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Era Northern Soul Cd - Kent

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Era Northern Soul Cd - Kent magazine cover

Herb Newman’s Era Label was well established in Los Angeles by the time the soul era came about. With over 150 singles behind him by the time our musical story starts in 1962, Herb was a record label veteran. Originally more at home with straight pop records, Herb only occasionally dabbled in black music.

Era’s biggest hit by a black singer was Jewel Akens’ ‘The Birds And The Bees’, which was pure pop but came out of a notable session by accomplished soul group the Turn Arounds. Two great sides by the group feature here, along with the full story behind that hit. But Akens could sing soul as well as pop; a great late 60s stomper, ‘Your Good Lovin’’, written and produced by Eddie Daniels, debuts on this CD. We also found a little-known New Breed R&B gem from one of Jewel’s more obscure groups, the Composers.Herb Newman already had a future soul star on his roster in the young Brenda Holloway who recorded as half of the Soul-Mates earlier in 1963. A track by the Lovemates, another boy/girl duo featuring Brenda, is also included, along with her 1964 solo outing for Catch.


Another future soul chart-maker was Jimmy Lewis who had just one Era release, arranged by Northern Soul hero James Carmichael. Jesse Davis’ ‘Gonna Hang On In There Girl’ was a rare soulful departure for the nightclub singer but the Sherlie Matthews composition sounds awesome when blasted out of the speakers at Northern gatherings. Wigan (and elsewhere) favourites are provided by Othello Robertson’s ‘So In Luv’ and Billy Watkins’ ‘The Ice-Man’ and there are alternate versions of ‘A Slice Of The Pie’ and ‘Meet Me At Midnight’, each arguably better than the Jewel Akens and Cindy Lynn originals.

Further unissued manna comes from the H.B. Barnum-arranged ‘Dance With Me’ by Billy Watkins and excellent alternate readings of ‘ Stand There Mountain ’ and ‘The Blue Shadow’ by ex-vocal group singer Vince Howard; Herb Newman had previously cut the songs on pop acts. There are Popcorn classics from the very colourful Bruce Cloud (check out the sleevenotes on him) and the glamorous and equally newsworthy Carol Connors. Both sides of Steve Flanagan’s Stafford monster ‘I’ve Arrived’ sound great alongside Melvin Boyd’s killer version of ‘Exit Loneliness, Enter Love’, produced by Miles Grayson. We throw light on Steve Flanagan’s identity but are still scouring the internet for Melvin Boyd.

Although Era started out a million miles away from black music, by the late 60s it had embraced it and utilised some of its most accomplished talents.

By Ady Croasdell

28 Oct 2013

Catalogue Id:CDKEND 405


Side 1

  • 01 Preview
    The Ice-Man - Billy Watkins
  • 02 Preview
    So In Luv - Othello Robertson
  • 03 Preview
    I've Arrived - Steve Flanagan
  • 04 Preview
    Meet Me At Midnight - Bruce Cloud
  • 05 Preview
    Ain't Nothin' Shakin' - The Turn Arounds
  • 06 Preview
    What Can I Do Now - Jimmy Lewis
  • 07 Preview
    Exit Loneliness, Enter Love - Melvin Boyd
  • 08 Preview
    My Book - Bruce Cloud
  • 09 Preview
    I Wanna Know - Carol Connors
  • 10 Preview
    Boomerang - The Lovemates
  • 11 Preview
    The Blue Shadow - Vince Howard
  • 12 Preview
    Echoes In The Night - Tommy Mosley
  • 13 Preview
    I Get A Feeling - The Soul-Mates
  • 14 Preview
    Run Away And Hide - The Turn Arounds
  • 15 Preview
    I Need To Be Loved So Bad - Steve Flanagan
  • 16 Preview
    Gonna Hang On In There Girl - Jesse Davis
  • 17 Preview
    Your Good Lovin' - Jewel Akens
  • 18 Preview
    Dance With Me - Billy Watkins
  • 19 Preview
    Sir Galahad - The Elites
  • 20 Preview
    A Slice Of The Pie - Bernie Byrd
  • 21 Preview
    You And Yours - The Composers
  • 22 Preview
    I Ain't Gonna Take You Back - Brenda Holloway & The Carrolls
  • 23 Preview
    Stand There Mountain - Vince Howard
  • 24 Preview
    Come On Home - Othello Robertson

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It's a great CD.

Played mine twice last night and loved it.

Another quality release with superb packaging but that is what we have come to expect.

Great work by all concerned.

:thumbup:  :thumbup:  :thumbup:  :thumbup:

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One to order later. Is there a volume two to come? Just wondered as no Jewel Akens My first Lonely Night or I've Arrived.

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One to order later.Is there a volume two to come? Just wondered as no Jewel Akens My first Lonely Night or I've Arrived.

There are a couple of legal wrangles over Jewel Akens we need to sort they'll come out on different multi-sourced Various Artists CDs later. As will some of the others but not enough for a Vol 2. I think you'll be very impressed with the unknowns and unissueds on there; I was very pleased with them.
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is it the fast version of slice of the pie ie 'piece of the pie

It's a new previously unissued version by Bernie Byrd, the first Jewel Akens backing track with new vocals.

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