Today was supposed to me my first outdoor run in exactly 28 days – 4 weeks to the day since that disastrous fartlek that ended up with me hitch-hiking home with my tail between my legs in the cold rain and snow. Brutal. However, as fate would have it Mother Nature decided to throw down more of the same and I’m not so eager for a repeat experience so, instead, I’m taking an “active recovery”, remaining indoors and then try again on Thursday. Besides, tomorrow marks the “bringing of the pain” with my triumphant return to the Brock University torture lab beginning with my V02-max test so, yeah, maybe taking it easy today isn’t such a bad idea.
My active recovery today begins with this core mat routine (Day 37) and a slow, stretchy yoga class later on this evening before dinner. Kicking things off then through my series of planks, squats and push-ups is the ‘Turn Back the Hands of Time‘ album by Joe Tex.
Yeah, yeah…I know.
Here’s the skinny: Joseph Arrington Jr. (August 8, 1935 – August 13, 1982), better known as Joe Tex, was an American musician who gained success in the 1960’s and 1970’s with his brand of Southern soul, which mixed the styles of country, gospel and rhythm and blues. His career started after he was signed to King Records in 1955 following four wins at the Apollo Theater. Between 1955 and 1964, he struggled to find hits and by the time he finally recorded his first hit, ‘Hold What You’ve Got‘ in 1964, he had recorded 30 previous singles that were deemed failures on the charts. He went on to have four million-selling hits, ‘Hold What You’ve Got‘ (1965), ‘Skinny Legs and All‘ (1967), ‘I Gotcha‘ (1972), and ‘Ain’t Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)‘ (1977). And, hey, if bumping fat chicks isn’t your thing than, well, so be it. But I think that’s a pretty classic name for a song.
And here’s something else, Joe actually had along-standing feud with the Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown.
The feud between Tex and fellow labelmate took its origins allegedly sometime in the mid-1950’s when both artists were signed to associated imprints of King Records when Brown reportedly called out on Tex for a “battle” during a dance at a local juke joint. In 1960, Tex left King and recorded a few songs for Detroit-based Anna Records, one of the songs he recorded was the ballad ‘Baby, You’re Right‘. A year later, Brown recorded the song and released it in 1961, changing the lyrics and the musical composition, earning Brown co-songwriting credits along with Tex. By then, Brown had recruited singer Bea Ford, who had been married to Tex but had divorced in 1959. In 1960, Brown and Ford recorded the song, ‘You’ve Got the Power‘. Shortly afterward, Tex got a personal letter from Brown telling him that he was through with Ford and if Tex wanted her back, he could have her. Tex responded by recording the diss record, ‘You Keep Her‘, where he called Brown’s name out.
In 1963, their feud escalated when Brown and Tex performed at what was Brown’s homecoming concert at Macon, Georgia. Tex, who opened the show, arrived in a tattered cape and began rolling around on the floor as if in agony, and screamed, “Please – somebody help get me out of this cape!” C’mon! That’s some pretty funny shit, right? Tex would later claim that Brown stole his dance moves and his microphone stand tricks. In a few interviews he gave in the 1960’s, Tex dismissed the notion of Brown being called “Soul Brother No. 1” insisting that Little Willie John was the original “Soul Brother No. 1”. Tex even claimed Brown stopped radio disk jockeys from playing his hit, ‘Skinny Legs and All‘, which Tex claimed prevented Tex from taking down one of Brown’s No. 1 songs at the time. During a 1968 tour, Tex had the words “The New Soul Brother No. 1” on his bus, leading to people heckling him. Tex immediately took the name off the bus and had it repainted. Tex even offered to challenge Brown to contest who was “the real soul brother”. Brown reportedly refused the challenge, telling the Afro-American newspaper, “I will not fight a black man. You need too much help.”
You just can’t make this shit up, can you?
Anyway, this is unfortunately the only record I have of Tex’s. It was released in 1965 on the Pickwick/33 Records, in the heyday of all his fussin’ and a-feuding with the Godfather of Soul. There are lots of nifty, soulful and funky numbers represented here to get my “core on” like ‘Wicked Woman‘, ‘Monkey’s Uncle‘ and my favorite ‘Switchin’ In the Kitchen‘, which isn’t exactly about secretly rearranging the ingredients for your grandma’s muffin recipe either.
In the early ’70s, Tex converted to Islam and in 1972 changed his offstage name to Joseph Hazziez. He spent much of the time after ‘Ain’t Gonna Bump‘ on his Texas farm. Sadly, Joe died of a heart attack in 1982, at only 49 years old young.