=Monday, September 22, 2008

Everybody Needs Somebody - King Floyd

This week’s single comes to us from another N.O.L.A. soul man…

Everybody Needs Somebody - King Floyd - Chimneyville

Early in his life, King Floyd had a relatively minor music career in New Orleans, singing in bars on Bourbon Street. Deciding to make music a bigger part of his life after a brief gig in the army, King Floyd moved from New Orleans to California in the late 60’s. In 1969, Floyd recorded his first album, A Man Called Love, featuring songs co-written with Dr. John and produced by Harold Battiste (who aside from producing some great sides, is also responsible for starting All For One Records, a.k.a. AFO Records, the first African American musician-owned record label). Despite some heavy-hitters involved in the recording process, A Man Called Love, struggled on the charts and failed to raise King Floyd to stardom, so he moved back to New Orleans in 1970. Shortly after getting back to New Orleans, music arranger/composer Wardell Quezergue (a guy nicknamed “The Creole Beethoven”, who’s worked with some major names like Eddie Bo, Willie Tee, and Smokey Johnson), convinced Floyd it would be worth his while to record a song that Quezergue had recently arranged called, Groove Me, at Malaco Studios in Jackson, Mississippi (to further exemplify Quezergue’s funkiness at this point in his career, it is worth noting that Jean Knight recorded Mr. Big Stuff during this same session). Groove Me would ultimately reach #1 on the R&B charts and #6 on the pop charts after being picked up by Atlantic for national distribution. King Floyd would subsequently record another album, Think About It, released by Chimneyville/ATCO in 1973, which was also arranged with help from Quezergue. However, creative differences developing between the two would strain their working relationship and result in a record that would not chart as well as their previous output. Today’s selection, written by King Floyd and Theodore Royal and arranged by King Floyd (rather than Quezergue, an example of the growing discord between the two) was released as a 45 in 1972 by Chimneyville as the b-side to the track, Woman Don’t Go Astray, which is considered to be one of the highlights of the LP, Think About It.

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