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Frank Jackson Reviews Revisited

Frank Jackson Reviews Revisited magazine cover

A collection of great 45 reviews written by the late Frank Jackson

site note

In the early days of the internet, one day I stumbled on a no fuss webpage, that simply featured clips of 45s and one persons brief words on each 45. Over time the writing and the selection of 45s made this site a regular revisit. Sadly as many will be aware Frank Jackson is no longer with us, however thanks to Frank Jr and Carms can revisit just some of his  past reviews

I was so touched when Frank Jnr contacted me the other day and offered his Dad's reviews for us to look at, Frank was a remarkable man , you couldn't help but sit and listen to him , his tales about his youth getting into soul , he painted the picture so well . He had a remarkable talent for writing in a way that everyone just waited for his words of wisdom when it came to records well he leads you follow


Now take into account these words were written ... years ago


When I first got this ... I thought do I really want to share this knowledge ... and then a little voice said ... you have to !


Buddy Conner - When Youre Alone - Breakthrough

This is a truly top class record in every respect. Great song, superb musicianship and a vocalist so wonderful that you have to ask yourself why such a talent never achieved superstardom. Yes, I dig this a lot.



Bobby Lee Watson - Very First Time - Maureen


A few of my Detroit collecting chums appear to be showing an unhealthy interest in this old fashioned sounding item from circa 64. It has a sort of early Ben E King feel and is a likeable enough tune as is the flip "Valley of Love", but neither are top drawer in my opinion. After all these years I still find it amusing to see grown men get trouser movement over an intersting looking label and credits. Now thats entertainment!


Artistics - So Much Love In My Heart - Okeh


With the revived success of the venerable "This Heart Of Mine", this similarly slanted item would have seemed another candidate for renewed interest. Again Marvin Smith is in fine voice on a catchy Detroit slanted tune and production as the rest of the chaps provide admirable harmonic support. Zooming string led arangement adds further interest to this strongly likeable tune.


Bobby Angelle - Its Just Gotta Be That Way - Money


Bobby is a talented vocalist and has cut some fine sides with this ranking as perhaps my favourite. Clanging guitar riff and soulfully oozing back ups punctuate this all action production as Bobby puts in an excellent performance on this more than decent song. Groovy.


Ruby Winters - In The Middle Of A Heartache - Diamond


The subject of some mirth around the internet recently when a dealer listed this as "tape swappers favourite". After the laughter subsided I dug it out and gave it another spin. Ruby really did do some splendid sides for Diamond including "Just Like A YoYo"-"I Want Action"-"Better" and the gorgeous ballad "Were Living To Give" as well as a corking duet with Johnny Thunder on the old standard "Meet Me Tonight". This one is well up to standard and has that big beat ballad sound that seems so popular these days. Absolutely stunning arrangement with a shimmering big orchestral sound, while Ruby wraps her soulful tonsils around a song that really give her room to stretch her fabulous vocal talent almost to its limits. Great stuff from an underrated artist.


James Bounty - Actions Speak Louder Than Words / Rags To Riches - Compass


This record was recently brought up on the KTF list and although "Prove Yourself a Lady" was such a Northern smash many people still dont seem to know this one. Dont expect more of the same though as while his biggie was a gruff brash stomper these are far more restrained while still remaining decent dancers. The topside is really good tune that breaks and turns well while giving James a chance to show what an attractive voice he has. The flip is an old standard givin almost a Len Barryesque treatment and once again shows his great voice off to good effect. This one shouldnt cost an arm and a leg either which is a bonus.


Billy Lee Riley - Happy Man - Atlantic


Heres another whose price shouldnt be too prohibitive either. Rockers will remember Billy Lee for his great cover of Billy "The Kid" Emersons "Red Hot" and "Flying Saucers Rock and Roll" for Sun records. Old mods might remember the Megatons "Shimmy Shimmy Walk" for Dodge in the US and Sue in the UK in which he also featured. This one is an absolutely slamming Memphis stomper which found an all too brief moment of fame in the late 70s. Billy Lee who apparently is of American-Indian extraction seems as at home with Memphis soul as he had been with his rockin 50s classics as he knocks out a very good tune with a great piano figure and thundering brass and oh, that storming beat.


