Thursday, 12 November 2009

Northern Soul Top 600 Cont...

Continuing the series of the Northern Soul Top 600 here's the next batch:
Also missing link to 597 The Ambassadors has been updated.

585 - 590
585 Marvin Smith [196?] - Have More Time [Brunswick]
586 The Soul Brothers Six [196?] - Thank You Baby For Loving Me [Atlantic]
587 Debbie Dean [1968] - Why Am I Loving You [VIP]
588 Sandra Philips [1967] - World Without Sunshine [Broadway 403 WD]
589 The Petals [197?] - (You Can't Close) The Windows Of Your Heart [Mercury]
590 Bobby Williams [196?] - I've Only Got Myself To Blame [Sure-Shot]

591 Bobby Jason - Wall To Wall Heartaches [Ranwood R-813]
592 Cajun Heart - Got To Find A Way [WB]
593 Cliff Nobles - My Love Is Getting Stronger [Atlantic 45-2352]
594 Isley Brothers, The [] - My Love Is Your Love [MFP]
595 The Inspirations - Your Wish Is My Command [Midas 9003]
596 Charles Sheffield [1961] - It's Your Voodoo Working [Excello 45-2200]
597 The Ambassadors - Too Much Of A Good Thing [Pee Vee 1000]
598 William Powell - Heartache Souvenirs [Power-House 101]
599 Bobby Treetop [1965] - Wait Till I Get To Know Ya [Tuff 417]
600 Lorraine Silver [1965] - Lost Summer Love [Pye 7N15922]

NS585 Marvin Smith [1966] Have More Time [Brunswick]

b/w        Time Stopped
Format: 45
Label:    Brunswick / UK Coral
CatNo:   ? / Q.72486
Year:      1966
Value:    £127 UK Coral Demo

Check out 'Sitting In The Park' interview with Marvin Smith 

Just as strong singing natural or falsetto, Marvin Smith often switched between the two every other word in a song. He sang with the El Dorados from 1957 until 1961. During his tenure, they recorded as the El Dorados, Those Four Eldorados, and the Tempos. In 1964, he replaced Charles Davis to become the Artistics' fourth lead singer; Curt Jones, Robert Dobyne, and Davis preceded him. Producer Carl Davis asked Smith to join the group and sing lead; Smith wanted to solo, but acquiesced. Smith, Aaron Floyd, Jessie Bolian, and Larry Johnson recorded perky ditties on OKeh Records like "Got to Get My Hands on Some Lovin'," "Patty Cake," and "This Heart of Mine." But he didn't unleash his falsetto until the group followed Davis to Brunswick Records for a series of singles and albums. Brunswick dropped singles on Smith (solo) and the Artistics simultaneously. Singing in his natural range, with the Artistics (uncredited) backing him, "Time Stopped" (1966) made a little noise in some regions. At the same time, Brunswick issued "I'm Gonna Miss You" (with Smith on lead) by the Artistics, which soared to number nine on the R&B charts and number 55 on Billboard's Pop 100 to become their best-seller. They cut both songs at the same session at CBS Studios; the rhythm section consisted of brothers Daniel and Bernard Reed (guitar and bass respectively) and Quinton Joseph (drums). Smith quit the group the day after the session and didn't participate in promoting the record. Tommy Green replaced him, but his falsetto was different and "I'm Gonna Miss You" live, minus Smith, missed the mark. The next tandem was Smith's "Love Ain't Nothing but Pain," which didn't go anywhere, and the Artistics' "Girl I Need You," which charted. Brunswick issued their second LP, I'm Gonna Miss You (they also had one on OKeh); Smith wasn't pictured on the album cover, and most of the tracks featured Green (who did appear on the cover). Green fell into disfavor with Brunswick's honchos, who told the group to fire him, opening the door for Smith's return and two acclaimed albums: The Articulate Artistics and What Happened. Smith's final solo, "Hold On" (1967), a lilting falsetto number, deserved better, but was probably squashed for the sake of the group. By the late '60s, Smith left again and didn't participate in the group's recordings from 1970-1973. As a songwriter, he wrote most of his solo sides, plus "Patty Cake," "I'm Gonna Miss You," "The Chase On," "Troubles, Heartaches, and Pain," and other Artistics sides. He resurrected the Artistics with Tommy Green, Robert Dobyne, and Larry Johnson. Originals Aaron Floyd, Jessie Bolian, and guitarist Daniel Reed are deceased.
~ Andrew Hamilton, All Music Guide

NS586 The Soul Brothers Six [196?] - Thank You Baby For Loving Me [Atlantic]

586 The Soul Brothers Six [196?] - Thank You Baby For Loving Me [Atlantic 45-2592 / UK K 20471]
b/w Someone Else Is Loving My Baby

Format:  45
Label:    Atlantic
CatNo:   45-2592
Year:     196?

Value:    £46 Mint Demo

A 'traditional' 60s stomper played early in the scene at the Wheel probably as a new release.

