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.