Freddie & Henchi
Fred Gowdy (Freddie) and Marvin Graves (Henchi) were the vocalists for the Sousetters, a group that had their origins in a Phoenix, AZ band Those Fabulous Jokers, who were booked and managed by the fabled local music entrepreneur Hadley Murrell. Now the Soulsetters were very highly regarded locally for their dynamite shows, and the dance party sound they specialized in was usually translated onto the 45s Murrell cut on them in LA.
But without wishing to tread on the toes of their fans too much, I would like to draw attention to the two super ballads they recorded. The first, I’m Just A Nobody was actually the flip to their first 45 and on it Freddie shows just what a powerful and expressive singer he was. Check out Henchi’s falsetto whoops too and some fine musicianship especially from the horns.
The other ballad that I really like is from their final 45. Try To Get To Know Me is a mellow sounding number with a really nice bluesy feel. The vocal harmonies are terrific as well, and the big production is right in the pocket. By this time the band had moved to Colorado where Murrell continued to book them into what he memorably called “the Janet Leigh ski circuit”. After a short break Freddie and Henchi put together a new band and are still playing those funky dance tunes to this day. Long may it continue.
As THE SOULSETTERS
Cecil the unwanted French fry / Frankie’s jerk ~ MADLEY 102 (1964)
As FREDDI (or FREDDIE or FREDDY) & HENCHI (and THE SOULSETTERS)
Biscuits and buttermilk / I’m just a nobody ~ MoSoul 102 (1967)
Clancy he’s a real good cop / Things are changing ~ PATHWAY 107 (1967/8)
Fulsom prison / Popcorn baby ~ TOWER 479 (1969)
Um um um um um um / Come down ~ BELL 951 (1971)
Funky to the bone / I want to dance dance dance ~ THE RECORD COMPANY 102 (1972) / REPRISE 1341/2 (1973)
Mister funky / Moonlighting ~ REPRISE 1369/70 (1974)
Cartoon people / Try to get to know me ~ DJM 1002 (1975)
Dance ~ THE RECORD COMPANY 1001 (1972)
Note ~ "I'm Just A Nobody", "Funky To The Bone","Soul Train" and the extraordinary "Cecil The Unwanted French Fry" can be found on the Dionysius CD "The Soul Side Of The Street".