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Press Release: Robert Montgomery   Time Of The Day/Take Me High   SJ537

Release Date: Monday June 19th 2017

Robert Montgomery returns with his follow up release to his immensely popular SJ1007 45, “I Need You Girl” with two unissued cuts, the modern soul dancer ‘Time Of The Day” backed with “Take Me High” a more modern ‘boogie’ soul orientated song.

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Following on from the release of Robert’s solitary US 45 “I Need You Girl”, on the Crescent label during 1976. Robert spent a period of some 12 months touring with a group called Villaruz, that over, he decided to relocate to Atlanta G.A sometime during 1978.

Following an invitation to join a band he’d over heard rehearsing as their keyboard and organ player, Robert began a short tenure with the Michigan funk group “Ripple” who themselves had previously moved to Atlanta upon signing with GRC Records. Ripple recorded several hit singles for GRC including “I Don’t Know What It Is, But It Sure Is Funky”. Followed by the seminal album “Sons Of The Gods” for Salsoul Records in 1977, which featured their perennial disco/hustle classic “The Beat Goes On And On”.

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During a later period of reconstruction by Ripple’s band leader and percussionist Brian Sherrer, Robert using the musicians from Ripple embarked on a vanity project of his own to record four songs that he had composed. Although these songs remained unissued, two of them are now to be released on a Soul Junction 45. The modern soul dancer ‘Time Of The Day” backed with “Take Me High” a more modern ‘boogie’ soul orientated song (Catalogue number SJ537).

While a third track, the excellent ballad ‘Love Song About You’ will also be making it’s long awaited debut as part of the forthcoming “We Got A Sweet Thing Going On” Volume 3 compilation. These tracks were to be Robert’s last attempt at a performing career, by then being a married 28 year old, he decided to put more emphasis on his family life. In doing so he turned his back on a full time musical career and entered a new career in the insurance business where he worked as an insurance agent for the next 30 years.

Robert for many years remained oblivious to the interest in his melodic piano driven Crescent 45 outing “I Need You Girl” within the European modern soul fraternity. Now with Soul Junctions intervention Robert now has three highly collectable 45 releases to his name.

For further information please contact Soul Junction at:

Tel: +44 (0) 121 602 8115 or E-mail: sales@souljunction.co.uk

Or buy direct from the website: http://www.souljunctionrecords.co.uk/SJ537.html


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Joey Jefferson is a well known producer and label owner that released many excellent 60s soul sides. Breakthrough & Mutt & Jeff are two of Joey’s labels that are of the most interest to Rare & Northern Soul collectors. The most highly sought after 45 on Breakthrough is of course by “No One Else Can Take Your Place” by the Inspirations.  Over the years myths and misinformation has surrounded the recording.  Johnny Hendley who recorded solo on Mutt & Jeff and later on TIE as John & The Weirdest is just one. He was reputedly the lead singer with the Inspirations.  However, during a recent trip Stateside by Kev Roberts who met once more with Joey this myth was dispelled once and for all.

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The line up of the Inspirations, an LA vocal group, consisted of John Gibson who sang lead. Other members include brothers Huey and Lou Bell plus Charles Perry who was on MGM/Magnum, Charles Diamond (real name Charles Pennywell) was also in the studio doing backing and as we will find out he was soon to cut his own take. This line up was confirmed to Kev by Joey in a recent conversation.  The group went into the studio and recorded the track sometime in 1966.  The group however were courted by Motown’s West Coast office and they refused to sign a contract with Joey. With just a few 45s escaping and the group in dispute with Joey over a contact the recording was pulled and consigned to the vaults.

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The Fairlanes

Charles “Diamond” Pennywell was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, the third largest city in Louisiana after New Orleans and Baton Rouge.  The city has a rich musical heritage from soul to gospel, R&B to country and much more and was the home for many of music’s major acts.  Charles was also a childhood friend of Joey Jefferson who would have a part to play in the future musical career of Charles. Charles began singing at the age of ten.  It would be high school where he began to take it seriously.  Along with fellow school friends, Eddie Lejay, Thomas Odom, Steve Ross they formed the The Fairlanes, named after the Ford Fairlane and keeping with the doo-wop tradition of naming the group after cars, The Cadilacs etc.  The group’s first release in 1959 was to be Seventeen Steps” b/w “Johnny Rhythm” which came out on Dee Marais’ Lucky Seven label and in the same year for Pappy Dailey’s Dart label out of Houston, TX the group released “Just For Me”.  They would also record for Eddie Shuler’s Tic-Toc label releasing “You’re Lonesome Now” in 1961.  Charles would record solo for Smash with “Web Of Love” b/w “It’s So Funny I Could Cry”.

