60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, March 25, 2010 18:15:42
From what must be one of the more solid 60s soul LPs, and certainly The Platters best offering in that veing, comes this great midtempo number. The entire LP is in the same style and will only set you back £10 or so for an orginal copy, so if you don´t already have it make sure to snap it up the next time you see it. Enjoy!"I Can´t Get Used To Sharing You"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Fri, March 19, 2010 19:10:36
Not everyone´s cup of tea, but personally I love this type of kitschy soul. Elsewhere on these pages you´ll find Rayford Tucker´s "If You Need More Time (Time Will Tell", which is in a similar poppy vein, and also utterly wonderful. I believe this to be Kenneth Gamble (label owner and famous Philly songwriter) himself recording under a different name. Love it or loathe it, here it is. Enjoy!"You´re Taking Too Long"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Fri, March 19, 2010 18:56:27
An Ohio recording ( I believe), again from the late 60s by the sound of it. Judging by what little info we can gather from the label, Roy Williams was the groups most prominent person, as he is not only credited individually but also has writing credits. A great little dancer that seems to have grown in popularity over the last five years or so. Enjoy!"You Got What I Want"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Fri, March 19, 2010 18:33:36
Another late 60 or early 70s recording. Hard to date these type of transitional records as so much was happening with recording and production techniques in soul music between, say, 1968-72. Whatever the date of release, the music is timeless and I have to thank Peter Wiman, co-promoter of some great nights in Stockholm Sweden, for basically giving me this, thanks mate!
"The Beginning Of My Life"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Fri, March 19, 2010 18:28:08
Similarly to Emanuel Laskey, Gene Chandler was a big local artist in the 60s but some 100 miles further west, in Chicago to be exact. However Chandler´s fate turned out to be more fortunate, at least music business wise, as he had several top 40 entries and and also a couple of national hits. This is not one of them though, cut before he hit the big time this is a perfect example of the type of uptempo joyful soul that the windy city locals produced en masse in the mid 60s. Enjoy!"Such A Pretty Thing"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Fri, March 19, 2010 18:20:30
One of my favourite northern soul records, from one of my favourite northern soul artists. A veritable star on the northern sky (over northern England that is) Laskey sadly never broke out of local, or regional at best, sales. But he did have a long and rather prolific career cutting great material for a number of great detroit labels in the 1960 - 70s. I´m sure we´ll return to mr. Laskey soon again on these pages.
Enjoy!"I´m A Peace Loving Man"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, March 11, 2010 18:05:14
Still going strong, Bobby Boyd started his career as a recording artist with this mid sixties release on the N.Y. based Bang label, a subsidary of United Artists. Moving to New York after he had finished his education in Augusta Georgia to pursue his love of music, Boyd soon found himself booked in nightclubs to perform as well as a striking a deal with United Artists. He has since stayed in the business and toured all over the world, including long stints in Europe. To find out more about what Bobby boyd is doing today visit his website: http://www.bobbyboyd.com Enjoy!"Whatcha´Gonna Do About It"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, March 11, 2010 17:39:48
Syl Johnson is perhaps most known for his work with legendary producer Willie Mitchell on Hi records, but he did also cut some excellent material for smaller labels like Twilight records (Is It Because I´m Black) and also this one for Zachron records in 1966. He started out in the mid 50s as a blues guitarist before signing with Federal records ( a subsidary of King records in Cincinatti which was a big blues label at the time) and has since continued performing and recording right up to present day. Enjoy!"Try Me"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, March 11, 2010 17:29:04
James Jay Barnes, although being a prolific artist during the midsixties up to the early seventies, never got the recognition he deserved. At least not in the U.S. On the other side of the Atlantic it is quite another story though ,where he is particulary in the U.K. somewhat of a cult figure for soul fans. With plenty of material to choose from, and within a range of different styles from northern soul to deep soul ballads, I´ve opted for this 1969 crossover gem released on the Memphis based Volt label. Barnes worked mainly out of his native Detroit but found himself releasing records on a host of different labels through his connection with Don Davis. Enjoy!"Snowflakes"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, March 09, 2010 19:54:07
Maybe not as rare or expensive as his seminal northern soul classic "Baby Can´t You see" on the same label, but this is a great record is own right, and can be found for a fraction of what you´d have to shell out for "Baby"... Sounding like a mid-sixties recording to me this has all the ingredients to become a northern favourite in its own right. Co-Written and produced by the label owner Mr. Wiggles (which has to be an alias I suppose). Enjoy!
60s SoulPosted by Martin Sun, March 07, 2010 15:06:46
The T.S.U. Toronadoes (or sometimes Tornadoes) were formed at Texan Southern University by students Cal Thomas and his brother Will Thomas, Jerry Jenkins, Dwight Burns, Robert Sanders, Darrel Busby, Clarence Harper, Leroy Lewis and Nelson Mills. The band soon got gigs backing up local artists at their shows, such as Archie Bell and The Drells. Local radioman and owner of the Ovide label in Houston, Skipper Lee Frazier, signed them to his label where they both recorded and served as in-house studio musicians. Although somewhat successful locally, the group never got a big national hit, but got enough local attention on some of their releases, like this one, to get their material picked up by a major label for release. The group dispanded in the early 70s after having released some ten singles or so. Enjoy!
"I Still Love You"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Sun, March 07, 2010 14:48:30
The Four Sonics recorded two singles for the short lived Sport label in Detroit. The label was only active for about a year but in that short period of time managed to release eleven singles, of which many have become very collectable on the northern soul scene. The Four Sonics evolved out of a group called The Velvet Angels and consisted of Jay Johnson, Bill Frazier, Steve Gaston and Eddie Daniels. The group also cut material for thye Sepia, Trible B and JMC labels, sometimes under the name of Four Sonics + 1. Enjoy!
"Easier Said Than Done"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, February 18, 2010 13:37:29
Written and arranged by Del-Val founder and owner Joe Stevenson, who started the label in 1965, this frantic number was one of first releases on his new Philadelphia enterprise. Gene Woodbury, as I´m sure you can hear by listening to the tune, was barely out of junior high school when he recorded this, sounding almost like a girl. Woodbury had three releases on Del-Val records, but none seemed to do much for him at the time. Now it is a different situagtion though, and his and others releases on the Del-Val imprint are fetching high sums on the collectors market. Enjoy!"That´s Not Half Bad"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, February 15, 2010 21:22:04
Lead singer Johnny Matthews and his Expressions released three singles on the Josie label between 1965-66 before, from the looks of it, fading into obscurity. Somewhere on the net I know I´ve read that the lead singer was actually one Johnny Wyatt, but I doubt that it´s true because he (Wyatt) was recording for other labels at the same time as this came out in 1966. Whatever the case may be, this is a fine midtempo almost sweet soul track. Enjoy!
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, February 11, 2010 17:49:07
Perhaps more known as The Soul Survivors, brothers Charles & Richard Ingui together with Kenny Jerimiah, Chuck Trois, Paul Venturini and Joseph Forgeon formed The Dedications in the early 60s and cut this fine blue-eyed effort for the New York based Bell records in 1962 or ´63. It was a hit locally and got plenty of airtime on N.Y. radio stations. The group then changed their name to Soul Survivors and had a massive hit in 1967 with "Expressway To Your Heart" an early collaboration with budding songwriting/producing duo Gamble & Huff from Philadelphia. The group is still active, which is a pleasant surprise. Here is their very their very first effort, enjoy!"I Ain´t A Bit Sorry"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Wed, February 10, 2010 15:29:29
The Vibrations formed in 1963 when former members of the RnB group The Jayhawks Carlton Fischer,David Govan and James Johnson teamed up with Ricky Owens & Donald Bradley. Even though the group was based in Los Angeles they released a lot of their material on Chicago based labels, particulary the Okeh label which they stayed with between ´64-68, with no less than 13 singles being released during that time. The group had previously cut two singles for the Atlantic label without any success but had some moderate hits during the mid 60s with releases like "Sloop Dance" and " Misty". Todays track is the B-side of their 1965 release "Misty". Enjoy!"Finding Out The Hard Way"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Sat, February 06, 2010 13:35:16
Another of James Brown´s proteges, Marva Whitney sang with Brown´s revue (together with fellow funk divas Lynn Collins and Vicki Anderson) from the mid 60s and onwards as well as recording and performing as a solo artist as well. Orginally from Kansas City, Whitney began singing at just three with a family based gospel group called The Manning Gospel Singers. Although she never got a real breakthrough her work has been much sampled by hip-hop artists over the years. This is the B-side to her first single for the Cincinatti based King label "It´s My Thing", a remake of the Isleys Brothers track. It was released in 1969 and proved to be one of the most commercially successful singles for Whitney, reaching the top 20 in RnB chart. Connie Austin also recorded a terrific version of "Ball Of Fire" for the same label, set at a slightly lower pace. Enjoy!
