Saturday, 19 March 2011

NS517 Elbie Parker [1966] - Please Keep Away From Me [Veep 1246]

517 Elbie Parker [1966] - Please Keep Away From Me [Veep 1246]
Artist:Elbie Parker
A:Please Keep Away From Me
B:Lucky Guy
Label Discography:Label Discography
Cat No:1246
Value Link:$700
Artist Biography:Artist Biography
Artist Discography:Artist Discography

Played at Stafford.

Hexagonal shaped labels pressed at ""Monarch"" los Angeles and the other version is from ""Shelly Products"" New York

517 Elbie Parker [1966] - Please Keep Away From Me [Veep 1246]

NS518 Joanie Sommers [1965] - Don’t Pity Me [WB 5629]

518 Joanie Sommers [1965] - Don’t Pity Me [WB 5629]
Artist:Joanie Sommers
A:Don’t Pity Me
B:My Block
Label Discography:Label Discography
Cat No:5629
Value Link:
Artist Biography:Joannie Sommers Biography
Artist Discography:Joannie Sommers Discography

A white demo sold recently (7 Jan 2011) for $571

My Block was co-written by Jimmy Radcliffe with Bert Berns and Carl Spencer and also previously recorded by Clyde McPhatter on 'Songs Of The Big City' LP and by The Chiffons as The Pennies on Rust (

Joanie Sommers [1965] - Don’t Pity Me [Live]

Joannie Sommers - Never Throw Your Dreams Away [Columbia 45-423567]

Joannie Sommers - Call Me

NS519 Benny Spellman [1962] - Fortune Teller [Minit / London 644 / 45-HLP 9570]

519 Benny Spellman [1962] - Fortune Teller [Minit / London 644 / 45-HLP 9570]
Artist:Benny Spellman
A:Fortune Teller
B:Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)
Label:Minit / London
Label Discography:Label Discography
Cat No:644 / 45-HLP 9570
Value Link:$?
Artist Biography:Benny Spellman Bio
Artist Discography:Artist Discography

Hailing from New Orleans, Benny Spellman was inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame on 11th July 2009

Louisiana Music Hall of Fame
lmhof Induction 2009
Benny Spellman

Benny suffered a major stroke in the early 1990s and remains under care today.

This frenetic, cajun-spiced beat draws with the almost-erratic piano line and vocal (with Allen Toussaint in the background) wind their way into your head in spite of no easy or central hook in the song. Fortune Teller was covered by The Rolling Stones, The Throb and The Who did a live version.

Lipstick Traces was the official A side which was covered many times but most notabley by The O'Jays on their Comin' Through LP on Imperial in 1965.

01 - Fortune Teller
02 - Stickin' Witcha Baby
03 - In The Night
04 - Every Now And Then
05 - 'Tain't It The Truth
06 - Life Is Too Short
07 - You Don't Love Me No More
08 - Talk About Love
09 - I Feel Good
10 - Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)
11 - I'll Never Leave You
12 - It's For You
13 - Word Game
14 - You Got To Get It
15 - Anywhere You Go
16 - 10-4 (Calling All Cars)

519 Benny Spellman [1962] - Fortune Teller [Minit / London 644 / 45-HLP 9570]

Benny Spellman [1962] - Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette) [Minit 644]

Rolling Stones - Fortune Teller

The Throb - Fortune Teller

From obscure origins as a Sydney-based surf-instrumental band, The Throb emerged in 1965 and briefly shot to national prominence. Despite its short tenure, the group left no doubt about its punkish potential and they have been immortalised on record by two superb singles, their snarling ""garage-punk"" version of ""Fortune Teller"", which smashed its way to the top of the national charts in early 1966, and their group arrangement of the old English folk song, ""Black (Is The Colour Of My True Love's Hair)"", a slashing, snarling piece of proto-gothic wonderment. (Source: Milesago, great site on early Australian bands).

The Throb consisted of John Bell (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Denny Burgess (bass, vocals), Peter Figures (drums) and Marty Van Wynk (lead guitar).