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Charles as mentioned was doing backing vocals in the studio whilst the Inspirations cut their take or takes of “No One Else Can Take Your Place”.  It is highly likely Charles Diamond cut his take during the same session, if not the same session it would be very soon after.

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Alas, Joey Jefferson would lose interest in the recording and it would be shelved. Charles Diamond, soon after laying down his vocals to “No One Else Can Take Your Place”  would become a member and sing lead vocals for the vocal group The Sunlovers and whose members would be Eddie LaJay who was a member of the Failanes alongside Charles and childhood friend and Robert Tisby. I have read a conflicting biography that the groups members were also those that recorded as The Inspirations.  If this is true then I guess Joey didn’t bear a grudge, not when money was to be made through music.  I find this unlikely though due to the dispute over a recording contract the Inspirations had with Joey.  The line up of Charles, Eddie and Robert came from an interview conducted with Charles a few years ago.

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The Sunlovers

It would be the Sunlovers and his other label interests that would be the focus of Joey’s productions and “The Inspirations and “No One Else Can Take Your Place” was for the foreseeable future history.  The Sunlovers would record for amongst others Joey’s Breakthrough & Mutt & Jeff label. “My Poor Heart”. was the first release in June 1967 released on both Breakthrough and Mutt & Jeff.  “You’ll Never Make The Grade” came next and “I’ll Treat You Right” being the third and final release on Mutt & Jeff.  None did anything nationally despite selling regionally.  The first two would however become popular on the UK Northern Soul scene in later years alongside the Breakthrough release by the Inspirations and other releases by Joey Jefferson.

When asked most collectors and dancers remember first hearing the Inspirations record via Colin Curtis at the legendary Blackpool Mecca.  This copy however belonged to Neil Rushton.  Neil purchased it for £32, two weeks wages, blind from Bob Cattaneo of San Francisco.  This was the first copy to arrive in the UK and Neil as well as playing it himself at venues such as The Ritz in Manchester would take it to the Mecca for Colin to play, this would be late 1973 or 1974 according to various memories. Some years later, whilst the disc was still a one known copy 45, Neil would sell the record to Ritchie Andrew of Wales for £120, something Neil regretted.

Meanwhile, Bob Cattaneo had been in contact with Joey and during the conversations it transpired Joey still had the masters for “No One Else Can Take Your Place”.  Bob relayed this to Neil and a deal was struck through Bob to get 1000 pressed up, this was 1977. However, when the records arrived in the UK Neil was bemused that it was not the same as the record he had bought from Bob and played around the UK but a totally different take.  It transpired that Joey had used the wrong take and the vocal recorded by Charles Diamond and not the original Inspirations was used for the release.  It was though an excellent recording in its own right and all copies have now disappeared into collections and when one does come up for sale it is now commanding a three figure sum.  The Inspirations though has never turned up with just a few known copies and commanding a figure of several thousand pounds.
As for Johnny Hendley, his whereabouts are unknown although Joey is actively attempting to locate him.

Charles Pennywell would continue to record into the 70s and is still touring to this day with his band.

Special thanks to Kev Roberts, Charles Pennywell and Joey Jefferson.

Photos courtesy of Charles Pennywell.

Thanks also to Classic Urban Harmony.

Charles “Diamond” Pennywell has his own website…

http://www.charlesdiamond.indiegroup.com/index.html


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Group members left–Right: Leonard Deans, Tony McFarland, Bruce Fauntleroy, Alan Williams and Tony (Talent) Anderson.

Soul Junction favourites The Coalitions return with a brand new recording done in conjunction with Soul Junction. Their album “Colour Me Blue” is a firm favourite with Soul music lovers with tracks picked up b Djs and dancers alike.  Here we see a brand new recording backed with one of the favourites from the 2013 album release.

