakfast Blend with Amanda” on Richmond radio’s 97.3 WRIR FM for playing this can’t-miss track one fine Tuesday morning in the Fall of 2013.

Using this 1971 King promo 45, as no image of “Three Soulful Mice” on internet

King Coleman-1971 promo 45Arranged by Dave Matthews — A James Brown Production