Thu. Sep. 19, 2019

Finis Henderson – Skip To My Lou

This Beat Is Mine: Finis Henderson – Skip To My Lou (Motown)

I was just hanging out with some friends the other day when I got to hear this song at some antique shop. I just couldn’t help remembering my dad telling me he offered this record to my mom when he started dating her. How sweet it is, don’t you think? Lyrics speaking for themselves I suppose, with Finis Henderson playing with his falsetto tones over a slamming Funky groove. I eventually got to hear that the producer – Al McKay – played for some time as a member of Earth, Wind & Fire. And I gotta say there’s an obvious family affair kind of thing on this. If not with George Duke.
“Skip to my lou, my darling. I’m comin’ for you…” Here we go!

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This Beat Is MineThis Beat Is Mine! (*)
Once in a week (on Wednesdays), we leave you at the command of IDMW
For this to happen, nothing’s more easy… What you’ve just got to do is drop us a line while using our contact form and let us know about your favorite piece of music (*), along with a review explaining what it suggests you and why people should dig it. And the best of it will be given a publication with your credit the week after.

With warm thanks to San Francisco, CA-based correspondent, Mariah Henderson, for this week’s suggestion…

Gladly welcoming yours to be published next Wednesday. On your marks!

Overview
A native of New Orleans, LA, Albert Philip McKay had his first break soon after finishing High School. This while accompanying a bandmate to an Ike & Tina Turner‘s rehearsal. And eventually impressing Ike with his left-handed playing guitar skills. And the same way he did with the latter, he would do with Sammy Davis, Jr. Although demonstrating this time his mastery of the then new Wah-wah pedal. Before comin’ to tour with Isaac Hayes among others…

McKay joined Earth, Wind & Fire to fill the void created by Roland Bautista‘s departure after the release of their 1972 ‘Last Days And Time’ album. A band member first, he would later add his voice (just like Charles Stepney) to the songwriting/production team of the band along with Maurice White. Eventually penning ‘Singasong’ back in 1975, then ‘September’ 3 years after. This before sharing the production duties with White on ‘Boogie Wonderland’ featuring The Emotions in 1979. Eventually writing the memorable ‘Best Of My Love’ for them in 1977. But also producing Renn Woods‘ debut-album, ‘Out Of The Woods’, in 1979. Itself mostly remembered for ‘Everybody Get Up’.

Al McKay left Earth, Wind & Fire soon after the release of their ‘Faces’ album which saw the light by the end of 1980. With a then returning Roland Bautista replacing him.

McKay‘s name also appeared along with the ones of Central Line, A Taste Of Honey and Glenn Jones. Not to mention Finis Henderson or The Temptations for whom he produced ‘Skip To My Lou’ and ‘Treat Her Like A Lady’. His departure from E, W & F never got synonymous with anger though. And it’s no surprising we saw him reuniting with former members of the band. Meanwhile givin’ birth to Al McKay Allstars back in the dawn of the Third Millenium. Then subsequently releasing the ‘Al Dente’ album in 2001.

The freshly squeezed ‘Heed The Message’ most likely sounds like the jam that could get them to be topping the charts. This with new arrangements courtesy of Joey Negro. Meanwhile a new album is in the pipeline, enthuzes McKay on his own website

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