Posts Tagged ‘Wendy Rene’

2012 Light In The Attic Subscription Package!

Friday, November 18th, 2011

For rates and to purchase, click here.

The days have grown short and it is once again time to look back on the last year and begin to anticipate the next. 2011 was the year of the rollercoaster. After much internal debate, we decided to not purchase the Dodgers or EMI and turned down Universal’s multi-trillion dollar buyout. And somehow won the NBA Finals in November of all months – just to satisfy the shareholders. Most importantly, we managed to survive another year operating in this strange landscape called the music business. We’re confident that while 2011 was mighty fine, 2012 will be our finest. So without further adieu we’d like to present the 2012 Light In The Attic Subscription Package

For newbies, we’ve been doing this for a number of years. Like your subscription to Boy’s Life, you’ll receive our first 8 releases of 2012 as they become available – often before they hit shops, and at a much cheaper price.  Later in the year, we will be offering a subscription for the second part of 2012. Along the way you’ll receive various downloads, sweet surprises, and an official membership card (distinctly not available in the back of Boy’s Life). We’re still fanatically hunting down some long lost musicians in Kiribati, so we can’t spill the beans on the full release schedule just yet, but there are a few things that we’d like to reveal as part of your 2012 Subscription Package -

Lee Hazlewood

Lee Hazlewood – I Just Learned To Run (Unreleased Studio Outtake) by LightInTheAtticRecords

For the past 7 years we’ve been begging, pleading, and praying to re-release some of Lee’s greatest solo recordings and production work, including material from LHI, Lee’s own label from ‘66 to ’71. We are ecstatic to announce that we will launch a detailed Lee Hazlewood Series this spring all gloriously re-mastered from the original analog master tapes. The series will include scores of unreleased sides and unseen photos. As I write this, we’re digging through hundreds of tapes that have been untouched for over forty years, meticulously transferring the reels, and drooling in anticipation for the months ahead.

Wendy Rene – After Laughter Comes Tears: Complete Stax & Volt Singles + Rarities 1964-65
(LITA 080 CD, 2xLP, Digital)

Wendy Rene – The Same Guy by LightInTheAtticRecords

This will be the first ever anthology of the mysterious Southern soul queen who cut some of the most achingly gorgeous 45s on Stax and Volt back in the day. While she’s been sampled to death by everyone from Wu Tang Clan to Alicia Keys and covered by Lykke Li, little is known about the singer’s short but brilliant career until now. Betty Davis excluded, she’s about as reclusive as they come. After deciding to retire to raise a family, Wendy agreed to do one more concert with Otis Redding and the Bar-Kays in December ‘67, but at the last minute changed her mind. As we know, that plane crashed in Lake Monona, killing everyone on board other than trumpeter Ben Cauley. After 45 years spent decidely out of the spotlight, we’re grateful to have Wendy involved in putting together this special anthology, which includes all of her singles and close to a dozen rarities. Memphis native Andria Lisle contributes stellar liner notes.

Michael Chapman – Rainmaker
(LITA 079 CD, LP)

Michael Chapman – You Say by LightInTheAtticRecords

In 2011, British folk legend Michael Chapman conquered the world. The man celebrated his 70th birthday, toured the States and Europe countless times, played Daytrotter, and pretty much melted our minds opening for Bill Callahan on the West Coast. During those same 12 months, Michael released 6 albums: among them an insane noise record for Ecstatic Peace and our reissue of his sophomore album, Fully Qualified Survivor. We’d like to re-release Michael’s entire oeuvre, but that’s going to take us some time. So next up we’ll be reissuing his landmark debut, Rainmaker, originally released on the Harvest label in 1969. Rainmaker is another superb psych-folk offering from one of the true living greats. Writer Byron Coley sat down with Michael to bring us some incredibly insightful liner notes.

