new songs and old records

  • Suspicious Minds2:47

Suspicious Minds

by Dee Dee Warwick

This song is so closely associated with Elvis, that it's surprising how many other good versions there are. This one was recorded at Muscle Shoals (subject of a recent documentary film) in 1970. Dee Dee's version has an irresistible laid-back funky groove and should be much better known than it is!

Mmmm... the warm sound of vinyl!

Image: J. Frederick Smith 1952

  • Don't let my baby ride2:39

  • Oh Mary don't you weep2:47

  • Loves me like a rock3:01

Sleeve notes from the Verve LP (V-8587).

That's quite a horn section!

The Cat

by Jimmy Smith

One Hammond instrumental is never enough, so here's the incredible Jimmy Smith with 'The Cat'. I'm not usually wild about jazz, but Jimmy Smith is exceptional. Lalo Schifrin's arrangement is great and everything is so tight and focused that the only possible complaint is that it's all over in 3.16!

Take me to the river

by Syl Johnson

Staying with the gospel influence a little longer, here's Syl Johnson's great version of Al Green's 'Take me to the river'. Syl's career goes back to the 50's, but he's best known for the sides he cut at Hi Records. If you're a younger person you'll have heard them sampled by the Wu-Tang Clan, Cypress Hill and many more!

Don't let my baby ride

by O.V. Wright

Many soul singers recorded secular versions of gospel tunes, and this is one of the best! O.V. Wright is well known to soul fans, but really deserves wider recognition.

For more info on O.V. check out

Loves me like a rock

by the Dixie Hummingbirds

And speaking of Paul Simon... The Dixie Hummingbirds sang the backing vocals on his original version of this gospel-infused song. Motherly love is a popular theme in gospel, and the Dixie Hummingbirds sing this song the way it should be sung!


The records featured here are posted for educational purposes only. If you are a copyright owner and wish to have any of the tracks posted here removed from the site, please do not hesitate to get in touch (click on 'contact' at the top of the page).

We do not offer MP3 files of 45s for download. Most of these tracks are available on CD. The records can often be found online. However,  at tunastreet we usually recommend the authentic crate-digging experience!

45 rips

There's nothing quite like the sense of anticipation you get when you hear the hiss and crackle of an old 45 just before the music starts. Now, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, it is possible to enjoy this unique experience without the inconvenience of operating a record player. Or even owning any records...

At tunastreet we like old 45s. We think they sound better than CDs. In fact, we like them so much that we think you need to hear them. Our collection isn't the biggest or best. We don't have the rarest records in the world. What we do have is a tasteful selection of soul, blues, r'n'b, gospel, funk, rock'n'roll and country.

So, here's a stack of old 45s, personally selected for you by DJ Dod!

P.S. We won't bore you with long-winded notes. There's plenty of information on the web.

  • Shake a tailfeather2:12

© Ace Records 2012

Image: © Bill Graham Archives

  • Whole lotta love2:38

Ready to rock?

'Purple Haze' has put me in the mood for some more soulful versions of classic rock tunes...

Ready for some more?

Me too. I'm enjoying the gospel/soul selections so much that I'm going to continue in the same vein! Let's start with a funky gospel tune...

  • In the midnight hour2:20

Instrumental break!

Time to clear our palates before the next batch of tasty tunes!

In the midnight hour

by Little Mac and the Boss Sounds

'Midnight hour' is one of those songs that everyone seems to have played at one time or another, so it's nice to hear a version that sounds so fresh! From 1965.

Living for the city

by Ray Charles

Another great Stevie Wonder cover! I first heard this version on the funky16corners blog, and couldn't believe that I'd never heard it before. I saw Ray Charles in concert a few times, and rarely did he play anything like a 'greatest hits' set. In fact, I can recall at least one occasion when he tested the patience of an audience waiting for 'What'd I say' etc., with a seemingly endless series of maudlin ballads. Still, at least the concert programme was honest!

Gotta find a new world

by Al Green

We couldn't really mention Hi Records without featuring a track by Al Green, so here's the excellent 'Gotta find a new world' single from his 1969 'Green is Blues' LP. Some 'message' songs are too worthy for their own good, but Rev. Green never loses the groove!

