Friday, January 9, 2009
The America Poeple "Give It Up, If You Can't Do Nothing With It" / Prince Charles & The Royal Guards "Funky Bootie" (Attack)
Room 206 of the mysterious "American Building" in downtown Richmond, served as the headquarters for Charles E. Scott and his curious venture Attack Records. Boldly touting itself as the "Virginia Sound", Attack went on the offensive issuing a handful of oddly off kilter, if not down right strange recordings ranging from Lance Corporal Charles E. Scott's "From Vietnam With Love" (recorded "Live" on the battlefield) to girl group the Honey Bees, to Reginald "C" and Jimmy Wonderful to the traditional gospel of The Jones Special (released on the subsidiary International Music World, a record for which the term low-fi doesn't even begin to paint the picture).
"Give It Up" by The America Poeple (possibly a pun on one time Richmond resident Edgar Allan Poe, but more likely just a typo) very well could have been the final release on Attack. And although still quite a bit rough around the edges, it is perhaps the most consistently tight and, yes, polished effort Attack had to offer. Although the 45's label alludes to a full length LP, it seems that such an album never materialized. Makes you wonder what was about to come and why Mr. Scott would stop just as he seemed to be figuring things out.
Trying to piece together the Attack Records catalog proves quite challenging. The release numbers jump all over the place, showing no obvious chronological sequence. To make matters even more confusing, one 45 has too many digits listed in the phone number and another has the wrong area code. The only common thread amongst these recordings seems to be the overall crudeness of the production (or lack there of), and the tendency of performers to occasionally fall noticeably out of key.
But what most might dismiss as crassly unprofessional or even inept, to us makes Charles E. Scott's Attack label all the more intriguing and endearing. These records display the do-it-yourself ethic in its most basic form. A spirit that seems to be behind just about every record we spotlight here at Funky Virginia. We can only assume that "Prince" Charles had to be a true character, a man of unflagging ambition with an amazing story to tell. Only in America...
Prince Charles & The Royal Guards "Funky Bootie"