Category Archives: obscure, rare

The Village Soul Choir — The Cat Walk

Friday is just right for the Funk. “Cat Walk” from the album Soul Sesame Street (Abbot, Original recording reissued) is a fine piece of music by The Village Soul Choir. The original album by the New York based quintet was released in 1970.

Get the album here.

Enjoy!

Reuben Bell — Asking For The Truth

This is one of the saddest songs ever. How desperate must you be to willingly believe a lie because you don’t want to lose someone?

I didn’t find much info about this artist. On the Soulful Kinda Music website I’ve read that he was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. Until his death in 2004, he seemed to have lived under less than favorable circumstances.
Although he was without a doubt one of the great voices of Southern Soul and had several records to prove it, he never made it to the top. Reuben Bell also is credited as composer on many recordings, including some of Bobby Blue Bland’s and Geater Davis’.

Today’s pick was first released on the Alarm label in 1975 as the flip side to “I’ll Be Your Woman.” “Asking For The Truth” was written by Reuben Bell and Jerry Strickland. having listened to the so-called “A-side” of the 45, I honestly wonder whether Reuben Bell was sabotaged. That track was lame at its best.

Enjoy!

Lee Charles — Standing On The Outside Looking In

Here’s the proof: You’re never too old to fall in love. I just fell in love with this song. The strings just did it … “Standing On The Outside” is one of these songs that want me to spread my imaginary wings and just fly.
I have to admit, though, that the artist’s name didn’t sound familiar. But, thank goodness, I found an informative article about him here. The article ends with the sad conclusion that, “he seems to have just vanished into thin air. And that’s all I can tell you about the late Lee Charles Nealy. His legacy comprises twelve solo releases, all worthy of a place in your collection, a couple of mystery 45‟s that probably don‟t exist (there always are!), and a host of co-writer credits.”
Thank God for all the vinyl junkies who dig out such gems as Lee Charles’ songs and share their treasures with us.

Here’s a song he recorded for the Brunswick label, “Wrong Number.” It took me a while to find out whose voice it reminds me of: Al Wilson’s? Right?

Standing On The Outside

Nolan Chance — She’s Gone

Nolan Chance was born Charles Davis in Louisiana in 1939, and was raised in Chicago. He started singing in his early teens with a group of high school friends.

He sang with several other groups, among them The Dukays where he replaced Gene Chandler. He also sang with the Artistics .

She’s Gone, today’s pick, was his debut single for the Constellation label which he joined in 1964. According to allmusic.com the “ballad that attracted considerable attention and did well on numerous local charts, even though it failed to register nationally.” Unfortunately, the label folded just as Nolan’s career began to blossom with the release of his next single  Just Like The Weather.

In the late 60’s he was signed to Curtom and released another beautiful single  “I’ll Never Forget You.” After his producer at Curtom had left the label, Nolan joined Scepter where he released Sara Lee. Bad luck, however, struck again. Scepter closed its doors and the single never  received the recognition it deserved.

(Source allmusic.com)

Enjoy!

Lindell Hill — Used To Be Love

(Lindell Hill and Steve Cropper at Stax in 1968)

It is so sad that all Lindell Hill  has to show for with  a voice like his is three singles. The one I’ve ever heard is a great one, though. I posted the A-side, Remone, a little while back here. When I came across the B-side, I thought it was pretty darned good also. So, I’ll post it today.

Lindell Hill, born on 1st July 1945, hails from St. Louis, Missouri but lives in Dittmer, Missouri nowadays.

He’s an outstanding blue-eyed soul singer, and his best known recording was done for Arch Records. The small North St. Louis record label was owned by a white DJ, Nick Charles, from Memphis who operated from  his basement studio. There, Hill met Jim Stewart, a friend of Charles’ who was recording for Stax in its early years. And according to a very short biography, Hill’s daughter, Kelly Lemon, said that  “they did the basic rhythm tracks in St Louis with the voice & drums and then sent them down to Memphis with Steve Cropper to put the background vocals and horns in. The song “Used To Be Love” was redone with Wilson Pickett and Wilson named it “Mini Skirt Mini”. (http://staxrecords.free.fr/lhill.htm)

Under the name Lyndon, he recorded another 45 for Hi, “The Very First Time” b/w “I Love My Baby.” He did another recording on the Bright Star label.

