Cliff later began a
nationwide tour including television appearances, to
demonstrate the new dance craze that was sweeping the
country. One memorable television appearance was a local
concert in Harlem, NY called the ‘Harlem Cultural
Festival’ at Mt. Morris Park on Sunday, June 30, 1968.
Tony Lawrence, a local singer and late actress Ms.
Diana Sands, hosted the show that featured such
stars as the late Count Basie and his orchestra, the
late Nipsey Russell, the Lou Parks
Dancers, Robert Hooks
along with his son Kevin, the late Herbie Mann and
his combo (featuring young vibe player Roy Ayers) legendary radio
personality the late Eddie O’Jay
of WLIB-AM radio and Cliff Nobles.
The show ran Saturday
evenings on Channel 5, an affiliated TV station
in New York operated at the time by Metromedia
Television. In this segment, Cliff along with two lady dancers,
demonstrates the Horse while Eddie O’Jay
afterwards, introduces him singing the vocal version of his
B-side hit, ‘Love Is All Right’. Meanwhile, as Cliff
performs the song, a group of
kids from the
neighborhood began to jump on the stage and dance to
sound of the music. Some are doing the Horse, the
Shing-a-ling and the Boogaloo. There is one
particular young lady who receives the most attention by
performing the James Brown.
Phil La of Soul would
release 3 singles on Cliff. ‘Judge Baby, I’m
Back’ (my personal favorite) ‘Horse Fever’ and ‘
Switch It On’ (No 22 R&B the week ending March
1, 1969). To capitalize
on Cliff’s success,
Moonshot (owned by Nate McCalla who worked for
Cameo-Parkway) released ‘Little Claudie’ b/w
‘ Pony The Horse’ (inst). Cliff also recorded a rare
vocal version of ‘The Horse’ also a find in the
Phil La of Soul’s
‘The Horse’ and ‘Pony The Horse’ on Moonshot were both
release in late 1968.
The Fantastic Johnny
C. would jump on the bandwagon with
his dance masterpiece, ‘Hitch It To The
Horse’ (No 25 R&B the week ending Aug 17,1968).
Cliff would eventually
leave Phi La of Soul and sign with Roulette Records
in 1973 and record one single, ‘Feeling Of
Loneliness’ (No 42 R&B June 1973). Cliff made his last
television appearance on a local syndicated show
entitled ‘Soul Alive’ hosted by late radio
personality, Jerry Bledsoe, broadcasted in
New York’s affiliated
station Channel 11 in 1975.
Cliff Nobles is one of
those underrated artists who’s unfortunate musical
fate overshadowed his great talent. Regardless of his
fate, he shouldn’t be forgotten for his contribution in
bringing one of the funkiest instrumental tunes of music
(Chancellor of Soul)
Materials should not
be used or altered without
of the author, Mike Boone,
Chancellor of Soul.