From Wiki
Soul Brothers Six were an American rhythm and blues band formed in Rochester, NY during the mid-1960s. They are best remembered for their song "Some Kind of Wonderful", which was later a big hit for Grand Funk Railroad.
The band was originally called the Soul Brothers Five and featured brothers Sam Armstrong, Charles Armstrong, Moses Armstrong, Harry Armstrong and Gene Armstrong. Shortly after forming, vocalist John Ellison joined the group, prompting a name change. This lineup released two unsuccessful singles in 1965, "Stop Hurting Me" and "I Don't Want To Cry" before both Harry Armstrong and Gene Armstrong left the group, being replaced by Vonn Elle Benjamin and Lester Peleman.
It was this lineup that released the single "Don't Neglect Your Baby" before Sam Armstrong left the group to be replaced by Joe Johnson. They then signed a deal with Atlantic Records after being introduced to Jerry Wexler by a Philadelphia DJ and subsequently released "Some Kind of Wonderful" which reached #91. They followed with several more unimpressive singles before being dropped by Atlantic.
This prompted Charles Armstrong, Harry Armstrong, Vonn Elle Benjamin and Lester Peleman to leave the group and be replaced by James Johnson, Charles Pevy and Eddie Reno. This lineup released six singles as John Ellison and The Soul Brothers Six (despite there only being five band members) during the 1970s before disbanding.
John Ellison continued on in the music business and released two solo albums Welcome Back in 1993 and Missing You in 2000.

NS587 Debbie Dean [1968] - Why Am I Loving You [V.I.P. 25044]

b/w Stay My Love

Format:  45
Label:    V.I.P.
CatNo:  25044
Year:    1968
Value:   $238

Debbie Dean was Motown's first white artist. Her first success was an answer song to Smokey Robinson  The Miracles 'Shop Around'  entitled 'Don't Let Him Shop Around' released on Motown 1007 Feb 1961.

Both sides of this 1968 release have the classic Motown sound - the A-side is a great uptempo floor filler with a persistent dance beat; B-side has the slightly slower shuffling Motown feel, as in The Supremes' 'Baby Love'.

Debbie Dean had a long career, but only a small amount of success. She was born Reba Jeanette Smith February 1, 1928, in Corbin, KY, a quaint town of just under 10,000 people located on I-75 between Lexington, KY, and Knoxville, TN. She recorded as Penny Smith, Debra Dion, and as Debbie Stevens for ABC Paramount (1959) and Roulette Records.

In 1960, Berry Gordy made her the first white artist signed to any of his fledgling labels. The blond-reddish-haired singer debuted as Debbie Dean with "Itty Bitty Pity Love" b/w "But I'm Afraid" (August 25, 1961), but it never had a chance, Motown pulled it in favor of an answer to the Miracles' "Shop Around" entitled "Don't Let Him Shop Around" a month later, September 25, 1961. Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy, and Gordy's sister Loucye Wakefield wrote the ditty that sunk without a trace. A third single, "Everybody's Talking About Me" b/w "I Cried All Night" March 11, 1962, crashed as well, and Motown, who were changing their image to the Sound of Young America, cooled on Dean (who was 34 at the time).

Dean migrated to California where she attempted to further her career. The -- many say -- stereotypical blonde frequented the clubs and entered talent shows and showcases and dabbled in acting. Nobody knew she was an ex-Motown artist and assumed she was just a singer who needed a break. Ike & Tina Turner were the featured act at some of these clubs and may have helped Dean get a one-off deal with Sue Records. As Debra Dion she released "Don't Bug Me Baby" b/w "I Want to Know If Your Love Is Real" in 1964. It failed to chart, and she didn't have another release until 1966, as Debra Dion again, but this time for Treva Records; unfortunately, the single "Take My Hand" got no takers.

She befriended Deke Richards (the Clan, the Corporation) at a California club while auditioning for a showcase. Richards was gigging there with his band Deke & the Deacons and often opened for Ike & Tina Turner; Deke had recently signed to Motown as an artist, producer, and writer. After witnessing her performance, the two struck up a conversation and Dean spoke of her Motown days. The revelation stunned Richards, who was still buzzing about being with the label. With Richards' help, Dean renewed her ties with Motown and the two collaborated on songs, the most notable "I Can't Dance to That Music You're Playing" (Martha & the Vandellas), "Honey Bee" (the Supremes), and "Why Did You Leave Me" on the Temptations. Betty Boo later hit with a coupling of "I Can't Dance..." and "Hey DJ."

As Debbie Dean, she recorded some new songs produced by Richards but only one single came out, "Stay My Love" b/w "Why Am I Loving You" on VIP, a second single, "You Asked Me," was scheduled for release then scrapped. She became a life-long California resident and stayed on the fringes of music. The singer died February 17, 2001, in Ojai, CA; a memorial service was held April 22, 2001, at the Pine Hill Cemetery in Corbin, KY.
~ Andrew Hamilton, All Music Guide

NS588 Sandra Phillips [1967] - World Without Sunshine [Broadway 403]


588 Sandra Phillips [1967] - World Without Sunshine [Broadway 403]
b/w Oki

Format: 45
Label:   Broadway
CatNo:  45-403
Year:    1967
Value:   £83

Thankfully loads of info on Ms Sandra Phillips courtesy of Ian Levine's YouTube prescence.  This was one of the very first Northern Soul records I bought (from Soul Bowl in Kings Lynn).

