Jump to content
  • Sign Up
Sunnysoul

Duke & Leonard "just Do The Best You Can"

Guest Netspeaky
Anyone got a nice mint copy of this on a label perfectly named for the northern soul scene !
Just pm'd you.

Share this forum post


soul source url
Social source share
Guest Dan

great record, rarer than price suggests i think

written and performed by james duke mckenzie and the great leonard jewell smith (about whom obviously a fair bit is known)

the label is long gone and that building, which is just off madison ave, is now home to the publications dept of the ACLU, which is quite fitting.

it's also home to the new york lung association, which aims to sort out people with smoking related diseases. eg people who've spent 30 years off their t*ts dancing to records like this one in smokey rooms... which is also quite fitting

Edited by Dan

Share this forum post


soul source url
Social source share

Don't think the Leonard Smith of Duke and Leonard was anything to do with the more illustrious Leonard Jewell Smith. Agreed that it's a great 45 which deserves more plaudits.

Edited by garethx

Share this forum post


soul source url
Social source share
Guest Dan

Don't think the Leonard Smith of Duke and Leonard was anything to do with the more illustrious Leonard Jewell Smith. Agreed that it's a great 45 which deserves more plaudits.

bmi lists leonard jewell smith as the writer of JDTBYC, so unless there were two leonard jewell smiths i'd have said you were wrong there.

Share this forum post


soul source url
Social source share

The record has no connection in terms of names of producers, arrangers, production companies or publishers that Leonard Jewell Smith ever worked with. Also he had a tendency to utilize backing tracks on several of the acts he worked with. There appears to be no other use of this particular backing track that I have ever come across. This 45 is from New York and Smith worked almost exclusively on the west coast. All these factors point me in the direction of this record featuring the talents of another Leonard Smith. Does the BMI listing feature the other writer as listed on the record label?

The BMI archives are full of anomalies. I suggest this is another one.

Edited by garethx

Share this forum post


soul source url
Social source share
Guest Dan

The record has no connection in terms of names of producers, arrangers, production companies or publishers that Leonard Jewell Smith ever worked with. Also he had a tendency to utilize backing tracks on several of the acts he worked with. There appears to be no other use of this particular backing track that I have ever come across. This 45 is from New York and Smith worked almost exclusively on the west coast. All these factors point me in the direction of this record featuring the talents of another Leonard Smith. Does the BMI listing feature the other writer as listed on the record label?

The BMI archives are full of anomalies. I suggest this is another one.

well, on the one hand, BMI lists 'leonard jewell smith' as the writer of JDTBYC, and the same LJS is listed as the writer of (among other things) All My Good Good Loving, Betting On Love and the Elevator Song.

on the other hand, you say "The record has no connection in terms of names of producers, arrangers, production companies or publishers that Leonard Jewell Smith ever worked with."

i look forward to reading your extensively researched and totally comprehensive biography of Len Jewell, in which you will reveal, with careful footnotes, everything he did during every moment of every day, and faithfully record every single person he every worked with, gareth :wicked:

i suppose it could be a different LJS. the BMI archivist could have had an off day. i just doubt it. for your theory to hold water, the song would have had to have been written by one of the other leonard smiths listed at BMI and then misattributed to 'our' len jewell?

there are three of them.

the first is a composer of what seem to be marching band songs (google The March King) and records released by 'Morry Williams and the Kids' (was the Len Jewell 'connected' to them?), the second specialises in modern hymns and the third's other back-catalogue songs include NBA Jam and Here Comes Doctor Skunk Funk (he's listed at what looks like his home address so you could call him to check, but I think we can rule him out, not least because he's listed at his home address, which suggests he cares about his royalties and wouldn't want songs misattributed).

i'll have a look at the record when i get home re obvious connections to leonard jewell smith (other than the names 'leonard' and 'smith') but i don't really need to - the record has a massive connection to him in terms of sound.

just listen to the voices and the arrangement.

Share this forum post


soul source url
Social source share

what a great record. i even like the other side.

bmi is NOT a good source for this kind of information. they are every bit as likely to be wrong as right with shared names. anyone thinking this kind of listing on bmi is "authoritative" is misguided.

Share this forum post


soul source url
Social source share

what a great record. i even like the other side.

bmi is NOT a good source for this kind of information. they are every bit as likely to be wrong as right with shared names. anyone thinking this kind of listing on bmi is "authoritative" is misguided.

Basically who gives a feck!. In MY Humble opinion, this is one of the best examples of what was generally termed "Northern Soul" that you could come across. A great dance beat, great soulful vocals with great harmonies. This has remained a solid favourite of mine for 30+ years, and I never tire of it. I also hope it is Len Jewell because also amongst my favourites are his other tracks "Bettin' On Love" & "All My Good Good Lovin'".

But as I said, this is MY opinion.

Paul

Share this forum post


soul source url
Social source share

As an addendum to all this Dan, I too would love this to be by Leonard Jewell Smith and have a real part in the lineage that is Northern Soul.

This record has a magic about it that only a few people have been able to recognise. Only a few weeks ago I was party to a record evening (on reflection it was more like an early morning) where this was played and given a merely lukewarm reception. It's far better than that of course and should have its day in the sun.