Sir Mack Rice - Gotta Have My Babys Love / Love Sickness - Stax


I first heard the topside of this via an old album of dance tunes presented by the "Geater" Jerry Blavatt and was instantly floored by the driving beat accentuated by a clanging piano and machine gun drum breaks. Macks vocal is as good as ever too and when you top it all off with those Memphis Horns you know that this has got to be a goodie. The flip "Love Sickness" is more typically Stax sounding but none the worse for it. More great vocals from Mack and that great strutting rhythm section drive this along to great effect. Long term Stax trainspotters will notice that this idea and a large part of the rhythm section was later transformed into the also excellent "Love Eye Tis" by William Bell and Judy Clay.


Emile Griffith - Going Going Gone - Tangerine


Long time devotees of this website will be getting a sense of deja vu if they have downloaded this one beore reading the review (shame on you).This is in fact the same song and shares the same backing track as the earlier featured "You Cant Hold On To Love" by the Determinations on Important. Ex boxer Emile does a pretty good job on it too and in all honesty there is not a great deal to choose between them with Emile perhaps sounding a tad rougher on this tremendous thudding dancer. The rub is of course that the Determinations has gone into a three figure price bracket these days while you may still be able to find this at a reasonable price. Just to rub it in, the flip, the excellent "Thats What I Like" is also the same. Good hunting.


David McCallum - Uptight - Capitol (LP Track)


Dont be fooled by the artist on this as its actually HB Barnum, David Axelrod and probably most of the musicians that appeared as Earl Wright and his Orchestra for Thumb A Ride also on Capitol. Lets face it boys and girls Henry Jeromes version sounds like something you might push your supermarket trolley around to. This has got to be the instrumental version. It veritably rockets along and has a great honking sax break. No doubt this had the Man From Uncle airplane spinning in the studio. If so I guess that was the only contribution he made to this stormer. TRhe album by the way is called "Music, A Bit More Of Me" and was the follow up to "Music, A Part Of Me" which my mate Dennis bought off a list thinking that this was on it. Ho Hum.


Ernie Marbray - Aint Nobodys Business - Wee


This is in most probability the longest standing non-UK. issued record in my collection, given that I acquired it from a Liverpool record shop circa 67 /68. Back in those dim, dark days imports while not unheard of, were far more unusual than they are today and especially on small labels like this. From the moment stylus hit groove all those years ago Ive always enjoyed this one. Possibly the anthemic quality of the "we do what we like cause we like what were doing" lyric appealed to the young soul rebel in me at the time. Reminiscences apart this is still a fine disc. Ernies airy tenor veers into falsetto on a tune that just swings along in an uptempo yet relaxed manner. Frank JR agrees that this still sounds mighty groovy. Im not going to argue with him or he might hurt his poor old Daddy again.


Firestones - I Just Cant Wait - Moira


Just when you thought the Detroit thing was running out of steam up jumps another Popcorn Wylie production and starts to garner a few spins. The Firestones are the Carlis Monroe fronted aggregation that recorded for Big Wheel as the Falcons. This is a quite good old-fashioned dancer. While its all very nicely performed and produced, for me at least it lacks that certain distinctiveness and magic that marks out truly top drawer Detroit records. Dont take my word for it though as I know others disagree. I like it well enough myself. I just think it lacks classic quality.


Johnny Newbag - Got To Get You Back - Atlantic


Frank Jr put this on the site a while back when I was ill. However the links apparently went down and he was too busy to pay them much attention at the time so here we go again. This is another that never quite attained the popularity it deserved. It may take you a couple of bars or so to get with the claning guitar intro, but you soon realise that this is one of the truly great stompers. Thudding beat topped with Johnnys growling vocal on this is relentless from the start to finish and even makes this fat old bastard dream of spinning and backdropping again. I wish!


Charades - Key To My Happiness - MGM


Very scary record this one. Though you can hear its excellence from the first play, it just keeps getting better the more you play it. Marvellously tight vocal harmonies, swirling arrangement and a great tune adorn this gem. Apparently it also appears on an MGM/Verve CD. Unfortuanetly I have no details of this but it sounds an exciting prospect as this one is worth the money on its own, even if it does lack the romance of vinyl.


