Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Organ instrumentals

"The Skip"
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Goldie & the Gingerbreads B-Side

One trivia bit from The Rolling Stone Rock Almanac that didn’t make it into Zero to 180’s big Summer Beach Read: April 30, 1965:  The Kinks begin their first headlining UK tour, with The Yardbirds and Goldie and the Gingerbreads providing support. I have always been curious about the ‘all-girl’ beat group with such

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Milt B’s “Mod Popcorn R&B”

Philip Paul‘s stellar stick work really drives this “killer” instrumental version of “Fever” that features organ (Milt Buckner) and vibes (Gene Redd) — recorded at Cincinnati’s King Studios on March 5, 1963: “Fever”     Milt Buckner     1963 Organ:  Milt Buckner Drums:  Philip Paul Bass:    Bill Willis Vibes:   Gene Redd

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"Ocean Liner (Bossa Nova)"
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Calvin Shields — Musical Pioneer

Hard to believe it was only 20 years or so ago I was having cheese coneys with The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s preeminent music writer Larry Nager and asking what it would take for the city to finally “own up” to its King Records history.  Last week, to my utter delight and

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"New Annie Laurie"
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King’s “Red River Rock” Cash-In

Catchy King instrumental — and what is that instrument, exactly?  Sounds like a blend of organ and harmonica, most likely: “New Annie Laurie”     Gene Redd     1960 “New Annie Laurie” seems an obvious attempt by King to “cash in” on the fresh organ retooling of “Red River Rock” made famous the

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"Zanzie"
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Mickey Baker on a King Surf LP

Session guitarist Mickey (“Love Is Strange“) Baker — whose work would grace dozens of releases by King Records and its subsidiaries — would end up being allotted exactly one solo album by the label as an artist in his own right:  1963’s But Wild. Recorded in Paris in June of

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“Rum Bum a Loo”: $300 Reggae

I’m a little surprised more ink has not been expended on a snappy early reggae 45 from 1970 on the Doctor Bird label that can command up to £200 [i.e., $300ish] at auction: “Rum Bum a Loo”     The Message     1970 “Rum Bum a Loo” was produced for the UK market

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“Grits & Corn Bread”: Watts 103

Zero to 180’s musical salute to Georgia ‘s Official Prepared Food continues with a song, “Grits & Corn Bread,” that listeners can enjoy at a variety of playback speeds (I’m partial to the medium speed): “Grits and Corn Bread”   The Soul Runners     1966 This debut 45 from The Soul Runners, who

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"Honky Tonk Popcorn"
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The Bill Doggett Centennial Begins Now!

Podcasts are great and all, but nothing compares to the magic & excitement of live radio! A recent exchange with WPFW radio’s Andrea Bray – at Andrea’s Fine Hats in DC just over the line from Silver Spring – unexpectedly resulted in an invitation to join her on the air

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"Soft"
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Bill Doggett’s “Soft”: Enduring

Bill Doggett and his Hammond organ, in 1957, would breathe (via flute) fresh life into Tiny Bradshaw‘s “Soft” from 1952 – both versions released on King.  Even though Doggett’s “Soft” would ‘only’ peak at #51, Billboard’s “Hot 100 Chart History” indicates this song to have spent 14 weeks on the

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The Duel: Organ vs. Sax

In the early part of this century, reissue label, Hip-O, put out a comprehensive series of James Brown single releases that were issued from 1956-1981.  Historians & researchers will no doubt be studying these liner notes in decades to come as they try to organize and make sense of the

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