Posted by Martin Thu, March 01, 2012 11:31:41
Marva Whitney got her musical training from the tender age of three as a member of her family's gospel group in Kansas City. She later moved on to study music in college and also joined local RnB groups before she joined the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, as one of his background singing divas in the late 1960s. Whitney got a chance to record as a solo artist in 1969 and had a promising start with her Top 20 hit "It's My Thing (You Can't Tell Me Who to Sock It To). Although her subsequent records did not do as well commercially as her debut, her work has been sampled heavily over the years and still command admiration and appreciation from soul and funk aficinados worldwide. Enjoy!"Don't Let Our Love Fade Away"
Posted by Martin Fri, February 24, 2012 10:28:37
For different reasons it's been a while since these pages were updated. However, things are looking a little brighter for Soultreats! now and hopefully we'll have regular updates at least once or twice a week this coming year.
Today's track is all about Chicago and the 5 Wagers who had a long recording career on various local labels in the Windy City before finally making it big with "Come and Ask Me" in the early 1970s. Sadly though it also proved to be the group's last recording. A shame really since they were a very talented outfit a deserved to enjoy more success. Check out the interview with original member James Westbrook Jnr here
."Come and Ask Me"
Posted by Martin Mon, November 28, 2011 20:28:24
In the mid 60s ,Ron Kenoly began singing in the military where he joined Top 40 cover group The Mellow Fellows (possibly the same group that recorded "My Baby Needs Me for Dot records). He had a few records out in the late 60s and early 70s which didn't really take off and he instead devoted his life to church and his family, working as a minister and also singing and releasing gospel music. It is touching to find out that he has now been married to the same woman for over 40 years, a fact that brings extra credibilty to an already wonderful track. Enjoy!
"You're Still Blowing My Mind"
Posted by Martin Sun, November 06, 2011 09:00:29
From 1966, this great little gem won't break the bank and isn't particulary hard to track down either. Jacke Lee (or Earl Nelson) was one of Los Angeles Mirwood records biggest artists, and struck it rich with the million seller "The Duck" the same year as this was released. Delores Hall did not record for Mirwood again after this, which is sad as this duo works quite well together. Perhaps it was the success of "The Duck" that prompted Mirwood to push Lee as a solo artist rather than cutting more material with him and Hall together. Whatever the reason, they can be both take pride in their sole recording as a duo. Enjoy!"Whether It's Right Or Wrong"
Posted by Martin Fri, October 21, 2011 16:49:33
Howard Tate was born in 1939 in Macon Georgia but his family relocated to Philadelphia when he was just a few years old. In his teens he befriended Garnet Mimms and joined him in his gospel group called The Gainors. Mimms also introduced him to songwriter and producer Jerry Ragovoy who recorded Tate and secured a deal at Verve records, where Tate would record nine singles between 1964 - 68. This is Tate's first release on the label, a 1964 record that had previously seen the light on the small Utopia label but was picked up for wider distribution by Verve. Enjoy!"Half A Man"
Posted by Martin Thu, October 20, 2011 18:51:41
Back in the 1960s & 70s a few incarnations of (The) Young Hearts existed. This is however, to my knowledge, the original line-up which consisted of Charles Ingersol, James Moore, Ronnie Preyer and Earl Carter (who passed in 1970 and was replaced by Bob Solomon). The group was formed by Charles Ingersol and Bobby Sanders in 1961 while they were still in high school. Sanders later managed the group and also wrote and produced material. Their first recording was the now classic, in northern soul circles anyway, "A Little Togetherness" for Canterbury records in 1967. This track was released the year after and was their only recording for the small Pick - A - Hit records. Enjoy!
"Get Yourself Together"
Posted by Martin Wed, October 19, 2011 17:23:22
Not the most expensive record you'll ever buy and not the hardest one to find either. Still, these pages are all about the quality of the music at as such this little gem can stand tall among its more scare, and sometimes expensive, fellow 45s on this site. Major Lance was no doubt a talented singer, but the real mastermind behind his success in the early 60s was Curtis Mayfield who wrote and produced most af his hits at the time. When Mayfield left so did the hits for the Major as well. But before the went seperate ways they formed a formidable duo who created some great music. Enjoy!"It Ain't No Use"
Posted by Martin Sun, September 25, 2011 20:27:08
The Cre-Shendos sole release came out in 1968 on the small Aquarius imprint, but some of the members in this outfit may have recorded as The Creshendos on Music City and also as The Casual Creshendos on MRC. Today's addition is the B-side, the other track being a terrific sweet soul type ballad called "This Must Be Love" which have been included on some Bay Area compilations so I'm guessing it must have been recorded/released thereabouts. Enjoy!"You're Still On My Mind"
Posted by Martin Tue, September 13, 2011 17:18:52
To be honest, I know very little about Richard Marks so any information is welcome. He released a few records in the late 60s and early 70s, this particular track being from 1970. He also recorded a version of the classic "Funky Four Corners" which was released around the same time I believe. This is his only release for the Shout label, a great double-sider where this side only just edges it for me, although "Don't Take It Out on Me" on the other side is great as well, enjoy!
"Love is Gone"
Posted by Martin Mon, September 05, 2011 18:35:51
With only 81 days to go to the Prague Soul Weekender in conjunction with Skaparada! I thought it's time to get Soultreats! back on track for the autumn edition. And what better way to start off with than this fantastic 1965 dancer which will hopefully go down a treat (!) at the event itself. The Wonderettes, or sometimes Rose St. John & The Wonderettes, recorded a couple of tracks between 1965-66 which sadly all sank without trace. "I Feel Strange", "the gem side" as it is aptly called, was re-released on both United Artists and Enterprise records shortly afterwards, later in '65 and '66 respectively but never managed to get much attention from the record buying public. Enjoy!
"I Feel Strange"
Posted by Martin Fri, July 29, 2011 17:41:45
Soultreats! is back on September 1st!
Posted by Martin Fri, July 22, 2011 20:10:30
The Falcons are sometimes credited to have recorded one of the first soul songs with their "You're So Fine" in 1959. A group that went through a number of line-up changes and at one point or another have included soul greats like Wilson Pickett, Eddie Floyd and Mack Rice. This track is from 1966 when all of aforementioned celebrities had already left the group. Little does that matter as the material that they recorded in the mid 60s to my ears is equally brilliant as their 1962 hit "I Found A Love" or anything else that included the more famous members. Enjoy!"Standing On Guard"
Posted by Martin Tue, July 19, 2011 19:51:31
One of of the rare soul scene's heroes, James Jay Barnes, again turns out a wonderful performance on this romantic crossover track from 1970. After Barnes had his few charters in the 60s for indies like Groovesville and Ric Tic he struggled to get a solid contract with a label that had the financial muscle to back him up. As we can hear the material was great and his voice was still in fine form but lack of promotion meant that most of his late 60s and early 70s recordings went to and early grave, at least in the U.S. I'm unsure of how many releases there were on the small Leo label which was owned by James Thorpe, but I'm pretty sure that the catalogue number on this, 884, is somewhat misguiding. Enjoy!"Wouldn't It Be A Pleasure"
Posted by Martin Fri, July 15, 2011 16:03:51
A real classic and with guys like Richard Wylie, Mike Hanks and Tony Hestor behind this track you know it's going to be special. I don't know much about Tommy Neal to be honest, to my knowledge this 1967 scorcher is his only release. Pameline was a local Detroit label which I think Richard "Popcorn" Wylie owned, or possibly Tony Hestor as the backing track is also used on Hestor's popular unreleased track "Spaceland". Enjoy!"Goin' To A Happening"
Posted by Martin Thu, July 14, 2011 18:25:32
Doris Jean Harrell was born in Montgomery Al. in 1945. She began singing in church at the age of five and when the family relocated to Detroit in 1960 she and her brother Albert met brothers Tommy & Freddy Martin who they formed the group The Paragons with. Local music man Mike Hanks discovered the group and signed them to Duke Browner's Exit label where they released their debut 45 "My Time Is
Important To Me / Pretty Words (That’s What I Want To Hear)" in 1963. The record didn't do much and the group went separate ways soon after. Harrell however stayed with Mike Hanks and recorded a number of 45s for his D-Town label. This is her first release on the D-Town imprint, an excellent ballad from 1963. Enjoy!"He Told Me Lies"
Posted by Martin Tue, July 12, 2011 16:03:36
I've always had a soft spot for these early, innocent sounding tracks and this was in fact one the first soul 45s I ever bought. Strangely enough I don't think I've featured The Intruders before on these pages, which is odd since I love lead singer Sam "Little Sonny" Brown's voice. Time to make that right then.