Larry Atkins - Lighten Up - Highland


An absolute stormer of a side that never did get enough spins even at the height of its popularity. So soulful vocals from Larry Allied to a wonderful vibes propelled backing track make this one of the real highlights of stomping 60s soul. Add to this one of the better variants on the backing track probably most famous in the guise of Larry Lasters Go For Yourself on Loma, and you have a really great two sider. Are we good to you or what?


Cane Black - Hold On To What Youve Got - Okeh


I think I remember Dave Godin giving this an honourable mention some years ago but that apart this is one great Okeh side that never seems to have achieved much recognition. Difficult to see why really as this charges along in bestial fashion with full stretch vocals and barking horns. These guys even manage to make a flute sound aggressive. Great Stuff.


Landy McNeil - Move It (Move On) - Kapp


When I first heard this I almost could not believe it was Landy McNeil. Landy has recorded reliably if sporadically for a number of different labels including Tuff, Columbia and Moonshot. Usually though his discs have been in a far lighter and more commercial style than this but fine records nonetheless. This however is a real hard edged slab of bluesy soul. It has a really downbeat feel but manages to uplift me by virtue of a powerful rhythm section, some great deadpan back up vocals and not least Landy soaring, swooping and shrieking out this fabulously doomy tune. Wow!


Betty Turner - The Winds Kept Laughing - Crescent


I honestly didnt care for this very much on my first few hearings. I felt the song took itself a little too seriously and the arrangement was a bit stiff in places. Ive undergone a conversion since then and now see these former "faults" as part of the records charm. Betty gives a great performance on the, ahem!, well structured tune and it clips along at a glorious lope.


The Ivories - Please Stay - Despenza


This altogether lovely piece of Chicago soul was also issued on Wand allegedly and while Ive never seen one Im assured it exists. Copies on Despenza seemed plentiful enough back in the late 70s / early 80s when three to four quid was enough to secure one. Things have changed a little since then and demand has deservedly soared for this haunting classic.


Big Maybelle - Black Is Black - UK CBS/US Rojac


Once again Maybelle shows her ability to turn the most obvious of material into something special. This time she take the great old Los Bravos tune and turns it into a darkly brooding stomper of the first water. Fabulous.


Gene Cooper - Go Go Inn - Hi Q


This fabulous piece of goodtime soul seems to have been around almost as long as I have. Its popularity seems to pulse every 10 years or so before it gets forgotten again. Strange to think that unpretentious soul dancers like this were once written off as ephemeral yet they have turned out to be the sides continuing appeal to successive generations of soul fans. As a famous late, lamented Chicagoan once said "Everybody loves a good time", and this record is definitely that.


Deon Jackson - Cant Go On - UK Contempo Raries


Dont know why I originally took this off as it was one of the most popular sides on the site. This differes from the US Carla issue with the addition of some great girly back ups and a slightly different vocal track from Deon. I think its far better than the Carla track but judge for yourself. Either way a wonderful slab of Detroit Soul.


Glories - I Worship You Babe - Date


This fabulous stomper emerged in an age when we thought we could keep turning up great dance tunes like this indefinitely. Deservedly this has gone down in Northern folklore as one of the great "played out" oldies. Full dancefloors usually assured to this one which more or less explains why some consider it played out. Still sounds just dandy to me though.


Jackie Beavers - A Love That Never Grows Old / I Need My Baby - Revilot


The term legendary seems to spring to mind far too redily these days with regard to Detroit records. This undoubted gem knocked about for years without creating much disturbance. I even found one in an Alan Lewis "Detroit Pack" 8 records for 2 quid mostly of the Revilot/Groovesville persuasion. Never did find an "I Must Love YOu", though Im told somebody else did. How disappointing. Suddenly after years of being a good solid collectors record words like "legendary" and "classic" start being bandie about. Hey whaddya know, for once they are right too as every groove of this double sided gem oozes star quality. "I Need My Baby" seems to be the side catching most attention and is more in the ctraditional Detroit mould. Rarely does it achieve these heights though as veteran Jackie does this gloriously swaying gem of a song full justice. He gets more low down and dirty on the flip which is good enough to almost make you forget the great Steve Mancha once sung "Friday Night" over the same backing track. Do not miss either side. Legendary? Classic ? You bet!


