Rascals Redding Ritter

They started out as the Young Rascals, sporting knickerbockers & newsboy hats when groups and to have a look. As they became popular & older they dropped the ‘young’ & switched from knickerbockers to bellbottoms & tied-died t-shirts. I was a fan of their hits & they had many of those. Top 10 radio hit parade heroes. With a fun, pop r’n’b sound with covers like Mustang Sally, Midnight Hour & sunny originals like Good Lovin’, Groovin’ & ballads How Can I Be Sure.

They were incredibly popular without being bubble gum disposable. A more soulful version of the Lovin’ Spoonful. I have 3 stand-alones a self-titled, Collections & the hits collection The Ultimate. They were a ‘singles’ group & the hits collection is excellent. I’ve also had Freedom Suite & See in which their sound & direction changed & the fan weren’t happy with there jazzier work.

The Rascals were a teen group where as Otis Redding was clearly for adults. Some of his songs would drift into the top forty but, at least in Cape Breton, such deep soul wasn’t in demand. He wasn’t as accessible as say Wilson Picket or Sam & Dave. His songs were about heartbreak & white boys really didn’t dance to them.

I picked up a cd of his Ultimate hits & that lead me to download the Complete Studio Albums. That’s a lot of great soulful music – it incudes King and Queen, a set with Carla Thomas. There is an equal number of live recordings & his  gospel roots shine on those. Solid, gritty but never as funky as James Brown. 

To round out the Redding mp3 cd I added When The Sun Goes Down, an amazing collection of vintage gospel by the likes of Paul Robeson – one see the roots of rock’n’roll here. Finally I filled out this cd with another classic voice: Tex Ritter – The Streets of Larado. An astonishing bass voice singing country classics like the title track, Rye Whiskey & what has to be one of my favourite old country songs Blood On The Saddle – this song gives me chills. The bass guitar plunk when he sings there was Blood on the saddle is a work of art.

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