Charlene PM

I’ve written several pieces about my enduring and massive admiration for the Creole Beethoven, Wardell Quezergue, the king of New Orleans arrangers – and an excellent producer as well. They were all just “sessions” to Wardell – and he forgot most of them as soon as they were over – but he shaped New Orleans soul music more than anybody else during the 60s – and that statement does include the incomparable Allen Toussaint as well as such busy music men as Eddie Bo as well. Wardell was involved in the ownership of a host of labels as well, most notable Nola and its several subsidiaries and he had several smash hits to his name as well.

He carried on making music after the demise of Cosimo Matassa’s Dover business empire decimated the Crescent City soul scene and in the 70s, quite apart from the legacy of his visit to Jackson, MS made yet more wonderful music via the likes of Joe Wilson, C L Blast, Curtis Johnson, C P Love and many others.

Some of these artist appeared on his own labels like Big Q and Pelican but there were very often short lived enterprises set up just for one or two releases. F – W was one of these boasting 45s only from funk man Chuck Simmons and the terminally obscure Charlene PM. Her only release was this string laden beauty of a ballad ListenBelieve What I Say penned by herself and the Great Man himself. And there doesn’t seem to be anybody now who knows anything about the disc or Charlene herself. We can tell she knew a thing about singing thanks to the way she handles herself here, trading phrases with the equally committed guitarist but that’s about it apart from the label number which might indicate the 45 came out in 1979. But that’s about it.

Can anybody help here?



Loving you / ListenBelieve what I say ~ F – W 10002 – 79 (1979?)




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