Posts Tagged ‘Otis Clay’

Saturday Single No. 356

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

Let’s look at the Billboard Top Ten from September 7, 1968, forty-five years ago today:

“People Got To Be Free” by the Rascals
“Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf
“Light My Fire” by Jose Feliciano
“Harper Valley P.T.A.” by Jeannie C. Riley
“Hello I Love You” by the Doors
“The House That Jack Built” by Aretha Franklin
“1, 2, 3, Red Light” by the 1910 Fruitgum Co.
“You’re All I Need To Get By” by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
“I Can’t Stop Dancing” by Archie Bell & The Drells
“Stay In My Corner” by the Dells

That’s a great Top Ten: Some folk rock right on top (“People Got To Be Free” was in the fourth week of a five-week tenure at No. 1), a biker anthem, a country story-song, a Latin-ish cover of a hit song, a dusky jewel, some bubblegum and four R&B tunes, two of them ballads and two of them more up-tempo. That would be a great forty minutes or so of radio.

The only one I’m not truly familiar with is “I Can’t Stop Dancing.” I don’t know if I’d heard it before this morning, but from where I listen, it’s more or less a sound-alike of the group’s No. 1 hit from earlier in the year, “Tighten Up.”

All the rest I know very well, but mostly from hearing them and absorbing them in later years. The only one of those ten records that says “1968” to me is the Doors’ “Hello I Love You,” which I heard frequently during my four-day job at the state trap shoot. I got around to all the others (except the Archie Bell record) later, and I’ve heard them often enough that, as I ponder a Saturday morning record, I realize that there’s not much point in posting any of them this morning.

So, as I expected I would when I began this exercise, I look deeper into that chart from forty-five years ago, checking out No. 97 (for 9/7, of course), where we come across a cover version of a 1965 hit. The cover version was produced by Rick Hall and was, one would assume, recorded at his FAME studio in Muscle Shoals. It’s a record I’ve not heard before, but it’s by an artist I know, simply because I was lucky enough a few years ago to run across a CD of Otis Clay’s later work on the Hi label.

Clay, who hailed from Waxhaw, Mississippi, earned just a little bit of chart action with records on three labels between 1966 and 1973. (He may very well have recorded for more labels than that, but without charting.) Two records on the One-derful label bubbled under the Hot 100, and one of them – “That’s How It Is (When You’re In Love)” went to No. 34 on the R&B chart in 1967. In 1973, “Trying To Live My Life Without You” went out on Hi, bubbling under the Hot 100 and going to No. 24 on the R&B chart.

It’s the record in between that interested me this morning, a release on the Cotillion label that I found at No. 97 in that Hot 100 from September 7, 1968. And that’s why Otis Clay’s cover of the Sir Douglas Quintet’s “She’s About A Mover” is today’s Saturday Single.