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Roburt

Stop & Get A Hold Of ..... Carole Waller

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Born in the south and rooted in the church, Carole Waller grew up with a love of gospel music. She sang from an early age and started to write songs when only 13 years old. This skill, when coupled with her fine vocal abilities and good looks helped launch her on a long and enjoyable career path before she hit 18. She developed a particular liking for the more soulful gospel tunes as she was growing up. It was therefore only natural that when soul tracks made their chart breakthrough in the 60's, she was drawn to singing those songs. Carole joined her first group when 14 and landed a spot on the Roy Morris TV show (WRGP-TV Chattanooga) while still in high school. The reaction to her appearances back then helped her decide to embark on a career in the music business.

 

She took the decision to go on the road after landing a Atlanta based booking agent and was soon performing her versions of top soul songs in dance clubs across Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Florida. One club where she was a favourite was Fred Koury's Plantation Supper Club in Greensboro, North Carolina. This club was only the third venue she played after going on the road and it was at about that time that she wrote “This Love of Mine”. As Carole gained experience, she quickly developed stage presence and was soon considered an all around entertainer. Opportunities were soon presenting themselves from even further afield and this led her to take on work in the Chicago area. After only 8 months of touring, she was impressing club owners enough for one of them to take a hand in moving her career onto the next level. She was booked to play Nate Pasero's 'Gi Gi A Go Go Club' in Lyons, Illinois (a western suburb of Chicago). Pasero arranged for Carole's picture to feature on the cover of a local entertainment magazine to publicise her appearance. This caught the attention of two local record company men and as a result, Paul Glass of USA Records and Eddie Mascary of Mercury Records, came to see her perform. For the show, Carole was backed up by Ronnie Ross & the Good Guys. She performed three of her own songs and this fact really impressed both of the record label guys. She was offered record deals by both of them but Carole was most impressed with Paul Glass and so decided to sign with USA Records (he was also willing for her to cut one of her own songs).

 

Glass teamed her up with Bobby Whiteside, a singer, songwriter, arranger and producer who was also a USA artist and who would go on to work for Chess and Curtom Records. The songs she would record were selected and all the preparations made for her session which strangely wasn't held at Glass's own studio (48th St & Cottage Grove) but at the Chess studios. Bobby Whiteside and Paul Glass selected a Van McCoy song, “Stop & Get a Hold of Yourself”, for her to cut and it helped in the studio that she liked the song. “This Love of Mine”, the song Carole had written herself, was the second track that she laid down. As Glass also owned All State Record Distributors, he had very good contacts throughout the business. Because of this, Carole had every confidence that he would market her records effectively. Another act signed to USA Records were the Buckinghams and they had a hit 45 in Chicago in September 66 with “I've Been Wrong”. The track peaked just outside radio station WLS's Top 10 and with all the airplay it got, the record sold well around the city. The Buckingham's follow-up ("Kind of a Drag" USA # 860) escaped in late November 66. This track took off very quickly, making the local charts on release before entering the national pop charts at the very end of the year. It kept climbing the US pop singles charts over the next few weeks, making it to No.1 in mid February. With USA Records enjoying pop success, it seems Paul Glass saw similar opportunities for Carole. She went back into the studio and cut two more songs, one of these being “Say Say Chicken Man”). In 1966, for WCFL radio DJ Jim Runyon's morning show, Dick Orkin had created a satire on the "Batman" TV series called "Chickenman" and the song was a homage to those spots (which soon become so popular they were syndicated across numerous radio stations). The song also took inspiration from a current Tommy James hit cut “Say I Am” (which had entered the US pop charts in mid August 1966 and remained on them for 4 to 6 weeks.).

