Blame It On The Dogg: The Swamp Dogg Anthology 1968-1978 Various Artists (Swamp Dogg)

£11.50

Availablity:
World
Genre:
70s Soul
Label:
Kent
Format:
CD
Catalogue Id:
CDKEND 293

Over the years, soul music has thrown up its share of characters and one such, definitely larger than life and indeed than his physical stature, is Jerry Williams Jr, better known as Swamp Dogg. Outrageous, outspoken, opinionated and one of the nicest guys you could meet, Swamp loves his music doubtless more than he loves the music business, an institution to which he has contributed more than his fair share of classics, many of which have gone unrecognised beyond a select - but ever-growing - coterie of fans. As an artist, songwriter and producer, Swamp’s mark on soul music has been indelible and, in “Blame It On The Dogg” we get two dozen tracks that show him in his multiple guises.

By the 1968 date that launches this CD, Jerry Williams Jr was 25 and already a veteran of the business as an artist, label owner, producer and writer. The earliest example here of his work is the Dynamo release of Inez & Charlie Foxx’s Count The Days, cut while the man himself was pacted to the parent Musicor label. A relatively short-lived stay, he moved on to Botanic and Atlantic - with further examples of his work featured here - as he told In The Basement magazine in 1998. [At Musicor] “I co-produced the Toys, Exciters, Tommy Hunt, Inez & Charlie Fox... then I got fired for taking Gene Pitney out of his bag. So I met up with Don Gardner who was setting up Botanic Records and was given the A&R position that night. Three weeks’ later I was Vice President and a stockholder. I signed Gary US Bonds immediately and Little Charles & the Sidewinders. Botanic expanded very rapidly and went out of business the same way. I called Henry Allen at Atlantic and made an artist/producer pact, cutting the Commodores, Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles, C & the Shells and the Drifters. I signed Gary Bonds to Atco. I attained chart positions on C & the Shells but the other acts did not see the light of day as far as the charts were concerned. Nevertheless, I’m as proud of the productions I did for Atlantic as I will always be of my family. However, at Atlantic, I was the square peg struggling to fit in the round hole.”

Williams became Swamp Dogg on joining Canyon Records, home to such classic Dogg productions as Doris Duke’s “I’m A Loser” and Sandra Philips’ “Too Many People In One Bed” albums (both available on Kent) after which he flirted with the Swamp Dogg Presents label, original home of four tracks here, including those by Kenny Carter and Slick ‘n’ the Family Brick, the latter being an outfit featuring the man himself. He also began a label venture with TK’s Henry Stone, Stone Dogg, from whence comes the Obe Jessie & the Seeds Of Freedom track.

Swamp Dogg’s tale continued... “Following this came a much needed hiatus because I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I developed acute anxiety, paranoia, hypertension - my doctor believed I’d suffered a heart attack and refused to change his diagnosis even when found to be erroneous. It took a top-notch shrink and about four years altogether to overcome it.” Well, it was a heck of a brief ‘hiatus’! He certainly never stopped working - his “Have You Heard This Story” album reflecting on his situation was delivered to Island Records during the period - and the tracks here from Wolfmoon, Arthur Conley, Ruth Brown, Eleanor Grant and Helen Curry all spring from this ‘nerves-span’. Tyrone Thomas had recorded in the mid-60s as Little Tommy and, under this name, Swamp produced him circa 1970 for Capitol’s then-reactivated Tower label but the project went unreleased. Dubbed Wolfmoon, the track ‘God Bless’ comes from his eponymous Fungus album.

Some of Swamp’s greatest achievements have been with female vocalists, with whom he has seemed to have a particular affinity - although it has been suggested that his working relationship with Ruth Brown (represented here with Stop Knocking) was something of a love/hate one, with emphasis on the latter. Iin 1998 he commented that he and songwriting partners, Charlie Whitehead and Gary U.S. Bonds, were all raised by strong women, which assisted in getting into a female mindset. “When I write about women I’m writing with my aunts, my mother, my grandmother and everybody. How they felt, how they acted...” The strong distaff tracks by Eleanor Grant are seeing the light of day for the first time and ex-Independent Helen Curry’s take on Shu-Doo-Pa-Poo-Poop was cut for Swamp’s Sweetheart label, just one of two outings from the venture. The title of the CD here uses the word “Blame” but it could as easily have been substituted by “Praise”. More please!

DAVID COLE
Editor: In The Basement

Track listing

Side 1

  • 01
    On Your Way Home - C & the Shells

  • 02
    She's A Heartbreaker - Gene Pitney

  • 03
    Shipwrecked - Jerry Williams

  • 04
    He's Gone - Patti La Belle & the Blue Belles

  • 05
    I Need A Woman Of My Own - Tommy Hunt

  • 06
    (1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count The Days (Single version) - Inez & Charlie Foxx

  • 07
    Your Best Friend - The Drifters

  • 08
    Your Man - Jerry Williams

  • 09
    I'm Glad You're Back - Gary US Bonds

  • 10
    Please Open Up The Door - Little Charles & the Sidewinders

  • 11
    Run Run Roadrunner - Jerry Williams

  • 12
    What's So Wrong With You Loving Me - Kenny Carter

  • 13
    Don't Trust A Woman - Slick 'n' the Family Brick

  • 14
    Straight From My Heart - Swamp Dogg

  • 15
    Touch ‘Em With Love - ZZ Hill

  • 16
    Who's To Blame - Obe Jessie & the Seeds of Freedom

  • 17
    Don't Throw Your Love To The Wind - Swamp Dogg

  • 18
    Plea #3 (Is It True Boy?) - Eleanor Grant

  • 19
    Complication #4 - Arthur Conley

  • 20
    Shu-Doo-Pa-Poo-Poop (Love Being Your Fool) - Helen Curry

  • 21
    The Other Woman - Eleanor Grant

  • 22
    Stop Knocking - Ruth Brown

  • 23
    God Bless - Wolfmoon

  • 24
    Rockin' Your Baby Now - Eleanor Grant

Delivery & Returns

We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.

We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at orders@acerecords.com ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.

In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: orders@acerecords.com ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: orders@acerecords.com including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

Customer reviews

comments powered by Disqus

Press quotes

★★★★★

(Soul album of year 2008)

Record Collector

Related products

Customers who bought this item also bought

© Ace records 2012