The quick moving Soul Source spotlight falls on 4 recent soul music releases from Kent Records. Quite a handful, the release words and sounds follow below...
Peggy Gaines - When The Boy That You Love / Everybody Knows - CITY 062
Nashville singer Peggy Gaines had two singles on Ted Jarrett’s Ref-O-Ree label but the best track, the Bob Holmes-written and produced ‘When The Boy That You Love (Is Loving You)’, was only discovered in the mid-90s. Released on CD and a limited 100 Club Anniversary single, it became a guaranteed dancefloor filler and is still in demand, fetching over £100 for that first pressing. The plaintive ballad ‘Everybody Knows’ is making its vinyl debut and will appeal to both Southern and Deep Soul aficionados.
Little Johnny Hamilton - Apartment #9 / Crying Like A Baby - DEEP SOUL 12
Little Johnnie Hamilton was a 60s Los Angeles soul singer whose records are all hard to find, despite their quality. The searing deep soul slowie ‘Apartment #9’ is a million miles from the funk of ‘The Git Down’, recorded at the same session and issued on the Watts Way label in 1967 as a two-part single. Hamilton wails away his pain on a sparse number abetted by some righteous girl backing singers. ‘Cry Like A Baby’, a release on the one-off Soul Shack label, is a more mainstream offering of much charm, complete with strings.
Phillip Mitchell / Ray Godfrey - I'll See You In Hell First / Ain't Givin' Up - CITY 61
Phillip Mitchell only cut one single for Spring’s Event subsidiary in 1975 – despite the beautiful ballad ‘There’s Another In My Life’ being an R&B hit, he did not have a follow-up. However, there were three songs recorded at the Brad Shapiro-led Muscle Shoals session, and ‘I’ll See You In Hell First’ was the superb mid-tempo track that lay dormant until compiled on an Ace CD in 1990. It features Mitchell singing at his best on an inspired, self-penned song and is long-overdue a vinyl pressing as originally hoped for.
Ray Godfrey had four 45s for the label, but like Mitchell he was best known as a songwriter, for Millie Jackson, Joe Simon and Act I in particular. He wrote under his real name of Raeford Gerald. He produced this song on both Joe Simon and Millie Jackson; his own reading has now been found on the multi-track tapes for the song’s recording session. It is a worthy addition to the Godfrey/Gerald catalogue.
The Pretenders - Just Be Yourself / It's Everything About You That I Love - TOWN 172
The Pretenders were the Carnival label’s main act throughout the 70s and up to 1980. By 1977 producer Joe Evans was embracing the disco era and recorded them on the excellent Kenneth Ruffin song, ‘Just Be Yourself’. Its furious yet solid rhythm and catchy title-line has captivated soul dancers for many years, making the originals expensive and very hard to find now. The flip was their final release, an updated and disco-slanted version of Lee Williams & the Cymbals’ ballad.
All above 45s available now via Ace Records website and all the usual soul suspects