Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Eve with Nay Dog

On New Year's Eve 2004 Fortune recording artist Nathaniel Mayer dropped by Spazz HQ for the craziest party of all time; one that the neighbors are still probably pissed about. Nathaniel (for those that didn't know him) cut some incredible records in Detroit in the early sixties including the regional hit Village of Love. By the end of the sixties Nathaniel hit upon some tough times and for decades nobody could figure out if he was alive or dead. Unexpectedly, in 2003 Nathaniel (or "Nay Dog" as he liked being known) popped back on the scene and reignited his performing career. His voice was a little raspier but he still had the pipes. With charisma to spare, no one could work a crowd like Nathaniel and when he sang falsetto it was nothing less than spine chilling. Most of all he was sweet and funny and an all around great guy. What else could you possibly ask for in a soul legend? Nathaniel was cut down by a series of strokes in 2006 and his passing a couple of years later left a hole in many hearts.

Nay Dog was in town for the big Norton Soul Revue at Southpaw and he was in stellar form that night. When I asked him what he wanted to hear he requested Nathaniel Mayer songs. After singing along to every one of his records (with The Diablos' "Ali Coochi" thrown in), Nay Dog requested some Sex Machine-era James Brown, organized the room into two Soul Train dance lines and pretty soon things went from nuts to crazy. He also regaled us with a "dozens" rap that was so smutty it would have made Dolemite blush. Thanks to Billy Miller, Miriam Linna, Michael Hurtt and Dan Rose. I don't remember which one of you brought him to the party (as well as escorting him to the radio show the following night) but I do know one or more of you guys were responsible for this.


Anonymous said...

fun times!

Ken K. in NJ said...

Village of Love is absolutely my #1 all time favorite Rock and Roll 45. And it wasn't just a "regional hit". It went to #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 and even peaked at #8 on NY's own WABC weekly Silver Dollar Survey.