Mayer Hawthorne Picks a Six-Song Miami Playlist: Little Beaver, TK Records, and More!
Before he was a soul-powered party starter, Mayer Hawthorne was a hip-hop producer with a love of finding obscure records for his samples and DJ sets.
So leading up to his show on May 8 at Grand Central, we here at Crossfade asked Mr. Hawthorne to select six cuts that our readers absolutely need to hear.
Little Beaver's "Party Down"
Mayer Hawthorne says: "Anybody who lives in Florida should definitely check out Little Beaver. Anything of his. He's the illest thing to come out of Florida."
Willie Hale moved to Florida in the 1960s as a teenager and soon became a standout virtuoso session guitarist. He released several solo albums in the 1970s and "Party Down" was his biggest hit. He's since played on Joss Stone albums while also being sampled by Jay-Z and People Under the Stairs.
George McCrae's "Rock Your Baby"
Mayer Hawthorne says: "Anything from TK Records."
TK Records was a Miami record label that released some of the best singles of the early disco era. It's probably best remembered for being home to KC & The Sunshine Band. But Little Beaver's Willie Hale of Little Beaver played on many TK Records recordings too.
Miami's "Party Freaks"
Mayer Hawthorne says: "Coked-out fuzz disco shit."
Miami could be considered TK Records' equivalent to the Funk Brothers, serving as the house band for many of the label's recording sessions, including some for George McCrae and Little Beaver. They identified, like you perhaps, as party freaks.