"Ball Of Fire"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, February 04, 2010 22:35:59
Another early 60s outing today. Bobby Byrd was sadly very underrated as an artist in his own right because, of course, the immense shadow that the "Godfather of Soul" James Brown cast over him. Always one to be modest, Byrd seldom complained about this relationship, at least not in public. This is one of Byrd´s first solo records and really shows off his vocal abilities in a fine way. Enjoy!"Time Will Make A Change"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Wed, February 03, 2010 22:04:03
Just a short note today, as the story behind Sonny Til & The Orioles is well documented elsewere on the web. This is the third incarnation of the group I believe, the first one formed in the late 40s and was one of the most influential RnB / DooWop groups of its time, even starting the whole "bird" trend with groups, The Ravens, The Flamingos etc. Must be early to mid 60s for this release as The Orioles only stayed with CP Parker for a short period of time. Til moved on to record as solo artist, amongst other his great crossover soul classic "Tears & Misery". Enjoy!"Hey! Little Woman"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, February 02, 2010 20:33:30
Set at a pleasent midetempo pace is The Astors 1965 waxing "Candy". Consisting of lead singer Curtis Johnson, Sam Byrnes, Ed Stanbeck and Rich Harris the group was one of the first to record for the newly found Stax/Satellite set-up in the early 60s, making their debut as The Chips in 1961 with "You Make Me Feel So Good" on the Satellite label (who had to change its name to Stax because their was already another label with that name). The Astors recordings came sporadically, they had one in 61, then another one in 63 and after that two releases in ´65 before releasing their fifth and final single in 1967. Enjoy!"Candy"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, February 01, 2010 22:24:58
Reuben Bell, who sadly died a few years ago, was a talented singer from Shreveport Louisiana. Born in 1945 Bell released his first 45 on the local Murco label in ´67 called "It´s Not That Easy". He then recorded this which came out almost at the same time on both the Murco and Silver Fox labels. Silver Fox was run by Shelby Singleton, one of the main men of southern soul in the 60s. Bell continued to release material on a myriad of labels, he had his biggest it on the King subsidary Deluxe in 1972 with "I Hear You KNocking (It´s Too Late)". Bell was also a talented writer and wrote for fellow southern soul singers like Bobby "Blue" Bland. He is also one of the writers to this wonderful skippy thing which saw the light of day in 1969, enjoy!"Action Speaks Louder Than Words"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Fri, January 29, 2010 16:09:26
The Incredibles released a series of singles, and even an album, on Audio Arts records in the mid 60s. The original group consisted of lead singer Cal Waymon, who also wrote this, Carl Gilbert, Alda Denise Edwards and Jean Smith. Later on, in 1968, Gilbert & Smith left the group and was replaced by Don Rae Sampson, who had previously recorded for E records as a solo artist "Standing Here Crying" was released no less than three times, twice on Audio Arts in 1967 and 69 and also on Tetragrammon in ´69. The Incredibles are a well known act to many northern soul fans because of their fabulous uptempo sides like " There´s Nothing Else To Say" or " Miss Treatment" but today we focus on this slower paced little gem, enjoy!
"Standing Here Crying"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, January 28, 2010 18:10:46
This guy never did a duff record... On a Chicago label that was set up almost specifically for Fletcher, this particular track seems to be a Detroit job through and through. Written by Ronnie McNeir and Don Mancha (who also produced it) and arranged by Mike Terry, it is like a veritable who´s who of Detroit soul on the label. Not his best seller, but if you like (as I do) your soul uptempo and filled with angst, you will absolutely love this (as I do). Enjoy!
"What Good Am I Without You"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, January 28, 2010 17:59:23
This group did not have anyone named Teddy in it, which I suppose you might be forgiven for assuming with such a name. But no, the group consisted of Fred Cohen who was lead singer and also songwriter on this together with Larry Williams, John Williams, Sam Connors and Ben Hart. All members had been involved with other groups before joining The Twilights and the Swan label. Swan records was based in Philadelphia and was active between 1957 - 68, it was co-owned by Bernie Binnick and Tommy Mammarella, and supposedly the famous tv-character Dick Clark had invested in it as well. Later on, sometime after 1962 I guess which was when this was released and it is not on this record, the Swan label stamped all labels with " Don´t Drop Out" as a message to kids to stay in school. A nice gesture and a nice track, enjoy!
"I´m Just Your Clown"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Wed, January 27, 2010 22:20:42
A mysterious figure on the Chicago soul scene and a one time member of the group The Steelers (who had a big hit with "Get It From The Bottom" on Date records in 1969) Wallace recorded as a solo artist on a host of the city´s labels, including all of Brunswick´s subsidiaries (BRC, Dakar & Bashie) as well as other locals like Renee, Innovation II and Now Sound, but never on Brunswick itself. Even though Wallace and his often used producer Wille Henderson never broke any sales records, the quality is consistently high, my pick today is his 1969 debut on Bashie records, enjoy!
"We´re Not Happy"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Wed, January 27, 2010 21:50:13
Born Camille Bob in Arnaudville LA in 1937, Little Bob traded his horse for a drumkit and after that there was no stopping him. He formed his own band in the late 50s after having served as a drummer for local act Good Rockin´ Bob for a while. Little Bob & The Lollipops recorded for several Louisiana labels during the 60s and early 70s and even released a full length album on Carol Rachou´s La Louisianne label on the strength of the title track "Nobody But You" which did well on the singles chart locally in 1965. A pleasant surprise to the story is that both Little Bob and the La Louisianne label are still active today, more than 50 years later, a very rare feat indeed. This is problably my favourite track, a cover version of Billy Bland´s "My Hearts On Fire" on Old Town, which Bob manages to improve even though the original is an excellent track in its own right, enjoy!
"My Hearts On Fire"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, January 26, 2010 18:58:51
Tucked away on the B-side of a local Chicago hit "Uh! Uh! Boy, That´s A No No" is this wondeful atmosperic 1969 crossover dancer. Love worked as a schoolteacher in Chicago and recorded most of the material that was released on the Aquarius label which was set up by Ricardo Williams, a veteran on the music scene and owner of several labels like Criss-Cross and Zodiac records. Candace Love also recorded for another of Williams´ labels, Shock, but then under the name "Woman". However, this is to my knowledge her first and most successful 45. Sadly Love has passed ,but she left a legacy of great music to be cherished forever. Enjoy!"Wonderful Night"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, January 26, 2010 18:16:29
We return to the New Jersey group The Ad Libs for their wonderful 1968 outing "Giving Up". Very different from their previous addition to this blog "Johnny My Boy", the group shows off their versatility in dealing with both uptempo numbers as well as doom-laden ballads as this one. On this particular record the group teamed up with producing/arranging maestro Van McCoy who also wrote the song which leads to high expectations, but no-one needs to feel disappointed. One of my favourite deep soul tracks of all time, enjoy!"Giving Up"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, January 26, 2010 18:08:27
Lester Johnson, David Richardson and Clifton Knight all co-wrote this song (as well as the other side on this record "My Heart Cries"), this was their second release on the label, they made their debut a year earlier in 1964 with the wonderful "Heart Full Of Love". The group continued to record for various labels throughout the late 60s, releasing material on labels like Loma, Ciray, Double-Shot, Rampart and Stardom. They also recorded as The Soul Gents on Stardom and the small Fros-Ray label. Enjoy!"It´s That Love Of Mine"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, January 26, 2010 17:58:12
A nice mixture between RnB and Soul with some seductive horn arrangements that leads the song forward. Written by Marrs himself and released in 1966 the B-side is more of the same. Enjoy!"Love Message Pt. 1"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, January 21, 2010 22:17:08
From 1962 and the Detroit based Lupine records comes this wonderful
early soul record. Robert West, who owned the label and ran it all the
way up until 1980 ( it was founded in 1960), was an artist in his own
right and had several records under his belt on various local labels.
