SAINT ETIENNE PRESENT SONGS FOR THE CARNEGIE DELI.

SAINT ETIENNE PRESENT SONGS FOR THE CARNEGIE DELI.

Back in 1984, Woody Allen wrote, directed and starred in the black and white comedy, Broadway Danny Rose. Part of the film takes place over lunch in New York’s famous Carnegie Deli. It’s situated at 854 7th Avenue, and has been called the:”most famous” deli in the United States” by USA Today. Quite simply, The Carnegie Deli is a culinary institution. That’s why many visitors to the Big Apple beat a path to its door. This included Bob Stanley of Saint Etienne in 1991.

Bob Stanley had heard of the legendary deli, and promised himself that on his next visit to New York, he was going to eat at The Carnegie Deli. He wasn’t disappointed. It was everything he expected, and much more. This set Bob Stanley thinking, what kind of music was played in The Carnegie Deli, and similar diners over the years?

Soon, Bob Stanley’s mind was racing as he thought of songs that might, at one time, have provided a backdrop to life in a New York diner. Before long, Bob Stanley had a list of possible song that might provided the soundtrack to life in The Carnegie Deli. However, this was a purely academic exercise. Nothing he thought would come of it. 

That was until Ace Records asked Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs to compile Saint Etienne Presents Songs For The Carnegie Deli. This twenty-four track compilation was recently released by Ace Records and features sleeve-notes from Bob Stanley. He and Pete Wiggs have provided what could easily have been the soundtrack to life in The Carnegie Deli over the years.

When  compiling Saint Etienne Presents Songs For The Carnegie Deli, Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs delved into the vaults of Smash, United Artists, Wand, Big Hill, Sue, Barry, Sylvia, Cameo, GWO and Arock. From these labels, they picked twenty-four tracks. Among them, were contributions from Irma Thomas, Chuck Jackson, Lou Johnson, The Chiffons, Baby Washington, Junior Lewis, David Coleman, Lesley Gore, The Shirelles and The Hesitations. They’re just a taste of the musical delights on Saint Etienne Presents Songs For The Carnegie Deli. Choosing just a few dishes to taste, won’t be easy.

The Valli Boys’ Night Hawk opens Saint Etienne Presents Songs For The Carnegie Deli. It was the B-Side to Frankie Vali’s (You’re Gonna) Hurt Yourself, which was released fifty years ago, in 1966, on the Smash label. Night Hawk is described as a “finger snapper.” It’s hard to argue with that. There’s even a slightly cinematic sound to a song that was recorded by a group of New York’s session musicians.

Irma Thomas the Soul Queen Of New Orleans contributes Live Again to Saint Etienne Presents Songs For The Carnegie Deli. It’s a cover of a Bacharach and David song that Irma had recorded for Mint but lay unreleased until 1992. That was when Live Again was released on Time Is On My Side-The Best Of Irma Thomas, Volume 1. Belatedly this soulful gem was released and shows just why Irma Thomas is regarded as the Soul Queen Of New Orleans.

By 1965, Chuck Jackson had been signed to Wand since 1961. He was averaging an album a year, and in 1965 released his Mr. Everything album. It features I’m Your Man, a tender, heartfelt ballad from Chuck Jackson.

In 1964, Lou Johnson released Please Stop The Wedding as a single on Big Hit Records. It was penned by the Baum-Giant-Kaye songwriting team. So was the flip side Park Avenue. It’s the perfect showcases for Lou’s vocal prowess, as he dreams of leaving his life as a chauffeur behind.

When The Chiffons released Up On The Bridge as a single in 1968, their days of releasing million selling singles were long gone. Even a hit single was a rarity by 1968. Up On The Bridge, which was  released on the Laurie label, could’ve been a game-changer. With its dreamy, soulful sound, it would’ve given The Chiffons a hit single a few years previously. However, music had changed by 1968, and Up On The Bridge became the one that got away.

Baby Washington released Your Fool as a single on Sue in 1965. Anyone who flipped the single over, discovered an impassioned, soul-baring ballad Run My Heart. It epitomises everything that’s good about Baby Washington, whose still one of soul music’s best kept secrets.

