Sorry for the long delay between podcasts, it is purely idleness on my part. Ed’s got a couple lined up, so hopefully normal service should be resumed and we’ll have a few treats for your aural pleasure coming up over the coming months.
Ellie Greenwich – I Want You To Be My Baby
Ellie Greenwich is best know as a songwriter and with her husband, Jeff Barry, wrote some of the best known songs of the sixties, including Be My Baby, Da Do Ron Ron, Baby, I Love You, Leader of the Pack and River Deep, Mountain High.
Ellie was born in New York in Brooklyn, New York in 1940 and released her first record at the age of seventeen, the self penned Silly Isn’t It. Ellie also sang backing vocals for many artists including Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, The Shirelles, The Ronettes and Ella Fitzgerald.
I Want You To Be My Baby is a fantastic slice of upbeat soul and has started many a set for me over the years. It was first recorded by Louis Jordan & His Tympany 5 in 1953.
Wille & the Handjives – Gotta Find A New Love
I know little about Willie & the Handjives and a quick Google drew a blank. If anyone knows anything about them and whether they released anything else, I will be eternally grateful.
The Crampton Sisters – Baby, Baby
I love this record more than life itself and spent years searching for a copy. I first heard it on the fantastic Kent compilation Soul Class of 66 (there’s another track from that compilation coming along in a minute) and was immediately taken with the unusual oboe.
Dottie Cambridge – He’s About A Mover
I’ve got Larry Grogan to thank for turning me on to this song. It is produced by Huey P. Meaux and I buy his records whenever I find them. Rumours abound that Dottie Cambridge is an alias of Dorothy Moore, anyone care to clear this up?
The Orlons – Once Upon A Time
This is the second track in this podcast to feature on Soul Class Of 66 and is a genuine northern monster. The Orlons formed in Philadelphia in 1960 and comprised of Rosetta Hightower, Shirley Brickley, Marlena Davis, and Stephen Caldwell. They signed to Cameo in 1961 and had their first hit with The Wah-Watusi in 1962. I think the personnel on this record was Sandy Person, Rosetta Hightower, Audrey Brickley and Shirley Brickley (if anyone can clear this up I’d be a happy man). They toured the UK extensively in the mid to late sixties and the group disbanded in 1968 after Rosetta Hightower decided to stay here.
Tran-Sisters – Your Love
Another track that I’ve drawn a bit of a blank on, it seems that Lou Reed was involved in some of their releases but probably not this one. Other than that, all I can tell you is that they were from New Jersey and that there were three of them. Over to you…
Fats Domino – Work My Way Up Steady
Antoine Dominique "Fats" Domino was born in New Orleans in 1928 and is one of the foremost R&B artists of the 50’s and 60’s. This track was released in 1967 and is a nice, understated slice of R&B, with Fats’ trademark rolling piano and strong backing vocals.
Big Maybelle – 96 Tears
Mabel Louise Smith was born in 1924 in Jackson, Tennessee and was one of the biggest female R&B stars of the 50’s. This cover of the classic ? & the Mysterians track is a super strong belter and although it’s a tough call, I would say I prefer this version. There’s some great Hammond underpinning this song and it is sung with real meaning.
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – If You Can Want
I’ll save the background on Smokey because if you’ve taken the time to visit this site then you probably know it by heart already. The percussion on this track is a real winner and I find it impossible to listen to without having a smile from ear to ear.
Helene Smith – A Woman Will Do Wrong
Helene Smith may play second fiddle to Betty Wright to many when you think of Miami soul but I’m a real sucker for her records and her venerable (some might say thin) voice. A Woman Will Do Wrong is probably her most celebrated track but You Gotta Be A Man is also well worth checking out and both feature on the fantastic Soul Jazz compilation Miami Sound.
Some of Helene's tracks released on the Deep City label are included in this fantastic comp.
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