Sweet Smell of Perfume

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Maurice McKinnies and the Champions

Wanda Davis said of her one-time bandleader, “Maurice was the one. As they say, he’s the man. He was just so natural with his talent.” A pioneer of...

Wanda Davis said of her one-time bandleader, “Maurice was the one. As they say, he’s the man. He was just so natural with his talent.” A pioneer of the North Minneapolis R&B scene, McKinnies led a barnburning band who acted as the de facto house band for some underground clubs in the Twin Cities. But like many African American musicians at the time, he struggled to breakthrough to the larger white audiences and eventually packed it all up in '72, headed to the Bay Area and pursued a career in the Blues until he died in 2018. These tunes represent McKinnies most accessible and ripping late-60s numbers.

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