After an extended hiatus, “Across 135th Street” – my long dormant show for Red Bull Music Academy Radio – returns to the Interweb airwaves. Sub-titled “Soul Extravaganza 2013,” this edition is a 2-hour mix composed entirely of soul/funk/northern/mod/modern/disco 45s from the 60s/70s/80s. And while those little records with the big holes in the centers are extremely trendy nowadays, hopefully the music itself transcends format. (I was getting 45s before it was the thing and I’ll still be doing it when no one cares anymore.) In lieu of a regular ol’ playlist I’ve taken the time to scan the label art of every record played on the program – because, well, record nerd shit is just what I do. Peep it at your leisure, or as you listen. And you can also read a few scattered, random thoughts on some of the selections, below. Enjoy!
From RBMA HQ: A few random observations on the material. The use of parenthesis on the title of Johnnie Mae Matthews track may or may not be absolutely necessary; the Ray J. featured herein is not that Ray J.; in a perfect world “Foxy Girls In Oakland” would’ve been one of the most influential records on a young Todd “Too $hort” Shaw’s childhood; Barbara of Rosco & Barbara almost ruins “Could This Be Love” at the end – almost; The Who ripped off the Dynamics’ “Misery” for “Zoot Suit”; the Pat Lewis track affirms that George Clinton was already great at making records before drugs; Vince Montana is a god; “Le Cop” is French for “Le Cop”; it doesn’t have to be Kwanzaa to celebrate Ujima; if Sylvester made northern soul records they’d sound like the Bits’n Pieces piece; Bobby Womack is in our thoughts; Terry Callier, RIP…. Listeners of the universe, may the soul be with you.
CLICK THE THUMBNAILS TO SEE LABEL ART OF EVERY SONG PLAYED ON THE SHOW