Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.

Jump to content
  • Sign Up
markw

Long John Baldry - The Drifter

Recommended Posts

Was tuned in to Sounds of the Sixties this morning. Dear old Brian Matthews played a version of the Ray Pollard classic off a a Long John Baldry LP from '66 or '67 I think. Anybody else heard this? What do you think? I thought it was a great version - LBJ, despite being a fine singer himself, not up to the mighty Ray standard, the orchestration was fab (much in line with the original) but the version was more uptempo than the original.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah it's on a pretty scarce UK United Artists 45 and also on the LP Looking At Long John. Baldry must have been a Ray Pollard fan because he also covered the B side of The Drifter, Let Him Go And Let Me Love You, that's a pretty common UA single. Both versions are ok, but you can't really compare them to Pollard - and there's another version of Drifter by Don Crales, an Irish recording which came out on Parlophone, it's awful. Mick Smith's got an acetate of another version but without any artist credited

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard it too and to be honest thought it was shite - no passion in his voice at all and could have got away with it being played over the loud speaker in Asda!! Ray Pollard's version is just awesome and I doubt anyone could sing it like he did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i agree mandy i emailed him right away asking him to play the original knowing radio two they won't

Must admit to being a massive fan of Ray Pollard's original.....and agree that in comparrison it's like comparing a Ferrari with a Lada (remember them? Russian represses of the old Fiat 127). Perhaps if Ray Pollard hadn't done it, we'd like LJB more, but as Ray DID it so well, the cover seems a poor imitation. There is also another British cover version of this too, which I have somewhere....again not bad, but falls by the wayside whenever the stylus drops down on Ray's original.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is also another British cover version of this too, which I have somewhere....again not bad, but falls by the wayside whenever the stylus drops down on Ray's original.

my post above it tells you who did the other cover

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Baldry must have been a Ray Pollard fan because he also covered the B side of The Drifter, Let Him Go And Let Me Love You,

i met him a couple of years ago, he wasn't aware that both tracks were sung by ray pollard originally , he only heard two acetates that were given to him by his manager or producer...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i agree mandy i emailed him right away asking him to play the original knowing radio two they won't

I think that is a bit unfair. Radio 2 will play great Northern, or just great soul if you want it that way. In fact Ray Pollard was played about 3 weeks ago on Stuart Maconie on Saturday afternoon "Keeping the faith" Slot. Today he played the fantastic Superlatives "I Still Love You".

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah it's on a pretty scarce UK United Artists 45 and also on the LP Looking At Long John. Baldry must have been a Ray Pollard fan because he also covered the B side of The Drifter, Let Him Go And Let Me Love You, that's a pretty common UA single. Both versions are ok, but you can't really compare them to Pollard - and there's another version of Drifter by Don Crales, an Irish recording which came out on Parlophone, it's awful. Mick Smith's got an acetate of another version but without any artist credited

TALKING OF BALDRY

DINT HE DO A VERSION OF GIMME JUST A LITTLE MORE TIME ?

THIS WAS ALSO COVERED BY ANGELA CLEMMONS ME THINKS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TALKING OF BALDRY

DINT HE DO A VERSION OF GIMME JUST A LITTLE MORE TIME ?

THIS WAS ALSO COVERED BY ANGELA CLEMMONS ME THINKS

Dunno but Wayne Fontana certainly did

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TALKING OF BALDRY

DINT HE DO A VERSION OF GIMME JUST A LITTLE MORE TIME ?

THIS WAS ALSO COVERED BY ANGELA CLEMMONS ME THINKS

I don't think 'covered' is the right word to describe Angela Clemmons' version, as it came out about 12 years after the Chairmen Of the Board's original had been and gone. Many records that are described as 'covers' aren't - the term should really only be applied to recordings that were designed to try to take some sales away from the original - like Wayne Fontana's cover of GMJALMT was supposed to do, before it got withdrawn...

It's a good revival, though, is Angela's. I used to play it at 6Ts in the earl days of the 100 Club. It probably deserves a bit more attention than it gets nowadays...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I vaguely remember reading an interview with Rod Stewart where he said that Long John made a pass at him once when they were both in Steampacket .... :thumbsup:

Yes, there was a great LJB doc on here recently, on BBC4, where he repeated the same story. LJB being profoundly gay, it almost certainly did happen :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that is a bit unfair. Radio 2 will play great Northern, or just great soul if you want it that way. In fact Ray Pollard was played about 3 weeks ago on Stuart Maconie on Saturday afternoon "Keeping the faith" Slot. Today he played the fantastic Superlatives "I Still Love You".

