Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rhetta Hughes: Cry Myself To Sleep (Tetragrammaton)

Wow, what a wonderful never-on-45 dancer! The whole album "Re-Light My Fire" is outstanding but this is my favourite track. A Mike Terry & Jo Armstead production, unfortunately it lasts 2:06 minutes only. Rhetta Hughes was an actress and starred in several Broadway musicals and TV shows. She also appeared in the Blaxploitation movie "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song", directed by Melvin Van Peebles.

Ray Gant & Arabian Knights: Don't Leave Me Baby (Jay-Walking)

This record was written and produced by Detroit masters Lorraine Chandler and Jack Ashford for Soulville production. The result is a stupendous ballad, with a great crescendo. The flip, "I Need A True Love", is a great version of Eddie Parker's Triple B classic.

Willie and the Mighty Magnificents: Funky 8 Corners Part 2 (All Platinum)

From a rare album (but a reissue should be easily obtainable), a storming instrumental version of the dance craze "funky 8 corners". Willie & the Mighty Magnificents were a New Jersey-based funk ensemble led by guitarist/vocalist Willie Feaster. The debut single "Check It Baby" is a Northern classic (but it is not included in the original LP).

Charles Johnson: Good Good Lovin' (Dash)

Charles Johnson is better known for his classic rarity "Never Had A Love So Good" on Alston but this slice of 80s soul is a premiere league record too. Recorded in Miami, Florida, "Good Good Lovin" is a sophisticated midtempo modern soul masterpiece.

Barbara Hall: You Brought It On Yourself (Innovation II)

Written by soul maestro Sam Dees, and produced by Major Lance and Otis Leavill, this 45 was popular at the Blackpool Mecca in 1975. A fabulous Chicago production that is getting again the attention it deserves. Innovation II delivered us several excellent sides.

Gloria Lynne: I've Just Gotta Tell Somebody (Canyon)

A great vocalist associated with RNB, Soul, Jazz and Pop music. The album "Happy And In Love" came out in 1970 and was recorded in Hollywood, California with the production skills of Frank Clark and Art Freeman. A superb midtempo, written by Dee Ervin and Lynn Farr, and one of my favourite Gloria Lynne's song.

Main Ingredient: Work To Do (Rca Victor)

The Main Ingredient were one of the great soul groups of the 70s. Formerly known as The Insiders, they originated in Harlem . This track comes from theirs fifth album "Afrodisiac", recorded at legendary RCA's studios in New York City. Even if they are know as sweet soul masters, this is a fine dancer, not available on 45.

The Rotations: Don't Ever Hurt Me Girl (Law-Ton)

The Rotations' lead singer, Richard Parker, was a producer/songwriter from Detroit, who was brought to Philadelphia to work at Arctic Records by Jimmy Bishop. Parker was also actively involved with Honey & The Bees. The band had two other singles on Frantic, a subsidiary of Arctic.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cynthia Sheeler: Yes We Do (Skyra)

Down to New Orleans to pay homage to a very special singer with a track co-written by the legendary Richard Caiton. This could be massive if played at the right venues. I first read about it years ago on Derek Pearson's "Shades of Soul" thanks to Ian Clark's amazing reviews.

Brief Encounter: What About Love (Capitol)

Written and produced by this obscure group, this is a great modern soul record, very good for the dancefloor. Check out also theirs other rare single "Human" on Sound Plus.

Gene Chandler: Without You Here (Curtom)

An absolute gem of a record, this is Chicago Soul at its best! The rarest of the 3 45s Gene Chandler made for Curtom, produced by himself. The piano solo at the end of the track is pure adrenalin. Played out by top djs like Soul Sam, Arthur Fenn and Mick H.

Bobby Powell: Childhood Days (Excello)

The album "Thank You" is sought after for the excellent last track on side 2, a perfect example of soulful crossover written by Bobby Powell and produced, like the rest of the album, by Lionel T. Whitfield. Bobby Powell, native of Louisiana, started singing when he was four years old. His musical education included The Southern University School for The Blind. He had a number one record with "C. C. Rider", that is included here.