The Intruders were formed in 1960 as a doo-wop group and consisted of aforementioned Sam Brown together with Eugene Daughtery, Phillip Terry, and Robert Edwards. They cut their first record on Gowen records, local Philadelphia label in 1961, and had a further release on the same label in '62. This 1964 cut is their third release and was, although released on a New York label, written, produced and recorded in Philadelphia by Frank Bendinelli and Leroy Lovett, a production duo that were the king-pins of production in the city of Brotherly Love before Gamble & Huff came along. Not one of their strongest sellers, they had far more success later on with "Cowboys to Girls" and "Love Is Like (A Baseball Game") to name but a few, but still one of my personal favourites by them. Enjoy!
"But You Belong To Me"
Posted by Martin Fri, July 08, 2011 16:27:34
Often remembered for his 1969 smash hit "Hey There Lonely Girl", a cover of Ruby & The Romantics 1963 release "Hey There Lonely Boy", Eddie Homan had in fact by then already been a recording artist for a number of years. Making his debut at just 16 with "What You Don't Know (Won't Hurt You) for the Independent Leopard label in 1962, he continued to record for various labels throughout the 60s in search of that elusive breakthrough hit. Sadly Holman could not repeat the commercial success of "Hey There Lonely Girl" but continued to record and release great soul music for another decade, leaving a wealth of great material for us to choose from and a legacy of which he can be proud. Today's addition is from 1965 and just one of many great tracks he recorded that should have been more appriciated at the time of their release. Enjoy!"Eddie's My Name"
Posted by Martin Wed, July 06, 2011 18:42:43
The Masters of Soul consisted of Eddie Webb, Fred Kibble, Harold Hopkins, Clarence Bellard and Tom McPherson. They made their debut for Philadelphia based Guyden records in 1963 as The Royal Masters, but only had one release on the label. Their Guyden release went nowhere and it was to be five years before the group cut another record. By 1968 original member Jerry Porter had been replaced by Tom McPherson and the group changed their name to Masters of Houston. They were also signed to Ovide records, a Houston based record company owned by Skipper Lee. The new name only lasted for one single though, their 1968 Ovided debut "Please Wait For Me (My Darling)". For the remaining five records they cut on Ovide, and also the tracks that they later recorded for Capitol and Duke records, they used Masters Of Soul. This 45 is from 1970 and was pointed out to me by Soul man and all around great guy Magnus Räms. Enjoy! "Sad Face"
Posted by Martin Mon, July 04, 2011 18:31:36
The Whispers tried long and hard before they eventually had their share of success through some immortal cuts in the 70s and 80s. Before that though, they had been recording for almost a decade, making their debut with "It Only Hurts For a Little While" on the Los Angeles based Dore´ records in 1964. Todays track is from 1970 and Ron Carson's Soul Clock label (Carson was the group's original producer). It came out with two different titles; the more common "Remember" and a scarcer pressing with "Remember Me" as the title of the track. The backing track is the same as the perhaps more famous, to northern soul fans anyway, "Time's A Wasting" by the Fuller Brothers, which was released on the same label the year before. Enjoy!
Posted by Martin Thu, June 30, 2011 20:44:23
A native of Johnstown Penn., Patsy "Pat" Lewis moved with her family to Detroit in the early 1950s. In the early 1960s she and her sister Dianne together with Jackie & Betty Winston formed The Adorables who released three singles between 1964-1965 for Ed Wingate and Joanne Bratton's local Golden World label . In 1966 she went solo for the same label with this terrific double-header, "Can't Shake It Loose" being on the flip. Lewis continued to record for local Detroit labels and she also sang back-up with Motown group The Andantes as well as backing famous soul stars like Aretha Franklin and Isaac Hayes. Enjoy! "Let's Go Together"
Posted by Martin Tue, June 28, 2011 16:27:18
Carl Carlton a.k.a. The 12 Year Old Wonder, Little Carl Carlton and 14 Year Old Sensation began singing, you guessed it, at a very early age. He was just eleven when he had his first record released in 1964 on Lando, a local Detroit label . In 1968 he recorded the now classic "Competition Ain't Nothing" and was also signed to Don Robey's Back Beat label. Carlton lived at Robey's ranch for a while whilst recording some great material for the label between 1968-74. He later recorded for a number of labels: ABC, Mercury and 20th Century to name but a few. Today's addition is from 1970 and although he was just 17 at the time of release, Carlton's voice and choice of material had already matured compared to his earliest recordings. Enjoy!"Drop By My Place"
Posted by Martin Tue, June 21, 2011 20:25:50
A giant in underground soul music but sadly failed to make any real mark on the commercial side of things, Emanuel Laskey's output has, and still is, been largely underappreciated by the masses. Unfairly so, methinks, as most of his records on small Detroit labels like this in the 60s was quality through and through. Hailed as a hero on the U.K's northern soul scene because of tracks like this one can only hope that recognition for Mr. Laskey will come eventually, and it seems like it has to as the recordings just keep on gaining popularity. This is Laskey's sixth release for the Thelma imprint, released in 1965 it just preceded his anthemic "I'm A Peace Loving Man" for the same label,one which you will find featured elsewhere in these pages. Enjoy!"Don't Lead Me On Baby"
Posted by Martin Sun, June 19, 2011 17:20:32
Adam Wade's career in music goes back all the way to the late 50s when he recorded ballads and standars for labels like Coed and Epic. He has at the same time worked as an actor, with parts in the classic blaxploitation film "Shaft" and a number of other films and tv-shows, he was in fact the first African-American to host a game show! Today's track was released in 1977 and is in a different style than what is usual for Mr. Wade, as it is more in a mellow 70s soul groove than the classic ballads which he forst became famous for. A perfect track for a rainy Sunday (which it has been in Stockholm), enjoy!"Keeping Up With The Joneses"
Posted by Martin Wed, June 15, 2011 15:44:31
The Girls were from Ardell Gardens, a housing project in Chicago and to my knowledge only ever had one record released. It does sound very much like a Chicago production, even though the label quite clearly states that it was released in Memphis Tenn. Written and co-produced by Earl Cage who did a fair amount of work with Spencer Wiggins for the XL & Sounds Of Memphis labels. A 1970 release with a great midtempo swaying sound and a wonderful lead, what more could a boy ask for? Enjoy!"The Hurt's Still Here"
Posted by Martin Mon, June 13, 2011 17:33:24
What a great record to start of the week with! A 1972 gem from the pen of songwriting genius Phillip Mitchell issued by the small Texas based Ovide label. Beau Williams, a.k.a. Bobo Mr. Soul, released two singles in his early twenties for the Ovide imprint before he teamed up with Capitol records, where he recorded under his real name. The track was originally intended for Curtis Wiggins but Mitchell could not get a deal for that version and re-recorded it with Williams instead. Beau Williams to this day enjoys a successful career in gospel music. Enjoy!"Hitch Hike To Heartbreak Road"
Posted by Martin Fri, June 10, 2011 15:23:50
Mainly a jazz singer, East St. Louis native Leon Thomas (Leone from ´74 and onwards) studied music at Tennessee State University. He relocated to New York in 1958 where he joined a show sponsored by the famous Apollo Theatre. He sang and recorded with some of the all time greats in jazz music; Count Basie and Louis Armstrong to name but two. Today's track illustrates Thomas' more soulful side. Released in 1975 on a local New York label, this track was recorded in several versions and also issued by at least two different labels. I have opted for this version, as it is the one which my mate Oskar made into a winner at the Soulville! nights a few years ago. Enjoy!