Compliments — Falling In Love

If there ever was a series of collections that paid tribute to many  neglected artists, it is Soulful Thangs. Today’s pick is from Vol. 6 which has several more such gems to offer. So, go and get it!

Now, Temptations fans listen up. Is it just me or does the bass singer sound a bit like Harry McGilberry? Anyway, this is great singing.

DivShare

Mediafire

Jimmy Okera Hightower — I Can’t Have You

Jimmy Hightower is yet another artist whose talent has been overlooked  by the record industry. Therefore, we’re only able to enjoy a handful recordings of his warm tenor. Nowadays, his records are traded as collectors’ items with a big price tag.

The Detroit native started out singing with a group named Combinations. They recorded for various small record labels. He left the group and recorded a few 45’s between 1975 and 1989.

Today’s track is his first solo single, recorded in 1975 for the Westbound label.

DivShare

MediaFire

Bobby Moore — You’ve Got To Live For Yourself

When I first heard this song, I thought truer words have never been spoken — or sung. It reminded me on the Herman Hesse poem which claims that no matter how many friends you have and how many of them stand by you during good times, the hardest things in life you have to do all alone …

Enjoy!

MediaFire

Watts Line — I Never Meant To Love You

Lol Things not always go as planned … I Never Meant To Love You just came up in my i-tunes playlist. It kind of reminded me to not make too many plans for the new year. Most of the truly important issues cannot be planned anyway. They just happen and develop a dynamic of their own.

Enjoy!

LimeLinx

Don Covay and The Goodtimers — Now, That I Need You

Today’s pick is not quite as uplifting as yesterday’s session. It is, however, a very fine tune by one of my favorite singers, Don Covay. For the longest time , the only song by him I knew was I Was checking Out … Admittedly, that song deserved its fame; but after I got acquainted with more of his material, I realized how versatile this artist actually was.

Here’s a nice Doo-Wop  title by Don and The Goodtimers. This will be a joy for everyone who appreciates some fine harmonizing.

Enjoy!

LimeLinx

Rayfield Reid & The Magnificents — Treat You Right

There’s not much info available on  Rayfield Reid and The Magnificents — but there’s a reissue of the group’s only album available.  Two titles from this LP, Dynamite Party and today’s pick, Treat You Right, were also released as a single.

Enjoy!

LimeLinx

Bobby McClure — You Bring Out The Love In Me

The way it looks, Bobby McClure has released singles only. His first two releases (1965) for the Checkers label were duets with Fontella Bass. Today’s pick is a release from 1975 for Island Records, a British label. The label was founded by Chris Blackwell in 1959  in Jamaica.  You’ll find a quite interesting article about Island Records here.

Enjoy!

LimeLinx

Also check out this clip of Bobby McClure singing the JT classic “Just Because.” He’s doing a fantastic job … Amazing, how some artists keep their voices fresh and clean over the years. And the guitar solo sure makes this old Raggedy quite happy.

Bertha Tillman — I Wish

I found this track on a great compilation CD, Huggy Boy Presents, which, judged by the cover, doesn’t look like much of a find. But you’ll find some amazing songs on this CD.

Bertha Tillman, of whom I haven’t heard up to now, apparently has released only two singles, I Wish and Oh My Angel. If I interpret Bertha Tillman’s Discogs discography correctly, Oh My Angel, was the flip side of James and Bobby Purify’s I’m Your Puppet. Looks kind of weird, but see for yourself.

Enjoy!
LimeLinx

 

The Dynamics — What A Shame

Enjoy!

LimeLinx  (link fixed)

Detroit natives Isaac “Zeke” Harris, George White, Fred Baker, and Samuel Stevenson were the Dynamics. Another group member, Zerben Hicks, left soon after the group’s first album, First Landing, was released in 1969. Their manager was then Aretha Franklin husband, Ted White.

