STACKIN – Gene McDaniels - "A Hundred Pounds Of Clay"

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“Stackin” – The obsessive act of flipping through massive amounts of vinyl records to find the standout gems in a sea of discarded standards.

Two weeks ago I wrote a piece called "The Cults Effect" about the best of early 60's easy listening and its influence on contemporary bands.  While going through my early 60's records, I kicked myself for not including one of my favorites, Gene McDaniels, on the list.  I put on his best record, "A Hundred Pounds Of Clay" and the beauty of the record demanded I write up a post immediately.

The early sixties were a time filled with transcendental voice after another.  This is evident through the common recycling of hit songs.  It was commonplace to hear the same song recorded by eight to ten artists in the span of a few years.  It seemed like everyone was overflowing with talent and to stand out ultimately meant the emotional outpouring from the vocals had to go above and beyond.  Gene McDaniels had been singing gospel music for years before transitioning into the 1960's easy listening sound.  This background gave McDaniels a unique edge as the juxtaposition of gospel based vocals against the lounge melodies of the time resulted in a beautiful shift from the norm.

A Hundred Pounds Of Clay was McDaniels third album and was released by the wonderful Liberty Records.  The album begins with the title track where we find a more relaxed, playful McDaniels who is smoother than smooth can ever be.



The album goes on to feature McDaniels softer side with wonderful ballads about what else, the loss of love.  It's truly the perfect piece of wax to add to your collection if you're lacking in the early 60's period or love the period of music and want to add on.  

McDaniels would go on to write over a hundred songs for other artists and made millions from the mid 60's into the 70's.  McDaniels went back to the studio in the 70's with an R&B Psychedelia record, "Headless Heroes Of The Apocalypse" which might sound familiar since  Tribe Called Quest used the sample in their song "Can I Kick It" and as outros on other tracks.



While his 70's work is interesting, the early 60's was the time where music fans can find McDaniels in his purest, most open form.  A rare 7" that I've treasured for years has my favorite McDaniels track, "Another Tear Falls".  It comes from the soundtrack "It's Trad, Dad" a 1962 film that highlighted the best of the best in music at that time.  McDaniels steals the film and with this clip, won me over as a fan forever:


Stackin Advice: Average price is $8-$20.  If the original press is mint I would go up to $25, but no more.  If you find "Another Tear Falls" on any 7" press, pay up to $20, it's a must have in your stack.

1 comment:

  1. edward c. stengelAugust 1, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    Gene McDaniels was a true classic. For those of us born in the late 40's and early 50's, we'll never forget him. I'm about 99% sure that his 2 greatest hits -"100 ponds of clay" and "Tower of Strength" were on the same record, which is extemely unusual. As a matter of fact, I'll bet it's never been done before or since. I once knew a guy from around 1980, before cassettes (I think) and CD's, who had that record with both his hits, one of each side of the record, and I remember telling him that record was probably worth $100, 30 years ago. He was a true clasic.

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