As the Pyschedelic sixties progressed Jimi Hendrix became a sensation and had a massive influence on the black soul musicians of the day. The Temptations went from a rather lightweight vocal group to a funky, political, edgy, Psychedelic Soul band. With the help of Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong writing and producing in the late sixties Motown camp, matching suits turned to headbands and acid.
Psychedelic Soul has another name, Black Rock and the list of amazing bands that falls under this category are a reminder of a period in music history when genres collided and the sparks that were created gave birth to the legends that we now talk about with reverence: Jimi Hendrix, Parliament-Funkadelic, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, The Chambers Brothers, Shuggie Otis, Sly And The Family Stone, The Undisputed Truth, War – and some like Fugi that you will probably not have heard of before.
This is Ellington Fugi Jordan and his single Mary Don’t You Take Me On No Bad Trip, the band that backed him on the song was the legendary Black Merda one of the great missed Black Rock bands of the era. He was introduced to Black Merda by Temptations singer Eddie Kendricks and soon moved into their house where they struck up a musical friendship that resulted in the recording and release of this song on Chess subsidiary Cadet, they also completed an album that remained unreleased till 2005. If you are looking for it, it was released on TuffCity/Funky Delicacies and is a must have for all collectors of Funky, Black, Psychedelic Rock/ Soul music from the era.
Fugi also co-wrote the blues classic I’d Rather Go Blind (You may have heard the version by Chicken Shack that reached No.14 on the British charts in 1969 and was sung by Christine Perfect on her way to fame and fortune with Fleetwood Mac). Etta James sang the original and allegedly co-wrote the song but gave the credit to her then partner at the time Billy Foster for Tax reasons. It became the B-side of Tell Mama a N0.23 US hit for James in 1968. The other writer was Ellington “Fugi” Jordan and apparently she finished writing the song after visiting him in prison where he came up with the original idea.
But today it’s all about Fugi and you can listen to the whole album below on You Tube. A post on Black Merda will most certainly appear at some point.