The Who - Fortune Teller (Studio version)

The Who - Fortune Teller (Live)

The Who - Fortune Teller (Live in Leeds)

NS520 Ellusions [1965] - You Didn't Have To Leave [Lamon 2004]

520 Ellusions [1965] - You Didn't Have To Leave [Lamon 2004]
A:You Didn't Have To Leave
B:You Wouldn't Understand (Official A Side)
Label Discography:Label Discography
Cat No:2004
Value Link:Value
Artist Biography:Artist Biography
Artist Discography:Artist Discography

I can find no information about Ellusions. Lamon records was established in 1962 in South Carolina, later moving to Nashville and is still in existence today. The label specialises in bluegrass and country. It would appear that the Ellusions were a 60s white garage band.

The official A side is in fact 'You Wouldn't Understand' which starts off really slowly in a doo wop vein and then turns into a more mid-tempo groove in more of a crossover flavour. (poor quality YouTube clip below - I may have to dig out my 45 and rip it for a better sample). 'You Didn't Have To Leave' is a more obvious Northern dancer.

It used to be quite rare but a box of them was turned up in the 80s which brought the price down. It has also been bootlegged on styrene, the original being vinyl.

520 Ellusions [1965] - You Didn't Have To Leave [Lamon 2004]
Ellusions [196-] - You Wouldn't Understand [Lamon 2003]

NS521 J.J. Barnes [1970] - Sweet Sherry [UK Contempo CS.2048]

b/w: Chains Of Love
Format: 45
Label: UK Contempo
Cat No: CS.2048
Year: 1970
Value: £10

Sweet Sherry was the third of four recordings by Barnes at Groovesville (555).  The Originals are on backing vocals.  Apparently it was never officially released.  It found release in the UK on Blues & Soul's Contempo label in 1970.

J.J. Barnes' "Baby Please Come Back Home" (June 1967) jammed all over the Midwest, East Coast, South, and west of the Mississippi River. This was the 11th single and the sixth recording company (Groovesville) of Barnes' career. 

Barnes co-wrote most of his recordings; "Baby Please Come Back Home" was co-written with Don Davis, a guitarist, songwriter, producer, music publisher, and record label owner. Barnes sang the lyrics with so much pain that the single went to number nine on Billboard's R&B chart. Unofficially, it was number one at inner city skating rinks -- skaters loved rolling to its cool, slinky, mercurial rhythm and pinging accents. 

James Jay Barnes, born November 30, 1943, in Detroit, MI, had more than 25 single releases after his big hit, but none duplicated its captivating aura, sales, or chart position. Barnes' gospel background (the Halo Gospel Singers) isn't apparent on his recordings; he came along at a time in Detroit when the city's blues and R&B bases were strong. 

His style emulated Southern soul singers; the session players in Detroit in the early '60s were R&B players and gave Barnes' records a Southern feel. Other Detroit singers with a similar sound include Joe Stubbs, Steve Mancha, Darrell Banks, Sammy Ward, and Lee Rogers. In 1960, when he was 17, Barnes cut his first single, "My Love Came Tumbling Down" b/w "Won't You Let Me Know," for Kable Records, which did nothing but add "recording artist" to Barnes' resum‚. This was not a title to take lightly -- a few spins on the radio enabled an artist to jack their price up at the neighborhood club. No longer was he, J.J. Barnes, appearing Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights; now J.J. Barnes, the recording artist, was appearing live and in person. Mickay Records issued four singles by Barnes; the first, "Just One More Time" (1963), is sought after by Northern soul fanatics. Scepter Records realized its potential and plucked it for national distribution, but the sales never amounted to much. "These Chains of Love," "Teenage Queen," and "So Far Away" -- all released in 1963 and 1964 -- were good efforts that few heard. He cut one record for Ring Records in 1964, "Poor Unfortunate Me" b/w "She Ain't Ready." Ric-Tic Records issued Barnes' seventh record and followed it with three more, debuting with "Please Let Me In" in 1965; like many of Barnes' recordings it had a pronounced, four-on-the-floor beat -- the beat that defined the early Northern soul sound. Initially, if a tune didn't have that beat, it wasn't played in Northern England's popular dance clubs. Inner-city teens hated the beat (it wasn't cool to dance to) and R&B disc jockeys rarely played these tunes. Still, his Ric-Tic debut sold better than previous singles. "Real Humdinger," its successor, charted at number 20 on the R&B chart and number 60 on the pop chart, but, despite these numbers, wasn't played in some cities, mainly because of its hokey beat. An update of the Beatles' "Day Tripper" became his most successful record at the time. Barnes' smooth interpretation of the British rocker received substantial play in many urban cities. With Edwin Starr (lead) and Steve Mancha, Barnes hit with "I'll Love You Forever" as the Holidays. The record was a complete fluke -- the trio just happened to be around when producer Don Davis got an itch to cut the tune. They never toured as the Holidays, Davis recruited other singers for that. "Say It" b/w "Deeper in Love" didn't stand a chance because Ed Wingate was in the process of selling Ric Tic/Golden World Records lock, stock, and barrel to Motown. Barnes wasn't happy being Motown's property, neither was his ex-Ric-Tic bud, Edwin Starr. 

