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Cool Article On Wilton Crump

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Cool Article On Wilton Crump magazine cover

Here is a cool article my friend wrote on singer/songwriter Wilton Crump (who you might know from his obscure sweet soul single "Give your love to me" on his own Olive Branch label):


The article gives a nice insight into the Gary, IN soul scene and the town itself -- birthplace of the Jackson Five and the doowop group the Spaniels. Vee Jay was mining talent from there in the '50s and '60s (and a lot of soul groups came from there). Definitely an interesting read.

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“Mellow Tone Studio, Wilton E. Crump, Director & Arranger” reads the ornate cursive lettering of a hand-painted sign affixed to the wood paneling in the Crump family basement. Beneath it sits an upright piano weighed down by a half-century of show posters, string arrangements, and newspaper clippings documenting a young (and a not-so-young) man sharing stages with his musical heroes. “You want to know, what ‘Mellow Tone Studio’ was?” chuckles the man calligraphically immortalized in the sign’s bold red lettering. “This is it!”

In 1967, Crump left Gary to study music theory and education at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo. Though 300 miles from home, Crump found inspiration when a familiar sound became ubiquitous around campus. Years earlier, Gordon Keith and four millworker colleagues had formed the Steeltown record label. The ambitious Keith released the Jackson Five’s first record in 1967, and “Big Boy” became a Midwestern regional hit. Soon, Crump heard his former rivals’ voices at every Jeff City party.

comment by member sunnysoul

Nice read Bob. Wonder though if Wilton Crump is related at all to Michael Crump who was co-composer with Ronnie McNeir on a number of excellent Ronnie McNeir recordings from the 80's ?


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