Maverick soul artist Swamp Dogg (aka Jerry Williams) has been described as the "soul genius that time forgot," and "a strange combination of Sly Stone's progressive funk with Frank Zappa's lyrical absurdism." In the seventies he even made the famed Nixon's Enemies List.
We are proud to bring you three of Swamp Dogg's early albums, re-released for the very first time on vinyl since their original release. "Total Destruction To Your Mind" (1970), has been called "one of the most gloriously gonzo soul recordings of all time." "Rat On!" (1971), was ranked as having one of the top ten worst album covers of all time, an achievement that Swamp Dogg is rightfully proud of, and "Gag A Maggott" (1973), one of Swamp Dogg's favorite records.
“The White Man Made Me Do It” is Swamp Dogg’s new album, and his first soul record in decades. Over the course of 14 songs, and with the help of a cast of veteran soul greats, the idiosyncratic performer re-captures the spirit of his 70’s cult recordings. “The White Man Made Me Do It” mixes classic Southern soul grooves with pointed, poignant lyrics, reflecting upon race, love, and money. As usual Swamp demonstrates his savage sense of humor and his instinctive aversion to hypocrisy.
The SWAMP DOGG'S SOUL & BLUES COLLECTION
Released under license from SDEG Productions
1. DORIS DUKE "I'm A Loser"
Originally released in 1969 on Canyon, this record is now considered by many to be the GREATEST DEEP SOUL ALBUM of all time.
LINER NOTES BY SWAMP DOGG
Tired of being a backup singer for Nina Simone and other crazies with a star on their forehead, Doris Duke was introduced to me by Troy Davis, a fantastic writing partner, later to become her road manager, a con man and master thief. Oh yeah, but he knew talent.
I remember the time Doris was playing at the Continental Club in Miami and she gave him money to buy her some stage gowns. Troy came back with a bunch of clothes on his back with the cleaning tickets unremoved. I digress… In 1969 I met Doris Wilingham for the first time in my house in East Elmhurst, Queens, New York. Gary Bonds and me had written and picked most of the songs on this album but we didn’t have an outlet. In spite of this, I called Phil Walden, Otis Redding’s manager, and cut a deal to use his studio and rhythm section. We agreed and Doris and I flew to Macon, Ga., and commenced to record with some strangers who became our best friends after the first take. I’m talking Paul “Berry” Hornsby (organ), Johnny “Duck” Sandlin (drums), Pete “Beaver” Carr (guitar), Robert “Pops” Popwell (bass). They were calling themselves the Zoo. I had not given birth to Swamp Dogg, therefore I wasn’t yet Zoo status. I played piano and Jim Hawkins engineered the session while still building the studio. He was fantastic… still is.
The album that I’m alluding to is “I’m A Loser.” Doris had this great sad quality in delivering a song that could only be compared with Billie Holiday. You believe she has lived through every story on the album. Even though Doris hates me and my fondness for her has dwindled, I still have to give her credit for being one of the greatest female vocalists in the world. Just touring with Nina Simone for years is enough to tell you how great she is. Nina didn’t stand for one bad note or your ass was out of her picture.
We left Macon with vocals and with all great rhythm tracks. Now I needed strings. Phil was only fronting the studio and rhythm section. That’s all right… I jumped on a plane to Philadelphia and convinced Richard Rome to write the string lines for our “If Come” deal. When Richard writes, he writes for a symphony. I couldn’t afford the players in Philly so I hopped another plane to Detroit and visited George McGregor, one of Motown’s original drummers, with a master’s degree in music from the military and college, writer and producer. “George… I need to go in to the studio and put strings on all of this shit, but I don’t have a dime… and can I bunk here with you and Marsha?” In order to accomplish this I had to make it a union session, that way the musicians wouldn’t be looking to get paid that day. George fronted as the contractor and I left him checks for everybody, which he was turning in to the union as late as possible. By the way, you may be wondering what Doris is doing at this time… well the fuck if I know. I managed and produced her for about five years and I never knew where she lived, so naturally I never visited her home. I think she was living in New Jersey.
