As I’ve mentioned before, it’s always wise for a blogger to pick artists that either have plenty of biographical details already out there or new, original stuff that you have unearthed yourself. In the face of this sound advice my next disc is by an artist that, like Jackie Ivory only appears to have issued one 45 before sinking into oblivion and he is RUSSELL EVANS & THE NIGHT HAWKES who gave us ‘The Bold’ on UK Atlantic 584010 / US Atco 4611.
I must admit to never having heard of today’s choice until I came across the disc at a record fair about ten years ago, ODELL BROWN & THE ORGANISERS ‘No More Water In The Well’, Cadet 5591. Odell Elliott Brown was born in Louisville in February 1940 and was another relatively late starter in the business after he moved to Tennessee and met up with some likeminded State University music students and got a scratch band together comprising himself, Artee Payne, Curtis Prince, Henry Gibson and Tommy Purvis. His aspiration to enrol for university himself was curtailed when he was drafted into the 179th, 5th Army Band which led to the group disbanding.
The disc kicking off part 2 is on UK Sue 313 / US Sue 795, ‘So Far Away`’, one of my all-time favourites from Henry ‘HANK’ JACOBS, who amazingly did not even contemplate sitting in front of a piano until he was seventeen. Oozing talent, Kent Harris who had fronted Boogaloo and His Gallant Crew soon recruited Hank to gig with him as a duet traveling all over the States and co-wrote ‘Sting Ray’ with him for Hank’s first release appearing on Imperial.
While touring the pair stopped off in NYC and signed for Juggy Murray’s Sue label which resulted in Harris and Jacobs penning my featured side, which debuted on the R&B charts in January ’64. The original track had a piano lead but Jacobs later over-dubbed a Hammond B3, but even with this enhancement the track is effectively a two instrument affair, a B3 and a cymbal.
I recently had the good fortune to be invited to the recording of a BBC Radio 2 show presented by Paul Gambaccini, with the guests being Berry Gordy Jr. and Vicki Wickham. As you may know, Vicki was the programme editor of Ready Steady Go! in the mid-60s and along with friend Dusty Springfield was a champion of the Motown Sound in the early days.
I spotted a few familiar faces in the audience including David Nathan who was a co-founder of the Soul City record shop in 1966. The interviews were punctuated by live vocalists performing Motown hits and never having been a fan of Motown tribute acts I must say that they were all very good.