Saturday, May 30, 2009

Look up your favorite minor leaguer now has minor league statistics for most every one who ever played professional baseball.

Here's a link to Lewis "Lefty" Flick.
Tommy Addington
Charlie Leonard
Charlie Heffner
Larry Kiser

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

David vs. Goliath in the basketball arena

Here's a really interesting New Yorker story about underdog strategies.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Chrysler Comes to Kingsport - 1925

Here are a few other car ads from Kingsport's early years.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Monzas on YouTube

In Great Britain they call it “Northern Soul” and it’s a style of music and dance epitomized by a music video currently getting play on YouTube. The dark footage in the video focuses on the foot movements of a party crowd in a British dance hall as they hoof to an upbeat tune.

The song, “Stubborn Kind of Fellow,” is 44 years old and was recorded by a Kingsport band, The Monzas. And if you know the East Sevier house where Al Wilkes, the Monzas’ lead singer, grew up, well, that’s not even Northern Kingsport.

But the “Northern” in “Northern Soul” has nothing to do with Kingsport or even this country. It’s a movement that emerged in Northern England in the late sixties, as the mod style was dying out, and in the last few years has seen a resurgence in London, where there’s even a radio station devoted to “Northern Soul” music.

What they call “Northern Soul” we might call “shag” music or “beach music.”

And that was a style the Monzas specialized in.

The Monzas were formed in 1962. The original group featured Bobby Cooper on sax, Jimmy Lane on keyboards, Jack Ferrell on bass and vocals, Jerry McIntosh on lead guitar, Phil Mullins on drums, and Al Wilkes as lead singer. The band was together for some 13 years, playing pretty much every venue from here to Myrtle Beach and releasing four records.

But the record that got the most buzz was “Stubborn Kind of Fellow,” a cover of a Marvin Gaye song. One week in 1965 it was a “Pick To Click” on the radio rock giant of the sixties, WLS-AM out of Chicago.

And that’s the very version on YouTube, posted by a 15-year-old girl named Jenn Rose who says she hales from the “Northern” England town of Bolton. She has also posted videos of other “Northern Soul” favorites like the Fuller Brothers, the Mark Keys and the Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose.

Earl Carter alerted me to the YouTube video of “Stubborn Kind of Fellow.” After a little searching I found another Monzas song on YouTube, also under Northern Soul: “You Know Turn Me On.”

It’s taken some forty years but our southern boys are getting a second life…as Northern Soul artists.

You can find the videos by searching YouTube for “Monzas – Stubborn Kinda Fella” and for “Monzas – You Know You Turn Me On” or by clicking on the pictures above.