Now I’m back in Macon for the mix-down which you are hearing now or soon will be. It was a family affair with Jim Hawkins having the final say. His mixes are impeccable. I was going to add horns on three of the songs but I couldn’t afford them. So fuck it … hum your own horn lines. I got turned down by every record company in New York. I even tried to convince Vanguard, Mainstream, a dope dealer in Harlem, and Big Jack of Rojac Records. Everybody said it was too depressing. I went to Tommy Small a/k/a Dr. Jive, who was doing A&R for Josie-Jubilee Records. He was willing to release “To The Other Woman” and if it hit he would release the entire album. I even went to Date Records (CBS), who no one wanted to sign with and they kicked me out too, even though Eddie Matthews, the V.P., was a dear friend. By this time I’m convinced that “To The Other Woman” is my carrot and I was not going to give it up.
On to Los Angeles for the first time. I know this record is going to knock the West Coast on its ass. It goes without saying that I was turned down by all the majors, independents and “wannabees.” I got turned down by another good friend, Warren Lanier, who was running Mutt & Jeff records. By now, I’m so desperate I no longer want an advance, just put this super-bad motherfucker out! Last stop, Wally Roker, who had Canyon Records and a partnership with Ampex tapes for the 8-track distribution. Wally loves and wants the record but he’s broke. Ampex promised him four million dollars but was holding back after laying out two million without seeing any concrete results. We made a deal, after all it’s two weeks before Christmas and I had four daughters depending on this nigga’ who calls himself a record producer/daddy. We made a twenty five thousand dollar deal. A seventy five hundred dollar check full of rubber was the first installment. He asked me if I had someone in New York who would cash it. I knew my jewelers Germano & Geradi would hold it a week and then drop it in for me. That worked smooth. Wally went to press with the single immediately and the record busted wide open throughout the country. Ampex sent two million dollars to him by jet and we were in business. I figured out later that the record was a woman’s story and very few men could relate to it. We didn’t have any women in power in the business in 1969 and 1970.
Doris’ name was on the lips of every promoter and booking agent in the country. She was working her ass off at a thousand to two thousand dollars per night. I bought her a Buick Estate wagon, gave her money for clothes. The Apollo theatre begged me for her and I would not relent unless she was the co-star. They brought in the Delphonics as the headliners and Doris as the co-headliner. She killed em’. Left them in the aisles screaming for more.
With all this new fame Doris decides I’m her valet and introduces me as such. I didn’t say shit because I was making money. She also carried a half pint of cognac in her purse at all times but I wasn’t aware of this. I just couldn’t figure out why I was a sweetheart during the first part of the day and as night approached, I became a sack full of motherfuckers. The cognac was doing a Jekyll and Hyde on her. To top that, I took some press and photographers up to her dressing room and she opened the door with all of her teeth out. I didn’t know she had false teeth. James Brown sued me because she missed her flight to Cincinnati to be on his show because she had to find her boyfriend who was going to travel with her; some info I wasn’t privy to.
She fired me as her manager at least once a week and called me and told me things like the venue promoter is taking over her career. I ran in to one hard-ass that shot the tires off of the station wagon, with the band in it, and gave her less money than we contracted for. He was going to show her how to make her money grow. Doris refused to come back from that North Carolina gig, so I called Nate McCall, the executioner, who I had recorded for and became friends with. I told him the story and in two days, Doris was flying to Atlanta for her next gig and the promoter was in traction in a North Carolina hospital. Doris started missing gigs so I sent Sandra Phillips on the road as Doris, because no one knew what the fuck she looked like. Thank God all black people look alike. Doris’ record broke in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and St. Louis based on Sandra’s appearances.
Just a footnote… when you look at the cover of the album you’ll see the lining of her pants hanging down. I deliberately used that photo because of all the aggravation she caused me. Oh! She went to England and signed with my pseudo dear friend, John Abbey of Contempo Records while still under contract to me. I think she’s still under contract to me because I put it in suspension, never reversed the action and I legally own the fuckin’ name. So I guess I’m Doris Duke. – SWAMP DOGG
2. ZZ HILL "The Brand New ZZ Hill"
"The Brand New ZZ Hill" was originally marketed as a Blues Opera, an oddity back in the early seventies, and was written by Swamp Dogg and Gary U.S. Bonds. When released it hit both the Billboard Top 200 and the R&B charts and sold over a million singles via six releases.
