Jump to content

KING Northern Soul: Volume Three


 Share
Followers 0
KING Northern Soul: Volume Three magazine cover

A ten-year gap in this three-part CD series has given Kent time to root out the final Northern Soul treasures from this most prolific and mysterious group of black music labels. Great tracks come from the connoisseur' s favourites Charles Spurling, James Duncan and Mary Johnson proving their work to be substantially more than flashes in pans. Pioneers of black music Hank Ballard, Little Willie John and Otis Williams venture into the soul years with three excellent offerings, while Royal Flush and the Presidents Band dip their toes into the 70s to great effect. Willie Hatcher and Mill Evans are Detroit and Chicago legends and these two lesser-known numbers show how consistently solid their performances were.

All the King labels licensed tracks-in from around the USA but Hollywood was a later acquisition which not surprisingly issued mainly West Coast recordings. It would have been remiss of Kent not to include great singers Northern Soul favourites such as Hal Hardy & Freddie Williams, Marva Whitney and Robert Moore and their appearances further strengthen this disc.

But probably the biggest buzz for discerning collectors will be to hear out of left field releases such as William Patton's slightly stoned It Hurts Me and Mike Williams grammatically intriguing and rhythmically irresistible Something You Didn't Done .

ccs-225-0-84797700-1347785312_thumb.jpg

The following is what Ady Croasdell has to say about the release:

The King group of labels — Federal, DeLuxe, Hollywood etc — were hugely productive throughout the soul era, so there are hundreds of releases which have taken years to locate. Hence the 10-year gap since “King Northern Soul Vol 2” was released.

Northern Soul collectors used to see the blue King label, immediately think “funky”, skip by it and continue the search for an “arranged by Mike Terry” denotation. There is no doubt that a drab grey label such as DeLuxe (as the Dave & Vee 45 from 1969) discourages the listener even before the needle drops. The mainly monochrome aspects of these labels could never compete with the colourful splashes of Groovesville, Giant, Tayster, Pzazz etc in building up the listener’s expectations; inevitably the music was undermined. We have mainly got over those prejudices now, but it is still a shock to hear how good some of those collected tracks sound on CD.

The more obvious big Northern sounds were featured on the first two volumes of this series but there are some great numbers here that have become very collectible over the years. Charles Spurling’s ‘That’s My Zone’ and his song ‘Unwind Yourself’ for Marva Whitney both sound very cutting edge for today’s funk-edged fans, as do the Brownettes and Charles’ super-groove ‘Popcorn Charlie’. There are some terrific tracks from long-serving King acts, such as Hank Ballard’s Rudy Clark-penned ‘I’m Just A Fool’, Otis Williams’ ‘When We Get Together’ and Little Willie John’s Drifters-inspired ‘Until Again My Love’.

ccs-225-0-25315600-1347785310_thumb.jpg

The lesser-known Hollywood label is responsible for four excellent tracks from Robert Moore (who would go on to sing about ‘Party Freaks’ with Miami), L.H. & The Memphis Sounds (one of Packy Axton’s many bands) and Hal Hardy, who provides the superb ‘Name In Lights’; my hum in the head song of the month.

ccs-225-0-55253500-1347785314_thumb.jpg

There is an increasing movement to play southern soul tracks at Northern Soul dances nowadays; although King was based in Cincinatti, they licensed in southern productions; mainly from Nashville and Macon. The Toni Williams, Dan Brantley and James Duncan tracks are all evidence of that growing trend. And, although we have recently issued a New Breed R&B compilation drawn from the King group, there are still some of those influences contained in the songs from Mary Johnson, Mike Williams and Oscar Toney Jr.

