Hi everyone. Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing. But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?
(Image found online. Original source unknown.)
I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.
Time for another mid-week Motown break. Not every artist on the label became a household name, but that does not mean their impact was not substantial. One of the best examples of that was a group led by saxophonist and vocalist Autry DeWalt Mixon Jr. who was known professionally as Junior Walker. He & his band, The All Stars, had hits like “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)”, “(I’m A) Road Runner” & today’s song which Walker also wrote.
It is an absolute powerhouse of a song, combining the soul of The Funk Brothers with a touch of jazz and rhythm & blues to give it even more of a kick. Walker’s intense vocal & interpretation of the lyrics, not to mention his fiery sax solos elevate the tune from a song to a three minute block party. It was a top ten hit on the singles chart & a #1 hit on the R&B charts for four non-consecutive weeks in 1965.
By 1979 the group disbanded but reformed a year later. When they were not touring, Walker did some session work for other artists. When I discovered the band Foreigner I was pleasantly surprised to learn that he played saxophone for them, most notably on their 1981 hit “Urgent”.
“Put on your high heel shoes
I said we’re goin’ down here to listen to ’em play the blues
We’re gonna dig potatoes
We’re gonna pick tomatoes“.
Autry DeWalt Mixon Jr., known professionally as Junior Walker circa 1964. (Image found online. Original source unknown.)
Junior Walker & The All Stars: “Shotgun” (1965, written by Autry DeWalt Mixon Jr. a/k/a Junior Walker).
I do not own the rights to anything. I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.