Friday, April 06, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Young-Holt Unlimited

Artist:Young-Holt Unlimited
Song:Soulful Strut
Album:Rock Instrumental Classics Vol. 4: Soul

Bassist Eldee Young and drummer Isaac "Redd" Holt were veterans of the Chicago jazz scene when they struck gold with the 1968 top five instrumental hit Soulful Strut. The funny part is they didn't even play on the record. It was a backing track of a song recorded as a vocal by someone else. Eldee Young was born Jan. 7,1936 in Chicago. Redd Holt was born May 16, 1932 in Rosedale, MS. They met while attending the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and played together in the dance band The Cleffs. It was here that they met pianist Ramsey Lewis and were part of his trio from 1956-66. After Lewis scored with the 1965 hit The In Crowd, Young and Holt left and formed Young-Holt with pianist Hysear Don Walker. They had a top 40 hit with Wack Wack in 1966. Walker was replaced by Ken Cheney in 1968. Am I The Same Girl was written by Chi-Lites lead singer Eugene Record and Brunswick Records producer Sonny Sanders and recorded by Record's wife Barbara Acklin in 1968. While messing around in the recording studio with Brunswick A & R Director Carl Davis, Sanders removed the vocal track and added a piano track by Floyd Morris. They liked it so much they released it as a single credited to Young-Holt Unlimited despite the fact that neither of them played on the record. I assume this was because Young-Holt were the only instrumental act on Brunswick and they had a chart hit with Wack Wack. Soulful Strut reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968. Barbara Acklin's recording of Am I The Same Girl charted afterwards but it certainly wasn't as big as Soulful Strut. It sold a million copies. After recording one more album for Brunswick, Young-Holt Unlimited recorded four albums for Atlantic and split up in 1974. You can get Soulful Strut and Wack Wack on this Rhino various artists comp of soul instrumentals. Eldee Young eventually moved to Singapore and worked for many years for pianist Jeremy Monteiro. He died on Feb. 12, 2007 at age 71 while on tour in Thailand. Redd Holt led his own band for a while and then returned to Ramsey Lewis in the 80s and played with various bands. He seems to be retired. Soulful Strut got a big boost when it was used in the 1998 film The Parent Trap. Here's a video for Soulful Strut by Young-Holt Unlimited.

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