"Thank You Baby Pt.1 "
Posted by Martin Thu, June 09, 2011 13:43:48
Barbara Mason is problably known to most people for her excellent 1965 cut for Artic records "Yes I'm Ready", which reached a top ten position on both the RnB & Pop charts. A Philadelphia native, Mason formed her first groups whilst still in her early teens. She played piano and composed the songs as well as sang lead and performed in local talent shows. She was introduced to radio personality and Arctic label owner Jimmy Bishop through Weldon McDougal, a local performer and allround music-man. Mason continued to record throughout the 1960s and 70s and had several records on the charts, albeit none went as high as "Yes I'm Ready". Today's track is from 1981 on on a local Philadelphia label (possibly owned by a radiostation?). A great little two-step number which illustrates, I think, perfectly the shift in Mason's music that occured when she moved from her Motown oriented material from the 60s into more mature recordings in the 70s and 80s. Enjoy!"On and Off"
Posted by admin Tue, June 07, 2011 07:56:07
Harmon Bethea (The Mask Man) and his Agents; Tyrone Gray, Johnny Hood and Paul Williams had previously been known as doo-wop outfit The Cap-Tans or L'Captans. The group recorded for a number of labels throughout the 50s and early 60s without having any real success. Bethea then decided to add to their show a gimmick, a "Lone Ranger" type mask and re-appear as his alter ego: The Mask Man. He also renamed the group to the Agents, and this new outfit (same members) released their first recording in 1964 on Gama records. Including both comedy and social commentary into their act, the group finally had some hits with the 1968 "One Eye Open" and the year after with "My Woman, My Dog, My Cat", both recorded for Dynamo records in N.Y.C. This release is from 1966 and a local New York label, but the track was later released on Musicor as well. Harmon Bethea passed in 2009 but will be fondly remembered not only for his great music, but also for his staying power and commitment: he doubled his day job in the army with a dream for musical success for almost 50 years. Enjoy!"I Wouldn't Come Back"
Ps For more info on The Mask Man and his Agents: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/09/AR2010010902146.html
Posted by Martin Fri, June 03, 2011 08:47:17
The Magictones were Virginia McDonald, Paul Willis, Tyrone Douglas, Tyrone Barkley and Calvin Stevens. In the mid 60s to early 70s they released a number of great records for local Detroit labels like Mah's, Wheelsville, Chrysler, Ram-Brock, Shur-Hit and Westbound. The group almost had a breakthrough with their 1968 release "Together We Shall Overcome" on Mike Hank's Mah's label, released shortly after the assassination of Dr. King. Today's addition was first released as the A -side to their 1969 release on Westbound #145, backed with "Trying Real Hard". This release was issued in ´71, and I think it is the same mix as on Westbound #145.
Group memeber Paul Willis had a surgery for a brain tumor in 1972 and passed in 1975, which made the group disband. McDonald, Barkley & Stevens later went on to join The Undisputed Truth. Enjoy! "Happy Days"
Posted by Martin Wed, June 01, 2011 08:29:33
A wonderful 1966 dancer from Philadelphia PA. The Volcanos released nine singles between 1964 and 1968, and used only thirteen songs. Such is the case with this release, where "Help Wanted" had previously been used as the A-side (it's the B-side here) in ´65, then backed with "Make Your Move". Here the official A-side is instead "A Lady's Man". I believe this is the group's first collaboration with songwriters Gamble & Huff who later on had huge success with acts like O'Jays etc. on Philadelphia International Records in the 70s. Although The Volcanos only charted once in the 60s, they too did well in the 70s when a large part of the group formed the backbone of disco act The Trammps. Enjoy!"Help Wanted"
Posted by Martin Mon, May 30, 2011 19:26:07
This 1966 release seems to have been Larry & The Larks' only release, and there is precious little information about them on the internet. Written and produced by a Tony March it seems like the group more or less passed by the studio, cut their record - win or lose, and then disappeared from the business, at least under this name. Nevertheless, the track is an excellent guitar led dancer, a fusion between Soul, RnB and garage that works really well. Enjoy!
" Tell Me"
Posted by Martin Fri, May 27, 2011 08:51:15
Joe Hinton was born in in Evansville
Indianapolis in 1929 and is not to be confused with Joe Hinton the
songwriter and artist who worked for Motown among others in the 70s.
After he´d been in two gospel groups he was persuaded by Don Robey
who owned Peacock records (where one of Hinton's gospel outfits The
Spirit of Memphis had released three singles in 1957-58) to have a
stab at the secular market. Hinton signed as a solo artist to
Peacock's subsidiary in 1958 but had to wait five years and an equal
amount of releases before he finally got a hit with his 1963 ”You
Know It Ain't Right”. Hinton's biggest success came the year after
when he managed to get a top 20 hit with his rendition of Willie
Nelson's ”Funny How Time Slips Away”. This is Joe Hinton's final
single for the Bacbeat imprint, where he released a total of 16
singles and one album. Sadly he died from skin cancer in 1968, the same
year this wonderful piece of music was released.
"Got You On My Mind"
Posted by Martin Thu, May 26, 2011 08:18:03
A wonderful southern crossover track that I was reminded of when top man Gareth Donovan played it recently.
Hot Sauce was a group from Detroit area that consisted of Rhonda Washington, William Callaway and Glynton Ashley. They cut four singles for the Stax/Volt label between 1972-1975 before they disbanded and Washington continued as a solo artist using the Hot Sauce name. This is their first release which came out in April 1972. Detroit record producer Al Perkins arranged the deal with Stax records, he´d been a radio DJ in in the Mephis area before moving north and had contacts in the business. Although they were off to a promising start with this which reached #35 on the Billboard RnB chart, the group failed to achieve the same success again and their only other chart entry was in 1974 with "Stop Dogging Me" which reached #78. The latter singles on Volt shows that the company had plans on releasing an LP with the group called "Good Woman Turning Bad", it even had a number assigned to it. Sadly this project never materialized, most likely because of the financial difficulties the label was going through in the mid 70s. Enjoy!"Bring It Home (And Give It To Me)"
Posted by Martin Wed, May 25, 2011 08:12:24
This is to my knowledge the last release by this Georgia group who also recorded as The Fabulous Dinos for the local Saber label in the early 60s. Members Robert Fears (aka Bobby Dixon), Allan Pace, James Walker, Hezekiah Sheffield and Rickey Andrews formed a band playing RnB in clubs in and around the Atlanta area in the late 50s. After an unsuccessful release on the Saber label in 1960 and one on New York's Musicor Records in 1962 they relocated to Macon Georgia to try out their luck. There they were signed to the King label and had a further two 45s released in 1964. Although both 45s are absolutely top drawer ("Bad Girl" has also been featured here previously) they sank without a trace. The co-writer of this track and most of the Denos' material Robert Fears later had his share of success as a member of The Ohio Players. Enjoy!