Motown never released anything by Barnes, the company was more interested in his songwriting abilities and released at least two songs co-written by Barnes: "Show Me the Way" by Martha & the Vandellas (October 1967) and "Don't Make Hurting Me a Habit" by the Marvelettes (December 1968). 

Motown released Barnes from his contract and he hooked up with Don Davis again, scoring the first time on Groovesville Records with "Baby Please Come Back Home." Its successor, "Now That I Got You Back" b/w "Forgive Me" (1967), a stomper and a pleader, threw a rod at number 44. The third, "Sweet Sherry," with the Originals harmonizing behind Barnes, didn't sell despite its immense charm. Then came "Easy Living" b/w "I've Lost You," with backing vocals by the Holidays, on the Groove City label, which sank upon release. 

A stint on Revilot Records resulted in four singles, including "Our Love Is in the Pocket," a popular Northern soul song. Barnes co-wrote his final Revilot single, "So Called Friends" (1969), with George Clinton (Parliament) and two unknown brothers by the last name of Taylor. Buddah, Volt, Leo, Magic Touch, Perception, and Invasion Records issued Barnes' next five releases from 1969 to 1973. None hit, but "Snowflakes," the Volt release, was later acclaimed by some Britishers. 

Perception issued the first J.J. Barnes album, Born Again, in 1973; the Perception sides didn't compare to earlier recordings, nor did what followed. 

Old friend Edwin Starr moved to England and became very popular; remembering Barnes, Starr arranged for his old buddy to come over and do a series of shows with him. This proved to be a lucrative move, as Barnes signed a deal with Contempo Records, a U.K. label, in the mid-'70s. Contempo cranked out seven undistinguished singles and an album, Sara Smile, for Barnes. 

He debuted on Contempo with "To an Early Grave," cut a remake of Hall & Oates' "Sara Smile," and tried to popularize an inner city dance tune, "The Errol Flynn." He released at least five more records -- including "Think I Got a Good Chance" on Organic, an update of Carl Carlton's "Competition Ain't Nothing" on Inferno in 1984, an attempt to recapture the magic of Frank Wilson's Motown release (which was ignored in the U.S.A.) "Do I Love You (Deed I Do)" on Inferno in 1985, and two on Motor City. 

Albums include Rare Stamps on Volt Records, which features cuts by Barnes, Steve Mancha, and Darrell Banks; he also recorded an album on Motor City Records entitled Try It One More Time. A virtual nobody in the States, Barnes is one of Northern soul's most beloved artists. A janissary of soul fans worldwide love him, but at home his sister, Ortheia Barnes, is more known. Ortheia Barnes never had a hit, but once hosted a radio show in Detroit on WCHB every Wednesday called Ortheia's Special Touch; she's fondly remembered by witnesses of her electrifying live performances. 
~Andrew Hamilton 

Saturday, 8 January 2011

NS522 Steve Flanagan [1967] - I've Arrived [Era 3154]

b/w: I Need To Be Loved So Bad (Official A Side)
Format: 45
Label: Era
Cat No:3186 / 3154
Year:1967 / 1965
Value: $400-$500

I've arrived was also issued a a flip side to Era 3154 - You Don't Need A Crown by Jewel Akens which I have seen for sale for £80.