V/A Listen, Whitey: The Sounds of Black Power 1967-74
(LITA 081 CD, 2xLP, Digital)

Amiri Baraka – Who Will Survive America by LightInTheAtticRecords

This one has been a beast. Through inhuman perseverance, our friend and fine Light In The Attic A&R man Pat Thomas brings us this phenomenal comp. Befriending key leaders of the seminal Black Power Movement, digging through Huey Newton’s archives at Stanford University, and spending his life’s fortune on eBay, Pat may have only nearly averted death by A&R, but he has skillfully painted a complicated time period when revolutionaries like Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, and Angela Davis were seen as pop culture icons and musicians like Gil Scott-Heron, The Last Poets, and Bob Dylan were seen as revolutionaries. The disc presents a unique cross-cultural overview where Dylan’s 1971 single “George Jackson” sits alongside insanely rare private press 45s and the almighty Gil Scott. Interspersed are selections from the Black Forum label, Motown’s early ‘70s Black Power militant imprint featuring SNCC spokesman Stokely Carmichael, poet Amiri Baraka, and Black Panther Party singer/songwriter Elaine Brown. It’s safe to say that this is the definitive Black Power aural document. The comp will play as a soundtrack to Pat Thomas’s 70,000-word hardcover book of the same name to be released by Fantagraphics in early 2012.

So that’s a little taste of 2012.


  • The first 8 CDs, 8 LPs, or 5 Digital* releases from Light In The Attic in 2012, excluding box sets
  • 15% off ALL online orders for the entire year, excluding subscriptions
  • First dibs on various rarities and exclusives throughout the year
  • Our first Light In The Attic Family T-Shirt. Yes, we’ve been slow to get off our asses and make a damn shirt. We are fortunate to have talented Seattle illustrator Drew Christie do the honors. The shirt is free as part of your subscription.***
  • And to make it feel official: a fancy 2012 Membership Card
  • Free shipping within the USA**

To purchase, visit the Subscription page HERE. We look forward to seeing you in 2012!

* Due to licensing restrictions, unfortunately not everything will be available digitally.
** Please email for international shipping rates:
*** T-shirt available for LP and CD subscriptions only.

Get Ready, Wendy Rene “After Laughter Comes Tears” release is around the corner!

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

It’s been a long time coming, but After Laughter Comes Tears is the first ever anthology of southern soul legend Wendy Rene, whose classic, organ-driven “After Laughter (Comes Tears)” has been covered or sampled by everyone from Wu Tang Clan (“Tearz”, from 36 Chambers) to Alicia Keys (“Where Do We Go From Here”), Lykke Li and El Perro Del Mar. “If I could sing like anyone,” said Lykke Li, “It would be her.”

Includes 11 singles, 9 rarities and 2 previuosly unreleased songs from the Stax/Volt archives! CD and double LP available for pre-order now (out 2/7/12)!

Born Mary Frierson in Memphis, Tennessee, home of Stax Records, Wendy Rene was christened by Otis Redding on signing to Stax as a teenager in 1963. Back then, she and brother Johnny Frierson, both singers at the Church of God In Christ, were determined to make it in music. Forming singing quartet The Drapels with two friends, they took the bus to 926 E. McLemore Avenue, auditioned for Stax co-founder Jim Stewart, and won a deal on the spot.

“As soon as we finished with the Drapels’ songs and [the rest of the band] were going to the bus stop, I showed Mr. Stewart my songs,” recalls Rene. The result? Stewart found two acts in one, and Mary had two contracts with Stax.

Both Drapels and Wendy began recording with the greats – that’s The MGs on the group’s “Young Man”, Booker T. Jones playing organ on “After Laughter” and Steve Cropper playing guitar on the dance craze-inspired “Bar-B-Q”, the success of which caused Wendy – then a teen bride – to leave school.

Young Wendy Rene

The Drapels dissolved almost as quickly as Wendy’s first marriage, partly due to the attention lavished on youngest member Wendy’s solo career. But a real hit eluded the singer, and in 1967, with a growing family with second husband and Stax employee James Cross, Wendy decided to retire from the business. “I wanted a baby to hold and coochie-coo to, and I didn’t want to miss any more time away from my kids,” she says.

