Willie Mitchell – Willie Mitchell’s Driving Beat (Vinyl LP)


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*This is a Vinyl LP*

Release Date:  2015

Label:  Hi Records / Fat Possum Records


Track List

Side A

1. Everything Is Gonna Be Alright
2. The Champion Part I
3. I’m Moving On Now
4. Doing The Stroll
5. Pep Talk
6. Smiley

Side B

1. Fat Cat
2. Stone Face
3. Nick-O-Demus
4. That Driving Beat
5. The Time Ain’t Long
6. The Champion Part II



Written and arranged by Mitchell, and originally released in January 1966, Mitchell plays not only trumpet, but piano, organ, vibraphone and other instruments.

Born and raised in Ashland, Miss., Mitchell was initially a trumpet player who honed his compositional and arranging talent under the tutelage of Duke Ellington veteran Onzie Horn during the early ’50s. Mitchell played with some of the best jazz players in Memphis, such as Booker Little, Charles Lloyd and George Coleman. He gravitated to R&B later in the decade, and his bands became local favourites, even playing gigs at Elvis Presley’s Graceland.

In 1960, Mitchell became a producer, arranger and musician at the Home of the Blues record label, but moved to the slightly better known Hi Records a year later. Mitchell’s precise horn arrangements and four-to-the-floor beats continued Hi’s reputation as a label focused on instrumentals. He had a half dozen hits during the ’60s, the most memorable being “Soul Serenade.” After 1968 Mitchell became vice-president of Hi and stopped performing to focus on A&R and studio work. He became president of Hi & Royal Recording Studios in 1970. He was known as one of the great sonic architects of soul music.

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