Sunday, March 11, 2007

Smilin' with Galaxy 722

I have been sitting here, listening to CLASSIC 1960s' R&B TUNES and smiling, thinking about my BELOVED OREGON DUCKS, the demolition of USC they performed last night (81-57) and their three seed in the upcoming NCAA men's basketball tournament.
The singers and songs that have caught my fancy tonight include Shreveport, La. native BRENTON WOOD and his marvelous "GIMME LITTLE SIGN," Milwaukee's finest, THE ESQUIRES, and their insanely catchy "GET ON UP" and a little tune that helped define a long-lost Bay Area record label, single No. 722 on Galaxy.
Brothers Max and Sol Weiss operated a San Francisco plastic molding business that included a record pressing plant in the 1940s, and one of their early clients was pianist Dave Brubeck.
This relationship with Brubeck flourished, and the Weiss brothers decided to start a record label called Fantasy and eventually a subsidiary called Galaxy, which the brothers named after a science fiction magazine.
While Fantasy was best-known for jazz, Galaxy was best-known for R&B, thanks in part to Charles Brown, Big Mama Thornton and (my own personal favorite) Oakland homeboy Rodger Collins.
None of these acts hit the big time with Galaxy, however, quite like LITTLE JOHNNY TAYLOR (pictured).
Galaxy No. 722 is Taylor's greatest hit, "PART TIME LOVE," which topped the R&B charts in 1963.
Songs such as that classic have kept me smiling tonight. Along with my BELOVED OREGON DUCKS, of course.


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