Bobby Williams released a few records during the 60s and also fronted
the group Bobby Williams & The Mar-Kings. Enjoy!
Tell It To My Face
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, January 12, 2010 18:09:36
Aaron Schroeder, Art Talmadge & Harold Daily ran the Musicor label together out of New York City together during the mid sixties, although Talmadge eventually gained control over the label himself a few years later. Musicor´s main stars were singers Gene Pitney and Country star George Jones. However, the label issued together with its subsidary Dynamo a fair share of soul records as well. This particular one came out in 1966 and is produced by none other than Van McCoy himself. Who Billy T. Soul was is still clouded in mystery, but there are some suggestions that he is one Ken Williams (co-songwriter on this), but that´s just speculation. Enjoy!"Call On Billy"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Fri, January 08, 2010 15:37:40
Donald McPherson, Antonio Silvester and Luther Simmons Jnr. first recorded as The Poets on Leiber & Stoller´s New York based Red Bird label. The group formed in Harlem in 1964, and their first release, the excellent "I´m Stuck On You", came out the year after. They then changed their name to The Insiders, problably because there was another group called The Poets, who recorded for the Symbol label about the same time. This is their second release on the RCA label, and both sides are written by the group members themselves. It came out in 1967 and was also the last record they put out before changing their name yet again, this time more permanantly to The Main Ingredient. With the name change came more success but also tragedy as the lead singer, Donald McPherson, died of leukemia in 1971. He was replaced by Cuba Gooding, who had sung back-up for the group up until then. The Main Ingredient with Gooding as their lead singer enjoyed several hits during the early 70s, like " Everybody Plays The Fool" and " I Just Don´t Want To Be Lonely".
"If You Had A Heart"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, January 07, 2010 15:56:10
Soultreats! first addition of 2010 and I´ll start with a personal favourite of mine.
Originally from New York, Bobby Wilson seems to have recorded most of his material out of Dayton Ohio, and then had it released on various labels. His first record is on the Memphis based Volt label, a subsidary of Stax records. He wrote both of the songs on this 1967 release, the official A-side being a ballad called "Let Me Down Slow". Wilson had subsequent releases on both the Chain and Buddah labels in the 70s, and had a full album out on Buddah in 1975 called "Let Me Be Your Rainbow" which contains some great material. Still active today, you can seek out his more contemporary material on cdbaby.com
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, December 21, 2009 18:30:37
Nick-named Sunny as a child by his grandmother because of his joyous outlook on life, Ridell recorded this, his first release, sometime during the early to mid sixties. The White Cliffs label also had Little Richard and Fats Domino in their roster and this could have been why Ridell only ever had one release on the label. A Native of Crystal Springs Mississippi ( where he still resides) Sunny Ridell has worked extensively as a blues artist both in the U.S.and overseas as part of other artisst revues, like B.B. King. He was only sixteen when he recorded this track, which is very impressive indeed when you listen to his alreaady mature voice. Ridell has also been active as an actor starring in among others "Leadbelly" and "Outlaw Blues". His latest efforts include "Hey Osama", a tongue-in-cheek kind of song about the no. 1 guy on the White House hitlist. Enjoy!"Come Out In My World"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, December 17, 2009 11:25:22
The very first record released by the group which would eventually have major success in the 70s on labels like Philadelphia International and The Sound Of Philadelphia. This came out in 1961 on New York based Apollo records and was also, according to some discographies, released on the Daco label but I have never seen a copy of that. The original line-up featured Eddie Levert on lead, Walter Williams, William Powell, Bobby Massey and Bill Isles, but the group had gone through several changes before the eventually hit the charts big time with classics like "Backstabbers" and "Love Train" in the 70s. Very raw compared to their later material this one of my favourite early soul records. Enjoy!"Miracles"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, December 15, 2009 19:37:23
Little Charles, or Charles "Wigg" Walker, is originally from Nashville Tennessee but recorded most of material during the 60s in New York. Nicknamed "Wigg" by his mother because his was born with a full set of hair (on his head), he soon started venturing into the music buisness. He had his first record out in 1959 on the local Tenessee label Champion. Today´s addition is from 1966 and was his next release, by which time he had moved to New York and got his band, The Sidewinders, together. A popular live act in the N.Y. area, Little Charles & The Sidewinders had a chance to record with the local Decca label. Although the records (they had four singles out on Decca between 1966-68) gained little more than regional play, it was enough to keep a steady flow of work for the group. Further releases came on the Drum, Botanic and Red Sands labels but again to little commercial avail. Little Charles and his Sidewinders parted ways in the early 70s but he is still active today, as one of the few original soulmen still out there, and has recently released a new CD which you can find on cdbaby.com
Enjoy!"It´s A Heartache"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, December 10, 2009 18:39:38
A jack of many trades (actor, singer, songwriter, arranger, producer and minister) Barnum has first and foremost been a veritable giant working in the (music) studio. Though an occasional artist, as on this great 1962 single, Barnum soon decided to put his own performing career on hold to focus more on the increasing amount of arranging and producing that he was doing. With an impressive span in style, he has worked with Frank Sinatra as well as Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, Barnum has had a lifelong career in music, stetching from the early fifties to present day. Enjoy!
"It Hurts Too Much To Cry"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, December 10, 2009 18:26:02
The Zodiacs, with lead singer and group leader Maurice
Williams, is probably only known to most people vecause of their massive 1960
hit “Stay”, which reached #1 on the charts way back when, and was also given a
new lease on life because of its inclusion in “Dirty Dancing” some 25 years
later. But however good that record may be, there was more to the Zodicas than
just one record. The group recorded from the late 50s into the early seventies,
alternating their line-up several times but Williams always stayed at the helm.
With such a vast catalogue of recordnings from an RnB group, your bound to
eventually come up with some unknown goodies. This was released on Marshall
Seahorn´s Deesu label which was based in New Orleans
in 1968 and is also written by one of the main players behind New Orleans soul, Allen Toussaint. Enjoy!
"Don´t Ever Leave Me"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, December 10, 2009 18:02:01
I know that
the additions to Soultreats! has been a little haphazard lately, but by the
end of this week it should be back to business as usual with one track each day
(except on weekends) and not two or three one day and then none the next. That
said, today there is some great stuff added, here we go!
Local Philadelphia radioman
Jimmy Bishop set up his Arctic label in 1964 and one of its first acts were The
Volcanoes. John Hart, Stanley Wade, Steve Kelly, Harold Wade,
Gene Jones and Earl Young had their first 45 out on the label the same year
with their “Baby” bw “Make Your Move”. The group released a total of nine
singles on three different labels, six of them were on Arctic,
two on the Harthon label and a sole effort on Virtue records, and they all
originated from Philly. Actually, technically the group only had eight
releases, because the last record issued (on Virtue) credited to The Volcanos
was in fact Gene Jones (Gene Faith) using the groups name, there were no other
original members from the group on that. This is their second release on Arctic from 1965 and also their biggest seller, which
managed to reach a respectable #33 position on the RnB charts. They had some
equally good, albeit not as commercially successful releases later on as well,
like “Help Wanted” and “It´s Against The Laws Of Love”. Eventually though, the group did get their share of monetary reward, or at least parts of the group did, as they in the 70s mutaded into The Trammps of "Disco Inferno" fame. Enjoy!
