Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Jesse Davis: Never Could Have Made It/Is This Love (Essence)

I felt in love with Jesse's music since the very first time I heard his Northern Soul anthem "Gonna Hang On In There Girl". This album was recorded in the beautiful city of San Diego and shows his marvellous voice on top form.
Never Could Have Made It
Is This Love

Beres Hammond: Don't Wait Too Long/Somebody Lied (Water Lily)

This is Beres Hammond's debut LP and is influenced by the music he grew up with. He is still in the business and has just issued a new double album.
Don't Wait Too Long
Somebody Lied

Sssence: What Love Has Joined Together/If You Want Me (Lance)

Obscure double sider from the Windy City, taken form an album that apparently was never released.
What Love Has Joined Together
If You Want Me

The Florida Spiritualaires: I Remember When (Ernie's Record Parade)

Great mid-seventies black gospel on a subsidiary of Nashboro Records. The group was organized by Reverend Fleming in the 60s.
I Remember When

Darrow Fletcher: It's No Mistake (Crossover)

A tasty midpace number issued by Ray Charles' famed label. If you like this do not miss the recent Kent CD "Crossover Records 1975-79 LA Soul Sessions" telling the whole story behind Darrow's Los Angeles years.
It's No Mistake

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pioneers: My Good Friend James (Mercury)

Written and produced by Eddy Grant, this is another great discovery of Pioneers' soul period at Mercury.
My Good Friend James

Lee Brackett: Save A Foolish Man/Ruby (Excello)

Super double sider on Excello, Nashboro Records R&B subsidiary. This single received a lot of interest in recent years. "Save A Foolish Man" is also available on the highly recommended Kent CD "Uptown Down South".
Save A Foolish Man

Will Hatcher: You Haven't Seen Nothin' Yet (Wheelsville)

Soul music is a family affair for Will Hatcher, being cousin of Edwin Starr and Roger Hatcher's brother. This single was issued in the late 70s on his own label (light blue copies are the original).
You Haven't Seen Nothin' Yet

Marvell Love: Gotta Have Love (New World)

The actual A side of this single is a very fast dancer and it was played at Wigan by Richard Searling. On the contrary "Gotta Have Love" is a jazzy midpacer that fits my taste. For anoraks, the song came out first on Sheri, with a different flipside.
Gotta Have Love

Frank Lynch: Young Girl (My Record)

You can read the very sad story behind this record thanks to Sir Hambling's Deep Soul Heaven.
Young Girl

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tony Moore: When Will I (Golden Record)

Tony Moore was based in Italy and had a career during the 70s and the early days of Italo disco. He started singing in the fifties as Nat Wright in Broadway musicals then moved to Germany until about '72. The German version of the song was issued by Rca and is slightly different.
When Will I

Wess: Good Time (Durium)

Wess (real name Wesley Johnson) was an American singer naturalized Italian (in the 60s he played bass with Rocky Roberts & The Airedales). "Good Time" was released in 1977 and is pretty nice soulful disco.
Good Time

Patrick Gammon: When Can I See You? (Durium)

Patrick Gammon (real name Philip Greenway Gammon) is a German singer. The 45 was issued in 1978 also in Italy with a different picture cover (to tell the truth the marijuana leaves chosen as decoration could have fit better for a reggae record!).
When Can I See You?

Brief Encounter: Get A Good Feeling/In A Very Special Way (Capitol)

The Brief Encounter super rare album on Seventy Seven is one of the best collection of 70s soul committed to vinyl. This is the second single the North Carolina's group had on Capitol Records. "Get A Good Feeling" is a catchy uptempo number while "In A Very Special Way" is suitable for sweeter moments.
Get A Good Feeling
In A Very Special Way

The Performers: Little Angel/Nightmares (Sir Graham)

The Performers consisted of three brothers, Larry, James and Bobby Scarborough, and were based in San Francisco. Besides this release on Hank Graham's own label, they had also a couple of interesting 45s on Mirwood.
ps "Nightmares" could appeal also to garage rockers and this is not strange considering the other single on the label by a band called The Aldermen.
Little Angel

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Specialties Of The House #3

1. The Rance Allen Group - Reason To Survive (Capitol)
2. Jean Terrell - Rising Cost Of Love (A&M)
3. Sarah Dash - To Tell You The Truth (Manhattan)
4. The Impressions - I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love (Chi-Sound)
5. Howard Johnson - Keepin' Love New (A&M)
6. David Simmons - Holdin' Back (Fantasy WMOT)
7. Khemistry - Can You Feel My Love (Columbia)
8. Michael Wycoff - Looking Up To You (RCA)
9. Leroy Hutson - Paradise (Elektra)
10. Ian Foster - Oooh We Baby (MCA)
11. The Duncans - Let Me Be (Malaco)
12. Windy City - Win Or Lose (Chi-Sound)
13. Cleveland Eaton featuring Sam Dees - Pure Love (Ovation)
14. Nina Simone - Touching And Caring (VPi)
15. Jimmy Cobb - So Nobody Else Can Hear (Contempo Vibrato)
In memory of Claudio. Rest in peace

