LEE MILLER'S KILLER THRILLERS

Check out Lee's exclusive interview with us in the DJ page

LEE MILLER - The DJ's DJ, Iconic modernist legend and all round top man has been an integral part of the international Mod scene for well over 30 years, or 3 decades dependant on how you look at life, we know this because we have known him for that long and he was a killer Mod back then! Cutting his teeth at the early rallies and London clubs Lee quickly established himself as a big player on the scene with guest spots globally, not bad for a young lad from Kent who first played with a couple of old record players in a village hall. Lee has been instrumental in shaping the scene's sound, always breaking new records whilst tipping his hat to the classics, earning him, and quite rightly so the plaudits he deserves.

Lee's skill behind the turntables has seen him, with life long friend Rob Bailey kick start the New Untouchables and turn it into the enormous success it has become today, not only that but he is one third of the promotion team behind the fantastic Dreamsville weekend in Lowestoft which has just celebrated it's 10th anniversary to a sell out crowd.

When we were thinking about residents for our own Suit Yourself weekenders in Bristol Lee was an obvious choice to join our team as he brings with him a phenomenal amount of knowledge and the ability to rock any dance floor we ask him to play on.

But enough about his DJing skills, it's his ability to unearth a true monster of a tune that we were interested in when we asked him to become a contributor to our web site and we knew we had to find an apt name for his own column so we came up with Lee Miller's Killer Thrillers. A new page dedicated to the mans true gift, the gift of spreading some of his vast knowledge to the eager of us with a love of damn good music.

 

Lee's column will be updated on a fairly regular basis with features on labels, artists and anything dance floor related including insights into clubland. We welcome him to the Suit Yourself stable with open arms. In this column Lee reviews some killer tracks on the Galaxy record label, must have's for anyone who loves to cut a rug........

Willie Mays – If You Love Me

Duke 350

Originally Released in 1962, Willie Mays was a Baseball star who at the time of release played for the San Francisco Giants. A solid up-tempo driving R&B dancer. Again Billy Harvey’s sax plays a integral part in the creation of this track. Willie telling his baby not to be ashamed, if he’s her flame, but only “If You Love Me”.

Buddy Ace -What Can I Do

Duke 346

Originally Released in 1962, but Duke 155 is titled the same, but a different track all together. This great up-tempo track is actually the A-Side to the in-demand “Screaming Please”. This brass laden dancer tells us the story of Buddy asking “What can I do, to prove that I love you”. Rhythm, Blues and a sprinkling of Jazz- just great for those dancing feet.

Otis Rush – Homework – Duke 356

Duke 356

Originally released in 1962, written by Dave Clark, no not that one, and Al Perkins, who later released it as duet with Betty Bibbs on USA Records. Otis Rush was a veteran when he recorded this Blues shuffler in 1962 – he had previously recorded for Cobra & Chess records, this great floor-filler also got a UK release on Vocalion.

Little Junior Parker – Wondering

Duke 184

Originally Released in 1958, another with an intro that grabs you there and then. The harmonica kicks in with that all familiar “Train” riff, piano keys and snare drum move us toward Junior telling that within his relationship – “we’ve never had fuss, we’ve never had a fight” as his love is departing on the train and he’s “Wondering” if he’ll ever see his baby someday. Again a dancefloor winner, full of great harmonica & guitar work.

Bobby “Blue” Bland – Farther Up The Road

Duke 170

Originally released in 1957, and what an intro, two notes on the piano, then the sax & orchestra of band leader Bill Harvey comes in and Bobby’s smooth vocal tells us of being mistreated, and Further On Up The Road, the mis-treater will reap what she sowed. Great orchestration and guitar work along with Bobby’s voice will keep you dancing for the whole 2 minutes and 45 seconds of pure dynamite!

Little Johnny Taylor – You Win, I Lose

Galaxy 731 - 1964

1:  Little Johnny Taylor – You Win, I Lose – Galaxy 731 – 1964

 

From the very outset of the orchestra’s brass, and the guitar riff running through, you know this is going to be a dancefloor winner. The lyrics tell the story of finding his love with another man, in his own house, and how he’s put everything into the relationship and how he’s through. But she’s won and he’s lost, and how he does not want to be a “Part Time Love” no more – referencing his previous hit 45 for Galaxy Records.

A great 45, that won’t break the bank, that pounds along with a great Rhythm & Blues meets Jazz feel.

 

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Roger Collins – The World Can Do Me No Harm

Galaxy 715

Roger Collins won a talent show in Oakland, he sang in clubs, and in the early 1960s was signed by Fantasy Records who issued his records on their subsidiary Galaxy. Although his first two singles were unsuccessful, his third record, "She's Looking Good", reached number 44 on the Billboard R&B and number 101 on the pop chart in 1966, and of course became a Mod & Soul Club Anthem.

But this track is 3 years earlier and what a slab of early soul, with an intro with touches of What I’d Say with a touch of Fever. “ Tears Ain’t Nothing But Water, Water Ain’t Nothing But Rain “ – telling his love, he’s so in love – The World Can Do Him No Harm, another great 45 for the dancefloor.

 

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Merl Saunders – Tighten Up

Galaxy 747

Merl Saunders was a multi talented musician, who favoured the Hammond B3. His first release on the Fantasy label in 1964 – “ How’s That” is a Mod Jazz dancefloor winner. In 1966 Galaxy had the foresight to release an instrumental version of Little Johnny Taylor’s – You Win, I Lose, and what a version, the Hammond B3 replacing Johnny’s vocals. Another great 45 from the Galaxy stable.

The other question about this 45, is that even though Cliff Goldsmith wrote (Clifton) and produced You Win, the credits are Saunders / Shanklin (Ray Shanklin the arranger) ?

 

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Merl Saunders – My Train

Galaxy 8209 album track

Another great MOD track from Merl, this time it’s the album only “ My Train “, from the Soul Grooving album.

I first heard this via KENT’s Mod Jazz series, and just had to get one. Ok, it is a blatant rip off of Little Walter’s – My Babe, but as like “Tighten Up” the vocal is replaced by that luscious sounding B3..

This track just romps along with Merl’s Trio and Big Band. Vote with those dancing feet!

 

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Bill McAfee – I Don’t Know Why

Galaxy 710

Bill’s only outing on Galaxy, from 1962. I first heard Mik Parry of The Pow Wow Club spin this as a complete

unknown, and managed to pick on up quite cheap at the time. That Galaxy Brass leads us through the intro, with the girls stating “ I Don’t Know Why, You Treat Me Like You Do ”. Then Bill’s vocal kicks in telling us all about him spreading the word on how much he loves her and she’s treating him like a fool – then that Sax break!  Yet to have it’s big day on the Mod dancefloors – but it’s coming !!

 

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EST 2016