 

Although it wasn't her first recording, it seems (going by label catalogue numbering) that her first single release was “Say Say Chicken Man c/w I'll Never Get Away“ (USA # 854). This must have escaped around September 1966 but made little impact outside of Chicago itself (where it obviously got plays on WCFL). Carole was never taken with “Say Say Chicken Man” and just about totally blanked out the record's release. She would rather remember her other USA 45 as being her first ever record release. Early in 1967, her second record was readied. “Stop & Get a Hold of Yourself” was selected to be the plug side of this 45 (USA # 863). “This Love of Mine” (the song Carole had written) became the flip side of the single. Review copies of the record were sent out and it gained a Top 100 pop chart tip in a Billboard magazine review dated 11th February, 1967. Everything was set for her new release to make the charts, it was doing especially well in Chicago, New York and the mid west. But just as it was threatening to break though, Paul Glass stopped all promotion on the single. With her tracks sounding 'black' and getting plays on soul radio shows, he started to get enquiries from chitlin circuit venues who wanted to book her. With Carole being young, innocent and white, to get offers of bookings for her from places like the Apollo in Harlem rather alarmed him. He didn't think she would be safe taking on such engagements and came to the conclusion that it wasn't a good idea to market her as a 'soul artist'. Between September 66 and April 67, most of Paul Glass's (& USA Records) efforts had been going into pressing, promoting, distributing & selling the Buckinghams' releases. With all the pop success they were enjoying, Glass decided that he wanted a different sound from Carole and that wasn't to be the soul songs that she preferred singing. She wasn't at all happy with the new musical direction he wanted her to take and that effectively spelt the end of her time with USA.

 

She moved on and flung herself back into live work. She was soon clocking up gig after gig around Chicago, a venue they played on numerous occasions was Western Illinois State College in Macomb (Illinois). Other bookings were picked up in Ohio (she appeared at the Carousel Club in Toledo with Ronnie Ross & the Good Guys in May 1968), New York and Florida. Carole also got to perform in Las Vegas, securing a booking at the famous Flamingo Hotel. She did get to do some more recording work for a couple of companies (Reo Records being one of them) but little came of these projects. By 1970, Carole had joined Cirkus, herself and Ronnie Ross fronting the group. They were soon a popular draw and were securing bookings across a wide area. In May 1970 they enjoyed a successful stint at the Rhoda arms in Newburgh, New York before Carole and Ronnie found themselves booked back into the Carousel Club in Toledo in 1971. It was while she was with Cirkus that she got to appear on the same bill as the Mob. Carole had played the same venues as the Mob on numerous occasions but only shared the stage with the group once, this being on a gig in Orlando, Florida. After Cirkus folded, Carole was in a similar outfit who went by the name of Moppy. She then got to team up with the Mob's lead singer Big Al Herrera. Carole still based herself in Chicago, as did Big Al. They got together to sing with the Bob Young Band and Carole has nothing but good things to say about Al (needless to say, Al holds Carole in high regard).

 

From 1983 to 1986 Carole worked at Rupert's 33 Club in Chicago. Here she was one of the main featured artists with the Rupert's 33 Club Orchestra and Singers. However after 20 years as an entertainer, she decided it was finally time to head back down south. She relocated to Tennessee and commenced a new chapter in her life. Today, she is the music director at a local church and still performs herself sometimes. She owns the copyright to her USA recordings but only learnt of the popularity of her old tracks two to three years ago. She sang many styles of music throughout her career, but soul music always remained her first love. Pleased that her old records are still appreciated, Carole is seeking a way to capitalise on their popularity. 

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Edited by Roburt

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Thanks for supplying the article, however she became aware of the record's minor popularity a decade ago, I interviewed her 10 years back.

Boy does she sound Black on those sides.

I doubt there's a tour waiting but great to see she's re-surfaced.

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Carole Waller 1 year ago

I am Carole Waller. I currently live in Tennessee, I wrote and sang this song when I was 18 and recorded it a year later with USA records in Chicago. I traveled performing until a few years ago. I am still singing and writing. If you would like more information and pictures no one has seen , contact me at my email address which is carolewallersm@yahoo.com

 

ricky.

