Showing posts with label 60s Soul. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 60s Soul. Show all posts

May 26, 2016

The Devotions "Same Old Sweet Lovin'"

     Ran by  Robert Eaton and Benjamin Knight (who, along with Fred Bridges, also comprised the soul trio Brothers Of Soul as well as a songwriting team that had something to do with around 50 singles that came out Detroit in the 60s and 70s) and based out of a storefront on Hamilton St in Detroit (well, Highland Park actually. They both share a zip code) the Tri-Tone label only released 2 singles.
     The first of them was The Devotions “Same Old Sweet Lovin’.” Recorded and released in 1966, the record might possibly being gunning for the same formula a lot of the Detroit labels were going trying to grab a piece of that Motown pie, but the frills free production and obviously not charm school trained voices of Ragina Wood, Rosemary Green and Bobby Hemmitt give this this record a raw street level soul thing that sounds something more akin to a female version of what the Parliaments were doing in the city around the same time than any of the seriously buffed and polished records from the House Of Gordy.

Sep 23, 2015

Bonnie Brisker "So Much Lovin' (Deep Inside Me)"


     Like with a lot of the 60s Detroit soul records that didn’t make a dent nationally (but may have gotten some play in the Northern Soul Scene in the UK) there’s not a lot of info on who Bonnie Brisker is or if this was the only record she did. Heck, with this record even the year it was released is kinda fuzzy but judging from the catalog number it’s safe to assume it is early ‘67 (the previous catalog number, MC 002, was a “I’m Going Christmas Shopping/Santa Goofed” by Horace Williams and Choker Campbell & His Magic City Orchestra was released in December of ‘66.) 
     What is known about Bonnie is that she was the sister of Detroit saxophonist Miller Brisker who toured and played with Aretha Franklin, most notably on her Aretha In Paris album, as well as the arranger of “I’ll Be On My Way” by Bob & Fred which appeared on Big Mack, another Detroit label of the era.
     Though both sides of this record have a nice live and loud sound with some rough edges intact the a-side, “Someone Really Loves You (Guess Who)”, tends to lean a little more towards some kinda sophisticated Mary Wells territory. This b-side though gets much looser. The bass line brings everything to a boil, getting the band to lock into a total proto-funk groove and Bonnie lets everyone listening know what she has and what she needs.

Jul 8, 2015

Joan Dovalle "No Better For You"

     
     Arranged by early Funk Brothers members Herbie Williams and Joe Hunter, this Joshie Armastead &Valerie Simpson penned number was the 2nd release for the Sport Record label.
     Both songs on this record were recorded by Big Maybelle and released as a single on the Port label in 1965. In 1967, Williams and Hunter gave the song a Detroit makeover turning it into a solid dance floor rumbler packed with much more grit than what became their most well known employer’s stock and trade. Their arrangement provides a heap of funk for the husky and authoritative wail of the very little known about Joan Dovalle.
     Copies of the Big Maybelle version are fairly common on 45 and can be found for around $20. The Joan Dovalle single is a lot more rare and prices for it have hit the $400 mark in the past.  

May 14, 2015

Belita Woods "Grounded"


     Before making a name for herself with songs such as “Lovin’ Is Really My Game” as lead singer for the Funk/Soul band Brainstorm in the 1970s and being a singer in the P-Funk All Stars in the 90s, Belita Woods first started recording in the mid 60s.
     After cutting some sides for Detroit record label impresario Ollie McLaughlin, her first single was released on his label, Moira, in 1967.
     The legend about this record is that though the sass pack floor filling groover “Grounded” was suppose to be the a-side but the pressing company went with the recording notes on the tape instead of the label’s request so the more soul ballad leaning (but still smokin’ in its own right) “Magic Corner” was viewed as the plug side. Both side of the record got a fair amount of play in Detroit but the record never broke through nationally.
     By 1969 McLaughlin was having financial problems and sold the distribution rights of his labels Carla, Karen and Moira (all of which were named after his daughters) to Atlantic Record records. In 1969, Atlantic subsidiary Cotillion re-released this single to little fanfare (and still with “Grounded” as the b-side.) 
     Belita passed away from heart failure on this day, May 14th, in 2012 at the age of 63. 

Feb 8, 2015

Leah Dawson "You Got To Change (Your Evil Ways)"


     Released as the 4th record on the Godmother of Detroit Soul's (and the first African American female to own and operate her own record label a few years before this was released with the Northern Recording Company) Johnnie Mae Matthews Big Hit imprint, this would be the 2nd single to feature the powerful voice of Leah Dawson front and center. 
     Leah was first heard singing for the Choker Campbell Orchestra's on the innuendo laden "My Mechanical Man" single on the Magic City label in 1966 but on this Sir Mack Rice written and produced track from 1968, which digs deep into the blues aspect compared to a lot of the post Motown R&B tracks that were being cut in Detroit at the time, her voice really booms. She puts the needles on the mixing board in the red as she belts out indignity of a man who has done her wrong too many times.
     This record was picked up by the Okeh label for national distribution but sadly did not become the hit it deserved to be.

Dec 8, 2014

Yvonne Vernee "Just Like You Did Me"

     After being a member of the Correct-Tone label group the Donays, whose only single had the Richard Dee penned b-side“Devil In His Heart” which the Beatles covered on their second album With The Beatles,  Detroit gal Yvonne Symington got the itch to record as a solo artist. Correct-Tone owner Wilbert Golden declared that no one would remember her name so he changed her last name to Vernee and put Sonny Saunders & Robert Bateman, who were in charge Correct-Tone subsidiary SonBert, to make her a star.
     Released in 1965 “Just Like You Did Me” was Yvonne’s 2nd single for the label and her 3rd (main label Correct-Tone released “Does He Love Me Anymore” in 1964) since becoming a solo artist in 1963.
     Backed by Motown musicians at after hour session at Correct-Tone’s studio on Detroit’s 12th St, this Tony Clark written and Sonny Sanders arranged track gets cooking allowing Yvonne’s voice put the point across of what it really feels like to be heartbroken.
     Sadly, the song never became a hit but is a very sought out single with original copies selling up to the $3,000 range when they come up in auction.
After the release of this record Yvonne stepped out of the spotlight and took a day job. In 1971 she was asked to join the Elgins. She still performs with them to this day.