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, December 08, 2009 17:35:18
At one time the driver for RnB stars like B.B. King and Roscoe Gordon, Bobby "Blue" Bland soon had made his own mark on the charts, at least on those connected to the black community in the U.S. Never really achieving crossover success, meaning reaching the white audiences, he did not receive the same media attention as those black bluesmen who did, like King or Muddy Waters. But Bland was in fact highly succesful both as a performer and as a recording artist, although within the black markets. Beginning his career in Memphis in the late fifties Bland has had, and still has, a remarkably stable and enduring career. He has been inducted in both the Blues Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has a host of great material to explore. Enjoy!"I Ain´t Myself Anymore"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, December 08, 2009 17:13:17
This New Jersey based group formed in 1964 and released their biggest hit "The Boy From New York City" the same year on the Leiber & Stoller owned Blue Cat records. The Ad Libs grew out of another group called The Creators, who were discovered by jazz musician John T. Taylor (who also wrote this track) in the early sixties. The Creators had released two records to little avail and soon the group decided to call it quits. But members Hugh Harris, Danny Austin and David Allen Watt Jr. kept going and soon added two new members, Mary Ann Thomas and Norman Donegan, and formed The Ad Libs. Ann Thomas and Hugh Harris switched leads and it is Thomas who sings on their successful debut on the New York based label which gave them a Top Ten hit on the Pop charts in ´64. This would prove to be highest entry for the group who struggled to get another hit that big for the rest of their careers. However, even if not as commercially potent, they released a lot of nice product along the way. This 1966 outing being one of my particular favourites. Enjoy!"Johnny My Boy"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, December 07, 2009 22:15:14
If it is one thing that you seldom see on the rare soul scene it is a consistent artist or group. The whole northern soul scene is more often than not based on one (none) hit wonders who released their record and then promptly disappeared. Not so with Darrow Fletcher though. He recorded and released a wealth of great material from the mid sixties until the late seventies although none of hit managed to give him a well earned break in showbiz. Born in 1951 in Chicago, Fletcher made his debut on the local Groovy label with "The Pain Gets A Little Deeper" when he was just 14 years old. Another trio of 45s on the same label followed before he switched to the Jacklyn label, which was set up specifically for him by his stepdad Johnny Haygood. This being perhaps my personal favourite. From 1966 ( a year when Fletcher had no less than five singles out on two different labels) comes this great swaying dancer. Enjoy!
"What Have I Got Now"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, December 01, 2009 20:32:22
I know little of this record apart from what is stated on the label. My good friend Samuel Hugosson gave me the heads up on this one and I soon got a copy as it isn´t particulary hard to find. Maybe that is why it hasn´t received more plays on the rare soul scene is Sweden, because music wise it is everything that you would want from a northern soul record. Written and produced by Frazier himself, this guitar led dancer is two minutes of great uptempo soul music and the flip side is quite a nice funk track to boot as well, so make sure you get a copy whilst they are still available. Enjoy!"Baby You Satisfy Me"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, November 30, 2009 20:07:40
Staying in the south of the U.S. for this weeks first record, this harmonic dancer comes from one of Shelby Singleton´s many labels. Clarence Murray released a few records on the SSS label in the late 1960s, and so did his brother Mickey Murray who had a small hit with "Shout Bamalama" in 1967. Success eluded Clarence though, and to my knowledge he quit the buisness soon after his stint with the Louisiana label was over. Shelby Singleton was a pivotal figure in both Soul, RnB and Rock music and sadly passed on October 9th this year, but his legacy lives on through records like this. Enjoy!
"Baby, You Got It"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Fri, November 27, 2009 17:07:35
We´ll round up this week´s Soultreats! with another record from the New Orleans based Minit label. Born in Pensacola Florida in 1931, Benny Spellman entered the music industry by chance after he had offered Huey "Piano" Smith and his band a ride when their car broke down in 1959. He was originally a promising football player who earned himself a scholarship to the Southern University in Baton Rouge. However, faith intervened and Spellman was soon added to the fledgling Minit set up where he released his first single in 1960. His biggest hit came the year after with "Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette) & "Fortune Teller" which charted at number 80 on the Hot 100 chart and as hight as # 28 on the Black singles chart and it stayed on the charts for six weeks. "Fortune Teller" was also covered by The Rolling Stones as well as several others. Benny Spellman stayed in the music buisness for most part of the 60s, and had another small hit with "Word Games" on Atlantic records in 1965, before he left the industry altogether to become a promotion man for Miller´s beer. In 2009 he was inducted to the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame for his contribution to the city´s musical heritage. Enjoy your Miller beer responsibly and have a great weekend!"Fortune Teller"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, November 26, 2009 21:35:18
A recent aquisition and a personal favourite of mine. Very independent sounding, this seems to be almost home-made in a sense. But it still contains that so hard to define soul factor, and is getting some heavy rotation on my decks during these dreary november nights. Little is known about Otis Brown apart from his discography. He had a small hit locally in Chicago with his 1966 "Southside Chicago" on Olé records. He then seems to have put out most of his product on his own labels Lujuna and exSpectmore. This one is all by Brown, from the writing and producing to the arranging and singing, it even came out on his own label and I would not be surpriced if he played most of the sparse backing track by himself too. But I have no idea who the background singers are and I´m unsure about the release date as well, to hazard a guess I would say the late 60s, ´68 or ´69 maybe?"Who´s Gonna´ Take Me Home"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, November 24, 2009 18:46:48
Not to be confused with The Marvelows, this Los Angels group cut some nice material during the 60s as The Marvellos and then evolved into The Sons Of Watts and Street Corner Symphony. Milton Hayes, Harold Harris, Willey Holley, Lance Porter, Jesse Harris and Lawrence Miller were all members of the group at some point, but I´m unsure on who are singing on this 1966 release. Loma was operated by Mike Maitland & Bob Krasner and was based in Burbank California, it was used by its mother label, Warner Brothers, as its soul imprint during 1964-68. The Marvellos had recorded as early as 1962 on Exodus records, and had material released on several other labels as well, Reprise, Warner Brothers, and Modern records to name a few. Although they did their fair share of recording, the group never saw a major hit, which is a shame because (as you can hear) they really had some excellent harmonies. Today´s featured track was written and co-produced by Willie Hutchinson (Wille Hutch) who of course was a pivotal figure on the west-coast soul scene. Enjoy!"Why Do You Want To Hurt The One Who Loves You"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, November 23, 2009 21:31:36
Originally founded and owned by Joe Banashak, Minit records was a New Orleans based record label that had its biggest hit in 1961 with Ernie K Doe´s "Mother In Law". By the time this track was released though (1968) the label had been sold to Imperial records and then again to Liberty records which aquired it in 1963. Banashak kept his other label Instant records which was also based in New Orleans. Although it was no longer a New Orleans owned vehicle, a lot of the recording and producing of the label´s releases were still taking place in the crescent city. This one being one of them with the local legend Jimmy Holiday (somewhat successful artist in his own right) at the helm of production. The Turn-A-Rounds had other releases as well, on Era records in 1965 and on Tangerine (Ray Charles´ label) in 1969, but none of them even dented the charts. Enjoy!
"Can´t Take No More"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, November 16, 2009 21:00:52
Impossible to choose just one track that sums up his masters voice, but this one comes pretty close. Just an absolutely beautiful record in every way. Jackie Wilson, although succesful both in the 50s with The Dominoes and as a solo artist in the 60s, never reached his full potential. Many claim that this was because he was all too often given lacklustre pop-songs instead of material aimed more towards an RnB or Soul audience. What might have happened if Wilson had joined Berry Gordy´s, his former writer, Motown empire we´ll sadly never know. But whilst dreaming of that combiantion let us cherish some of the finest soul-singing ever done. Enjoy!"I´m The One To Do It"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, November 10, 2009 18:14:35
Released on the MGM subsidary CUB in 1968 (the CUB label was originally called Orbit but then had its name changed because the MGM lion demanded it (ouch).
Anyways, this was recorded in NYC on February 8th in ´68 and released a month later, but musically it owes more to the girl groups that were prevalent in the early 60s.
This is possibly why it was a relatively poor seller, at leats by MGM´s standards. It was co-written by Mike Valvano who passed last year, who also wrote the wonderful Precisions track "If This Is Love (I´d Rather Be Lonely)" which we´ve featured on these pages a few weeks ago.