Ice Cream, their second release for Cotillion in 1969, made it into the charts, but that was about all the success they had. Altogether, they released four singles for the label. They had three lead voices, including a great falsetto singer.

Other labels they were recording for were  ARC, Bethlehem, Big Top, Black Gold, Brainstorm, Capri, Cindy, Delta, Do-Kay-Lo, Do-Re-Mi, Dynamic, Dynamic Sound, Em Jay, Herald, Impala, Imperial, Li Ban, Loma, Mala, RCA, R J, Seafair Bolo, Steel City, Top Ten, USA, Warner and Wingate. Looks like they did some extreme label hopping. Their first 7 ” single  Misery b/w I’m The Man was released in 1963 on the Big Top Records label.First

The Dynamics released 3 albums:

First Landing (Cotillion Records, 1969) ,What a Shame (Black Gold Records, 1973.) Most tracks on this record arranged by Paul Riser, and First Landing  (HackTone Records, 2007) – reissue

  

Gaturs feat. Willie Tee — Sweet Thing

Alright, enough tears shed … I finally entered into peace negotiations with my i-tunes library, and it looks as if we’re reaching an agreement — kind of what-the-heck,-it-is-as-it-is deal. Problem solved.

And because life is good again, I’ll post some great New Orleans Funk by the Gaturs feat. Willie Tee from their 1970’s album Wasted (Funky Delicacies, 1994). This is a fantastic album — so get it. I would describe the Gatur’s music as gourmet funk; the kind of funk that stays close to soul, adds a generous portion of jazz and never loses the touch of the blues.

Willie Tee was born Wilson Turbinton on February 6, 1944 in New Orleans.  Despite a long career in the music business, he never experienced the success he without a doubt deserves. For a detailed bio, please go here. He died September 11, 2007, only one month after his brother Earl, whose music had influenced Willie from early childhood on.

Enjoy!

LimeLinx

 

 

Tuxedo — Please Don’t Leave

Today’s selection is taken from a truly marvelous Kent Soul compilation for ACE Records, In Perfect Harmony.

You got to get this CD!

Enjoy!

LimeLinx

Willie and Anthony — One Hand (Wash The Other)


It took me a while to find some info about the duo who can be heard on this recording. And while there’s at least some biographical info available on Willie, I couldn’t find anything on Anthony. This jewel of a deepy was written by Walter Simmons for  Jerry Butler and Gene Chandler, and it can be found on their 1970 album Gene & Jerry – One on One (Mercury).  

 

” Willie (Hill) and Anthony (Fontain) were one of the last of the great breed of male duos that used to be such a feature of the 60s soul scene. I don’t know of an earlier 45 than this superb ballad. Taken at a dead slow pace, the song’s structure and arrangement gives the gospel-drenched vocals centre stage. And given the commitment and lack of inhibition Willie & Anthony display that’s got to be right – a great performance! I always thought Molly Jo was a Georgia concern but the presence of Simtec and Wylie on the disc label argues a Chicago connection. Whatever – there wasn’t much soul as raw as this around the turn of the 70s and they continued to display this uncommercial approach on their 3 Blue Candle 45s later on that decade. The pick of these is “It’s never too late”, another crude and unpolished record at a time when Southern soul seemed to be losing it’s capacity to take listeners straight to the church. They came back with an 80s 45 on Soul-Potion, another tiny Georgia independent and I thought that was it until Ichiban released a CD by Willie Hill, “Leavin’ won’t be easy”, late last year. And how pleased I was that it was really very good indeed. Welcome back Willie we’ve missed you!”                             (http://melingo.com/thesoulnet/ridley.htm)

An here’s the link to a fairly recent article about Willie Hill. 

One Hand (Wash The Other)

Enjoy!

Limelinx

Don’t you like the guitar? Absolutely wonderful … 


A Bag o’ Deepies

I guess it’s time for me to get off the disco and funk trip … So, for all you Deep Soul fans: here’s a bag of deepies. These tracks had been waiting on my desktop to be used someday in a themed Audioblog. Alas, at the moment time is bit tight around here; but I think you’ll like the tracks anyway …

Playlist:

Oh Dreamy Me — Dicky Williams

He’s Down On Me — Betty Green

Cloudy Days — Jim Coleman

That’s Where It’s At — The Hesitations

I Still Love You —  Jean Stanback

Don’t Let Go — Sweet Berry

Enjoy!