Specialties Of The House #2

1. Ashford & Simpson - Have You Ever Tried It (Warner Bros.)
2. Aretha Franklin - Oh No Not My Baby (Atlantic)
3. Paul Kelly - You Made Me Tremble (Warner Bros.)
4. Revelation - When It's Warm (RSO)
5. Debra Laws - Meant For You (Elektra)
6. Allspice - Hungry For Your Love (At-Home)
7. The Dramatics - Treat Me Right (Capitol)
8. Sadane - One-Way Love Affair (Warner Bros.)
9. The Latinos - It Must Be Love (Word)
10. Virginia Smith & Company - Sprinkle Your Love (Morada)
11. Sandra Feva - Leaving This Time (Venture)
12. Lanier & Co. - I Just Got To Have You (Larc)
13. Midnight Star - Don't Give You Up (Solar)
14. Nature's Divine - Success (Infinity)
15. Candi Staton - Halfway To Heaven (Warner Bros.)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dayton: Promise Me/Caught In The Middle (Capitol)

Both tracks of the group's most acclaimed album are fine examples of 80s black music not killed by electronic effects and synthesizers that sound so dated today. Of course the band was from Dayton, Ohio.
promise me
caught in the middle

Bobby Glenn: Hey Love!/Sounds Like A Love Song (Koala)

"Hey Love!" is the best song of Bobby Glenn's debut and only album. It was written by Earth, Wind & Fire members Ralph Johnson (drums, percussion) and Philip Bailey (vocals, conga, percussion) and by Douglas Gibbs, another talented singer and songwriter. The emotional ballad "Sounds Like A Love Song" is the other noteworthy track of the LP. Koala Records was based in Los Angeles and is well known between funk and soul collectors.
hey love!
sounds like a love song

H. Andrews And Company: Steppin' Out (Balance)

Harold Andrews is highly respected between the crossover brigade for his other two singles on Bay Area based Balance Records "I'm So Tired Of Being Lonely" and "It Took You", a super rare 45 played by Soul Sam. He also wrote the 1985 modern soul favourite "Ain't Gonna Be No Fool (For You)", credited to Hank Gray and performed by the Fabulous Play Mates. "Steppin' Out" is a terrific stepper that shines bright in his discography.
steppin' out

Chuck Corby: Complete Opposites (Chess)

Chuck Corby (real name Charles Anthony Ciorra) is one of many soul artists of Italian origin. He started singing at the age of 8 and had plenty of records through the golden age of our music. This single came out in 1969 for one of Chicago's finest labels. For further investigations check his website here http://chuckcorby.com/
complete opposites

Denise La Salle: Count Down (And Fly Me To The Moon) (Chess)

This is the last of three 45s Denise LaSalle did for Chess at the beginning of her career. It was issued in 1968 and sounds à la page and very stylish for the time, being a classy crossover with a subtle layer of funk. Demand is growing for quality records like this.
count down

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Wilson Williams: Faith Will Bring It Home/Groovy Feelin'/I Like Being In Love With You (Abc)

A solid 70s soul album, recorded in Detroit and produced by Wayne Henderson. Between the musicians involved a special mention for Earl Van Dyke on piano.
faith will bring it home
groovy feelin'
I like being in love with you

Ronnie McNeir & The Instant Groove: My Baby (Setting Sun)

Taken from the album "Ronnie McNeir & The Instant Groove", this is a brilliant stepper with a cult following. Once more Ronnie's smooth voice leads us to paradise!
my baby

Paradise: Tell Her/We Belong Together (Phil L.A. Of Soul)

A nice version of Pattie Drew's classic coupled with a killer slowie. This single came out in 1981 and is the last but one in Phil L.A. Of Soul discography.
tell her
we belong together

Douglas & Lonero: This Time/Don't Let Yourself Get Carried Away (Rca)

This double sider is pure dynamite! The A-side is great but the flip "This Time" is even better. Unfortunately it is available on issues only, that are very scarce.
this time
don't let yourself get carried away