Opals - Does It Matter - Okeh


Robert Pruter writes this off as "more rock and roll than soul" in his book "Chicago Soul". Well, I dont know what planet Mr Pruter lives on but this sounds mighty soulful to me. Discovered and tutored by the Dells apparently, this is a wholly splendid slice of early sixties Chicago soul that shuffles along in great style. Wonderfully strong femme vocals and harmonies make this a real treat. By the way, dont let me put you off Prtuers book as its a fine read even if his taste seems occasionally a bit dodgy. I mean, Nolan Chance-Just Like The Weather, Holly Maxwells-Dont Say you Love Me (Until YOu Do) and Gene Chandlers-I Can Take Care Of Myself - weak material? Come On! Ill show you a few thousand Brit soul fans who might fight to the death to defend sides like these.


Rose Batiste - Holding Hands - Ric-Tic


Since I first put this one on the site interest seems to have climbed. This always was on e of my favourite Ric-Tic sides and I feel unfairly overlook for some years. It was always only a matter of time before this swinging tune, propelled along by the splended San Remo Strings became popular again . Dont overlook the excellent flip, "Thats What He Told Me" which can be found paired with the Supremes sound a like "Sweeetheart Darling" on Golden World. Beware orange dodgy pressings of "Holding Hands". These were done back in the early 70s.


Sweet Things - World Of Trouble - Date


Well I couldnt let the Glories slip by wthout also giving you this one too. This is its virtual twin and is almost always next to the Glories in the collections of uptempo soul fans. This commercial and catchy sounding Van McCoy tune still sounds fresh after a zillion spins. Played Out? Never!


The Holidays - Ive Lost You - Groove City


Yet another great track from Detroit that remained known but overlooked for many years while the stompers held sway. We all know its not really the Holidays but our old chum Steve Mancha dont we? Steve gives his usual great performance as the lyrics cascade and tumble almost in ad-lib fashion though its all really very cleverly structured. Steve, like all the true greats makes it all seem so easy and natural. Small wonder then that a man then in his thirties and not a million miles from this keyboard once left his autograph on the flesh of his arm until it wore off by natural causes. Now who could such a crazy fool be?


The Limelighters - Dont Leave Me Baby - Uncle


This great slice of group soul continues to please after many spins. Apologies for the surface noise, but I know one or two collectors who would give their left bollock for this in any condition.


Ron and the Embracers - You Came Into My Heart - z


Ron proves an excellent vocalist on this pretty mid-tempo side. The Embracers occasionally lose the plot on the backing track yet this somehow adds to the charm. Lovely tune.


Lily Fields - Ive Got To Tell You - Holton


This opens with a tick-tock beat and a lovely skipping vocal from Lily that draws you further into this nicely building side. Male group back ups further enhance this track that has at last commanded some attention from collectors.


Trade Martin - I Wouldnt Do Anything - Buddah


This is another Ive only started playing again since recently giving it the MP3 treatment. Very commercial sounding pseudo Motown stomper from 72 from the guy who gave us "She Put The Hurt On Me" (Stallion) along with providing material like "Nothing Can Compare To You" and "Take Me For A Little While" for others. This is very catchy indeed with a great corny lyric and an irresistable tune and hook line.


Phenomenons - Without Your Love - AVI


Another pseudo Motown beat 70s track from the label more famed for disco acts like El Coco. This is an absolute cracker though. Zooming strings, stomping beat and gloriously soulful femme vocals adorn this absolutely fabulous and very traditional Nothern sounding gem. Written by the famous Rose Cabbagestalk ???? Used to see lots of demo copies about cheap. I dont know about lately though. I still think its great and I bought it as a new release.


Malcolm Hayes - Baby Please Dont Leave Me / I Cant Make It Without You - Okeh


Both sides of this undoubted all time classic have a pronounced beat, swirling strings and stirring back up vocals, Northern thrills you might think. Well not really. Id be more inclined to rate these almost as deep soul if pushed. The strings, beat and back up vocals merely add tot he baroque air of pain and misery so wonderfully expressed by Malcolm. Heavy going and with a dark air particularly on "Cant Make It..." yet fans of heavy tortured soul should love these. I certainly do.


