“Groove On” by Willie Beaver Hale.
This month’s mouth-watering offering from Kevin, is this 1980’s classic
A timeless record that most I know will never tire of hearing it played, the song also had Bobby Caldwell as backing singer on it and this gem always transforms me back to our clubbing days and the various venues we attended as teenagers.
Willie Beaver (aka Little Beaver) started out in his career in the early 1960s as a guitarist, and come the late 60’s then decided to move to Florida. Willie met up with songwriter and producer Willie Clarke there, who went on and signed Willie Beaver to the CAT record label. The record label was an offshoot of the famous TK record label owned by Henry stone, Willie Beaver kick started the early 1970’s with a song called ‘Joey’ out on TK records. ‘Joey’ was produced by Steve Alaimo who was TK’s senior producer at the time, Willie Beaver’s biggest hit at the from this label was called ‘Party Down’. The tune made number 2 in the American billboard charts in 1974.
From then on, Willie went on and released 5 albums in total in the 1970’s, his music was a mixture of soul blues and funk music . Sadly in 1981 the TK record label closed and reported to have filed for bankruptcy which effectively ended his recording career at that point. However, I think you’ll agree with me the song “Groove on ” still stands the test of time to this day. All was not lost, as he emerged in modern times by being contacted by none other than Betty Wright, who wanted him to work with her in 2003, on the up and coming British female jazz artist Joss Stone. They both worked on a couple of Joss’s albums, ‘The Soul Sessions’ then the ‘Mind, Body & Soul’ album, in 2008 he released a new album. It was on the Henry Stone Record label, which he also issued some of his works from his CAT record label recordings days, and even re-issued his 1970s albums too.
Also in recent years some of Willie Beavers tracks were sampled by various hip hop artists, such as ” Get In To The Party Life ” and ‘I Can Dig It Baby’ sampled by People Under The Stairs. Get in to the party life was also sampled by Jay – Z on a track called ‘Party Life’ taken from the film American Gangster.
I think you’ll agree Little Beaver has made some memorable pieces of music history for us to carry on and enjoy.