It was amazing in those old Soul days how a tune stayed in your head; even caught on with other artists who made versions and used similarities on their own material, or even made ‘answer back’ recordings inspired by the original like:
Theola Kilgore responding to Sam Cooke’s ‘Chain Gang’. Oooh, Agh, She did her own great version, about her man working on the Chain Gang: “The Sound of My Man (Working on a Chain Gang)”: PLAY
CHAIN GANG : YouTube
Another great ‘riff’ came from Al Kent: ‘You’ve Got To Pay The Price’
It went ballistic at the ‘Wheel’ and Blue Note clubs in Manchester in 1967: PLAY @ YouTube
Then Gloria Taylor did her version with lyrics: PLAY @ YouTube
And also Barbara Lynn caught the bug and used the same riff at least in the intro to; ‘You’re Losing Me’:PLAY @ YouTube
Another from the very early days of original R&B: a song every group did on the Beat club circuit and incredibly popular at the Twisted Wheel in 1964; was Tommy Tuckers ‘Hi-Heel Sneakers’: a song about women’s shoes.
Chess stablemate Sugar Pie De Santo did her variant; ‘Slip-In Mules (No Hi-Heel Sneakers)’ The ‘B’ side of ‘SOULFUL DRESS’
There was Don Gardner with the fantastic ‘I Need Your Loving’ which was first heard by us in 1964 from Alexis Korners Blues Incorporated, with quite amazing vocals from Herbie Goins: PLAY @ Utube
And here is the original 1962 recording from Don Gardner and Dee Dee Ford – simply brilliant!:PLAY @ YouTube
A song original by Chris Kenner, was almost eternally popular at the Twisted Wheel and it produced two good but different themes on the same song with the Na nana na na added on both of the re-makes below, and of course there are many more versions by others:
The version by Cannibal And The Headhunters was dismissed by original Wheelers in Manchester’s Twisted Wheel as not only a poor version (of the two above) but also they were white. In the late sixties one dejay at the Wheel made this version popular over the other two previously preferred versions; maybe the later Wheelers had forgot the originals: oh horror!
The Twisted Wheel was always going its own way, due to its fabulous Dejay’s and as other clubs played the popular Twist by Chubby Checker at the Wheel you mainly got the original by Hank Ballard And The Midnighters:PLAY @ YouTube
To be fair to Chubby Checker the Wheel favoured his ‘Lets Twist Again’ and of course many others: ‘(At The) Discotheque and many more.
Now for two great versions and both were heavily featured at the ‘Wheel’:
The amazing Detroit Spinners, Motown Spinners or The Spinners; of course were best known for ‘I’ll Always Love You’ but their earlier release ‘Sweet Thing’ was deleted and hard to find and difficult to get as an import; only Roger Eagle had it. When he left and took it to the Blue Note, the Wheel Dejay’s had to use the version from Georgie Fame:PLAY @ YouTube
And turn it off before the second track kicks in!
A more direct copy was this next one, a twist on gender. Sam And Dave were thought of as Stax artists but were in fact signed and owned by Atlantic Records, whereas Jeanne & The Darlings were thoroughly STAX / VOLT :PLAY @ YouTube
Otis was pure Stax and Aretha pure Atlantic in the UK they both came out on the Atlantic label as this company did the distribution for Stax eventually ‘allegedly’ ripping off our great Stax originals!:PLAY @ YouTube
Here is an interesting story: Yes we loved originals at the Twisted Wheel and rated everything highly from Major Lance: but his version was eclipsed in play time by the version from blind ‘country singer… and white too! Ronnie Milsap:PLAY @ YouTube
For this next song you had to go around a few streets from the Twisted Wheel; up to Gore Street, to the Blue Note in 1969 to hear it. The DJ there was always playing Dusty Springfield songs, but the original was by Jerry Butler – they are almost exact copies:PLAY ‘ YouTube
Another huge hit at the ‘Wheel’ from the Blendells, and the original was by Little Stevie Wonder:PLAY @ YouTube
Stevie returned to this and put it on his intro to ‘My Cherry Amour’
Going back to the very early days at the Twisted Wheel in Brazennose Street in Manchester – The First location of the Wheel:PLAY @ YouTube
Two ‘Road Runners’:PLAY @ YouTube
Click Wheel card to see a listing of ALL the artists that appeared Live at the club.