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Irma Thomas
Title: She's Taken My Part
Author: Adams, Savoy, Hamilton

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Irma and Big Q

Irma on a Casual Friday

"She's Taken My Part" (Adams-Savoy-Hamilton),
Irma Thomas, Cotillion, 1971

And I've taken your link

This is the last of my replays from October, 2004, the first month of HOTG. As before, I have revised the commentary.

Ahh, I love this b-side, “She’s Taken My Part”, one of the funkiest numbers
Irma Thomas has done in her illustrious career. As with the Ted Taylor track I posted last week, this song was produced and arranged by Wardell Quezergue, a frequent person of interest here in the past year, if you care to research that. It was written by Michael Adams, Albert Savoy, and Larry Hamilton, New Orelans writers who, in various combinations, wrote tunes recorded by other Quezergue artists such as the Barons, King Floyd and Jean Knight. Hamilton also recorded a number of his own funky tunes during this era and in 1997 for Allen Toussaint’s NYNO label.

Irma cut this record at Malaco Studios in Jackson, MS during the time that the producer was overseeing sessions there for Floyd, Knight and other artists. Quezergue’s simple, precisely syncopated arrangements and deft touch produced hits, “Groove Me” for Floyd and “Mr. Big Stuff” for Knight; but “Full Time Woman” b/w “She’s Taken My Part”, released on Cotillion in late 1971 failed to chart; and the label released nothing else on her, it appears. The plug song was a stately bore that even Irma’s earthy vocal could not save. Would that she had worked more with “Big Q” along the lines of the flip side. I don’t really know why she didn’t. While he was hot, they could have made a few more singles and maybe scored a winner. As it turned out, none of her spotty 1970’s work went much of anywhere; and her recording career did not revive until Rounder Records ushered in her comeback during the 1980’s.

Again, here is a classic Quezergue production. I particularly dig the hesitation built into the song’s central doubled bass and guitar riff, that perpetual tension and release pushing and pulling the rhythm along like a spring. Irma’s vocal runs from raw and hurt to intimate and smooth, and back again, getting the most out of the lyrics. The only known CD comps of this song are Tuff City’s
Wardell Quezegue’s Funky Funky New Orleans and two CD collection of their own re-releases, Night Train To New Orleans.

As I pointed out the first time around, I’ve heard Irma live many times in the last 25 years or so; and she often puts an obscure, seldom heard song or two from back in the day into her sets. I’ve never heard her do this one, though. But, there’s always next time. . . .

---By the way, this mp3 is ripped from a digital burn of my 45. I did not include a label scan, because the single is in the vault!

October 27, 2005- click date for entire article, updates and possible comments

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