This is a 'strange' record.  It obviously has the 'right beat', however to my ears this sounds like 'Rawhide' and is a cross between a rock and country & western tune and also sounds like a show tune from the very early 60s.  This pre-65 sound is what seems be termed 'Popcorn' these days.  As you can probably detect not really my kinda soul.

It was first issued in 1965 as a B side for Jewel Akens and Flanagan released it in 1967, again as a B side.   

I'd stick my neck out and guess that this is a white country & western artist.

I've never heard this played out, but apparently it was a Stafford sound in 90s.  It sounds like it 'could' be a Ked Darge discovery as Keb loves this early 60s stuff.  Incidentally I  first met Keb when he was a 'slip of a lad' at 18 in Aberdeen when we used to frequent the Center City Soul Club in 1976 with regular excursions to Dundee, Edinburgh and Wigan.

Era was also the label for Billy Watkins 'The Ice Man'.  The label ran from 1955 until 1970.  It was Steve Flanagan's only release on the label as with Billy Watkins.  Jewel Akens, however, had 9 releases between 1964 and 1969.

Jewel Akens [1966] - My First Lonely Night [Era 3164]
Unfortunately I can't find a clip of  Aken's version of 'I've Arrived' so have selected this instead.

NS523 Marv Johnson [1966] - I Miss You Baby [Gordy G-7051]

b/w: Just The Way You Are
Format: 45
Label: Gordy
Cat No:G-7051
Value: £20

Marvin Earl Johnson recorded the first 45 on Tamla in 1959 'Come To Me'.  He had his greatest success in the early 60s (released on United Artists) and ceased recording for Motown in 1968 but continued to work for them in sales.  

He is another Detroit artist who joined up with Ian Levine and re-recorded 60s hits and new material in the 90s. He died from a stroke in 1993 age the age of 54.

His finest bour on the Northern scene was 'I Miss You Baby' issued on Gordy in 1966 but not picked up on until much later. It was issued in the UK as the flip to 'I'll Pick A Rose For My Rose' in 1969.

Marv Johnson [1966] - You Got The Love I Love [Gordy]

Another of my favourite Marv Johnson tracks issued on Gordy as the flip to I'll Pick A Rose For My Rose' is ' You Got The Love I Need' produced by Frank Wilson.

Marv Johnson 1967] - Save My Love For A Rainy Day [Unissued]

Marv recorded Save My Love For A Rainy Day (a big tune on the scene for The Van Dykes (Gordy) also done by Undisputed Truth) in October 1967, it was out on the shelf, where it stayed until 2002, when it was included in A Cellarful Of Soul compilation.

Marv Johnson [1969] - So Glad You Chose Me [Tamla Motown TMG 737]

NS524 John Leach [1965] - Put That Women Down [Lawn L-256-P]

b/w: Love Don't Turn
Format: 45
Label: Lawn
Cat No: L-256-P
Year: 1966
Value: $750-$1150

Lawn was a subsidiary of Swan records of which this was the penultimate release in 1965. This sounds very blue-eyed to these ears but nevertheless this was a monster all-nighter tune in the late 70s.  Scanning through the Lawn roster, other notable 'Northern' acts include Modern Red Caps, Billy Harner and Larry Clinton ('She's' Wanted In Three States')  all of whom I believe also to be white acts, so perhaps this was a 'white' offshoot of Swan records?

'Put That Woman Down' and the flip side were written by General Norman Johnson (Chairman Of The Board)  and is reminiscent of the style put out by The Showmen ('Our Love Will Grow') of which he was a member ansd who also recorded for Swan.

Released in the UK on Destiny in 1979 owing to huge demand.

NS525 Danny Monday [1966] - Baby, Without You [Modern 1033]

b/w: Good Taste Of Love
Format: 45
Label: Label
Cat No: Cat No
Year: 1966
Value: $2035

Pretty rare blue-eyed soul from Danny Monday and one of the rarest singles released on Modern.  Originals don't crop up very often and the price reflects this.  Beware of bootlegs issued in the mid 70s as white demos with black writing, the originals have red writing which is easily identifiably different from the bootleg.  I have included images of both.

