Renaldo Domino, Syl Johnson, Expo'76

Chicago Reader & Galactic Zoo present The Secret History of Chicago Music Concert Series

Renaldo Domino

Syl Johnson

Expo'76

Sat, December 8, 2012

9:00 pm

The Hideout

Chicago, IL

Renaldo Domino - (Set time: 11:00 PM)
Renaldo Domino
Named for a voice that was sweet like Domino sugar, Renaldo Domino is one of the unsung heroes of Chicago soul. Born Renaldo Jones in “The Valley,” around 49th & Forestville, Domino was already on the star track by the time he got his drivers license. He linked up with the Magnificents, and manager William “Sandy” Johnson, who would stay with him throughout his career, and had his first record deal before his high school graduation. Domino’s singles on the Mercury imprints Blue Rock and Smash did fine, but by major label standards he was a flop and was promptly dropped. Clearly representing paramount talent, Sandy had little trouble convincing Wright and Bedno to sign Domino and put the full weight of their influence behind him. Though the label credits Sandy as producer, Richard Pegue was hired on to infuse Domino’s street corner style with an uptown sensibility. He brought in the South Shore Commission and members of the Cheers and the Voices for the sessions that would become the double-sided masterpiece “Not Too Cool to Cry” b/w “Nevermore.” Domino’s vocals certainly live up to the promise of his stage name, but it’s Pegue’s left-of-center production, complete with pizzicatto violin, triangle, castanets and mini choir that make these songs arguably one of the most most beautiful soul singles to come out of Chicago. Domino issued two more dazzling 45s on the label, "Let Me Come Within" and "You Need To Be Loved On," with both sharing “I’m A Good Man” as the B-side. “Two Years Four Days” was the original flip for “You Need To Be Loved On,” but was mysteriously shelved and was unavailable until now. Despite steady radio play and constant performing, Domino failed to catch on outside Chicago. He was truly the breakout star Twinight was looking for, and their failure to propel his career was telling of the label’s fortunes.
Syl Johnson - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
Syl Johnson
“I wanna be somebody so bad, but you keep on putting your foot on me.”
To hear him tell it, Syl Johnson could have been as big as James Brown or Al Green. #1 on the charts, top billing on the marquee, Hall of Fame inductions, tearful tributes... all within his reach, and yet never in his hands. Something, someone, and sometimes—if you believe his lyrics—the sole of a shoe was holding him back. Was it because he’s black? Not likely, though his inability to crossover to the pop charts never did him any favors. “I made my opportunities, but I never got the breaks I should have gotten. I was a jack-of-all-trades. More soul than Marvin, more funk than James. If I’d gone pop, breaks I should have gotten. I was a jack-of-all-trades. More soul than Marvin, more funk than James. If I’d gone pop, you’d be talkin’ about me, not them. I rate right at the top, though I’ve been underrated all my life.”
Expo'76 - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
Expo'76
Expo’76 is made up of four lifers who don’t need to be in another band, but still can’t quite help themselves. Their weakness is your gain, and on any given night you’ll hear them gleefully careening from ‘70s AM radio ear candy into walloping road house beer guzzling dance tunes; they’ll chime their way through a New Wave nugget with the same exuberance that they slap around a swinging, jazzy blues number or a folk revival sing-along. Irrepressible, unstoppable, 100% unironic, and actually quite unbelievable at times, Expo’76 won’t take your requests, because they’re already playing them. But you can still shout them out.

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Venue Information:
The Hideout
1354 W. Wabansia Ave
Chicago, IL, 60642
http://www.hideoutchicago.com