Young Holt Unlimited – On Stage

Welcome everyone to the 100th post here at Albums Everyone Should Own, I’m so glad you could make it! Did you remember to bring beer?

No?  Well, there’s still time to run to AM/PM.

You know, it was only seven months ago that I started this blog with a hope to not only fill the dead space during our off season, but to inform the general public of fucking awesome music that they need.  Along they way, I’ve tried to give props to the great albums out there that most people know about, but also to some albums that not everyone knows…records that may have slipped through the cracks.

So far, I think it’s going pretty well.

I’d like to take the time to thank those bloggers who have supported my cause, so shouts out to CorrinaCorrina, What The Deuce, And Ya Don’t Stop and The Musics Over for all the great linkage.  Come on down to my bar sometime and the drinks are on me.

But, I’d also like to take the time to thank you, the anonymous Internet reader for allowing me an audience.  If it weren’t for all the hits, I probably would have lost interest long ago and gone back to my other job…drinking until I can’t feel feelings.

So keep on visiting, and I’ll keep throwing up the bomb for all who care enough to dig for it. And speaking of digging, I dug up some dusty soul jazz grooves for you today by the name of Young-Holt Unlimited with their 1967 live release “On Stage.”

Drummer Isaac ‘Red” Holt and Bassist Eldee Young were a part of the famous Ramsey Lewis Trio in the early sixties where they had a hand in creating two of Lewis’s biggest hits of the day ‘The In Crowd’ and ‘Hang On Sloopy.’ In 1966, though, they left the group to pursue their own direction and hooked up with pianist Hysear Don Walker in 1966 to form The Young-Holt Trio.

Said trio only made one album, titled after their only hit ‘Wack Wack,’ after which Hysear left the group.  After a period with Ken Chaney on Piano, he was replaced by Floyd Morris and the group became Young-Holt Unlimited.  There seems to be some confusion as to when this happened, as all the information I’ve found says the name change didn’t happen until 1968, but our album “On Stage” was released in 1967 and clearly names the group as Young-Holt Unlimited…but then again does it really fucking matter?

No, but I’m a little hung over from celebrating, and it makes me testy.

(If you’ve heard of Young-Holt, it’s probably because of their famous backing track to the Barbara Acklin hit ‘Am I The Same Girl?’ Their arrangement was so hot that the group also released it as an instrumental called ‘Soulful Strut’ with Floyd’s piano replacing the vocals.)

I’ve always loved the soul jazz genre because it had a much smoother sound than the jazz funk era that was to come, and while it had a good run, I’ve always felt they could have dome more.  This is pretty self evident considering the raw energy captured in “On Stage.”  The recording captures more than the music, but also the feel of the famous Bohemian Cavern in which it was recorded …right down to the band’s banter with the audience and the screams of delight from the crowd. No track displays this better than the medley of ‘Wade In The Water/ Ain’t There Something That Money Can’t Buy,’ part of which you’ll hear above.

Truth be told, I’m not that thrilled with their version of Mellow Yellow, but the monster ‘Yon Gimme Thum’ that closes the set pretty much seals the deal for me anyways.

I got introduced to these guys in college and their Greatest Hits album was a staple of our pool room/bar/garage hangout for the three years that we had it.  This album is highly recommended to people who have hangouts and the folks that like to hang out in them.  Grab it HERE!

And next time bring beer.


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