LINER NOTES BY SWAMP DOGG
Every time I speak of Z.Z. HILL or listen to his recordings I can’t think of anyone I’ve ever met in the music industry that was more gentlemanly, kind, gracious, generous, and talented as he was.
I bought Z.Z’s contract from Quin Ivy (Percy Sledge’s producer), who sold it to me because Z.Z. refused to go back into the studio with him. Z.Z. despised Quin, who by the way was a damn good friend of mine. Why did he despise Quin? Because Quin had been tricked into buying Z.Z.’s contract from Phil Walden (Otis Redding’s partner), who Z.Z thought was a real piece of shit, and sometimes he was. When Phil felt like being human he’d let Frank “I Drink a Fifth of Booze a Day” Fenter be the bad guy.
Now! Here I come. Some nigga out of nowhere named Swamp Dogg who now owns Z.Z. HILL’s contract and wants to take him in to, of all places, Quinvy Studio to record. Z.Z. played cat and mouse with me for about six months. I couldn’t catch up with him, only his brother, Matt, who I think passed on my messages.
Matt and Z.Z. were frightened because they knew that they had recorded the smash “Don’t Make Me Pay for His Mistakes,” while still under contract to Quin and now, via the contract purchase, the master legally belonged to me. Finally I caught up with Z.Z. … at the famous Robert’s “colored” Hotel and Lounge. He came up to my room and I made a deal that consisted of me relinquishing any claims on “Don’t Make Me Pay...”, and giving him a five thousand dollar fee, along with a minuscule royalty, to go into the studio with me. He promised to have his part of the album completed in three days, he just wanted out. So he signed a contract with me agreeing to those stipulations. A few weeks later we met in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and with the infallible engineering and ear of David (Bat) Johnson, we completed a Blues Opera that Gary Bonds and I had written, in addition to some singles produced by Quin, David and me.
Z.Z.’s part of the session was about to take more than three days though. I needed to add extensive dialogue and some expressive emotion to make the record believable. So … in walks Bob Carl Bailey, a DJ who wound up as the first black radio station owner in the Muscle Shoals, Florence, Tuscumbia, Alabama area, WZZA. Bob did all of the voice-overs with the exception of the ones David and I did on “Faithful and True.”
The girl that ended up on the tracks just happened to be walking by the studio and we were sitting out on the stoop when she approached us and asked “Y’all make records in there?” I said “Yeah, how would you like to make a record?” She said “I can’t sing but I’ll try.” Bob Carl Bailey assured her that she would not have to sing, just talk with feeling. She did a wonderful job, we paid her, she left and we never heard or seen of her since. Her name was either Leawii Little or Cleazell Brown.
The album hit both the Billboard Top 200 and the R&B charts and we sold over a million singles via six releases.
Z.Z. and I became good friends, renegotiating the royalties and putting my song “Baby I’d Chop Off My Right Arm For Your Love” on the flip side of his multimillion selling single “Cheating In The Next Room.” Now there’s a man I miss. – SWAMP DOGG
3. SANDRA PHILLIPS "Too Many People In One Bed"
Never officially released by Canyon (the label went belly-up just after shipping the first copies in 1970), this album was meant to be a follow-up to the Doris Duke hit record “I’m A Loser”.
LINER NOTES BY SWAMP DOGG
SANDRA PHILLIPS a/k/a Sandra Reeves-Phillips
On April 21st, 1970, I, Swamp Dogg, signed Sandra Phillips to an exclusive recording contract. I had only known Sandra for a short time; her ex-husband, Phillip, introduced me to her earlier recording on Epic. He constantly insisted that I give his wife a chance since companies like mine were selling records and the “majors,” as we now refer to them, couldn’t break an egg.
