The Queen Meets the King aka Happy Birthday Jimi Hendrix

By , November 27, 2016 12:24 pm


The Queen and the King: Richard and Jimi, on stage


Listen/Download – Little Richard – I Don’t Know What You’ve Got, But It’s Got Me Pt1 MP3

Listen/Download – Little Richard – I Don’t Know What You’ve Got, But It’s Got Me Pt2 MP3

Greetings all.


It occurred to me that today (11/27) was the birthday of none other than Jimi Hendrix.

Though I have always been a huge fan of Jimi’s post-Blue Flames work (i.e. Experience/Band of Gypsys), this being the Funky16Corners blog, we have dedicated ourselves to the soulful side of things, and Jimi had himself some experience (pun intended) on that side of the stylistic fence as well.

So much so, that I dedicated an entire episode of the Funky16Corners Radio Show to Jimi’s early work (and his influence on the soul and funk world) this June.

Of the early records included in that broadcast, my favorite – because it represents an intersection of two of the great musical forces of the second half of the 20th century – is Little Richard’s 1965 ‘I Don’t Know What You’ve Got, But It’s Got Me Pts 1&2’.

Recorded in a NYC session with Hendrix, Don Covay (the author of the tune), Billy Preston, and Bernard Purdie, ‘I Don’t Know What You’ve Got, But It’s Got Me’ is a beautiful, gospel-inflected slice of deep soul, showing a side of Little Richard you don’t get to hear too often.

Little Richard represents something deeper than mere music for me. He is an elemental force, tying together rock, soul, R&B and gospel and his cultural impact was immeasurable.

He is best known as a screamer and a shouter (of which there were none better), but to hear him open up and get deep like he does in ‘I Don’t Know What You’ve Got, But It’s Got Me’ is something special indeed.

Though Hendrix plays on the tune, this is in no way a guitar tour de force, which is cool because he would do plenty of that later on, but the way the guitar winds in and out of the fairly spare mix, and the almost funereal horn section is wonderful.

Richard spends the first half of the record delivering a straight up ballad (with someone, maybe Covay, singing backup deep in the mix). The second half opens with a monologue by Richard, which gets melodramatic, and edges right up to the border of hysterical, yet gets reined in before dropping back into the song.

It’s another one of those records that demands repeated listens.

I love it.

I’m also including the link to the entire episode, where there are a number of other early  45s where you can hear Jimi clearly.


Show #319. Originally broadcast 06/10/2016

The Soul Roots of Jimi Hendrix

Don Covay – Mercy Mercy (Rosemart)
Isley Brothers – Testify Pts 1&2 (T-Neck)
Little Richard – Dance a Go Go (Vee Jay)
Little Richard – I Don’t Know What You’ve Got (But It’s Got Me) Pts 1&2 (Vee Jay)

Ray Sharpe – Help Me (Get The Feeling) Pts 1&2 (Atco)
Billy LaMont – Sweet Thang (20th Century Fox)
Lonnie Youngblood – Go Go Shoes/Go Go Place (Fairmount)
Lonnie Youngblood – Soul Food (That’s What I Like) (Fairmount)
Lonnie Youngblood – Goodbye Bessie Mae (Fairmount)

Johnny Jones and the King Casuals – Purple Haze (Brunswick)
Booker T and the MGs – Foxy Lady (Stax)
Kossie Gardner – Fire (Dot)
Phil Upchurch – Crosstown Traffic (Cadet)
Rotary Connection – Burning of the Midnight Lamp (Cadet Concept)
Ellen McIlwaine – Up From the Skies (Polydor)
Idris Muhammad – The Power of Soul (Kudu)


I hope you dig it all, and I’ll see you on Wednesday.


Keep the faith





Also, the brand new Funky16Corners ‘Keep Calm and Stay Funky’ stickers have arrived! The stickers are 4″ x 3″ and printed on high quality, glossy stock. They are $2.00 each, with free shipping in the US ($2.00 per order shipping outside of the US). Click here to go to the ordering page.

PS Head over to Iron Leg too.

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