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View Full Version : Interesting info about "Mercy Mercy"



dino77
05-02-09, 12:56 AM
I accidentally found a quote on the net from Don Covay about "Mercy Mercy" I've never seen before:
https://www.jerryosborne.com/12-3-07.htm

“The lead guitar player is definitely Ronnie Miller. As for Jimi Hendrix, he was with us on that session, but only as a fill-in guitarist.”

Sounds right to me - I've never "heard" Jimi in the opening lick. "Testify" with Isley Brothers was recorded the same spring, and you can hear Jimi all over it.
The quote from Ace Hall is also interesting. He thus recorded and/or played with Lonnie Youngblood, Curtis Knight and Don Covay along with Hendrix - seems to have been a tight-knit group of musicians in New York at the time.

purple jim
05-02-09, 01:50 AM
I had always beleived that it was Jimi at the intro of the song. What a disappointment.

A confusing thing from the interview there with Ace Hall is where he says he and Hendrix co-wrote “I Don't Know What You Got (But It's Got Me)” [Vee-Jay 698]. A quick look on the earlyhendrix web site and the song is credited to Don Covay (printed on the singles).

stplsd
05-02-09, 01:59 AM
Thanks for this interesting link, I found the Ace Hall interview especially interesting. according to http://www.earlyhendrix.com/ Drummer Bernard Purdie from these sessions was another that he played with later when Jimi was briefly in King Curtis' band. Ray Lucas, drummer on the infamous 67 Curtis Knight sessons also played earlier with Jimi in the King Curtis sessions with Ray Sharpe. And Knight used the title of song Jimi recorded with Ray Sharpe ‘Help Me (Get The Feeling)’ for one of these jams. Knight also more or less copied an Isley Brothers single 'Simon Says' with Jimi on guitar. Harry Jensen also appears to have played on the Mercy! sessions as well as on some Curtis Knight sessions.A lot of guitarists for one LP: Jimmy Hendrix, Harry Jensen, Ronald Miller, Bob Bushnell, Billy Butler, Wally Richardson!? Interestingly Billy Butler and Bob Bushnell also played with King Curtis. Hendrix spoke of Billy Butler being an early influence - what a tangled web.

lostarchives
05-06-09, 07:56 PM
You've got remember, even though Jimmy may have been just an uncredited session player on Covay's record, it still doesn't diminish the fact that his involvement may have contributed to its Top 40 success. This was Jimmy's first NY session in 1964. He was a bit of a hot shot in Nashville, but struggling to make in the Big Apple. He seemed to impress Steve Cropper with the fact he played on it, and he kept the song in his set when he formed the Experience.

Mr. Music, Jerry Osbourne, did get a few things wrong on this page: The Rosa Lee Brooks record was NOT recorded in either 1963 or 1964, but 1965. This was NOT his debut recording, and it recently sold on eBay for $135 NOT $700.

Jimi does NOT appear on "The Last Girl."

dino77
05-07-09, 02:04 AM
You've got remember, even though Jimmy may have been just an uncredited session player on Covay's record, it still doesn't diminish the fact that his involvement may have contributed to its Top 40 success. This was Jimmy's first NY session in 1964. He was a bit of a hot shot in Nashville, but struggling to make in the Big Apple. He seemed to impress Steve Cropper with the fact he played on it, and he kept the song in his set when he formed the Experience.

Mr. Music, Jerry Osbourne, did get a few things wrong on this page: The Rosa Lee Brooks record was NOT recorded in either 1963 or 1964, but 1965. This was NOT his debut recording, and it recently sold on eBay for $135 NOT $700.

Jimi does NOT appear on "The Last Girl."

True, Osborne did get a few things wrong. But the interesting/important bit here is that Covay says Jimi did not play the lead lick on "Mercy Mercy", nothing else.

lostarchives
05-07-09, 11:55 AM
A confusing thing from the interview there with Ace Hall is where he says he and Hendrix co-wrote “I Don't Know What You Got (But It's Got Me)” [Vee-Jay 698].

