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"Slow Roll It"

Roy C. (Remembrance & Obituary)

Composed by Sir Charles Jones

October 1, 2020:

Remembrance/ Obituary

(Scroll down for obituary.)Daddy B. Nice notes: The best remembrance I can give Roy C is to reprint my critique of the artist from a few years ago, written in the present tense. But before I do, I want to make a point that should not be lost on younger southern soul artists. Roy C never gave me anything but the utmost respect and deference, so much so that I was often embarrassed and nearly brought to tears. The article below, which I wrote, mmmm, maybe fifteen years ago, takes off from the fact that, like fellow Carolinan Maurice Wynn, Roy C"s music was so tenaciously obscure. You couldn"t find it anywhere. A generation of fans knew more about Roy C from Hardway Connection playing his songs---especially "Morning Train/Peeping In The Window" from their album HOT TICKET---at LaMont"s in Pomonkey, Maryland every weekend for years than they did from Roy C, who toured (but erratically). But here"s the ironic effect that should give heart to every struggling southern soul recording artist. Roy C and his people gradually brought his music to the public in later years, in particular, the now indispensable online platform that is YouTube, and when you hear Roy"s originals, now posted (and gaining hundreds of thousands of views), the depth and emotion coursing through Roy"s renditions of "Peeping Through The Window" and "Morning Train," with all apologies to Hardway Connection make their covers sound like caricatures (which in a way they are). The salient point is this: southern soul music is an art form of lasting significance. While countless artists who made quick money are now forgotten, Roy C"s fame continues to grow and will never die. DBN.

Daddy B. Nice"s Remembrance:

In a world where seemingly any middle-class teenager can buy a guitar, start a band, record an album and get tons of publicity, critical attention and CD sales, it boggles the mind that a poor, aging, indefatigable rhythm-and-bluesman can continue to make records in an obscurity so profound that the product can"t make it to the outer world. Such is the story of Roy C., a chitlin" circuit fixture since the late fifties, who records for a label so small (Three Gem) that there is no simple way in this internet age to sample or buy the two great Southern Soul songs, "Slow Roll It" and "Living For The Weekend," that represent the man"s oeuvre on your Daddy B. Nice"s "Top 100" Southern Soul chart. Roy C., like many musicians over a given age, has written more than his share of second-rate music. At worst, his songs can sound like demos. But at his best, Roy C"s music is breathtaking, blending real life and seductive musicianship as effortlessly as the legendary Bobby Bland or Joe Simon. "Living For The Weekend" showcases the fantasies of a bar-stool dreamer over a delicious little melody milked to anthemic heights by a blissed-out chorus. Only a humble yet indomitable performer could narrate this adventure without a trace of self-pity, and Roy C. is all of that. He begins: "I got a wife at home.She"s so hard to please.The harder I work,The more money she needs."Yet while you"re still digesting the grimmer import of these words, Roy C. has already changed moods. He"s turned to the woman on the bar stool next to him. "Hi, Honey.""Hi, Roy C.""What you drinking?""Are you buying?""Does the eagle fly?""Then I"ll have three martinis.""You can have whatever you please."In the space of a few words, you have a three-dimensional portrait of a man in all his good-natured aimlessness and self-contradiction. And you have a picture of his neighborhood, too. It"s in a deprived section of a big city or a small town, just around the corner from the weathered supermarket with every chicken product known to man, and just down the street from the convenience store where the young men stand in line at ten in the morning to buy quarts of cold beer placed front and center in an ice bucket beside the old-fashioned cash register. "Living For The Weekend" highlighted the CD I"m Working Hard For You Baby
Indeed, the only fault to be found in "Living For The Weekend" is that it was recorded so long ago--1998. And as the years have passed, one was left to wonder if the graying performer would ever have another chitlin" circuit hit. Then, in 2001, The Love Doctor recorded a monster of a song (written by Sir Charles Jones) called "Slow Roll It." It arrived as an institution, an instant classic, and young Southern Soul artist Sheba Potts-Wright almost immediately put out an excellent cover that reprised "Slow Roll It" from a young woman"s point of view. But as good as The Love Doctor"s and Sheba Potts-Wright"s versions were, it fell to the grizzled Roy C. to create the most chitlin"-circuit-friendly rendition of "Slow Roll It" (Slippin" & Sliding"Once again, the story concerned a young woman and an older man, only now--in Roy C"s telling--it was the older man, and not the young lady, singing the praises of "Slow Roll It." "She said, "You may be twice my age,But age ain"t nothing but a number.". . .She told me I was moving too fast.She told me I had to slow it down."Roy C imbued the Love Doctor"s already bluesy classic with another, deeper layer of the blues. He didn"t play it safe at all. His vocal seemed to bare everything vulnerable hidden in a man"s life and came out sounding stronger for it. You could hear the years of paying dues in shoebox-sized joints in every crack and wrinkle of Roy C"s vocal. And the unrestrained yelp--like a superhero throwing off his last chains--Roy C lets fly near the end of the record was perfect, as bizarre yet appropriate as the rooster crowing in the middle of the Beatles" Revolver"Well, that"s the story of my life," Roy C. concludes in "Slow Roll It," and a Southern Soul fan"s eyes will glisten every time he hears Roy C say that, because no one since Marvin Gaye has explained with such musical grace why sex is so important to a man. Listen to Roy C."s "Slow Roll It" on YouTube.Listen to Roy C."s "Leaving On The Morning Train" on YouTube. September 20, 2020:

Services for Roy Hammond (Roy C)..

