Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Don Covay - The REAL Mick Jagger

Although best known as the composer of numerous R&B standards, Don Covay's voice should be familiar to almost everyone on Earth since a Rolling Stone has been using it for the last fifty years. The first time I heard Covay's You're Good For Me, it was the greatest Jagger impersonation I'd ever heard. But that was back when I was young and uninformed, some months ago. Anyway, here is yet another exhaustive singles compilation to satisfy a persistent personal need, this one covering two decades. Little Richard's one-time chauffeur has been around the block a time or two, from doo-wop to black rockabilly to dance craze novelties to classic Atlantic R&B to sixties revival blues to slick Philly disco to Ohio Players funk. Selections have been scrounged from vinyl and CD as well as numerous YouTube posts, with bitrates that may drive sensitive listeners crazy, but a couple of the very worst sounding tracks actually came from an Ooh! My Soul 'import' CD. In addition to stuff released under Covay's own name and his early singles as Pretty Boy (Penniman's term of endearment), I've included covers by the likes of Wanda Jackson, Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Hank Ballard, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, Joe Tex, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Otis Clay and The Staple Singers. So far I've been unable to access three 45s
Standing In The Doorway/I'm Lonely Too - Blaze 350
You're Good For Me/Truth Of The Light - Landa 704
Back To The Roots Pt. 1/Pt. 2 - U-Von 101
and would be overjoyed to hear from anybody out there who'd like to share them. So this is a fairly complete singles collection with a few exemplary album tracks, although thirty-three tunes have been banished to an outtakes reel. Jimi Hendrix appears on both sides of Rosemart 801 as well as Little Richard's I Don't Know What You've Got (But It's Got Me), while Wilson Pickett's I'm Gonna Cry (Cry Baby) features Ohio Untouchables guitarist Robert Ward and his mighty Magnatone. I sincerely regret that this is not an official compilation, with extensive liner notes and rare photos, which might give the aging, ailing master a little cash. I salute him and wish him well and hope he doesn't mind me putting all this treasure out there.

