The Songwriter’s album Leroy Kirkland Thrill-La-Dill (KM-CD-176) is the first of two independent albums from Koko Mojo Records that endeavour to dig more deeply into Kirkland’s legacy and focus on the up-tempo compositions he cast his magic upon. As his legacy is so fast the following companion label album (KM-CD-179) Spotlight on Leroy Kirkland, Good Gracious) continues the story with more wonderful music.
The sleeve notes for the Songwriter’s album Leroy Kirkland Thrill-La-Dill (KM-CD-176) will provide where available session information, and identified when he led the orchestra and arranged the session. The album is also programmed year by year to illustrate the changing direction of the music from 1952 through to 1962 with twenty-one songs being from the 1950s, and Kirkland was often in the hot seat as arranger and orchestra leader.
By intention, we exclude his development years which were musically grounded in jazz, his instrumental recordings as Claude Cloud, and the songs with pop arrangements. We can proudly say we have dug a little deeper into the annals of music history and through intensive research, we can omit many titles which have been often reissued.
The album begins in 1952 when he began writing exciting rhythm & blues rockers for soloists; Larry Darnell I’ll Be Sittin', I'll Be Rockin', and Bobby Lewis, Mumbles Blues. Kirkland could vary his style and from 1953 he co-inked two stomping blues rockers for Sonny Terry, Hooray Hooray, and Hoopin' And Jumpin', and one year afterwards directed his craft on Jimmy/Jimmie Newsome and two rockin’ blues titles, Do That Thing, and I'm Afraid I Love You.
As the years rolled on his work was recorded by; The Eagles, Don't You Wanna Be Mine, Dinah Washington’s double entendre My Man's An Undertaker, and the change to jump R&B is heard from Dolores Ware’s wild Thrill-La-Dill, John Greer’s plagiarised Come Back Maybelline, the madcap baritone vocal of Jay Hawkins, Talk About Me, and an all-star Negro band that is fronted by legendary Dee Jay Allan Freed for Rock 'n Roll Boogie.
From 1956 onwards the music again changed and Kirkland’s pen was hip to the groove he composed some classic rhythm & blues titles with a hint of doo-wop which was commercially popular. The Pearls, It's Love, Love, Love, and Bobby Guy, Good Enough are connected due to Guy’s involvement with the group, and the sleeve notes give you the low-down. Bobby Brookes was more of an old-time vocalist who could cut the mustard which You'd Better Move perfectly demonstrates. There is more black talent from the not-so-well-known and as a taster, you’ll encounter; The Equadors, Stay A Little Longer, The Strollers, We're Strollin', The Mighty Jupiters, Your Love, and a group who should be known to everyone The Five Key with Your Teeth And Your Tongue. Hit makers who fell for his craft were; Brook Benton, Crinoline Skirt, Bobby Hendricks, Good Lovin', Clyde McPhatter, Whole Heap Of Love, and two ladies close the proceedings, Ruth McFadden, Lovin' Time, and Yvonne Baker and The Sensations, Party Across The Hall.
The sleeve notes from the compilation/ re-issue producer and Dee Jay Mark Armstrong will give a brief history of Leroy Kirkland, and where available session information is included. The album is topped off with the best possible sound quality possible from our mastering team at our El Paso, Texas, Studio. The concept is lavishly decorated by design artist and working musician Urban Zotel, and the sleeve is made from top-quality eco-friendly cardboard specially designed to avoid the use of plastic and be environmentally friendly.
Koko Mojo Records endeavors to use some lesser-known and for some, perhaps more obscure titles and adds something unexpected to every album. The album is ideal for Dee Jays to fill the dance floor with, and for home listening or while cruising around.
You are listening to music from the past and preserving the future! Koko Mojo Records “often imitated, never duplicated”
All that remains is to say, “Crank up the volume and dig these musical gems.
Dee Jay Mark Armstrong Bühl, Germany
01 Larry Darnell I’ll Be Sittin', I'll Be Rockin' (Wyche, Kirkland) Okeh 1952
02 Bobby Lewis Mumbles Blues (Lewis, Kirkland) Chess 1952
03 Sonny Terry Hooray Hooray (Terry, Kirkland) RCA Victor 1953
04 Sonny Terry? Hoopin' And Jumpin' (Terry, Kirkland) RCA Victor 1953
05 Jimmy Newsome Do That Thing (Otis, Kirkland) MGM 1954
06 Jimmie Newsome I'm Afraid I Love You (Kirkland, Rhodes) MGM 1954
07 The Eagles Don't You Wanna Be Mine (Kirkland) Mercury 1954
08 Dinah Washington My Man's An Undertaker (Kirkland, Thomas) Mercury 1954
09 Alonzo Scales She's Gone (Kirkland, Winley) Wing 1955
10 Dolores Ware Thrill-La-Dill (Winley, Kirkland) Wing 1955
11 John Greer Come Back Maybelline (Kirkland) Groove 1955
12 The Prestos Looking For Love (Cooper, Kirkland) Mercury 1955
13 Zilla Mays Right Now (Taylor, Kirkland) Groove 1955
14 Jay Hawkins Talk About Me (Hawkins, Kirkland) Wing 1956
15 Alan Freed Band Rock 'n Roll Boogie (Mitchell, Kirkland) Coral 1956
16 The Pearls It's Love, Love, Love (Thomas, Kirkland) Onyx 1957
17 Bobby Brookes You'd Better Move (Kirkland, McCoy) RCA Victor 1958
18 Brook Benton Crinoline Skirt (McCoy, Kirkland) Vik 1958
19 The Equadors Stay A Little Longer (McCoy, Kirkland) RCA Victor 1958
20 The Strollers We're Strollin' (Tennyson, Kirkland) Warner 1958
21 The Mighty Jupiters Your Love (Tennyson, Kirkland) Warner 1958
22 The Five Keys Your Teeth And Your Tongue (Thomas, Kirkland) King 1959
23 Bobby Guy Good Enough (Woods, Kirkland) Apt 1960
24 The Fabulons Give Me Back My Ring (Kirkland, Schanz, Fabulons) Ember 1960
25 Bobby Hendricks Good Lovin' (Taylor, Jesmet, Kirkland) Mercury 1961
26 Clyde McPhatter Whole Heap Of Love (Kirkland, Woods) Mercury 1961
27 Ruth McFadden Lovin' Time (Woods, Kirkland) Apt 1961
28 Yvonne Baker and The Sensations Party Across The Hall (Woods, Johnson, Kirkland) Argo 1962