My theory about why it has a listing under the LJ Smith entries on BMI has its foundations in the way that Goldmine compilations are logged with various publishing and mechanical rights processes. A decade or so ago Golmine put this on a box set compilation. From memory it's the big green and black one. It was how I first heard the record (I've never heard it played out in a club subsequently). Golmine tend not to know their arse from their elbow and logged the song as a Leonard Jewell Smith composition.

Friends far more versed in the lore of the scene tell me it was never played in the old days anywhere for a concerted period of time: one play at Blackpol Mecca, a couple of plays at local events and then the odd play at Stafford, and that's about it. (we aren't talking about an even moderately big Casino record here).

I'm sure there are esteemed members of this board who have been in touch with L.J. Smith over the years who can shed more light on this. I remain convinced that this 45 is not his work. Subsequent listens to the record in question and about twenty Leonard Jewell Smith productions this evening also point me in this direction.

Dan. please tell me where else LJS worked with Duke McKenzie, made male duo records or had releases on NYC labels. There is a commonality on pretty much everything he ever did with a small grpup of acolytes. Delanieur Music tends to be the common denominator. He seems to have been a character who was acutely aware of the ins and outs of making a buck as an independent operator in the R&B music scene (hence the endless recycling of various backing tracks and song ideas across lots of particular vehicles). "Just Do The Best You Can" is at least good enough to have been attempted by "Richard Temple", "The Exits", "Chico Lammar" "The Light Drivers" and any of the myriad identities over which LJS productions usually stretched themselves.

Your evidence is potentially compelling but ultimately inconclusive.

yours in soul, gareth.

Edited by garethx

Share this forum post


soul source url
Social source share
Guest

The only loophole seems to be if Len went to NYC(assuming Fontana had an office there) to do his deal with Fontana. Chances seem slim to none on this, BUT who knows! It does seem strange as he seems to be quite the entrepreneur and at least would have taken the backing track with him to L.A. Here's another theory; maybe "Just Do The Best You Can" is the missing Teri De number?!?!? LOL

Also, isn't Richard Temple actually Jimmy Conwell and Chico Lammar just an alias for LJS himself???

Share this forum post


soul source url
Social source share

I think Gareth's about right, didn't Casey-Jones produce other stuff too? Len J would have done his own production. He's dead now but I'm trying to track his family down, his work needs documenting properly. Any leads would be gratefully received.

Gareth you should have got to the 100 Club earlier I played it about 10pm!

Share this forum post


soul source url
Social source share
Guest Dan

As an addendum to all this Dan, I too would love this to be by Leonard Jewell Smith and have a real part in the lineage that is Northern Soul.

This record has a magic about it that only a few people have been able to recognise. Only a few weeks ago I was party to a record evening (on reflection it was more like an early morning) where this was played and given a merely lukewarm reception. It's far better than that of course and should have its day in the sun.

My theory about why it has a listing under the LJ Smith entries on BMI has its foundations in the way that Goldmine compilations are logged with various publishing and mechanical rights processes. A decade or so ago Golmine put this on a box set compilation. From memory it's the big green and black one. It was how I first heard the record (I've never heard it played out in a club subsequently). Golmine tend not to know their arse from their elbow and logged the song as a Leonard Jewell Smith composition.

Friends far more versed in the lore of the scene tell me it was never played in the old days anywhere for a concerted period of time: one play at Blackpol Mecca, a couple of plays at local events and then the odd play at Stafford, and that's about it. (we aren't talking about an even moderately big Casino record here).

I'm sure there are esteemed members of this board who have been in touch with L.J. Smith over the years who can shed more light on this. I remain convinced that this 45 is not his work. Subsequent listens to the record in question and about twenty Leonard Jewell Smith productions this evening also point me in this direction.

Dan. please tell me where else LJS worked with Duke McKenzie, made male duo records or had releases on NYC labels. There is a commonality on pretty much everything he ever did with a small grpup of acolytes. Delanieur Music tends to be the common denominator. He seems to have been a character who was acutely aware of the ins and outs of making a buck as an independent operator in the R&B music scene (hence the endless recycling of various backing tracks and song ideas across lots of particular vehicles). "Just Do The Best You Can" is at least good enough to have been attempted by "Richard Temple", "The Exits", "Chico Lammar" "The Light Drivers" and any of the myriad identities over which LJS productions usually stretched themselves.

Your evidence is potentially compelling but ultimately inconclusive.

yours in soul, gareth.

in terms of my argument being inconclusive, gareth, well so's your's. you're trying to prove a negative - that because as far as you know he didn't write or perform on this, that means he didn't. it's literally unprovable in that way.

i don't agree that because there's little known on the record relating to other people/orgs he worked with (and i never got round to digging my copy out last night, assume you're right about that) that therefore means he wasn't involved. northern soul is littered with one-offs, oddities, strange records, conundrums. the other guy may have been writing under a false name, it could have been recorded in LA and squared away on the weast coast for financial reasons... we don't know.

i agree that len jewell's name and profile makes it harder to be sure, but...

anyway, i prefer my suggestion :D

in respect of paul r saying who cares, not me massively i have to admit but it's interesting and we all like to know who, what and where etc.

ady, in terms of tracking them down a leonard jewell smith had a daughter, martha jean smith, born 1 June 1940 in harris county, tx. mother's name was ellen martha karnes. then on 27 august 1941, leonard jewell smith jr was born to the same parents.

