The Mixtape Shop

Baby Huey - Living Legend

  • Baby Huey
    Living Legend
    • 12" Vinyl Record
    • Released: US
    • Label: Curtom
    • Catalog: CRS8007
    • Genre: Funk, Soul
    • LP Reissue

     

    James Thomas Ramsey, aka Baby Huey, introduced himself on stage better than anyone else could have dared: "I'm Big Baby Huey, and I'm 400 pounds of soul." In the 1960s, he and his band, the Babysitters, played everywhere from the clubs of New York to private parties in Paris, but Chicago was where they were best known-- and where they called home. The band would play any gig that would have them during that time, from tiny blues clubs to cruise ships. As a frontman, Baby Huey was talented, flamboyant, and enormous-- anywhere from 350-400 pounds, topped off by a giant afro. Unfortunately, Huey died of a heart attack at 26 in 1970, and never saw his debut album released the following year. Since then, Living Legend has remained an obscurity, though its songs have long been embraced by hip-hop, having been sampled by everyone from Kool Herc to Eric B and Rakim to Ghostface.

    This Water Records reissue keeps the album's original running order intact, and adds no extras. Living Legend is a spare effort by today's standards: eight songs, two of them covers-- one of which is among the record's three instrumentals. However, Living Legendshowed Huey and the Babysitters stretching themselves in ways few soul artists of the time did.