The Gambrells consisted of sisters Sandra and Sharon Gambrell plus unkown members and had previously recorded for the Carla and Pioneer labels in the mid sixties without setting any charts on fire. This is to my knowledge their last recording. Enjoy!"I´m In Love Again For The First Time"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, November 09, 2009 20:28:43
Yet again I find myself staring at a record, wondering where the hell did this guy come from? Who was he? What happened to him? Well, today I´m afraid all those questions will go unanswered, at least by me. Leonard Jewell Smith, who was a fairly big player when it came to independent label soul from the west coast area during the 60s both as a writer, producer and artist in his own right is credited on the record both as a songwriter and as a co-producer. Still, I can´t find anything about Little John himself or the Martay label. I know that a Little John cut records at two other miniscule labels during the 60s, GoGate and Neal, and the voice sounds similar so I´m pretty sure it´s the same guy. Other than that I can´t give you anything but two minutes of spine-tingling RnB influenced northern. Little John, whoever he is or was, sure deserved to be dubbed "The House Rocker". Enjoy!"Heartbreakin´ Time"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, November 05, 2009 18:59:38
Opposites attract! Missed to update the blog yesterday so i thought I´d make it up with a double dose of Soultreats! today instead. Not going to much of a write up, just gonna say that the two added records to me represents the joy of record collecting. One being a total flop and obscure as could be, the other a million seller by one of Soul music´s most loved groups. One being a punchy 1960s recording with a southern touch to it, the other a smooth 70s outing. Both equally great, enjoy!"Burning Up For Your Love"
& "This Time Baby"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Fri, October 30, 2009 17:07:54
Older brother of the well known lead singer for the Temptations David Ruffin, things could have worked out quite differently for Jimmy had he accepted Berry Gordy´s offer to join the Tempts himself. Instead he recommended his younger brother, and the rest is, as they as say, history. But, as he clearly states on this record - we´re not going to feel sorry for him, he did have a fine career as solo artist anyhow. Born 1939 in Collinsville Mississippi, he soon migrated north. He settled down in Detroit as was soon contracted to Gordy´s fledgling Miracle set-up. Having previously been a gospel singer, this is Ruffin´s first secular recording, and also the first release on the Miracle label. This 1961 release was a relatively poor seller, Ruffin had to wait some five years until he hit the big time with the evergreen "What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted" in ´66. He has since maintained a succesful career in the music industry, recording as a duo in the early 70s with his brother David as well as having a smash hit in 1980 called "Hold On To My Love" which was produced by Robin Gibb of the Bee-Gees. Jimmy Ruffin relocated to the U.K. in the 80s were he still is a popular performer. Bu this is were it all started, 48 years ago! Enjoy!"Don´t Feel Sorry For Me"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, October 29, 2009 16:26:57
Rhetta Hughes tried her luck at both acting and singing, without having any real success. As an actor she has starred in a few episodes of Law & Order as well as in a couple of small budget films. This is her first effort as an artist. Released in 1968 on Tetragrammaton records, a label which was co-owned by none other than Bill Cosby, this release features two great sides from her only album "Light My Fire", which came out the year after this. Although the title track of the album, a cover of the The Doors hit, gained some play, it wasn´t enough for her to launch a full time career in music. Today though, the album is wanted by collectors mainly for the two sides on this release (flip being and excellent track as well called "I Can´t Stand Under This Pressure) as well as the album only "Cry Myself To Sleep". Although Hughes seems to have been from Texas, the track is most certainly a Detroit job as both Mike Terry and Jo Armstead, two legends in Detoit´s music industry, are credited with writing and producing it. Enjoy!
You´re Doing It With Her (When It Should Be Me)
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, October 26, 2009 18:25:57
One of my personal favourites, this is a real stormer from 1968 and Chicago´s Alteen label. Drake & The En-Solids had a few records out on Bill Meeks´small label in the late 60s early 70s. This is to be me the finest one of them. Meeks (I believe) made his career through producing radiojingles, which makes sense since he then have all the connections with musicians and arrangers that he would need for his Alteen enterprise. Although none of the records on the label became a big hit, there are some fine recordings issued on Alteen records, Sunday´s "Ain´t Got No Problems" and The Supurbs "Only For Lovers" being two of the most popular ones nowadays. Together with this of course, the jewel in Alteen´s crown. Enjoy!
"Please Leave Me"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, October 22, 2009 21:33:32
James Bounty (real name James Bunter) recorded two sides for the small Compass label in 1967. Both are terrific pieces of danceable 60s soul, although his first release, "Prove Yourself A Lady" seems to be the one most people know. Time to change that as this is, in my opinion, just as good. The Compass label seems to have dabbled with a bit of everything but had some very good soul releases out of the twenty or so records the labels put out before it went belly-up. Bounty susequently had another record out on a label called Reddog which I haven´t heard, but if it´s more of the same as his Compass material, I´m very eager to do so. Enjoy!"Action Speaks Louder Than Words"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Wed, October 21, 2009 20:28:38
The alternative Temptations - The Precisions, according to those who knew the group way back when, could have been a bigger hit thank Ruffin, Kendricks & Co. had they had the same financial and promotional muscle behind them as the Tempts did. Billy Prince, Michael Morgan, Denins Gilmore and Arthur Ashford certainly could sing up a storm and had a stage routine to match. Sadly though, they never got to strutt their stuff on the really big stages. The Precisions were natives out of Detroit MI (and are not to be confused with other groups called The Precisions, there were a few) and first recorded for Mike Hanks D-Town label. Although the two 45s that were released on D-Town in 1965 were excellent, they did little to establish the group on the charts. They signed with Drew records shortly after and had a handful of singles released between ´67-68, all of which are now cherished by collectors world-wide.
This is the groups swan song at Drew and a fitting tune as such if you listen to the lyrics. The girl doing the intro is supposedly the label´s secretary, as there were no female artists around to help them out when they recorded it!
The group did try once more after they had left the Drew label. They signed with Atlantic subsidary Atco in 1969, but even then the two reords that followed sunk without a trace. By the turn of the decade The Precisions were no more, but their music will be cherished forever. Enjoy!"A Place"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, October 20, 2009 18:02:05
Born in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, Ronnie Walker started singing at an early age. Even though what we now call "the Philly sound" emerged a few years later and really put the city on the map music wise, Philadelphia was already in the 60s a bustling nightclub and recording scene, especially within soul music. Walker was active both as a singer and as a songwriter, amongst other things he co-wrote the wonderful "This Love I Hold" for The Agents which was released on Liberty Bell records.
He cut some great material between 1966-75 which he and his manager Phil Gaber shopped around to various labels in order to get a release. Sadly though, the records were never promoted well enough to give him that all important nation-wide hit and since label owners want their investments to pay-off sooner rather than later, Walker usually only released one single on each label, then it was back again trying to find a new recording deal. However, almost all of his released material can be found on a compilation cd called "Someday" released in 2000 by Philly Archives. So, if this floats your boat (which it should) make sure to look that one up. Enjoy!
Ps Ronnie did an excellent interview with In The Basement magazine which you can read on his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/mrronniewalker Ds"You´re The One"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, October 19, 2009 21:15:01
A fantastic soul singer, Deon Jackson´s recording career ended
prematurely. He grew up in Ann Arbour MI, not far from
Detroit. It didn´t take him long to discover that music was what he
wanted to do and he started his first own group in high school. At only
18 he had his first record released on the Atlantic label. Although it
was the only record he did for that particular label, it opened up new
career opportunities for Jackson, and he signed with Detroit based Carla
records. He immediately scored a hit with his 1966 "Loves Makes The
World Go Round". He followed that with a string of 45s, all of which
had the same musical excellence, but only one managed to get even close
to get as high on the charts, "Love Takes A Long Time Growing", also from ´66. Jackson was by far the labels most prolific artist, releasing no less than six singles within two years with the company. Strangely though, after his stay with Carla, (to my knowledge) he never recorded again. He kept in music, performing in and around Chicago at coctail and supper clubs. But no more material seem to have been released. A lost talent for sure.
Todays track has been played extensively all over the U.K.´s northern soul clubs, and is a firm favourite at Soulville U-A´s nights as well. It is his third release from that vintage year of 1966, enjoy!"That´s What You Do To Me"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Fri, October 16, 2009 20:35:56
Short introduction to this fabulous northern winner. On my way down to Soulville U-A!´s club night! Northern soul at its best!"I´ve Got To Face It"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, October 15, 2009 18:31:29
Originally known as The Gypsies, a name under which they recorded for Old Town records, The Flirtations was by large a family affair. Sisters Ernestine, Shirley and Betty Pearce made up the core of the group, with a fourth member, on Old Town that was Leslie Johnson. But as the group changed name and label, she was also replaced by Viola Billups.