LJS is an unusual name, i'd have said - could be connected? see HERE and HERE

Share this forum post


soul source url
Social source share

in terms of my argument being inconclusive, gareth, well so's your's. you're trying to prove a negative - that because as far as you know he didn't write or perform on this, that means he didn't. it's literally unprovable in that way.

i don't agree that because there's little known on the record relating to other people/orgs he worked with (and i never got round to digging my copy out last night, assume you're right about that) that therefore means he wasn't involved. northern soul is littered with one-offs, oddities, strange records, conundrums. the other guy may have been writing under a false name, it could have been recorded in LA and squared away on the weast coast for financial reasons... we don't know.

i agree that len jewell's name and profile makes it harder to be sure, but...

anyway, i prefer my suggestion :D

in respect of paul r saying who cares, not me massively i have to admit but it's interesting and we all like to know who, what and where etc.

ady, in terms of tracking them down a leonard jewell smith had a daughter, martha jean smith, born 1 June 1940 in harris county, tx. mother's name was ellen martha karnes. then on 27 august 1941, leonard jewell smith jr was born to the same parents.

LJS is an unusual name, i'd have said - could be connected? see HERE and HERE

Thanks Dan, it might help and though I tend to Gareth's argument it could conceivably be the man on his travels or even a lease to a NYC label, I've got enough egg on my face from stuff in the past to never discount anything nowadays.

Share this forum post


soul source url
Social source share

Friends far more versed in the lore of the scene tell me it was never played in the old days anywhere for a concerted period of time: one play at Blackpol Mecca, a couple of plays at local events and then the odd play at Stafford, and that's about it. (we aren't talking about an even moderately big Casino record here).

yours in soul, gareth.

So, Duke and Leonard has never really had any major plays previously on the scene ?

Share this forum post


soul source url
Social source share
Guest Daddy

Anyone got a nice mint copy of this on a label perfectly named for the northern soul scene !

Can someone post up a sound file of this record?

Thks in advance.

Share this forum post


soul source url
Social source share

what a great record. i even like the other side.

bmi is NOT a good source for this kind of information. they are every bit as likely to be wrong as right with shared names. anyone thinking this kind of listing on bmi is "authoritative" is misguided.

The stuff that people are saying about BMI in this thread is interesting. I've never found incorrect information there or the confusing of names. Usually I've found totally useless or missing information in the database, but not two names confused. I thought that the listings are done for specific BMI user accounts, and that they don't just do it by name or arbitrarily combine names -- often I find the SAME name and listing duplicated several times, not combined. Can anyone point me to an obvious case in BMI where they've confused a few names to confirm that they do mess up the info? It would be good to know if they actually do have wrong information (as opposed to the usual just missing information). Thanks.

Share this forum post


soul source url
Social source share

The stuff that people are saying about BMI in this thread is interesting. I've never found incorrect information there or the confusing of names. Usually I've found totally useless or missing information in the database, but not two names confused. I thought that the listings are done for specific BMI user accounts, and that they don't just do it by name or arbitrarily combine names -- often I find the SAME name and listing duplicated several times, not combined. Can anyone point me to an obvious case in BMI where they've confused a few names to confirm that they do mess up the info? It would be good to know if they actually do have wrong information (as opposed to the usual just missing information). Thanks.

one instance that springs to mind: the "other" james shaw gets credit for some james t. "mighty hannibal" shaw tracks....but i've stumbled on many others over the years.

Share this forum post


soul source url
Social source share

Record Wants - Source Record Store

Members soul record wants - Soul vinyl desires

Join Soul Source

A free & easy soul music affair!

Get started now!
Log into Soul Source

Get max use of the forums

Log in now!

  1. Duke And Leonard, Just Do The Best You Can, Stomp Town
    Look At Your Box by Dan on Fri 04 Jun 2010
    • 5 / 1406
    • SteveJohnston on 16 Jun 2010
  2. Duke And Leonard - Just Do The Best I Can
    Record Wants by adamt on Wed 18 Dec 2013
    • 14 / 1109
    • adamt on 24 Dec 2013
  3. Duke & Leonard - Just Do The Best You Can - Stomptown
    Record Sales by wiganer1 on Thu 28 Sep 2017
    • 1 / 375
    • wiganer1 on 28 Sep 2017
  4. Duke And Leonard " Just Do The Best You Can "
    Look At Your Box by sunnysoul on Sun 17 Oct 2010
    • 2 / 463
    • Tommy1 on 17 Oct 2010
  5. Duke & Leonard - Just Do The Best
    Record Wants by Panezio on Mon 08 Feb 2016
    • 1 / 230
    • Panezio on 08 Feb 2016

Source Adverts



×
×
  • Create New...

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.