Ohio Funk Invades France

Beau Dollar & The Dapps – according to Dave Thompson’s history simply entitled, Funk – were the resident band at Cincinnati’s Living Room night club “when they were discovered by James Brown” in 1965.  Cincinnati music writer and producer, Randy McNutt, on the other hand, asserts in his King Records of Cincinnati (as well as his Home of the Hits music blog) that the group was initially spotted at the Inner Circle.  [The following year, Lonnie Mack would produce their stellar arrangement of “Soul Serenade” – as recently featured here.]

WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  drums & vocals
Tim Drummond & Charles Summers:  bass
Eddie Setser & Troy Seals:  guitar
Tim Hedding:  keyboards
Les Asch & David Parkinson:  saxophone
Ron Geisman & Ken Tibbetts:  trumpet

In any event, due to a contractual dispute with Syd Nathan, Brown was unable to issue their two-part Dapps single “It’s a Gas” on King.  However, Brown did put the band in touch with Arthur ‘Pee Wee’ Ellis, his musical director.  Ellis and The Dapps would then issue two singles – “Bringing Up the Guitar” & “There Was a Time” – in quick succession.

Thompson neglects to mention, however, “The Rabbit Got the Gun” – the B-side that manages to keep pace with its equally heavyweight A-side, “There Was a Time”:

Billboard, in its June 29, 1968 edition, would put “The Rabbit Got the Gun” in its official “spotlight” and identify the song as one “predicted to reach the R&B Singles chart.”

Mustachioed rabbit with blunderbuss on picture sleeve for 1972 French 45

Dapps-FrenchFascinating to find that the French were in on the funk at the time it was all going down – as evidenced by these three French releases between the years 1968-1972 that all contain recordings by The Dapps – along with many other heavy funk and soul tracks that were laid down at Cincinnati’s King studios.

Dapps-French-aTrack listing for 1969 French compilation of King tracks, Nonstop Soul.

Dapps-French-bHip picture sleeve for 1968 French Hank Ballard 45 – with backing by The Dapps.

Dapps-French-cTrack listing for 1970 German (neighboring country) “James Brown & Friends” LP.

“Soul Serenade”: Beau Dollar + Coins

Seems like everyone’s covered “Soul Serenade” – so why does no one play it on the radio?  Don’t you think it’s about time for this tune to be rediscovered?

“Soul Serenade”     Beau Dollar & the Coins     1966

This irresistible instrumental was produced by Lonnie Mack, one-time musical compatriot of Roger TroyBeau Dollar – last celebrated in this offbeat & oddball historical highlight reel – once served as a session drummer for Syd Nathan’s King Records in Cincinnati.  Three of the Coins – Ed Setser, Tim Hedding & Les Asch – in fact, would join Roger Troy’s Jellyroll.

                      DJ copy                                        45 on Cincinnati’s Fraternity label

Beau Dollar - Prime 45Beau Dollar - Fraternity 45

Originally recorded by legendary session musician and bandleader, King Curtis, in 1964, this song would be covered by the likes of Quincy Jones, Gloria Lynne, Aretha Franklin,  Lou RawlsWillie Mitchell, The Allman Brothers, Jimmy Castor Bunch, Bill Black’s Combo & The Derek Trucks Band.

The song would also spawn a slew of ska, rocksteady & reggae covers by such notable names as Prince Buster, The Soul Brothers, The Paragons, The Gaylads, Tommy McCook, Boris Gardiner, St. George & the Dragon Killers, Byron Lee & the Dragonaires, and don’t forget The Federalmen.

Beau Dollar’s Last King 45 as Artist – written by henry glover

Beau Dollar - King 45