The REAL Mick Jagger - Don Covay @ 45Tours 1957-76
01 (Pretty Boy) Bip Bop Bip (Perri/Covay/Pedas) - Atlantic 1147a 1957
02 (Pretty Boy) Paper Dollar (?) - Atlantic 1147b 1957
03 Believe It Or Not (Randolph/Murray) - Sue 709a 1958
04 Betty Jean (?) Sue 709b 1958
05 (Pretty Boy) Switchen In The Kitchen (Covay) - Big 617a 1958
06 (Pretty Boy) Mary (Ting-A-Ling) (Covay) - Norton EP-118 2004
07 (Pretty Boy) Rockin' The Mule (Prosen) - Big 617b 1958
08 Wanda Jackson - There's A Party Goin' On (Covay/Berry) 1958
09 Ooh My Soul (Penniman) - Firefly 313b 1958
10 I'm Comin' Down With The Blues (Covay) - Big Top 3060b 1960
11 Pony Time (Covay/Berry) - Arnold 1002a 1961
12 Twistin' Train (Covay/Berry) - Epic 9484b 1961
13 Shake Wid The Shake (Covay/Berry) - Columbia 41981a 1961
14 Gladys Knight - A Letter Full Of Tears (Covay) 1961
15 Hank Ballard - The Continental Walk (Conrad/Covay/Ballard/Berry) 1961
16 Big Charlie & His Lemon Twisters - Twist It Up (Berry/Covay) 1961
17 Every Which A-Way (Covay/Berry) - Columbia 41981b 1961
18 See About Me (Covay/Porter) - Columbia 42058a 1961
19 Where Are You (Now That I Need You) (Frank Loesser) - Columbia 42197a 1961
20 Teen Life Swag (Randolph) - Columbia 42197b 1961
21 Solomon Burke - I'm Hanging Up My Heart (Covay/Berry) 1962
22 Sam Cooke - Hold On (Covay/Berry) 1962
23 One Little Boy Had Money (Mann/Appell) - Cameo 239b 1962
24 Do The Bug (Mann/Appell) - Cameo 251b
25 Jerry Butler - You Can Run (But You Can't Hide) (Covay/Dennison) 1962
26 Dee Clark - I'm Goin' Home (Covay) 1963
27 Tommy Tucker - Long Tall Shorty (Covay/Abramson) 1964
28 Wilson Pickett - I'm Gonna Cry (Cry Baby) (Covay/Pickett) 1964
29 Shirelles - Doomsday (Covay/Abramson) 1964
30 Turn It On (Jackson/Covay/Wisner) - Parkway 910b 1964
31 Mercy, Mercy (Covay/Miller) - Rosemart 801a 1964
32 Can't Stay Away (Covay/Ott) - Rosemart 801b 1964
33 Take This Hurt Off Me (Covay/Miller) - Rosemart 802a 1964
34 Please Don't Let Me Know (Terry/Smith) - Rosemart 802b 1964
35 Can't Fight It Baby (Covay/Ott) - Atlantic SD 8104 1965
36 You Must Believe Me (Curtis Mayfield) - Atlantic SD 8104 1965
37 You're Good For Me (Covay/Ott) - Atlantic SD 8104 1965
38 Three Time Loser (Covay/Miller) - (demo?) Versatile NED 1123 c.1964
39 Your Love Has Got To Me (Covay) - (demo?) Versatile NED 1123 c.1964
40 Please Do Something (Covay/Miller) - Atlantic 2286a 1965
41 A Woman's Love (Covay) - Atlantic 2286b 1965
42 See-Saw (Covay/Cropper) - Atlantic 2301a 1965
43 I Never Get Enough Of Your Love (Covay/Cropper) - Atlantic 2301b 1965
44 Little Richard - I Don't Know What You've Got (But It's Got Me) (Covay) 1965
45 Ben E. King - Don't Drive Me Away (Covay/Ott) 1966
46 Solomon Burke - Tonight's The Night (Covay/Burke) 1966
47 Sookie Sookie (Covay/Cropper) - Atlantic 2323a 1966
48 Watching The Late Late Show (Covay) - Atlantic 2323b 1966
49 You Put Something On Me (Covay) - Atlantic 2340a 1966
50 Iron Out The Rough Spots (Jones/Porter/Cropper) - Atlantic 2340b 1966
51 Somebody's Got To Love You (Covay) - Atlantic 2357a 1966
52 Temptation Was Too Strong (Covay) - Atlantic 2357b 1966
53 40 Days 40 Nights (Covay) - Atlantic 2407a 1967
54 The Usual Place (Covay/Randolph) - Atlantic 2407b 1967
55 You've Got Me On The Critical List (Covay) - Atlantic 2440a 1967
56 Never Had No Love (Covay) - Atlantic 2440b 1967
57 Etta James - You Got It (Covay) 1967
58 Otis Redding - Demonstration (Covay/Redding) 1967
59 Otis Redding - Think About It (Covay/Redding) 1967
60 Aretha Franklin - Chain Of Fools (Covay) 1968
61 Otis Clay - That Kind of Lovin' (Covay) 1968
62 Little Richard - Try Some Of Mine (Covay) 1968
63 Solomon Burke - Party People (Covay) 1968
64 Etta James - I'm Gonna Take What He's Got (Covay) 1968
65 Aretha Franklin - See-Saw (Covay/Cropper) 1968
66 Don't Let Go (J. Stone) - Atlantic 2494a 1968
67 It's In The Wind (Covay) - Atlantic 2494b 1968
68 Gonna Send You Back To Your Mama (Covay) - Atlantic 2521a 1968
69 House On The Corner (Covay) - Atlantic 2521b 1968
70 Soul Clan - Soul Meeting (Covay) - Atlantic 2530a 1968
71 Soul Clan - That's How It Feels (Covay/Womack) - Atlantic 2530b 1968
72 Snake In The Grass (Redd/Martin) - Atlantic 2565b 1968
73 I Stole Some Love (Covay) - Atlantic 2565a 1968
74 Sweet Pea (Covay) - Atlantic 2609a 1969
75 Mad Dog Blues (Covay/Richardson) - Atlantic SD 8237 1969
76 Soul Stirrer (Covay/Whyce) - Atlantic 2742a 1969
77 Lou Johnson - I Can't Change (Covay) 1969
78 Wilson Pickett - Night Owl (Covay) 1969
79 Joe Tex - She Said Yeah (Covay/Nash/Pickett/Stevenson) 1969
80 Everything I Do Goin' Be Funky (Allen Toussaint) - Atlantic 2725a 1969
81 Sweet Thang (Covay) - Janus 164a 1971
82 Standing In The Grits Line (Covay) - Janus 164b 1971
83 Staple Singers - This Old Town (Covay/Pickett/Stevenson) 1972
84 I Was Checkin' Out, She Was Checkin' In (Covay) - Mercury 73385a 1973
85 Money (That's What I Want) (Barrett Strong) - Mercury 73385b 1973
86 Somebody's Been Enjoying My Home (L. Scott/E. Darby) Mercury 73430a 1973
87 Bad Mouthing (E. Darby/N. Jean) - Mercury 73430b 1973
88 We Can't Make It No More (Covay/Von) Mercury 73468b 1975
89 Travelin' In Heavy Traffic (Covay/Wansel) - Philadelphia Intl. 3602a 1976
90 Once You Have It (Covay) - Philadelphia Intl. 3602b 1976

