Tuesday

Baby Huey

The Baby Huey Story: the Living Legegnd - 1971God only knows why I passed up this record for so long. I urge you to not make the same mistake. James Ramey, or oddly "Baby Huey", was a giant at over 400 pounds. He was a young (26 at the time of this recording) heroin addict, a disciple of Curtis Mayfield and was dead before his only LP could be completed. Inspired by Sly Stone's psych-soul, Huey and the aptly-named Babysitters, forged a similar path in the late 60s Chicago club scene. But where Sly's pre-Riot funk could be uplifting, friendly even, Huey and the Babysitters' brew was a tad darker, more heady and without a doubt, some of the heaviest funk of the era. The band's live set grabbed the attention of Curtis Mayfield, who produced their debut and donated a few tracks of his own, "Mighty Mighty", "Runnin'" and the magnificent "Hard Times". At some point during the sessions, Huey suffered a fatal heart attack in a Chicago hotel, and though Mayfield and the band trudged on and finished the record, it failed to chart and was resigned to obscurity. Nearly 40 years on, The Living Legend remains an intensely vivid snapshot of a band and a singer with no rivals, flawlessly produced and tastefully dated. It's easy to dream how far out Huey and the band could've gone from here, but its hard to imagine they'd could ever top this.

14 comments:

Ansina said...

You convinced me. I' ve seen this album many timesin the web, but I never gave it a try. I'll do it now.

Neilantman said...

Thanks

Anonymous said...

ditto on my end. seen it and passed on it many times. your review convinced me. i'll bite. thanks.

Willard said...

Thanks JR. Always love it when you bring something new, cool and obscure. Being a big Mayfield fan, I'm anxious to hear this.

Willard said...

Damn... this IS good! Great find.

Ansina said...

It's great music! Thanks for the good advice.

JR Heat Warp said...

Great to read such a positive response to this one! I love it more every time I put it on.

Thanks all for dropping me a line.

Carlos said...

Hi JR Heat Warp,

Thanks for your comment at Musicology, and thanks for your excellent posts, it's always a pleasure to come to your blog, by the way what a chic new layout!
Take care and enjoy!
Carlos

Anonymous said...

Baby Huey is the name of an old comics character, a gigantic and fat baby duckling who waddled around in a diaper and bonnet.

Anonymous said...

This be some monster fonky sh#t!

Anonymous said...

Terrific - can't believe I had never heard of this before. Wont be forgetting it either!

Goofy said...

What an album from a soulster I have never heard of. Wow!!!!! Thanks and thanks again.

icastico said...

WFMU's blog pointed me here.
Looks worth a try.
Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

excelent lp love hard times i would like to request Segun Bucknor´s album.