Darkjive, dear readers, is strictly a labor of love: simply put, if I love a song from Chicago (or am enamored by a story) I’ll share it.
This is no different.
“This is Our Love Story” (by the Harvey Allison Experience featuring The Whole Truth) is a luscious soul record that lacks a lot of info on the label. A man and a woman serenade one another, voices intertwined like ivy.
Printed on the Truth Is Records release, the year listed is 1980. No city. I suspected that it was at least from the Midwest. No smoking gun collaborators, though. No usual Chicago suspects. No Willie Henderson. No Carl Davis. Not even a Jim Porter.
But one day, hopping around YouTube, I found the following early ’80s music video recorded at the CopHerbox II, which was pronounced “Copper Box” located in….wait for it… Chicago! 117th and Halsted to be exact. The club had a local variety TV show called the Chicago Party.
And so, I present to you: Mr. Ken Allison and Diane Harvey (Harvey Allison Experience, get it?) with “This is Our Love Story”. Watching them perform makes me love the song more. And, dig that scene! In case you want more: local label Numero Group has apparently put out a compilation featuring the music and the visuals of The Chicago Party.
I was at this Bridgeport Bar/Packaged Goods’ Grand Reopening a while back, and really liked the space. Somewhat dim, brown beer bottle chandeliers and a framed black and white photo of Al Capone set a down to business mood.
Thursday night I DJ’ed there, so I was able to see the ebb and flow of clientele. The crowd was a fresh mix of Old Bridgeport, New Bridgeport, and representatives from all the diverse neighborhoods adjacent.
Ed Marszewski of the Lumpen Art Media empire runs this cozy spot with his mother, Maria (who had run the space pre-revamp since the 80s). Great, well-curated bar selections, and a makeshift kitchen courtesy of Pleasant House Bakery who delivers delicious savory Royal Pies from their digs next door.
Check Maria’s website for updates on a variety of cool special events. Jive on!
Wilbur White was a nightclub singer on the South Side of Chicago whose bluesy growl wielded so much power that he was nicknamed Hi-Fi. He’d been in the clubs since the 1950s, and although I hear he put on a knockout of a show, that never translated into record sales. Speaking of knockouts, he played bit roles on Sanford & Son and in the boxing-in-prison movie Penitentiary (1979). In the film, he was cast as the gap-toothed transvestite Sweet Pea. Behind the scenes, the film was so under-budget that White took initiative and collected food stamps from cast and crew, becoming the production’s official caterer. He fed over one hundred actors and technical staffers for the final week of shooting. That’s good ol’ Chicago can-do!
here’s a clip of perhaps his signature number, Bulldog.
and here’s the trailer for the film:
NOTE: view the comments on this post for first hand stories and recollections…