Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Preston Love--the famous alto saxophonist and bandleader from Omaha--once owned a record label with Otis Renwho, alongside his brother Leon, had owned the earliest black independent labels on America's West Coast: Exclusive and Excelsior Records. They later formed Class Records, scoring rock'n'roll hits in the late 50s. Leon's son Googie recorded for Class in the 60s, scoring with tracks like "Chic A Boo" and "Smokey Joe's La La."

In the mid 60s they set up another label, Soul Bag, which saw the release of the classic 45, Count Yates and the Rhythm Crusader's "At The Soul In." Produced by Googie Ren this is now an incredibly hard 45 to track down. Featuring some incredibly funky keyboards and a playful, rowdy atmosphere (not an unusual occurrence considering bands, especially soul and funk acts, actually used to record in the same room together), it's one of my favorite 45's of all time. It just has a great sound all its own.

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