The Best of Both Worlds


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1975)\ as The Best of Both Sides

- Major Boyd -- sax

- Joseph Conway -- trumpet

- Ralph Fisher -- drums

- James Gallon -- bass

- Scott Johnson -- keyboards

- Gary Langston -- rhythm guitar

- George Parrish -- lead guitar

- Winfield Parker -- lead vocals

 

 

  line up 2 (1977) as Both Sides

- Dave Carrero -- rhythm guitar

- Ralph Fisher -- drums, percussion

- James Gallon -- bass

- Scott Johnson -- keyboards

- Greg Leslie -- vocals,  lead guitar

- William Moore -- trumpet

 

 

 

 

- Both Worlds (Ralph Fisher, James Gallon, and Steve Johnson)

- Sammy Fitzhugh & The Moroccans (Winfield Parker)

- The Imperial Thrillers (Winfield Parker)

- Little Winfield Parker (solo efforts)

- Winfield Parker (solo efforts)

- The Skydells Band (Winfield Parker)

- The VeeJays  (Winfield Parker)

 

 

 


 

Genre: soul

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  I Want the World To Know

Company: Calla

Catalog: LPS 5003
Year:
 1975

Country/State: Washington, DC

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: sealed copy

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1234

Price: $25.00

 

Short-lived Washington, D.C. based soul and funk outfit fronted by singer Winfield Parker ...

 

Prior to The Best of Both Worlds, Parker had accumulated a lengthy list of credentials as a sideman and as a solo act recording singles for a wide array of labels including Arctic, GSF, and Spring.  In the mid-'70s he hooked up with drummer Ralph Fisher who had previously been in one of Parker's touring bands.   Fisher was fronting his own jazz-funk band Both Worlds which had released an album "Don'cha Hide It" on the small New York-based  TPI label.   

 

 (TPI catalog number TPI-1004)

 

The two principals subsequently decided to renew their collaboration under the moniker Best of Both Worlds.   The band eventually attracted the attention of Washington, D.C. based promoter Clayton Roberts.  Roberts in turn helped the band get signed by Nate McCalla's New York-base Calla Records.

 

Co-produced by Roberts and Al Johnson, 1975's "I Want the World To Know" offered up a decent mixture of "love man" ballads ('I Want the World To Know'), James brown-styled funk numbers ('Broad Jumping'), and more commercial funk ('50 - 50').  To be totally objective, nothing here was particularly original, or awe inspiring, but Parker had a nice  voice that proved quite impressive on the up-tempo material and occasionally reminded me of Robert Cray ('invisible Flowers').  Showcasing the ensemble's tight playing, highlights included 'Invisible Flowers', the blazing '60-60' and the the funky 'Mama Bakes Biscuits'.   As an aside, I've always wondered about it, but all ten tracks were credited to Robert E. Lee Jr.  He wasn't a member of the band; he wasn't mentioned in the brief liner notes  and I have no idea who the guy was.

 

"I Want the World To Know" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Anyway the Wind Blows   (Robert E. Lee Jr.) - 2:21

2.) Broad Jumping 

Admittedly Parker was no James Brown, but with energetic support from the rest of the band, these guys actually managed to carve out a more than decent Brown-styled slice of funk.  Always smile when I hear the nod to  B.T. Express "do it till your satisfied'"    rating: *** stars

3.) I Want the World To Know   (Robert E. Lee Jr.) - 4:24

Complete with irritating male-female spoken word vamp, 'I Want the World To Know' was a horn-powered ballad that was simply way too slick for the group's own good. Even though it was one oof the least impressive performances on the album, Calla tapped it as a single.   rating: ** stars

4.) Invisible Flowers   (Robert E. Lee Jr.) - 2:59

The track opened up with sound effects featuring a moaning woman (shades of Donna Summer) and someone suckin'-on-a-doobie.  Luckily the tune shitfed into a breezy funky tune that's always reminded me a bit of a cross between Chris Isley and the rest of the Isley Brothers and Robert Cray.   In spite of the irritating moans it's one of my favorite tunes.  Wonder if Parker includes this one in his current Gospel repertoire ...   rating: **** stars

5.) Greedy Green   (Robert E. Lee Jr.) - 2:46

'Greedy Green' sounded like a throwaway jam intended to give the horns and drummer Ralph Fisher  a shot at the spotlight.   Nice Parker vocal, but overall the track was forgettable.  rating: ** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) 50-50
   (Robert E. Lee Jr.) -  - 3:12

Heavily orchestrated and showcasing some George Parish scratch guitar, '50-50' started out sounding almost like a disco tune, but then Parker's rugged voice and the hysterical lyric kicked in shifted the song into funk territory.  The brief math lesson was hysterical.  Too many strings, but still enjoyable.  Shame it faded out so early.    rating: **** stars

2.) Lost In a Shuffle of Love   (Robert E. Lee Jr.)  - 3:58

With Parker turning in his best "love man" performances, 'Lost In a Shuffle of Love' was a pretty orchestrated ballad with catchy backing vocals.   Would have made a nice radio single; certainly better than the title track.   rating: **** stars

3.) Mama Bakes Biscuits   (Robert E. Lee Jr.) - 3:00

Probably the album's funkiest tune ... Calla tapped the song as the 'B' side to the lone single.  rating: *** stars

4.) Naked Truth   (Robert E. Lee Jr.)  - 3:40

Propelled by some jazzy horns, 'Naked Truth' had kind of a Blood, Sweat & Tears vibe going for it. (not necessarily a good thing).  Parker didn't seem all that comfortable on this frenetic tune, though Parish turned in his best guitar solo    rating: ** stars.

5.) Theme from I Want the World To Know   (Robert E. Lee Jr.) - 

Unfortunately 'Theme from I Want the World To Know' was simply a bland way to end the album.   rating: ** stars

 

The album spun off one quickly forgotten single:

 

  

 

- 1975's 'I Want the World To Know' b/w 'Mama Makes Biscuits' (Calla catalog number CA 5002)

 

One album and one single for Calla with little in the way of sales and the band called it quits with Parker resuming his solo career.  For anyone interested Parker has an extensive website at:  http://www.winfieldparker.com/About_Winfield.html

 

 

Keyboardist Scott Johnson was kind enough to share some additional information on the band:

 

 

I enjoyed your website.
 
The information you have about The Best of Both Worlds is incorrect in terms of the chronology.   The band was not together in 1972.  It was  formed shortly before the first album was recorded in 1975.   The first album was I Want the World to Know on Calla,  with Winfield Parker.   The rhythm section split off and formed Both Worlds,  which recorded  the Don’t’cha Hide it album about two years later,  which was released on TPI  (Terry Philips International – label out of New York ,  not Baltimore)  
 
The Don’t’cha Hide It  album was released in late 1977 and was a Billboard “Recommended LP”  at some point in January 1978 (third week I think).  
 
I played  with both incarnations of this group,  and played keyboards on both of these records which is why I know the chronology 
 
 
E. Scott Johnson (March 2015)

 

 

 

 

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: calla 5002—I want the world to know/moma makes

BACK TO BADCAT FRONT PAGE

BACK TO BADCAT CATALOG PAGE

BACK TO BADCAT PAYMENT INFORMATION