LLOYD PRICE / “Lloyd Price Mixtape”
The music that accompanies our moves through puberty, puppy love and early infatuations (and serious relationships, if any) becomes the major “oldies” soundtrack for our personal bio-pics. We never forget those sounds precisely because the music directly connects us to the roots of our adult beings (comings and goings)—howsoever one defines all of that. There is no way you can listen to what you listened to back then when you were wrapped in someone’s arms, or on the bus going somewhere wonderful with or toward someone wonderful. Yaknow what I’m saying? (And if you don’t, I feel sorry for you and wish you better luck in the future.) Lloyd Price is one of those people for me. Included on this Mixtape are over a double-handful of songs that were in the air during my early teen years. If I’m not mistaken, Mr. Price grew up in Kenner, a suburb of New Orleans (trivia note: the first mayor of Kenner was black). In any case a strong case can be made for Lloyd Price as one of the first major R&B artists from New Orleans to make a national impact. A couple of Lloyd’s songs established both the foundation and the template for what became Rock and Roll. His first major hit was “Lawdy Miss Claawdy,” which had Lloyd fronting Dave Bartholomew’s band (yes, including pianist Fats Domino). The 1952 song was not only a mega-hit but it also established a genre of songs about (in)famous “womens!” although, to be clear, it is firmly in the “Caldonia” tradition. Following “Miss Clawdy” there were local hits and then a short stint in Korea, gratis the U.S. Army. While Price was away Little Richard came on strong with “Long Tall Sally” and Larry Williams (a Price protégé) with “Short Fat Fanny.” Price returned home and dropped a string of national hits including the massive hit “Stagger Lee,” which landed my man on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand (albeit with slightly sanitized lyrics). Lloyd Price is one of the great composers of New Orleans R&B and he deserves recognition for his seminal work. Notice that much of his work mates New Orleans rhythms and music patterns with pop choral work. Art Rupe at Specialty Records and later the execs at ABC-Paramount Records were enamored of Lloyd’s wonderful music but wanted to find the recipe to make the funky New Orleans music palatable to a mainstream audience, especially the then emerging rock and roll teenagers who were the changing face of mainstream American music culture. As for me, “Personality” is my favorite Lloyd Price song both for the music itself as well as for the message of the song. “Heart” was high on our list of values and hooking up with a huge-hearted lover is an awesome experience. —Kalamu ya Salaam Lloyd Price Mixtape Playlist Restless Heart 01 “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” 02 “Just Because” 03 “Stagger Lee” 04 “Where Were You (On Our Wedding Day)” 20 Great Oldies Lloyd Price 05 “Send Me Some Lovin' ” Specialty Proﬁles: Lloyd Price 06 “Oo-Ee Baby” 07 “Tryin' To Find Someone To Love” 08 “Let Me Come Home Baby” 09 “If Crying Was Murder” 20 Great Oldies Lloyd Price 10 “It Ain't Easy” 11 “Misty” Restless Heart 12 “Question” 13 “Never Let Me Go” 14 “No If's-No And's” 15 “I'm Gonna Get Married” 16 “Personality”
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