"I've Enjoyed Being Loved By You"
Posted by Martin Tue, May 24, 2011 09:09:16
Long before Aretha, Otis, The Spinners and countless others there was Ruth Brown.
Way back in the early 50s when Atlantic records was still just a fledgling RnB label alongside many others, Ruth Brown almost single handedly carried the label to its unique position it had a few years later. For almost a decade her records kept the company afloat and gave it the ability to expand. Sadly, when RnB turned to Soul in the 1960s she was to a large extent forgotten about.
This track is proof, if anything, that she could still deliver the goods though. A personal favourite from 1968 and the Solid State label which was a subsidary of Uniter Artists. Ruth Brown eventually got back into the music business, as a recordning artist but perhaps more importantly as a key figure in fighting for royalties for RnB and Soul acts. Enjoy!"A Stone Groovy Thing"
Posted by Martin Fri, May 20, 2011 11:42:08
Lamont Dozier might be known mainly for his songwriting abilities as he together with Brian & Eddie Holland created hundreds of great tracks for the Motown company in the 60s. Today though we focus on his work as an artist in his own right, and a track that he did not write himself. Dozier released some nice material in the early 70s, the album "Out Here On My Own" is great all the way through. I've selected this track as it is something of a personal favourite. Enjoy!"Fish Ain't Bitin'"
Posted by Martin Thu, May 19, 2011 08:41:22
A lot of 60s material have been added to Soultreats! lately so I thought it's time to mix it up a little.
This great little stepper was recorded in 1978 and went on to become Barrow's best seller, reaching #26 on the RnB chart the same year. Keith Barrow had started singing in church and had his own Gospel Group called The Soul Shakers (his father was a minister with Jesse James' Operation Push) before he signed to Columbia records.
He released two albums for Columbia records in the late 70s and a further one for Capitol records in the 80s before he died of complications from AIDS in 1983.
"You Know You Wanna Be Loved"
Posted by Martin Wed, May 18, 2011 08:14:41
A great midtempo track with that classic Chicago 60s sound. The Mandells were a local group who recorded a couple of tracks for the Moneytown label ("I Just Can´t Win") before they got their own label, Trans World Sound. This had actually been the idea from the beginning, to start a record label rather than a group. The Mandells then released quite a few sides on their Chicago based Trans World Sound, and often handled production, songwriting and arrangement themselves as well. This is my pick from their Trans World material. Enjoy!
"How To Love A Woman"
Ps Get The Mandells' full story at Bob Abrahamian's excellent site http://sittinginthepark.com/interviews.html Ds
Posted by Martin Tue, May 17, 2011 18:42:51
When this great cut was released in 1966 the glory days for this famous outfit were over. Formed as early as ´51 The Platters struggled for a few years before hooking up with producer and songwriter Buck Ram who almost single-handedly turned them into one of the most successful Doo-Wop groups of all time. At their prime in the mid and late 50s they were seldom of the charts and had huge hits like "The Great Pretender" and "Only You". The group continued (with some line-up changes) to record in the 60s, trying to adapt their style to the new realms of music. Although they never were as successful commercially as in the 50s they did record some great records, especially during their stay at the New York based Musicor label. Enjoy!"With This Ring"
Posted by Martin Mon, May 16, 2011 09:37:38
Another great 45 from this dynamic duo and their 1967 album "Two For The Price of One". Recorded and produced in Los Angeles it was released on Chicago's Okeh label. The Okeh label has become somewhat of a favourite for northern soul fans worldwide because of its wealth of great uptempo tracks they released in the mid 60s and you could problably spend both a lot of time and money if you wanted to collect them all. Enjoy!"A Quitter Never Wins"
Posted by Martin Fri, May 13, 2011 08:17:59
Hard to believe that with this addition there are now 400 Soultreats! listed on these pages! A big thank you to all of you who visit the blog and those of you who have taken the time to comment, it is very much appreciated!
Today's addition is from 1965 by The Superiors, a group that cut some excellent material for the MGM label and its Verve subsidary during the mid-60s. Hope you all enjoy, here's to the next 400!"What Would I Do"
Posted by Martin Thu, May 12, 2011 10:12:54
Gloria Edwards was born in Houston and followed in her mother's footsteps when she began performing on Blues and Soul shows at local clubs, something she has done over the last four decades and thereby earned her nickname "The Queen of Texas Soul". She recorded a number of tracks for the Crazy Cajun production company which were then leased to different labels for release, like this excellent 1972 fingersnapper. Enjoy!
(Need Nobody To Help Me) Keep Up With My Man
Posted by Martin Wed, May 11, 2011 17:42:28
Born in 1942, Spencer Wiggins cut some excellent southern soul ballads for the Goldwax and Fame labels during the 1960s and early 70s before turning his back on secular music in 1976. Like so many of his peers he began singing in church and formed a group together with his siblings Percy (who's been featured previously on theses pages) and Maxine Wiggins. In 1964 he was signed to Quinton Claunch's Goldwax label where his first recordings were leased to the Bandstand USA label. Although he is most known for his wonderful ballads, Spencer Wiggins recorded some great uptempo music as well. Perhaps most known to northern soul fans is his unreleased "Let's Talk it Over" which has been reissued on CDs and bootlegged many times over. Today we focus on this 1967 release with Wiggins' rumbling voice in fine form.
Posted by Martin Tue, May 10, 2011 09:31:20
I know very little about Michael Cloud I must admit. This 1976 single and an LP called "This Love I Have" for the same Atlanta label is all I've been able to find under his name. There is a Michael Cloud who recorded a couple of gospel tracks in the 80s and 90s, and I know that the LP "This Love I Have" also has something of a gospel influence so it might that it is the same guy behind them, but this is just a guess. Whatever the story may be, he can be proud over this terrific mellow dancer. Enjoy!"Check Your Direction"
Posted by Martin Mon, May 09, 2011 08:48:06
Born in Mississippi in 1939 as Roger Lee Craton, Rogers' family relocated to Detroit when he was just three years old. There he joined the church choir and also began to sing with local street corner groups. In 1959 he was a member of The Peppermints, a group that had two releases on the local Hob label the same year. In the early 60s Rogers met Mike Hanks, a local musician and entrepreneur who brought him to his stable of labels. Rogers had a big hit in 1964 on Hanks' D-Town label with his track "I Want You To Have Everything, which made #17 on the Billboard RnB chart in early ´65. Sadly this was Rogers only breakout hit, and although he continued to record frequently throughout the decade, none of his following records managed to repeat the success of "Everything". This great double-header, the other side is called "I'm A Practical Guy", was released in 1966. Enjoy!"Go-Go Girl"
Posted by Martin Fri, May 06, 2011 09:57:57
A personal favourite from Joe Evans' great New Jersey label.
The Manhattans consisted of George Smith, Winfred Lovett, Richard
Taylor, Kenneth Kelley and Edward Bivins. The group recorded a number
of singles for the Carnival label between 1964-68 which are all worth
looking up. They had their major breakthrough in the 70s however with
the smash hit "Kiss and Say Goodbye" for Columbia records which became
the second single ever to reach platinum, after Johnny Taylor's "Disco
Lady". This great little dancer is from 1967. Enjoy!