Wendy was due to perform one last show with Otis Redding and the Bar-Kays, but changed her mind at the last minute. It was an auspicious decision – that weekend, Redding and four Bar-Kays died when their plane crashed in Lake Monona.

Wendy mourned her friends but not her music career. She taught harmony to her children and she sang in church, not in the studio. Then, in 1993, something strange happened – a friend of her son heard Wu Tang Clan’s “Tearz” on the radio. As new generations of artists have rediscovered Wendy Rene’s work, they have touched her life in various ways: Alicia Keys’s remake of “After Laughter…”, “Where Do We Go From Here”, for example, helped pay for her current home. Keys tried to meet up with Rene when she played in Memphis. “I wasn’t able to do it,” says Wendy, revealing little.

In September 2010, Wendy Rene returned to live performance, albeit very briefly, playing a set at Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans. It was to be a bittersweet occasion – Wendy’s beloved brother Johnny had died suddenly in June 2010 and performing brought back a flood of memories. “I was so choked up I wasn’t able to perform like I wanted,” she admits. Available on CD with a 40 page booklet and a as a double LP housed in a deluxe “Tip-On” gatefold jacket, both sporting liner notes by Memphian Andria Lisle (liner notes writer for our Lou Bond, Charles ‘Packy’ Axton, and Jim Sullivan releases) and original 45 labels and unseen photos courtesy of Wendy Rene.

Listen, delve and enjoy. Pre-order your copy of After Laughter Comes Tears: Complete Stax & Volt Singles + Rarities 1964-1965 (LITA 080 | CD | 2xLP | Digital)

Wendy Rene “After Laughter Comes Tears” Anthology OUT TODAY!

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Here it is! Out today – Wendy Rene After Laughter Comes Tears: Complete Stax & Volt Singles + Rarities 1964-1965 (LITA 080 – CD | 2xLP | Digital). Collecting for the first time ever all of Wendy Rene’s recorded output (including two songs never before heard!), After Laughter is an essential document of this Memphis Southern soul legend. Spanning her earliest recordings with The Drapels to her final sessions in ’65, this anthology includes her most well-known songs “After Laugher” (as sampled by Wu-Tang Clan on 36 Chambers and featuring Booker T. Jones), “Bar-B-Q” (co-written with and featuring Steve Cropper) in addition to never before heard greasy jams like “I Wish I Were That Girl” and “He Hasn’t Failed Me Yet.”

Both the CD and 2xLP versions feature book-deep liner notes interviewing Wendy Rene by Memphian Andria Lisle (who also penned notes for our Jim Sullivan, Lou Bond, and Charles ‘Packy’ Axton releases), with many rare photos provided by Wendy Rene, unseen shots of original tape boxes, and original 45 labels. And what else? 2xLP housed in an extra thick Stoughton “Tip-On” gatefold jacket with a gloss so shiny you’ll need shades to keep from going blind. And for all you heads out there, we couldn’t resist cribbing the Volt logo for the CD/LP labels…smooth!

For the full visual/audio scoop, check out the “What’s Inside?” videos below and hop on over here to pick up your copy today!

Free Basin’ Fridays – Grab some BBQ with Wendy Rene!

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Oh yeah, the hits just keep coming. For this week’s Free Basin’ Fridays giveaway, we’re gonna float one lucky winner both a CD and 2xLP copy of our latest release Wendy Rene After Laughter Comes Tears – Complete Stax & Volt Singles + Rarities 1964-1965 (LITA 080). You know the drill, leave a comment below (favorite BBQ joint in Memphis? Fav Stax song/artist/story? First time you heard Wu-Tang’s “Tearz” which samples Wendy Rene?) and don’t forget to include your name and email so we can contact you if you win! Winner announced on Twitter and Facebook on Friday 2/17 at 12PM PST!

Wendy Rene – Listening Party in Los Angeles! Free BBQ and Beer!