It is believed that Danny Monday is white, however you can not tell from the soulful flip side, which I actually prefer and is perfect for today's scene but would have been far too slow in the heyday of Northern Soul.  Check out the youTube clip below.  The topside is a stomper.

Yet again, unfortunately, nothing known about the artist.

Good Taste Of Love

NS526 Marvin Holmes & Justice [1974] - You'd Better Keep Her [Brown Door MH-6567]

b/w: Kwami
Format: 45
Label: Brown Door
Cat No:MH-6576
Value: £40

Marvin Holmes was one of the major movers and shakers of Bay area soul and funk through the 60s and 70s, recording with the Uptights, Justice, and under his own name. He recorded 45s for a number of different labels including Revue, Brown Door, Uni, Kon-Kord, and Boola Boola.

'You Better Keep Her' is a 70s shuffler first played at Blackpool Mecca from initial release.  The track was taken from their second LP on Brown Door 'Honor Thy Father', the first being 'Summer of '73'.  

He also recorded an album 'Ooh Ooh The Dragon & Other Monsters' as Marvin Holmes & The Uptights in 1969 on Uni.

NS527 Jimmy Ruffin [196?] - He Who Picks A Rose [Soul Unreleased]

527 Jimmy Ruffin [196?] - He Who Picks A Rose [Soul Unreleased]

b/w: ?
Format: 45
Label: Soul
Cat No:S-20661
Value: £10

Originally recorded, but unreleased, by Jimmy Ruffin (on Soul?) and later released by Edwin Starr on Gordy and appeared on his '25 Miles' LP.  The Carstairs recorded a version on Okeh.

Jimmy is the elder brother of ex Temptation David Ruffin. 'He Who Picks A Rose' featured on The Temptations' 1968 'I Wish It Would Rain' LP.  He is best known for his 1966 Motown hit 'What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted' which was originally written for The (Detroit) Spinners.  He was never able to repeat it's success and was more popular in the UK than US. He left Motown in 1974, had a hit on Chess / Polydor with 'Tell Me What You Want'  and another on RSO 'Hold On To Love' 1980 and eventually moved to the UK in the 80s.

This track is available on a white label Soul reissue (bootleg?) or on Jimmy Ruffin The Motown Anthology CD released in 2004.

Edwin Starr - He Who Picks A Rose [Gordy]

Carstairs - He Who Picks A Rose [Okeh]

The Carstairs performing The Salvadors 'Stick By Me Baby' live @ Blackpool Mecca 1998

NS528 The Brooks Brothers [196?] - Looking For A Woman [Tay 501]

b/w: Unknown
Format: 45
Label: Tay / Kingy
Cat No:501 / 47-8.11.56
Value: £1500

Very similar to 'I Can't Get No Satisfaction'.  I can find no information on Brooks Brothers.  There was a white duo called Brook Brothers who also recorded in the 60s but I don't think it's the same duo that recorded this track.

Originally released on Tay 501-A.  The only copy I have found on eBay sold in May 2005 for £1,500.  It was reissued (bootlegged?) on Kingy 81156 around 2004.

NS529 Lorraine Chandler [1966] - I Can't Hold On [RCA Victor 47-8980]

b/w: She Don't Want You
Format: 45
Label: RCA Victor
Cat No:47-8980
Value: $150-$200

Motor City soul singer, songwriter, and producer Lorraine Chandler was born and bred in Detroit, she met songwriter and producer Jack Ashford, previously known for his own percussion work with the Funk Brothers, and together they penned 'I'm Gone', a 1966 single for singer Eddie Parker.

After collaborating on the O'Jays' 'I'll Never Forget You', Ashford convinced Chandler to sign on full-time with his fledgling Pied Piper Productions not only as a writer but also as a performer. Her first single, Ashford and Mike Terry's 'What Can I Do',  appeared on Jo Armstead's Giant label in 1966, becoming a smash in Detroit and Chicago. RCA then picked up the song for national distribution, soon followed by Chandler's sophomore effort, 'I Can't Hold' On. RCA also cut a production deal with Pied Piper that resulted in a series of Chandler-authored singles for the likes of the Cavaliers, the Metros, and Willie Kendrick. While in Chicago for an RCA-funded session, she also cut her third solo single, 1967's 'I Can't Change'. That same year, Chandler also recorded an unreleased version of the title theme to the James Bond film 'You Only Live Twice'. (Nancy Sinatra's rendition was instead present over the opening credits.)