All but two of the 24 tracks are from King’s wonderfully preserved master tapes and sound alive again on CD. The booklet, with its amazing cover photo of the Presidents Band, is a darn sight prettier than an old DeLuxe label too.

ccs-225-0-41014500-1347785316_thumb.jpg

By Ady Croasdell

Listen to a little King Teaser:

http://soundcloud.com/chalkster/king-sampler

Buy from Ace records with free delivery;

http://acerecords.co.uk/king-northern-soul-volume-3?update

Full track listing:

01 That's My Zone (He's Pickin' On ) - Charles Spurling"¨

02 Unwind Yourself - Marva Whitney"¨

03 Do You Love Me - Dave & Vee

"¨04 Right Now - Mill Evans"¨

05 Searching For Your Love - Robert Moore

"¨06 You Got To Prove It - Dan Brantley

"¨07 Out Of Control - L.H. & The Memphis Sounds"¨

08 Who's Got A Woman Like Mine - Willie Hatcher"¨

09 Popcorn Charlie - Charles Spurling"¨

10 Name In Lights - Freddie Williams"¨

11 Tearing Down My Mind - Toni Williams"¨

12 Please, Johnny, Don't You Take My Life - James Duncan"¨

13 Something You Didn't Done - Mike Williams"¨

14 Baby, Don't You Know - The Brownettes"¨

15 Thunder - Lord Thunder"¨

16 Our Meeting - The Presidents Band

"¨17 I'm Just A Fool (And Everybody Knows) - Hank Ballard"¨

18 When We Get Together - Otis Williams & His Charms"¨

19 Until Again My Love - Little Willie John"¨

20 Keep On Loving Me - Oscar Toney Jr

21 House Of Broken Hearts - Hal Hardy with the Billy Cox Band"¨

22 You Have My Blessings - Mary Johnson

"¨23 Mama's Baby - Royal Flush

"¨24 It Hurts Me - William Patton




 Share

Members Comments

Recommended Comments

Brilliant. Been on permanently in the car since it dropped through my letterbox (thanks Ady).

Link to comment
Social source share

what's track two on the sound cloud preview??

L.H. & The Memphis Sounds with Out Of Control.

Track one is Charles Spurling - That's My Zone and the third is Johnny Duncan - Pleas, Johnny, Don't Take My Life.

Link to comment
Social source share

L.H. & The Memphis Sounds with Out Of Control.

Track one is Charles Spurling - That's My Zone and the third is Johnny Duncan - Pleas, Johnny, Don't Take My Life.

Cheers Chalky,great track,price??
Link to comment
Social source share

Cheers Chalky,great track,price??

It says £40 in JM guide 5 but I can't find much on the internet regarding this 45. Just one on popsike at $42, two bids and from 2010.

Link to comment
Social source share

It says £40 in JM guide 5 but I can't find much on the internet regarding this 45. Just one on popsike at $42, two bids and from 2010.

Yeah,had a look,but it's the other hollywood release that keeps cropping up.
Link to comment
Social source share

I've googled myself, and found out the following, not known to me, l.h and the memphis sounds, all tied in with the stax empire. Actually Charles Axton under LH name, died from liver troubles( alcohol related), unreleased material, on master tapes.Full story, Story of stax.

Link to comment
Social source share

My Favourite track on this CD is Hal Hardy with the Billy Cox Band - House Of Broken Hearts (Hollywood 1116) & I also like the R & B flip Love Man absolutely fantastic £20 record.

Link to comment
Social source share

The flip of the Dave & Vee "Take Me On Your Magic Ride" is superb uptempo Northern too . Great double sider !

Link to comment
Social source share

like the sound of this stuff chalky

It is really good, early stuff/R&B, soul, dancers, something for everyone. Some tracks that have been popular such as Hal Hardy and Freddie Williams and some over looked tracks like the one mentioned earlier from LH and the Memphis Sounds. Well worth buying.

Link to comment
Social source share

It says £40 in JM guide 5 but I can't find much on the internet regarding this 45. Just one on popsike at $42, two bids and from 2010.

Sold my LH "Out Of Control" for 100 a few years back, collectable for the other side, Deep/slowie.

Link to comment
Social source share


Get involved with Soul Source

Add your comments now

Join Soul Source

A free & easy soul music affair!

Join Soul Source now!

Log in to Soul Source

Jump right back in!

Log in now!





×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.