"Sandra Phillips' monster Blackpool Mecca anthem "World Without Sunshine". International singer and actress, Sandra Reaves Phillips was born in Mullins, S.C., sang in church and entered talent contests when she arrived in New York City. After performing in talent shows and singing in clubs around New York City, she landed a contract with Sue Records, 'You Succeeded' and 'World Without Sunshine,' then signed to EPIC/OKEH Records 'Hoping You'll Come Back', Canyon Records 'Too Many People In One Bed.' Her last single was 'Miss Fat Back' Brown Dog/Mainstream Records. In pursuit of her dreams she studied acting and won female leading role off-Broadway in Little Bit, garnered critical and audience acclaim as Mama Younger in the Broadway musical,Raisin. Ms.Reaves-Phillips received a Drama League Recognition Award for Rollin on the T.O.B.A on Broadway. She co-starred at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris in the original production of Black And Blue. Her numerous stage appearances include American Dreamsat the Negro Ensemble Company, Champeen, in which she starred as Bessie Smith, winning an Audelco Award for outstanding female performer, and the title role in the Citadel Theatre and Pittsburgh Public Theatre productions of Ma Raineys Black Bottom. Other stage appearances include Before it Hits Home at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.,Further Mo at New Yorks Village Gate, the national tours of One Mo TIme!, Miss Moffat,Dont Play Us Cheap, and the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.Off-Broadway she was featured in blues In The Night, Basin Street, and Stompin At The Savoy, and co-authoredOpening Night. She performed at The Cotton Club, The Supper Club, The Village Gate, Dangerfields and Sweetwaters in New York, the Cinegrill in Hollywood and the Groschenoper in Frankfurt, the Meridien LEtoile in Paris, Jaylins in Switzerland and The Casino in Lucerne. Sandra made her Carnegie Hall debut in Cavalcade Of Stars and performed in the W.C. Handy Anniversary Tribute at Lincoln Center. She continues to tour in the her shows: Bold & Brassy Blues, Glory Hallelujah Gospel! and Late Great Ladies of Blues and Jazz"

~Ian Levine

Ian Levine Production 1998

Filmed for "The Strange World Of Northern Soul" in late 1998. This was first recorded in 1967 and then we recut it in 1998 when we were filming our marathon six disc, twenty four hour massive documentary about the entire history of the Northern Soul scene, which contained 131 specially recorded performances of all the classics, and is still available on a six disc box set from Wienerworld. We tracked Sandra down to make this one and only one-time performance especially for us, for our ground breaking Encyclopedia Britannica of Northern Soul, and I am so glad that we did.

~Ian Levine

Sandra Phillips [] - You Succeeded [Broadway]

Sandra Phillips [] - I Wish I Had Known [Okeh 4-7310]

NS589 The Petals - (You Can't Close) The Windows Of Your Heart [Mercury]

589 The Petals [196?] - (You Can't Close) The Windows Of Your Heart [Mercury 72661]
b/w Up And Down

Format:   45
Label:     Mercury
CatNo:   72661 (Reissue)
Year:      196? / 197? (Reissue)
Value:    Original £60 Reissue £10

A 60s girly Chicago skip-a-long style midpaced dancer played at the Blackpool Mecca by Ian Levine around 1974.

A very elusive record to track down. I can't find any further information about this release or the artists.  Copies on original 60s (Red label) sell for around £60 and 70s 2nd issue (Multicloured) label  go for around £10.  I suspect the 70s 2nd issue is a legitimate reissue / pressing due to UK demand.

NS590 Bobby Williams [1967] - I've Only Got Myself To Blame [Sure-Shot 5031]

590 Bobby Williams [1967] - I've Only Got Myself To Blame [Sure-Shot 5031]
b/w I'll Hate Myself Tomorrow

Format:   45
Label:     Sure-Shot
CatNo:   5031
Year:      1967
Value:     $361

Sadly, once again, I can find no significant information about the artist.  He is known as Bobby Earl Williams and I believe he hailed from Washington D.C..  He has a highly regarded and super rare funk album 'Super Funky Fly' issued in 1974 on R&R which is now available on Japanese CD (P-Vine).  The album is very much in the James Brown vein.  He recorded another album later in 1976 entitled 'Anybody Can Be A Nobody' on R&R (also reissued by P-Vine).  He recorded 45s  for LuPine in Detroit, Sure-Shot (Chicago?) and R&R Records in Florida clipsof which are included here.  He also recorded 'Funky Super Fly' on MTVH.

Sure-Shot 45s Discography
Sure-Shot issued around 40 (5000-5040) singles between 1963 and 1967. This was Bobby William's sixth and final release for Sure-Shot.  It was a reissue of 'I'll Hate Myself Tomorrow' from 1966 with 'I've Only Got Myself To Blame' officially on the B side.
Other notable artists on the label included The Malibus who released 4 singles with 5028 being 'Gee Baby' which was played on the scene, and also Kim Tolliver ('I Don't Know What Foot To Dance On' fame)  had a release in 1967 5035 'In Return For Your Love' / 'Get A Little Soul'

His 1974 'Super Funky Fly' album is pretty rare and sells for between $300-$600.  It's very much a funky album in the James Brown mould.  Track 3 'Morning Of Love' is a tasty deep soul ballad very reminiscent of early James Brown.