LimeLinx

zip

Jimmy Jackson — Freedom To Express Yourself

And the battle continues. Yesterday, the Department of Deep Soul (DSD) wanted the disco music to stop. Today, the disco department of fun music (DDFM) defends its right to free expression …

I just love Jimmy Jackson’s passionate approach to all his songs. Also see my other post on him here.

Enjoy!

LimeLinx

 

 

Little Scotty — Slow That Disco Down

Well, here we go. Can’t please everyone, I guess. Having had all that disco music yesterday prompted a complaint from the Deep Soul department (DSD) whose director, Mr. Little Scotty, demanded to Slow That Disco Down or else  …

The title is from  Lost Deep Soul Treasures, Vol. 2, another beautiful compilation of true gems.

Enjoy!

LimeLinx

Please check more music by Little Scotty out here and here.

Willie Smith — I Got A New Thing

Today’s title is from The Sound Of  Funk, Vol. 9, which is a great compilation, and every serious Funk fan should have in their possession. Funk doesn’t get any funkier. The subtitle, Serious 70’s Heavyweight Rarities, says it all.

 

Enjoy!

Limelinx

Gallery

Update on Odyssey 5 — Peace of Mind

This is the original post: Happy Friday! Enjoy LimeLinx Five ladies from North Carolina with more than just great looks recorded this album for  Brunswick Records in 1975. Not much more info about this group — unfortunately. July 27, 2011: … Continue reading

Ed Summers — I Can Tell

I ‘d bet I had posted this song before, but I can’t find it in the archives … I guess my brain suffers from SOTS overload.

This is the biography I found on YouTube where today’s pick is posted:
“Born in Detroit, Mich in 1955. Father “Marion W. Summers” passed away in 1966. Mother remarried in 1969 to Cato Weatherspoon. Father of William Weatherspoon writer of such hits as “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted”, and Johnny Weatherspoon; Comedian and Actor. Learned a great deal from William while developing own style of production, writing and artistry. Played Cello and Bass Violin in High School. 1973 – Graduated from Highland Park High and spent time at the University of Michigan. Played Bass Guitar and sang background and some lead in a group called the “Testimonial Singers”. Recorded an album that was never released. Left the group (kinda’ got booted out) that would eventually become the “Winans”. Picked up the acoustic guitar. Began to write songs on a continual basis. Began to sing solo in the Detroit area.

Worked as Staff Producer and Writer at “Sound Suite Recording Studio”. Met wife who was already a writer at same studio. Got married in 1980 to Deborah Dickson. Three children (Faith, Eddie and James.) Recorded “I Can Tell” and “Prepare yourself” on a 45 single. Dropped out of music industry to gain consistent support for family. Worked with artist such as; The Funk Brothers, General Johnson, Gladys Knight, Dennis Edwards, The Clark Sisters… and many more..

Supported self as computer technician and building websites. Stepped away from music completely for about 3-4 years. In 1986 began to work on a project called “Songs of Deliverance – Peace”. Completed the project in 1989. The album was given away by request as part of a ministry. Later because of expenses (postage), you could download the mp3’s from the website but could no longer get the cassette. The tapes and mp3’s are all over the world. 1990; moved to Tampa, Fla to become A&R Director of new record company. Company folded. Decided to stay in Florida. Built a Recording Studio for hire on Nebraska Avenue in the Carl Hankins and Assoc. building. Paid for lease by cleaning building. Closed studio to start new job as Systems Analyst. 1999 was out-sourced.

2003 built a studio in Tampa where the “Earth & Heaven” CD was completed in October of 2004.”

 

Could there be anything more uplifting than TSOP in the morning? No!

Enjoy

Limelinx

John Edwards — Walls That Separate Our Love

Don’t listen to this one if your heart is aching already. Edwards’ voice is so intense, it cuts right through to the soul. Walls That Separate Our Love can be found on Good Guys Don’t Always Win , yet another fantastic Kent compilation. More by John Edwards here and here.

