Philly’s Alfreda Brockington is a name pretty well known in dance circles. The pounding Motown influenced “You Got Me Chained And Bound” has many admirers but I wonder how many fans who own this disc have flipped it over and listened to the excellent ballad on the other side. I’ll Wait For You is a gospel based ballad of considerable power on which Alfreda stamps her authority over a female chorus, prominent piano and well arranged horns. Like so many of her generation her tone has echoes of Aretha’s – but that’s hardly a bad thing.
Crushing Me is another powerhouse deep track with Alfreda giving it everything. Nice piano touches but the song isn’t quite as well constructed as her other tracks mentioned here despite the short rap in the middle. You Made Me A Woman has the same gospel feel to it, and has a better melody, and a more committed vocal. The organ/piano combination is straight from the church, as is the sister chorus, and the arrangement with occasional horn bursts suits the mood perfectly. This is a quality track no question – Alfreda’s best. Perhaps that is due to the writer/producer Willie John Ellison of the Soul Bros 6.
I presume Alfreda was a member of the Brockington Sisters who had a 45 on TSOP the same year her solo sides came out? Can anybody confirm?
UPDATE ~ David Cole has kindly written to say that "with regard to Alfreda Brockington, Anna King sang with the Brockington Singers (as Delores King) and I asked her if Alfreda Brockington was involved and/or related. She said... "I don't think so. There are three Brockingtons that are families in this town [Philadelphia] but Irwin Brockington is THE Brockington. There was also Julius Brockington who recorded for Today as both a soloist and as a member of the Brockingtons but Anna did not think there was any relationship there either."
FURTHER UPDATE ~ Dave Chichester has been unshakeable in his pursuit of Alfreda info and has now found a copy of the first issue of "I'll wait for you". He points out that the "labels are certainly slightly different in layout and use of font, and doesn't have your scan's matrix number R at the end." He has also helpfully supplied a picture of the original issue which is now on this page. I'm grateful to Dave for plugging away so successfully.
NEW UPDATE ~ On the "Best Of Lash Records" CD there are a couple of Alfreda tracks - the sassy upbeat "Give Me What You're Giving Her" and a really appealing ballad "Waitin' For Your Touch". Were these ever issued as a 45?
I'm grateful as always to David Cole, Editor of In The Basement magazine (see Links) for his info. Also thanks to Dave Chichester for the amended recording dates and new info.