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four (X-Files)

I thought I would get it
From a missile flying through the sky
I thought it would be a hundred years
Before I turned over and died
Surely the end will come
I thought it would be an atomic bomb
But if you just take your love away
Doomsday
Sha-la-la-la-la

19 comments:

Big Nothing said...

Wow! Nice one, thanks! My band Midnight Woolf do a cover of Don Covay's version of "Ooh My Soul".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9QDlkzEutE

Francis said...

Thanks but I can't get anything for parts 1 or 3 when I try to unzip them. Parts 2 and 4 seem to work ok.

reservatory said...

Sorry, but I'm not having a problem with any of the downloads, although mysterious things happen all the time. If you happen to be on a Mac, try an unzipper called keka. Otherwise, try, try again?

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. Thank you!

Tobias said...

This is fantastic!

mariam baurice said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
hideo said...

ooh, la-la reservatory, this is sweet!

lepakking said...

Very good, and you are always my good friend.

VonBlaze said...

Man, you are so right about the similarities....

Noah said...

many thanks

Anonymous said...

Black rockabilly! Wtf? Rockabilly is a worthless term used to describe whites playing jump & jive or jump blues, don covay plays a myriad of black musical genres.

reservatory said...

Dear WTF - The twangy guitar on Ooh My Soul made me do it. Call me worthless. No argument here.

Anonymous said...

well, don covay is great, no doubt, and mick jagger did manage to do a couple of near perfect copies. but that, as far as i can see, is about the size of it. i mean, jagger is or WAS a very talented imitator of all sorts of people, with, at the same time, quite a flair of his own, or the stones would have been nowhere. imagine them with a bill wyman or keith richards as vocalist! jagger is a super star. the point is though, that jagger actually has nothing to say, he is essentially an actor without a script, except for a few tics, such as his pronounced misogynism, and that's hardly even funny. don covay is a much more lovely personality and a truer artist. comparing him to jagger does nothing for either of these two people. jagger remains a cosmic phenomenon, and covay deserves to be recognised on his OWN merits, BTW-- i'm not "anyonymous" but what choice do i have???

Anonymous said...

adding to my earlier comment, i've listened to these songs for some days now, so many more than i ever knew before. this is really a beautiful body of work. you can see how it is poetry born on the street, coming from among real people and real life, real pain, real experiences. keith richards' "life" struck me as a series of calamities, but the guy seemed never to actually talk about the music. well, never mind, the stones played the background or fairground music to a lot of people's lives, but THIS stuff is really nice to discover. i wonder if the stones ever went to see don covay -- he's still living -- to shake his hand or buy him a cadillac or anything like that??? ha ha, it would BE a joke, wouldn't it???

reservatory said...

Actually, it seems the Stones did acknowledge their debt to the master. There's a studio jam called 'Invitation' from around 1989 that features Covay as well as Bobby Womack. So Mick & the boys were at least a bit less shady than Led Zeppelin, who routinely denied their theft from various blues masters as feebly as Vanilla Ice when confronted about his Bowie steal. As I suggest in the post, it seems criminal that all this stuff is out there in the ether, uncollected and largely unheard.

oldiesjohn said...

That's nice music.

moos said...

Hey Reservatory, great stuff with Don Covay. However I do think it is offensive to call him Mick Jagger. To me, Don Covay has always been a much bigger star than the whole MJ.
All the best, ;-)

reservatory said...

Moos - nice to hear from an old familiar face. My intended dig was badly presented. What I really mean is that Jagger's world-renowned vocal style was actually lifted verbatim from Covay, and that the Stones' nearly 300 years of fame and fortune might never have happened without that theft. As I say in another comment reply, at least Jagger seems to acknowledge his debt. No offense was intended DC, whose work speaks for itself when people get the chance to dive into it. Anyway, glad that you hung on after all the chaos of early 2012.

Anonymous said...

thanx so much for this. incredible and the zippy finally worked.