"All I Need Is Your Love"
Posted by Martin Thu, May 05, 2011 21:53:38
With credits like the ones on this label, you could buy it without having heard it first and still be quite certain that it would be a winner. Heaps of talent involved in this production with names like Lorraine Chandler and George Roundtree as songwriters and the production being handled by Jack Ashford, wall of fame names all of them I would say. Sandra Richardson also recorded as Sandra Feva under which name she released three albums in the late 70s and early 80s. This track is although it may sound like a 1960s recording actually from 1974. Inter Soul was a Detroit based label which I think was owned by one Ernest Kelly. Richardson had previously recorded for Buddah records in the early 70s as well as singing backup behind major acts like The Dramatics and the queen of soul herself, Aretha Franklin. Enjoy!
"Stay Here With Me"
Posted by Martin Wed, May 04, 2011 09:16:11
A 1966 release by this talented falsetto singer who tragically died in a motorcycle accident shortly after. This was his only official release, the A-side to this record is called "Help My Love". McCants was brought to the King label by songwriter Charles Spurling I believe who also wrote most of McCants material. The King label released one more record by McCants "She Wrote It I Read It" B/W "Try Me For Your New Love" but it was withdrawn right after McCants death in respect of the singer's family, leaving just a few promo copies in existance which are incredibly sought after.
Enjoy!"The Boy Needs A Girl"
Posted by Martin Thu, April 28, 2011 00:15:16
Another great dancer by this immensively talented singer. Set against the blaring horns and a relentless beat Carr cries out his agony for a love he cannot deny, brilliant stuff! Enjoy!"A Losing Game"
Posted by Martin Tue, April 26, 2011 12:51:31
Although a recording artist in his own right James Norman Scott is most known for his songwriting abilities. He wrote "Time Is On My Side" for Irma Thomas which was later covered and a smash hit for The Rolling Stones. He has also worked with both Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix during the beginnings of their career and he was a member of the Coasters. Born in Nashville in 1937 he has now relocated to New York where he has made a comeback with his 2004 album "Little Pieces".
This track was problably recorded in New York during the mid to late sixties. Enjoy!
Find out more about Jimmy Norman here
."This I Beg Of You"
Posted by Martin Mon, April 25, 2011 12:26:57
Ramsey Emmanuel Lewis has over the past five decades released a string of piano led pop/jazz records that have become popular on the U.K's mod and scooter scene. Lewis formed his own trio way back in 1956 and has since then stayed in the music business, a remarkable achievement and a proof of that his music has stood the test of time. Enjoy!"Wade In The Water"
Posted by Martin Tue, April 19, 2011 12:28:12
Really named Earl Nelson, Jackie Lee had a massive hit called "Harlem Shuffle" in 1963 as part of the duo Bob & Earl together with L.A. legend Bob Relf. He had previous to that been in a number of groups, including Bobby Byrd's The Hollywood Flames. Lee's solo career got of to a flying start when he released "The Duck" in 1965, a dance record that quickly climbed the RnB charts. Mirwood (a Los Angeles based company) quickly released a full length L.P. to capitalize on its success. Lee continued to record throughout the 60s, releasing a number of wortwhile uptempo grooves. This is my personal favourite. Enjoy!
"Oh My Darlin' "
Posted by Martin Tue, April 12, 2011 19:36:08
One of soul music's best kept secrets, Jimmy James Barnes is held in high esteem by soul fans all over the world for his 1960 & 70s recordings. JJ Barnes was born in Detroit Michigan in 1943 and cut his first solo recording just 17 years old for the local lable Kable records in 1960, a track called "My Love Came Tumbling Down". He recorded prolifically during the 60s, releasing stellar material on labels like Mickay's, Scepter, Golden World (as part of the group The Holidays) Ric Tic and others. This 1967 release was his best seller and it reached #11 on the RnB chart in '67. Enjoy!"Baby Please Come Back Home"
Posted by Martin Tue, April 05, 2011 11:36:51
Born in 1946 and a native of Pittsburgh P.A. Chuck Corby got in to the music business in his teens and this record was released in 1966. It fared pretty well and was picked up by Scepter records for national distribution the same year. Corby moved on to release material on a number of labels during the 1960&70s, including some great records on Spectre, Chess and the Fee-Bee label, among others the epic "Those Lonely Nights" in 1968 (then dubbed as The Soul Communicators). Currently residing in Clairton P.A. Corby is still active today, and has also made an appearance on the U.K. soul scene a few years ago. Enjoy!
"Happy Go Lucky"
Posted by Martin Mon, April 04, 2011 14:34:53
Something a little bit different from the Godfather of Soul is this slice of 1977 crossover soul which is far from his usually more funky outings. It is nice to hear Brown's soulful voice being used in such effect rather than his usual grunting, growling and rapping. Smooth stuff for a Monday afternoon, enjoy.
"People Wake Up And Live"
Posted by Martin Thu, March 31, 2011 10:44:53
Most known for his seminal "The Dark End Of The Street", James Carr is regarded by many as one of the most talented soul singers of all time. Born in 1942, Carr like so many of his peers began singing in church and gospel groups. Together with friend and former band mate Roosevelt Jamison he started searching for an entrance into a secular recording career in the early 1960s, and was eventually signed to Quinton M Claunch and Rudolph 'Doc' Russell's newly founded Goldwax label in '63 after another Memphis label, Stax, had turned him down. At Goldwax Carr recorded the bulk of his material including this B-side to the classic "You Got My Mind Messed Up" in 1966.
Enjoy!"That's What I Want To Know"
Posted by Martin Thu, March 31, 2011 00:06:29
Most likely a 1963 or 64 release from the short lived Success label. Based In Des Moines Iowa, the label had just ten releases before folding but, judging by the records that I've heard, it wasn't quality that was lacking. The Blendtones had their two releases (number 1 & 5 in the Success catalogue) and the first one entitled "Dear Diary" B/W "Lovers" sold well in the L.A. area, reaching #3 on the local chart. The group consisted of brothers and Des Moines natives Gilbert & George Davis together with Ronnie Brewer. This is the B-side to "The Slide", their second and final outing for Success. It was written, as all their Success material, by George Davis who is now back performing with his brother again in the Des Moines area.
Enjoy!"Come On Home"
Posted by Martin Sun, March 27, 2011 22:01:26
One of the more commercially viable tracks from this Los Angeles based label, this was also done in a female version, aptly named "That Boy" instead.
Henderson had another northern winner with his "I'm Scheming" on the same label, which is a lot harder to find. For me though, this is his finest hour. Enjoy!
Posted by Martin Sat, March 26, 2011 23:34:40
One of the original members of The Impressions, Butler also had a fantastic career as a solo artist and is remembered as one of the Windy City's most memorable voices. This is perhaps not one of his best sellers or most know tracks, but anyone with a history in northern soul will surely have fond memories of it, as it just the type of happy go lucky dance music that usually attracts new followers.
Posted by Martin Wed, March 23, 2011 21:51:34
Deep soul of the highest order on this 1969 release from the King subsidary Federal records. Sadly I have no information whatsoever abot the real identities behind the duo. From my understanding this is their one release and it sank without a trace, only to be rediscovered some thirty years later when it was compiled on the excellent Ace / Kent CD "King Deep Soul". Nice little double sider it is as well since the flip "I Don´t Have Worry" is southern crossover at its best.
"All I Want Is You"
Posted by Martin Sat, March 19, 2011 12:06:22
Hej Bohemka je jenom jedna,
vi på Soultreats tycker att det är jättebra att du spelar northern soul tills öronen blöder.
Vi har slagits för den typen av musik i ett allt mer likriktat klubblandskap under flera år nu och blir därför väldigt glada när fler tar upp "kampen".
Dock så anser vi att det inte enbart går att föra kampen genom att spela skivor "tills öronen blöder" eller dansa och ha roligt. Det krävs ytterligare engagemang. Vi tycker inte att man kan, eller bör, sprida musik enbart genom glädje och dans. Glädjen och dansen måste sättas in i en meningsfull kontext.
