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Reg Scott

Vocals - Who Still Has "it"

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Me and the lad were discussing which of the Soul Legends still can hit the dizzy heights of their prime.

It got me thinking of some of the recent performances I've seen, Jimmy Ruffin and Martha Reeves spring to mind, where

my heart sank as I heard a vocal only a shadow of its former glory.

Then again I've heard vocal performances that are simply awsome - Smokey Robinson is probably the case in point.

As such, I'd like to invite your input to provide your own examples of Soul Legends who still have "it". Feel free to use a wide

spectrum but try to keep the focus on Legends so as to concentrate the mind on the then and now performance.

If this has been done then it doesn't hurt to have an updated view - nobody's getting any younger now are they.

As an example, I've included a very short clip of Smokey jamming with Jools on "You've Really Got A Hold On Me", which just knocks

me socks off!

ATB

Greg. :yes:

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Ronnie Walker!!!!!!!!!!! thumbsup.gif

His voice was excellent at his recent shows, how he can still still hit & hold those high notes I'll never know no.gif

Saw Smokey on tv recently, possibly from a concert at the Roundhouse ? (can't remember) Thought he was good but not great & thought the brilliance of the song carried it as much as his voice. Don't get me wrong as I say he was good & I enjoyed it just thought it was lacking a bit of spark in that particular performance.

Edited by SHSDave

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certainly not Rod Stewartshades.gif

Am not sure, no I'm 100% confident he wasn't, the tit was ever a Soul legend - although he might think he is/was.

That recent album and tv appearances were proper shite!

Travesty :yes:

Edited by ClearVinyl

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Ronnie Walker!!!!!!!!!!! :yes:

His voice was excellent at his recent shows, how he can still still hit & hold those high notes I'll never know no.gif

Saw Smokey on tv recently, possibly from a concert at the Roundhouse ? (can't remember) Thought he was good but not great & thought the brilliance of the song carried it as much as his voice. Don't get me wrong as I say he was good & I enjoyed it just thought it was lacking a bit of spark in that particular performance.

I think with Smokey, for me, its the sweetness in the vocal that still moves me.

Did Ronnie Walker do his big numbers - which show did you see? :shhh:

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I have always though Candi statons voice was pretty poor must be worse now imo

Crikey!

I bloody love her voice, Ted.

Fragile, certainly, but with the right song she's outstanding!

On such material as "Too Hurt To Cry" and "In The Ghetto" which cry out for that level of fragility, she's incredible, to my ears!

Different kind of vocalist to an Aretha, a Gwen McCrae or a Millie J. but there's not much by her I don't rate.

Saw her about 5 years ago and she was still on top form!

:yes:

Sean

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Crikey!

I bloody love her voice, Ted.

Fragile, certainly, but with the right song she's outstanding!

On such material as "Too Hurt To Cry" and "In The Ghetto" which cry out for that level of fragility, she's incredible, to my ears!

Different kind of vocalist to an Aretha, a Gwen McCrae or a Millie J. but there's not much by her I don't rate.

Saw her about 5 years ago and she was still on top form!

:yes:

Sean

I'm with you on that one Sean. Her Fame material is really special and still great value!

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I know he's not a superstar but Jimmy James can still belt out a toon !

Cheers

Swifty

Swifty, if he gets even 50% toward the quality of this track then he's gonna be good - very good :yes:

JIMMY JAMES - AIN'T NO BIG THING - NEW RELIGION LP CUT -

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Phil Perry, formerly of the Montclairs was awesome at Prestatyn in 2004, his session in the Modern room on the saturday afternoon will stay with me forever, what a performer

Kev

Oh me too - he was simply amazing and made the hairs all over my body stand up but then so did the Masqueraders when they sang "HOW" truly truly awesomethumbup.gif

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The Reverend Al Green has still got it at 63 years of age - we lucky people here Down Under in Oz just last Saturday night witnessed him headlining a free (yes FREE !) open air concert in the heart of Sydney's business district in front of 100,000 (yes 100,000 !) people with his own 14 piece US band !!!!