I believe Ace's only line in the interview is: “What Don means by a “fill-in” player is really a secondary guitarist, one who fills in a bit here and there — such as perhaps between verses when the lead is playing something else"

The rest of the quotes after that seem to come from Covay in my opinion. Covay did not co-write "I Don't Know..." with Hendrix... He is the sole composer for the song - Jimi may have offered the intro lead, but never received credit for it.

It's a little unclear what Ace Hall's role was with the Goodtimers from this interview, other than "leader," as Osborne says. If this is Covay's quote:“Besides myself and Ronnie Miller, the other full-time Goodtimers were George Braggs and Harry Jensen,” then the group would have had three members (bass, drums, and guitar) backing up Covay. If it came from Hall, then the back up band had two guitar players (Miller and Jensen).

George Braggs played drums (briefly with the Squires), Harry Jensen played both bass and guitar (also with Squires), and Ace Hall is known as a bass player.

To add further debate, "King" George Clemons mentioned he sang background vocals on the track as well.

stplsd
05-08-09, 07:32 AM
George Braggs played drums (briefly with the Squires),

Just found out it has been posted in earlyhendrix.com

just seen this that mentions him only in passing no details, sounds like a fantastic show!

http://www.soul-patrol.com/funk/jh_nyctribute.htm

stplsd
05-08-09, 08:00 AM
A bit more on george bragg in this thought provoking article:

http://www.musthear.com/music/reviews/skull-snaps/skull-snaps/

Like so much great music, the Skull Snaps have their roots in the American South. Founding members Ervin Waters and Samm Culley both hark from Maryland, where they grew up steeped in the down home sounds of gospel and R&B. They first cut their teeth singing in rival high school bands, before heading up North in search of bigger things. Arriving New York in 1962, they formed the soulful vocal quartet the Diplomats. Doors began to open after the band scored a minor radio hit with 1964’s “Here’s A Heart.” For a few years, they regularly opened at the Apollo for such big acts as Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, and Gladys Knight & The Pips. At the height of their popularity they played Carnegie Hall, sharing the bill with Sammy Davis Jr. and Tony Bennett. Jimi Hendrix even backed them (for $35 a night!) at a gig in Pennsylvania. “It was good with the Diplomats,” remembers Samm. “We had an extraordinary sound. We held the title as being one of the sickest vocal groups of that era.”
The British Invasion changed everything, and by 1967, the band’s fortunes were in decline. “By the late ‘60s, it was only me and Samm left in the Diplomats,” says Erv. “When the Beatles came along, singing and playing their own instruments, everybody else had to do the same. Things just moved in a different direction after that.” Vocalists first and foremost, Samm and Erv got hip to the times, picked up the bass and guitar respectively, and got busy mastering their instruments. After a few stabs at a comeback, the Diplomats released their final single in 1970 for Morty Craft’s 3rd World label. Side A, “Sure As The Stars Shine,” was yet another one of their trademark harmony ballads, but the B-side, “She’s The One,” pointed the way to the future. “That was really the birth of the Skull Snaps,” says Samm. “It was the first time we ever recorded with George Bragg on drums, and it was unbelievable the way we struck it off. We felt each other so much musically.” George adds, “It was chemistry, pure and simple. We never had to look at each other when we played, because we all knew where we were going. We knew right off we had a thing. I felt that these were the guys I should have been playing with all my life.”
By 1970, the funkrevolution was in full force, and Samm, Erv and George were in the thick of it. Putting the Diplomats to rest, the trio gigged around town, backing saxophonist Warren Daniel’s band The New York Peopleand doing their own thing as The Soul 3. “We were playing and singing the funk seven nights a week at the Cheetah, the Cellar, Smalls’ Paradise—clubs all over Harlem now long gone and forgotten,” remembers Samm. “We’d play some old Diplomats songs and Top 10. We did all the James Brown stuff, all that heavy R&B. Believe it or not, we also did things like ‘Midnight Cowboy,’ I mean, the group was magic. There was nothing we couldn’t do.” Erv adds: “Our minds, and playing, and singing were together in an instant way. We found that we had a real knack for building on top of each other and playing improvised stuff, especially George. He had some rhythms in his heart that made other musicians look at him like, ‘Are you crazy?’ We used to get a kick out of seeing all the drummers stand in front of him watching. He’d play and sing at the same time. Man, they thought he was nuts.”
The trio began looking for an opportunity to record. They found a true believer in New York DJ Al G, who brought them to the attention of rock & roll legend Lloyd Price, who in turn signed them to his fledgling GSF label.