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photo.jpg

Carole Waller 1 year ago

I am Carole Waller. I currently live in Tennessee, I wrote and sang this song when I was 18 and recorded it a year later with USA records in Chicago. I traveled performing until a few years ago. I am still singing and writing. If you would like more information and pictures no one has seen , contact me at my email address which is carolewallersm@yahoo.com

 

ricky.

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This love of mine is a top record too :thumbsup:

Edited by tosspot

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big blackpool mecca tune if i'm not mistaken, but a revelation to find out she's white.....she certainly sounds black....and yes, what a great tune to dig out again, coincides with the thread already on here about long forgotten tunes. :thumbsup:

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Carole has also put a picture of herself with Roy Morris on his WRGP-TV show up on her facebook page (though its quite faded) ....

The WRGP-TV studio was at 1214 McCallie Avenue (Chattanooga) back in those days .......

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Edited by Roburt

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If anyone's looking for an underplayed oldie...."This love of mind" (mispelt),

The misspelling of the song on the B side of the 45's label could have also contributed to Paul Glass stopping promotion on the single and then pulling it altogether.

He may have thought about having a revised label made up for the B side ... but then just left things as they were when he was spooked by all the booking enquires that started coming in from 'chiltlin circuit' venues.  

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Carole has checked out the article & this thread and here's what she has to say ..........

Thank you John for giving me access to your article (on the web site). You did a great job. By the way, all the comments are nice,  but the one about talking to me 10 years ago isn't true. I was at that time going by my married name and no one would have even known how to reach me. I didn't find out about this Northern Soul until Jeff McGinnis (black singer I am singing with on website) located me at the church (after I went back to my stage and maiden name) in Tennessee.That was about 3 and a half years ago. He happened to find the record for sale on ebay and wondered if it was me. I was shocked to see it anywhere - let alone what we uncovered after that. He and I had never heard of Northern Soul and started finding "me" all over the place. I said to Jeff  "I didn't put me there" I had no idea.  A little over 2 years ago I talked to a DJ from the UK who asked me to possibly come to Orlando, Florida to sign autographs or sing ... but it din't work out. He actually called me from Orlando and told me he was the one who had launched my song in Northern Soul and had found the record in New York. Kev Roberts and Roy Williams were the two I talked to. Roy talked to me about royalties, different rules on copyright in other countries, etc. because I didn't know if I had any rights or what to think ... anyway, I wasn't mad at anyone ... I just wanted to get in on my own song and singing .. from this point on somehow. It has been quite an education.So I am still trying to see what will happen; thus the website and facebook which both are recent in the past 6 months or so.

 

I don't think she'll be mad at me for posting up her thoughts after reading the posts on here. 

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In my discussions with Carole, she only seemed to make mention of Bobby Whiteside as being the guy who oversaw all her USA Recordings.

This intrigued me as her "I'll Never Get Away" track credits a Bobby Bruce as being the producer.

...... ANYWAY ...... I thought I'd ask her about Bobby Bruce; who the guy was, etc ................ I got this reply.....

 

All the sides I did (for USA) were recorded at Chess, and yes Bobby Whiteside wrote and arranged it ("I'll Never Get Away"). I remember him being there for the session as we did "Say Say Chicken Man" and "I'll Never Get Away" at the same time, but I really don't know a lot about Bobby Bruce. It sure seemed to me like Bobby Whiteside was in on the producing, but for some reason Bruce got all the credit. I don't know what the reason for this was.

 

So it seems that even she has little idea who Bobby Bruce was & how he contributed to the session at which "I'll Never Get Away" was cut.

The strange events that took place in the record biz back then just seem to go on forever.

No doubt the guy was owed some favour by USA Records and so his name went on the 45's label. 

.... HOWEVER ..... just perhaps Bobby Bruce wasn't the 2nd guy's name. Maybe it was decided to give the production credits to a pair of guys.

The first being BOBBY Whiteside, while the 2nd guy was named BRUCE 'somebody or other'. 

After all, her other sides state that they were PRODUCED BY B.WHITESIDE .........

..... WHEREAS THIS ONE ......states ...........A BOBBY BRUCE PROD(uction).

Edited by Roburt

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