Also found this whilst 'rummaging' around YouTube.  A lovely slice of mellow Modern Soul from 1976.  You Need Love Like I Do on R&R 15312 out of Florida. This track is on the 'Anybody Can Be A Nobody' R&R album.

... And as an added bonus here's an early 6ts number 'Tell It To My Face' on LuPine 111:

Friday, 25 September 2009

NS591 Bobby Jason - Wall To Wall Heartaches [Ranwood R-813]

591 Bobby Jason [1968] - Wall To Wall Heartaches [Ranwood R-813]
b/w You Don't Know The Meaning Of The Word

Format:   45
Label:     Ranwood
CatNo:    R-813
Year:      1968
Value:     $170

Again, I'm afraid no information on the artist.  Once again sounds like a white 60s pop singer to these ears, but this was a big all-nighter sound back in the day and is kinda haunting and catchy.  Bobby Jason's other 'claim to fame' on the scene was his name being used as a cover up for William Powell's 'Heartache Souvenirs' (see previous post NS598) when it was first played as Bobby Jason 'All These Things'.

The track was written by Pat Vegas and produced in California, I would guess late 68 or 69.

Ranwood Records was started in 1968 by Randy Wood (after he left Dot Records) together with Lawrence Welk. Most of Welk's recorded musical output from that point on was released on the Ranwood label. Welk acquired Wood's interest in the label in 1979. During the mid 1980s, the label was folded into the larger umbrella Welk Music Group, which also acquired the folk and bluegrass labels Vanguard and Sugar Hill.

Looking at a discography for Ranwood it produced predominantly middle of the road material.  Needless to say there is no album by Bobby Jason (on Ranwood at least).  Notable artists appearing on Ranwood include Linda Carr (3 releases including 'I Feel Love Coming On') b/w 'In My Life'  [Ranwood 406] (see clip below) and Damito Jo (8 releases including 'I'll Save The Last Dance For You' issued twice, once a B side and again as A side).

Linda Carr 'In My Life' [Ranwood 406]  100mph Northern Soul

NS592 Cajun Hart [1968] - Got To Find A Way [WB-Seven Arts]

592 Cajun Hart [1968] - Got To Find A Way [Warner Bros.- Seven Arts 7258]
b/w Lover's Prayer

Format:   45
Label:     Warner Bros - Seven Arts.
CatNo:   7258
Year:     1968
Value:    $400-$650

Can find absolutely no information about Cajun Hart, but they definately sound 'blue-eyed' ... possibly a country band and with a name like cajun presumably from the south i.e. New Orleans area? Check out this link ... very southern and very country?

This 45 is very hard to come by and  has sold for between $400 and $650 in the last few years.  A UK demo will set you back around £350+.

It was reissued on limited edition UK Warner Bros. WB7258 in 2005 with Linda Jones 'Last Minute Miracle' on the flip to promote 'After Hours 3 - More Northern Soul Masters' CD. A 29-track compilation delving deep into the vaults of Atco, Atlantic, Loma, Reprise and Warner Brothers by Richard Searling.

NS593 Cliff Nobles [1966] - My Love Is Getting Stronger [Atlantic]

593 Cliff Nobles [1966] - My Love Is Getting Stronger [J-V A-1034 / Atlantic 45-2352]
b/w Too Fond Of You

Format:   45
Label:     J-V / Atlantic
CatNo:   A-1034 / 45-2352
Year:      1966
Value:     $406 on J-V $376 on Atlantic

Nobles was born in Grove Hill, AL, in 1944, and moved to Mobile aged two. He joined the high school choir and started singing lead for a popular local group called the Delroys. After school, he moved to Philadelphia, PA. Nobles cut three singles for Atlantic Records that went unnoticed.

He later formed Cliff Nobles & Co., which consisted of Benny Williams (bass), Bobby Tucker (lead guitar), and Tommy Soul (drums). The group made tapes for Jimmy Rogers (not to be confused with the country singer of the same name), who made them available to producer/writer/singer Jesse James. James started writing songs for Nobles and the band, and secured a contract for the group with Phil La of Soul Records. The first release bombed. The second featured "Love Is All Right," backed with "The Horse." "The Horse" became a huge hit and established Nobles as a legit one-hit wonder. Ironically, "The Horse" was simply "Love Is All Right" without Nobles' vocal, Nobles isn't even featured on "The Horse." He neither sings nor plays an instrument on the track; the brass playing on the song would become famous years later as MFSB. The whole incident was an accident, the side with the vocal was supposed to be the side that was plugged, but DJs kept playing the non-vocal version. The record would have gone to number one, but another instrumental, "Grazin' in the Grass" by Hugh Masekela, was even more popular and occupied the top spot for two weeks. The week of July 29, 1968, had to be the first time in modern pop music history that two instrumentals were ranked at numbers one and two, respectively, on the charts. Shamelessly, Phil La of Soul released two more instrumentals -- "Horse Fever" and "Switch It On," -- and credited them as being by Cliff Nobles, though Nobles didn't play an instrument. A later single on Roulette actually featured Nobles' singing and nearly cracked the R&B Top 40, stalling at number 42. Phil La issued an album entitled The Horse that consisted of mostly instrumentals and dance tunes like "The Mule," "The Camel Walk," and "Judge Baby I'm Back," a tune sounding like a hit that Nobles sings with a feel similar to a Berry Gordy, Jr. production for the Contours. Moonshot Records released an LP one year later, in 1969, where Nobles sang three songs, the rest being instrumental.