There were several factors that prompted me to go into business with them. Number one, I liked her voice and saw great potential. Number two, she was willing to work on my terms, and with enthusiasm. Number three, Doris Duke had gone crazy – missing gigs, avoiding my phone calls, and getting the Buick Estate Wagon that I bought for her shot up by some nigger that she had appointed as her manager. She fell in lust damn near everywhere she went and often appointed her gentlemen as manager.
I signed Sandra to Wally Roker’s Canyon label and then took her to Macon, Georgia, where I had a magic lantern that produced a band consisting of Johnny Sandlin (drums), Robert Popwell (bass), Pete Carr (guitar), Paul Hornsby (organ & piano) and me, also on piano. My genie wouldn’t let me do wrong. I had a production deal with Wally for as many albums as I wanted to do, with complete autonomy. I’m damn sorry he went belly-up. I always recorded the strings in Philadelphia in the old Cameo-Parkway studio with Richard Rome at the helm. He’s still the greatest arranger in the world. I’m looking at a hotel bill from the Philadelphia Marriott for $25.97 per day, I was there for three days while I was there putting on strings.
I was grooming Sandra to be the next Doris Duke. As a matter of fact, Doris went into hiding on my ass and I booked Sandra throughout the Midwest, pretending she was Doris. There was a tremendous amount of work piling up that translated into currency. The audiences, promoters, DJ’s and club owners loved her dirty drawers. I encouraged Sandra to talk to DJ’s on the phone periodically as a promo ploy, and one DJ in Kansas ended up wanting to marry her. He kept Doris Duke’s record top ten for two months as a result.
The album that you are drooling over was never officially released. Canyon shipped it and then Canyon bought the farm.
I gave Sandra an unconditional release and we have remained friends.
Sandra has since become a star on Broadway, and in movies and television. She has won awards on and off Broadway, including the Drama League Recognition Award, the Audelco Award for her portrayal of Bessie Smith, and for playing the title role in the Pittsburgh Public Theatre production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. She has been on television both as a lead and a star, first on the show Law And Order and going on and on. French director Bertrand Tavernier thought enough of her thespian ability to give her the lead in “Round About Midnight” and she also had a starring role in “Lean On Me” with Morgan Freeman. - SWAMP DOGG
4. RAW SPITT
CHARLIE WHITEHEAD, a.k.a. RAW SPITT, 1970 first full length, produced by Swamp Dogg for Canyon records.
LINER NOTES BY SWAMP DOGG
Top Ten on my very best friends list. Charlie Whitehead a/k/a Raw Spitt hails from Smithfield, Virginia; about thirty miles from my hometown, Portsmouth, Virginia. Nevertheless, we didn’t meet until 1966 in New York City. I was knocked out by his voice and delivery so I immediately got Musicor Records, who I was working for, to sign him. We cut one single, “How Can I Forget” b/w “Story Of Mr. Pitiful”, which was not unusual in those days. If you didn’t hit the first time out, your ass was grass and Broadway was the lawnmower.
Charlie was doing well financially with his singing partner, Joe Pond, making frequent trips to Europe as Sam & Dave and alone as Ben E. King. In the meantime I signed with Canyon Records and had plans of Charlie being the other Swamp Dogg; that’s why the two “t’s” in Spitt. Upon release the album started getting play on underground stations, but Canyon went belly-up before sales could be realized. Charlie was on the FTA Tour with Jane Fonda, Dick Gregory, Peter Boyle, Donald Sutherland and I. I signed Charlie to United Artist but that didn’t last long. Just a single and they gave me the album back. Charlie’s contract called for two albums a year, so they had to pay us for the non-existing album. This gave credence to the axioms, “there’s some dumb motherfuckers in this industry” and “money don’t make you smart”.
We hit it big together in 1974 on Island Records with “Love Being Your Fool”, which was also covered by the Staple Singers, Jerry Reed, Coon Elder Band, Travis Womack (top 20 pop) and a few others. Charlie came to me with most of the lyrics and I thought they were shit and I was not going to record it. He told me that he had adhered to every song and concept that I had suggested, without any success. He was right, so I swallowed my fuckin’ ego and let him have his day in court. He was right and I was happy to take credit for this genius change of directions. We have a tremendous past together which includes the writing of Dee Dee Warwick’s Grammy nominated “She Didn’t Know (She Kept On Talking)”.
