The Baby Huey Story – 1971 – The Living Legend

Baby Huey the living legend frontWith a psychedelic brand of soul and a vocal style that drew comparisons to Otis Redding, the 300-400 pound Baby Huey was set to break out of the Chicago scene with the release of his debut album. Unfortunately, his weight and taste for drugs resulted in a fatal heart attack that prevented him from seeing the release of the disc. Featuring Curtis Mayfield’s Hard Times and Mighty Mighty Children plus a cover of Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come,Baby Huey’s lone album (recorded in 1970 and released in 1971) has become a sought-after collectible among soul fanatics.

Tracks
A1 Listen to Me 6:35
A2 Mama Get Yourself Together 6:10
A3 A Change Is Going to Come 9:23
B1 Mighty, Mighty 2:45
B2 Hard Times 3:19
B3 California Dreamin’ 4:43
B4 Running 3:36
B5 One Dragon Two Dragon 4:02

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHuey, a Chicago native, was a protege of Curtis Mayfield (who produced this album and released it via his Curtom imprint) and somewhat of an eccentric. He was 400 pounds, had a huge afro, a King Tut beard and dressed flamboyantly. The picture on the back of this album is priceless : him in a pinstripe suit with a huge ankle length robe over it standing reading a cookbook. He recorded a handful of singles and died of a heart attack aged 26 before this album came out in 1970

He took his cues from Chicago groups like The Impressions (the group Curtis Mayfield fronted before going solo), Mayfield himself, the psychedelic blues albums by Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf released on legendary Chicago label Chess Records in the late 60’s and then mixed them with some raw, ballsy Stax soul via Booker T & The M.G’s melting pot to create something that only Mayfield, Issac Hayes, James Brown, Funkadelic and Sly Stone managed to better.O

You have the driving, gritty soul of “listen to me” & “hard times“, the funked-up psychedelic blues of “mighty mighty” & “runnin‘” (which Mayfield wrote and later recorded but the Huey original is the definitive version), instrumental jams like “mama get yourself together” & “one dragon, two dragon” and, finally, you have what have to be two of the greatest cover versions ever recorded : his funked up version of “California dreamin‘” and his staggering 9 minute + version of Sam Cooke’s “a change is gonna come” which has to be heard to be believed.

Rap fiends should definitely check this album as it’s been sampled to death over the years and “listen to me” was a party favorite back in the days of Bronx block parties in the 70’s. If you’re a fan of blues or Hendrix and would like to start investigating soul/funk but find James Brown too dancefloor friendly or Marvin Gaye too polished then this would a good starter along with the first 3 Curtis Mayfield studio albums (By Ferguson, Amazon).

Buy the Album

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24 Comments
  • Grumpy
    Posted at 15:32h, 28 October 2014 Reply

    Marvalous! Especially ‘hard times’ and the psychedellic ‘a change is gonna come’. Just epic.

  • Paul
    Posted at 19:49h, 28 October 2014 Reply

    Wonderful album indeed. Thank you.

  • MudFlapp
    Posted at 23:44h, 28 October 2014 Reply

    “Eatin Spam and Oreos and drinkin Thunderbird baby!”
    One of the best soul singers ever. Hard Times an instant classic…he may be one of the most sampled artist. Thanks for posting this!!!! For those who dont know, just download now, you will not be disappointed!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jean
    Posted at 10:05h, 29 October 2014 Reply

    Can’t wait to listen to this one!

  • Rasty
    Posted at 22:41h, 29 October 2014 Reply

    Excellent one.

  • David
    Posted at 14:00h, 30 October 2014 Reply

    This is blowing my mind why have I never discovered this

  • Emery
    Posted at 20:49h, 30 October 2014 Reply

    What a killer album !!! Thanks ever so much.

  • Bow
    Posted at 23:53h, 30 October 2014 Reply

    Magnific !

  • Melvin Tate
    Posted at 05:17h, 31 October 2014 Reply

    what would we do without “funk my soul”,the best blog for classic r&b ,funk and soul. You guy’s really know how to turn back the hands of time !

  • Laura
    Posted at 09:59h, 31 October 2014 Reply

    RESPECT!!

  • Jack
    Posted at 23:16h, 31 October 2014 Reply

    Pure magic.

  • Pasquale
    Posted at 11:04h, 01 November 2014 Reply

    Bellissimo disco

  • Lancaster
    Posted at 11:48h, 01 November 2014 Reply

    Awesome from start to finish.

  • Marcos
    Posted at 19:16h, 01 November 2014 Reply

    A Change Is Gonna Come !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Gerif1
    Posted at 10:27h, 02 November 2014 Reply

    Great upload my friend ! *****

  • The King
    Posted at 14:13h, 02 November 2014 Reply

    A wonderful, overlooked album.

  • Adam
    Posted at 14:40h, 02 November 2014 Reply

    I’ve never heard the whole album. I’m eager to give it a listen.

  • Jay
    Posted at 10:22h, 03 November 2014 Reply

    magic sound it goooooodddddddd MUSIC

  • Martin
    Posted at 13:33h, 03 November 2014 Reply

    what a gem, an amazing voice play it loud.

  • Andy
    Posted at 12:48h, 07 November 2014 Reply

    So beautiful !!!

  • Paul
    Posted at 11:15h, 20 November 2014 Reply

    Superb artist. RIP.

  • Headphonious Monk
    Posted at 19:30h, 05 May 2016 Reply

    Respect! I would love to offer a correction – Baby Huey was NOT a Chicago native. He was born in Richmond Indiana, and moved to Chi-raq later in life. Peace.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 01:20h, 29 July 2016 Reply

    Excelente. Gracias

  • Jan S
    Posted at 23:51h, 11 January 2017 Reply

    Thank you for this nice music

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