Paul

I think it was a bit unfair too, considering on the same show they also played 'That did It' by Bobby Bland.

To be honest I find the show fascinating when it does play these alternative versions - also played 'Sweet Thing' by Georgie Fame, it always amazes how these things were picked up in the UK. And for sure the artists had as much passion for Black American music as we had/have.

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your gonna hate me for this but I prefer Long John baldry version of the Drifter. As the topic starter said- the orchestration in my view is great and I love Baldrys voice as it builds to a creshendo near the end. I like Pollards version but find it a bit sparse!

But its only my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest johnm

Just listened to both versions and I prefer Ray Pollard.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the Long John Baldry one... in fact my missues bought it for me for xmas... took a while to find it.. is it rarer than pollards version?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  Sign up/in to remove

Guest

Yeah it's on a pretty scarce UK United Artists 45 and also on the LP Looking At Long John. Baldry must have been a Ray Pollard fan because he also covered the B side of The Drifter, Let Him Go And Let Me Love You, that's a pretty common UA single. Both versions are ok, but you can't really compare them to Pollard - and there's another version of Drifter by Don Crales, an Irish recording which came out on Parlophone, it's awful. Mick Smith's got an acetate of another version but without any artist credited

Peter,

"Drifter by Don Crales, an Irish recording...it's awful"

I'm shocked.. I love the Parlophone version by Don Charles. I don't think Don Charles is Irish is he? I've always held Don in high regard vocally..I've just played it and think it's good.. and can't hear any guiness influences whatsoever..good girl chorus, the brass is a little "English" but i've certainly heard worse beaters coming from a British vocal..and it's certainly the rarest of the three versions.

pete, have another listen, go to.

http://raresoulman.co.uk/searchartist.php?...DON&Format=

his version of the Ben E. king - Hermit - is pretty good too..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter,

"Drifter by Don Crales, an Irish recording...it's awful"

I'm shocked.. I love the Parlophone version by Don Charles. I don't think Don Charles is Irish is he?

...Believe he's of Welsh extraction, actually, John. You're right about his version of 'Hermit', BTW, it IS good. I bought it as a new release, and although Ben E King's version is tecnically better in every way I still prefer Don's. Can't say I'm quite so enthralled by his take on 'The Drifter', but it's certainly not 'awful' as suggested elsewhere...

Anyway, what are you doing posting when you could be off the the Post Office with my McCoys 45 :ohmy::yes::lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

...Believe he's of Welsh extraction, actually, John. You're right about his version of 'Hermit', BTW, it IS good. I bought it as a new release, and although Ben E King's version is tecnically better in every way I still prefer Don's. Can't say I'm quite so enthralled by his take on 'The Drifter', but it's certainly not 'awful' as suggested elsewhere...

Anyway, what are you doing posting when you could be off the the Post Office with my McCoys 45 :ohmy::yes::lol:

mccoys will be with ya tomorrow..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Welsh?? Wasn't he a center forward..? big tall brute who went to play in Italy... this guy was versatile.

Edited by john manship

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...Believe he's of Welsh extraction, actually, John. You're right about his version of 'Hermit', BTW, it IS good. I bought it as a new release, and although Ben E King's version is tecnically better in every way I still prefer Don's. Can't say I'm quite so enthralled by his take on 'The Drifter', but it's certainly not 'awful' as suggested elsewhere...

Anyway, what are you doing posting when you could be off the the Post Office with my McCoys 45 :ohmy::yes::lol:

Don Charles started out on Decca in 1962. His first few sides (including The Hermit of Misty Mountain) were produced by Joe Meek. THOMM is also on his ultra-rare Decca EP from 1963. He moved away from Joe Meek's production in 1963, and went on to record for HMV from then on, finishing on Parlophone during 1967 -1968, where he also released an LP, though I'm not sure if The Drifter was on it.