I received more information directly from Bobby Lonero. You can contact him at http://bobbylonero.net/index.html
This is what he recalls of that period:
I had another group called The Prime Ministers all from New Orleans Louisiana. We left here to go on the road and play some gigis in Atlanta Georgia and from there we went all over the Southern Regional Area's of the United States. We wound up in California and we start cutting records. We were showcasing our group at the famous Troubadour in Hollywood. We met the number one producer in Hollywood at that time which was Frank Sinatra's conductor, the legendary Don Costa who travelled the world even all over Italy.
After we cut the album with Don we were destined for stardom. With Don behind us we couldn't lose but bad luck came our way big time. Don had a massive heart attack and passed away. That destroyed everything we counted on to reach goal. After that my group went back home cause they did not want to try again but I stayed in California.
This brought me to become a beach bum in Venice California giging where I could get a music job. When I was looking for players to start another group, I walked into a club in Santa Monica and I heard a singer singing in the back of the club doing a piano bar single. He caught my attention cause I do have a nack for hearing good talent, no matter what kind it is. I then approached this entertainer and asked him if if I could sit in with him for a set. His name was Ronnie Douglas from New York. I told him I was from New Orleans Louisiana and my group broke up and went back home and I was looking for some guys to start another group. Well it was a miracle that I found this guy by chance cause we hit it off like we have been playing forever. It was awesome the way our voices blended and most of all our charisma matched perfectly on stage. We were great together, believe me. Well to make a long story short we picked up a drummer and that was the cherry on top cause he was the comedian of the group and he fit us perfect. We complemented each other on stage and off. We played every club in Hollywood including the new Playboy Club and that's where Jack Goal, the president of Columbia Records, saw us perform and that got us a contract with the biggest record company in the world, Columbia.
We made an album for Columbia and took off 4 songs "This Time/Don't Let Yourself Get Carried Away" and "Mary's Having A Party/Jubilation (Excitation)" which Paul Anka stole from me and he changed the name to "Jubilation" and did a big production of his song. So we had bad luck with that too, cause it was climbing the Billboard and Cashbox charts. Then Paul put his out and our song got buried, so that was more bad luck. Then we got out of making records and we decided to open up our own club in Marina Del Rey. We had a big grand opening and every producer, director, movie star, comedian, singer, entertainer, and even pornstar showed up. It was like an academy award night, it was amazing believe me.

The Fidels: Boys Will Be Boys (Girls Will Be Girls)/I Want To Thank You (Maverick)

Both sides of this little gem of a record are written, arranged and produced by Willie Hutch. It was released before he signed for Rca in 1969.
boys will be boys
I want to thank you

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Brothers By Choice: Baby, You Really Got Me Going/Girl I Need You Too (Ala) - Oh, Darlin (Ala) - No Time (Fretone)

Brothers By Choice had a brilliant and sought-after album on Ala. They were based in Los Angeles and released some other fine vinyls, like the two 45s posted can testify. On lead vocals is Chuck Higgins assisted by Patty Brooks and Petsy Powell.
baby, you really got me going
girl I need you too
oh, darlin
no time

Satisfaction Unlimited: Let's Change The Subject/Why/Seeing You Through The Eyes Of A Blindman (Hot Wax)

Released in 1972, this obscure album is the last on Hot Wax Records and hides several treasures. "Let's Change The Subject" is a very emotional ballad while "Why" and "Seeing You Through The Eyes Of A Blindman" move at a faster pace. A special mention for the great cover.
let's change the subject
seeing you through the eyes of a blindman

Ty Karim & George Griffin: Keep On Doin' Watcha' Doin' (Part I)/(Part II) - Janette Renee: Whats On Your Mind (Sheridan House)

Los Angeles based Sheridan House Record Group Inc. issued a bunch of singles in the first half of the 80s. Ty Karim & George Griffin duet is a fabulous midtempo groover while "What's On Your Mind" is a credible cover version of George Benson's classic. Cool stuff from the City of Angels.
keep on doin' whatcha' doin' (part I)
keep on doin' whatcha' doin' (part II)
whats on your mind

Satin Dreams: Stay Away From My Lover (Brunswick)

Written and produced by Larry Clark and Lonnie Johnson, this is a strong disco influenced modern soul number. The 12" is much easier to find.
stay away from my lover

Windy City: We Party Heavy Up In Heah/Good Guys Don't Always Win (Innovation II)

This is the second single Windy City had on Innovation II. "We Party..." is a frantic dancer while "Good Guys..." is a marvellous version of Sam Dees' masterpiece. Both sides are produced by Otis Leavill. Chicago Soul at its best!
we party heavy up in heah
good guys don't always win

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Softones & First Class: Laying My Heart On The Line/Candy (Park-Way International)

This album puts together two excellent groups, with the addition of The Jackson Sisters as background vocals. It was produced by George Kerr (Park-Way was George's own label) and Rod Armstrong. Unfortunately it did not sell well so it is quite rare. Both tracks posted are sung by Baltimore's heroes First Class ("Laying..." is a cover version of The Checkmates Ltd and it was written by H.B. Barnum).
laying my heart on the line