Charlie is in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he’s a recent widower, avid gambler who always wins, and a sometime performer. If I divulge more you won’t buy my autobiography. – SWAMP DOGG
5. IRMA THOMAS "In Between tears"
Produced by legendary soul singer / songwriter / producer Jerry Williams Jr., aka Swamp Dogg, and featuring Duane Allman on two songs.
LINER NOTES BY SWAMP DOGG
I’m happy and proud to be able to say that I’ve produced and written for some of the greatest artist in the world. Among the greatest is Irma Thomas. She took my songs and made them hers. I don’t feel that I’m going out on a limb by saying she is just as good or better in some cases, as Aretha Franklin, the late Etta James, Alicia Keys, Adele and a host of others. Irma is definitely a queen among the other queens.
I met Irma at Wally Roker’s Canyon records, circa 1970. Wally and Monk Higgins had
cut two sides on her that were acceptable but way below her capabilities. Wally knew this, so when I showed up he threw her at me and I was in awe. Irma Thomas? This was the real shit. I was somewhat smitten with her but I couldn’t ware her down. So I commenced to do what I was hired to do, produce a hit record and cut out the Casanova bullshit.
The first two sides of her first 45 was entitled “If I Had It To Do All over (I’d Do It All Over You” b/w “We Won’t Be In Your Way Anymore.” The tracks were produced in Muscle Shoals, Alabama by George “It’s All Over Casanova” McGregor and yours truly. Troy Davis and I wrote “We Won’t Be in Your Way Anymore”. The record sold well throughout the south, especially Atlanta, but a little shitty in the rest of the country.
Now on the Macon, Ga., to Capricorn studio where we went to cut a great album with some great musicians and Jim Hawkins; an engineer’s engineer. We cut some great songs evidenced here on Alive. Irma was in rare form at all times except when Robert Popwell (bassist) bored a hole through the back of the ladies bathroom so he could get full visuals. She eventually caught him, but she was a real sport about it. Now I’m not making Popwell the culprit. We all did our share of viewing her “wonderfulness”.
After the demise of Canyon, a couple of years later, I bought most of the catalog from Wally, which included the Irma Thomas masters. I released her album on my new BASF distributed label, Fungus Records. We sold good enough to hit Billboard’s r’n’b charts. Canyon’s contract had expired and I wanted her exclusively and she signed directly with me for a fee of course.
I saw Irma in New Orleans at SeaSaint studio about twenty five years ago I walked over to her and said “hi, Swamp Dogg”. She turned at looked at me with a who the fuck are you expression on her face. As usual, my personality dictated I withdraw. I don’t push myself on people, and I run from being “put in my place”.
Yes, Duane Allman, wandered into the studio and picked up a guitar and played on two songs and left. Sorry, but I don’t recall the tracks, but it’s definitely two of those.
Irma might not remember me, but I remember every note she sang and everything she said with that gritty, but romantic speaking voice. When she talks she sounds like she’s singing the blues. – SWAMP DOGG
6. LIGHTNIN' SLIM "High & Low Down"
Rare 1970 blues/R&B album produced by Swamp Dogg in Alabama. Features original liner notes by BB King.
Over the years I have listened to many records and albums of many types of music. As
a disc jockey I played many different kinds of sounds, but I guess as an entertainer I
pull a little harder for the blues performers because I want them to be heard, played
and respected as much as other music is; that is, when it merits it. Lightning Slim’s
new album I think merits all the qualities that a great artist and a hit album should
It’s some great sounds. This is my opinion.
LINER NOTES BY SWAMP DOGG
After chasing B.B., around the globe for six months, the above doesn’t give me any insight as to how he feels about the recording or the artist. He’s a championship skater when it comes to saying nothing about a motherfucker.