Enjoy!

LimeLinx


Deepie: Elmore Morris — It Seemed Like Heaven To Me

Elmore Morris, a cousin of BB King, was one half of Double Soul; the other half was Charles Cooper. As a duo they released only one single on Minaret. Both artists released more recordings of their own. Charles Cooper in another duo: Chuck and Mariann.

I agree with Sir Shambling that It seemed Like Heaven To Me (CrackerJack, 1962) is most likely Elmore’s best solo effort. To listen to more of his material please go here.

Sorry. There’s no pic. of the man — but his voice definitely makes up for it.

Enjoy!

LimeLinx 

Jean Battle — Unsatisfied Woman

I don’t know why, but somehow I’ve switched into the bittersweet mode, and what kind of music could be better suited to that kind of mood than some sweet Deep Soul?

Jean Battle’s Unsatisfied Woman is one of the songs that squeeze the heart so hard it really hurts to listen to them. There’s hardly any other voice more qualified to sing this song — rich, warm, feminine, soft, and pleading. (If you ask me, her guy must have been a moron lol)

The song is a Sam Dees composition through and through and was released on Clintone in 1971.

Enjoy!

LimeLinx

Here’s another great recording of the song by Barbara Stant

 

The Montgomery Express — Left Me With A Memory

Happy Sunday. And happy Father’s Day to all the dads — except the deadbeat lousy losers, of course, who don’t know the meaning of the word “father.”

Today’s pick is from an album I found on Funk My Soul. This album is one of the rare recordings that stand out among the rest in that all the tracks are beautiful. It’s been difficult for me to pick a song for today’s post, but I kind of fell in love with Left Me With A Memory because it’s one of these tunes that leave me with goose flesh all over. In addition to the warm, rich baritone voice, the arrangement is soothing the soul — just listen to that saxophone. You’ll hear more of that sax and the rest of outstanding musicians participating in the album on the album’s title song and Party Fever, two  pieces in the best of Funk tradition …

Get the CD here. You need to get this one!

Enjoy!

LimeLinx 

 

AudioBlog#26_Hidden Beauties

My friend ((DC)) has encouraged me to keep the audioblogging going. And what can I say? It feels so good to hear that someone likes them enough to ask for them … Thanks ((DC))!

So, since there were still a few tracks left in my Rare/Obscure folder from which the last Audioblog was created, I decided to post these songs today. It turned out to be a nice selection with a heavy summer feel to it.

If anyone is interested in individual tracks, just let me know.

Playlist:

Rising Sun — Do What You’re Doing

David Simmons — Once In A While (Hear me Out, Fantasy 1978)

The Dells — Do What You Gotta Do Babe (Sweet As Funk Can Be, 1972)

Arthur Conley — Complication # 4 (Swamp Dogg Anthology)

Westwing — Falling In Love Is A No No

The Elements — Save It For A Rainy Day

Enjoy!

LimeLinx

Weepy Wednesday — Deepies

I am in the mood for a deepie or two. And I found  two tracks from the Lost Deep Soul Treasures that suit my mood perfectly. This collection of beautiful Deep Soul titles encompasses 5 volumes, and I encourage  all you Soul lovers — not only the Deep Soul fans — to check them out. You will see a myriad of unfamiliar artists’ names, but, trust me, you will enjoy hearing them.

I Won’t Cry — Pete Cook (Vol. 3)

Weep No More — Terry and Tyrants (Vol. 2)

Friday’s Child  — Billy Dearborn (Vol. 5)

Enjoy!

LimeLinx

FileFactory

Marvin L.Sims — What Can I Do

Happy New Week!

I’ll start the week with one of the many obscure artists who have released some notable recordings, but never achieved the success they deserved.

Todays title, What Can I Do, was written by Donnie Elbert and was one of the softer and sweeter titles the Northern Soul singer recorded in the 60’s. He released several 45’s between 1965 and 1972. After that he vanished from the scene to focus on his education and earn a degree in psychology.

