Tuesday, 4 January 2011

NS547 The Just Brothers [1971] - Carlena [Garrison 3003]

b/w: She Broke His Heart
Format: 45
Label: Garrison
Cat No: 3003
Year: 1971
Value: $2850

Detroit, Steve Mancha and Mike Terry! A good pedigree for any Northern Soul tune and this one doesn't disappoint.  From the price tag you can detect that this one is pretty rare and hard to find.

The Just Brothers were brothers Jimmy and Frank Bryant and several session musicians. Their instrumental song "Sliced Tomatoes" was a Northern dancefloor hit in 1972 that was later sampled in Fatboy Slim's "The Rockafeller Skank."

Frank Bryant became a session musician in the mid-60s in his hometown Detroit while his brother Jimmie was completing military service. His early credits included the bassline on Gino Washington's "Gino Is a Coward" and vocals on J.J. Barnes' "Lonely No More" at Mickay's Records. Frank also co-wrote J.J.'s "Deeper in Love", and Steve Mancha's "Let's Party."

After Jimmie's return, the Bryant Brothers were recruited into a session group for Winifred Terry of the Drifters by the group's drummer Richard Allen. The session was intended to record a song called "Honey" and a "B" side. The musical tracks were completed when the hired vocalist was deemed unfit to record the song. Frank took the opportunity to point out his and Jimmi's vocal talent. Convinced by Frank, Terry agreed to give them a stab at recording the two songs. At the subsequent session Bryant Brothers sang on "Honey" and their songs "Things Will Get Better" and "She Broke His Heart."

The track recorded to be the "B" side was titled "Sliced Tomatoes" and released in 1965 backed with "Things Will Get Better" on the Lupine label. Later that year a pairing of "She Broke His Heart" and "Things Will Get Better" was released on Terry's Empire Record Label. "Carlena" was released on Terry's Garrison label. None of the tracks were successful and the Bryant Brothers returned to session work.

In 1969 with new member Willie Kendrick, the Just Brothers negotiated a deal at Johnny Nash's Jomada label. They recorded one unreleased track before being kicked off the label. Their track was later redone by a white vocalist. Terry helped out the group again organizing the re-release of "Sliced Tomatoes" on the Music Merchant label in 1972. The Just Brothers recorded two new tracks "Tears Ago" and "You've Got The Love To Make Me Over" for the Pied Piper label originally meant for an uncompleted album. These ended up backing "Sliced Tomatoes" on its single releases.

The Bryant Brothers later fronted a local group named the Firebirds. Jimmy Bryant died in 1996.

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