23. Do You Like Good Music, That Sweet Soul Music

As 1968 began, The Poe Kat was at a crossroads. He was burned out on performing, producing, managing and working with musicians in any way, shape or form. But he did want to remain in "the show business", as he called it.

After a bit of pondering, The Poe Kat felt there was an opening in the "tip sheet" business. Tip sheets basically reported what radio stations were playing and also listed new releases. Bill Gavin's Gavin Report in San Francisco was a prominent tip sheet - one of only a couple at the time - and my dad noticed they were a little light on reporting R&B, or Soul Music. So The Poe Kat decided to publish a tip sheet devoted exclusively to Soul Music. He hired DeDe Dabney, respected Music Director of WDAS in Philadelphia, as Editor.

The GeorgetownerThe Poe Kat's good friend Dave Roffman, long time Publisher (now Editor) of The Georgetowner newspaper, lent a hand with many of the layout aspects of the new publication. At the time, The Georgetowner's offices were in the same building and just down the hall from my dad's.

Soul Music Survey very quickly took off and had widespread industry support. One of the most amazing results of starting Soul Music Survey was that all of the record labels put the new magazine on their mailing lists. All of a sudden I was getting virtually every new single and almost every new album made at the time, after my dad had finished with them, of course. I couldn't believe my incredible good fortune! It was a teenager's dream come true.

But it was 1968. Just as Soul Music Survey got established, Martin Luther King was assassinated. Washington, D. C. erupted in flames just blocks from the Soul Music Survey offices. The worst was yet to come. As the long hot Summer of 1968 progressed, racial tensions flared everywhere and my dad came under the scrutiny of the Black "Mafia". All across the country, white men that exploited Black music for profit were targeted. The Black "Mafia" came to my dad's office in an effort to intimidate him. The deal was that he was to pay them $25,000.00 a week for protection, or he would be out of business. To get their point across, they "de-pantsed" him - or pulled his pants down on the spot. As mob intimidation goes, it was pretty painless, but it was very humiliating. He decided to let the mob put him out of business and DeDe Dabney took Soul Music Survey to New York City. It ceased publication in less than 6 months.

The Poe Kat got off very lucky compared to what shortly awaited Mitch Corday. Mitch was getting pretty big bucks for producing artists, but one day he crossed the wrong people. When Mitch failed to deliver on a mob related project (who knows which kind of mob), he was "kneecapped" - a couple of brutes broke his legs with tire irons. Mitch was in the hospital for quite some time, scared to death that his attackers would come after him while he was recovering. When he did recover, he left the area immediately, never to return. Every once in a while, Mitch would call me or my dad over the following years. He would always ask if anyone was trying to find him. For our own sakes, we didn't want to know where he was, and gratefully no one ever asked us. After almost 35 years of looking over his shoulder, Mitch died in 2003...