Secret History of Chicago Music and Roctober present a Night of Mystery and Comedy
James Wesley Jackson, Mr. Lee and the Rearrangers Band, T. Valentine
1354 W. Wabansia Ave
Chicago, IL, 60642
Doors 9:00 PM / Show 10:00 PM
This obscure psych-pop duo split the difference between the British Invasion and Amon Duul II on three mid-70s singles. This is Athanor's first ever actual show! They have an LP reissue on the acclaimed Guerssen label of all their singles.
James Wesley Jackson
James Wesley Jackson, "Enviromedian," was the opening act for Funkadelic in the late 60s and early 70s, where his unique turn of the phrase introduced such language as "Free your mind and your ass will follow" and "Once upon a time called now." In addition to singing backup on some funk mob classics, Jackson released "Souled Out!" in 1972, a live comedy album (with Bernie Worrell backing him up). He recently released a follow-up, "Live in Chicago."
Mr. Lee and the Rearrangers Band
Over his 50 year career Mr. Lee has been a fixture on Chicago's southside and south suburban soul scenes, emceeing, dancing, performing comedy, hosting, leading bands, and organizing thousands of shows over the years, still drawing huge crowds to his annual Mr. Lee's Soul/Blues BeachFest. But he earned his place in the Secret History of Chicago Music with his 1972 single "Love and Happiness by Mr. Lee and the Rearrangers Band. Basically a field recording of a nightclub, it features Lee dancing and the band playing along while a deejay spins Al Green's "Love and Happiness," as the crowd goes nuts. Lee will recreate this single, one of the strangest records in Chicago recording industry history, at the Hideout.
Thurmon Valentine was born in West Helena, Arkansas in 1932. Inspired by Sonny Boy Williamson's "King Biscuit Time" show on KKFA, Thurmon moved to Chicago in 1950 to make music and become a performer. From 1957 to 1959 he created and performed a live show called "The Vampire" in clubs with three female co-stars out of his love for "old vampire pictures, Lugosi and all those guys." He met up with Detroit Junior of the Cadillac Baby Show Lounge at 4708 Dearborn Street in Chicago. Detroit Junior had a small record company called Bea & Baby and released T. Valentine's first hot singles around 1960. Soon afterwards T. Valentine started his own label VAL Records in 1962. From there he released his own singles "Do the Do" and "Betty Sue," and both of his versions of "Black Power," as well as recordings from other artists. After divorcing his wife Lucille he decided to get back at her by recording the song "Lucille Are You A Lesbian," inspired by Josie Cotton's "Johnny Are You Queer." Val Records pressed 200 copies. It has become a rare and sought out 45. Most likely Lucille never heard it, but the song has become a cult favorite among lesbians.
Trivia: The phone number he uses in the song when he calls Lucille was the number for his label, VAL Records. This song is on the "Romancin' Side" of Volume 3 of THE BIG ITCH, a collection of strange rockabilly songs.