Junior Walker, whose real name was Autry DeWalt, led a group that was something of an anomaly among the Motown fold during its heyday–they were a ramshackle, rough around the edges party outfit that screamed “Dance”.  Motown was known for its silky smooth crooners like Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, et al…but this group sounded like they were from a back alley jookhouse.  I loved them before I even knew who they were.  They had a song I’d hear on oldies radio as a kid–“What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)”–and one of the theme songs to the Cosby Show–“Shotgun”(two of their biggest hits).  Then the venerable Nate Walkner showed me a compilation he had bought when I was 14–“Home Cookin'”.  This was one of the first albums I recorded when I started collecting music and it’s still one of my favorites today.  Junior’s vocals are throaty and raspy, and he sings with raw emotion that fits the groups loose demeanor.  His saxaphone leads the charge through numerous soulful, funky tunes that make your feet tap and wake up a dogs nap.  The band lost steam in the 70’s, but I their output from the 60’s is second to none to these ears.

Discography

  • TML11017 – Shotgun
  • STML/TML11029 – Soul Session
  • STML/TML11038 – Road Runner
  • STML/TML11097 – Home Cookin’
  • STML/TML11120 – Junior Walker’s Greatest Hits
  • STML/TML11140 – These Eyes
  • STML11152 – Live
  • STML11167 – A Gassssssssss!
  • STML11198 – Rainbow Funk
  • STML11211 – Moody Jr
  • STML11224 – Greatest Hits Vol 2
  • STML11234 – Peace & Understanding Is Hard To Find
  • STML11274 – Jr Walker & The Allstars
  • STML12018 – Hot Shot
  • STML12033 – Sax Appeal
  • “Back Street Boogie” Whitfield, 1979
  • “Blow the House Down” Motown, 1983
  • TMSP1129 – Anthology
  • STMS5054 – Greatest Hits
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