Friday, 25 September 2009

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

1 comment:

soul-strutter said...