Eccentric Soul: Smart's Palace


Smart’s Palace was anything but royal. Beyond the bloodlines of the Smart Brothers and their jester brother Leroy, the only kings and queens to be discovered there were JB and Aretha playing on the Wurlitzer. But between 1963 and 1975, the club held court for the entire Wichita, Kansas, soul scene. At its heart was Dick Smart: bassist, club and record store owner, DJ, promoter, and sole proprietor of the Solo label. Collected here for the first time are the story and songs that came out of this thriving, if not totally unknown scene. A decade in the making, leading soul historian Dante Carfagna has compiled 19 dizzying Wichita twisters—by the Smart Brothers Band, Theron & Darrell, Baby Neal, and more—covering the Solo, Kanwic, Vantage, and Lee-Mac labels, all fully annotated with a ransom of pictures, posters, and ephemera fit for a king.

Baby Neal & the Smart Brothers I’m Not Ashamed
Theron & Darrell I Was Made To Love Her
Fred Williams & the Jewels Tell Her
The Smart Brothers Barefoot Philly
Chocolate Snow A Day In The Life
Baby Neal & the Smart Brothers Lorraine
LT & the Soulful Dynamics Everyone Needs Someone
Theron & Darrell It’s Your Love
Hard Road If You Really Love Me
Chocolate Snow Inflation
Kenneth Carr Don't Hate Let’s Communicate
John Smart's Band Herbie’s Bag
Fred Williams & the Jewels The Dance Got Old
The Smart Brothers I’ve Got A Funny Feeling
LT & the Soulful Dynamics Crazy About You Baby
Tim Jacob Mercy Baby
Hard Road Dedicated To You
Chocolate Snow Let Me Be Your Christmas Toy
Chocolate Snow It’s Like Heaven