The group was quite prolific during the ´60s, releasing a dozen or so records between 1964-70 on various labels. But they had to search wide and far to get a hit. In fact the group had moved to the U.K. before they managed to get on the charts with their 1968 outing "Nothing But A Heartache" for Deram records.
However, our featured record today did nothing to scare The Supremes or Marvelettes, it didn´t even touch the charts upon its release.
From 1967 and Jerry Blaine´s Josie label ( a subsidary of his Jubilee set up in New York), here is what I see as their finest hour. Enjoy!
"Change My Darkness Into Light"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Wed, October 14, 2009 21:52:56
After three groups with male leads it´s time for something a little
different. This slightly funky piece of soul magic came out in 1968 on
the Detroit based label Ric-Tic, just before its demise.
The Ric-Tic label was a serious contender to Motown´s monopoly when it
came to putting out product that connected with the local charts. So
much that Motown boss Berry Gordy decided to buy the whole label,
artist contracts and all in ´68 just to get rid of the competition.
Both labels had their fair share of one-hit wonders and Little Ann
falls under that category. Although she recorded for several different
labels in the Motor city, she never scored a hit. She was going down a
one-way street the wrong way for sure, well at least commercially!"Going Down A One-Way Street The Wrong Way"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, October 13, 2009 15:16:09
Making it three in a row for the male groups. Naming your group The Prophets must have been popular back in the 60s since there are at least five (problably more) that have released records under that name. This particular incarnation only had this release, and is not the same group as the ones on say Delphi or Shrine.
I know only of two of the members in this particular group, Cleveland Horne and Paul Scott, who both later joined the Fantastic Four on Motown´s Soul imprint. The Stephanye label seems to be connected with Detroit as well but it had only three releases. All of them were produced by Gene Redd, who was based in New York were he worked for Motown´s N.Y. office among others things. It might be the case that when Motown shut down that office, because of a falling beteween Berry Gordy and his ex-wife Raynoma Gordy who it, Redd took his material to be released elsewhere. So Stephanye is problably his own label, although I´m not a 100% on this. Detroit or not, these guys sing up a storm. Enjoy!
"My Kind Of Girl"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, October 12, 2009 21:12:15
The Companions are one of those groups that just seems to have walked in from the street, cut their record, and walked out never to be seen or heard again. I can find only one release by them, and no further info than what the label gives me, which isn´t very much to be honest. I believe this was released twice with different catalog numbers, once in ´62 and then again in 1964 which is the one we´ll be featuring today. It was arranged Leroy Lovett, and published by Ben-Lee Music, which is short for Frank Bendinelli and Leroy Lovett, who were putting out some great material in Philadelphia during the early- to mid sixties. The other side was co-written by a L. Huff which means that this is most certainly a Philly job through and through. The song was also done by Honey & The Bees(not the same grup that recorded for the Arctic and Josie labels) on Academy, a Lovett & Bendinelli owned label. It´s all a bit confusing really and who The Companions were is still clouded in mystery, any help out there?"Be Yourself"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, October 12, 2009 20:30:09
The Broadways was a short lived group that had two excellent records out on the MGM label. The quartet consisted of Billy Brown (who later joined The Moments), Ronnie Coleman, Leon Trent and "Moe" (real name?) Morris. They cut and released both their claims to fame in 1966, and had them released in April and August respectively. This is their second, or last if you may, release before fading into obscurity. A wonderful midtempo, male harmony treat. Enjoy!"You Just Don´t Know"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, October 08, 2009 16:35:01
Released on Philadelphia based Swan records in 1965, by then the group had already been together for almost a decade. Originally known as The Humdingers in the 50s, they got a recording contract for New Orleans label Minit in 1961 and changed their name to The Showmen. The group scored right away on their new label, their first single "It Will Stand" became a huge local hit and also got national airplay. Although they never repeated that success, they came close when "It Will Stand" was re-released by Imperial records in 1964.
However, that didn´t stop them from trying to get new material on the charts. The Showmen recorded consistenly throughout the early- and mid-sixties. The unmistakeable lead of Norman Johnson was on most of these, usually backed by Gene & Dorsey Knight, Leslie Felton and Milton Wells. Johnson wrote most of the material and he later left for greener pastures in 1968, moving to Detroit to become a part of the Invictus set-up with his newly founded group, Chairmen Of The Board. He has since been able to keep himself in the music buisness, both as an artist in his own right and as a songwriter for others, most notably Clarence Carter´s "Patches" and his Invictus labelmate The Honey Cone´s "Want Ads".
"Our Love Will Grow" has been a firm favourite on the northern soul scene since the very beginning and is now considered to be somewhat of an evergreen to its followers. Enjoy!
"Our Love Will Grow"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Wed, October 07, 2009 19:55:57
I would say that the story of the Platters, is the archetype of a successful doo-wop group trying to cope with the changes in music that happened 1960-63. Being one of the biggest acts in the 1950s with evergreens like "The Great Pretender" and "Only You" under their belt, the group was by the turn of the decade heading into wilderness. Frequent line-up changes and the fusion of RnB and gospel called soul that was increasingly popular with the masses left the Platters, and many others with them, confused. Doo-wop was no longer the Sound Of Young America, and to stay in the buisness they had to update their sound and routine. Well, it is easy to hear where the inspiration came from by listening to their "Devri" from 1965. It´s so Motownesque that it could almost be called copying. But as they say, imitation is the purest form of flattery. And boy did Sonny Turner, Nate Nelson, David Lynch, Herb Reed and Sandra Dawn wish they were th Four Tops on this release. And to be fair, they are not that far off. Turner´s lead on this and other releases on Musicor in the mid- to late 60s could, if not beat, at least give the Stubbs, Ruffin´s and Gaye´s a run for their money.
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, October 05, 2009 18:33:00
The Cruisers were Gene Williams, Randy Hamilton, Paul Long and McKinley Anthony. The group started out as doo-wop group in the late 1950s and got a record contract with V-Tone records in 1960 where they cut two singles, but both failed miserably. The Philadelphia based label Jamie / Guyden picked up one of the releases, "Don´t Tease Me / Crying Over You" some time after and re-released it but it bombed yet again. Almost five years passed before the group got another chance to record again. This time they met up with Bunny Sigler who arranged for them to have their next release on the Gamble label, which was also based in Philadelphia. "Take A Chance" did better than their previous recordings but it wasn´t enough to take the group to the all important top 40 charts. They had one more release on Gamble, another doo-wop outing before they disbanded in the late 60s.
"Take A Chance"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Wed, September 30, 2009 20:57:45
Little is known about Moses Smith. What is for sure though, is that he wrote and recorded some absolutely astounding music during a brief period in the late 1960s. Although I know of only three releases by him, each one is magic. Released on the shortlived Dionn label in 1968 it didn´t set any charts on fire. But just listen to the quality of the music, and I´m sure you´ll agree with me that it deserved a much better fate. Smith had an equally good record out on the Atlantic subsidary Cotillion entitled "Come On Let Me Love You / Keep On Striving", and recently an unissued Dion track "Try My Love" has surfaced and that too is wonderful. It seems that Moses Smith just couldn´t a break. Smith was according to Allmusic.com born in 1932 and died sometime during 1984, I just hope that he was made aware of how loved his music was by thousands of soul fans. R.I.P Moses Smith and thank you for this:
"The Girl Across The Street"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, September 28, 2009 16:34:31
The Esquires jumped on the scene in 1967 with their smash-hit " Get On Up" which gave them both a pop and RnB top 20 hit. Even though "Get On Up" was their most commercially succesful record, they followed it with some great material throughout the late sixties. This is just one of many great singles released by the group on Bunky records (they cut some great material on other labels too, like Lamarr & Rocky Ridge). They actually had an album released on Bunky (which was somewhat unusal for soul groups signed to indepedent labels at the time) which is definetly worth picking up. Although the group, like so many others, went through several line-up changes, the core members were Sam Pace, Sean Taylor, Millard Edwards and brothers Alvis & Gilbert Moorer, and they´re also the ones singing on this record.