Spidells - If It Aint One Thing - Coral


A spritied romp that I confess I wasnt sold on at first, yet the "If it aint one thing its another" hookline eventually caught me. Not a soul spectacular perhaps but eminently likeable.


Springers - Nothings Too Good For My Baby - Wale


Very popular track and its not difficult to see why. Great tune, swinging beat and great group soul performance from an outfit that appear to be connected to The Ethics as apparently this is on a CD of theirs. This one is so scarece the guy who owns the label aint got a copy.


Will Collins and Will Power - Anything I Can Do - Bareback


 Ah! The eternel paradox of te Northern Scene. This has a 70s release date so goes into the modern category yet was played when it was tstill new so also qualifies as an oldie. Confused? So am I. This asolutely stonking record appears by request and is a corker how ever you categorise it.


Volumes - A Way To Love You - Inferno


This must be one of the Volumes most underrated sides. The good news is that also makes it relatively cheap as well so grab one now if you can. This is really quintessential Detroit music. Truly soulful vocals are counterpointed by a sypathetic production and of course glorious harmony support from the rest of the chaps. Trainspotters amongst you may also know a more uptempo version of this by the Sahdes of Blue. Forget that though, this is the real soul deal.


Charades - Never Set You Free - MGM


Well known for the storming Key To My Happiness (see elsewhere on site), this magnificently produced slowie eloquently shows that there was a lot more to these guys. Group soul of the very highest quality.


Little Walter - Crazy Mixed Up World - Checker


Walter always was one of the more commercial of the great Chicago bluesmen and almost inevitably some of his material would have some crossover interest into the soul scene. This particular track I had put on a tape for the car. A mate was well impressed and insisted I put it on tape for him. He tells me that he has had lots of positive reaction to it as well, so for the delectation of the world wide web here it is. What a side it is too. A fairly straight up slice of great chicago blues but with a great beat. Walter needs no commendation from me as his recorded legacy is one of the finest ever . This track is just one of many in his great repetoire. So sad then that most people can only remember his "My Babe" hit. If you like this there are many great compilations available or even if you only like 45s buy any you see, Ive never been disappointed and Im sure that if you do like this one youll dig them too.


Harold Burrage - Crying For My Baby - Vee Jay


Probably best remembered for his M-Pac waxings. This comes from an earlier period linking the out-going R+B styings with the on rush of the great Chicago soul of the sixties. Harold puts in his customary excellent performance on this swinging mid-tempo groover. A glorious horn section simmers in the background keeping the rhythm chugging along and a wonderfully lazy sax solo adds to the joy. Stunning stuff. I first came across this track adorning a fabulous album released in the UK in 1961. Simply entitled "The Blues" and released on the old Green and Gold Columbia label it features Blues and R+B tracks culled from Vee Jay and its associates. It too comes highly recommended.


Sandy Hadly - Since I Found A Love - SoChar


This one slips in simply because I recently played it for the first time in at least 15 years and it sounded so fresh. Old news to veterans of the Northern Soul scene of course but still sounds as good as it ever did.


Chuck Ray - I Dont Mind - Tamboo


This splendid piece of mid-tempo New York soul seems to have been picking up some interest lately. Deservedly so too as Chuck puts in an excellent performance .


Rivingtons - I Love You Always - Vee-Jay


Having owned this one for many years I could not understand what all the fuss was about when a mate of mine said hed heard it and how great it was etc . Upon digging it out though and giving it a spin I fully understand his enthusiasm. In fact I cant believe that this has not yet received a bad hammering at chez Frankie. However that is about to change. this is a storming slice of male group uptempo harmony soul that is strong in all departments. The only excuse I can find for overlooking this gem is that I bought it at the same time as a whole lot of other goodies, which possibly overshadowed it a little at the time. They must have been some boss sounds as this is magic.


Debonaires - Please Come Back Baby - Soul Click


Frank Jr couldnt hide his disappointment when this turned out ot be a bunch of guys rather than his darling Detroit girl group of a similar name. He claims its all a bit messy and htat the horn section might as well have phoned their contribution in as they were so badly out of time in places. Well come on son, say what you mean then! Regardless of this his mother likes it and I must say that its grown on me over a few years It has a good pounding beat and features good male harmonies and even if it isnt exactly Solid Hitbound material its a good old fashioned thumping dancer. There really is no pleasing some people. Especially a disgruntled Detroit fan.


