Friday, June 8, 2012

The Soul Corner - Jr Walker and the All Stars "Shotgun"

It's been a while since we visited the Motor City, so here's a true Motown classic for you:

This one has a special connection to our many WYMA readers who went to the University of Notre Dame. Junior Walker (Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr.) was born in Arkansas, but raised in South Bend Indiana, where he started forming bands and playing on local TV shows at a very early age.

Jr Walker and The All Stars were the rare true group of musicians at Motown, as most artists were individuals or vocal groups backed by the Motown studio musicians (The Funk Brothers). However, the legendary Funk Brothers rhythm section of bass player James Jamerson and drummer Benny Benjamin did play on the studio version of "Shotgun".  

Jr Walker was a tremendous musician and one of the rare sax playing lead vocalists.

Which begs a question - why do such few contemporary rock or R&B bands use saxophones any more? Those guys the E Street Band did okay with one.

We like this one so much, we'll give you a bonus live version from the Hullabaloo TV show, with some some very stylish dancing going on, a little Mad Men-era eye candy for your weekend:

1 comment:

Frank Fahey said...

Great post. The saxophone went the way of the Hammond B# and the Farfisa Combo. Keyboards (and Sax) were an important part of every Garage Band and R&B cover band. Both were integral to the blue eyed soul bands of the 60's. Junior was the only black student at Washington Clay High School. When he went there Clay was not part of the South Bend School System.