The Atlantic material remains in the vaults. Supposedly, Nobles was an excellent entertainer and a gifted dancer, but, in essence, he was the Milli Vanilli of the '60s.
~ Modified from Andrew Hamilton, All Music Guide

NS594 Isley Brothers - My Love Is Your Love

594 Isley Brothers, The [1967] - My Love Is Your Love
b/w N/A

Format:  LP
Label:     MFP
CatNo:    50014
Year:      1972ish
Value:     £10

This was never originally released as a single although it has now been 'issued' on a phoney UK Tamla Motown TMG 499 Green Demo (note TMG numbers started at 500! which is a bit of a giveaway!).  It was 'discovered' on a budget LP (Tamla Motown Presents The Isley Brothers on MFP (Music For Pleasure) 50014 in the UK / Europe in the 70s which delved into the Motown archives of Isley Brothers material, some of which had previously been unissued. 

The album contains a wealth of decent 60s Motown dancers.

Note:  This YouTube clip sounds a little fast to my ears!

NS595 The Inspirations - Your Wish Is My Command [Midas 9003]

595 The Inspirations [1966] - Your Wish Is My Command [Midas 9003]
b/w I'll Take A Chance On You

Format:   45

Label:     Midas
CatNo:   9003
Year:      1966
Value:     $1230

I can find very little info about The Inspirations or Midas records, any contributions would be helpful. There are numerous groups calling themslves The Inspirations, from Gospel, Doo Wop and Reggae bands and at least two groups who had a Northern Soul following.

Two other recordings which were big sounds on the Northern Soul scene are:

The Inspirations [196?] - No One Else Can Take Your Place [Breakthrough / Wand] (Northern Soul).  
This one sounds like it could be the same group.  It is extremely rare.

Charles Diamond & The Inspiration [1977] - No One Else Can Take Your Place [Breakthrough] 
A 1977 reworking of their earlier Northern Soul track.

Sound quality is 'not great' on this but gives you an idea!

The Inspirations [196?] - Touch Me, Kiss Me, Hold Me [UK Polydor 56730 / US Black Pearl 100] (Northern Soul).

This is a mid sixties girly group sound and almost certainly not the same group as above, but still a big sound i its day.

NS596 Charles Sheffield - It's Your Voodoo Working [Excello 45-2200]

596 Charles Sheffield [1961] - It's Your Voodoo Working [Excello 45-2200]
b/w Rock 'n' Roll Train

Format:   45
Label:     Excello (Nashville, Tennessee)
CatNo:   45-2200
Year:      1961
Value:     $700 or $875 WD or £54 Iciban

It was reissued on Ichiban records CS-007 in 1985 along with Clarence Carter - 'Messing Up My Mind' on the B side.

Charles Sheffield (aka Mad Dog) was an early-'60s R&B singer from Lake Charles, LA, noted for the local/regional hit "It's Your Voodoo Working," which is acclaimed more now than when it debuted on Excello Records in 1961.  Sheffield cut "It's Your Voodoo Working" at Crowley Studios, which is most noted for blues and R&B recordings. He wrote and recorded 'Voodoo' along with about five other songs which failed to cause a ripple, and then soured on the business and disappeared from sight.
~ Andrew Hamilton

Charles ‘Mad Dog’ Sheffield, cut 'It's Your Voodoo Working' for J. D. Miller at his Crowley, Louisiana studio in 1961 and released on Nashville’s Excello Records, as were many of Miller’s productions.
Sheffield was a blues singer originally from the Beaumont, Texas area on the Gulf Coast, who started off recording as Mad Dog Sheffield in 1957. Backed by the Clarence Garlow Orchestra, he cut a tune called “Mad Dog” for the Goldband label (#1045) out of Lake Charles. Louisiana. Eddie Shuler, owner of Goldband, then leased the single to Hollywood Records (#1079) that year to no avail. Around 1959, the singer started recording with Miller, who initially issued two singles on his in-house Rocko label credited to Charles Sheffield. Then, Miller got Excello to put out “It’s Your Voodoo Working” b/w the fast chuggin’ “Rock ‘N Roll Train”, and a follow-up, “I Would Be a Sinner” b/w “The Kangaroo”; but, despite their excellent quality, both records, like Sheffield’s previous releases, failed to catch on. As far as I know, he only had two other singles, both credited to ‘Prince Charles’ and recorded for ‘The Crazy Cajun’, Huey Meaux, who issued them on his Teardrop and Jetstream labels respectively between 1962 and 1965.