PS - This is NOT the same Don Charles who had that awful Top 20 hit in 1955 with "Jingle Bells" by The Singing Dogs!

post-953-1179839841_thumb.jpg

Edited by Gene-R

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter,

"Drifter by Don Crales, an Irish recording...it's awful"

I'm shocked.. I love the Parlophone version by Don Charles. I don't think Don Charles is Irish is he? I've always held Don in high regard vocally..I've just played it and think it's good.. and can't hear any guiness influences whatsoever..good girl chorus, the brass is a little "English" but i've certainly heard worse beaters coming from a British vocal..and it's certainly the rarest of the three versions.

pete, have another listen, go to.

http://raresoulman.co.uk/searchartist.php?...DON&Format=

his version of the Ben E. king - Hermit - is pretty good too..

Well he recorded it in his studio in Ireland...check the label...by the way you know I meant Charles, it's trying to type to fast!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well he recorded it in his studio in Ireland...check the label...by the way you know I meant Charles, it's trying to type to fast!

I've e-mailed a mate who will know for sure where Don came from originally.

In the meantime, those who care about such stuff might like to know that Don Charles co-wrote the extremely rare, released only in the USA, beat record "Money, Money" by the Moments (on World Artists) - Steve Marriott's pre-Small Faces group!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For f*cks sake, I never said he was Irish, I said it was recorded in Ireland! Have a look at the credit on the B side...I haven't seen it for a dozen or more years but I'm sure it says so-and-so studios, Ireland

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the Independent's obituary to Don Charles. Interesting, as it mentions another track on Parlophone called "Bring Your Love To Me".

Wonder if he emigrated to Ireland in the mid-60s?

Don Charles

Joe Meek's 'only legit artist'

Published: 09 December 2005

Walter Stanley Scuffham (Don Charles), singer: born Hull, Yorkshire 10 December 1933: four times married (five daughters); died Herstmonceux, East Sussex 4 December 2005.

The unconventional record producer Joe Meek worked with numerous acts in the 1960s but he considered Don Charles had the best voice, telling him, "You are my only legit artist. All the others are yugga-dugs." Charles recorded fine ballads with Meek, notably the chart-making "Walk With Me, My Angel", in 1962. Six foot four and weighing 17 stone, he was an imposing presence on teenage pop shows.

He was born Walter Scuffham in Hull in 1933, though known as Don from an early age. His father died when he was four and he took his stepfather's name, becoming Don Bennett. He joined the Navy at 15 and remained there until he was 25. By then he had acquired a taste for singing standards with big bands and hoped to be a professional singer.

In 1960 he came to London when he was signed to EMI's Parlophone label by George Martin. Unfortunately, Martin struggled to find the right material for his voice, releasing the unsuccessful "Paintbox Lover" in 1961. He moved to Joe Meek - who renamed him Don Charles, Don Bennett being too close to Tony Bennett - for "Walk With Me, My Angel", on Decca, which Meek had written for the 1961 album Two Sides of John Leyton. The song is in keeping with the otherworldly sounds from Meek's Holloway Road studio, including "Johnny Remember Me", "Tribute to Buddy Holly", "Son, This is She" and "Telstar". It was among Meek's best productions and deserved better than its Top Forty placing.

The same could be said of the follow-up, "The Hermit of Misty Mountain", a very commendable cover of a Ben E. King single. That year Charles also recorded a gimmicky version of a country song, "It's My Way of Loving You", and the B-side, "Guess That's the Way It Goes" with Roger LaVern of the Tornados on piano is archetypal Meek. His "Angel of Love" (1963) was banned by the BBC because of its lyric, "Everyone has an angel of love, / Way up in the heavens above". Relatively few people heard the record but possibly it would not have sold anyway as the Beatles had arrived. "Heart's Ice Cold" was rush-released when "Angel of Love" was banned and, despite an excellent production, it failed to sell.

Meek had a dispute with Decca over their not pushing the Tornados' records and he refused to hand over the tapes of his forthcoming releases. So Charles left Decca and, in 1965, himself produced the Tornados on "Space Walk" and the ironically titled "Goodbye Joe".

Between 1963 and 1965 Charles made seven singles for HMV including "Tower Tall", "Big Talk from a Little Man", and "Dream On Little Dreamer", but without commercial success. It was the same story at Parlophone but "Bring Your Love to Me" (1967) subsequently became a Northern Soul favourite.

Realising that he was never going to have a big record, he bought a nightclub in Malta with Rolf Harris and then became a car salesman. He wrote a practical guide, How to Buy a Used Car (And Save Money), in 1989. The trick was to carry a magnet: "If it sticks, it's metal. If it skates or barely sticks, it's filler."