And as a fabulous unexpected surprise he also performed his Detroit recorded 6T's hit "Back Up Train" and his northern fave the stompin' "Dont Leave Me" thumbup.gif.

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Candi Staton is just as good as ever judged on her European shows of the last few years. To characterise her voice as 'pretty poor' is a bit mystifying to me.

Still, it's all about personal taste I suppose.

Otis Clay still apparently performs with all his old fire and power completely intact. If you haven't seen him I would urge you to do so as he's probably the finest blue-collar soulman of them all and a staggering talent.

Rance Allen still earns rave reviews for his live work and I will try to see him when I next get the chance.

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Have to agree with Sean too, saw Candi Staton 2 or 3 years ago and her voice was great, The impressions can certainly still get the harmonising right too, even without Curtis, Chuck Jackson also did it for me at Prestatin last year, good strong vocals. Joe Simons voice is as good as ever as well,just a few that spring immediately to mind.

Rob h.

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Candi Staton is just as good as ever judged on her European shows of the last few years. To characterise her voice as 'pretty poor' is a bit mystifying to me.

Still, it's all about personal taste I suppose.

Otis Clay still apparently performs with all his old fire and power completely intact. If you haven't seen him I would urge you to do so as he's probably the finest blue-collar soulman of them all and a staggering talent.

Rance Allen still earns rave reviews for his live work and I will try to see him when I next get the chance.

totally agree mate, Candi is one of my favourites and Otis clay too. I had the good fortune to see J Blackfoot recently and he still has it.

Don't forget that rick Hall would get Candi to sing her Fame stuff over and over again to get that hoarse,fragile quality to her voice that Sean mentioned.

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Still has a voice that can level a city and leave it begging for more, the one and only Bettye Lavette.

Regards - Mark Bicknell.

Sorry Mark - I totally disagree with you- Betty was not very good at Blackpool a few years ago. Couldnt hold her notes and her bottom range was poor- especially singing "Almost"

She was also a bit pretentious and didnt want to talk after 10 mins saying she was saving her voice! I think that tells you thatshe had lost some range.

However Phillip Mitchell was excellent

Garland Green was pretty good

and Bunny Sigler was was also pretty good at Fleetwood

The Originals were not bad either at the Ritz

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I think there are more who have not 'got it' than those who still have it! Just look how many have stopped recording or even touring.

Old Glad Knight still had it in Manchester last year, which was a surprise, as in Vegas 94 I thought she had lost it.

Pound for pound Heather Small still gets those notes and although she never had the range of the 'greats' like Aretha, she is worth the money to see her in concert.

How did Marva Whitney perform in the UK recently, I missed the Leeds Central gig, and would love to know if she can still sing 'Saving my love'.

Ed

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Sorry Mark - I totally disagree with you- Betty was not very good at Blackpool a few years ago. Couldnt hold her notes and her bottom range was poor- especially singing "Almost"

She was also a bit pretentious and didnt want to talk after 10 mins saying she was saving her voice! I think that tells you thatshe had lost some range.

However Phillip Mitchell was excellent

Garland Green was pretty good

and Bunny Sigler was was also pretty good at Fleetwood

The Originals were not bad either at the Ritz

I have to agree about Betty at Blackpool.

Also agree about Phillip Mitchell, Bunny Sigler & The Originals, but I was abit disapointed with Garland Green.

I agree with the other posts Phil Perry was good as was Chuck Jackson.thumbsup.gif

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kev beat me to say phil perry , when he started with hey you the person next to me passed out, i felt a bit weak at the knees also, col

Never mind Sam Dees, what if little John Dees, one of the funniest things I have ever heard mate after John passed out as you stated.

Kev

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Got to put in a vote for the wonderful Irma Thomas.