Full article is @ Home Of The Groove

NS597 The Ambassadors [1965] - Too Much Of A Good Thing [Pee Vee 1000]

b/w Whole Lotta Soul

Format: 45
Label:    Pee Vee
CatNo:  1000
Year:     1965
Value:    $350$500  J.Manship £300

A blue-eyed soul group from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, originally formed as The Seven Dwarfs (who recorded 'Stop Girl'). They became the Ambassadors in 1964.

The " Too Much of a Good Thing " session was recorded in Philadelphia (for Pee Vee owned by Pancho Villa) with the following personnel:

Bill Parmer (bass), Bobby Bitts. (drummer), Bob Weaver and Mike Sultzbach (sax), Tony Purcell (trumpet), Don Hodgen & Rick Reardon (vocals), Burton (piano), Eric Spitzer (guitar).

For full story from Burton the keyboard player visit

Found another posting @ SoulSource (visit site for full story) from the sax player:

"The group started as the Seven Dwarves. In 1964, they added two horns—a trumpet and a sax, very unusual for the time—and became the Ambassadors. Our first gig was at the Silver Springs Fire Hall, near Lancaster. In 1965, we cut our first record, Too Young for Me (flip side: Pork Chops, an instrumental) on the Fleet label. We cut a second disk, I Want a Love (flip side: Those Things Called Girls), which was never marketed. Only one copy of that record exists: a metal and acetate dub. Our third record was Too Much of a Good Thing, on the Pee Vee label (flip side: Whole Lotta Soul). The group had several drummers and bass players over the years, and we lost one singer, who was no longer with the group at the time of Too Much. The Ambassadors continued playing through December, 1966, then disbanded.

In 1984, most of the original members reunited, with a couple of new guys, to play a reunion concert. It went so well that we kept going, playing with various personnel until 1992. We continued with the same music: the sweet soul sound of the sixties. Since 1992, we have reunited several times for one-time concerts, the most recent being in October, 2004.

We played behind a number of acts in the ‘60’s, including Lee Andrew and the Hearts. But we never played behind the Trannells—also from Lancaster, by the way. They were their own band. Our only connection to them was that our bassist on Too Much once played with them.

Our records are occasionally available on e-bay. A brand new copy of Too Much of a Good Thing—never played, still in original sleeve—recently brought $370.

By the way, the Ambassadors from Philadelphia, referred to on this site as the Uptown/Atlantic/Arctic group, was a different group."

7 Dwarfs [196?] - Stop Girl


It has been brought to my attention that the passwords are not consistent, therefore, all NS 600 posts have been re-uploaded with the password reset. See comments in individual posts. Sorry for any inconvenience and please let me know if passwords are not compatible.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

NS598 William Powell - Heartache Souvenirs [Power-House 101]

598 William Powell [196?] - Heartache Souvenirs [Power-House 101]
b/w The Chicken Shack

Format: 45
Label:   Power-House (L.A.)
CatNo: 101
Year:    196?
Value:   $5,100 +

Know very little about William Powell.  Heartache Souvenirs was self-penned and produced.  Arranged by Miles Grayson and recorded on Power-House records 101 in L.A. It would appear to be the first release on the label.  Other known releases include:
- Little Howard Rice &  His Soul Lifters
- The Rice Bros
- 3 Steps To Heaven - "My Little Girl / Do The Shaft"

The 45 is extremely rare and sold in Aug 2009 for $5,100.  Less than 10 copies are 'known' in the hands of collectors. The copy sold on eBay allegedly came from a collection owned by Lela Martin.

It was released on 'For Millionaire Only (Goldmine GSCD99) for us mortals.  There is another copy (or is it the same copy being touted?) available on eBay if you're feeling 'flush' with a 'buy now' price of $7,499.99 expiring 11th Oct 2009.  Rumour has it that a box of 25 have surfaced?

The record was discoverd by Arthur Fenn (Check This) and covered up as Bobby Jason "All These Things".  Soul Sam bought it from Arthur and played it at Wigan in 1979.  Sam later traded it with Richard Searling.   It's claimed that Keb Darge was playing it at Stafford in 1983. Keith Minshull played it uncovered in 1983 having allegedly paid £150 for it.

Opinions are very split on this record.  You either 'love it or hate it, and perhaps it's another case or rarity over quality.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

NS599 Bobby Treetop [1965] - Wait Till I Get To Know Ya [Tuff 417]

599 Bobby Treetop [1965] - Wait Till I Get To Know Ya [Tuff 417]

Label:    Tuff (Chicago)
CatNo:   417
Year:     1965
Value:    $150-$250 - Prices vary depending on condition
Note:     This was bootlegged in 70s so make sure it's original copy.  Original is vinyl, boot is styrene and label design is different - most notably the 'Tuff' logo.

A big sound at The Catacombs (Wolverhampton) in 1973, played alongside E. Rodney Jones 'R&B Time' (and the Superlatives, Tempos, Moses Smith, Butch Baker, Alice Clark etc. etc.)
It starts off like a Hong Kong movie theme from the 1960's to sounding like Lee Garrett and grows into a 60s stomper.  This song was written and also recorded by Ken (Kenneth) Williams & Babysitters as 'Get To Know Ya' on Spectator. (The same Ken Williams who sang 'Come Back' on Okeh?) A demo was cut (around 1974) from the tapes from Herb Abramson's vaults and limited to around 200 copies.

