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Derek Pearson

I'm Gonna Stay - Willie Hutch or Charles Drain?

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WILLIE HUTCH  I’m Gonna Stay / Get Ready For The Get Down (Tamla Motown TSM-NP64211) Italian only 45 released with picture sleeve in 1974.


Charles Drain released a superb version of the top side in 1976 and is well known by modern soul fans across the world; however what is least known is this original version from 2 years earlier by the writer of the song Willie Hutch. Taken off his album ‘The Mark Of The Beast’ it was only ever released (as far as I know) - anywhere in the world – on a 7” single tucked away on the B side of this rather stunning looking Italian Tamla Motown 45. Almost certainly selling next to nothing on release this helped seal its fate as a future obscurity.‘Get Ready For The Get Down’ made the R&B charts in America early 1975 but used a different flip side.

Timed at 4:03 on the label (which I suspect is the running time of the album version) I play checked it at 3:10.


YouTube clip: Willie Hutch  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa-svs3gwCs

YouTube clip: Charles Drain   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVEfi2siRDo


Edited by Derek Pearson

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I've got both of them Derek, of course Willie Hutch did it first.

But I do think Charles Drain does it better than Willie - others may not agree!

Nice bit of marketing BTW :wink:

Wasn't at all surprised when you said you had both versions - it's what I expected from an old vinyl hound like you.....

Also I'm with you in thinking Charles does it better than Mister Hutch.

Nice bit of marketing (smile).


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The Charles Drain version was, of course, produced by Kent Washburn. Most of their recording work together was undertaken in St Louis.

Here's some info I put together (a while back) on Charles Drain and his recording career ................... 

Charles Drain was born in Mississippi back in 1939. He began singing at the age of eight and formed his first group a couple of years later. After moving to Chicago, he secured work singing back-up vocals before landing a record deal with Vee Jay as lead singer for the Tabs. The group back then consisted of Charles Drain, Sonny Robertson (1st tenor), John Hopkins (2nd tenor) & Lionell Stokes (baritone). All the guys were childhood buddies though a couple of additional members (Tuman Hughes & Leroy Terry) had dropped out down the years. Sonny Robertson had started out in gospel groups as a teenager and had sung in male gospel quartets back in St Louis with the likes of Mel & Tim. Although not actually a member of the group, Charles’ brother William was influential in their development. William schooled the group, helping them develop their singing skills plus he wrote songs especially for them. The group were to gain two single releases on Vee Jay in 1962, with a further two 45’s later escaping on Wand (they cut additional tracks but these failed to gain release back then). They got to tour, playing shows with the Miracles, Flip Wilson, Redd Foxx, Moms Mabley and the Isley Brothers at venues such as the Apollo, the Uptown in Philly, the Howard in D.C. & the Regal in Chicago. For their show at the Apollo, they were backed up by a group of musicians that included Phillip Upchurch (guitar) and King Curtis (sax). By the mid sixties though, the Tabs had run their course and so Charles went out as a solo singer. He secured a record deal with Checker in 1967 (“Here I Am” being released on 45) and also in the 60's, "Stop And Think About It Baby / So Glad" was issued on Top Track. Back based in St Louis in the 1970’s, he was looking a way to get his career back on track. It was therefore no surprise that when Kent and Michael L Smith let it be known that they were holding auditions for singers, he was one of the first to learn of this and turn up at the studio to try out. Kent & Michael were suitably impressed and he was quickly signed up. The auditions also resulted in the Love Set being signed to a recording contract. Kent in conjunction with Michael L Smith started work on tracks by Charles Drain and the Love Set and it was agreed that these, when completed would be released by RCA.


Marcus Kelly had originally laid down demos on three songs (“This Ain't Livin”, “I've Been A Good Man” and “You Don't Even Know My Name"), so Kent cut finished versions of these and thus completed five tracks in all on him. Kent tried to market these at the same time as he was setting up the deals secured for the Hypnotics and Charles Drain / Love Set. However the majors were keener on the other artist’s cuts and so his masters were left sitting on the shelf at that time. Charles Drain was already an experienced singer with quite a bit of studio experience and so his sessions progressed quite smoothly. A Michael L Smith song, “Is This Really Love” was selected to form the top side of his initial RCA release and the single (RCA #10186) hit US record shop shelves in February 1975. It didn’t manage to chart nationally but it certainly made waves and as a result, the 45 was also released in countries such as the UK (RCA 2750). The next RCA single release that originated with the CMC team came from the Love Set. The group’s only release under the deal featured “Touch & Go Lover” (RCA #10241) and this was issued around April that year. Again little or no promotional effort was forthcoming from RCA but again the track made some impact as it also gained a foreign release. Charles Drain’s next outing came towards the end of the year and by this time, Michael L Smith had moved on and Kent was in total charge on the tracks. No drop in quality was evident though, as Charles performed sterling work on the Ray Dahrouge penned song “Lifetime Guarantee Of Love” (RCA #10521). His last 45 outing on the label emerged in March 1976, when “What Good Is A Love Song” was coupled with “I'm Gonna Stay” (RCA #10594). With the passage of time, it is “I’m Gonna Stay” that has attracted major acclaim. Also in 1976, Charles’ ‘Dependable’ album was released and copies of this 10 track strong album are also much sought after these days.

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