I don't know the date of the first vid but it's fairly recent.

She must be well into her 60's!

Wow!!

The second one is courtesy of IL.

I'm assuming this is a rerecorded vocal.

If so Double Wow!!

MB

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Crikey!

I bloody love her voice, Ted.

Fragile, certainly, but with the right song she's outstanding!

On such material as "Too Hurt To Cry" and "In The Ghetto" which cry out for that level of fragility, she's incredible, to my ears!

Different kind of vocalist to an Aretha, a Gwen McCrae or a Millie J. but there's not much by her I don't rate.

Saw her about 5 years ago and she was still on top form!

thumbsup.gif

Sean

Fragile is good way to put it and thats probably more what i meant she does not have strong voice.

Young heart run free is still in my top 10thumbsup.gif

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Guest Dave Turner

OTIS CLAY

Sorry, I couldn't shout that loud enough :rolleyes:

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OTIS CLAY

Sorry, I couldn't shout that loud enough rolleyes.gif

Hey Dave,

I was tempted to say Otis too as he was INCREDIBLE last time I saw him... and even on recent video still has the chops.

Probably, right now, he's one of the last, still performing, TRUE Soul (as we know it) Singers.

Thinking about trying to get him over for a PA at Just Soul.

What do you reckon?

Sean

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Still got it is an interesting thread. I don't do many "Live" events as I have seen most of my heroes years ago. From video I would say Lee Moses and The Green Berets a.k.a Walter&The Admirations in NYC last year. Both were fantastic and definitely still had it! Lee Moses' back catalogue is phenomenal, to the point where JM is auctioning Free At Last / Got That Will which is a fabulous double-sider on Maple. I'm amazed no one has thought to bring him over to the UK.

I would love to be in NYC next week listening to Darrow Fletcher.

I thought Betty Lavette at Obama's inaugaration was brilliant and sure sang everybody else off the stage!

I'm jealous of all those who witnessed Al Green in Sydney! Seen him live, in Church and in the studio. Singer!

Cheers, Ady

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Guest Dave Turner

Hey Dave,

I was tempted to say Otis too as he was INCREDIBLE last time I saw him... and even on recent video still has the chops.

Probably, right now, he's one of the last, still performing, TRUE Soul (as we know it) Singers.

Thinking about trying to get him over for a PA at Just Soul.

What do you reckon?

Sean

Oh most definitely mate, I'd be ever so thrilled if he bought me a beer biggrin.gif

April 2009 - New Orleans good.gif

Edited by Dave Turner

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Marva Whitney -mindblowing performance in Leeds december 2009 sure all who went will agree "!!!

BAZ A

thumbup.gif I agree.

I must admit when I first saw her walking down the steps from her dressing room holding on to the bannister for dear life she did initially seem frail & I had reservations but jasus the minute she was on that stage & started singing she was just awesome & could easily out-sing & out-perform the young diva's of this day!! Astounding performance !!

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Oh and another thing Sean. Otis Clay at Just Soul definitely! Just play his Live In Japan LP and make the call!

Great call Ady, both of the live lps are great. The live version of ' Is it over' from the first one is awesome!

I was lucky enough to see him at a blues festival in Belgium just before he came over with the Waylo tour. He was brilliant, just a really hard working singer at the top of his game with a top notch bandthumbsup.gif

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Guest Dave Turner

thumbup.gif I agree.

I must admit when I first saw her walking down the steps from her dressing room holding on to the bannister for dear life she did initially seem frail & I had reservations but jasus the minute she was on that stage & started singing she was just awesome & could easily out-sing & out-perform the young diva's of this day!! Astounding performance !!

Unfortunately she's had a stroke since then, hope it hasn't taken too much out of her but unlikely.