A comprehensive Tuff 45 discography may be found over at Dave Rimmer's excellent site

It would appear the record was issued in 1965 with 2 different B sides, 'R&B Time (which is the instrumental version of Wait 'Til I Get To Know Ya) and 'Valentine'.

The next release on Tuff 418 by E. Rodney Jones (Chicago WVON DJ) put 'R&B Time on the topside and this became another Northern Soul favourite and will be featured at number 327. 'R&B Time' also featured as the flip of an earlier Bobby Treetop release on Tuff 415 and another Northern favourite 'So Sweet, So Satisfying'.  This one goes for around $430.
Another interesting release on Tuff is by one Kendra Spotwood (aka Sandi Sheldon who was Van McCoy's girlfriend) 'Stickin' With My Baby' on Tuff 407 in 1965.

Little Joe Roman 'When You're Lonesome (Come On Home) Tuff 419 also had plays on the scene and will be featured at number 232.

Unfortunately I can't find any information on Bobby Treetop.  He is apparently related in some way to Tommy Bush and Phil Flowers.  Can anyone help?

Monday, 21 September 2009

NS600 Lorraine Silver [1965] - Lost Summer Love [Pye 7N15922]

600 Lorraine Silver [1965] - Lost Summer Love [Pye 7N15922]
b/w I Know You'll Be There

Format:  45
Label:    Pye
CatNo:  7N15922
Year:     1965
Value:    £100-£320

Kicking off a series of postings bringing you the top 600 Northern Soul tracks of all time (as documented in Kev Robert's book 'The Northern Soul Top 500' (1st issue 2000)) in reverse order.

Lorraine Silver was a 13 year old white jewish schoolgirl from West London who recorded a cover version of a Shelly Fabares (B side) 'Lost Summer Love' in 1965 for Pye records.

Not a 'great' start for the purists - not black and not American and already released by another white female singer Shelly Fabares (as a B side to 'I Know You'll Be There', see below). It may also be argued by purists what this record has to do with soul music at all. However this was a huge sound in the heyday of Wigan Casino around 1976 justifying a reissue on the 'Casino Classics' label around 1978 and allegedly selling around 35,000 copies.

Lorraine Summer released her first ever album 'The Northern Soul Sessions' full of northern soul anthems in September 2004 on Raise the Roof Records (

Shelley Fabares [] - Lost Summer Love [Vee-Jay 64-6695]

'Lost Summer Love' is the flipside of 'I Know You'll Be There'. Stock copies are very rare as only promos pop up. The Honeys are on backing vocals which many consider one of her best recordings along with 'He Don't Love Me'

Monday, 14 September 2009

The World's Rarest Soul Record

Frank Wilson (1965) - Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) (US Soul 35019)

Frank Wilson [1965] - Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) [Soul 35019 White Demo]
In April 2009 one of only two known copies of this Motown / Northern Soul 45 single went to auction in the UK and achieved £25,742 (approx. $38,000). Here's a brief history of the record with links at the bottom of the post to stories from some of the previous owners / players.

Frank Wilson

The History


Frank Wilson recorded a demo of 'Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)' on Soul 35019 scheduled for release Dec.1965 - 6 copies produced

Frank Wilson said that the song was recorded in Los Angeles with Carol Kaye on bass and Carol recalls Earl Palmer playing the drums. Motown were cutting lots of stuff in L.A. in the mid 60's and if you listen to this track, you can see why. They could sound just like "Motown" in L.A. and Motown needed the product.

3 copies retained in Motown archives and reputedely 3 retained by pressing plant ARP

Berry Gordy decided the record was not to be released so Frank could focus on production career

ARP destroys 2 copies to 'save space' so only a single copy retained in archives


Motown (and archives) relocates to L.A. only a single copy of Soul 35019 remains in Motown library


Record discovered by Tom DiePerro at Motown in L.A. a Motown historian who received the single for research purposes

Simon Soussan acquires the disc from Tom in Los Angeles - some say borrowed, Tim Brown claims 'bought' and sends acetate copies covered up as Eddie Foster to Northern Soul DJs

Simon Soussan 'presses' 2,000 copies on In (Not Soul Fox as Ian Dewhirst asserts) label as Eddie Foster - Do I Love You


Simon Soussan sells his record collection (which contains Frank Wilson) to Les McCutcheon where it is discovered that the real record was by Frank Wilson

Les McCutcheon loans disc to Russ Winstanley (Wigan Casino DJ)

Jonathan Woodcliffe buys disc from Les McCutcheon for £250 - disc has developed an edge warp


Tamla Motown in UK issues Frank Wilson - Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) dubbed from the Eddie Foster bootleg due to 'public demand'

Frank Wilson (1979) - Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) & Sweeter As The Days Go By (Tamla Motown Demo TMG 1170)

Kev Roberts (Wigan Casino DJ) exchanges disc with Jonathan Woodcliffe in deal worth £350 in 12", LPs & white demos


Tim Brown (Anglo American / Goldmine) buys Kev Roberts copy for £5,000


Martin Koppel (Canadian record dealer) discovers another copy and acquires it from Ron Murphy a Motown record collector, engineer and archivist from Detroit who bought it from presing plant ARP. Koppel eventually sells his copy to his UK partner Tim Brown


Kenny Burrell (Northern Soul DJ from Edinburgh) buys Ron Murphy's copy via Tim Brown for £15,000

(Note: Tim Brown still owns the original 'edge-warped' copy acquired from Kev Roberts).

