Saturday, May 21, 2022

VA - Golden State Soul - San Franciscan Dancers & Smoochers [2000]



VA - Golden State Soul - San Franciscan Dancers & Smoochers [2000]

San Franciscan soul has traditionally had more of a bluesy flavour than that of its sophisticated cousins from Detroit, Chicago, New York or Los Angeles. The vast immigration of southern African-Americans to the dockyards of the Bay Area during World War II created an audience with an appetite for earthier, rawer sounds, from the R&B and funk of earlier decades to the rap and hip hop of today. That said, during the 1960's and early 1970's there were many classy uptown soul productions from the area, by versatile artists such as Sugar Pie DeSanto, Eddie Foster, Little Stanley, the Ballads, the Whispers, the Natural Four and others. And it would be safe to say that some of the best recordings in that genre, as featured on this disc, were made at Leo Kulka's Golden State Recorders.

A native of Czechoslovakia, Kulka opened up shop in San Francisco in 1965. For a lengthy period he had the only truly Hollywood-style studio in the area, a fact which appealed to local artists as well as arrangers and producers like Rene Hall and Wally Cox, who put the facilities and Kulka's engineering expertise to good use. Kulka also signed many acts himself, either leasing the sides to outside labels like MTA and Acta, or issuing them himself on Golden State and its associated imprint Golden Soul. 

In recent years Ace has released several critically-acclaimed volumes of the fine punk and garage groups that Kulka recorded in the mid-1960's. With Golden State Soul we examine his many black productions of the same era. Much of this material was not issued originally, but its quality is nevertheless outstanding, and will surely appeal to any soul lover. Personal highlights include the San Francisco TKOs' smooth harmonies on Make Up Your Mind (which our pal Horace has made a hit at his all-niters). The simple but effective I Had A Girl by the pride of Berkeley High School, the Savonics. The driving blue-eyed sounds of the Spyders and the Generation, the latter featuring Lydia Pense of Cold Blood. And the undeservedly obscure voice of belter Jeanette Jones  (Ace)



Track lists

01 San Francisco TKOs Make Up Your Mind 0:03:19

02 George and Teddy Lover 0:02:26

03 Blondell Breed and the Imports When I See My Baby 0:02:23

04 Jeanette Jones Cut Loose 0:02:15

05 Generation Dwindlin' 0:02:48

06 San Francisco TKOs Send My Baby Back 0:03:55

07 Savonics I Had A Girl 0:03:19

08 Spyders Some People Are Happy 0:03:00

09 Wally Cox and Nate Branch I Want To Dance With You 0:02:19

10 George and Teddy Oh Yeah 0:02:20

11 Spyders I Can Take Care Of Myself 0:02:52

12 Imports I'm Not Ashamed Of Loving You 0:03:09

13 San Francisco TKOs Ooh Baby 0:03:21

14 Wally Cox I Need A Love 0:02:46

15 Generation I'm A Good Woman 0:04:25

16 Spyders I Don't Care 0:02:34

17 Jeanette Jones Jealous Moon 0:02:42

18 Variations Will You Be Mine 0:02:27

19 Leon's Creation Sightless (Pt. 1) 0:03:03

20 Jeanette Jones Dreams All Come True 0:02:31

21 Wally Cox and Nate Branch My Hearet And Soul 0:02:46

22 Variations Ooh Baby Don't Leave Me 0:03:05

23 Variations You're Still On My Mind 0:02:39

24 Variations Time Will Pass, Love Will Last 0:02:16




  1. Thanks. Lots of names I don't know.

    1. Hi lemonflag.
      That's great to know. It should be an interesting Journey.

  2. Nice to learn about SF soul, thanks for the review Butterboy

    1. Hi Little Bill,
      It an interesting write-up by Ace.
      I hope you will enjoy the music too.

  3. It's such a welcome pleasure to find an old, early Kent release album - thank you BB :)

    1. Hi puw,
      I am glad I have made you happy.