Ray Sharpe – Help Me (Get the Feeling) Pts 1&2

By , January 26, 2010 4:42 pm

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Ray Sharpe

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Listen/Download – Ray Sharpe – Help Me (Get the Feeling Pt1)

Listen/Download – Ray Sharpe – Help Me (Get the Feeling Pt2)

Greetings all.
Welcome back to the new, improved, up tight, all right and solidly grooved Funky16Corners blog.
I should begin by dropping a few programming notes.
First and foremost, the move of all the old ‘Wordpress-era’ posts into the Archived Posts page (a mind numbing and eye-straining process) has been completed, so if there’s anything you’re looking for, hit up the link in the header. It’s funny, in that I discovered that the first post I dropped when I transferred from Blogger to WordPress – back in June of 2006 – was, like the first post here at the independent Funky16Corners blog, a tune by Pat Lewis. Odd bit of synchronicity, that.
I haven’t set a date for the implosion of the two old versions of the blog, but I supposed sometime in the next few weeks might work out, giving everyone some time to adjust their linkage. If there’s something specific you’re looking for (that Googles hasn’t picked up) you can always use the search function at the top of the page.

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In other news, tonight (Wed 1/27) I will be returning to Master Groove at Forbidden City (NY, NY , Ave A between 13th and 14th Sts) for another guest set alongside your host DJ Bluewater and our Asbury Park 45 Sessions colleague M-Fasis. If you are in – or near – the city, fall by and soak up some funk and soul, all spinning at 45 revolutions per minute.
The tune I bring you today is one that I was unaware of, until I posted Aretha Franklin’s ‘Save Me’ last summer. One of the commenters (Pete W) informed me that the original version of the song was not Aretha’s 1967 version, but a record from the previous year, Ray Sharpe’s ‘Help Me (Get the Feeling)’.
I set right out to find myself a copy of that 45, and managed to procure it about a month later.
It took a little bit of time, because in addition to your run of the mill soul fans, it turns out that Jimi Hendrix fans/collectors were also on the lookout for this particular 45 (since Hendrix played guitar on the session as part of King Curtis’ group).
So, I get my copy of the record, slap it on the turntable for digi-ma-tization, and discover that it was indeed a cooker.
Sharpe is a minor, but significant figure in musical history. The native Texan had truly unusual start for a black artist, in that his first big impact was with a rockabilly 45, 1958’s ‘Linda Lu’. He continued to record through the 60s and 70s, laying down rock, soul and R&B sides for a variety of labels. I’m not 100% sure, but I believe that Sharpe recorded at lest one 45 with the Soul Set for the Philadelphia Sock & Soul label in 1968.
When he recorded ‘Help Me (Get the Feeling)’ in 1966, he shared composing credit with both King Curtis, and the King’s primary guitarist Cornell Dupree (it’s Dupree who lays down the lead guitar on the track, not Hendrix). Interestingly, where the guitar line on Franklin’s ‘Save Me’ is reminiscent of Them’s ‘Gloria’, ‘Help Me (Get The Feeling)’ falls much closer to the 1965 Van Morrison classic, with lyrical references to the original.
The basic backing track really got around, appearing first on the Sharpe 45, then on Franklin’s record, then again in 1967 when ‘Help Me’ was covered (using the backing track) by Jamaican singer Owen Gray, and then AGAIN in 1968 when King Curtis re-used it for his own ‘Instant Groove’. According to a Hendrix history web site, the Owen Gray version can be heard in the background of a taped Hendrix interview, where he hears the record playing and says “…just in case anybody can hear a guitar in the background that’s me playing in New York when I was starving..”
Anyhoo, I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether this record is heavier on it’s own merits, or on account of its history (I vote for the former).
I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back on Friday.

Peace

Larry

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5 Responses to “Ray Sharpe – Help Me (Get the Feeling) Pts 1&2”

  1. TonyC. says:

    Looking good Larry,Welcome to your new home.I took a punt on this a couple of months ago, didn’t realise Hendrix was part of the set up! Great tune.

  2. Pete W says:

    Great stuff Larry – and thanks for the namecheck. One way or another I reckon you’ve encapsulated the sum total of human knowledge on this highly influential record – and that insidious Cornell Dupree guitar riff will now be in my head for the rest of the day!

  3. Alex Jenson says:

    Great site…feels like vinyl is dying a death. Last time I played a bunch of 7″ records in a nightclub I felt like a dinosaur. But it’s still the best way.

  4. Great record Larry!!!

  5. Jon says:

    Brilliant post. Came to it after hearing the King Curtis track, and keen to find out where that awesome riff came from!

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