Spencer Leigh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

For f*cks sake, I never said he was Irish, I said it was recorded in Ireland! Have a look at the credit on the B side...I haven't seen it for a dozen or more years but I'm sure it says so-and-so studios, Ireland

Sorry Pete

no ref: to Ireland on the label.

Produced by Johnny Spence who I'm pretty sure is a prolific UK producer.

anyway doesn't Walter Stanley Scuffham play upfront for Wolves?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd heard of the Long John Baldry version of The Drifter, but had never heard it till now. It would be hard to beat Ray Pollard's version, but not a bad attempt. Might be nice to hear it out for a change, although I can't remember the last time I heard The Drifter outside my front room.

When LJB was in his heyday, I saw him live at Bluesville, Manor House, with Rod "the mod" Stewart. I didn't rate either at the time, possibly because I was very anti British covers of R&B. But a few years ago I saw LJB with the Blues Band at the Millfield theatre in Edmonton, he was really good, so perhaps I was just too prejudiced to appreciate him originally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry Pete

no ref: to Ireland on the label.

Produced by Johnny Spence who I'm pretty sure is a prolific UK producer.

anyway doesn't Walter Stanley Scuffham play upfront for Wolves?

Whats on the B side John, I'm starting to think I am going mad here, it's an uptempo stomper, if it's not then I'm thinking of a totally different record!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whats on the B side John, I'm starting to think I am going mad here, it's an uptempo stomper, if it's not then I'm thinking of a totally different record!

Think it's "Phil The Fluter's Ball", Pete! :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think it's "Phil The Fluter's Ball", Pete! :P

All joking aside, it should be Great To Be Living and it states it's recorded at so and so studios in Ireland, if it doesn't say that then I had the only copy that did!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All joking aside, it should be Great To Be Living and it states it's recorded at so and so studios in Ireland, if it doesn't say that then I had the only copy that did!

Hey Pete - wasn't there a few soul related releases that credit 'Recorded at Eamon Andrews Studios, Dublin' or something like that? Did you have a couple of them? Think one was released on Dolphin?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heard it for the first time at the Hideaway last month and it sounded pretty good to me,it got a great reaction,very nice version IMO...It was in the early hours and after some drinks,i will check the soundfile and see...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All joking aside, it should be Great To Be Living and it states it's recorded at so and so studios in Ireland, if it doesn't say that then I had the only copy that did!

Oh ffs, :rolleyes: I don't normally get dragged into these UK pop fest debates, but this has been bugging me....so I've gone into the British collection and found my copy - yes it's "Great to be livin", but there is NO mention of Irleand. Cheers, Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh ffs, :rolleyes: I don't normally get dragged into these UK pop fest debates, but this has been bugging me....so I've gone into the British collection and found my copy - yes it's "Great to be livin", but there is NO mention of Irleand. Cheers, Steve

My copy was f*cking unique then eh?

So now I have to go through all my Parlophone and Columbia listings to see if I can recall what the recorded produced in Ireland actually was! All I remember it was the B side to a well known A side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When LJB was in his heyday, I saw him live at Bluesville, Manor House, with Rod "the mod" Stewart. I didn't rate either at the time, possibly because I was very anti British covers of R&B.

But a few years ago I saw LJB with the Blues Band at the Millfield theatre in Edmonton, he was really good, so perhaps I was just too prejudiced to appreciate him originally.

Right first time Geoff!

I was invited to the press junket for LJB's re-launch a few years back, which apart from chatting with a few nice people like Micky Waller, Roger Sutton, Zoot Money & Gene Latter was a disaster, LJB being a drunken old "diva" with a terribly overblown sense of his own importance, the night being saved by his support singer who was great, but as I got a bit drunk forgot her name!?

Edited by Tony Smith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So now I have to go through all my Parlophone and Columbia listings to see if I can recall what the recorded produced in Ireland actually was!

Have fun Pete :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it just me, or does Mr Baldry sound like one's drunken uncle doing wedding karaoke?

All these clips do is confirm the overwhelming superiority of the Ray Pollard and Edwin Starr recordings.

Surely these recordings possess little more than curiosity value?

All IMVHO of course...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Comment now!

Comments are members only

Sign Up

Join Soul Source - Free & easy!

Sign up now!

Sign in

Sign in here.

Sign in now!

Adverts



×