Higher ground

by Ike and Tina Turner

Ike and Tina may not have written many great songs (with the obvious exception of 'Nutbush City Limits') but they recorded some excellent covers. This version of Stevie Wonder's 'Higher Ground' is from their 1974 'Sweet Rhode Island Red' LP.

Oh Mary don't you weep

by the Swan Silvertones

At tunastreet we like soul music, especially 'southern' soul, where blues and soul and gospel and country all come together to make something very special. It's not easy to describe, but you know it when you hear it, and gospel is definitely part of the mix. So, let's start with the Swan Silvertones and their 1959 recording of 'Oh Mary don't you weep'. My copy is a later pressing (the original was on Vee-Jay) so it looks as though people still wanted this record a long time after it was originally released!

The line "I'll be your bridge over deep water if you trust in my name" inspired Paul Simon to write the superb 'Bridge over troubled water'.

  • Gimme Shelter3:33

Gimme Shelter

by Merry Clayton

Possibly the best Stones cover ever (though Johnny Winter's version of 'Let it Bleed' is also a contender), this 1970 release is the title track of Merry's first solo LP.

It's a pretty intense recording - after a brief intro the whole band kicks in, as if they're all trying to drown each other out. And just when you wonder how they can 'turn it up to 11' the funky rhythm guitar moves to the front of the mix and keeps the momentum going right up to the end! 

Merry's session CV is second to none (for example, she sang on the original version of this track), but for some reason her solo career didn't really take off. Maybe she just wasn't in the right place at the right time. To my ear, her version of Maxine Brown's 'Oh no, not my baby' sounds like a precursor of the 'sweet soul' sound that took off with artists like Anita Baker in the 80s.

Fortunately Merry's solo LPs (and a 'Best of..') are now available on CD, so you can save yourself the trouble of tracking down the vinyl if you're so inclined.

Salt of the Earth

by The Violinaires

A tribute to the 'common man' from the Rolling Stones? Personally, I've always found that a little unconvincing, but maybe it's just their way of saying 'thanks for all the cash'. However, this version, by the Violinaires, sounds more sincere. The intro seems to have been borrowed from 'Tracks of my Tears', but it all hangs together quite well. The Violinaires were also known as the Fantastic Violinaires, and the flip side, a live version of the gospel standard 'Stand by me', gives some idea why.

Don't let him catch you

(with your work undone)

by the Jackson Southernaires

Wow! This is a great track, but why is it so short? I normally think that anything over 3:30 is starting to get self- indulgent, but only just over 2 minutes? Maybe the LP version is longer - I certainly hope so!

  • Gotta find a new world2:24

  • Take me to the river2:58

Translation: Mr. Charles will play whatever he wants to.

Tina says 'Hi'.                    Photo: tunastreet archive

May the best man win

by Ollie Nightingale

'May the best man win' might not be an obviously commercial track, but it's still something of a mystery that a song this good was only released as a B-side. However, it's also quite puzzling that Ollie Hoskins/Nightingale went from singing gospel with the excellent Dixie Nightingales to cutting smutty blues tracks like 'I'll drink your bathwater, baby'. Clearly the Lord moves in mysterious ways, so let's just be thankful that Ollie recorded some great songs along the way!

Son of a preacher man

by Dusty Springfield

Here's a track that needs no introduction. It was originally written with Aretha in mind, and was later recorded by her, but Dusty's version is still the definitive recording. 

Mojo Hannah

by Tammi Lynn

Not exactly a gospel theme, but certainly a righteous groove!

Tammi cut this track twice. This is the later, and I think, better version. You can read about the history of this song at the Home of the Groove blog.

  • Don't let him catch you (with your work undone)2:03

  • Higher Ground3:39

  • I need it just as bad as you2:57

I'll kill a brick (about my man)

by Hot Sauce

More prime Southern Soul! I'll confess that I knew nothing about Hot Sauce until I picked up the UK Ace Records compilation CD (CDSXD 140) which pulls together all of their Volt recordings. I say 'their', but in fact the group was basically singer Rhonda Washington, who continued under the 'Hot Sauce' name after the original trio split.

Although this is on the Volt label, it has the classic Hi Records groove that we like so much here at tunastreet, and we were pleasantly surprised to find that the original 45s are still quite easy to track down!

