If you’ve visited either of our San Francisco locations, you’ll surely have noticed that our whole crew is pretty serious about their records. It’s a huge part of our day-to-day at the coffee bars and roastery, bringing in records we found, trying to blow our co-worker’s minds with an old dusty Memphis soul LP, or some weird ’70s punk rock.
So it is with great pleasure that we roll out our new partnership with Seattle greats, Light in the Attic Records. LitA have done an incredible job unearthing some truly amazing gems, that would have otherwise been lost in the ether of time.
We’ll be showcasing two new records every month, one at each of our locations.
This month we bring you two incredible records from two very, very different artists: Wendy Renee and Lee Hazelwood.
Wendy Renee’s “After Laughter Comes Tears” is the long-overdue anthology from a Southern soul legend.
A Memphis belle, born-and-raised, Renee was signed to Stax records by Otis Redding as a teenager. She played with The Drapels until their demise in the early 60’s, and despite being celebrated as a solo artist, a Billboard hit eluded her.
Marriage problems, a young family, and other pressures kept her from attaining the success she deserved. In 1967 she was scheduled to play her last show, with Otis Redding and the Bar-Kays, but cancelled at the last minute. That weekend Redding and co. died in a plane crash.
She went on to become a teacher, and to raise a family, her largely forgotten until the early ‘90s, when her son’s friend played her Wu Tang Clan’s hit “Tearz” which sampled heavily her ‘60s single, “After Laughter Comes Tears.”
Lee Hazelwood was a prominent figure of Cowboy Psychedelia—an American country, folk, and pop singer, most widely known for his work with Nancy Sinatra in the ‘60s, and with Duane Eddy in the ‘50s.
Born in Oklahoma, Hazelwood bounced around with his oil man father, between Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, and as a teenager on the Gulf shores of Texas, where he was introduced to that area’s tremendous musical history. After studying medicine, and serving in the US Army in Korea, he turned to music, eventually attaining fame with Nancy Sinatra, whose hit singles “These Boots Were Made For Walking” and “Summer Wine” he wrote and produced. He would go on to work with Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Gram Parsons, and a slew of others.
Light In the Attic has done a tremendous job with the re-release of Hazelwood’s 1963 debut album, Trouble is a Lonesome Town, which finds Hazelwood “sketching out a vivid picture of a backwater place named Trouble, where trouble with a small ‘t’ is never far away.”
Trouble is little and it’s lonesome, Hazelwood says on the title track. You won’t find it on any map, but you can take three steps in any direction and you’re there.