Retreating from wholesome themes, the band moves on to sing the glories of the ghetto hustler in “I’m Your Pimp,” a song used by legendary New York DJ Frankie Crocker as his show’s closing theme.

stplsd
05-08-09, 08:28 AM
"It was through the Internet that Ady Croasdell of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:country-region><st1:place>Kent</st1:place></st1:country-region> Records managed to track down the guys and arrange for a comeback concert in the <st1:country-region><st1:place>UK</st1:place></st1:country-region>. In June of 2004, Samm and Erv played a triumphant “Diplomats Meet The Skull Snaps” set at the 6Ts Cleethorpes Northern Soul Weekender. “It was more than 3,000 people there,” remembers Samm. “We had absolutely no idea until then just how big we were in <st1:country-region><st1:place>England</st1:place></st1:country-region>. The place was jammed packed. We came out on the stage with a skull with the eyes flashing and the whole place went crazy. We left them jumping straight up and down singing ‘I’m Your Pimp.’ It was unbelievable. I’m saying, ‘How can this be?’ Thousands of people shouting out “I’m Your Pimp’”. Erv couldn’t have been more surprised by the reception. “I’m looking at Samm and he’s looking at me and we couldn’t believe it. The way those people treated us over there was like the Skull Snaps was some legendary Rolling Stones or something. It was one of the high points in my life. It was gratifying and it made us come back and get busy.”<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
Sometimes you just have to realise you’re not going to get a break in the <st1:country-region><st1:place>USA</st1:place></st1:country-region>, but the British/Europeans might appreciate you – remind you of anyone?<o:p></o:p>

stplsd
05-08-09, 08:36 AM
This is a weird one:
http://www.unionsquaremusic.co.uk/titlev4.php?ALBUM_ID=448&LABEL_ID=7

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top align=left><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top align=left><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top align=left width="50%">
Superfly Soul: Return Of The Hustlers
Super-Bad Ghetto Funk From Across The Tracks
ArtistVarious


</TD><TD class=text vAlign=top align=left width="50%">





</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top align=left>Compiled by dusty groove don Chas Chandler, [is this the Chas?] Volume 2 rummages deep into the tape boxes marked 'super-tough' for another peerless selection of '60s and '70s nuggets</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

1. Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul – (I Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind
Trumpeter Sir Joe Quarterman played soul with Garnett Mimms (released nationally on GSF, it cracked the R&B Top 30)

4. Garnet Mimms – Stop & Check Yourself
One of the earliest true soul singers, Mimms (born in Ashland, Virginia in 1933) emerged from a gospel and doo-wop background, cutting his first record a decade before he struck gold with ‘Cry Baby’, a top five pop smash in 1963. During the mid-‘60s, he worked extensively with Jerry Ragavoy at United Artists before following him to Verve and then transferring briefly to GSF. Here’s the first of his two 45s for the label.

Mimms was another 'black' American who was backed by a 'white' group in the UK (Scottish band 'The Senate') he was a support act for Jimi at the Saville in 1967.

9. The Skull Snaps – Trespassing
Original copies of The Skull Snaps’ only LP (on GSF) continue to change hands for three figure sums and it’s not just because of the much-sampled drums on ‘It’s A New Day’ (included on the first volume of ‘Superfly Soul’). Ervan Waters (guitar), Sam Culley (bass) and George Bragg (drums) See above posts

10. Curtis Mayfield – Big Mac
In Sidney Poitier’s film ‘Let’s Do It Again’, he and Bill Cosby played a pair of comic chancers (as they had in ‘Uptown Saturday Night’ the previous year) who use hypnosis to turn a seven stone weakling into a boxing champ and hoodwink a gangster named Biggie Smalls. ‘Big Mac’ is one of several accomplished grooves on a soundtrack composed by Mayfield and featuring the vocal talents of the Staples Singers.

We all know about Jimi's Mayfield connection, there's another Mayfield track on here and a lot of the other songs have strong Mayfield connections