In 1998, he finally returned with his debut album, Heart Talk, which was produced, arranged and written by Marvin himself. It was released by Rivertown records.

Enjoy!

LimeLinx

Now, everybody start your week on a mellow note.

Ronnie Dyson — A Wednesday In Your Garden

For Ronnie Dyson’s albums please go here.

I know it’s Friday again. It feels like Wednesday though. So, it’s not too far off tho post a title about A Wednesday In Your Garden.

Ronnie Dyson (June 5, 1950 – Nov. 10. 1990) was born in Washington and grew up in Brooklyn. He established his musical roots at church and sang his way through to the famous musical Hair in which he performed as lead actor.

My pick today is from his 1973 album, One Man Band. The album was produced by Thom Bell and includes  Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely, the song that, a year later,  turned out to be a success for the Main Ingredient.

Ronnie Dyson’s beautiful natural tenor voice was silenced way too early in 1990. R.I.P. Ronnie Dyson.

Enjoy!

LimeLinx

For an informative article about the artist, check this site out.

AudioBlog#25 — Obscure, Rare, Underrated Gems

Lately, I haven’t had time to work on SOTS the way I would love to.

But, at last, I managed to put another AudioBlog together.

This is number 25, and it consists of songs and artists

that are not well-known — which 

as so often is the case — and 

is a crying shame.

These recordings are so very beautiful; 

I hope you all will enjoy them as much as

I do.

Enjoy!

LimeLinx

FileFactory

***

Playlist: 

Bobby Burn — I Am A Dreamer

Allspice — She’s a lady

Marilyn Barbarin — Believe Me

Andy Butler — Hold Back The Night

Answers To Love — It Was Real

Alex Brown — I’m In Love

Odyssey 5 — Peace of Mind

Happy Friday!

Enjoy

LimeLinx

Five ladies from North Carolina with more than just great looks recorded this album for  Brunswick Records in 1975. Not much more info about this group — unfortunately.

Bill Brantley — A Little Bit More

Today is creamy voice appreciation day. Creamy voices rarely sing without beautiful string arrangements and harmonious background vocals; so they are included in the celebration, too. Unfortunately, there’s not much of a bio to be found about today’s artist, Bill Brantley.

Here’s what I found:

… Another slightly more successful duo than the aforementioned Pic & Bill was Van & Titus whose excellent “Cry Baby Cry” was a minor R&B hit in 1968 on Elf. A member of that duo, Bill Brantley also recorded for Richbourg. His first single in 1974 “Granddaddy (Loved To Share)” was issued first on Seventy Seven and then on Sound Stage 7 itself. The cut chosen here though is his second single which was released on Sound Stage 7’s third series in January 1977. It’s a stunning version of Captain Hook’s “A Little Bit More” with a tasteful string arrangement by Clayton Ivey and was presumably cut at Wishbone Studios. Its flip was the equally good “Love’s Sweet Vibrations” which Brantley co-wrote with his old Elf label mate Clifford Curry. (http://lm-mail.com/mailouts/web26_web_8.html)

Enjoy!

LimeLinx

John Baldwin — Stop This Crying

What a great Monday for a deepie. I found this song a long time ago on Sir Shambling’s site, and what I love about it is the naturalness both of the singing and the music. If there’s something like honest music, I would call this song an example of such a phenomenon.

Sorry — no pic. Just the sweet and gentle voice of one Mr. John Baldwin.

Enjoy!

LimeLinx

E(a)rnest Jackson — Why Can’t I Love Somebody

(Picture from Ernest Jackson’s website.)

 

 

According to Sir Shambling’s,  Ernest Jackson most likely came from the same place he produced all his recordings: Baton Rouge. His late 60’s material was released by BOFUZ, while it was the Stone label that released his 70’s cuts. In the 80’s, Ernest Jackson had signed with Royal Shield.

Despite his obvious talent, he never made it to the top — where he definitely belonged. Alas, listen yourself and tell me why a voice like Ernest’s should be known only to a few lucky music lovers?

Apparently, the artist is working at a restaurant in Baton Rouge, where he’s not only waiting but also singing.

