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New 45 - Bull & The Matadors - The Funky Judge - Secret Stash Records

New 45 - Bull & The Matadors - The Funky Judge - Secret Stash Records magazine cover

Had the below press release passed on from label founder Eric Foss:

Secret Stash Records now taking pre-orders for 250 unit hand numbered limited edition Bull & The Matadors 7"

Hailing from East St. Louis, Illinois, Bull & the Matadors consisted of James Lafayette “Bull” Parks (born June 7, 1945), Milton Hardy, James Otis Love, and Robert Holmes.  In 1968 they made the trek 4 hours Northeast to work with the legendary Leaner family and their Toddlin’ Town label.  

At that time the zany NBC-TV comedy program Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In was at its ratings zenith. One of its most popular sketches was a hilarious courtroom vignette that revolved around the punchline “Here comes the judge.” The judge was portrayed by Pigmeat Markham, a chitlin’ circuit comic who had made the routine famous at the Apollo Theatre. Pigmeat cashed in on the craze by cutting a full-fledged soul dance number logically titled “Here Comes The Judge” for Chess. Not to be outdone, Motown’s Shorty Long donned his own white wig and belted a different song by the same title for the label’s Soul subsidiary. Both entered the R&B charts that June, and both peaked at #4.

Meanwhile, Toddlin’ Town writer/producer Andre Williams along with Leo Hutton cooked up their own Rowan & Martin tie-in, “The Funky Judge,” and got new Toddlin’ Town recruits, Bull & the Matadors to give it their own spin. 

Nationally distributed by Florence Greenberg’s Scepter Records in New York, “The Funky Judge” crashed the R&B hit parade at the end of August in 1968 and sailed all the way up to #9 R&B and #39 pop over the next three months, proving there was plenty of life in the judge routine yet.  Despite the song’s excellent showing for the scrappy little label, the Leaner family chose not to issue the sequel “Where Did The Judge Go,” recorded that December... until now that is! 

According to Secret Stash founder, Eric Foss, “Both of these tracks, including the unissued side, were supposed to be on our Toddlin’ Town compilation.  Sadly that project was permanently shelved over a songwriter/publisher dispute.  Thankfully, however,  these tracks were not part of that dispute and we are still able to get this unreleased tune pressed up for those who want it.”

Bull And The Matadors’ “Funky Judge” B/W “Where Did The Judge Go'' is available exclusively at secretstashrecords.com.  The hand numbered limited edition (only 250 units) 7” records will ship July 12, but preorders are now open. 

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