Simtec (Simmons) and Wylie (Dixon) were a homegrown Sam & Dave styled duo on Syl Johnson’s Shama label when this scorcher came out in 1970. Both Simtec and Wylie had scuffled about on the Chicago Scene in a variety of acts before this release: Simtec actually put out a track in 1967 on tiny Maurci Records credited to “Simtec Simmons & the Mechanical Monster”… it added up to a curious bunch of funk, blips, and beeps.
A bit of a local hit, “Do It Like Mama” lost steam and died quietly before breaking through nationally. Love the sock-it-to-me, hard grit on this, as well as the message that ‘the stuff your Grandma did is gonna come back in style’. Truer words were never said, far as I’m concerned. Roll down the windows, and drive real slow……
you know you love it. Syl Johnson was a staple at local clubs here in Chicago in the 60s and 70s and this record can still get a crowd moving. This song is famous, arguably, because it’s been sampled so many times; but it is actually the follow up to Syl’s Monster-of-a-hit from 1967, “Sock it To Me” (which fared much better on the local charts).
I like the effects and psychedelic touches on this, as well. If you dig this, too, check out Syl Johnson’s complete anthology, “Complete Mythology” released by local Numero Group (and pictured ).
and for good measure, here’s “Sock it to me”. Jive on!
Captain Sky, also known as mild-mannered Chicago bass player Daryl Cameron, stated on the back of his first album (Adventures of Captain Sky):
“Oh, by the way, if you’re wondering, Daryl Cameron somehow entered the phonebooth of his mind and emerged as Captain Sky. Tune in again”….
(this might be unrelated, but I personally think they missed the boat by not marketing a breakfast cereal for the kiddies. But maybe that’s me thinking about Captain Crunch.)
Anyway, check this 1978 appearance on Soul Train of his funky hit cut, “Wonder Worm”.
NOTE: Soul Train started out in Chicago on WCIU (Channel 26) in 1971. Even after he took the Soul Train west to L.A., Don Cornelius kept Chicago artists represented. In this episode alone we hear:
“Wonder Worm” by “Captain Sky” [ charted #33 R&B ]
“Get Down” by “Gene Chandler” [ #3 R&B / #22 Disco / #53 Pop ].
“September” by “Earth, Wind & Fire” [ #1 R&B / #8 Pop ]