SONG OF THE DAY General Crook – What Time It Is (Pt 1)

PrimaryBorn in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, General Crook (as he was known) sounds like a pretty cool stage name, but actually wasn’t too far of his real name: General Columbus Crook! Active in the very late 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s, Crook was a soul musician and producer who issued several EP’s and 45’s in his time, but only one album!

He was signed to Capitol Records in 1969 and issued his debut single, which was a rendition of Earth, Wind and Fire’s, In the Warmth of My Arms.  This was followed by When Love Leaves You Crying, but neither of those 45’s sold well and Capital subsequently dropped him shortly after.

Later signed to Chicago soul label, Down to Earth Records, he achieved far more success with this label and found that several of his singles were reaching good places in the US Billboard R&B Chart. Today’s song were one of those successes and peaked at #31 in 1971. What Time It Is was issued in two parts, covering A/B sides of the 45 (the B-side you can hear here, but I could only find this crackly version).

A-281469-1125056061The only album he ever put out was a self-titled offering, which he recorded with New York’s Wand Records in 1974, but that was it for albums. Shortly after, he spent less time making music and more time song-writing and producing, which resulted in him working with the likes of Syl Johnson and Willie Clayton!

What Time It Is is a smooth funk groove with a nice stomping rhythm and a punchy horn section. It’s been sampled a few times over the years, but I guess a soulful tune like this couldn’t be overlooked and artists such as Aceyalone, Your Old Droog, and Kid Capri have all featured it! Enjoy! 

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