Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section

Bobby Smith’s King Productions

Bobby Smith, we now know, had been commissioned by Syd Nathan to build a recording studio in Macon, Georgia — the adopted hometown of King Records’ biggest star, James Brown.  The following recordings were produced by Bobby Smith at Bobby Smith Studios, the recording location for these (Starday-)King-related releases — with

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"Asphalt Outlaw Hero"
Zeroto180

Mack: Synonymous with Diesel

Can you believe it’s been 4 months and 20 days since I last featured a truck driving song?  And how perfect is it that Lonnie Mack once wrote and sang a truck driving song for 1971 Elektra album, The Hills of Indiana? “Asphalt Outlaw Hero”     Lonnie Mack     1971 Don Nix

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60s/70s rock +/- pop
Zeroto180

Arif Mardin @ Muscle Shoals

Arif Mardin is a renowned producer, arranger, and music executive who also – surprisingly enough – recorded a couple solo albums for Atlantic.  This hard-hitting instrumental arrangement of Lennon’s “Glass Onion” (from the Beatles’ “White Album“) would be used as the (1) kick-off tune, (2) title track, and (3) debut

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“Sugar Sugar”: Solid Gold from Muscle Shoals

“Sugar Sugar” was inescapable in the summer of 1969, with Wilson Pickett and even The Wailers (with Bob Marley singing lead) recording their own versions.  Muscling in on the action also were the studio musicians behind the hits being recorded in the late 60s at Rick Hall’s Fame Studios in

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“Goin’ Up the Country”: The Duck & The Bear – and Duane

Interesting to learn that Canned Heat’s big 1968 hit “Goin’ Up the Country” is basically a re-write of 1929’s “Bull Doze Blues” by Henry Thomas, down to the flute part (listen here). The next year, 1969, saw the single release of a spirited cover version by The Duck (Johnny Sandlin)

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“This Old Town”: Where Love is the Prevailing Order

In Wilson Pickett‘s town, universal respect for the humanity common to us all allows for an enlightened self-governance to rule the day. “This Old Town”     Wilson Pickett     1970 “This Old Town” from Pickett’s 1970 Atlantic album, Right On, was never to appear on a 45, which is a

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“Congratulations Baby”: Marriage as Payback

Doris Duke (the singer, not the tobacco heiress) is getting married out of spite, and frankly, I think she’s making a big mistake: “Congratulations Baby”     Doris Duke     1969 This classic track is from 1969’s I’m a Loser, Duke’s first solo album after singing backup for the likes of

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