Music historian John “Johnny D” Dixon must not sleep. In between hosting the freeform “Mostly Vinyl” and “Totally Jazzed” programs on Phoenix’s KWSS FM and creating a special Record Store Day single featuring Waylon Jennings and Sanford Clark — which I had the pleasure of helping produce — Dixon has cranked out a voluminous new collection of southwestern soul, Sha-Boom Bang! Vintage Arizona Doo Wop, R’n’B, Soul & Funk: 1956-71.
The CD features 31 songs — ranging from the slinky “Pink Panther,” a Lee Hazlewood-penned novelty jam performed by The Tads, to sweltering funk by Chuck Womack & the Sweet Souls, whose “Ham Hocks & Beans Pt. 1 and 2” suggests a sunbaked Meters, to Latino soul from Lon Rogers and the Soul Blenders. Featuring extensive liner notes by Dan Nowicki and rare photographs, the compilation serves as a companion to excellent Grand Canyon soul collections like Numero Group’s Mighty Mike Lenaberg and Flyin’ High: A Collection of Phoenix Blues, Rhythm, and Spirit from the 1950s and 60s in documenting Arizona’s golden age of soul and R&B.
This track, Butch McGhee’s “Stacked” from 1958, is one of the collection’s most evocative, a fantastically raunchy nugget that wouldn’t sound out of place over on Tittyshakers — a most excellent resource for sleazy sounds. To pick up Sha-Boom Bang! visit Dixon’s official site. words / j woodbury