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4.3.11

Rita Coolidge


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Rita Coolidge - Nice Feelin' - 1971 - A&M Records

Born in Lafayette, near Nashville in 1945, the daughter of a Baptist minister, Rita Coolidge originally established herself as a backup vocalist. With her smoky sweet voice, intelligence, and her funky Dusty Springfield/Memphis like soul vocals, she soon became a session vocalist for artists like Delaney & Bonnie and Leon Russell. Her first important public appearance was in 1970 when she was invited to tour with Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs And Englishmen entourage, where she became the vocal anchor of Cocker's space choir. Rita even got a showcase spot on these Joe Cocker concerts, singing the great Leon Russell/Bonnie Bramlett song, "Superstar." She was eventually signed by the great A&M label. She eventually achieved worldwide acclaim in 1977, with her "Anytime-Anywhere album", which produced three Top 20 hits. Later albums became more commercial and she drifted away from her great roots music background. However, in 1971 all the elements were firmly in place. Rita's early albums are often classified as West Coast "country" music. The term "country" music puts a lot of people off. There are many sub-genres of Country music which would take too long to go into here. Many of the great "country" albums were recorded by bands like the Eagles and Poco. Steely Dan even had a country flavour with tracks like "Pearl of the Quarter", "With a Gun", and "Dallas". This is not the same kind of country music as Jim Reeves, Hank Locklin, or Johnny Cash and there is no offence aimed at these late artists' music. Rita's early work is arguably her best work. "Nice Feelin'" contains covers of songs by Dave Mason, Graham Nash, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and others. Musicians include Marc Benno, Al Kooper, and Rusty Young. It's a classy album from a classy Delta Lady. N.B: The post here is a from the original vinyl issue (@ 160 Kbps). If the album is available on CD (remastered), it's well worth picking up. Listen to her "Out of the Blues" album, and search this blog for more of Rita's releases.

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

A1 Family Full Of Soul - Marc Benno 2:56
A2 You Touched Me In The Morning - Mike Utley, Steven Bogard 3:20
A3 If You Were Mine - Jimmy Lewis 3:37
A4 Nice Feelin' - Marc Benno 5:26
A5 Only You Know And I Know - Dave Mason 3:36

B1 I'll Be Here - Jimmy Lewis 4:21
B2 Better Days - Graham Nash 3:07
B3 Lay My Burden Down - Mike Utley, Steven Bogard 3:59
B4 Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine) - Bob Dylan 4:10
B5 Journey Thru The Past - Neil Young 3:27

MUSICIANS

Vocals (Piano on "Journey Thru The Past") - Rita Coolidge
Guitar, Vocals - Marc Benno
Guitar - Charlie Freeman [from The Dixie Flyers]
Steel Guitar (on "You Touched Me In The Morning") - Rusty Young
Bass - Tommy McClure [from The Dixie Flyers]
Keyboards - Mike Utley [from The Dixie Flyers]
Organ (on "I'll Be Here") - Al Kooper
Drums - Sammy Creason [from The Dixie Flyers]
Accordion (on "Journey Thru The Past") - Nick De Caro
Harmonica (on "Only You Know And I Know", "Better Days", & "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)") - Don Brooks

BIO

A versatile singer blessed with a clear, pure voice, Rita Coolidge was a capable stylist in rock, pop, R&B, country, and folk, and was a hugely in-demand session vocalist outside of her own solo recording career. Born near Nashville, TN, in the town of Lafayette in 1945, Coolidge was part Cherokee and first sang in the church where her father was a minister. She studied art at Florida State University, but also sang and wrote songs on the side, and decided to give music a shot before settling into teaching. She moved to Memphis after graduation and worked singing commercial jingles, sometimes with her sister, Priscilla, and soon landed a job touring with Delaney & Bonnie as a backup vocalist. She subsequently relocated to Los Angeles, where she sang on recording sessions by the likes of Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, Leon Russell, and Joe Cocker, among others. After returning from the supporting tour for Cocker's Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Coolidge landed her own solo contract with A&M. Coolidge's self-titled debut album was released in 1971, but despite critical acclaim for it and the follow-up, Nice Feelin', she failed to break through commercially. Over the course of the next few years, she moved into country-rock and Southern California soft rock, working territory not too dissimilar from Linda Ronstadt. She also married progressive country singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson in 1973, the same year she recorded a duet album with him titled Full Moon. Full Moon topped the country charts, and "From the Bottle to the Bottom" won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal by a Duo or Group. The following year, the couple released a follow-up, Breakaway, whose "Lover Please" won them another Grammy in the same category. Coolidge finally broke through in her own right with 1977's Anytime, Anywhere, a collection of well-chosen covers with a strong R&B bent. Paced by the hit singles "(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher" (a Jackie Wilson cover that went to number two pop), "We're All Alone" (Top Ten), and "The Way You Do the Things You Do" (a Top 20 Temptations cover), Anytime, Anywhere climbed into the Top Ten and sold over a million copies. Coolidge and Kristofferson released one final duet album, Natural Act, in 1979, but their marriage was on the rocks, and they separated by the end of the year. Coolidge never repeated the pop success of Anytime, Anywhere, but she did continue to land hits on the adult contemporary charts through the early '80s, including "You," "I'd Rather Leave While I'm in Love," and "All Time High" (the theme for the James Bond flick Octopussy). She parted ways with A&M after 1984's Inside the Fire, and spent some time away from the music business to devote herself to various social causes. She returned to recording with 1992's Love Lessons, on Critique, and went on to cut several albums for other small labels during the latter half of the '90s. 1995's Cherokee, in particular, signaled a renewed interest in her Native American musical heritage, and she teamed up with her sister, Priscilla, and her niece, Laura Satterfield, to form Walela, which explored those roots in greater detail over two albums in 1997 and 2000, respectively. Several anthology collections were released in the early 2000s; And So Is Love, an album of traditional jazz standards, marked Coolidge's first release for Concord in 2005. © Steve Huey © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:difyxqw5ldte~T1

13 comments:

Eric said...

Right on! I was looking for this one.
Her her work is great.
Thanks Paul

Eric said...

It has been remastered and is available as part of a twofer cd.

Anonymous said...

thanx 4 this jewel! look forward to the rest of her catalog

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks, Eric & Anonymous. That double CD is good. Maybe real music is making a comeback!

Anonymous said...

what 2fer is it & is it on the net?

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Anonymous. RITA COOLIDGE/NICE FEELIN' was released as a two-fer on BGO Records around 2008/2009. Check Amazon @
http://www.amazon.
com/Rita-Coolidge-
Nice-Feelin/
dp/B001L8MX5U

Cheers!

Luci Elaine Andreatti said...

Thank you for this great album.

Hugs, Luci

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Luci. Hugs 2U2, & thanks for your interest in this blog, but more importantly, GREAT MUSIC. ttu soon...P

Anonymous said...

dead link>>>any chance of re-up? thank you

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Anonymous. Thanks for req. Expect new link b4 8th Nov. Cheers!

A.O.O.F.C said...

NEW LINK

p/w if needed is aoofc

Vitezslove Sichtar said...

Thank you for the updated link. Much appreciated!

A.O.O.F.C said...

TVM,Vitezslove.You're v.welcome. Keep in touch....Paul