Press Release: The Coalitions (a.k.a Rheel Menn)   “Nothin’ Left 2 Do/Didn’t We Almost Make It”   SJ535                                           

Release Date: Monday October 17th 2016

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The Coalitions (also known as The Rheel Menn) return with a brand new song entitled “Nothin’ Left 2 Do” a song recorded and produced in collaboration with Soul Junction Records during 2015 under the auspices of some of the City of Brotherly Loves finest musicians.  We begin with the songwriters Lavern Bynum, Bruce Fauntleroy and Leroy ‘Shu-Baby’ Shuller.  With the songs recording and mixes have been expertly done by producer, Craig White at Sound Doctor Productions LLC. Craig was the former studio manager at the world renowned Gamble & Huff studios. The mastering was done by Peter Humphrey’s at Masterwork Recording (USA).

2016 finally sees the initial release of “Nothin’ Left 2 Do” a song of forlorn hope for a former lost love, that’s oozes class from the opening horn riffs executed beautifully by Henri McMillians UGO Horn Section.  But despite the songs sad lyrics the overall mood of the track is very pleasantly uplifting. The line up on this song features Philadelphians Leonard Deans, Tony McFarland, Bruce Fauntleroy (the songs co-producer), Alan Williams and Tony Anderson (a.k.a Tony Talent) who’s vocal ability is a throwback to the days of when nearly every street corner in many major US cites would resonate to a all male group harmony sound.

A sound that these five gentlemen still regularly perform as a latter version of one of Philly’s finest harmony outfits ‘The Intrigues’ in the 360 Lounge of The Parx Casino.

The b-side of this single features the now familiar “Didn’t We Almost Make It” a previously unissued 1979 recording that gaine its initial release as the opening track on the Coalition’s previous unissued album project “Colour Me Blue” (SJLP 5006) released during  November of 2013. Although the whole of this acclaimed album received extensive airplay it was the opening song “Didn’t We Almost Make It” that really caught DJ’s and radio listeners imagination and prompted callers to beg the question as to whether we (Soul Junction) would ever consider releasing it as a 45 vinyl single, a call that we hope has now been answered. A slightly earlier and different line up recorded this song Tony Anderson (Talent), Alan Williams, Bruce Fauntleroy, Milton Williams and Stephen Ferguson being the performers responsible.

Group members left–Right: Leonard Deans, Tony McFarland, Bruce Fauntleroy, Alan Williams and Tony (Talent) Anderson.

SJ535 – The Coalitions (a.k.a Rheel Menn) Promo.mp3

Coalitions – Colour Me Blue – SJLP5006.mp3

For further information please contact Soul Junction at:

Tel: +44 (0)121 602 8115 or E-mail: sales@souljunctionrecords.co.uk

or Purchase direct form the site at http://www.souljunctionrecords.co.uk/SJ535.html

Big Lee Dowell: He Can Do No Wrong

Posted: September 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

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In May of 2016 Alberto Zanini…otherwise better known as Alberto “Folpower” Zanini, was digging in the States for records not just for personal use but maybe unearth something he could release on he relatively new label, “Cannonball Records”. I have to say the label has in my opinion one of the best looking labels around, anyway I digress! Towards the end of his trip he was in Michigan and stopping with Brad Hales. The idea was to help Brad move stock into his new premises and to listen to some unissued masters and acetates.

After several hours listening and several beers and just before retiring to bed the needle was dropped on one final acetate. Alberto describes it as being “90bpm of heartfelt poetry”. The disc was clearly recorded as a demo, very sparse with just the light subtle piano backing of which you could only hear the higher notes but the “deep tone and the vibrato of the vocals” as Alberto puts it were out of this world.

The acetate was credited to Big Lee Dowell who after some research was revealed to be actually Lee Dowell Frazier. Buffalo born Dowell was signed to Epic records and brought to New York to record two tracks, both produced by G. Denby, “Don’t Make Me Mad” and “Black Belt”, both of which went in the soundtrack of what has been probably the first movie about gangs and social youth problems. We are speaking of 1966 and Teenage Gang Debs took to the big screen for the first time the problems of the youth living in the tenements of Brooklyn and in all America’s big cities and depicts the lives and loves of a young generation trying to survive the brutality of gang life.

What happened next to Big Lee as he was professionally known is a mystery and he totally disappeared until this New York labeled acetate was discovered in Detroit.

Alberto loved the track so much he decided to release it on his own Cannonball label, it would be the labels fourth release. Alberto only had basically the vocals so a whole new musical structure was laid down. Alberto took the track to Maxin Moston, a regular on the stages of Broadway and it was he who laid down the strings, two different lines of Violin and a line of Viola. The other instruments we all laid down by the Cannonball Collective, Max Gallesi (Steinway, Wurlitzer and Rhodes), Alex Class on Bass and Guitar and Max Po on Drums and Percussion.

