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.
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!
In the mid-’70s, photographer Michael Abramson set his viewfinder on the South Side of Chicago, specifically the many clubs and lounges that served as Hothouses of street fashion (among them, the legendary High Chaparral and the Showcase Lounge). They reflected where blues, soul and disco collided: a dream of grit and gold lamé. The resulting photos have been compiled into the book A Light on the South Side.
The Numero Group presents:
A Light On The South Side
Release party, Discussion, and Social
Sunday, November 1st 2pm – 6pm
Chicago Cultural Center
Discussion with Michael Abramson and Rick Kogan in the Claudia Cassidy Theater
Reception in the G.A.R. Rotunda
Following the talk there will be a book signing and reception where Intelligentsia Coffee will be serving a special Numero-inspired creation, the 24-Carat Blend, and the Numero staff will be playing South Side classics in the G.A.R. Rotunda.
I, for one, have stared for more than a moment at the forgotten, peeled paint on the side of the 408 Club building over on 79th Street (just East of King Drive). In mid-seventies hipster font, the ad reads “Sheba Disco”, apparently some sort of disco club. I’ve wondered what manner of elephant bells and Quiana was to be found there in its heyday.
In the mid-’70s, photographer Michael Abramson set his viewfinder on the South Side of Chicago, specifically the many clubs and lounges that served as Hothouses of street fashion (among them, the legendary High Chaparral and the Showcase Lounge). They reflected where blues, soul and disco collided: a dream of grit and gold lamé.
Those photos have been compiled in Light: On the South Side, which is set for a November release by local label Numero Group. The package also includes a 17-track vinyl-only comp entitled Pepper’s Jukebox, featuring various local juke joint luminaries including Bobby Rush and Little Mack. Cratediggers, this one also includes the one-time cockroach of Chicago 45rpm collecting: “I’m a Streaker, Baby” by Arlean Brown. Remember that one? Couldn’t even give that one away, it was so plentiful. Anyway, check out the photo gallery, above (from the forthcoming book). Be inspired. Jive on.
photo by Michael Abramson
The Chicago-based record label Numero Group has brought together several veteran local soul acts from the short-lived (local) Twinight Record label (circa late 60s- early 70s). Among them will be: Renaldo Domino, Syl Johnson, and the Notations. They’ll perform Saturday at the Park West on Armitage Avenue in Chicago. Tomorrow on Chicago Public Radio’s morning show, 848, Richard Steele (great guy, by the way) will interview Syl in anticipation…. good golly. Here’s some clips of revue practice…courtesy of The Chicagoist…. Chicago Soul rides again!!!
from Numero Group’s blog:
While Syl Johnson, the Notations, and Nate Evans perform regularly around the world, Renaldo Domino, the Kaldirons, and the Final Solution haven’t been on stage in over 30 years. In true revue fashion, we’ve hired Chicago’s stalwart Uptown Sound to back the entire performance and expanded their tight rhythm section to include horns, backing vocalists, and strings. The show will be preceded by an interactive slideshow of Chicago soul memorabilia and a DJ set from The Numero Group, followed by an autograph and photo line.