Elijah & the Ebonies feat. Mary Sexton
Elijah Hawthorne led a funk band who made several derivative records of which “Hot Grits” is probably the best known. I Confess is a very welcome surprise for several reasons. First, it’s a far better cut than any of his others, being a ballad of considerable quality, well constructed and with a sympathetic horn section. Secondly, it features a female vocalist who can clearly really sing, even though she sounds a bit raw at times.
And thirdly, and most intriguingly of all, this disc is important because of the identity of the vocalist. Jason Perlmutter (see Links) has surely got it right when he avers that this must be the first outing on vinyl for the great southern artist Ann Sexton, even before her very rare Impel offering. As evidence, Jason offers the facts that this was cut in Greenville, South Carolina, Ann’s home town and that she is known to have gigged with Elijah in the area around this time. Mary/Ann must have been in her late teens when this was cut – which would account for the “unfinished” sound of her vocal.
I’m convinced. Are you?
I confess / Get out of my life girl ~ GITANA 3144 (19667)
Pure soul / Yes I'm ready ~ SUPERIOR 00129 (1970)
Pure soul / Sock it to 'em soul brother ~ LOREN 020 (1971)
Hot grits / Sock it to 'em soul brother ~ CAPSOUL 31 (1974)
Special thanks to Jason Perlmutter for the great detective work.