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Come celebrate the first ever anthology of Stax/Volt recording artist and Memphis soul legend, Wendy Rene. After Laughter Comes Tears (out now!), includes all of Wendy Rene’s singles on Stax and Volt, plus many rarities, all recorded between 1964 and ’65. For all those who couldn’t make it to the Stax Museum last week, we’re bringing a little Memphis to you! Come to the Old Style Guitar Shop in Silverlake and enjoy some delicious BBQ (plus some veggie options) and cold beer, on us! We’ll spin the record in its entirety followed by a slew of other good tunes chosen by your’s truly.

Hope to see you all there!

Wendy Rene | Listening Party! | 3/3/12 | 5PM – 8PM | FREE!
Old Style Guitar Shop
510 N Hoover St.
Los Angeles, CA

LITA 7″ Series – Sweet Tea (members of The Black Angels & Heartless Bastards) cover Wendy Rene’s “After Laughter (Comes Tears)”

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Sweet Tea featuring Alex Maas (The Black Angels) & Erika Wennerstrom / Jesse Ebaugh (Heartless Bastards)
“After Laughter (Comes Tears)” (2012) b/w Wendy Rene “After Laughter (Comes Tears)” (1964) | 7″ 45 RPM | LITA 45-022
Pre-order now at - Ships Tuesday October 23, 2012 | In stores October 30, 2012

Celebrating Light In The Attic’s 10 year anniversary in 2012, we are releasing a series of very special colored vinyl 7”s and digital downloads. The series features contemporary artists covering a track reissued by Light In The Attic on the A-side, plus the original version on the B-side. First in the series was Iggy Pop & Zig Zag’s heavy psych-punk cover of Betty Davis’ “If I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up”, out now here and at record stores world wide.

Second in the series we have Alex Maas of the Black Angels and Erika Wennerstrom / Jesse Ebaugh of Heartless Bastards (under the band name Sweet Tea) covering Wendy Rene’s ‘After Laughter Comes Tears’. Preserving the original song’s creepy organ and tortured soul, Sweet Tea adds deep dub bass and raw power. Wendy Rene’s original – beloved of Wu Tang Clan, who sampled it on ‘Tearz’ – was one of a handful of timeless soul songs she recorded with The Drapels and solo for Stax before retiring prematurely to raise a family.

A side is produced by Alex Maas / Brett Orrison and recorded at Out The Woodwork Studios, Austin, TX, July 2012. B side features the original Wendy Rene version as remastered by John Baldwin for our anthology of her work, After Laughter Comes Tears: Complete Stax & Volt Singles + Rarities 1964-1965. Design by Henry Owings, Chunklet Graphic Control.

+ Limited edition 7″ series on colored vinyl with custom LITA juke-box style sleeve in a poly bag with custom die-cut sticker
+ Other artists in the series include Iggy Pop & Zig Zags covering Betty Davis, Mark Lanegan covering Karen Dalton, and Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band covering Rodriguez. More releases in the series to be announced.

Record Store of the Week: Euclid Records (New Orleans, LA)

Monday, July 22nd, 2013


Sometimes a day turns into a week – sometimes it turns into 2 years.  But wait no longer! After taking a “leisurely” break, we’re re-launching our regular Record Store of the Week feature, con gusto!  Look out for regular installments starting, like, NOW.

First up is Euclid NOLA – a great store embedded in New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood – a district with a rich musical history that carries on to this day.  We spoke with Store Manager, James Weber Jr. about punk rock, the Cosimo Code, and the unique joys of record store life in the Big Easy.

Thanks to James Weber Jr. and the Euclid Records staff for doing the interview!


Tell us a little about Euclid NOLA.  The OG Euclid is in St. Louis – how did you end up moving to New Orleans and opening one there?

After a decade managing a big beast of a record store, Vintage Vinyl in St. Louis, I got the itchy travelin” feet and headed to New Orleans mostly on accident in September of 2009. I arrived with a strong determination to not be “record store guy” anymore and promptly got a job at a record store. Oops. A fellow recent arrival from New York, Brian Bromberg, was also employed at said store. We decided quickly that we had more to offer the city running our own shop. A few conversations with pal and gutsy record store owner Joe Schwab of Euclid Records in St. Louis, and we were on our way. Joe’s heart to take such a blind chance on a couple of young kids who love records cannot be overstated. He had years of history with the city and it’s record world, but we were still a little surprised when he said “Find us a location and we’ll take the best shot.” 7 months later Brian and I were turning the key at the corner of Chartres and Desire.


