Sunday, December 16, 2007

BlushRadio 11 - Too Poor To Die

A bit of a mixed bag this time out, once again including a couple of LP tracks - hope you enjoy them! Without further ado, the tunes:

Evie Sands - I Can't Let Go
In terms of scoring hit records, Evie Sands must have been one of the unluckiest singers in history. Her first side for Blue Cat (the wonderful "Take Me For A Little While") was on the verge of being a major hit when its thunder was thoroughly stolen by the release of a cover by Jackie Ross (also a good record, to be fair). This great track was released later in 1965 and managed to sink pretty much without trace - until a cover by the Hollies became a huge hit. That, once again, is a really good record - but for me Evie's original knocks spots off it. She even had a similar experience with the (once again excellent) "Angel of the Morning" on Cameo before finally scoring a hit in her own right with "Any Way That You Want Me" in 1969. "I Can't Let Go" isn't on her own CD albums, but it is on this nice Red Bird/Blue Cat compilation. Evie Sands is happily still an active performer with an online presence of her own - check her out here!

Jackie Wilson - Somebody Up There Likes You
The first of this time's LP tracks, from the classic "Higher and Higher" LP. Of course, you don't need me to tell you that Jackie Wilson was one of the all-time greats - or that the title track of this LP is one of the greatest singles ever made. But that can tend to mean that some of the other tremendous tracks it has to offer get a bit overlooked, like this little beauty! Jackie's voice swoops and soars at its best on a fantastically uplifting song. The CD release of this album is no longer on general release, but you can usually find on here.

Marvelettes - Your Cheating Ways
The Marvelettes, like Jackie Wilson Before them, need no introduction. This track's a great example of the importance of always playing the B-side, though - a return to the Principle One of earlier podcasts! This great little song is hidden away on the flip side of "Danger Heartbreak Dead Ahead" and goes to show just how many great tunes Hitsville USA was turning out at this point in time. Although the Marvelettes have been well compiled on CD, their B-sides aren't so easy to get. You'll find it on this compilation if you can track a copy down, but it will probably be easier and cheaper to buy the 45!

Malibus - Ten Times A Day
I have to start by saying I just love the Sure-Shot label design! It's a subsidiary of Don Robey's legendary Duke records from Houston, Texas and very much the soul representative of that family of labels. This particular record is a very nice piece of sweet soul, although I have to admit I don't know all that much about the Malibus themselves.

Charts - Desiree
I've already written something about both the Charts and this re-recording of their original 50's hit way back in podcast number 2. Back then I also promised to put this wonderful A-side of the single in a future podcast, and here it is! You'll find it on this great compilation if you'd like to get hold of a copy.

5th Dimension - Too Poor To Die
This will come as a bit of a surprise to you if, like me, your only knowledge of the 5th Dimension was their hit about the Age of Aquarius... In fact they were already well on their way to being a pop group when this was released - this lovely soulful side is on the flip of their cover of the Mamas and Papas "Go Where You Wanna Go". It's a fine track, though, even if they didn't hang around to repeat it!

David Ruffin - I Don't Know Why I Love You
The second of this podcasts LP tracks, this one is from David Ruffin's often overlooked and underrated second solo Motown LP, Feelin' Good. His gritty, soulful voice is as good as ever on this one - well worth a listen if you've admired his singing with the Temptations but not explored his solo work too much. This collection of his solo work is probably the easiest way to get this track at the moment - Volume 2 is well worth a listen, too.

Billy Prophet - What Can I Do
A bit of a Northern Soul classic, this one, but not an artist I can give you an awful lot of information about, I'm afraid. I did just want to mention, though, that I absolutely love the backing vocals on here - they make the whole song for me. You can find it (and a whole bunch of other really great Northern Soul tunes) on this compilation.

Chiffons - Easy To Love (So Hard To Get)
One of the great girl groups of the early 60's, the Chiffons are probably most famous for their massive international hit "Sweet Talking Guy", and then for their later return to prominence in the 70's due to their legal dispute with George Harrison. This great tune is from the period between those two dates when the Chiffons were still recording but thanks to their sound having fallen out of fashion were receiving very little success. There's a very nice compilation of their recordings available if you'd like to hear more.

Homer Banks - 60 Minutes Of Your Love
Probably better known to most people for his classic "A Lot Of Love", this is another stormer in the same sort of vein from 1966. A really powerful vocal belted out throughout, and a funny and witty lyric. Great stuff! There's a nice collection of his work available - well worth checking out.

Bobby Marchan - Shake Your Tambourine
There's a rather familiar bassline snaking through this one! At least, that's the first thing I noticed about it. In fact, Bobby Marchan had a long and storied career as an R&B band leader and performer. There are several compilations of his work available, but none containing this track as far as I know.

Maxine Brown - Yesterday's Kisses
And, as usual, on to one to let you know it's the end of the set! Maxine Brown is truly one of the legends of soul music. She's recorded so many classy tunes it's hard to know where to begin - "One In A Million" and "One Step At A Time" are also among my favourites. This little gem from 1963 is a fine example of her great recordings on the Wand label. There are several collections of here work, but this is a really good one.

Well, that's all for this time - hope you enjoyed it!

Subscribe to the podcast with iTunes or Download this podcast as mp3


The Stepfather of Soul said...

Great set as always; I wish I knew more about the Malibus also. The only other side by them I've ever heard is "The Robot" on Duke, which is the earliest-sounding record to feature that dance.

Anonymous said...

Looks like another mighty collection, gentlemen. Thanks for the share as always. Here's hoping that your holidays were full of peace and blessings, and be sure to have a happy and SAFE New Year!

ally. said...

fantabulosa as per maestro - i've gone worn out my dancing round the kitchen while i'm supposed to be cooking shoes on this one.
we're back in the smoke from next week - you playing anywhere ? when where how ?

Roger said...


Are you back down south for good? Sadly, we have nothing lined up are the moment but we are on the look out for venues/guest spots, I'll let you know if anything comes up.


Roger said...

I tell a lie, Ally, it looks like we might have something coming up in Canterbury. More details when we have them.

Anonymous said...

Great Selection As Always! Missing A Good Soul Night Out In Tunbridge Wells Though...