Alledgedly Frank Wilson offered Kenny £30,000 for his copy which Kenny declined.


Frank Wilson performs at Fleetwood Togetherness weekender. Kenny has Frank Wilson sign his copy "To Kenny ..". Apparently Frank expressed surprise that the disc existed.


In April Kenny Burrell's copy is auctioned via Jon Manship and is sold for £25,724 to an unnamed buyer ... some speculate that in may indeed be Frank Wilson himself.

Ian Dewhirst's (Frank) Story

Ian was known as DJ 'Frank' on the Northern Soul circuit and was involved with Simon Soussan producing Shalimar's 'Uptown Festival' in 1976. It was through connections with Tom DiePerro whilst attempting to get a deal with Motown for Uptown Festival that the Frank Wilson disc was unearthed.

Kev Robert's Story

Kev was a Wigan Casino DJ who once owned the first discovered copy.

Tim Brown's Story

Tim is a renown UK rare record dealer / collector who bought, and still owns, Kev Robert's copy and acquired the only other copy to be discovered by Ron Murphy via Toronto based record dealer Martin Koppel. This is the copy bought by Kenny Burrell for £15,000 and the copy subsequently auctioned by Jon Manship for £25,724 in April 2009.
Note this column is regularly updated so I have taken an excerpt as it may eventually disappear.
"I suppose the big story has been the hyping of Kenny Burrell’s Frank Wilson 45 by John Manship, the most weary aspect of which was an item on Radio 4 which yet again called into question the validity of any information we gather from the mass media so incorrect was it. Of course much of the misinformation has been created by Manship’s manipulation of the true story in order not to make any mention of myself or Martin Koppel. It has often been said that the 20th century was a victory for style over substance. Sadly, it would seem that the 21st century may well be a victory for fiction over fact sponsored largely by the internet.
As the most-told story in Northern Soul it is still surprising that the ‘Do I Love You’ saga is related inaccurately. Ian Dewhirst got as close as anybody in the March edition of Manifesto but even then is wrong on a few minor counts.
First of all Simon claimed to me that Tom DePierro actually sold him the Frank Wilson 45, not lent it him, but sold it him.
This is born out by the fact that Soussan had no other material from Motown’s archive at the time. 14 years later he had a number of unissued Motown acetates but these were from a quite different source.
For sure Simon knew the track was a total winner, but actually his bootleg of the cut as ‘Eddie Foster’ was on In, not Soul Fox (as Ian stated). Soussan once informed me that he never pressed up less than 5000 copies of anything.
As for Simon selling his collection in the early eighties it was actually 1978 and that is when we all found out who ‘Do I Love You’ was really by. Coincidentally in my occasional column in Black Echoes in ’77 I remarked that ‘Do I Love You’ sounded like a cross between ‘My Sugar Baby’ and ‘The Duck’ – even as a teenager I had my ears screwed on right! Russ meanwhile in the same publication thought that it sounded like ‘Get It Baby’ (oh dear!)
By 1979 of course it was out on UK Tamla Motown dubbed from the Eddie Foster boot. In the event Motown did have a stereo mastertape it subsequently turned out, but the mono 45 take on the box set recently was dubbed from Kenny Burrell’s copy.
When the said record passed from Jonathan Woodcliffe to Kev Roberts circa 1981 it actually wasn’t sold – it was traded for a pile of twelve inchers (not your best ever decision Jon!) And actually it was 1999 when we sold Kenny Burrell Ron Murphy’s old copy, not 1997.
Later we at Goldmine brought Frank Wilson over to the Togetherness Weekender at Fleetwood to sing his song (of course the ‘experts’ on the internet who like to pontificate over Goldmine Soul Supply know nothing of things like that) and Frank expressed his surprise that a 45 or a tape or anything existed! He told me that he had only been aware of the whole scenario for a few years.
Ron Murphy was also the guy responsible for turning up Chris Clark’s version via the original engineer from the old ARP pressing plant. As for my copy of the disc, well, it does have an edge-warp but is not unplayable as Manship has claimed – in fact at the very first ‘Rarest Of The Rare’ all-nighters at the Ritz, I played it – as witnesses can testify.
By the time you read this, the whole event will be over and either a new yardstick will have been created or the hype will have spawned an empty vessel. Personally I’m finding the whole subject rather tedious – I wonder what the winner would pay me to snap my copy in two?"
by Tim Brown
Kenny Burrell's Story
Kenny Burrell is an Edinburgh based Northern Soul DJ / collector who paid a £15,000 to Tim Brown in 1999 for the Ron Murphy copy.

Jon Manship's Story
Jon Manship is another renown UK rare record dealer based in Leicestershire who hosted the auction of Kenny Burrell's copy in April 2009 which achieved £25,724 from an unnamed buyer.