Sunday 19 December 2021

The Shoebox Files #9: Bobby Darin


If you are feeling low, can I point you in the direction of The Shoebox Selections Vol. 7 and ‘My Baby Needs Me’, Bobby Darin’s burst of 1960s soul which just might get you dancing around like you haven’t a care in the world. Yeah, yeah, we all think we know Bobby Darin, but trust me, this is wonderful. ‘My Baby Needs Me’ is actually a bit of a mystery, and I like that. I can tell you hardly anything about its origins, except that it was recorded for Atlantic in 1967. It seems to be an anomaly, the only out-and-out soul number Bobby made in the 1960s, as far as I can tell. I do know it’s a Van McCoy composition, quite possibly the original recording, and I like it even more than the Yvonne Baker version, though I realise I risk having my aged Kent enamel badge confiscated.

Friday 3 December 2021

The Shoebox Files #8: Oscar Peña


This is about a singer called Oscar Peña and his astonishingly addictive and supremely funky track ‘La Inflación de Ofelia’ about which I can tell you pretty much nothing at all, except that it is one of the most glorious and life-affirming recordings ever made and it appears on Vol. 9 of The Shoebox Selections series of mixes. I feel a bit of a fraud even talking about this track, but I guess you can’t know everything. We all have areas of expertise and we all have areas of occasional and casual interest. There’s not enough time, and not enough money, so you end up being a dabbler, a dilettante, feeling guilty for bingeing on certain sorts of music only when the mood takes you. But then, I guess, many of us go through such phases and stages.