Purple haze

by Johnny Jones and the King Casuals

Die-hard Hendrix fans will probably shudder, but this version of 'Purple haze' is a guaranteed floor filler. Jimi was briefly a member of the King Casuals, so it seems possible that Johnny Jones might have wanted to capitalise on the connection once Hendrix became a superstar. Or maybe he just liked the song. Who knows? Anyway, it turned out great so lets get together and do it!

  • Purple Haze3:16

  • The Cat3:16

  • Dance across the floor2:46

  • It's all wrong but it's alright2:45

  • Walk a mile in my shoes3:15

  • Back in the U.S.S.R.2:41

  • Mojo Hannah3:08

  • Living for the city4:02

It's all wrong but it's alright

by Percy Sledge

It seems reasonable to assume that you all know 'When a man loves a woman' and 'Warm and tender love', so here's a lesser-known gem from Percy Sledge - the flip side of 'Take time to know her'. It's a great tune and great performance. From 1968.

  • Whole lotta love4:04

Whole lotta love

by Tina Turner

What? Another version of the same song? Yes, but I think you'll forgive me when you hear it - it's one of Tina's better solo recordings. Although she was still nominally part of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue in 1975 this track is from her second solo LP (the first was an album of country standards) which was released on the back of her appearance as the Acid Queen in Ken Russell's film version of the Who's rock opera 'Tommy'.  'Whole lotta love' started life as a Muddy Waters tune (written by Willie Dixon) called 'You need love'. The Small Faces reworked it as 'You need loving' on their debut LP, which in turn influenced the Led Zeppelin version. Willie Dixon  sued Led Zep for plagiarism in the mid-80s, and agreed an out-of-court settlement. The Small Faces didn't give him a writing credit either, but Zep made a lot more money with their recording!

  • Let a woman be a woman - let a man be a man2:33

More to come!

  • Fat'n'funky3:14

  • The Champ2:36

Believe it!

Image: tunastreet archive

  • I'll kill a brick (about my man)2:43

  • Snatching it back2:38

  • I'd rather be (blind, cripple and crazy)2:32

Whole lotta love

by King Curtis and the Kingpins

King Curtis would still be remembered, even if he hadn't recorded anything other than his solo on the Coasters 'Yakety Yak'. However, he continued as a session player and band leader, backing Aretha on her 'Live at the Fillmore West' LP, and also had hits in his own right, notably 'Memphis Soul Stew'.  UK listeners will notice that the arrangement on this version of 'Whole lotta love' is very similar to the CCS version that was used as the 'Top of the Pops' theme for many years. A quick internet search indicates that the CCS version was released in 1970 in the UK, but in 1971 in the US, after this version. So, maybe King Curtis had heard CCS, or maybe it was jus a case of 'great minds think alike'. Regardless, it rocks - as Billboard's review said, 'a must for discotheques'!

Slip and do it

by Betty Wright

One of the areas of common ground between country and soul music is the 'cheating' song, and this is a particularly funky one! 

I'd rather be an old man's sweetheart

(than a young man's fool)

by Candi Staton

Here's a special treat - Candi Staton's first Fame 45, from 1969. A great song, terrific arrangement and Candi's unmistakable voice. A record so perfect that the only possible criticism is that it's all over too soon. But hey, always leave them wanting more!

I was lucky enough to see Candi perform at Carnegie Hall (no, not that one. The one in Dunfermline, Scotland) and she was excellent. I've seen some 'legends' who expect the audience to be grateful just for being in the same room, but Candi really worked hard and put on a top-notch show. Don't miss her if she comes to your town!

  • Salt of the Earth2:50

I'd rather be (blind, cripple and crazy)

by O.V. Wright

Etta James famously sang 'I'd rather go blind', but clearly the writers of this tune felt that they could top that! 

  • May the best man win4:10

  • Slip and do it3:08

Back in the U.S.S.R.

by Chubby Checker

I know what you're thinking. What, Chubby Checker? The guy who had a monster hit with 'The Twist' in 1960, and made a career out of it? Yes, the very one.  Somehow he resisted the temptation to rework this as 'Twistin' in the U.S.S.R.', and made what is undoubtedly one of the best Beatles covers ever! From 1969.