On December 28th, 2009, Marva Whitney suffered from a stroke and collapsed while performing with The Transatlantics at Falls Festival in Lorne, Australia. She was rushed to Geelong Hospital immediately, where she has made an amazing recovery and was released after only three days. On Sunday, January 3rd, we traveled back to the States and Marva is currently recovering at her home in Kansas City. The Transatlantics continued the tour without us, but Marva wants all her friends and fans to know that her condition is improving and that she plans to be back on the road later this year. Things got to get better!

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Guest

I know he's not a superstar but Jimmy James can still belt out a toon !

Cheers

Swifty

One of the most underated Vocalists ever on our scene, imagine if JIMMY had been born in Detroit and had gone into the studio with people like DON DAVIS or HDH...His version of 'Who could be loving you' the Willie Hutch song is fantastic. He's a 'legend' to me, without a shadow of a doubt!thumbsup.gif

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I think with Smokey, for me, its the sweetness in the vocal that still moves me.

Did Ronnie Walker do his big numbers - which show did you see? thumbsup.gif

Hi

Saw the show at Solid Hit in London. Big numbers ? Well from memory he sung Your the One, Thanks to you, Trouble (Agents record which Ronnie wrote & recorded but it was never released until recent years) Now I cry, On & On & Can you love a poor boy.................certain that he sung at least one more??????? anyone ? Des?

I keep saying it but he was absolutely brilliant thumbsup.gif

Dave

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Oh and another thing Sean. Otis Clay at Just Soul definitely! Just play his Live In Japan LP and make the call!

That's an album that's never far from my deck Ady.

"Love Don't Love Nobody" is the business.

OK - you done it.

Gonna make the call mate.

:lol:

Sean

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What about Dean Parrish - i thought he seemed good a few years ago but for me 2 that spring to mind are

Smokey Robinson and

Jimmy James - about the only soul singer i seen more then anyone. I still want to see him again cause he is too good and makes me smile at the fact he is to me a soul legend.

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Guest bobby's girl

Chuck Jackson at October Prestatyn just blew me away. Fab vocals with the charisma to go with it. And Mavis Staples at the Bridgewater Hall in Mcr, couple of years ago... what a trouper!

Regrettably its a thumbs down for Martha Reeves; at Liverpool Arena this year. Sadly, she was just abysmal.

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The Reverend Al Green has still got it at 63 years of age - we lucky people here Down Under in Oz just last Saturday night witnessed him headlining a free (yes FREE !) open air concert in the heart of Sydney's business district in front of 100,000 (yes 100,000 !) people with his own 14 piece US band !!!!

And as a fabulous unexpected surprise he also performed his Detroit recorded 6T's hit "Back Up Train" and his northern fave the stompin' "Dont Leave Me" :thumbup:.

Should also mention that Syl Johnson appeared in Melbourne 8 months ago and he brought down the house down - and he's such an accommodating guy that he could easily be persuaded to do his 6Ts northern stuff if a UK promoter were to ask him nicely .... somebody really ought to bring him out ....

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That's an album that's never far from my deck Ady.

"Love Don't Love Nobody" is the business.

OK - you done it.

Gonna make the call mate.

:hatsoff2:

Sean

Otis's reading of "Love Don't Love Nobody" is never far from my thoughts when asked to nominate the single greatest soul record (an impossible task!).

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Swifty, if he gets even 50% toward the quality of this track then he's gonna be good - very good :lol:

JIMMY JAMES - AIN'T NO BIG THING - NEW RELIGION LP CUT -

Thanks , that is excellent , looking forward to seeing him at the Skeggy Butlins weekender in

a few weeks time , he never fails to deliver the goods !

Cheers

Swifty :wicked:

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Got to put in a vote for the wonderful Irma Thomas.

I don't know the date of the first vid but it's fairly recent.

She must be well into her 60's!

Wow!!

The second one is courtesy of IL.

I'm assuming this is a rerecorded vocal.

If so Double Wow!!

MB

I have to say if anything it sounds as if the backing was re - recorded & the original vocal used. Watch the video ....surely she's miming ?

Edited by SHSDave

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