2. I imagine the culture is a little different there than St. Louis in terms of the used records you see coming through and what you’re selling regularly.  What are people generally selling and buying?  

One of the beautiful things about record culture is that each city/region/state/country has its own particular flavor profile. Record shoppers who travel tend to become record tourists, aware that they will probably see a slew of wax they’ve seen before and a healthy chunk they haven’t. However, we’re afforded a little more square footage by setting up in the neighborhood we have. This allows us to carry all the niche-y stuff the die-hards love, but also try to be all things to all people. We sell a lot of used wax spectrum-wide: soul, blues, classic rock, jazz, yadda.  We try to load up on as much regional soul, rhythm & blues, swamp-pop, and local stuff of historic/cultural/comedic import. On the niche end, we move a lot of the KBD and power-pop reissues that have cropped up the last 5 years (labels like Sing Sing, Last Laugh, Rerun and BDR Records, etc.). We see a lot of the record store standards, but we’re most excited when a collection walks in with regional recordings that are new to us.


3. Do good records regularly walk in the door or do you have to go out and find them?

A little of both. We advertise regionally which delivers a steady flow of phone calls within say a 100 mile radius. We’ll be open three years in September. By this point, odds are if you are talking about selling records in the city, someone knows someone who will suggest Euclid Records. We do our best to buy everything we can, stock is the name of the game, but being honest with folks about their collection and its value (or lack of…) has built a lot of good will/good karma. Word of mouth keeps ‘em coming in.

4. Do you have a record that will sell/people will inquire about every time you put it on?

When Rerun Records reissued the Manic Depressives/0:30 Second Flash we immediately sold the heck out of it. It’s an LP of recordings from 1980-81 by New Orleans punk scene-builder Larry the Punk. He published the Final Solution fanzine (copies are often available from the actual Larry the Punk on ebay for something like 18 bucks, all 9 issues!) among other endeavors, and these recordings flat git it. Our customers, as you’d expect, bend toward regional-obsessive, so a combination of “it’s actual local history” and “this dude rocks it like somebody sluggin’ your jaw, who is this?!” = a record that will sell.

It’s awfully easy to sell the classic New Orleans R&B, as well. Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Recording Studio has a strong stake as *the* crucible of American R&B. The records and performances are just undeniable. If you are reading this and curious about the universe of New Orleans (the city and the music both, a double helix), those boxsets are the thread to yank first. In selling records, conversation is always the most important thing. What people want and what they ask for aren’t necessarily the same. When customers ask for “New Orleans Soul” or “New Orleans Blues,” what they’re often trying to say, really, is “I want New Orleans R&B from 1945 through about 1965.” In 18 years worth of record retailin’, I’ve never seen so many different customers’ faces light up at the same songs, so start with Cosimo and you can’t go wrong.

5. What is the coolest/weirdest/most prized record that’s come into the store that you never thought you’d see?

Most prized is probably the test pressing for Big Star’s “Third/Sister Lovers” displayed on the wall on it’s own special, one-record-wide shelf. Coolest/weirdest are the same: Radio commercial on a 45 for Fat Albert’s Chicken outta Lafayette. Must be heard to be believed. There’s loads of oddities down here to discover, seems like every 2nd person was a recording musician who had something to say, often truly amazing even if it isn’t truly good music.

6. What’s the best thing about having a record store in New Orleans?  

We get to spend our days making people happy with music. I do love living in New Orleans, but it’s important to note that the record store experience is vital for the cultural life of any city. In a world of DMV’s, red tape, filling out forms, internet’s-down, fender benders, and much much worse, everybody needs a safe zone. That’s the record store, and it’s humbling that we get the opportunity to provide that happiness to our neighborhood, music community, and city.

