Hello and welcome to the first Vintage Media Millennial Blog post of 2023! Happy new year, I hope it’s a good one for you. I have a lot of goals, and I hope this is the year I manage to complete what I set out to do. In regard to this blog, I’m aiming to write at least once a week. The plan will be to write the post in segments throughout the week and then post up on Friday. Let’s see what happens! It’ll be a relatively short one this week, as my main point was so elaborate that it turned into its own individual post!
Kansas City by Wilbert Harrison.
Written by Leiber and Stoller in 1952, Kansas City is one of the most recorded songs ever. Versions by Little Richard, Brenda Lee and The Beatles among countless others have made their way to the public over the decades. Little Willie Littlefield was the first artist to record the song, taking a slower groovier approach than the song would later be associated with.
In 1959, the song was recorded by Wilbert Harrison. The measured shuffle rhythm coupled with Harrison’s piano playing and effortless delivery makes this an addictive record; It’s easy to see why it was one of the best-selling records of that year. This is possibly my favourite version of this song.
I shall endeavour to look further into Harrison’s recorded output, as I am only aware of this single and Let’s Stick Together. Just based on those two records alone, it is clear he was inventive. I look forward to the journey.
I was sad to learn of the passing of musician Ted Taylor, better known as King Size Taylor, this week at the age of 83. A couple of years ago, his music was featured as part of Bear Family Records‘ The Brits Are Rockin’ series of albums. As someone who had heard of Taylor through his Beatles in Hamburg connection, I was interested in hearing the music behind the name.
The thirty-one-track compilation was an eye-opener for me. It was like a party in my own front room. Many of the songs were covers, but he did them in his own unique way. I continue to be enthralled by the huge sound of Taylor alongside the Dominoes, and I hope many people will seek them out in the future. I shall be spinning the album over the weekend, and remembering his contribution. RIP Ted AKA King Size Taylor. My review of his edition of The Brits Are Rockin’ is still available to view on the website.