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Jimi Hendrix: 10 Great Pre-Fame Tracks

Hear the guitar legend in his early sideman days alongside Little Richard, the Isley Brothers and others

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The Icemen, "(My Girl) She's A Fox" (1966)

On the cusp of his explosion with the Experience, Hendrix produced some of the best material of his early musical career during the mid-1966 sessions with the Squires' saxophone virtuoso Lonnie Youngblood. "Curtis started to lose interest in the band," Youngblood later explained, "and at the same time, I had a couple of job offers to be a bandleader. I knew I didn't want to play in his band forever, so I told Jimi and a couple of the guys in the band about it and they said, 'Let's go!' From there, we started playing a few gigs at the Blood Brothers. I was an enterprising guy and wanted to cut me some records."

Records were indeed cut at New York's Abtone Studio under the stewardship of local impresario John Brantley, who first cut his teeth in rock & roll alongside legendary disc jockey Alan Freed. Together they made electrifying discs like "Go Go Shoes"/"Go Go Place," "Soul Food (That's What I Like)"/"Goodbye Bessie Mae" and another single with vocalist Jimmy Norman, "You're Only Hurting Yourself"/"That Little Old Groove Maker." A highlight of their work is "(My Girl) She's A Fox," penned by the Poindexter Brothers – Richard and Robert – who later scored a hit with the Persuaders in 1971, "Thin Line Between Love and Hate." Bearing a title strikingly close to a future Hendrix standout, it was released under the name "The Icemen," an outfit including Hendrix, Youngblood, and the vocal duo Gino Armstrong and James Stokes. 

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