"How Could It Be"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Fri, September 25, 2009 08:37:17
Sadly no longer with us (Flowers passed in 2001), Phil Flowers cut some excellent material in the 1960s. Often performing together with his siblings as backup singers, he was among other things in 1968 sent into riot stricken areas of the U.S. to ease the tension with performances. After that Flowers had perhaps less important gigs, playing mostly around on cruiseships. However, he is a staple figure on the northern soul scene with big records like "Disconted" (also on Dot) and "You´ve Come A Long Way Baby" with the group The Flower Shoppe. But today we´ll foucs on "Where Did I Go Wrong", a great little romp released in 1967 and his first single released on Dot records."Where Did I Go Wrong"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, September 24, 2009 21:47:24
Another welcome comeback to these pages tonight. Carter made it big with "Slip Away" of course but he made some verty worthwhile material apart from that. This is problably my personal favourite."I Can´t Leave Your Love Alone"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, September 21, 2009 15:39:07
A real stomper from this former gospel singer and music veteran. A real change of pace from the latest additions to the blog which has been, I guess, more subtle in their approach. Well, Shelton takes no prisoners with this one. It´s full throttle from the very beginning and it´s absolutely beau-ti-ful!
Shelton sang with The Skylarks, a gospel outfit during the late 50s before moving on to carve out a career of his own. Although no major hits followed, Shelton did pave the way for other artists that made the same journey as him from gospel to secular music. Legends like Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett owes a lot to Shelton´s work and might not have been as successful if not the likes of Shelton and others had been there before them, preparing the U.S. for the soul invasion to come."Running for My Life"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Fri, September 18, 2009 14:26:04
The Radiants had a long and somewhat turbulent history. Group members came and went, and they even had record released under their name that wasn´t really them singing ("Don't It Make You Feel Kinda Bad", which was really The Confessions). Maurice McCallister was founder of the group and also lead singer on most of their records until he left to go solo in 1965 or 66, shortly after this release. On this record McCallister sings lead and is backed by Wallace Sampson and James Jameson. The Radiants did get a fair bit of airplay locally, especially with their "Voice Your Choice", and they also recorded the original version of "Ain´t No Big Thing" which has been covered on numerous occasions. I´ve chosen a more uptempo side today to start the weekend off. Enjoy!
"Baby You´ve Got It"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, September 14, 2009 08:09:28
Let´s start this week with this wonderful early soul track.
Released on Bill Ermans Chicago based Cortland label in 1963, this is a record that could have had much more exposure than it eventually had. The reason for this is that the records official A-Side, "Adios My Love"
, seemed to take off at the time of its release. But that track had writing credits to Donald Jenkins himself, who must have forgotten to tell label owner Erman about a track called "Adios My Desert Love"
that was released by Noland Strong & The Diablos in 1954, and which Jenkins borrowed heavily from. No sooner than the Cortland release was beginning to pick up the pace, the jig was out and Erman had to pull the record because of the legal issues it involved. Maybe something for swedish artists like Håkan Hellström and Veronica Maggio to think about...
Well, today we´ll focus on the other side "Somebody Help Me"
, which also credits Jenkins as a writer. Whether this is the case or not I don´t know but no one can question the quality of the performance he and his Delighters delivers on this two minutes or so of early 60s bliss."Somebody Help Me"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Fri, September 11, 2009 16:16:02
Club night tonigt for Soulville! and to celebrate this I thought I´d feature a recent spin of mine. Fred Hughes was the last successful artist on the Chicago label Vee-Jay records before it folded, scoring with records like "Ooo Wee Baby I Love You" and "You Can´t Take it Away". When the label went bancrupt he moved to Brunswick records, where he had his one and only LP "Baby Boy" released. I believe this was released in 1969, after his stint with Brunwick. Deceptively simple in its structure the piano and backbeat makes this a track that just gets better and better the more you turn the volume up. Perfect for tonight then!
"Walk On Back To You"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Wed, September 09, 2009 10:43:52
The Vontastics had a string of releases on various Chicago labels throughout the late 60s. Formed in ´65 or ´66, the group signed with the St. Lawrence label and had three releases with some local success. Most of their records featured either Kenneth Gholar or Jose Holmes on lead, or sometimes both.
Our featured track today is their last effort on the label, before moving on to labels like Chess, Moonshot and Toddlin´ Town. Released in 1967, and actually the B-side, this is Chicago northern soul at its best!
Never Let Your Love Grow Cold
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, September 07, 2009 17:30:05
Lost somewhere between Doo Wop and Soul, The Deans don´t seem to mind at all. And with a record like this, why should they?
Recorded in 1962 at Mike Hanks studio in Detroit Michigan, the track was also co-written and produced by Hanks. Star Maker had only six releases before it folded, what a shame with songs like this.(Lady Of The) Caravan
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, May 26, 2009 07:58:59
A great midtempo dancer on the Port label, a label that issued quite a few nice soul records between 1965 to 1968 when I believe it folded. This is Neal´s only effort on the label and it was released in 1966. Port was a New York based subsidary to Jubilee records and had releases mainly in pop and soul between 1957-68, in my book this ranks as one of the best on the label."I´m So Glad"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Fri, May 22, 2009 11:43:13
One of the original members of the legendary soul group The Falcons (together with Eddie Floyd and Wilson Pickett) and the writer of one of most known tracks in soul music, "Mustang Sally", Mack Rice did not have a successful solo career of his own. The Falcons had a big hit with "I Found A Love" in the early sixties but the group soon split up and went their separate ways. Sadly this only worked out well for two of the groups three members. Both Pickett and Floyd enjoyed long and fruitful careers as artists but Rice never really got the break he deserved. Obviously a talented singer and songwriter it is somewhat typical for his fortune that his own track"Mustang Sally" was a bigger hit for Wilson Pickett than it was for Rice himself.
This was released in 1962, just after The (original) Falcons had split up."Baby I´m Coming Home"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, May 21, 2009 17:49:44
Not much is known about the group Th Servicemen apart from their three singles released in 1966-67 on as many different labels, Chartmaker, Wind Hit and Patheway respectively. Each and every one of them a northern soul classic in its own right. The groups name came from the fact that the members were based on Luke Air Force Base. No definite line up is known but probable members were James Mitchell and Hadley D. Murell as these to are credited tow riting the groups material.
This track was released twice, it is also the B-side to their Wind Hit single "Are You Angry". On the Patheway release the other side is called "My Turn"."I Need A Helping Hand"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Wed, May 20, 2009 06:49:13
The first release of this wonderful crossover track on the L.A. label Dottie. It later came out on Ronn records as well, supposedly with a different mix. Billy Keene had a number of releases on southern labels like Ronn and Paula and Galaxy. All the stuff I heard is great, "I Finally Got Wise" and Wishing and Hoping" being the two that are most in demand at the moment. This is problably his easiest 45 to find, and the cheapest. But as we all know, it´s whats in the grooves that count."Somebody Please"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, May 19, 2009 09:53:43
Don Bryant started out his career singing in The Five Bryant Brothers consisting of, well, himself and four of his brothers. They later changed their name to The Quails and started playing at local venues around the Memphis area. He soon got in contact with Willie Mithchell who brought him to Hi records. Originally signed as an artist, Bryant soon discovered that his talents extended to songwriting as well and before long he spent more time at the writing and producing for others than behind the microphone. When Ann Peebles signed with Hi in the early 70s the two clicked instantly both professionally and personally, and they got married in 1974. Bryant also co-wrote some of Peebles biggest hits like " I Can´t Stand The Rain" and "99 pounds". But as this song demonstrates Bryant was a fine singer in his own right as well as being a talented songwriter."I´ll Go Crazy"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, May 18, 2009 08:56:59
Welcome to another week of Soultreats!
We´ll start off with this crossover gem by The Hesitations released at the very end of the 60s, 1969 to be exact. The Hesitations are well known to soul collectors due to the great material they released throughout the 60s on Kapp records, perhaps most notably the great double sider "Soul Superman" / "I´m Not Built That Way" and "She Won´t Come Back" released in 1966 and 67 respectively. The group went through some changes in personel before moving to New York based GWP records because the former lead singer on the Kapp material, George "King" Scott, passed away in 1968. Members of the group at the time this was recorded were Charles Scott, Leonard Veal Jnr., Robert Sheperd, Arthur Blakely, Philip Dorroh, Bill Brent and Warnell Taylor.