Vi vill därför föreslå att ni ändrar er "approach" till kvällens tillställning något. Vore det till exempel inte ett utmärkt tillfälle att belysa de tragiska villkor som dessa musiker ofta levde under när de var aktiva? Detta kan också enkelt länkas till workshops om t.ex. huruvida det amerikanska facket för musiker i själva verket inte alls stod på dess medlemmars sida, utan snarare skivbolagens.
Vi publicerar detta brev för att belysa den problematik som uppstår när man närmar sig en musikalisk genre utan reflektion, och därmed går miste om unika tillfällen att upplysa allmänheten om vikten av förståelse och kunskap om det unika i northern soul.
Posted by Martin Sat, March 05, 2011 22:40:39
One of the defining voices in soul music´s history Eddie Kendricks could not achieve the same success as a solo artist as he had with The Temptations, much like stablemate David Ruffin (although Kendricks had several hits on his own in the 70s). Many of the groups at Motown seem to have been more than the sum of their parts, having more success collectively than when members broke out / were lifted out of them to perform as solo artists. However, even if the commercial side of it may not been as rewarding as previously, he did record some wonderful music on his own before he sadly passed away in 1992.
"Darling Come Back Home"
Posted by Martin Fri, March 04, 2011 23:00:52
A 1967 release on this short lived record label which I think was based in Detroit MI. Martin was a Detroit native and had previously, dating back to the 50s, been in various Doo-Wop and RnB groups, The Pearls and The Top Notes, as well as singing with Duke Ellington. In the mid sixties he decided to go solo and recorded for several labels like Roulette, Tuba and Crackerjack. This 45, which was also picked up bý Stax records and released on that label in the U.K., is to me his best although his #47 RnB hit "You Better Go" for Roulette records comes close, enjoy!"Sly Girl"
Posted by Martin Thu, March 03, 2011 22:21:32
Another girl group winner and this time from 1969, which was problably after most the girl groups had already faded away and funkier rhythms had taken over. And it is none other than the king of funk himself, James Brown, who produced this track. I haven´t found a line-up of The De Vons and I don´t know of any other releases by them, some suggest that they may the samé girls who recorded as The Devonnes on "I´m Gonna Pick Up My Toys And Go Home", but I´m not sure of that.
"Someone To Treat Me (The Way You Use To)"
Posted by Martin Tue, March 01, 2011 21:06:53
For many this is the ultimate girl group record, and I agree. From the opening bars to the soaring lead vocal by Margaret Ross´ it is just perfection. The group never got much attention during their time, although they are the ones that are singing most of Little Eva´s "Locomotion" and were the first group to record "I´m Into Something Good" which was later covered by Hermans Hermits and a million seller. Whatever raw deal they were dealt The Cookies can be proud that this, to me their finest hour, will never crumble.
"I Never Dreamed"
Posted by Martin Sun, February 27, 2011 21:48:03
Have finally managed to get the Internet to work again since relocating to Prague, and this will hopefully mean that Soultreats! will be updated much more frequently than what has been the case the last week or two. Starting off with this great piece of 70s dance music on the Abet label by Skip and his Casuals. Released in ´76, it is one of the groups four singles on the label, all released between 1976-77. For more info on the group, visit their homepage at: http://www.skipmahoneythecasuals.com
Enjoy!"Running Away From Love"
Posted by Martin Thu, February 10, 2011 21:08:53
The Kent label was based in California and owned by Jules Bihari, one of the Bihari brothers who also owned the Modern label out of Los Angeles. Kent focused mainly on blues and RnB/Soul and released a number of great records between 1958-73. Ruth Davis only had one release, this 1970 number which features a very Sam & Davesque guitar riff and has what I think instant commercial appeal. However for all its "Soul Man" resemblance I don´t think it ever charted, at least not nationally. Perhaps Kent did not put enogh money into promotion, BB King was the label´s main artist and much like James Brown at King records, these superstars tended to get much of the label´s resources, leaving little for other smaller artists to fight over. Whatever the reason, I still think its a great track that should have been more popular.
Ps Does anyone know if this is the same Ruth Davis as the one who recorded with Bo Kirkland in the 70s? Ds"I Need Money"
Posted by Martin Wed, February 09, 2011 20:54:05
Another one of King´s lesser known tracks, I´ve featured his great "I
Can´t Break The News To Myself" some time ago. This was released the
year before, in 1964 to be exact and although it sold fairly well
judging by how it is to find nowadays it still has to be considered a
poor seller by King´s standards. Still active to this day, Ben E King
has a recording history that spans over five decades and includes hits
with both The Drifters as well as a solo artist. He also managed to
make a remarkable return to the spotlight in the 70s after having been
out of the limelight for some time. Definately one of the most
rememberable voices of soul music, here it is in all its glory, enjoy!
"What Can A Man Do"
Posted by Martin Mon, February 07, 2011 17:58:08
Another one that I don´t know much about, and I can´t seem to find out anything about it either. Sounds like a mid- to late 60s production to me and Smith is obviously a talented guy. For some reason I think that Conclave records were out of Chicago, but the label doesn´t say anything so that is pretty much just a hunch. The flip "Human", is also a great track, more of a classic ballad but equally as good which makes this little cheapie a contender for this weeks "best value" award.
Enjoy!"Don´t Find Me Guilty"
Posted by Martin Sun, February 06, 2011 20:25:38
From time to time ,no matter how hard you try to find out a little something about these records, you come up with nothing. Nothing at all in fact. I guess it is bound to happen, since quite a few of the tracks presented on these pages never got the public´s attention in the first place, and thus in many cases were never documented. This is one of those. The Spoilers were problably a white outfit (sounds like it to me) that got a chance to cut a record in 1967, which never took off and that pretty much ended their claim to fame right there and then. The record itself isn´t half bad though, some decent harmonies and nice orchestration sees this little dancer through in a good way.
Enjoy!"Something About You"
Posted by Martin Thu, February 03, 2011 21:09:41
The Volumes consisted of Ed Union, Elijah Davis, Larry Wright, Joe Travillion, Ernest Newsome and on one of their releases (Impact 1017) Gerald Mathis sang lead. During their eight years together, from approx. 1962-70, the group went through eight different record companies, but stayed with the same production team for most of the time. Harry Balk (co-owner of the Impact and Inferno labels) and Duke Browner (co-owner and songwriter extraordinaire) worked closely with the group throughout the sixties without getting that all-important breakthrough hit. The group actually came closest on their first attempt, the 1962 release "I Love You" on Chex records which made the Top 30 on Billboard´s pop chart. This is their first release on the Inferno imprint, released in 1967.
Enjoy!"You Got It Baby"
Posted by Martin Wed, February 02, 2011 20:50:22
James Phelps sadly passed on October 26th last year and the news made it into several distinguished music papers, mainly because of his involvement with the legendary gospel group The Soul Stirrers. Phelps moved to Chicago from his native Louisiana in his late teens with that precise objective in his head, to be in the Soul Stirrers. Although he did not sign up with the group immeadiately it wasn´t long before he was fronting the group and was singled out as the next secular star to be signed as a secular solo artist, after his famous predecessor Sam Cooke of course. Phelps´ solo career got of to a very good start with his "Love Is A Five Letter Word" which was released on Argo in 1965. Sadly his following records did not fare as well, although the were just as good, as you can hear. Although that promising start did not blossom into a fully fledgled solo-stardom, Phelps made his living as a popular club act in Las Vegas and other places for many years.
