LIVE FROM THE NIXON


The Delphonics: He Don’t Really Love You
Billy Stewart: Summertime
From Jimmy Bishop On Stage Live At the Nixon Theatre (Meka, 1967)

I don’t mean to sound immodest but this is a really f—ing cool album; a 1967 live album recorded at the now-demolished Nixon Theater in Philadelphia. Jimmy Bishop was both a local Philly radio DJ and helped run Arctic Records and this album cobbled together different performances at the Nixon showcasing emergent R&B talent.

Look at this line-up. I dare you to front on it. The fact that the Delfonics are billed as the Delphonics is kind of awesome, by itself. For the show, they performed their first hit, “He Didn’t Really Love You” which certain foreshadows some of the sweet soul classics they would pen in just a few years. Chicago’s Five Stairsteps (here, just billed as the Stairsteps) came with two, as did the Intruders. But it’s all about Billy Stewart here.

By this point, Stewart had already debuted his iconic cover of the Gershwin’s tune “Summertime” but for this gig, he took it to some whole next level, running his mic through some kind of echo effect. The resulting sound is one of most bugged out performances I’ve ever heard; it sounds practically psychedelic. This isn’t a cheap LP to come by and I basically traded out a heavy Ohio soul album just to have this one song. Every time I hear it, it just blows my mind.

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15 thoughts on “LIVE FROM THE NIXON”

  1. This Billy Stewart track is absolutely insane. 1967? This reminds me of DJ Shadow in places.

  2. Incrrrrrredible stuff! Thankyou! Time to put this up there with Jerry Lee at the Star Club, JB at the apollo, Sam Cooke at the Harlem Square, those Imperial-era O’Jays live recordings and that great, lost Booker T And The MGs Stax Volt live tape.

  3. Ah, so this is the album it’s originally from. This version used to get played on the old Mr. C Soul Spectacular show on WFMU, and it’s also included on a dodgy looking Stewart ‘Best of’ CD. 

  4. Greg, I was going to but it’s actually a pretty straight performance of what the recorded version sounds like. Didn’t feel like it added much done live. 

  5. The Delfonics song here is You’ve Been Untrue. Released in 1967 on Cameo Parkway it was the follow up single to He Don’t Really Love You. Both great records.

    The Billy Stewart is a-maz-ing! 

  6. Ah, you know, for someone reason, I didn’t think the lyrics synched with the title! Ha, looks like Bishop got his titles flipped. 

  7. No useful advice for you. It doesn’t turn up often as you might well imagine. Ebay? 

  8. is there anyway you can put audio files of the other billy stewart song, “I do love you,” and also the songs by the intruders. that would be awesome. I have never heard authentic live performances by these artists during their heydays.

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