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Out Now - The California Playboys

In the early 1970s, the collective known as The California Playboys served as the backing band for R&B singer Lester Young on a series of 45 singles, before branching out to record a sole full-length LP under their own name, Trying To Become A Millionaire. The band consisted of primary arranger Robert Jacobs (guitar), Julian Vaught (second guitar and sax), Lenell Salone (guitar), Kelvin Dixon (vocals and drums), Jackie Rogers (trumpet), Kenney Dunaway (guitar) and William Smith (lead singer).

The instrumental precision of Trying To Become A Millionaire is evident immediately; the record is clearly the product of a group of seasoned session musicians. Incorporating elements of Latin music, pre-disco rhythms, bouncy funk bass lines and seamlessly clean guitar tones, the album’s six tracks call to mind the music of Donald Byrd, Roy Ayers and Bobbi Humphrey. The vocal delivery varies (along with the particular singer) from track to track, at times reminiscent of Bobby Womack, at others, of Donny Hathaway or even Marvin Gaye, but all provide a complimentary gravity and substance to the otherwise clean instrumentals. Lyrically, the album grapples with some of the biggest topics in soul music: love, love and love. As the songs themselves suggest, whether that love takes the form of monogamy, a “four letter word” or even a love of money is an entirely different matter.

While some individual tracks from the album have been released on soul compilations over the years, the full LP was never repressed or reissued since its initial pressing on the San Francisco-based label Loadstone. As a result, it has become incredibly sought-after in the ensuing years. Original copies, when they even appear, have beenknown to sell for $1,000 or more among collectors.

For the first time since 1976, Manufactured Recordings is proud to present this highly coveted soul treasure on vinyl and, for the first time ever, on CD - both at a much more affordable price than any seen in recent auctions. Pre-order information is coming soon.

Trying To Become A Millionaire

  1. Trying To Become A Millionaire

  2. Double Love

  3. She’s A Real Sweet Woman

  4. Just Say A Four Letter Word

  5. I’ve Got To Find Myself Another Girl

  6. Turned On For Good

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