Charlie Smalls: Guest Music Instructor on The Monkees

Once in the late 90s I picked up a CD anthology of rare funk & soul singles at Midnight Records, just down the street from the Chelsea Hotel.  I purchased disc 1 of a 6-volume series entitled Funkaphonix:  Raw & Uncut Funk 1968-1975.  Amusing to learn that one of the standout tracks, “The Buzzard” by ‘C. Smalls & Co.’ was released in 1972 on A&M — not the first funk label that comes to mind:

The Buzzard - C Smalls 45

How intriguing to discover later that this same Charlie Smalls once appeared at the end of a Monkees episode called ‘Some Like It Lukewarm’ that was filmed near the end of 1967, with Davy Jones as the eager and attentive student, who learns the musical differences between “white” and “black” soul from instructor Smalls, who demonstrates on the piano   [click here and fast forward to 20:40 to view this scene].

Charlie Smalls would go on to win the 1975 Tony Award for Best Score for his work on The Wiz.