Today’s pick is from 1974.

 

 

>24 Carat Black — Poverty’s Paradise

>Today I’m going to post a true masterpiece of music. It’s the type of song that keeps you listening from the beginning to the end despite it’s extreme length. I definitely like every minute of it. Not only is the musical arrangement exquisite, but also the lyrics are effective.
Poverty’s Paradise is from Ghetto: Misfortunes Wealth, an album by a little known group called 24 Carat Gold. It was first released in 1973 on the Stax label. The classical training of Dale Warren, who composed the string scores for this superb album, shows throughout the entire recording.
He discovered the group when they still called themselves the Ditalians and convinced them to change their name to The 24-Carat Black. The album, despite its high quality, was not successful. Later, however, it was highly valued by Hip-Hop artists for sampling purposes. In 1995, Ghetto: Misfortunes Wealth was released in CD format.

Raggedy’s recommendation: Get It.

>Mike James Kirkland — Together

> Originally from Yazoo City, MS, Mike James Kirkland grew up singing doo wop and gospel. Eventually settling in California, Kirkland and his brother started a record label, Bryan Records, to release the love songs and socially conscious soul music that Kirkland had been writing. The two albums they released — Hang on in There in 1972 and its follow-up, Doin’ It Right — both echoed the style and sentiments of other artists determined to comment on social issues relevant to the African-American community: soul heavies likeMarvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and Stevie Wonder. The reputation of both albums slowly spread over the ensuing years, finally resulting in reissues in the ’90s by archival label Luv N Haight. (allmusic.comhttp://www.allmusic.com/artist/mike-james-kirkland-p205489)


I’ve already posted a song by this artist a while ago. And today while I was writing the last christmas cards, this song came up. I can’t help but wonder why this artist has remained as underrated as he is. 

>Mary Queenie Lyons — We’ll Cry Together

>




Marie “Queenie” Lyons is yet another artist with great talent who disappeared from the world of Soul after only one album.
In 1970 she released “Soul Fever” on James Brown’s King label — a fact that speaks volumes as to what an accomplished singer she was. The album proves the rest.  
Information on what happened to her after that, consists mainly of one sentence: She disappeared. 
Soul Fever has achieved cult status and is traded as a rare Southern Soul record — priced as highly as it is valued. 
PS: Looking at the album cover, it strikes me as kind of forboding. Marie seems to be swallowed by the darkness surrounding her; the only thing visible is part of her beautiful face — but her face too is about to vanish any moment. 

>Leroy Hutson: Musical Genius!

>

Leroy has become a steady in my playlists. Although he had replaced Curtis Mayfield in the Impression (1971) and has been around for a long time, his name did not ring a bell with me. (Actually, I don’t remember very much of the Impression without Curtis Mayfield.) Unfortunately so, because I was missing out on some excellent music. The first song by Leroy I’ve ever heard was I’m In Love With You Girl. And the more of his music I heard, the more I loved it. There was no way around noticing his extraordinary talent.

The first track I am posting today, So In Love, is definitely reminiscent of Donny Hathaway’s — which is really not a great surprise. The two men were room-mates at Howard University. Leroy has also collaborated with Donny on The Ghetto which became a huge hit in the early seventies.
But this man is all about versatility. He even has some strong Smokey-Robinson-inflections to offer. In Love Oh Love from the homonymous album, he definitely sounds as though he were Smokey’s little brother. I love that song for the rhythm and the perfect horn section, however, not so much for Leroy’s singing. His strength clearly lies with composing, producing and arranging music.

The second title, I Bless The Day, offers itself as background music to a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner, I think. Strings and saxophone are backed with beautiful vocals. I Bless The Day creates that special mood and will bring out the long lost perfect lover in us. Guaranteed!

Leroy has quite a few CD’s on the market: Go get a listen! I also consider it worthwhile checking out his MySpace site. His “resume”, so to speak, is quite impressive!

Although his voice is not necessarily fascinating — his music absolutely is. This man is as versatile as any artist can possibly be, and it’s not surprising that he’s in the jazz business nowadays.

(Titles in comment section)