Week 31: Finger-lickin’
Week 31 offers another fine album from Cal’s and mine visit to the used record store (see Week 30) – when Cal chose the $800 Lee Fields joint, I went with a rare album by Art Jerry Miller…a mint copy of his “Rated X – Suggested for Mature Souls” from 1969! Both of the albums were found in the dollar bin…so the dollar spent on the Art Jerry Miller album is another fine investment – I just found the album for sale for over $300 right here!
But before we get into the music, we just need to thank you for the support you all laid on us and last week’s post. Much appreciated! A special thanks to SB is in order, for rounding up all our old regulars – felt like the good old days…nice to have you all back. You should come by more often! :¬)
We got some feedback on the new blog set-up as well. Some of you mentioned problems regarding the navigation on the site, so this might be a good time to give you all some simple instructions:
1. If you click the right side of a posts main photo you go straight to the previous week’s post – click the left side of the main photo and you move forward. Real simple (if you know about it)!
2. If you forget how to navigate via the main photo, use the really big arrows at the bottom of each post! Can’t be missed!
3. If you want a quick overview of previous posts, or a speedy shortcut to a specific week – click the “Archive” button at the top right corner. Real nifty!
And if you have any other problems, need help in any way, or have suggestions for improvements – don’t hesitate, drop us a line!
OK, now you know all there is to know about the navigation on 4BB Weekly – but what do you know about Art Jerry Miller?! Not much, right? Well, neither did I. I’m sure I remembered his name from somewhere, but to be honest, I picked this one up because of the risque cover photo and the generally misleading album title. And boy, I’m glad I did!
A first listen revealed a fantastic batch of sweet, laid back instrumentals – perfect for staying up late on a hot summer night, sipping on cool drinks in good company. Like the wonderful A-side closer “Finger-lickin’ Good” – cool and slammin’ at the same time, and a sample just waiting to happen…just listen:
According to the Stax archives (and the liner notes above), Art Jerry Miller, born in 1945, was a Memphis pianist/organist, who worked a lot for Hi Records. Funky 16 Corners’ Larry Grogan had this to say on Art Jerry Miller’s one and only LP in a post on Memphis organists (and Bobby Emmons in particular):
“Art Jerry Miller also started as part of the Hi studios band, writing the funky ‘Up Hard’ for Willie Mitchell. His 1969 LP, burdened with the suggestive but ultimately misleading (though there is a semi-visible breast on the album cover) title “Rated X: Suggested For Mature Souls”, was recorded for the Stax-associated Enterprise label. Miller is best known for the funky 45 ‘Grab a Handfull’ b/w ‘Finger Lickin’ Good’ (both tracks appear on the LP), but both of those numbers are largely electric piano features. Of the remaining organ-based tracks on the LP (which is entirely instrumental) the best are ‘Mod Strut’ and ‘Moon Shot’.
Bearing the clear influence of Booker T. & The MGs, Miller lays it down with help from drummer Willie Hall and the Memphis Horns. Though it doesn’t feature anything groundbreaking, the LP is still worth checking out if you dig soul organ. Bobby Emmons went on to write a number of country hits and play on scores of LPs. I have no idea what happened to Art Jerry Miller.”
Me neither – I can’t find any information whatsoever of what happened to A J…on the web or elsewhere. So I guess we have to settle for what we’ve got right here and now…a great set of 12 songs by an almost completely overlooked artist. Apart from my favourite cut “Finger-lickin’ Good”, I really like the album closer “Inner Soul” – but also seconds Larry’s opinion on both “Moon Shot” and “Mod Strut”. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable experience!
Thank you for the music, A J!