To hear Phelps´ full story, and possibly one of the last interviews with him, please visit the excellent website: www.sittinginthepark.com
Enjoy!"Don´t Be A Cry Baby"
Posted by Martin Mon, January 31, 2011 21:36:57
Mutt records was a small record company out of Inkster Michigan. The label dabbled in a bit of everything, including some very nice soul releases by artists like The Two Fellows and Dusty Wilson. This wonderful and slightly funk influnced 45 came out in 1968 and was released in several different versions (with or without strings I think is the main difference between them ). The Mutt label was run by Nate Dore and Bill Williams, allegedly in the same office as one of the owners bail-bond office. Labels like these could never in a million years compete with the Motown monster, but that is not to say that they didn´t try, and that they didn´t deserve to win from time to time. I think Carol Jones´ moment of fame is one of those, see for yourself.
"Don´t Destroy Me"
Posted by Martin Thu, December 02, 2010 12:16:59
The Casinos only released one single for Joe Stevenson´s Philadelphia label Del-Val records, and not much else is known about them. It may be the same group that had a hit with "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" in 1967 and recorded for the Fraternity label but I´m not sure on this. The timing seems right however since this number came out in 1965, and it did next to nothing so the group may have searched for their pot of gold elsewhere. Whatever the truth is, this is a fine uptempo Philly number that deserves a spin or two. Enjoy!"If I Told You"
Posted by Martin Thu, December 02, 2010 11:40:47
Franky & The Spindles were problably from the N.J. area. The group was made up by Frankie Kennedy (lead), Robert Kennedy, Charles Graves, Joseph Shields and Raymond Shields. They are not the same Spindles that recorded for ABC records, that incarnation was problably from the Florida area.
Franky & The Spindles released four singles on Philadelphia based Roc-Ker records between 1968 - 1970, and went on to record for a number of local labels after that as well. Their last 45 came out on the tiny Strawberyy label in 1977.
The Roc-Ker label was co-owned by George Kerr, a well established player in the Philadelphia music industry (he is the "Ker" in the label) and another person who is a this point unknown to me. The label worked as a subsidary to the larger Phil LA of Soul and used various distribution networks to get the product out, in this case the Amy - Mala - Bell setup.
Posted by Martin Wed, December 01, 2010 20:00:08
Arthur Freeman is not to be confused with Art Freeman who recorded for Fame records in the 1960s, although both of them recorded and had releases on labels based in the south of the U.S. Arthur Freeman is in fact from Florida and this track was first released in a completly, and in my opinion inferior, version in 1962 on the Florida based Regal label. In 1971 it was re-recorded and briefly surfaced on the Astor-Arts label before being leased to the more financially stable Excello records. Sadly, this was Freeman´s last recording but he can be proud to the contribution he has made to the soul music history. Enjoy!"Played Out Playgirl"
Posted by Martin Tue, November 30, 2010 21:47:03
A 1966 release with an almost frantic approach, thus making it perfect for the northern soul scene. If northern soul music is basically about on the fours Motown copycats, but with a twist, then this fits the bill perfectly!
The International GTO´s consisted of Willie Powell, Tunde Aleem (later replaced by Arthur Allen) Norman Dade and Tommy Lockhart (lead). They only had one 45 released under that name, but had previously recorded in 1963 as The Master Four on Tay-Ster and released a wonderful doo-wop ballad called "It´s Not The End". I believe that the Tay-Ster and Rojac labels were connected (possibly owned by one
Jack Taylor) but I´m not sure on this. It also seems like both labels and the group originated from the Harlem area in N.Y.C.
"I Love My Baby"
Posted by Martin Fri, November 26, 2010 16:04:59
Problably one of my top ten records of all time, I just never get tired of hearing this 1966 release.
Barney "Duke" Browner worked mainly as a producer and songwriter at Harry Balk´s Impact label, which was located in Detroit Michigan. There is not much information about him to go about but what is clear is that he was involved in a lot of recordings that later on became northern soul classics, "Lady In Green" by The Magnetics, "Walk On Into My Heart" by Bobbie Smith, "If You Ever Walk Out Of My Life" by Dena Barnes and many, many more. Rumors has it that Browner converted to islam and is no longer interested in talking about his musical past. A shame if we cannot get the full story, but the music that he left behind will stand well on its own.
Ps It´s a rough looking label, as my good friend Samuel calls it "Detroit Mint". The sound is hopefully what you´re interested in... Ds"Crying Over You"
Posted by Martin Thu, November 25, 2010 23:52:39
Released almost simultaneously on both the Strata and Open labels, this
wonderful girl group track did not set any charts on fire back in 1966.
Produced by Leroy Lovett and Frank Bendinelli (Ben-Lee productions)
this Philadelphia cut seems to have been the girls only release. A
shame since the energy it carries should have carried them a lot
"Call On Me"
Posted by Martin Tue, November 23, 2010 21:02:31
The famous frontman of The Drifters of course, Ben E King became a legend in his own right through a successful solo career. This one of his lesser known records from the mid 60s, but it deserves just as much attention and appreciation as his many million sellers.
Enjo!"I Can´t Break The News To Myself"
Posted by Martin Mon, November 22, 2010 22:44:01
An 1976 outing and to my knowledge one of the last 45s to be released on Anthony Renfro´s L.A. based label, the B-side being an instrumental called "Whole Lot Of Nothin´" and credited to Anthony C Renfro & Friends. The info on who Luke Day was is scarce to say the least and this seems to be his only record. According to Renfro himself, Luke Day was a guy with a great voice and lots of girlfriends. And I think it´s fair to agree (at least with the first part) after listening to this.
Posted by Martin Fri, November 19, 2010 14:16:55
A tricky little record to find, it can´t have sold many copies when it was released back in 1969. Eddie Gross seems to be the key player here since his name is on the label no less than five times, writing, singing, arranging, publishing and even in the little slogan "If It´s Gross, It´s The Most". Great stuff, and I can´t understand why that, together with the wonderful horn arrangments, did not carry this record to greater heights. The Queen G setup most have been a minscule little operation (perhaps by Gross himself) because I only know of one or two other records on this San Diego label and they are very hard to get as well.
"It´s Not The Way You Walk"
Posted by Martin Thu, November 18, 2010 19:03:10
The one that got away. Lead singer Marvin Smith was sure that this was the group´s big breakout record and it sold very well in the Chicago area when it was released in 1965. However, for some reason the track did not do as well outside of the Midwestern area and Smith together with members Lawrence Johnson, Jesse Bolian, Aaron Floyd & Curt Thomas moved to another Chicago label, Brunswick, the year after where they recorded extensively during the late 1960s.
"This Heart Of Mine"
Posted by Martin Wed, September 29, 2010 23:17:15
Formed at the Hyde park YMCA in Chicago in 1966, The Dynamic Tints released their first, of three, 45s "Package Of Love" on the local label Twinight in 1969. Led by a Robert Brown this is a fine mellow crossover tune that unfortunately did little for the group to help them break out from local venues. Written by the Pieces Of Piece bassist Bernard Reed it is most likely that it is also them playing behind the group. Enjoy!
"Package Of Love Pt. 1"
Posted by Martin Tue, September 28, 2010 23:15:27
A song penned by Motown staff writers Frank Grodon and Frank Wilson and it has been recorded in fine versions by both Ike & Tina Turner as well as Darrell Banks. However, sometimes it is just small portions of records that really captures me, in this case it is the wonderful bridge just before the refrain with its blaring horns and furious stomp fromn this all white garage band that just slays me. Soul ? Maybe not. Northern soul? Most definately! Enjoy!"Somebody Somewhere Needs You"
Ps For an excellent page on The Mid Knights, click here!