After meeting with Sid Seidenberg, his deceased manager, I had to step out of the picture and let my wife (now deceased) Yvonne take over. She was a master when it came to detecting bullshit in any situation. Anyway, he finally wrote these watery liners after Yvonne went up to his penthouse suite in a ten star, New Orleans hotel; the Rosemont or some shit that had to do with a Mont. I went back to the Ramada, after thinking about leaving my wife with a famous multi-millionaire blues singer. I said to myself, “fuck these liners, I’m going up there”. I knocked on the door like a gentleman with my .38 in my shoulder bag. An attendant
opened the door and the place was laid out with all kinds of champagne, finger sandwich shit, wines, food, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t blame him if his goal was what I thought. I just intended to foil the plot, and if Yvonne’s hair and clothes were disheveled, I was going to do some damage to both, and maybe (?), jump out the window. Nooooo, fuck that! Upon my entrance and being introduced to him by my wife, he offered me a drink and commenced to write the above notes that could apply to any blues singer.
I’ve produced and written for some great artists in my life and Lightning Slim is in my top ten. He didn’t have to be coddled, nursed, etc. He learned the songs and got down to business. He only gave me three days to record him because he wanted to get back to Pontiac, Michigan to get back to his job at a lock factory. This album is as good as most blues albums and better than most. It has the Muscle Shoals, Alabama A-team rhythm section and the horn section that David Johnson (owner / engineer of Broadway Sound) and I assembled, which later became the Muscle Shoals horns. I‘ll speculate that if Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, George Benson, Albert King and Freddy King ever heard this blues album, they would rate Lightning’s great delivery, song writing and innovative swamp guitar style in their top ten of authentic blues men. – SWAMP DOGG
Wolfmoon, aka Little Tommy, only album produced by Swamp Dogg.
LINER NOTES BY SWAMP DOGG
Circa 9:00 p.m. last night I ate an entire slab of ribs. I went to bed immediately thereafter. Circa 2:00 a.m., I woke up craving chocolate anything, and I remembered that I had half of a chocolate “motherlode” cake in the refrigerator that I brought home from Claim Jumpers. I took it in my bedroom and ate it all as I watched Cindy Crawford brainwash some booger bears with the dream of looking like her in ten days. Right!
I’m sitting here with a stomach ache and diarrhea, trying to adhere to a request from Alive Records to deliver some liner notes on Wolfmoon. I guess this is a good time to write them because he made me sick on my stomach many times. Wolfmoon … what can I say about Wolfmoon that hasn’t already been said about Idi Amin. He’s a treacherous, lying, two-faced song thief; with possible cannibal tendencies. With all that said, he was and still may be one of the greatest singers and entertainers that I’ve known in my career. On top of that, he was a drummer’s drummer. He was the best. That’s how I fell into his trap.
Brooks O’Dell (“Watch Your Step”) brought Little Tommy a/k/a Wolfmoon to Philadelphia from Richmond,Va., in 1964 where I was living, and convinced me that Tommy was the greatest thing since vanilla ice cream. Brooks didn’t have a place to bed him down, so I took this monster into my house under the auspices of becoming his co-manager and co-producer with Brooks. He immediately disrupted my household, and had my wife tearing into my ass every five minutes because this “nigga” wouldn’t make up his bed, clean up his room; wash his dirty dishes, etc. He was sporting some two inch fingernails, which was his excuse for not being able to carry his load as a non paying roomer and boarder. He would leave his dirty drawers and other soiled wearing apparel in our basket for us to wash.
I rehearsed Tommy on two original songs, “I’m Hurt” b/w “ L-O-V-E”. Yvonne gave me the money on her payday so I could go in the studio with him. Immediately after I recorded him, he went back to Richmond, Va., with my masters faster than the Roadrunner. He immediately formed an alliance with a local record man who called himself Mr. Wiggles and released my masters. When I called him about my songs he threatened to do me some bodily harm. He had a reputation, so I chalked it up as “dues.” I saw Wiggles three years ago in D.C., and he was getting over some strokes, heart attacks, hobbling with a cane and using a golf cart. God bless him.
Now I’m in New York, circa 1969, Mr. Tyrone “Little Tommy” Thomas comes knocking. I had my first big deal with Canyon records. I had put Tommy’s shit out of my mind and resigned him. This album is the new baby we gave birth too. I changed his name to Wolfmoon so he could fit right into the Swamp Dogg, Raw Spitt genre that I was creating. Each album had a theme. Wolfmoon’s was more spiritual with gospel/r’n’b laden rhythm tracks. Canyon went out of business; Capitol bought it for their Tower Record label, then later reneged on the deal but never asked for the money back. That made it a hit in my book because Wally Roker, owner of Canyon paid for the initial recording in Macon, Ga.