Little Hank - Try To Understand - SoundStage 7


"Ah! Now that's much better" sighed the fruit of my loins as we spun this one.

"But son, Mike Terry doesn't feature on this either and its a long way from Detoit to Nashville."

"Very funny." said West Lancashires latest junior soul sage.

"The fact is that this is masterful while that last one was messy and piss poor."

"But this must be worth less than half of the Debonaires" I defended weakly.

He knows the victory is his when he finishes me off with, "Don't blame me if some of your Northern Scene chums have cloth ears and deep pockets, I get to listen to yours for free and I'm telling you."

Sadly I have to bow to the superiority of his argument. This is a much better record and has been a top fave here at chez Frankie for a a couple of years or so. Hank proves to be an excellent vocal stylist as this great song gives him more room to display his talent than his groovy hit "Mr Bang Bang Man" . While this lacks the catchy strut of his hit it is memorable both in tune and performance. While it might not be as instantly catch, it has been one of those sides that Ive found myself playing every time I see it without tiring of it at all.


Lamont Dozier - Dearest One - Mel-O-Dy


This is one that really grows on you over a period of time. Lamonts warm tones wrap themselves nicely around the GI writing to his girl type lyric. Meanwhile , a splendid mid-tempo shuffling beat and chorus keep driving the tune along to good effect. The flip "Fortune Teller Tell Me" is pretty good too and well worth investigating tf you find you like this one.


Downbeats - Request Of A Fool - Tamla


Were this glorious slice of rocking R+B played to you blind, Tamla would probably be amongst the last guesses youd make for a label. The Elgins would probably not be foremost in your thoughts as performers either, yet thats exactly who part of this outfit later metamorphosed into. This actually sounds even older than it is as it rocks exuberantly from start to finish. Absolutely great stuff.


Marv Johnson - Im Not A Plaything - Gordy


This possibly doesnt belong here as its a fairly straight ahead piece of mid sixties uptown soul. Paradoxically Marv is probably the Motown artist most associated with older material via his hits for UA. In the process it is often forgotten that he cut wonderful stuff like this mid-temo gem in the mid -sixties. Take a swift listen to this or perhaps the incredible "I Miss You Baby" to hear that Marv had a lot more to offer than his pop/R+B hits.


Jimmy Ruffin - Dont Feel Sorry For Me - Miracle


I was once castigated some years ago for describing this as sounding more like early sixties twist beat than Northern Soul on a pirate radio show I hosted at the time. Regardless of its subsequent popularity on the Northern scene I still hold that view. I dont believe it makes it a bad record though. As twisters go, this is pretty good as the underrated Jimmy gives this plenty. Fabulous jumpy beat has me up and twisting every time. Boss!


David Ruffin - Actions Speak Louder Than Words - Checkmate


This is probably more to my taste than brother Jims Miracle waxing. A burst of strings and a shuffling intro precede future Temp David getting soulful on this great tune. Ironically enough Davids own style was not yet fully develped here and he occasionally adopts some of the vocal mannerisms and styles of brother Jimmy. Unreservedly superb though.


The Temptations - Oh Mother Of Mine - Miracle


Another great slice of early sixties shuffle beat and although a later issue than Jimmy Ruffin, sounding earlier. Going at a similar lope to Jimmys as the rough and raucous Temps show almost none of the tightly drilled discipline of their later Motown sides. This is really a blast and coincidentally the flipside "Romance Without Finance" is a boss twister too!


Rick Robin and Him - Cause You Know Me - VIP


Ah! A genuine stomper at last. Well almost I suppose. This snappy, poppy dancer has an instantly memorable tune and presumably was designed to break into the pop market. Either way someone at Motown wasnt too keen as they consigned it to a B side. While we are on the subject dont do as a friend of mine did and bid on a demo of the A side. "Three Choruses of Despair" as you may find like him that it is one sided. Oops!


