Soul Survivor - Sir Lattimore Brown
Back From The Dead!
If anyone is entitled to a pain in the heart it is Sir Lattimore. Born to beginnings we cannot comprehend in 1931 and growing up with practically nothing. But from these humble beginnings he was introduced to music, the music of the cotton fields and gospel from the church.
Whilst serving in the Army in Korea, Lattimore was listening to acts such as King Cole Trio and Big Joe Turner and listening to these acts taught him a unique combination of R&B shouting and smooth vocal phrasing that he would carry on into his later work, work that would make him a veteran of the Chitlin Circuit working with some of the biggest names of the time.
Upon settling down in later life, hoping to see out his days in peace and tranquility his world was turned upside down by Hurricane Katrina, the storm was to take from him everything he owned in life. Lattimore's wife tragically died of a heart attack whilst attempting to escape the storm (it would be five months until Lattimore found out about his wife), Lattimore himself survived the storm but was badly injured.
Further tragedy was to come. Whilst getting his life back together after the ravages of the storm, Lattimore was then mugged whilst collecting his meager Army pension. One of the muggers driving a screwdriver into his side leaving Lattimore fighting for his life. Fortunately Lattimore survived but is left with a nasty scar to remind of the brutal attack.
(photo courtesy of Red Kelly)
It was whilst in hospital that he told a nurse of his past as a famous R&B singer. Curious she googled his name to find an article stating that he had died ten years earlier. The nurse found another article by the Soul Detective Red Kelly so she e-mailed Red to see if her patient was the same person. Red contacted Bob Wilson of Golden World Records fame, a name and a label very well known to many Northern Soul fans for his records such as All Turned On and his record work with Joe Simon and ZZ Hill. Bob called the hospital and it was indeed the Sir Lattimore Brown. Friends got together and got Lattimore somewhere to live and Bob decided to take Lattimore back into the studio.
Bob believes in doing things the old way, analogue. Bob used a combination of his own studio in Detroit (for overdubs and mastering) and Willie Mitchells' Royal Recording Studio in Memphis (for recording). He also gathered together the cream of Detroit and Memphis musicians. A line up that consisted of guitarists Skip Pitts & Charlie Hawkins, Steve Potts on drums, Dave Smith on Bass, on trumpet is Kelvin Green, Tenor Sax James Chaney and of course Bob Wilson on electric piano, organ, congas and tambourine. I must mention the backing singers, two singers very well known to the Northern Soul fraternity in the UK and to soul fans world wide, Pat Lewis and her sister Diane!
Now I've got to mention who and what this is all about, Sir Lattimore Brown, The Soul Survivor who at the age of almost 80 years and having gone through so much in his life never thought he would be back in the studio but thanks to Red Kelly and Bob Wilson he was and the result is this CD single and a forthcoming LP.
Photo courtesy of Red Kelly
The first track is a cover of the late great Otis Redding's "Pain In My Heart". Otis was a good friend of Lattimore and Lattimore himself delivers a haunting version of this soul classic. You can feel the pain as he asks where can his Baby be, pleading for to come back as he's had enough, wanting the pain to stop!
The second track is The Itch, another cover (originally recorded by Keb Mo who shares writing credits with Jeff Paris. Here Lattimore begins by prayin' to the Lord above for mercy. He goes on to say how he keeps falling in love, or is it lust, often with the woman he knows is bad for him before getting the Itch and leaving only he is pleading with the Lord for him not to make the same mistakes and go back, hoping he can learn his lesson and not do the same damn thing all over again! An often heard story of a man thinking with his balls and not his brain no matter how much pain and money it would cause him!!
A great piece soul set at a mid-tempo pace with Lattimore raising it for the chorus proving that he can still do the business! Just check out the video for further proof he still has it.
Bob again tells me how he wanted to keep this real and did so by doing not only the full version but also Parts 1 & 2 that could be found on many records back in the day, hopefully the radio stations will pick up on this. Bob also says that it is perfect to dance to doing the Hustle to it or The Twine as it is called in Tennessee where Bob used to live.
Visit Real Thing Records to not only buy the CD but see Sir Lattimore live in the studio proving that he still has what it takes. http://realthingmusic.com/fr_home.cfm
Photos of Lattimore and the musicians are also on the site and more videos of Sir Lattimore can be found on YouTube, seek them out.
There is no way I can do the story of Lattimore Brown justice in a page or two but you can read a comprehensive story of Lattimore Brown on the excellent blog of Red Kelly, who without him Lattimore probably wouldn't be here now to share his music with us, the first part of the story can be found at http://redkelly.blog...t-this-way.html take some time out and read all the parts to the story, it is a fascinating and interesting story.
There is also an interview of Sir Lattimore by Robbie Benson earlier this year that can be found at http://worldwidewebc...lattimore-brown
Lattimore is still in need of all our help. You can help in at least two ways, buy this CD single and the upcoming LP from Real Thing Records and make a PayPal donation via the friends of Lattimore Brown page which can be found at http://www.sirlattimorebrown.com/ Click on the Friends link at the bottom left of the home page and give Sir Lattimore Brown some much needed help and comfort.
Special thanks to Bob Wilson, Red Kelly and also to Sir Lattimore Brown.
Chalky (April 2010).