Around 1973 BASF records called and wanted me to form a label for them to distribute. Now Wolfmoon is on Fungus records and I got paid again. Now we’re at Alive records … need I say more? In retrospect, this is the biggest hit I’ve ever had.
In 1974, Charlie Whitehead a/k/a Raw Spitt caught a hit on Island records with “Love Being Your Fool.” Wolfmoon becomes Charlie’s drummer and band leader; a good harmonious pairing. As Swamp Dogg, I played some gigs using the same band but Wolfmoon would always play my material his way. He’d say things like “you’re singing it too slow or too fast.” I’d call a song different from the lineup and he’d play the one in the lineup while saying things like “the people don’t want to hear that shit.” A couple of shows right before I fired his ass in Kansas City, I was singing my little hit “Mama’s Baby Daddy’s Maybe” and he took it upon himself to end my song while I was still singing. He said it was too long and he could see that I was boring the audience. I had him working with Doris Duke and Sandra Phillips whom he didn’t give any problems; and Doris had some coming, but that’s a different color bird.
About ten years ago, Tommy sent me a video and some new material. He wanted to be resigned. I never watched the video nor did I listen to his tape. He sings so goddamn great, I did not want to fall in love with his shit and open a new can of worms.
This album is timelier today than it was in ‘69. Forget the taste I have in my mouth and listen to a bad motherfucker sing some great Swamp Dogg songs.
Via footnote … he’s lost his sight. – SWAMP DOGG
Total Destruction’s title track roars with amplified funk boogie, with guitarist Jesse Carr and drummer Johnny Sandlin providing fuzz and a gutbucket beat. The song establishes Swamp Dogg as a character on the same wavelength as rock’s avant garde, with gritty, hard-edged melodies, and a clear admiration for blue-collar country. – AQUARIUM DRUNKARD
The soul genius that time forgot. – The GUARDIAN
Total Destruction to Your Mind, the first Swamp Dogg album, begins with the title track, wherein Williams, winking at the Beatles, sings about sitting on a cornflake riding on a rollerskate as his voice is surrounded by curling guitars and blammo horns and the music keeps freaking out from there. He prophesizes a post-bomb wasteland where kids have never known rain or rock'n'roll. Psychedelic music blows his mind, so his patience grows thin with the synthetic world we're living in. He laments being born blue instead of orange-skinned and green-haired like everyone else. He razzes rednecks. He pitches snake oil called "Sal-a-Faster." He wonders about mama's baby and daddy's maybe. His voice is boisterous, jovial, quizzical; his melodies sly and punchy. The music — given perfect shape by its craftsman's hand — suggests a quirky avenue that black music might've pursued if funk hadn't fomented instead. And it came packaged with a cover that showed Swamp sitting in shorts on a garbage truck, wearing a graduation cap. – David Marchese / SPIN
He sings like some unfrozen Atlantic soul man of the ‘60s—his voice clarion pure, his phrasing a model of smoldering restraint. – ROLLING STONE
A unique blend of in-the-pocket cheatin’ soul and defiantly pessimistic civil rights anthems. – MOJO
Listened to in passing, Rat On! offers top-flight ‘70s southern soul, with deep bass and punchy horns. But listened to more carefully, the album reveals a daring songwriter who wasn’t afraid to tell it as he saw it, challenging society’s icons of freedom with “God Bless America For What?” and landing himself on Nixon’s enemies list. The album’s features soulful reworkings of the Bee Gees’ “Got to Get a Message to You” and Mickey Newbury’s “She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye,” and though the original tunes aren’t nearly as absurd those on Total Destruction to Your Mind, their messages are just as powerful, and their grooves are just as deep. – NO DEPRESSION
Nothing matches the mind-blowing power of these R&B/rock/protest/
progressive masterpieces. – ROCTOBER