France has never been fertile ground for inbred Rock and Pop at a real popular, mass cultural level; any French rocker or Pop fan will tell you that... Literature, Classical and Academic Arts such as paintings, sculpture, even comic book drawings and cartoon illustrations, YES! As far as music goes, some Classical again, maybe too in the great Music Hall revue tradition as in Folie Bergères, Moulin Rouge etc. and even greater music in movie scores, 'cause we do have some of the best library music writers and arrangers in modern contemporary it's true, but... Real Pop and Rock music, er... NO! It's always been a backyard business, found in Home studios and private gardens.
Once you have that in mind, and you are ready to dig a little deeper out of the mainstream, on the sideways and in the margins, you WILL ocasionally find some goodies, gems even, sometimes even an underground genius here and there... it's like Diggin' for Gold! :-)
Well, while not exactly a Masterpiece for times to come, such is the case for "Pop-IN-court", a private "Secret Affair" of Modern Pop chic found in the back alley of La Rue Popincourt, a famous street in Paris :
It simply wouldn't be Christmas without the dulcet tones of Clarence Carter's lewd, lascivious and downright randy anthem of delivering, ahem, 'packages'.
Clarence Carter is one of the coolest cats out there; his string of 45's and LP's on Atlantic throughout the late 60's and early 70's contain some of the all time best blues based soul ever cut to wax; his vocals and guitar work are the epitome of deep soul. This track appeared on both the essential Soul Christmas LP and as a 45; it surprisingly became a big hit back in '68, crossing over into the pop charts. Clarence spent the 70's and 80s touring almost non stop, and scored a fluke undeground hit with the ridiculous (and once again lascivious) 'Strokin'' in 1981.
Run DMC brilliantly sampled the catch horn hook for their hip hop Xmas classic "Christmas In Hollis" back in 1987.
Mary De Loach (aka Mary DeLoatch, Marylin Scott or Marylyn Scott the Carolina Blues Girl) was from Norfolk, VA and started a career as a blues guitarist and vocalist in the late 1940's. By the early 50's her music had taken a gospel turn, and her raw guitar style, of course, draws parallels with Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Apparently, this was the last record she ever cut, and the rest of her story after this point is unknown. Producer Louise Williams (wife of Arctic Records founder Jimmy Bishop) was known as the gospel radio queen of Philadelphia (note that the record's publisher namechecks this), and since the late '80's she's made a name for herself as a politician in Philadelphia. Perhaps Louise Williams was a fan who brought Mary north to Philadelphia to record? I read somewhere that this record deals with marital problems that Mary and her husband were having, and given the context of the lyrics that story makes sense.
Whatever the story, it's truly a wonder that a performance like this was captured by microphones; it's as if we're witnessing something almost TOO personal here. It was cut to wax in 1967, and I took the liberty of editing parts one and two into one piece (luckily, the fade out/ fade in's made the editing rather seamless).