Hello and welcome to Funky Seoul Corner! My name is Scott Freeman (aka DJ Free).
I have been living in Seoul, Korea now for many years teaching English, but one of my hobbies is to collect records, especially jazz, soul, and funk 45s. I currently have 550-plus 45s in my collection, and occasionally I have the opportunity to spin these tunes in various locations around Seoul. In so far as I know, I am the ONLY one in this city of millions who plays this kind of music out on vinyl. (I wish this weren’t the case because I would love to meet and collaborate with like-minded people!)
Thanks to the kind folks at Three Wise Monkeys, I now have the chance to share some of my 45s with you. Every week I will select and present a different 45 from my collection. You will be able to view the actual 45 being presented, you will be able to read my little blurb about that 45, and you will be able to hear one-side from that 45. Guaranteed these 45s are all original pressings—no reissues and no bootlegs—so you will be seeing and listening to the real thing. You can email me at email@example.com if you have any questions, comments and/or suggestions about Funky Seoul Corner. Now on to the music!
For this week’s installment of Funky Seoul Corner we go back almost 50 years. Lorez Alexandria was a soul/rhythm and blues vocalist whose recorded work spanned four decades—from the 1950s through the early years of the 90s. “Baltimore Oriole” was a track Lorez originally recorded for the King label (Cincinnati, Ohio) in 1957. But the 45 you now see before you is from 1963. She decided to record this track again for Argo (Chicago, Illinois). The Argo version has an afro-soul, jazz-tinged vibe to it. The airy flute you hear throughout the track mimics bird sounds—a nice touch, indeed And the lyrics are top-notch poetry! The tune describes the relationship between a Baltimore Oriole and a Blackbird. To be sure, the song has suggestive and titillating overtones: “I’d like to ruffle his plumage.” They just don’t say it like that anymore. Class, elegance and sophistication all wrapped up in one tune—that’s how I would sum it up.
Although I had this 45 on my “to buy” list for eons, I finally managed to pick up this copy just last year from a record dealer back in the states. I have yet to play it out anywhere, but if I did its mellow yet groovy sound would compel me to spin it early, perhaps as I’m starting to sip my first cocktail…. Enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: Sound files are posted for educational purposes only.