Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weekend Vault: AFO Executives With Tammy Lynn (Pt.2)

     When we left off, many of the members of AFO, including Tammy Lynn went to the west coast seeking work. After some difficulty getting regular work in LA she went to New York long enough to play some gigs at the Birdland and to hook up on a recording session with producer Bert Berns. However, there wasn't enough to keep her busy so she moved back to California and reunited with Harold Battiste who had made a foothold for himself by producing early sides for Sonny and Cher, and reuniting with other New Orleans musicians such as Dr. John. She got quite a bit of work doing commercials, and backing vocals including the artists just mentioned. Over the years she has contributed her voice to many projects including the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street.
     In 1971, she was approached by Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records to re-record one of the songs off of the AFO Executives album called, "Mojo Hannah". She agreed and it was released on Cotillion Records to little fanfare, but it was a fantastic recording and felt the need to include it in our retrospective.

     While this is going on, just based in a hunch, Atlantic released the song which Tammy had recorded back in New York in the mid-60's. "I'm Gonna Run Away From You" became a big hit for her in the UK and it looked as if she was finally going to make it big. Here is an old video from the "Top of the Pops" show in England.
     On the success of the single, she went to the studio and recorded a number of cuts, which Atlantic pasted together with, "I'm Gonna Run Away From You" and "Mojo Hannah" with a group of songs that were haphazardly put together. The resulting album, "Love Is Here and Now Your Gone" went nowhere. Looking back, it was easy to see what happened. The cuts that were recorded in the states were quite inconsistent and she didn't even have a foothold in the US that would warrant an album in the first place. Secondly, the hit in the UK was a straight up piece of pop, and Mojo Hannah and much of the album were blues and jazz inflected. Not exactly the intended market who bought the single.
     As mentioned before, she probably best known in the states for her work on the album, "Exile on Main Street" and also on the single, "Would I Lie To You" by Eurythmics in 1985. She has kept busy over the years and released a new CD in 1992 called, "Tamiya Lynn". After 30 years of success in LA as a producer, Harold Battiste returned home to New Orleans and restarted AFO Foundation to recognize and document the musical history of his home. 



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