Dawn may be a new to many people. She only released a quartet of singles between 1966 and 1967. This included two singles on Laurie Records. One of them was I’m Afraid They’re All Talking About Me, a Doug Morris and Eliot Greenberg composition. They also cowrote the B-Side Lover’s Melody, a thoughtful, and slightly sassy slice of poppy soul.

Joan Moody released four singles for Sylvia Records between 1965 and 1966. Boy You Move Me was recorded has never been released before. It makes its debut on Saint Etienne Presents Songs For The Carnegie Deli. This a real find, and a song that could find favour within the UK Northern Soul scene.

Eight years after they released their debut single, The Shirelles released After Midnight as a single in 1966. During that eight year period, The Shirelles had stuck with Scepter Records. They were the label that discovered them, and gave the teenage group their big break. However, by 1966 the singles were drying up. So it has been alleged, was the money that was meant to be held in a trust fund for The Shirelles. When they tried to withdraw money from the trust fund, The Shirelles discovered the cupboard was bare.  So it’s no surprise that there’s a sense of sadness and melancholia in The Shirelles vocal on Shades Of Blue, the B-Side to After Midnight.

It was in 1969, that The Hesitations released Is This The Way To Treat A Girl (You Bet It Is) as a single. Sadly, it was their swan-song for GWP Records, and indeed the last single The Hesitations released. They seemed determined to bow out in style with an impassioned, accusing vocal powerhouse. As a result, Is This The Way To Treat A Girl (You Bet It Is) is one of the highlights of Saint Etienne Presents Songs For The Carnegie Deli. 

Tutti Hill only ever released one single, He’s A Lover in 1964. It was released on Arock Records and features an understated arrangement. With just harmonies, and later a sultry saxophone for company Tutti Hill’s vocal takes centre-stage, where it belongs.

Closing Saint Etienne Presents Songs For The Carnegie Deli is The Tradewinds Catch Me In The Meadow. This is a Don Ciccone, Pete Andreoli and Vince Poncia composition. It was released on the Kama Sutra label in 1966. Catch Me In The Meadow was one of a quartet of singles The Tradewinds released on the Kama Sutra label. It’s a dramatic, heartfelt slice of soulful pop that maybe fifty years ago, part of the soundtrack to daily life in The Carnegie Del? 

During that period, The Carnegie Deli have catered for several generations of hungry New Yorkers, and countless curious tourists. They’ve come to taste what the: ”most famous” deli in the United States” has to offer. That includes  pastrami, corned beef, and burgers that would satisfy Popeye at his hungriest. That’s not forgetting matzoh ball soup, potato pancakes and to round it all off, a slice of what some say is the best cheesecake the Big Apple has to offer. As they await their order, hungry New Yorkers and tourists can compile what they believe the soundtrack to The Carnegie Deli should be. Then they can compare it to Saint Etienne Presents Songs For The Carnegie Deli, which was compiled by Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs.

Instantly, the listener is transformed to the sixties when The Carnegie Deli was run by the Parker family. They would work as Irma Thomas, Chuck Jackson, Lou Johnson, The Chiffons, Baby Washington, Junior Lewis, David Coleman, Lesley Gore, The Shirelles and The Hesitations played on the radio. This was the soundtrack for first dates, anniversaries and sometimes, even a breakups. Other times, people were enjoying a meal before heading to the adjacent Carnegie Hall. Nearly fifty years later, and The Carnegie Deli is still going strong. However, there’s been a few changes.

Nowadays, Marian Harper Levine own and runs The Carnegie Deli. The food is just as good, and still, it’s the: ”most famous” deli in the United States.” The other thing that’s changed is the soundtrack to daily life in The Carnegie Deli. It’s very different to the music on  Saint Etienne Presents Songs For The Carnegie Deli. It features twenty-four songs from the sixties, which many people regard as the golden age of music, and the  American diner. Sadly, nowadays, the American diner is becoming something of a rarity.

One of the survivors is The Carnegie Deli.  Sadly, it’s one of the last diners left standing in the Big Apple.  It’s a magical reminder of a golden age. So is the music on Saint Etienne Presents Songs For The Carnegie Deli. Maybe Ace Records should send Marian Harper Levine a copy of Saint Etienne Presents Songs For The Carnegie Deli, which would be the perfect soundtrack to what is,  the: ”most famous” deli in the United States?

SAINT ETIENNE PRESENT SONGS FOR THE CARNEGIE DELI.

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