Alberto even bought a late 70s full analogue mixing desk in an attempt to create the authenticity of the time, an authenticity the Cannonball crew have essentially nailed because nothing I have heard would have been out of place in the 70s, amazing work and dedication to the cause.

Needless to say the 45 upon release became one of the anthems of the summer on the Northern and Rare Soul Scene, “Feel-good music at its finest” it was described by one of Alberto’s closest friends.. The press, limited to 500 sold out extremely quickly and demand saw the price rise into three figures as demand from Djs and collectors rose. The 45 has seen extensive play on radio shows and at venues all around Europe.

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To satisfy the demand created by the track Alberto decided to release a twelve inch take.

The initial take was extended to just over seven minutes, a new piano backing was added and double congas. Just like the 45, the vocal is then followed by the Steinway instrumental. The beat for the instrumental was dropped from 115bpm to 110 making it a more leisurely listen, the arrangement of this I really do like.

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The flip side see’s two remixes, one from Steve Cobby and one from Alberto. These are aimed more at the dance market rather than the Northern/Rare Soul Scene in an attempt to widen the appeal of the track. None of the instruments are produced via a computer, all the work is with proper instruments, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer and Gibson Les Paul all complimenting the stunning vocals of Big Lee.

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September the 26th is the date for the release of the twelve and it is likely to sell very quickly with 200 or so advanced orders so do not delay, get your order in now. As I mentioned earlier Big Lee was the fourth release and all four have sold out, pretty impressive for a small independent label.

To reserve your copy contact Alberto at cannonballsoul@gmail.com

Price is £20 + PP depending on number of copies and destination.

Side A track 1 Extended Version:

https://youtu.be/Z3cSBrCvC30

Side A track 2 Steinway Instrumental:

https://youtu.be/PW26NOmpaIg

Side B track 1 Cobbymix:

https://youtu.be/YqA3EWpUox0

Side B track 2 Sons of Dancefloor mix:

https://youtu.be/i1GtD9iCp5Q

 


Ken Knox General Johnson Danny Woods

The Chairmen Of The Board can trace its roots back to The Showmen, a group founded by “General” Norman Johnson in Norfolk, Virginia. The group are best remembered for “It Will Stand” and gave us other tracks such as “The Wrong Girl”, “Take It Baby” & “Our Love Will Grow” which although none where big hits in their native United States they found some success on the UK Northern Soul dance scene.

The Showmen

Holland, Dozier and Holland having left Motown formed their own label Invictus and in turn formed The Chairmen Of The Board and recruited the post Showman General Johnson along with Eddie Curtis, Danny Woods (Correc-Tone and Smash) and Harrison Kennedy. The group went on to score major hits for the Invictus label, memorable tracks such as “Give Me Just A little More Time”, “Everything’s Tuesday” & “You Got Me Dangling On A String”.

However all things come to an end and the original line up of Johnson, Curtis, Woods and Kennedy went their separate ways, some recording solo material and writing for others.

However come the mid to late ‘70s Johnson reformed the group along with Danny Woods and it is this incarnation that we are interested in. Danny Woods whilst looking for talent to make up the group was in a bar in Detroit where Ken Knox and his band were performing and the two immediately hit it off and Ken Knox became a member of Chairman Of The Board. The band was then initially made of the Funkadelics who were on a hiatus from George Clinton and Parliament. Members included Bernie Worrell on keys, Eddie Hazel on guitar, Tiki Fulwood on drums, Billy Nelson on bass, Ron Bykowski on rhythm guitar, Mckinley Jackson of the Politicians on trombone, Roland Christian on trumpet and Ken himself on saxophone.

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Ken Knox was born in 1954 in Charleston, West Virginia, one of nine children, six girls and three boys. His family would leave like many others from the South for Detroit when he was three months old.

Ken grew up surrounded by music, his friends singing on street corners, Motown, Junior Walker, King Curtis and Boots Randolph early influences but one major influence would be his brother Leonard who played saxophone. Another influence was his sister Betty Martin who was in a gospel group with Kim Weston. When he was 11 or 12 years of age he would pick up the sax himself and he eventually taught himself to play. This led to Knox forming his own group and performing in clubs and bars around Detroit and subsequently the meeting with Woods in 1973 which finished up with Ken and his group dancing on the bar with Woods.

