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obviously Robert Knight

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There is a question I would like to put forward to the esteemed forum.

In several postings I sensed a negative attitude towards soul music that is deemed to be well-known, obvious, beginners' stuff. In this context I read the name of Doris Troy, for example, which really put me off. I have been looking for Doris Troy vinyl for the best part of 40 years, and still have not come further than a Belgian (!) bootleg LP, aptly on the Moonshine label, as far as "I'll do anything" is concerned. Most of the other Doris Troy stuff I managed to collect - but please note that she is not that obvious on the Continent! There is a cd version out now of one of her later albums.

Spinning "I'll do anything" (from aforementioned LP) will get no other response from a continental (Dutch) public than: interesting dance number. Expat Brits know more and will even know the infamous Tony Blackburn version (Hi, this is Tony Blackburn on the Tony Blackburn Show with me, Tony Blackburn...).

The record I got most questions asked about the past nine months is "Everlasting love" by Robert Knight. "Who is that?" People know the number from one or two German cover versions and - if you are lucky - as a golden oldie by the Love Affair. "Robert Knight? Never heard of!"

I just want to illustrate that there are degrees of obscurity and obviousness, and they may be different in a diiferent setting. I would like to know where the line is drawn about the Obvious - and please keep in mind that it would still be nice and entertaining for people who know neither Robert Knight nor Doris Troy that they can dance to and enjoy numbers that may be all too obvious. Like "Going to a gogo". "Hey, is not that a Stones number? Who was that singing then?"

A (small) list of the too obvious? Please?

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Hi Cloudnine.

I think what has happened is, we were very lucky in the 70s, especially guys like me who were at school still, that youth clubs would very often play Northern soul sets at the disco's. So we then not only got to watch the older kids doing their dancing, but we also got to hear lots of tunes, that were easier for the djs, who werent really into Northern to pick up at the local record store.

Things like Doris troy. (Which is a little bit different to say, Out on the floor, which was a popular tune in its own right, but ,I believe, I'll Do Anything was a 'ready made' tune for the burgeoning scene.)

Also back then people didnt have the oldies newies arguement, as most clubs had DJs who were trying their hardest to turn up new exciting sounds, and maybe they also had audiences that were more receptive to these new tunes. I think the popularity of Mr M's changed that, and the scene slightly fragmented, and years later under the media spotlight, imploded.

A kind of bonus of this has been the amount of guest DJs at clubs. Back then it was less common, often due to transport, that clubs would have guests, and so if you went to a club regularly you heard the same DJs, so they needed to search out new sounds.

I dont think anyone thinks of these tunes too badly. And most are viewed fairly fondly. Its just, thats what we heard when we were first getting into soul. Nice at home every now and again, but not necessarily what you want after a three hour journey. And that isnt snobbery, it is just the way many soul fans feel.

I guess that doesnt really answer your question, but it gives a little background.

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Robert Knight was in The Paramounts (on Dot) and then a group called the Fairlanes (may have spelt it wrong) in the late 60s. He was then signed up by the Rising Sons label and his first recording was "Everlasting Love" which was written by label owners.

It's a horrible song (IN MY OPINION) which did nothing upon its release in the UK and then it was reissued in the era of fluffy disco / early 70s and did incredibly well.

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On the topic of obvious... there isn't really an answer to that. What's obvious to one is new to another... My brother heard Al Wilson's Snake for the first time two years ago and loved it so much that he wanted it played at his wedding. He thought it was out of this world. I on the otherhand am bored stupid by the song. [... sorry Marcus - i really did forget to pack it :) )) ]

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Thanks for the answers so far.

Ah! travelling for three hours or more to hear soul music on the dance floor...

If you travel that long you have passed through all of the Netherlands by car, and most of it North-South by train...

I see the point, but there is no scene in NL to match these known from Britain, and I do not think there ever will be.

We had an English expat from Tiel, though, about an hour's train ride (hello, if you are reading this!), that is far and I guess you cannot satisfy someone coming that far with "Going to a gogo". Or indeed "Everlasting love". But I understand "The snake" would have been a different matter. I played a very obscure Dutch version, there are still obscurities to be found if you want to, but the question still is: what is too obvious? Apart from personal tastes apparently "The snake" or indeed "Everlasting love" are not.

Doris Troy doing "Out on the floor"? Oh dear - another 40 years of searching ahead?:-(

I do not know if I have that long to live...

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Hi Cloudnine

Add R Dean Taylor- Ghost in my house to list of so called obvious.

think in town mikey sums it up, but if your in a place that has a dearth of northern events then most tracks are gonna be newies to the new clubbers so nothing old hat and nobody will b getting bored too quickly. but you have the luxury of choosing from the "finds" (if u can find/afford) of the last 30 years too.

Danny D

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"There's a ghost in my house" - our honoured guest from Tiel had it with him and I refused to play it because I had put it away for that Saturday Spin, 17th of July. Actually, I am sorry about not having played it.

On a sentimental note - the Fall version is the last record I played on radiostation RVZ, on which I was a member of the Soul Squad - it was probably a "first" for the Netherlands then. Authorities decided to close down the station two days later, exactly at the moment we arrived in London for a (gramophone) record shopping spree :-(

So the "Ghost" is not too obvious either.

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KOLA-I THINK YOU'RE GETTIN' A BIT MIXED UP-IT WAS "LOVE ON A MOUNTAIN TOP" WHICH WHEN RE-ISSUED GOT LOADS OF PLAY. ALL 3 UK RELEASES ON MONUMENT ARE GREAT SOUL RECORDS. I SAW HIM AT THE 100 CLUB IN THE EARLY 70s AND STILL REMAINS ONE OF THE BEST VOICE'S I'VE HEARD. IF YOU'RE ON THE DANCE FLOOR AT THE NEXT 100 CLUB I'LL SPIN A FEW MID-TEMPO'S FOR YA. MIND YOU AIN'T SEEN YOU DANCE YET?????????

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Mick - now i'm really confused. Maybe i have got the completely wrong guy - i'll investigate more before see ya in a couple of weeks. And yes, mid-tempos would be fantastico.. Thank you.

By the way... you HAVE danced with me - proper ballroom stuff too and the track was "One In a Million". In saying that you probably didn't SEE me - you're vision was slightly effected by the alcohol and sweat fumes generated by the surrounding crowd - well it was a sunday night at Cleethorpes after all:))

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