September 17, 2020:

ROY C. (R.I.P.) Roy C., the undisputed godfather of the Carolinas" southern soul community and an inspiration to artists as diverse as Hardway Connection, Big G and the Carolina beach music circuit, died in his home in Allendale, South Carolina Wednesday, September 16, 2020.

Roy C. (the artist"s pseudonym for Roy Hammond) was born in Newington, Georgia August 3, 1939, leaving for Long Island, New York when he was seventeen. He began his career as the lead singer of the Genies, a group that first entered the charts in 1958. Not as lavishly talented as Johnnie Taylor or Bobby "Blue" Bland, Roy C was nevertheless just as ambitious and driven. He embarked on a solo career roughly approximating the span of Taylor and Bland, but with one glaring difference. In more than a dozen albums spanning every decade to the present, Roy C"s catalog was bereft of a bona fide R&B hit. And yet, the performer never wavered.Fans of fifties-era rhythm and blues will recognize a familiar but less than excellent production on many of Roy C"s early discs. "Shotgun Wedding," a minor R&B hit from 1966, captures the far-out flavor of those recordings, displaying rhythm and blues in a bizarre, almost surreal setting, complete with whizzing gunfire and ricocheting bullets. But over the years Roy C refined his craft and his production standards. 1998"s I"m Working Hard For You, BabyAround the same time reggae star Shaggy (of the How Stella Lost Her GrooveStellaStella Lost Her GrooveMeanwhile, a sequence of compilations of Roy C"s work from the seventies, eighties and nineties has appeared in the early 00"s, reacquainting Southern Soul audiences with forgotten Roy C classics. Roy C"s radio single "I See Angels" (Roy C. Meets The Root DoctorUnfortunately, Roy C"s extensive catalog--almost exclusively the domain of ultra-small label, Three Gem--remains out of reach for all but the most aggressive 21st century buyers.--Daddy B. NiceNote: More details on Roy C"s death and funeral arrangements will be posted as it becomes available.***********To automatically link to Roy C"s charted radio singles, awards, CD"s and other citations on the website, go to "Roy C" in Daddy B. Nice"s Comprehensive Index.***********

--Daddy B. Nice

About Roy C. (Remembrance & Obituary)

Roy C. (the artist"s pseudonym for Roy Hammond) was born in Newington, Georgia August 3, 1939, leaving for Long Island, New York when he was seventeen. He began his career as the lead singer of the Genies, a group that first entered the charts in 1958. Not as lavishly talented as Johnnie Taylor or Bobby "Blue" Bland, Roy C was nevertheless just as ambitious and driven. He embarked on a solo career roughly approximating the span of Taylor and Bland, but with one glaring difference. In more than a dozen albums spanning every decade to the present, Roy C"s catalog was bereft of a bona fide R&B hit. And yet, the performer never wavered.Fans of fifties-era rhythm and blues will recognize a familiar but less than excellent production on many of Roy C"s early discs. "Shotgun Wedding," a minor R&B hit from 1966, captures the far-out flavor of those recordings, displaying rhythm and blues in a bizarre, almost surreal setting, complete with whizzing gunfire and ricocheting bullets. But over the years Roy C refined his craft and his production standards. 1998"s I"m Working Hard For You, Baby (Three Gem) marked a "comeback" of sorts, both reminding the Southern Soul audience of Roy C"s longevity and introducing Roy C to a new generation. Around the same time reggae star Shaggy (of the How Stella Lost Her Groove soundtrack), sampled Roy C"s "Love Me, Love Me" on the Stella disc, garnering an urban R&B hit in the process. Roy C. followed it up with an LP called Stella Lost Her Groove (TEG, 1999). Meanwhile, a sequence of compilations of Roy C"s work from the seventies, eighties and nineties has appeared in the early 00"s, reacquainting Southern Soul audiences with forgotten Roy C classics. Roy C"s radio single "I See Angels" (Roy C. Meets The Root Doctor, Jacques Johnson) entered many chitlin" circuit playlists in 2004. Unfortunately, Roy C"s extensive catalog--almost exclusively the domain of ultra-small label, Three Gem--remains out of reach for all but the most aggressive potential 21st century buyers. New Roy C fans seeking Roy C"s version of "Slow Roll It" should be warned that the version of "Slow Roll It" on Roy C Meets The Root Doctor (Jacques Johnson, 2004) is not the Roy C song from Daddy B. Nice"s "Top 100" chart but a rendition by an uncredited female artist. Look for Roy C."s "Slow Roll It" on the Three Gem disc, Slippin" & Slidin" (2003).