Posted by Martin Mon, September 27, 2010 22:20:59
A wonderful ballad from 1969 featuring John Gary Willams on lead vocals backed by Julius Green, William Brown and Robert Phillips. The group recorded quite a few 45s for the Volt label during the mid to late 1960s and early 70s, including several gems like this one and "I Don´t Want To Lose Yor Love". Enjoy!
"Make This Young Lady Mine"
Posted by Martin Wed, September 15, 2010 22:08:50
Brothers Earl Smith andTimmie Smith and two of Solomon Burke´s sons Alec & Laddie Burke made up the Showstoppers who had a medium sixed hit in 1968 with "Ain´t Nothing But A Houseparty". Although that particualr single managed to get released on no less than four different labels ( Party Time, Showtime, Heritage and Guyden) it did not guarantee the group´s future success, in fact, they only released a few more singles in the U.S. after it. But it was on the other side of the Atlantic that the group´s record really broke, courtesy of the U.K.´s local youth clubs, mod and scooter scenes. That is also why another group toured the United Kingdom disguising as The Showstoppers to cash in on their success, leaving the original members none the wiser (or richer). they did get a chance to release a canned track from their Showtime sessions on the British Beacon label (today´s treat) but this did not get the same attention as their debut single and the group decided to call it quits. Enjoy!
Posted by Martin Wed, September 15, 2010 21:54:42
Long before Barry White become the superstar and ladies man that he perhas is most known for to the general public, he was a struggling artist and songwriter on the west coast. Blessed with a deep and emotional voice, and also a songwriting genius he soon made some noise locally and was offered to both record, produce and write for himself as well as for other artists. This is one of White´s earliest tracks as a solo artist and it is very interesting to listen to and compare to the music which he made later on in the 1970s that took him to the top of the charts (and women). Enjoy!
"All In The Run Of A Day"
Posted by Martin Wed, September 15, 2010 21:49:25
Apart from Detroit, Chicago was problably the city that the strongest independent soul music business in the 1960s and early 1970s. A myriad of small lables cropped up tying to steal some of the Motown thunder that was high in the charts all over the U.S. in the mid 60s. Very few succeded however, but it has left us a rich legacy of great soul music that has (until now) been undervalued and under appreciated. The Soul Majestics were Vandy Hampton (who later recorded with The Chi-Lites), Dean Willams (later of Heaven & Earth) and other, to me, unknown members. They cut this record orginally for the Chicago Music bag label, but it was re-released on Al-Tog records in 1972. The group cut one more 45 for Al-Tog before disbanding called "Time And Time Again". Enjoy!"Missing You"
Posted by Martin Mon, September 13, 2010 21:33:08
This is the group´s second 45 for the Minit label, it came out in June ´66 about six months after their wonderful Vietnam war inspired ballad "He´ll Be Back". The group conisted of Herbert Butler (lead) Johnny Carter, Verne Allison, Mickey McGill and Chuck Barksdale on their debut 45 but several members left before today´s treat was released; Carter, Allison and McGill disappeared and were replaced by Tommie Johnson, Joe Brackenridge and Otha Lee Givins respectively. This incarnation saw two more 45s out on Minit records the following year but saw little success with them. Enjoy!
"Why Did I Lie"
Posted by Martin Fri, September 10, 2010 14:57:13
A great little northern romp that was released twice on the Sussex label, only three months apart, in febrary and May of 1971 to be exact. The Decisions recorded one more 45 for the label entitled "Do You Love Me" before vanishing into obscurity. Enjoy!"I Can´t Forget About You"
Posted by Martin Mon, September 06, 2010 20:14:51
The Whispers consisted of Walter Scott, Wallace Scott, Nicholas Caldwell, Marcus Hudson and Gordy Harmon (replaced in 1973 by Leaveil DeGree) and started their recording career on the Doré label with "It Only Hurts For A Little While" in 1964. They did several 45s for the label, but only getting small RnB hits throughout the 60s. The 70s and 80s where nore succesful for the group and they recorded for a number of labels like Soul Clock, Janus, Roker, Soul Train, and Solar and had hits like "The Beat Goes On" and "It´s A Love Thing". This is a 1975 release which never charted but is pleasant nonetheless. Enjoy!"In Love Forever"
Posted by Martin Mon, September 06, 2010 20:02:56
Released in 1971 on the Memphis based Volt label, this is a leased in job from the great Van McCoy who co-wrote and also produced the track. Who Ilana is remains a mystery, I haven´t found any information about her or any other records by her either. Whoever she is she can be proud over her achievement with this one even though it failed to chart at the time. Enjoy!
"Where Would You Be Today
Posted by Martin Thu, September 02, 2010 23:25:10
Released in 1968 on Curtis Mayfield´s own label, this was only the second single to warrant a release on the now collectable Curtom label. Conquest had previously recorded on Fame and Jet Set, both southern labels, but had her first break with this Chicago production which was a big local hit. Later releases saw Conquest teaming up with Donny Hathaway (allegedely it was supposed to be Sam Cook´s brother LC Cook but he never showed up for the sessions) for a couple of duets for the label but none had the same impact as her debut 45. Enjoy!"What´s This I See"
Posted by Martin Wed, September 01, 2010 21:58:19
Today´s treat might actually be more known in its instrumental version, "Sweet & easy" by Van McCoy. This version was issued in 1971 on the Philadelphia based record label Top & Bottom and recorded in the famous Sigma Sound Studios in the same city. This is last release for Brenda & The Tabulations ( Brenda Payton, Eddie L. Jackson, Maurice Coates and Jerry Jones ) on the label. They later moved on to record for both the Epic and Chocolate City labels. However, the group had their most success with their earlier recordings for Dionn (also a Philly label) and Top & Bottom. Enjoy!
"A Love You Can Depend On"
Posted by Martin Tue, August 31, 2010 17:15:53
I rarely buy expensive records nowadays, there is simply too many good cheap ones to pick up first. However, when a long lasting "want" pops up and eventually sells for a fraction of its value, that certain itchy feeling comes back to me, must have mode! The condition of my copy of this late 1960s group track is less than stellar, but to be honest I don´t mind that much. just to be able to play it and hold it gives me a thrill, as I hope it will to you. I know very little about the The Fourcounts, but to my knowledge this is their only release. The Lyndell label seems to have been located mainly in Philadelphia and also released a now much sought after single by The Soul Brothers Six. Enjoy!
"A Home In Loveland"
Posted by Martin Mon, August 30, 2010 05:53:54
One of the finest moments in LaSalle´s career, this 1975 track, co-written by the artist herself, tells the bittersweet tale of adultery with no other outcome than heartbreak. LaSalle proved herself to be more than just a passing singstress in music history, much to her ability to craft great material for herself and thus becoming less dependant on record company employees to come up with the goods for her. just listen to this and her other track featured on this site "Here I Am Again" and you´ll se what I mean. Enjoy!
"Married, But Not To Each Other"
Posted by Martin Tue, June 22, 2010 17:26:41
Toussaint McCall released his first (of seven) 45s on the Ronn label in 1967. The song, "Nothing Takes The Place Of You" proved to be his biggest hit, and climbed all the way up to a number five position on the r&B chart. Released the same year, and similar in style is this wonderfully sung ballad although it did not far as well commercially as his Ronn waxing. Enjoy!"I Would Rather Have All Of Nothing"
Posted by Martin Mon, June 21, 2010 22:46:56
Such a great little midtempo gem. Little information to be found about Ms. Shivers on the net (or elsewhere), but she had several releases in the O-Pex label, sometimes with her surname spelt as Chivers. They should all be quite easy to get, so get those favourite searches on Ebay ready, enjoy!"Won´t You Come Back Home"