OOTP Bootleg

In addition to the RCA deal, Pied Piper negotiated a similar production agreement with Kapp, forcing Chandler to focus her time and energy behind the scenes. For singer Freddy Butler, she penned the singles 'I Fell in Love' and 'There Was a Time', and for the Hesitations she authored the hits 'Soul Superman', 'Wait a Minute,' and 'Clap Your Hands'. In 1968 she and Ashford attempted to go it alone, founding their own Ashford label. The venture would yield just one single before going bankrupt, but what a single: Eddie Parker's 'Love You Baby 'was a flop upon its initial release, but enjoyed new life in the 1970s thanks to its massive popularity among the DJs and clubgoers populating Britain's Northern soul revival scene. Chandler and Ashford then resumed their careers as writers and producers for hire -- the former's compositions of note include:
The Sepias 1968 'Tell Me You're Mine', 
Billy Sha-Rae 1969 'Do It', 
Sandra Richardson 1971 Buddah label release 'The Ring', 
Baby Washington 1973 'I've Got to Break Away', 
Ray Gant & the Arabian 'Don't Leave Me Baby'

When Ashford relocated from Detroit to Los Angeles in 1976, Chandler was left in limbo, and did not resurface until 1980, when she co-produced Parker's 'The Old, the New, the Blues 'LP, even headlining a pair of duets. During the mid-'80s, British record exec Ady Croasdell unearthed a cache of unissued Pied Piper productions in the RCA vaults, among them Lorraine Chandler's 'You Only Live Twice' - when issued on vinyl, the song became a cult hit, inspiring the singer to cross the Atlantic to sing live at a Northern soul weekender. In the decades to follow, Chandler has been a staple of the Northern soul touring circuit, with her original singles reissued on CD to much renewed interest.

Taken from TheSoulGuy

Ian Levine re-recording 90s

NS530 The Trammps [1975] - Hold Back The Night [Buddah 507]

b/w: Tom's Song
Format: 45
Label: Buddah
Cat No: 507/ BDS 437 (UK)
Year: 1975
Value: £5

This track should need no introduction as it crossed over onto the pop charts, however it was played as a new release on the Northern scene (probably starting life at the Blackpool Mecca) and 'dutifully' dropped as soon as it became 'popular' with pop audiences.  The Trammps are probably most famous for 'Disco Inferno' which was featured in in the movie Saturday Night Fever and subsequently went on to become a worldwide hit in the summer of 1977.  'Disco Inferno and 'Hold Back The Night' were their biggest hits followed by 'That's Where The Happy People Go' and 'Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart'.

An instrumental version of Hold Back The Night was titled 'Scrub Board' and was released in the UK  as a 45 on the B side of '60 Minute Man' BDA 321 from 1972.

The flip side 'Tom's Song' is a mellow philly instrumental.

The Trammps started their career as The Volcanos on Arctic releasing 'Baby' in 1965.  'Storm Warning' (with 'Baby' re-released on the flip) from the same year later became popular on the scene as did '(Its Against )The Laws Of Love'.  They recorded 6 45s on Arctic. and 2 on Harthon. They also recorded as The Body Motions.  They changed their name to The Trammps in 1972 releasing 'Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart'. 

1992 Remake By Ian Levine featuring Jimmy Williams (from Double Exposure) on lead vocals who replaced Jimmy Ellis in 1982 when he retired, along with the remaining original members of the group going back to when they were The Volcanos.

Scrub Board ('Hold Back The Night' Instrumental)

Tom's Song

NS531 The Fiestas [1965] - Think Smart [Old Town 1178]

b/w: Anna
Format: 45
Label: Old Town
Cat No: 1178
Year: 1965
Value: $400

The Fiestas were Tommy Bullock, Eddie Morris, Sam Ingalls and Preston Lane, although there were various line-up changes in their history from 1958 - 1978, these were the core members.  Bobby Moore was part of the line-up in 1960.

Their doo wop background is evident on this release with some nice soul harmonies to that requisite on the fours driving Northern beat .