Upon Invictus closing its doors the Chairman of the Board relocated to North Carolina for the Beach Scene and set up Surfside Records. The group would have a regional hit with Carolina Girl that was number one for 11 weeks. Ken would feature on vocals, saxophone, and drums. Ken would also be the Associate Producer in the studio.

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The group would perform regularly around the Carolinas becoming firm favourites and eventually earning a place inn the North and South Carolina Music Halls of Fame. Johnson died in 2010 from lung cancer. Ken and the other members continued to tour for a couple more years before retiring the name “Chairman Of The Board” and Ken now tours as Ken Knox and Company, KCO, with former members Thomas Hunter, Brandon Stevens and The Executives, Jerry Dee Washington, Jerry Midas Hardison, Jerome Joseph, John June Townes, John Page III, Doug McVey & Doug Burns.

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KCO continued to write and record as well as tour extensively, keeping alive the music of the Chairmen Of The Board whilst also promoting new material to packed clubs around the South East and this Autumn in the UK as the Chairmen Of The Board.  They topped the Beach Charts with “You” in 2011.  2012 saw another regional hit with “Carolina Shuffle” and in 2015 the Group landed a # 5 record on the UK Soul Charts with ” Reach Out 2 Me” on DSG Music written by Thomas Hunter and Ken Knox, Produced by famed Producer Nigel Lowis.  2017, will offer a new CD Project with songs from the Steals Brothers , writers of the a Spinners Classic “Could it be I’m Fallin’ in Love” , Nigel Lowis, McKinley Jackson , Thomas Hunter and Ken Knox.

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Ken Knox and the Chairmen of the Board forthcoming UK tour:

Goldsoul are pleased to announce 70’s Hitmakers CHAIRMEN of the BOARD featuring Ken Knox & Company are coming to the UK to perform 6 shows(September 16-25th). 
A legendary Soul group created by the late General Johnson, started out life as The Showmen( It Will Stand, Wrong Girl, ‘Our Love Will Grow’)in the early 60’s before signing to Holland- Dozier- Holland’s Invictus label in 1970. The relationship delivered some of the best hit dancers of the era with Give Me Just A Little More Time, You Got Me Dangling On A String, Everything’s Tuesday, Pay To The Piper, Working On A Building of Love, I’m On My Way To A Better Place, Elmo James and many more plus New material from Ken Knox such as ‘Reach Out 2 Me’

A full live band accompany this great act. Limited availability!

To book, choose your venue then contact the relevant box office to purchase.

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Forthcoming UK Tour dates:

Friday, September 16th Chateau Impney, Droitwich Spa, Worcs

07976351377 or contact the venue. Tickets £15



Saturday 17th Whitby Pavilion (Whitby Motown Weekender), North Yorkshire.

Tel 01947-458899 www.goldsoul.co.uk / www.whitbypavilion.co.uk   Weekend event £25



Sunday 18th Mansfield Palace Theatre.

Tel 01623-633133 www.mansfield.gov.uk/palacetheatre   

Priority front row and similar £17.50 or £15 other



Friday 23rd Northampton, The Picturedrome, Kettering Road.

Tel 01604-230777 Tickets £15



Saturday 24th King George’s Hall, Northgate, Blackburn

Tel: 0844-8471664
www.kinggeorgeshall.com   Tickets from £10.



Sunday 25th Rolls Royce, Moor Lane, Derby.


Tel 01332-248319/248027
www.goldsoul.co.uk Tickets £15

For show times and booking info contact the venues individually unless stated.

 


SJ533 A copy

Real Gone Music have been releasing the complete Atlantic, Atco and related label material recordings for various artists these past few years. Linda Jones, Carl Hall, Patti Labelle, Bettye Swann, The Sweet Inspirations, Jackie Moore and Dee Dee Warwick just some of artists featured so far.

It is the latter, Dee Dee Warwick that we are interested in here.  Her compilation from 2014 feature no less than 12 previously unreleased songs.  One of those 12 “You Tore My Wall Down” has been the most talked about and has caused a stir after receiving extended airplay via several radio shows.  A superb up-tempo dancer, it makes you wonder why such material is left in the can and would probably still be there if it wasn’t for dedicated enthusiasts determined to unearth everything possible.  “You Tore My Wall Down” was crying out for a 45 release and was demanded by some radio jocks.  Thankfully Soul Junction stepped in and licenced the track for their next release, a a welcome release it most certainly is.  It’s already featured at some venues due to advanced copies with plenty of inquisitive collectors immediately wanting a copy of their own.  The flip, an early 70’s mover is equally worthy of turntable action. This is one release destined to sell out so get your copy quick.

Press Release: Dee Dee Warwick   “You Tore My Wall Down/Can’t It Wait Until Tomorrow”   SJ533

Release Date:  Monday November 2nd 2015

Dee Dee

Dee Dee Warwick was born Delia Mae Warrick on September 25th 1945, in East Orange, New Jersey.

Dee Dee came from a very prominent family in the gospel community. Her father was the former director of gospel promotions at Chess Records, while her mother was the manager of the family gospel ensemble ‘The Drinkard Singers. Dee Dee  began her musical career singing alongside her elder and more famous sister Dionne Warwick within ‘The Drinkard Sisters’ who were led by their Aunt Emily “Cissy” Houston (the mother of the late Whitney Houston). Dee Dee and Dionne later formed their own gospel group ‘The Gospelaires’ who also entered the field of secular music singing backing vocals for many of the hit acts of the late 50’s and early 60’s where she gained a reputation as consistent and well respected session singer.

Dee Dee Warwick - You're No Good - Jubilee

This was to change in 1963 when Dee Dee signed as a solo performer with the iconic songwriting team of Leiber and Stoller who were instrumental in all her first three solo outings the original and much covered “Your No Good b/w Don’t Call Me Anymore” (Jubilee 5459). She also followed her sister’s lead by changing her surname from Warrick to Warwick. Dee Dee’s next release was the Van McCoy penned “Standing By b/w Don’t Think My Baby’s Coming Back” (Tiger 103) and “I Who Have Nothing At All b/w I Can’t Go Back” (Hurd 79). Dee Dee also sang with her aunt Cissy Houston as part of Allison Gaye & The Burners on their 1964 gospel outing “Darling/Burn” for the tiny Royo label.

Dee Dee Warwick - Don't Think My Baby's Coming Back - TigerDee Dee Warwick - I (Who Have Nothing At All) - HurdAllison Gary & The Burners - Darling - Royo

Dee Dee then signed for the major Mercury label, where she scored a 1965 pop hit with “I Want To Be With You” which first appeared on Mercury’s subsidiary Blue Rock label. Under the supervision of esteemed New Jersey producer Ed Townsend, Dee Dee was to record several other excellent sides such as “We’re Doing Fine”, “Gotta Get A Hold Of Myself”, “Worth Every Tear I Cry” (although only an album track in the USA it did gain a 45 release in the UK) before being promoted to the main Mercury label.

Dee Dee Warwick-Worth Every TearDee Dee Warwick -Where Is That Rainbow

Mercury released their first album on Dee Dee under the title of “I Want To Be With You/I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” an amalgamation of two of Dee Dee’s biggest hits. With Dee Dee’s original version of “I’m Gonna Make Me Love Me” later being covered by Madeline Bell and as a duet between Motown heavyweights The Supremes and The Temptations. In 1969 Dee Dee recorded the first of her two Grammy nominations “Foolish Fool” which was to become the title track of her second Mercury album. It was from this album that a further two tracks “When Love Slips Away” and “Where Is That Rainbow” would later find favour within the UK Crossover/Modern Soul Scene.

Dee Dee 1Dee Dee Foolish Fool

Other Dee Dee Warwick Mercury releases of note are the excellent up tempo cover version of the American folk/rock group The Mamas And Papas #1 hit “Monday Monday” along with “Don’t You Give Up On Me” with both songs being of interest to Northern Soul devotees.

During 1970, Dee Dee was persuaded by Atlantic records Jerry Wexler to join their subsidiary Atco label. Wexler first placed Dee Dee with her former mentor Ed Townsend with whom she recorded a four song session that Atco decided to leave in the can. Further recording sessions in Miami with the Dixie Flyers and The Sweet Inspirations were followed by later sessions at Muscle Shoals and the Pac-Three Studios in Detroit. Although a highly prolific time for Dee Dee recording wise, only one album “Turning Around” (Atco 33-337) and five 45 singles were released. Although Dee Dee’s first single “She Didn’t Know (She Kept On Talking) b/w Make Love To Me” (Atco 45-6754) did become a top 10 R&B hit and gained her the second Grammy nomination of her career. Her other Atco singles, “I’m Only Human”, “Cold Night In Georgia” “Everybody’s Got To Believe In Somebody” (previously recorded by Sam and Dave) and “Suspicious Minds” (a cover of Elvis Presley’s 1970 RCA #1 pop hit) would only achieve varying modest chart positions and subsequently her career stalled.

Dee Dee Warwick - Get Out Of My Life - Private StockDede Warwick Private Stock

After leaving Atco in 1972 Dee Dee’s next release came in 1975 when she recorded  the R&B hit “Get Out OF My Life”  under the name change of Dede Warwick for Private Stock Records which featured the excellent “Funny How We Change Places” on the flipside again a popular song with the UK Modern Soul fraternity. A second Private Stock single “This Time May Be The Last Time” again backed with “Funny How we Change Places” was later picked Up By RCA Records.

Recording wise Dee Dee was dormant until the release of her “Dee Dee” album for Heritage Sound Recordings in 1983, followed by her “Call Me” album for the Sutra label a year later.

Dee Dee had struggled with a drug addiction for many years and was in failing health when she sadly passed away on October 18th 2008, in a nursing home in Essex County, New Jersey. Her legacy was a plethora of great music that was loved and appreciated by a worldwide audience, even though she never achieved the same level of notoriety as her more famous sister Dionne. Although Dionne did later claim that Dee Dee was the real singer in their family.

SJ533 ASJ533-B

In 2014 The American Real Gone Music label released a double cd album entitled “Dee Dee Warwick, “The Complete Atco Recordings” featuring the entire 35 tracks (many previously unreleased) that she cut during her time with Atco. It is from this cd that we have licensed the Ed Townsend composition “You Tore My Wall Down” backed with the equally as good Ashford and Simpson penned “Can’t Wait Until Tomorrow” for the initial vinyl debut on a 45 single.

http://www.juno.co.uk/player-embed/SF592181-01-01-01.mp3/?pl=false&pn=false

For further information please contact Soul Junction at:

Tel: +44 (0)121 602 8115or E-mail: sales@souljunctionrecords.co.uk

Thanks to Mark Hopes for help with scans.


SJ 1000A

It has been a few months since the last Soul Junction release but they are back with the first release of 2015 with more quality unissued 70’s. A new label design is also introduced giving the label a 60’s or 70’s look and feel.

Back to the music, the group in question for the latest release is the Dynamic Sounds Orchestra giving us two great unreleased mid 70’s soul sides. Both very different, the top side “Take Me Back” a great dancer with a lot going on as you would expect from a nine-piece group. Flip it over and we are treated to a nice ballad entitled “All I Wanna Do Is Love You”.

Two excellent mid 70’s Chicago Soul already receiving extensive radio play and a 45 expected to sell out like so many other Soul Junction releases, get in there quick.

The group do though have some history that should be of interest to Rare Soul avids as you will see from the press release.

Press Release: Dynamic Sounds Orchestra   “Take Me Back/All I Wanna Do Is Love You” SJ1000

Release Date: Monday April 27th 2015

The Dynamic Sounds Orchestra was a nine-piece ensemble who would later become the backing and touring band for one of the windy city’s most famous soul groups, The Chi-Lites.

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The Jerma release of Lil Gray, mother to The Dynamic Sounds Norwood Gray.

The original origins of the DSO had begun earlier in the mid 60’s when teenage bass player Norwood Gray Jr along with fellow guitarist Anthony Barnes held performances using several different drummers as a three-piece combo under the name of The Dynamic Sounds. Norwood was the eldest son of female vocalist, Lil Gray who during the mid 60’s recorded three 45 releases “Are You Fooling” (101), “Out Of Nowhere” (102) and “One Day Your Gonna Get Burned (103) for Ulysses Samuel Warren’s Jerma records label. Norwood himself would also later play bass on U.S. Warren’s collectable funk album “For A Few Funky Dues More” which appeared on Warrens other label logo Chytowns (2001).

During 1970 Norwood was invited to play on a session that also featured a brass section that included Charles ‘Butch’ Cater (Trombone), Milton Thomas (Soprano and Tenor Saxophone), Louis Minter (Alto Saxophone) and the late Kevin Thompson (Trumpet). It was from this chance meeting that the concept of the Dynamic Sounds Orchestra was born. Further musicians were added to the line-up, Clifford Conley (Guitar), Ronald Scott (Keyboards), Dennis Howell (Drums) and finally Otis Gould (Conga Drums and Percussion). With the now retired (from her own performing career) Lil Gray assuming the role of the group’s manager.

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Top row – Left to right

Milton Thomas (Saxophones), Kevin Thompson (Trumpet), Clifford Conley (Guitar

Middle row – left to right

Norwood Gray Jr. (Bass), Louis Minter (Saxophone), Otis Gould (Percussion)

Bottom row – left to right

Ronald Scott (Keyboards), Charles Carter (Trombone), Dennis Howell  (Drums)(lower right hand corner)

From early 1972 till 1978 several different permutations of the DSO (at one point containing 13 members) supported the vocal talents of Chi-Lites, Marshall Thompson, Robert ‘Squirrel’ Lester, Creadel ‘Red’ Jones and Eugene Record, as well as later additional members along the Chi-Lites meteoric rise to world stardom. When Eugene Record left to pursue a solo career in 1976, some of the members of the DSO also followed him to Warner Brothers and are featured on the three albums that he recorded there. Eugene also produced an album for former ‘Lost Generation member Lorrell Simon entitled “Mellow, Mellow, Right On” again with musical accompaniment provided by some members of the DSO.

When Eugene Record later returned to the Chi-Lites line up he again called on some of the former members of the DSO to provide the orchestration on the 1982 Chi-Sound album project “Me And You” which featured the popular 12”/7”single release “Hot On A Thing (Called Love)”, a US R&B number 15 chart entry.

Back in 1976 the DSO using some of their earnings from their time with the Chi-Lites embarked upon an album project of their own although they never quite finished the project, also due in part to a later house fire, which destroyed their master tapes. The band later disbanded in 1978, but still remained in contact while following their, own careers and lives. Fortunately for us, a later discovery of a cassette tape of the unfinished DSO sessions by Otis Gould would lead to the groups lost masters eventually being heard by a wider audience. Otis painstakingly set about re- mastering the tracks, which he eventually released via several internet based outlets.

Through one of Soul Junction’s Chicago A&R contacts, this project was brought to our attention and two subsequent DSO tracks have been licensed, so before you, you have the uplifting dance track “Take Me Back” backed with the excellent sweet soul ballad “All I Wanna Do Is Love You” both finally gaining a vinyl release (SJ1000), its intended format at the time of its conception.

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To this day all the members of the DSO have remained in contact with the exception of their trumpet player Kevin Thompson. Kevin lost his life during a house fire at his Chicago home, initially safely exiting the building he was then severely injured when he re-entered the building to save his beloved instruments, later dying from his injuries. His spirit is sorely missed. Kevin was also the lead vocalist on “Take Me Back”.

Both Clifford Conley and Dennis Howell relocated to the West Coast. Dennis did eventually return to his native Chicago where he still occasionally plays with The Chi-Lites. Clifford currently resides in Altadena. CA. where he still plays within a band at his local church.

Percussionist Otis Gould following the breakup of the DSO moved south to Atlanta, GA, to pursue a career in Education. Now a retired school administer he has just recently completed a two year tour with the Broadway show ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’. Otis is also the driving force behind the reclamation of the DSO’s previously unissued material.

Trombonist Charles Carter still resides in Chicago where he still plays with an Earth, Wind and Fire tribute act by the name of ‘Shinning Star’.

Alto-Saxophonist Louis Minter too still lives and works in the Windy City as a car salesman, he too continues to perform, some of his performances at the ‘Apostolic Church Of God’ can be found on You Tube.

The final member of DSO’s brass section Tenor and Soprano Saxophonist, Milton Thomas now resides in Ypsilanti, MI. Although now suffering from a deterioration in his hearing. He still continues to play in between his day job in the construction industry.

Keyboardist Ronald Scott later became an ordained minister at The Beyond The Veil Ministries. He is also an undertaker for Scott Funeral Services and continues to write and play around Chicago.

The final surviving group member, bass player Norwood Gray Jr still lives with his family in Chicago. In 1980 Norwood graduated with a degree in electrical engineering that allowed him to enjoy a long and successful career with HP Computers, from whom he is now retired. Sadly his mother Lil Gray passed away in 2000 due to heart failure.

Words By: David Welding.

With acknowledgements to: Norwood Gray Jr, Otis Gould, Clifford Conley, Ronald Scott, Dennis Howell, Charles Carter, Milton Thomas and Louis Minter.

Photograph courtesy of: Otis Gould.

Buy this and previous Soul Junction releases direct from Soul Junction or the usual stockists: http://www.souljunct…/buydirect.html