Song"s Transcendent Moment

"Hey bartender, I want you to give everybody here a drink.Give me two,Because I need some time to think."

Tidbits

1.The Love Doctor must have taken notice of Roy C"s rustic, from-the-heart rendition of his "Slow Roll It." The Love Doctor"s next recording was that masterpiece of rusticity, "Lies (You Said It, No I Didn"t)," his popular duet with Thomisene Anderson.2.July 4, 2009: New Album Alert! Roy C. Live 3.January 1, 2010: Author"s Forward The album liner notes say Roy C. Live is his sixteenth album! Tell that to Roy C."s deprived fans. No one has recorded so many albums that have never seen the light of day, i.e. national distribution. Roy C. Live is therefore an inordinately welcome addition to the Roy C. catalog, reprising key standards--"Morning Train," "Shotgun Wedding," "Rock Me" and "Peeping Through The Window"--in addition to unexpected non sequiturs such as "Impeach The President" (that would be George W. Bush, not President Obama, but you probably already know that). Sadly, "Slow Roll It" does not appear, nor does "Living For The Weekend." Roy C. remains one of the most oft-visited artists on this website, and one can only dream of what an impact this master, who is currently gearing up for another run on the "Blues Is Alright" tour through more than two dozen major cities in the coming couple of months, would have on the current Southern Soul scene if he were based in the Delta. In the meantime, this live set gives his life"s work some much needed exposure.--Daddy B. Nice Bargain-Priced Roy C. Live Tracks:1 Intro2 Rock Me3 I"m Gonna Love Somebody Else"s Woman (Somebody"s Loving Mine)4 Infidelity Georgia (Saved By The Bell)5 She"s Gone6 After Loving You/Peeping Through The Window7 Impeach The President8 If I Could Stop Loving You9 Paradise10 Got To Get Enough (Of You Sweet Love Stuff)11 Shotgun Wedding12 Morning Train4.May 1, 2011:In this blessed new age of YouTube music videos, in which at long last the obscure classics of Southern Soul music are being disseminated in their totality for everyone to hear. . . . .Your Daddy B. Nice is overjoyed to announce that Roy C"s "Slow Roll It"--a bedrock classic of 21st-century Southern Soul--is now available in all its rugged glory. If you like this song and the way it"s performed, you"ll like Southern Soul music.Or, to put it another way, if you"re not scared away by the unabashed, time-be-damned traditionalism of this record, a world of pleasure awaits you in Southern Soul music. --Daddy B. Nice Listen to Roy C."s "Slow Roll It" on YouTube while you read.

If You Liked. . . You"ll Love

If you appreciated Fats Domino"s "Blueberry Hill," you should warm to Roy C"s "Living For The Weekend."

Honorary "B" Side

"Living For The Weekend"

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Slow Roll ItCD: Slippin And Slidin Label: Three Gems
Living For The Weekend CD: I"m Working Hard For You Baby Label: Three Gem
Sample or BuyI"m Working Hard For You Baby
Leaving On The Morning Train CD: The Best Of Collection Label: Three Gems
Morning Train (Live) CD: Roy C. Live Label: HT/CD Baby
Sample or Buy Roy C. Live
Paradise (Live) CD: Roy C. Live Label: HT/CD Baby
Sample or Buy Roy C. Live
Rock Me (Live) CD: Roy C. Live Label: Hammond Thompson
Sample or Buy Roy C. Live
Those Days Are Gone CD: Sex And Soul (Collectables)
Sample or BuySex & Soul: Collectables
After Loving You / Peeping Through The Window CD: Roy C. Live Label: HT/CD Baby
Sample or Buy Roy C. Live
Don"t Blame The Man CD: Sex And Soul (Collectables) Label: Collectables
Sample or BuySex & Soul: Collectables
Going Back Home To Mother CD: I"m Working Hard For You Baby Label: Three Gem
I See Angels CD: Roy C. Meets The Root Doctor Label: Jacques Johnson
Sample or BuyRoy C Meets The Root Doctor
I Wasn"t There (But I Can Feel The Pain) CD: Sex And Soul (Collectables) Label: Collectables
Sample or BuySex & Soul: Collectables
I"m Coming From The Old School CD: Roy C. Meets The Root Doctor Label: Jacques Johnson
Sample or BuyRoy C Meets The Root Doctor
Shotgun Wedding CD: That Shotgun Wedding Man Label: Ember
I"m Falling In Love Again CD: Sex And Soul (Collectables) Label: Collectables
Sample or BuySex & Soul: Collectables
If I Could Love You Forever CD: Sex And Soul (Collectables) Label: Collectables
Sample or BuySex & Soul: Collectables
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