I believe that this is the only record that the group had credited to them alone on GWP, the did backup Debbie Taylor on some of her material on the label, and a further single in 1969 called "No Brags Just Facts" was credited as Debbie Taylor & The Hesitations, but after that the group seem to have disbanded."Is The Way To Treat A Girl (You Bet It Is)"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, May 11, 2009 07:19:31
Let´s jumpstart the new week with this frantic mover from Motowns southern competitor, Memphis based Stax records.
Previously known as the Dixie Nightingales, a prominent gospel group, Ollie Hoskins, Willie Neal, Nelson Lesure, Bill Davis and Rochester Neal decided they wanted to record secular music in 1968. I´m glad they did. This is their first single for Stax records and was quite a success, reaching #17 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1968."Girl, You Have My Heart Singing"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Fri, May 08, 2009 09:34:07
A 1964 release on George Leaner´s Chicago based label. Little is know about Mr. Laws other than this was his only release on the One-derful label. He did have another release on the Lu-Cee label called " I´ll Wait For You". He had some success locally with "Who Is She", and it sold quite well in the Chicagoland area. But unfortunately for Laws, and many other artists om small independent labels, the record company lacked the muscles to distribute the record on a national level, making it a national hit.
"Who Is She"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, May 07, 2009 09:37:11
A nice northern soul thumper that seems to be overlooked these days, a shame really since it has all the right ingredients. Who Lorenzo Manley was is up for discussion it might be the same guy that recorded "Fun-Key" on Space records since that label and Original Sound on which this track is featured are both from Hollywood, California. They were released at rougly the same time (1967) as well I believe. Whether or not this is also the same artist that starred in in the Jazz combo the Lorenzo Manley Band in the Kansas area in the early 60s I don´t know. But it might be that soul music proved a steadier meal ticket for the jazz musician (as it did for the Funk Brothers at Motown) and he moved west to record these soul and funk cuts, just speculations though."(I´m Gonna) Swoop Down On You"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Wed, May 06, 2009 10:15:08
The Reflections jumped on the scene with their smash hit in 1964 on the newly formed Golden World label with their "Just Like Romeo & Juliet". A top ten hit with a sound that they would try to reenact for the rest of the groups career, but to little avail. Although the group, consisting of Tony Micale (lead), John Dean, Phil Castrodale, Dan Bennie and Ray Steinber, released no less than eight singles on the Detroit based Golden World label and a couple more on ABC they struggled to capture the publics imagination in the same way they had with their first release. This particular track might be my favourite one with the group. Released as a B-side to their 1965 single "Out Of The Picture", it leans toward the pop side of things (the group was all white...) but still manages to steer clear of the Tom Jones / Dusty Springfield traps and comes across as a neat little Soul recording after all.
See what you think."June Bride"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, May 05, 2009 09:00:31
No treat yesterday because I spent the entire day on a train but I´ll make it up to you today instead with two Soultreats! additions, the second will be posted tonight.
Willie "Stretch" McCovey was a famous baseball player who decided to start his own record label. The only thing that came out on his aptly named Stretch label was this wonderful record by Melvin Elling, of which I know nothing about. But he does give us a terrific piece of music, and this has also now been featured in the CD compilation "Northern Soul Fever vol. 2". The song itself is simple but Ellings aching vocals and a nice horn arrangement gives it that little bit of something to separate it from the others."Lonely Eyes"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Fri, May 01, 2009 09:52:18
A member of the well known gospel group The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, Robinson had the distinction that he was one of two members in the group that was´nt blind. Born in Alabama his family relocated to Gary, Indiana when he was just five and there he sang with local gospel groups. Roscoe Robinson had a surprise smash hit in 1966 with "That´s Enough" on the Wand label out of New York (originally released on the small local label Gerri). Though he never reached the same hights with this song as its predecessor, its nonetheless a fine soul recording with Robinson´s forceful southern voice begging for some relief from his loved one."Hoe Much Pressure (Do You Think I Can Stand)"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, April 30, 2009 10:44:46
We return to Joe Evans Carnival set up for todays soul treat. The Topics were a group out of the Bronx in N.Y. City that had cut a few songs for Chess records that never saw the light of day. Group members were Vaughan
Curtis, Ronald McCoy, Wesley Adams and Gerald Jones. They had a wonderful release on the sister label to Carnival, Chadwick, called "Hey Girl (Where
are you going) b/w If Love Comes Knocking". And then this, a great cut where the groups great harmony really comes to show.
"She´s So Fine"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Wed, April 29, 2009 09:38:20
A nice litttle 45 that I picked up at the now closed Nitty Gritty Records in Stockholm. Haven´t got a clue who the Boss Four were but I believe this to be their only recording, a fine one at that. It came out in 1964 and is one of those records that has different artists on each side, the other side being "Space Mood" by The Earthmen. This might have been done to promote both groups at the same time, leaving it up to the DJ which side to push. I´ve made my choice.
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, April 27, 2009 09:29:45
This is the very last single that was released on the great Mirwood label. Founded in 1965 in Los Angeles by former Vee-Jay records president Randy Wood, the Mirwood label only lasted for three short years. But during that time it released some of the best independent soul to ever come out of the west coast. Pretty much everything on the label is worth picking up. The label had a huge hit right at its beginning in 65´ with "The Duck" by Jackie Lee. However the label never managed to get another record that high on the charts again. The Performers released their two singles on the label at the very end in 1968. Both are good but this side just edges for me personally. Neither one of them went anywhere, perhaps because of the labels nearby folding. A shame really since its uptempo, feel good soul at its best.
"Set Me Free"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, April 23, 2009 08:28:02
Herb Campbell and Frank Jones ran the small Villa label out of San Francisco. It only lasted between 1964 and 66 but still managed to release a handful of great records during that time. The Magicians had three releases on the label, this being their second which came out early 1966. A few years ago another set of tapes from Villa with previously unreleased material was found and the group had their "Just A Little Faith And Understanding" released on the Kent anniversary label, some 35 years after it was first recorded. It became, and still is, a monster on the U.K.s northern soul scene. The lost Villa tapes was compiled on a CD called "Hitsville West: San Francisco´s Uptown Soul", released by ACE/Kent records. Check it out if you like the Magicians as most of their material is featured there."Is It All Gone"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Mon, April 20, 2009 09:38:05
Singer Freddie Scott was most known for his powerful ballads released in the early 1960s. The choice today however fell on a slightly different record. Starting off with a tinkling piano Scott soons rips into a nice midtempo dancer. I was not surprised to see legendary Philadelphia producers Gamble&Huff being responsible for this as it has that certain something that they so often managed to find."(You) Got What I Need"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Thu, April 16, 2009 11:53:27
A group that I know very little about apart from that they had one other release on the Bacone label in 1967 which is indemand with northern soul collectors called "I´m Lonely, I´m Troubled". This was their only release on the Volt label, it came out in 1971 and is a nice slightly funky number. Enjoy!"All Because Of You"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Wed, April 15, 2009 09:45:00
not one of Berry Gordy´s major acts, The Velvelettes turned out
some good product during their stint with the Motown company. Signed
at 1963 members Millie Gill, Carolyn "Cal" Gill, Bertha
Barbee, Norma Barbee and Betty Kelly had major backing by the labels
most successful writers and producers like Norman Whitfield and
Mickey Stevenson. Sadly though, they somehow got lost along the way
with groups like The Supremes and Martha & The Vandellas carving
out their more distinctive and easily identifiable sound for
Still the Motown machinery shines through though and each and everyone of the groups five releases or so on the subsidary V.I.P. is well worth picking up."A Bird In The Hand (Is Worth Two In The Bush)"
60s SoulPosted by Martin Tue, April 14, 2009 08:03:06
Hailing from Philadelphia, PA The Ethics had a shot at stardom with some nice records released in the late 1960s. The group, consisting of lead singer Ronald Presson aka Ronald Tyson, Joe Freeman, Carl Enlow and Andrew Collins, sadly missed out on the great breakthrough that the "Philly" sound would have a couple of years later with Gamble & Huff as writers and producers and with groups like The Ojay´s having a major second wind in their careers. The Ethics managed to get a few releases on local lables like Wale and Vent, and also recorded one single for the Golden Fleece label in 1974. All their releases are good, this 1968 single together with Vent # 1006 "I Want My Baby Back" are problably my personal favourites.
"Look At Me Now"