Valadiers - Greetings This Is Uncle Sam - Miracle


Yet another tune relating the grief of army service. This is more of a doo-wopper really and features some ggreat vocals. Particularly memorable is the drill sergeant close to the end. The song was later revived by the Monitors with some success. As an aside. Great as both this and Lamont Doziers record are, my favourite record of this GI writing home genre is another Detroit, but not Motown related record, the gargantuan "Lights Out" by Zerben R Hicks and the Dynamics on RCA which I shall try to bring to you in the not too distant future.


Voice Masters - Youve Hurt Me Baby - Bamboo


Probably the most tenuous of Motown connections here. This one appears on that list/book of Motown related stuff put about by former pressing meister Simon Soussan, probably by virtue of the Voice Masters on Anna. Dont profess to know if this is the same group as this is straight ahead late sixties Chicago Soul at its finest. For certain this group sounds at the peak of their powers, great harmonies and lead vocals top off a great song that has a maddeningly familiar melody. Magic.


Hermon Hitson - Yes You Did (Instrumental) - Atlantic Acetate


I always dug Hermans worthy vocal version of this on Minit which has had more revivals than Count Dracula over the years. The vocal sort of swung away in a good loping, stomping sort of style. The transformation in this is amazing. Its all out attack here as this comes on like a long lost follow up to Doni Burdicks Bari Track (Sound Impression). The sax honks away as a splendid femme chorus intermittently yells "Yes You Did", over a most glorious dance beat. Wow!


Ramona Collins - Youve Been Cheating - Clarks


Nothing to do with the Impressions disc of the same title. This one grows on you after a while. I must admit I wasnt too keen on it at first but as with most new aquisitions, I taped it and drove around with it on in the car for a few weeks and bingo! This really is a catchy little nuber well delivered by Ramona whose wide vocal range makes her sound a little like our own UK thrush Linda Lewis in places. Give this one a chance and like me, you also may be won over.


Cooperettes - Everythings Wrong - Brunswick


After owning this for many years and having consigned it to the nether reaches of the junkheap on the first floor known as my collection it breaks surface again as I grab another handful to make MP3s from. "Oh no. I dont think Ill bother with this." Not worth the effort for a second rate version of Chubby Checkers classic, not in the same class as "Shing A Ling" etc, etc. "Too late" says Frank Jr. "Its already done and dusted!". Whether or not to irrate his old daddy the boy spins it or whatever MP3s do, more than a few times and guess what? Sounds just great now. More of a "Girl Group" sound than Shing A Ling yet wonderfully executed. The tune always was a goodie and if youre well used to Chubbys version the girl group treatment might shock you at first but the quality should win through. Thanks son.


Jack Montgomery - Dont Turn Your Back On Me / Never In A Million Years (Instrumental) - Barracuda


Luxuriously orchestrated big beat ballad from Jack. He oozes his way soulfully throgh the somewhat downbeat tune. Some folks claim this as a classic. I wouldnt go that far but good solid stuff nontheless. The flip is a straight inst of the Honeybees side on Garrison. It works surprisingly well as an instrumental too thanks to some great playing and a memorable tune. As an aside, ever noticed the way Detroit records sometimes list Instrumental in the artist credit? This is another of those. Strange.


Pookie Hudson - This Gets To Me - Jamie


If I can stop the jaded old Northern collectors yawning Ill tell you that we will be featuring classics like these for those new to the genre. This is another of those that to me at least, always sounds great no matter how often I hear it. A truly massive record back at The Wigan Casino and deservedly so. The former Spaniels frontman wraps those quavering vocals around an instantly memorable tune propelled along by a vibes player on a mission and an insistent dance beat. I think Ill play it again, yes, still just as good.


Carl Hall - Mean It Baby - Loma


This remains my favourite Carl Hall record and indeed one of my favourites on this legendary logo, underated and overlooked for many years while lesser sides on this label hit the big time. Carl turns in a great performance here on a marvellous song driven along by a tinkling piano at an almost perfect Northern Soul dance tempo. Hard to see why this was never huge as there were always copies around. Perhaps that was the problem. No snob appeal then but plenty to please the soul fan.


Posted by carms

details of a forthcoming event "remembering the friendship of soul mates that are no longer with us"











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