  • Girls can't do what the guys do2:03

Shake a tail feather

by Ike and Tina Turner

Ike and Tina were always regarded as a hot live act, and this terrific version of 'Shake a tail feather' captures the energy of their live shows pretty well!

  • Pouring water on a drowning man2:33

  • I'd rather be an old man's sweetheart (than a young man's fool)2:09

  • Shame on the family name2:43

She needs to get her mojo working.

From Letraset Art Sheet AA12 (1966).

Snatching it back

by Clarence Carter

How do you follow Candi Staton? Well, let's try her one-time husband, Clarence Carter!

Clarence made a stack of great records for Atlantic during the late 60s. This fine slice of southern soul was recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals in 1969. It wasn't one of his biggest hits, but it's one of his best. It opens with a killer guitar lick and punchy horns and just keeps on getting better - in fact, it's so good that just trying to describe it makes me want to dance!

  • Watermelon Man Ska2:28

Girls can't do what the guys do

by Betty Wright

It seems that some girls think that equality means being able to behave as badly as guys do. Wrong! Fortunately Betty is on hand to keep you (W)right!


by Charles Crawford

'Fat'n'Funky' is a pretty good description of the vibe on this track. As far as I'm aware this is the only release by Charles Crawford, and I can't tell you anything about him. The flip is a deep soul ballad ('A sad sad song'), which is probably the more popular side these days, but who can resist a groove like this? From 1973.

Pouring water on a drowning man

by James Carr

If you like soul music, but don't know James Carr, then you really should consider picking up one of the many compilations of his work.  He made his best recordings at Goldwax (including the 1967 original of 'The dark end of the street', now a soul standard) but today we'd like to let you hear another fine track and tunastreet favourite - 'Pouring water on a drowning man'! From 1966.

Let a woman be a woman - let a man be a man

by Dyke and the Blazers

Phew, celebrating gender diversity can be hard work! So, let's take a short break from political correctness and get down with this fantastically funky track from Dyke and the Blazers - from back in the days when when a woman was a woman and a man was, well, a man. Hit it!

Shame on the family name

by Calvin Scott

Pay attention kids, here's some sound advice from Calvin Scott - don't bring shame on the family name! 

To be honest I'm not sure why little sister is getting the blame for 'carrying on', when little brother would probably get a pat on the back for the same thing, but let's not analyse the lyrics too closely - it's what's in the grooves that counts!

Calvin Scott started off in a duo with Clarence Carter before going solo, but it seems that his career never really took off and he gave up the music business shortly after making his one and only LP for Stax.

This is one of the singles from that album.

Instrumental break!

Time for some more southern soul, but first a couple of tasty jams!

  • Son of a preacher man2:23

The Champ

by The Mohawks

It might seem unlikely, but this is a group of British session players, led by Alan Hawkshaw on the Hammond.

The song is basically a cover of Otis and Carla's version of 'Tramp' by Lowell Fulsom, but the funky arrangement lifts it to another level.  Originally released in 1968, it's been sampled on hundreds of hip-hop records - and rightly so, it's just an irresistible groove!

Walk a mile in my shoes

by Willie Hightower

Here's a great cover of Joe South's 'Walk a mile in my shoes'. Remarkably, thanks to the wonders of YouTube, you can see footage of this very track being recorded at Fame in 1970, as part of a Swedish documentary about the studio!

Watermelon Man Ska

by Byron Lee and the Ska Kings

It's fair to say that you won't find much jazz on the turntable at tunastreet, but this 1964 version of Herbie Hancock's 'Watermelon Man' is just great!

More soul!

There's still room for a few more choice cuts on this page!

I need it just as bad as you

by Laura Lee

Let's stay with the funky vibe for a while! Laura Lee made some good R'nB records with Chess in the 60's, but she really came in to her own when she started working with the ex-Motown team at Invictus/Hot Wax. You'll notice that this is the 'suggested side' of

the 45. I think I'd go further, and say 'essential' side!

Dance across the floor

by Jimmy 'Bo' Horne

There's a great scene in 'City of God' where the kids have a dance-off at a party in the favela, and this is the track that everybody is getting down to - and what a track! It's basically K.C. and the Sunshine Band with Jimmy 'Bo' Horne on vocals, and like most of K.C.'s records it's a booty-shaking disco-funk party tune - just how we like 'em at tunastreet!