Saturday, 8 January 2011

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


Anonymous said...

Hi Soul-Strutter, I love your blog! Thank you so much for the Yvonne Vernee and Lorraine Chandler classics. Marie

plasticsun said...

Great song - thanks for posting all these great songs.