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Devotions - Do do de dop / Can you explain it - Nation 61165 WD Ex+ £1500


Piecing together information for solo artists and groups that release only one known outing, not an uncommon occurrence on the scene, it’s nigh on impossible.  That said, a lack of provenance is sometimes a good thing for the mystique of an artist, group or their record.  One such group is the Devotions and their superb double sider on Nation.  We know Butch spun “Do do de dop” covered as “Lovers plea” by “The Magictones”.


Even my turn to "Soul Harmony Singles Book", courtesy of legends Jeff Beckman, Jim Hunt and Tom Kline with its 16,000 listings doesn’t reference the artists, correct flip side, label number and year of release, which tells me that in 1998, even though big UK names contributed to the books content, there was still very little definition to this 45, even if a handful of copies sat in the hands of the artists, family, collectors and DJ’s.


The Devotions were James Rushing, James Whitlock, McKinley Norris and brothers Ed and John Berryman, all from DuSable High located in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago.  The group had signed for the Salem-Nation Record Co. Inc, based on South Wentworth Avenue, and whilst theirs is a 1965 release, it’s hard to decipher what releases on this relatively strong label run came in what order. Looking at the likes of Tammy Levon, Jackie Beavers, The Cheers (highly recommended double sider), Silk and Leontine Dupree it’s my guess that the 65 outing was an early release on the label, the question is why didn’t we ever see more from this fine group of guys.


When the labels are studied in greater depth, the name “J. Byrd” appears on both sides writer credits. This is highly likely to be “James (Jimmy Early) Byrd” who worked at Boston’s black radio station WILD between 1960-1970. Byrd was known for launching the careers of many R&B legends, and maybe in this and other cases providing the tracks for young aspiring artists to launch their career. He was best known for keeping the peace in Boston the day after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.  The Mayor of Boston wanted to cancel a James Brown concert fearing rioting and it was Jimmy who led the charge that convinced the City to let show proceed. He demonstrated the power of black radio during one of America’s darkest moments.


The 45 itself remains rare, sought after and often talked about, and if you’re like me a title like “Do do de dop” may be the signal to ignore! but as we find out the composition, arrangement and lyrics on a track may turn out to be far superior than that in the window display - title.  2 classy sides, full of youthful harmonies and classic horns, one out and out mid to up-tempo dancer the other “Can you explain it” a sublime beat ballad. Just 4-5 very light ticks after the top side intro prevents me going M- on this.


PayPal as friends or add 4% or bank transfer please.


Postage: Special Delivery or Overseas Tracked and Signed Included.


Cheers, Lee 😉


5a9bfa9e4acc4_Nation61165a.jpg.e320513396ec4e3966f617a0f9eda231.jpg Devotions - Do do de dop.mp3

5a9bfa9e6dd22_Nation61165b.jpg.45b782b78b913df5dd5c9961b5d93f3e.jpg Devotions - Can you explain it.mp3


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