Jukebox Grooves From The Crates (1965-1975)


Let’s leave 2016 with sounds from the last years of the jukebox era (1965-1975). Around the mid-seventies disco took over and dance music was played more and more at big, crowdy clubs instead of intimate local bars and cafes. From then the jukebox, an early version of Spotify, slowly disappeared out of sight.

Some of the songs clearly give away that disco was not far away to take over, like the ones from The O’Jays, Billy Paul and Van McCoy, but The Trammps show perhaps best the transition from the soul era to the disco days. Jimmy Ellis did the soulful, gospel influenced vocals and the uptempo music was played by Ronnie Baker (bass), Norman Harris (guitar) and Earl Young (drums), also main members of MFSB, house band of the Philadelphia International label The first recordings of the Trammps were not very successful, except for 'Hold Back The Night', which was a hit in the UK and on the Billboard R&B chart in 1973, before a re-release saw it climb the Billboard Hot 100 two years later. In the Netherlands they had a couple of hits on the pop chart, like ‘Shout’, Love Epidemic’. ‘Hooked For Life’ and ‘Trusting Heart’. In 1977 The Trammps became legendary for 'Disco Inferno' from the 'Saturday Night Fever' soundtrack.

The Trammps
The closing track is ‘Apache’ by Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band, originally released in 1973. In fact, Michael Viner could not play a note, but he brought the best studio musicians of that time together, most particularly percussion player King Errisson and drummer Jim Gordon (who played with Frank Zappa). You can hear both of them play the break on ‘Grazing in the grass’ by Friends of Distinction as well. Jim Gordon, who was married to singer-songwriter Renee Armand, turned out to have serious mental problems and tragically killed his mother with a hammer, ten years after the recording of 'Apache'. DJ Kool Herc picked up the track as soon as it was released and used the breaks during his infamous block parties in the early 1970s. It became the start of hip-hop and the song has been sampled by almost every rap artist ever since, like Grandmaster Flash, Sugarhill Gang, Young MC, Nas, Missy Elliott and many others. There is an interesting documentary on Netflix, called 'Hip-Hop Evolution', about the foundations of hip-hop.

Taylor LaShae
'Agent Double-O-Soul' by Edwin Starr hit the R&B Top Ten in 1965, and just missed the pop Top 20. His biggest hit, which made his reputation, was 'War' five years later. He turned this album track from the Temptations into an anti-war anthem with his incredible vocal power. It sold over three million copies. Starr left Motown Records in 1973, but he reappeared on the charts with a pair of memorable disco hits, 'Contact' and 'H.A.P.P.Y. Radio' at the end of the decade. He moved to the UK during the 1980s, recording a Marvin Gaye tribute album and a handful of singles. His participation in the Ferry Aid charity project led to a recording session with the production team of Stock, Aitken & Waterman in 1987. 'Whatever makes our love grow' did not sell well and he then moved away from the limelight.

Enjoy the Jukebox Grooves From The Crates!


Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony – The Hustle (1975)
O'Jays ‎– Back Stabbers (1972)
Billy Paul – The Whole Town's Talking [A Tom Moulton Mix] (1973)
The Trammps – Trusting Heart (1974)
Al Wilson – Touch And Go (1973)
Little Anthony & The Imperials ‎– Better Use Your Head (1966)
Patrice Holloway ‎– Love And Desire (1966)
Isley Brothers – This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You) (1969)
Marvin Gaye – Dark Side Of The World (1969)
The Jackson 5 ‎– Whatever You Got, I Want (1974)
Gia Mateo ‎– If You Can't Say Anything Nice (1967)
Gloria Edwards – Lonely Girl (1968)
Lou Courtney – Trying To Find My Woman (1971)
Tom Jones – It’s Not Unusual (1965)
Sharon Scott – I’d Like To Know (1966)
Jackie Wilson ‎– (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher (1967)
Edwin Starr – Agent Double-0-Soul (1965)
The Vows – Tell Me (1965)
Brenda Holloway – How Many Times Did You Mean It? (1965)
A Band Of Angels – Invitation (1966)
Carolyn Crawford – Keep Stepping (Never Look Back) (1965)
Chubby Checker – At The Discotheque (1965)
Eddie Kendricks – Shoeshine Boy (1975)
Bruce Cloud – Walk In My Shoes (1969)
Melba Moore – Look What You’re Doing To The Man (1971)
The Staple Singers – I'll Take You There (1972)
Frank Sinatra – Fly Me To The Moon (1965)
Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band – Apache (1973)


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