Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Soul-Jers and More Kommotion

sitting L-R Jim Cole , Ray Brannon and Tony Wilcher
top L-R Chuck Brannon and Steve Cook

“These are the Soul-Jers, five troubadours with a sound called “soul music.” They’ll play anywhere, anytime if it moves them near fame fortune and star billing on the Ed Sullivan Show. They’re after the Whole Bag.”

Anne Rivers Siddons Atlanta Journal Magazine 1967

Was the bag, James Brown's brand-new bag because in 1967 , the Soul-Jers had a 45 minute James Brown show ?

News article showing the Soul-jers live… perhaps in the midst of the aforementioned 45 minute James Brown show… but where are the capes?

The Soul-Jers of Atlanta, not the Bushmen of Douglas

Far left (Original Guitarist) -Phil Thomas
On Ladder, Tony Wilcher holding Ray Brannon's head Bottom of Ladder l-r Jim Cole and Chuck Brannon

Thanks to Tony Wilcher (above) for providing the Soul-jer images

A little more Kommotion

Hey Greg,

I just read your latest blog entry. I know that it is not a big deal, but I wanted to make a few further corrections.

1.) When the band , The Kommotion was first organized in Georgia. Wayne was not singing with us (members were Jimmy Calloway, Emory Gordy, and Rick Bear). We were using a singer named Lynn Westbrook, a local black musician. Occasionally Arthur Conley and the Corvettes sang with us. Wayne started to come around and sit in with us and eventually became our regular singer.

2.) Chips Moman had nothing to do with our recording of “The Little Black Egg.” It was all done locally in Atlanta (approx late 1964). Pat Hughes set the recording date up and was the producer. We did record with Chip in 1965 when we were in Memphis on tour with the Yardbirds. It was their first American tour and Jeff Beck was on guitar at the time. We and The Yardbirds went into American Studios and basically did jam sets together with the two bands. I have no idea what became of the recordings. If I am not mistaken, The Swinging Medallions had their first hit out and were also on that tour (not the recording).

3.) Sarah Vaughn's ex husband manager's name was C. B. Atkin's. He was one of two husband/managers that she had and they both cheated her.

Once when The Kommotion were doing a stint at The Royal Peacock with Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, C. B. who was a friend of Curtis's came to some of the shows. C. B. was a gambler and hustler as well as a personal manager and he saw the good reception that we received at the Peacock. That is when he asked Wayne to go to NYC with him. Wayne wanted to take the whole band, but C. B. wouldn't do it. Finally C. B. agreed to take me and Emory. The first place that I ever went in NYC was to Joe Glaser's office and then straight to the Apollo Theatre. Joe Glaser owned Associated Booking Corp. who at that time booked about 90% of the acts on Ed Sullivan. He was Louis Armstrong's personal manager for many years. He booked everybody from Count Basie to Sonny and Cher. We haven't even gotten a room yet. We were booked onto a guest set with Wilson Pickett based only on C. B.'s and Joe Glaser's word.
C. B. later became one of Muhammed Ali's managers. From there ........blah blah blah



Thanks for the updates. I can certainly see how some of the information got confused. The third name I got on that recording of “Little Black Egg” was Larry Utah… at least I thought it was Utah but after further research, I found that it was actually Larry Uttal who owned Bell Records at the time. Since many of the songs on the Bell label were recorded at American Studios, it is easy to see how the Chips Moman tie in came about. Wayne must have gotten the sessions at American Studios mixed up with the one at Lefevre where the Kommotions recorded, “Little Black Egg.” Regarding the sessions at American, has anyone asked Chips Moman about the existence of any of the tape? Maybe we can talk sometime this week. I want to develop a band directory like you see at the site. I will try to get a preliminary one to you for review in the next day or two.



P.S. A recording of a jam session of the Yardbirds and the Konmotion at American Studios in 1965 would certainly be interesting.

1 comment:

Sudeaux said...

I'm so thankful to have run across these photos of the Soul-Jers. My husband, Steve Cook, was in that band and in our 25 years of marriage I've never seen this photo before. Unfortunately he passed away in August 2012 so it's a real treat to see him here smiling from that one photo. I can't even say how much this means to me so thanks for taking the time to post these photos, etc.