Saturday, January 8, 2011

Laura Lee - Crumbs Off The Table

I will never forget the 1st time I copped this LP. I was infantile in my collecting and my understanding of soul and funk records. It's funny for me to remember back then. I was on my way to KALX,  U.C. Berkeley's radio station because I was getting my start in college radio at that same time.
About that time was when I discovered other things like Lyn Collin's 'Think (About It)'.
Thing is, they were both tunes that were decades old but, were experiencing a new birth by being sample by popular rap artists. Rob Base's sampling of Lyn Collins was playing out of every car that summer. EVERY damn car. It was crazy. While D-Nice's treatment of 'Crumbs' by Laura Lee wasn't as widely received it still justified my insatiable fever for getting to the 'roots' of the issue. My grand scheme would be to promote and  illuminate the 'real' artists. Well, over the years not much has changed in my agenda.

Modeled after her LP 'Women's Love Rights' Laura Lee was one of many soul sisters etching new territory for women in R&B and soul. Both with great feeling and depth, yet asserting a new power obtained by gains in the Women's movement. Ann Pebbles, Ann Sexton, and Laura Lee brought raspy rough vocals and tuff 'If You Can Beat me Rockin, You Can Have My Chair' attitudes. She spoke out to people and got personal within peoples relationships. On the curtails of Honey Cone's 'Want Ads' she brought us 'Women's Love Rights'...and in the footsteps of Freda Payne's 'Band Of Gold' she delivered 'Wedlock Is A Padlock'. Her message is basically loud and clear through her song titles. 'Her Picture Matches Mine', 'Love And Liberty', 'Rip Off', and 'I Don't Want Anything Old (But Money)'. The face of soul was changing and sultry soul sisters were changing the game.

Laura tried an impressive set of labels. With early releases on Ric-Tic and Chess, then onto Cotillion and her mainstay Hot Wax. She enjoyed most of her success at Hot Wax with singles 'Women’s Love Rights' and 'Rip Off' reaching the pop and R&B charts. Before her departure from Hot Wax she had a few more singles... 'If I'm Old Enough To Love (I'm Old Enough To Marry), 'Crumbs Off The Table' and the classic 'If You Can Beat Me Rockin' (You Can Have My Chair)'.  But, as amazing and brilliant as they were, they didn't chart as well as her earlier singles.

She laid low in the mid seventies but became active in the gospel genre again in the late seventies and early eighties. Gospel music was her original starting point and after a bout with cancer she devoted herself entirely to gospel music. It was rumored that she had a lengthy romantic relationship with Al Green and in 1983 they collaborated on 'Jesus Is The Light Of My Life' for the Myrrh label.  She also, much like Al Green became an ordained minister and continues to record and perform gospel music.

For me this is one of thee most bad ass sister funk tunes. It's empowering, yet entirely devoted. Wildly busty with incredible production and the breakdown is savage and completely legendary in the funk and soul world. This is top notch stuff here. So glad Laura Lee got her start and brought us to this incredibly funky place.

Laura Lee - Crumbs Off The Table


  1. I love this track. I was wondering if you have ever come across the other version of this record. I think that the one I am looking for is the Hot Wax one. (that's what Andy Smith told me, it's on his mix The Document 3) I have been searching for it for a couple years now and still can't find one.

    I'm sure I could just order one but I'm trying to just come across a copy. (in a stack of 45s or on the internet) The version I want is the one that starts with the bassline and drums/percussion rather than the horn buildup.

    Thanks for all the great music all the time. I appreciate it.

  2. That's funny because I was thinking the same thing. I almost mentioned, but ultimately forgot, to include that juicy tidbit of info. That is, that the 7" version starts with the break first. I have it somewhere in here, but don't know where as of yet. When I find my copy, and I will search sometime soon, I will post it here. I also thought about doing a re-edit, painstakingly blending the two versions. Now, that would be some shit! That's really what that song needs, the break in the beginning, the middle AND the end.
    So, it sounds like what you're after is the seven inch. I haven't heard the Andy Smith mix you're talking about as of yet, but all you need to do is get the 7" of this tune.
    Once again, many thanks I'm super glad you're digging the tunes!!!!


    if you're in the US
    Or, if you're in the UK
    price is about the high, but if you NEED it, so be it.