 7. Has Dr. John ever come in?  What famous New Orleans-ers? have come through the shop?  

No Dr. John nor Mac Rebennack. We get plenty of “Huey Piano Smith’s my father” and “Lee Dorsey’s my Uncle!” A lot of oral history bounces off our record store walls, and we do our best to remember it, put the pieces together. The threads of music here are very tangled, it’s a fun puzzle. Every week some new connection is made and we giggle like schoolkids. Then someone comes along and does something incredible like cracking the Cosimo Code which no one even knew existed, and we get put back in our place. The Cosimo Code website is insane! Through numerical notations on every record made at Cosimo’s J&M, you can piece the order they were recorded. What musicians were in the studio on the same day they made each record, who was coming, who was going. Worth a google!


8. How’s the scene in NOLA these days?  Turn us on!

Punk-rock wise, Pelican Pow-Wow Records (full disclosure: Pelican Pow-Wow mastermind Sarah is an employee at Euclid Records) has put out some well-received singles. She just got the test press for the new Mac Blackout 45 today – it rips pretty great!  Mario Abney is an exceptional trumpet player on an upswing. Hurray for the Riff Raff on the “indie” side are doing some dates with The Alabama Shakes. They just announced their deal with Shakes’ label ATO Records (My Morning Jacket, Old Crow Medicine Show, etc) and have their first record out with them in 2014.  All our store employees (amateur and schooled musicians both) recently put a sludge-y thing together called Mollock’s Mollusk to back up our neighbor, friend, and metal super-fan Todd. He’d never been in a band, but the guy’s a natural! Eh, It’s the summer, life is slow.

9. What’s your favorite LITA release and why?

Not to be a total homer, but I still can’t put down that Country Funk 1969-1975 2xLP set. It’s New Orleans summer music through and through. Smooth, just enough funk backbone, but not so much ya gotta move a lot. I mean, it’s hot out! Tony Joe White is king, and that record is like hanging out at his palace. Hard to narrow, as keeping things like the Louvin Brothers, Wendy Rene (who last year played the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans, a mostly-annual 2-day festival that seeks to raise awareness of the architects of American music), Michael Hurley, Serge Gainsbourg, and Betty Davis all available to the record-buying public is really important work! The “Hypnotic Cajun / Obscure Zydeco” and Blind Blake Higgs collections you guys distributed for Moi J’Connais are getting a lot of in-store play.

10. When is the Grandpa’s Ghost reissue coming out?

For those who are not in the know, Grandpa’s Ghost out of Pocahontas, IL made the greatest acid/fuzz/prairie-psych/midwest/loner-rock record of the 90′s called “Il Baccio,” and don’t nobody know it! It’s a record that would really benefit from a vinyl listening experience. It’s on the slate of three artists we push on every mover-and-shaker we run into. 1) Beverly Kenney: jazz thrush nonpareil, suicided in 1960, career derailed by the rise of rock-and-roll. Some footage of Beverly finally surfaced on youtube last summer. She sings on the Hugh Hefner “Playboy TV” show. The back-and-forth ‘twixt her and Hef is delicious, her performances just wonderful. There are a handful of interesting stories about her drifting around the blogs. is a great place to start looking. 2) Jessie Hill: songwriter of “Ooh Poo Pa Doo” and many other nonsense git-down New Orleans R&B standards, he also put out one classic full-length of deep and funky soul, “Naturally” on Blue Thumb. Recorded in 1972 Los Angeles with a cadre of New Orleans ex-pat’s, it has aged like a fine box-wine. I will say it without hesitation: Jessie Hill’s “Naturally” is the record most deserving of careful reissue and full-on promotional blitz for 2014. 3) Grandpa’s Ghost “Il Baccio” on wax. 

Thanks so much, Light in the Attic!


Euclid Records
3401 Chartres St.
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 947-4348
Monday through Saturday 11AM to 7PM
Sunday 12AM to 6PM

Find Euclid Records on Facebook and Twitter!