Funky River / The Devil Made Me Do It
This has to be THE rarest and most sought after funk 45 from the Islands. With only a small handful of original copies known in the collectors world, and changing hands for four figure sums, here at last is your chance to buy a fully licensed, remastered 45 reissue of this super heavy funk rarity.
Lord Sausage or Al Sinclair aka Alvin S Hodge Jr was on a small budget when he cut funky river back in 1973 on St Thomas, Virgin Isles. There was only enough money to pay the musicians who were hired in for the session and to pay for 1,000 copies to be pressed.
Alvin was given permission to use the Derbs label by a Crucian calypso friend of his, aptly named 'the Mighty Derby.The record sold out on St. Thomas but a copy was sent to WLIR-FM in New York.It wasn't very long they asked for another copy to be sent because they had worn it out due to the air play it received.After that unfortunately, Alvin just dismissed going any further with promoting the single. Basically saying the record was not sold anywhere else.
Later, out of the blue, someone sent him a copy of Billboard Magazine where it showed Funky River at number 3 , He was also sent a chart with the song being promoted by Tri - State Distributers at #13, only 12 slots away from the ROLLING STONES with their song "Angie". Before long he received a letter from Tri - State Distributors telling him that it would cost about $10,000 to promote.
In his own words Alvin stated "I didn't have the money nor anyone to advise me, therefore, I just dropped the matter." Here is an exert from the The Virgin Isles Daily News from Sept 25, 1973. "The nationwide popularity of Al Sinclair, a ST Thomas singer has been climbing recently. Sinclair, originally known as Alvin S. Hodge, Jnr has been hitting number 12 on the Disc Jockeys Popular Picks of the week with his record, funky river.
He was formerly known as Lord Sausage. Funky River, promoted by Tri-State Distributor and promotion company, hit number three 10 months ago in the Brite Star Pick Hit of the Week in Billboard magazine, passing Lynn Anderson, the Columbia label country and western singer and Jimmy Osmond, of the Osmond brothers. He was told recently that he may now be slated for the top 45 chart, which features such stars as Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye."