Archive for the ‘Soul’ Category


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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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Trey J's Sign

The Trey J’s Story.

The Trey J’s were a vocal duo which featured James Binford and Joseph Smith. James Binford originally from Indianapolis, Indiana began singing in various local Doo-Wop and church ensembles from the age of 9. Something he continued to do after enlisting in the Marine Corps as a 17 year old, often performing in Officers clubs where he was stationed. He also ventured out of camp to perform in local clubs, building a solid reputation as a performer. While stationed in Albany, Georgia James was introduced by his then wife to one of her relatives Mr Eddie Harris, the band leader of one of Alanta’s most popular acts, the Eddie Harris Review.   Following his release from the Marine Corps James took a job with International Harvester in his native Indianapolis before being transferred to the Macdonald Douglas Aeronautical Engineering Company in Atlanta. Here he once again hooked up with Eddie Harris working as a backing singer as part of his Review. James later had aspirations of forming his own ensemble so under the guidance of his manager Johnny Glover, James, began to form his own review.

 

In 1968 James and Johnny held an audition for a baritone vocalist through a local radio station. From a 150 hopeful applicant’s a 28year old Detroiter by the name of Joseph Smith was chosen. Joseph who had previously moved to Atlanta some 10 years earlier where he had married his first wife Jacklyn and raised a family of 3 children.

Trey J's Photo

 

Joseph Smith and James Binford

Thus with the addition of Joseph the Trey J’s were born, their name being taken from the Americanisation “Trey” a derivative of the French word for the number three “Tres” and the first initial of James and Joseph and their late manager Johnny Glover’s christian names, hence Three J’s equals the “Trey J’s”.

By the early 1970’s The Trey J’s had become regular performers at Atlanta’s most infamous Black night club ‘The Pink Pussy Cat’. It was while performing at the Pink Pussy Cat that the Trey J’s came into contact with a local record producer by the name of Thomas Fletcher Davis more commonly known as Tee Fletcher. Tee a successful recording artist in his own right with a string of recording for several labels such as Josie, Shurfine, and Tragar had begun his own production company Tee Gem Records.

 

Trey J's - We Got A Thing (Going On) - Tee Gem

The Trey Js – We Got A thing (Going On) – Tee Gem

 

James Binford had previously written the basic lyrics for a songs entitled “We Got A Thing Going On” and one day while at the Pink Pussy Cat with Tee Fletcher accompanying him at the piano he began to recite the lyric’s. Together they composed this and a further song entitled “I Found It All In You” which Tee eventually released on his Tee Gem label (PS-4044).

Trey J's - I Found It All In You - Tee Gem

The Trey Js – I found It All In You – Tee Gem

Although the Trey J’s only ever had the one 45 release, they continued to performed live shows on both the college and Chitlin circuit as the Trey J’s Review. The Trey J’s Review also featured Ray Ransom and Reggie Hargis who later became members of another Atlanta ensemble, known as Brick who enjoyed a successful recording career of their own from the mid 70’s through to the mid 80’s, scoring a number 1 R&B/pop hit in 1976 with the song “Dazz”. The Trey J’s also once featured as part of a tour that included Chicago recording artists, The Chi-lites and Ruby Andrews. (Due to Ruby being a friend of Johnny Glover’s wife).

In 1972 Joseph who by now was married to his second wife Barbara a former pastry chef who he had met while working as a waiter at the Morrison Cafeteria returned home to Detroit. Although he initially tried to find work as a singer he eventually embarked upon a career as a social worker, gaining a masters degree in social studies, his full time occupation until his retirement. Sadly Joseph passed away in 2010 from lung cancer.

In 1974 James Binford entered into the Islamic faith, taking up the name of James Hassen Ameen. He later returned to Indianapolis where he became a promotional booking agent his occupation until his later imprisonment during 1992 although he is reputedly due for parole sometime during late2014.

The Trey J’s “I Found It All In You” is currently enjoying a current reactivation due to it’s dramatic funky edge guitar and horn rifts fitting perfectly into the current funky soul genre. While it’s haunting deep soul ballad flip “We Got A Thing (Going On)” is a must for any real soul collector.

 

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Words by: David Welding.

Acknowledgements to: James Binford, Carolyn Binford, Barbara Smith and Thomas (Tee) Fletcher.

The above article is an extract from the sleeve notes of the forthcoming Soul Junction CD album “We Got A Sweet Thing Going On” Catalogue number SJCD 5009. This compilation will feature both of the Trey J’s tracks, “I Found It All In You” and We Got A Thing Going On”.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Press Release: August Heat You And Me/Hooked On You SJ524
Release Date: Monday September 9th 2013

The August Heat Band, hail from the small town of Bristol near Opelousas, in the state of Louisiana. The main core of the August Heat band consist of the gospel trained lead soprano vocalist Eltonez Salton otherwise affectionately known as “Cookie”.
Veteran lead guitarist, background vocalist, and the August Heat album project producer, John Kent Pierre-Auguste. Who more frequently uses the abbreviated name of Kent August.

Along with bass guitarist Ronny Sonnier, drummer Michael “Joe Monk” Caesar and keyboardist Tony Lea. On the “Closer” album project additional keyboard parts were provided by local musician and studio engineer Michael Lockett. Who also recorded and mixed the entire album at his Lockdown studio in Lafayette, La.

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The “Closer” album project began in 2010 and was a further two years in the making.
It is from this excellent album that we at Soul Junction have taken the delightful mid-tempo offering “You And Me” backed with the more up-tempo dancer “Hooked On You” for our next 45 release. In doing so, we hope to introduce the great sound of the August Heat Band to the appreciation of a greater worldwide audience. Here’s to a successful future, August Heat.

For further information please contact Soul Junction At:

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

 


Lou Beatty’s DETROIT SOUL

Ask any soulie, dancer, collector or dealer to name a city closely associated with the scene and most would probably say Detroit first.  Ask them to name a label from Detroit and La Beat would be near the top of the list.  Both are synonymous with the scene and deservedly so.

This release from Grapevine is in the opinion of many long over due and rightly deserves a lasting tribute to the joy the label has brought to many soulies for over 30 years.

One look at the people involved behind the scenes at LaBeat, its subsidiaries Mary Jane, Coolschool and Rambler and also Lou Beatty’s early collaboration with James Hendrix and his Carrie Label….Fred Bridges, Bobby Eaton and Richard Knight writing team, Curtis Trusel and John Mills, not just writers but part of the in house production team/musicians The LPT’s, Melvin Davis involved writing and of course the famed Mike Terry to name but a few, you just know you are in for a treat!!!!

The CD kicks off with the ever popular dancer from Edward Hamilton “I’m Gonna Love You” (the flip “Call Me” features later in the cd).   Edward is represented several times the soulful “My Darling Baby” with the Natural Looks and of course with the Arabians with the superb and vastly under-rated and definitely underplayed “Thank Your Mother” and lastly with the all time classic “Baby Don’t You Weep”…Northern Soul just doesn’t get any better…or does it!

Al Williams is probably the name most associate with LaBeat.  First played at Wigan although not what you would call a typical Wigan sound, “I Am Nothing” personifies just what the scene is all about, Rare, obscure and above all a dancer.  It has remained out of reach for most collectors not just because of it’s rarity but also it asking price of £2500 plus.  The flip the soulful midtempo “Brand New Woman” also features on the cd and rightly so in my opinion it probably deserved a release of its own.  Cheaper but not by much is the later release on Palmer.

Al Williams other recording for the label remained in the can but have at long last seen the light of day and it was well worth the wait.  A ballad called “She Does It” and very good it is but it’s the dancer “Try Them” that will appeal to most I guess and rightly so….due for limited release on Grapevine 7” I can see this one taking off and becoming a firm favourite with crowds up and down the country once one or two DJ’s get behind it..
Another LaBeat release that went on to gain legendary status at Wigan and still as popular to this day is “This Won’t Change” from Lester Tipton, his solitary release for the label.  Again this fills all the criteria needed to make it a Northern Soul classic, the intro instantly drags you to your feet making you want to dance with Lester still saying he still loves his girl and things won’t change, despite the hurt she’s caused.  Again an asking price of £3000 plus puts this way out of reach for most collectors plus the fact it’s as rare as the proverbial rocking horse s***!

The Masqueraders although pretty well known for their musical output and many discs that have gone on to be scene classics are pretty much soul superstars to UK soulies due to their recent live performances over here during the last couple of years.  “How” kicks off their input to this cd and the track has become very much sought after in recent times and gained a high asking price a price considered ridiculous by some.  On listening you can see why its coveted by collectors and DJ’s…perfect Northern.  Personally I prefer the driving “I Got The Power”, also considerably cheaper as well!  If you prefer your soul that bit grittier with a bit more bite then “I’m Gonna Make It” will be right up your street.  The mid-tempo lovers won’t be disappointed either with the inclusion of “Be Happy For Me”.

Clifford Binns with his Carrie outing “You Got To Help Me” rightly deserves it’s inclusion, a firm favourite in the mid 80’s during the Stafford era the disc has received some re-activation in recent times.

James Shorter and Don Hart, two friends who as well as being a double act also recorded individually.  James Shorter’s “Modern Day Woman” is probably the best known by him.  As soulful as they come and becoming very much in-demand and probably more so after the release of the cd.  The flip also represented on the cd, “Getting Ready For The Heartbreak”, more of an up tempo dancer make this a highly collectable double sider, watch the price rise!!  Don Hart best effort in my opinion is his Cool School release the delightful mid-tempo effort “I’ll Keep Holding On”.  The track hasn’t had the recognition it deserves in my opinion and hopefully that will now change.
Nelson Sanders has two releases included on the cd, “This Love Is Here To Stay” and “Mojo Man” suit those who love the more R&B/funkier sound while his “I’m Lonely” and “Tired Of Being Your Fool” are two great ballads.

Not too be outdone by his artists, Lou Beatty chips in with his version of the Masqueraders “A Family” and the previously unreleased “Wet Pillow”.

With the inclusion of the unreleased instrumental of “I Am Nothing” there’s pretty much something for everyone on the cd, deep to dancer, ballad to mid-tempo to R&B.  You also get the added bonus of a pretty good read whilst listening from the comprehensive sleeve notes from Dave Welding!

LaBeat, although just a tiny label in Detroit’s thriving music scene of the 60’s and what would be considered a commercial failure, has played a large and influential part in  the history of Northern Soul and with this release a small band of musicians and artists have at long last had all their efforts recognised and hopefully they will at long last reap some reward for their efforts.

Karl “Chalky” White

June 2006

GVCD 3029

01. Edward Hamilton – I’m Gonna Love You
02. The Masqueraders – How
03. Lou Beatty – A Wet Pillow *
04. Edward Hamilton – My Darling Baby
05. Don Hart & James Shorter – All The Love I Got
06. Nelson Sanders – This Love Is Here To Stay
07. The Masqueraders – I Got The Power
08. Don Hart – I’ll Keep Holding On
09. James Shorter – Modern Day Woman
10. Al Williams – I Am Nothing
11. Lester Tipton – This Won’t Change
12. Edward Hamilton – Thank You Mother
13. Clifford Binns – Take It From Me
14. Nelson Sanders – I’m Lonely
15. The LPTs – I Am Nothing (Instrumental) *
16. James Shorter – Ready For The Heartbreak
17. Clifford Binns – You’ve Got To Help Me
18. Al Williams – Try Them *
19. Don Hart & James Shorter – It’s In My Mind
20. Lou Beatty – A Family *
21. Nelson Sanders – Mojo Man
22. The Masqueraders – I’m Gonna Make It
23. Al Williams – She Does It *
24. Don Hart – I Can Make It
25. Edward Hamilton – Call Me
26. The LPTs – Long Cool Summer
27. Nelson Sanders – Tired Of Being Your Fool
28. Al Williams – Brand New Love
29. Edward Hamilton & The Arabians – Baby Don’t You Weep
30. The Masqueraders – Be Happy For Me

* Previously unissued

Good, Good Feeling

Posted: September 11, 2010 in Rhythm & Blues, Soul
Tags: ,

The Falcons

featuring

Sonny Munro

(Soul Junction SJCD5000)

Steeped in the history of Rhythm and Blues & Soul Music, Detroit (forget all about Motown for a while) has given us some of the finest purveyors of the music of our choice.  One of the groups that is rich in the history of Detroit Soul is the Falcons, who in turn has given Soul Music some of the finest luminaries in the field of Soul Music, Eddie Floyd & Wilson Pickett two of the most renown.

The Falcons were during their history two groups with the first group having two eras.  Coming together in the mid 50’s, with a mixed race line-up of Bob Manardo, Eddie Floyd, Ton Shelter and Arnett Robinson, with Willie Schofield joining soon after.  Eddie Floyds uncle Robert West became the groups manager.

Bob Manardo was soon drafted and Tom Shelter decided to enlist himself.  West held auditions which in turn lead to Joe Stubbs joining the ranks along with guitarist Lance Finnie, Mack Rice following not too long after replacing Arnett Robinson.

Without going into too much detail this was essentially the first era of the group, the second, after changes to the line up lead to Wilson Pickett joining the group to provide vocals.

Not long after signing for Atlantic and after just one session and one solitary release 1962, the group split, most of the group did have solo careers by this time as well as their time with the group.

This left West with just a name, a name he had no intention of seeing become history.  Early 1963 West saw a group play in Cleveland, The Fabulous Playboys, coincidentally one he managed.  After seeing their performances and eager to keeping the name the Falcons alive West asked the Fabulous Playboys to take over the name, something they eventually agreed to seeing a better financial future with the name The Falcons, the line-up of the second group being Sonny Monroe, James Gibson, Johnny Alvin & Alton “Bart” Hollowell.  This is the line-up and era of the group that this compact disc release deals with.

Sonny Monroe (lead), James Gibson (1st Tenor), Johnny Alvin (2nd Tenor), Alton “Bart” Hollowell (3rd Tenor, Baritone). Thanks to Fredrick Gibson (James’s son) and Colin Dilnot.

The first thing that had to be dealt with was the terms of the contract for Atlantic which lead to the second and final release for the label “Oh Baby b/w Fine Fine Girl, a 45 which went nowhere.   The following year the group moved onto West’s own label Lupine for the release Lonely Nights b/w Has It Happened To You Yet, the second track on this CD and a track which for many was the groups beginnings as not just an Rhythm and Blues group but a Soul group.  However time went by with virtually nothing from the group, until that is 1966 when their manager was shot, although not fatally but bad enough to force him from the music business for the foreseeable future.  This left the group with no label and no manager.  Along came Frank Kosian who after becoming the groups manager put the group with his label Big Wheel, a label that went onto become highly collectable on the UK Northern Soul scene with several releases fetching a sum well into three figures and the main focus of this cd.

All the sides recorded for Big Wheel (the first two Golden World and United Sound for the last two all under the guidance of Dale Warren) are included as is the Sandy Hollis release.  The cd kicks off with Good Good Feeling, with its unmistakeable intro and pounding beat ideal for the Northern Soul scene which also makes it highly collectable and a regular seller for three figures.  Following the Lupine release Has It Happened Too You Yet comes Standing On Guard, fabulous mid-tempo soul with great harmonies from the guys perfectly complimenting the lead of Sonny Monro.  Standing on Guard was not only a smash locally but went top 30 R&B.  This was reworked by the group in the 80s’ and features on this cd.  The flip I Can’t Help It is almost as good and a worthy inclusion on the CD.  Sonny Monro telling us he can’t help it falling in love complimented again by the superb harmonies of the group.

Sandy Hollis with the mid-tempo cut I’m Tempted is next up, why you ask?  Simple the Falcons provided the backing vocals.  Sonny’s vocals feature so much it’s fair to call it a duet, why the Falcons were not credited is a mystery to say the least.  Again the trademark harmonies of the Falcons also stand out.  The flip, Tables Will Turn, a fantastic moody mid-tempo number again with the Falcons providing backing is another worthy inclusion further down the cd playlist.

The flip to the cd opener, the mid-tempo Love Like You Never Been Loved Before comes next.  “You’re The One For Me” pleads Sonny and that all he wants to do is spend his life with her so all he can do is “Love You Like You Never Been Loved”. Again the harmonies are a prominent feature and it’s a side that deserves to see more exposure.

Next up comes the flip Love Look In Her Eyes, In Time For The Blues, Sonny telling us how late he is for everything but In Time For The Blues, great moody soul with again some fantastic harmonies.  One of my favourites from the group is up next.  I’m A Fool I Must Love You.  “I’ve been around but I’ve never found one that makes me feel like you do, I must love you”.  With this following the hit Standing On Guard it also sold well and it’s another the Northern Soul scene took to its heart and has gained plenty of turntable action over the years. Following I’m A Fool is its flip Love Love Love, a track I’ve not heard since I first bought the record so many years ago, it’s now had  plenty of plays to make up for it.  Set at a quicker pace than I’m A Fool again features the tight harmonies of Gibson, Alvin and Hollowell with Sonny pleading with presumably his lover “Love Look What You Made Me Do….You Made Me Leave My Happy Home.”

Next comes arguably the most in demand of all the outing on Big Wheel from the Falcons, Love Look In Her Eyes.  Although not as upbeat as Good Good Feeling its a dancer none the less and one that features often amongst the playlist of the DJ’s around the world.  Again superb vocals from Sonny telling us how “Heartaches won’t leave you alone, when you find the girl you love has been some other place a hurting with some other guy giving him that love look in her eyes, what can you do, what can you say!!”  How true and soul music at its best.  Listening to this you can see why it is so in demand and commands a figure of £300 plus.  This brings to an end the Big Wheel era with Kosian bringing the curtains down on the label and disappearing from view after owing money to some guys you don’t argue with.

The cd is then made up of unreleased cuts kicking off from one recorded after leaving Big Wheel and getting involved with Ollie McLaughin, You’ve Got The Power, a ballad that actually features Deon Jackson on vocals pleading with his cheating lover to leave him alone. Great vocals from Deon but not much in the way of the harmonies from the others in the stly we became accustomed to on the big Wheel outings which makes you wonder if the Falcons featured at all on the track?

Next up are several solo outings from Sonny.  The Happiest Days Of My Life is the first, a nice enough mid tempo number, the first of several recorded for Epic.  It’s an easy going pleasant enough number cut in the early/mid 70’s.  Next up is a great ballad titled On The Other Side Of Town.  Don’t Leave Me Alone another soulful ballad with Sonny’s vocals pleading to be left alone by another cheating partner, seems to be a reoccurring theme.

Why Do I Let You Do The Things You Do, an upbeat mover followed by another ballad I’m Tired Of Being Your Plaything.  To quote John Ridley’s sleeve notes, “the lack of orchestration in these early versions of songs is a really good way to hear just how well Sonny could phrase a song”.  I’m Tired of Being Your Plaything “where he is accompanied by  just a piano and a tambourine-simply outstanding vocals.  Your Love Is Dy-No-Mite, a change from the heartbreak tells how his loves love is Dynomite!! An excellent ballad/mid tempo offering.  The upbeat dancer See The Finished Product brings the CD to a close, a CD that documents a period in history of one of Detroit’s finest vocal groups, maybe not the most prolific recording wise but the quality more than makes up for that.  The release does come with extensive liner notes courtesy of John Ridley which are worth the price alone.

1. Good Good Feeling – The Falcons

2. Has It Happened To You Yet – The Falcons

3. Standing On Guard -The Falcons

4. I’m Tempted – Sandy Hollis

5. Love You Like You Never Been Loved – The Falcons

6. I Can’t Help It -The Falcons

7. In Time For The Blues – The Falcons

8. I’m A Fool I Must Love You – The Falcons

9. Love, Love, Love – The Falcons

10. Love Look In Her Eyes – The Falcons

11. Tables Will Turn – Sandy Hollis

12. You’ve Got The Power – The Falcons

13. Happiest Days Of My Life – Sandy Munro

14. On The Other Side Of Pride -Sandy Munro

15. Don’t Leave Me Alone – Sandy Munro

16. Why Do I Let You Do The Things You Do – Sandy Munro

17. I’m Tired Of Being Your Play Thing – Sandy Munro

18. Standing On Guard – The Falcons

19. Your Love Is Dy-No-Mite – Sandy Munro

20. Finished Product – Sandy Munro /

Label – Soul Junction

Catalogue # Sjcd5000

Thanks to Dave Welding, John Ridley,

Marv Goldberg for some research help with the history.

Fredrick Gibson (James’s son) and Colin Dilnot for the photo.

Further reading at http://home.att.net/~uncamarvy/Falcons/falcons.html

Further information from souljunction@blueyonder.co.uk

Chalky (July 2008)

Rob Moss wrote……

Just received a copy of the fantastic Falcons cd from Sonny Munro. Spent a fascinating evening at his home revisiting past glories and reliving former triumphs. One of the things he did tell me was that the “You’ve got the power’ track that is credited to the group is definitely not them. It is, in fact, Deon Jackson and appeared on the second Hayley cd ‘Ain’t that something’ under its correct affiliation. Another conundrum that continues to astound many is the identity and lineage of ‘Doll Face’ on the Enterprise label out of Detroit. One side of the single is ‘Please return’ with songwriting credits to The Falcons (C.Munro, A. Halliwell, J.Alain and J. Gibson) yet Sonny has no memory of the song at all. Nothing is mentioned in the sleeve notes of the latest cd about it either – a real Poirot moment indeed. Can anyone help?


Highland Records

I first compiled the Highland label listing for the April 2004 issue of Shades Of Soul (31). Derek Pearson was a great help with text and info for the article. Also Arthur Wright and various other collectors.

West Coast Highland Records, owned by Sid Talmedge was based at 2580 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90006. The label distributed by West Pico Merchandising and was a subsidiary of Malynn Enterprises.

By no means a soul based label but amongst its releases are some classic dance floor favourites, Larry Atkins, The Penetrations, Soul Patrol, Bobby Montgomery, Mike And The Censations and the daddy of them all Kell Osborne and his pounding Law Against A Heartbreaker.

We cannot be sure if all these records were released by the same company, for one the numbering system is all over the place although there are definite connections between some of the numbering systems, neither is it consecutive. There was definitely a series of re-issues certainly some distributed by Oldies Music of Hollywood. Others were exact replicas of earlier releases except the label colour, as in the case of Luckey Davis, both releases some 11 years apart.

Mike and The Censations are the only group/artist who can claim any longevity with the label releasing 5 discs, Al Casey with 3 and Rosie and the Originals with 2 are the only other acts who actually put out more than one record. The rest were one off releases for the label. As Arthur Wright said “Like many independents around that time the label found it more cost effective to lease masters on different artists and just deal with the producers of those masters. It gave rise to the term production deal which was great for independent producers who also dealt with a number of record companies”. Rosie and the Originals massive number 5 hit “Angel Baby” probably single handedly financed the label throughout the early period in the labels history.

1001 Al Casey (Got The) Teenage Blues/ Adventures Of Frankenstein 10/59
1002 Al Casey (Got The) Teenage Blues/ Give’n Up 11/59
1003 Pat Mowry Come What May/ Shadows Of The Shrine 1958
1004 Al Casey The Stinger (instrumental)/ Night Beat (instrumental) 11/59
1010 Bobby Hughes Berlin Bounce Part 1/ Part 2 1960
1011 Rosie And The Originals Angel Baby/ Give Me Love 1960
1014 Ronnie And The Premiers Cha Cha/ Sharon 1961
1015 Sandra And The Highlanders What’s Left/ Written In The Stars 1961
1016 Millie Patterson I Love An Angel/ Last Tears On Me
1018 Ray Marten Now That You’re Gone/ Broken Heart 1961
1019 Billy Duke & The Dukes Pledging My Love/ Crazy Pete 1961
1020 Wil-Sones Let Me Help You/ Come On, Mama 1961
1024 Johnny Manjelli Five Foot Two/ Five Foot Two (Eyes Of Blue) 1961
1025 Rosie And The Originals Angel From Above/ Why Did You Leave Me 1961
1026 Rumblers Intersection/ Stomping Time 1962
1030 Troy Cory Mighty Ocean/ Teeny Weeny Wiggle 1962
1031 Dee Jays Bongo Beach Party/ Mr. Bongo Man 1962
1032 Rosie And The Originals Lonely Blue Nights/ We’ll Have A Chance 1962
1034 Carol Slade I Saw You/ I Wanna Know Right Now 1962
1035 Grunion Hunters Four Eyed, Tongue Tied, Swimmin’/ Surfer Swimmin’Surfer Biter 1963
1050 Don And Dewey Don’t Ever Leave Me/ Heart Attack 1964
1051 Little Winfrey Slauson USA/ Charlie’s Blues 1963
1052 Larry Bright Should I/ Twinkle-Lee 1964
1100 Bobby Day Little Turtle Dove/ Saving My Life For You 1964
1150 Frankie Anthony You Were Mine/ The Wonders Of Love 1964
1151 Johnny Guitar Watson Wait A Minute Baby/ Oh So Fine
1152 Ray Agee Mr. Clean/ Keep Smiling 1964
1160 Sonny I’ll Change/ Try It Out On Me 1965
1161 Ed Lee Country Boy Part 1/ Part 2 1966
1166 Tommy Cooper No Arms Can Ever Hold You/ Sweet Words Of Love 1966
1167 The Huntingtons Is There A Way/ You Lose, I Win 1966
1168 Willie Riley Groovin’ With Willie (instrumental)/ Shoehole (instrumental) 1966
1169 Angelenos (Down In) East LA/ Lori 1966
1170 The Runaways It Don’t Mean A Thing/ Please Do 05/67
1171 Thee Counts Someday I’m Gonna Get You/ So Far Away 1966
1172 Chris May Hey Baby/ So Far Away 1966
1173 The In-Be-Tween (Early Slade!) Security/ Girl Child I’m An Evil Witchman 1966
1175 Mike And The Sensations Victim Of Circumstance Part 1/ Part 2 1966
1177 The Two Shades of Soul Thief Of Love/ A Little Bit Of Soul 1966
1179 Doug Brooks What Do You Do/ Boys Will Be Boys 1967
1180 Chris May I’m Livin’ Good/? 1967
1181 Mike And The Censations Don’t Mess With Me/ There Is Nothing I Can Do About It 1967
1182 Kell Osbourne A Law Against A Heartbreaker/ Trouble, Trouble, Baby 1967
1183 Penetrations Sweet Sweet Baby/ Champagne (Shing-A-Ling) 1967
1184 Deddie Williams And The Unwritten Law Love Seems So Hard To Find/ Ask Me 11/67
1185 Insects Girl That Sits There/ Then You Came My Way 1967
1186 Mike & Censations I Need Your Lovin’/ Be Mine Forever 1967
1187 Kenny Nolan Save It For Me/ Ever See Somebody Needin’ Lovin’ 1967
1188 Alan Gary Good Lovin’ Woman/ At The Love In 1968
1189 Mike & Censations Don’t Sell Your Soul/ Baby What’re You Gonna Do 1968
1190 Harry Hellings And The Radials Tale Of A Crystal Ship/ Wake Up Sweet Mary 11/67
1192 Ray Agee Mister Clean/ Keep Smiling 1968
1193 Larry Atkins Ain’t That Love Enough/ Lighten Up 1968
1194 The Hinge I’ll Pretend/ Now Let Me Love You 1968
1195 Little Incidents The Thing/ Walk On 1968
1196 King Soloman The Natural Look/ No Woman’s No Stranger 1969
1197 Bobby Denton That’s The Way I Want It To Be/ Nothing Can Take The Place Of Your Love 1969
1198 Genuine Family Parts Cherry/ Fall On Me Rain 1969
1199 Griz Green Ginger Ale And AppleJack/ Grandpa’s Searsucker Suit 1969
1201 Luckey Davis (original yellow label) It’s Not Where You Start/ Instrumental 1969
1201 Jim Gamble When You Move You Lose 1969
1201 Luckey Davis (re-issue orange label) It’s Not Where You Start/ Instrumental 1980
1202 King Solomon The Miracle Worker/ The Moon Walk 1969
1202 Frank Lucas You Got Me High Part 1/ You Got Me High Part 2 1980
1203 Mike And The Censations Baby,What’re Gonna Do/ I Need Your Lonin 1969
1203 ? I’ll Always Be In Love With You/ I Feel Good Feeling Good 1980
1204 The Bounders Mia / They Call The Wind, Mariah 1970
1205 Four Sale (aka 4 Sale) Baby, Please Don’t Tease/ Try To Remember
1206 Joe & The Fantastics Chicken Chicken/ Darlin’ Darlin’ 1970
1208 Explosions Animated Heart/ Face To Face 1970
1301 Frank Lucas Your Love Got Me High Part 1/ Your Love Got Me High Part 2
1401 Frank Lucas Your Love Got Me High Part/ Ding Dong
2000 Ernie Fields In The Mood/ Christopher Columbus
2001 B. Bumble & Stingers Bumble Boogie/ School Day Blues 1961
2002 The Wiz Kids Sweet Honey/ Big Teaser
2004 Bobby Day Rockin’ Robin/ So Long Baby
2006 Oscar McLolugh and Jeanette Baker Hey Girl Hey Boy/ Let Me Know Let Me Know 1976
2505 Virtues Bye, Bye Blues/ Happy Guitar 1960
300 Precisions Eight Reasons Why (I Love You)/ Mama Told me 1962
4000 War Babies Jeanie’s Pub/ Love Is Love 1969
44 Sherwood Fleming Good Woman/ Holdin’ On
77 Soul Patrol Need Of Love/ Save Your Love
78 Bobby Montgomery Make Me Yours/ Seek And You Shall Find
CW-10 Possum Chula Vista/ The Cockroach That Ate Cincinnati
MX-09 Rose & The Arrangement My House Up The Tree/ Sunshine Through My Window Pane

Mike And The Censations

(taken from the liner notes to the 1996 released Luv N Haight label re-issue of Michael Kirklands “Hang on in there” album from the late 70’s.)

Mike Kirkland’s recording debut came about because of a bet. At an LA party, where his friends were singing the praises of Berry Gordy and Motown, Kirkland’s brother Robert offered a wager. He said he and his brother Mike could cut a record every bit as good as a Motown disc. This was August and Robert guaranteed he would have the disc out by Christmas. Mike was initially sceptical, but nevertheless they had formed a group (Mike and the Censations), hired a band from Grants Music Centre (The Roger Spots Orchestra) and by Christmas 1965 had recorded and cut a single, “Victim Of Circumstance”, which they initially released on their own Bryan label. That single, which gained radio play and entered the R&B top 50, aroused the interest of several major labels although the band was unwilling to sign away their song fro the measly amounts that were being offered. A second 45 “There’s Nothing I Can Do About It” scored even bigger and Mike and The Censations sined a short lived deal with MCA.*

“We Didn’t realise that we were going to have to do all the work ourselves, unless you were Neil Diamond they wouldn’t even answer the phone”.
Derek Pearson – * the short lived deal with MCA he talks about was the couple of records released on Revue in 1969. Mike later made his money under the name Bo Kirkland whose duets with Ruth Davis made the American charts between 1975 and 1978. Their “You’re Gonna Get Next To Me” was a big hit on the UK charts during 1977.

In Ruben Molina’s “Low Rider Music 1950-75 book, it states that Kirkland’s group at the time of the Highland recordings comprised of Michael Kirkland, Robert Kirkland, their sister, her husband Armand Postell and Michael Trotter. Victim of Circumstance was recorded at Madelon Baker’s Audio Arts Studio. Origianlly released on their own Bryan label, it was re-issued on Sid Talmadge’s Highland Records.

Pete Smith suggests how the In-Betweens (1173) who later became well known UK chart toppers Slade, signed up to this West Coast label….”Nobody has ever said how this came about, However, their manager at the time was Kim Fowley and he was a well known LA eccentric producer/songwriter. I would guess he got the single released on Highland as he was their one and only American contact they had, he also produced the record”.

Bill Spoon’s Highland release, 1000 “Love Is On The Way/Don’t Play With My Love” is unconnected to the Highland we are discussing. It is from Cleveland, Ohio and later re-released on Hense Forth. More about Bill Spoon and the Soul Notes can be read at John Smith’s excellent website www.soulcitylimits.com in the soulin section.

The rarest disc on the label is Kell Osborne’s Law Against A Heartbreaker. Just two demonstration/dj copies are known to exist, not even Kell has a copy. It took me some months but I finally tracked Kell down and having not heard the record since it was recorded I played it down the phone to him and his reaction was to say, “WOW”. He was gob smacked. A recording was duly sent to him along with most of his releases (Kell’s story will be in the next issue of Shades of Soul). Covered up at Stafford as Jimmy Gresham the record simply pounds along, gaining momentum as it nears the end. It also shares the same backing as Kell’s Loma release “You Can’t Outsmart A Woman”.

Thanks to Tim Brown for the above scan. The 45 is actually vinyl, many Highland 45’s styrene.

Larry Atkins is another release that has given many hours of dancing pleasure to soulies on the UK’s Northern Soul scene, in fact it’s one of the best double siders released. Ain’t That Love Enough and Lighten Up have graced the turntables for many years at venues all over the UK and dare I say the world now, and continue to do so to this day. Also released on Romark (Lighten Up was titled Have Mercy On Me) and it was also covered by Ty Karim.

The Penetrations is another that has gained some turntable action and also commanded a three figure sum.

Highland picked up quite a few local Southern California small label records, to provide them with better distribution. The 2000 series was for releases of “oldies” hits, gathered from the rights to Class Records, Rendezvous Records, and other small ’50s L.A. labels.


Soul Survivor – Sir Lattimore Brown

Back From The Dead!

If anyone is entitled to a pain in the heart it is Sir Lattimore.  Born to beginnings we cannot comprehend in 1931 and growing up with practically nothing.  But from these humble beginnings he was introduced to music, the music of the cotton fields and gospel from the church.

Whilst serving in the Army in Korea, Lattimore was listening to acts such as King Cole Trio and Big Joe Turner and listening to these acts taught him a unique combination of R&B shouting and smooth vocal phrasing that he would carry on into his later work, work that would make him a veteran of the Chitlin Circuit working with some of the biggest names of the time.

Upon settling down in later life, hoping to see out his days in peace and tranquility his world was turned upside down by Hurricane Katrina, the storm was to take from him everything he owned in life.  Lattimore’s wife tragically died of a heart attack whilst attempting to escape the storm (it would be five months until Lattimore found out about his wife), Lattimore himself survived the storm but was badly injured.

Further tragedy was to come.  Whilst getting his life back together after the ravages of the storm, Lattimore was then mugged whilst collecting his meager Army pension.  One of the muggers driving a screwdriver into his side leaving Lattimore fighting for his life.  Fortunately Lattimore survived but is left with a nasty scar to remind of the brutal attack.

(photo courtesy of Red Kelly)

It was whilst in hospital that he told a nurse of his past as a famous R&B singer.  Curious she googled his name to find an article stating that he had died ten years earlier.  The nurse found another article by the Soul Detective Red Kelly so she e-mailed Red to see if her patient was the same person.  Red contacted Bob Wilson of Golden World Records fame, a name and a label very well known to many Northern Soul fans for his records such as All Turned On and his record work with Joe Simon and ZZ Hill.  Bob called the hospital and it was indeed the Sir Lattimore Brown.   Friends got together and got Lattimore somewhere to live and Bob decided to take Lattimore back into the studio.
Bob believes in doing things the old way, analogue.  Bob used a combination of his own studio in Detroit (for overdubs and mastering) and Willie Mitchells’ Royal Recording Studio in Memphis (for recording).  He also gathered together the cream of Detroit and Memphis musicians.  A line up that consisted of guitarists Skip Pitts & Charlie Hawkins, Steve Potts on drums, Dave Smith on Bass, on trumpet is Kelvin Green, Tenor Sax James Chaney and of course Bob Wilson on electric piano, organ, congas and tambourine. I must mention the backing singers, two singers very well known to the Northern Soul fraternity in the UK and to soul fans world wide, Pat Lewis and her sister Diane!

Now I’ve got to mention who and what this is all about, Sir Lattimore Brown, The Soul Survivor who at the age of almost 80 years and having gone through so much in his life never thought he would be back in the studio but thanks to Red Kelly and Bob Wilson he was and the result is this CD single and a forthcoming LP.

Photo courtesy of Red Kelly

The first track is a cover of the late great Otis Redding’s “Pain In My Heart”.  Otis was a good friend of Lattimore and Lattimore himself delivers a haunting version of this soul classic.  You can feel the pain as he asks where can his Baby be, pleading for to come back as he’s had enough, wanting the pain to stop!

The second track is The Itch, another cover (originally recorded by Keb Mo who shares writing credits with Jeff Paris.  Here Lattimore begins by prayin’ to the Lord above for mercy.  He goes on to say how he keeps falling in love, or is it lust, often with the woman he knows is bad for him before getting the Itch and leaving only he is pleading with the Lord for him not to make the same mistakes and go back, hoping he can learn his lesson and not do the same damn thing all over again!  An often heard story of a man thinking with his balls and not his brain no matter how much pain and money it would cause him!!

A great piece soul set at a mid-tempo pace with Lattimore raising it for the chorus proving that he can still do the business!  Just check out the video for further proof he still has it.

Bob again tells me how he wanted to keep this real and did so by doing not only the full version but also Parts 1 & 2 that could be found on many records back in the day, hopefully the radio stations will pick up on this.  Bob also says that it is perfect to dance to doing the Hustle to it or The Twine as it is called in Tennessee where Bob used to live.

Visit Real Thing Records to not only buy the CD but see Sir Lattimore live in the studio proving that he still has what it takes. http://realthingmusic.com/fr_home.cfm

Photos of Lattimore and the musicians are also on the site and more videos of Sir Lattimore can be found on YouTube, seek them out.

There is no way I can do the story of Lattimore Brown justice in a page or two but you can read a comprehensive story of Lattimore Brown on the excellent blog of Red Kelly, who without him Lattimore probably wouldn’t be here now to share his music with us, the first part of the story can be found at http://redkelly.blogspot.com/2008/06/lattimore-brown-i-wish-i-felt-this-way.html take some time lout and read all the parts to the story, it is a fascinating and interesting story.

There is also an interview of Sir Lattimore by Robbie Benson earlier this year that can be found at http://worldwidewebcasts.podbean.com/2010/03/06/robbie-benson-interviews-sir-lattimore-brown

Lattimore is still in need of all our help.  You can help in at least two ways, buy this CD single and the upcoming LP from Real Thing Records and make a PayPal donation via the friends of Lattimore Brown page which can be found at http://www.sirlattimorebrown.com/ Click on the Friends link at the bottom left of the home page and give Sir Lattimore Brown some much needed help and comfort.

Special thanks to Bob Wilson, Red Kelly and also to Sir Lattimore Brown.

Chalky (April 2010).

Sadly in the early hours of Friday, March the 25th, 2011, Sir Lattimore Brown, whilst crossing the road near his home in Pensacola, he was struck by a vehicle and killed instantly. He was interred with full Military Honours at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola on Tuesday, April 5th, 2011 at 13:15.

Rest In Peace Sir Lattimore.