This New York singer’s key track is the odd ball ballad My Only Prayer, which has a big city, almost “operatic” arrangement, and a huge vocal from Ms Lane which fits the style perfectly. Since this is so unusual a track it takes a few plays for it’s effect to hit home, and it’s quality to come through. So persevere with this one it’s well worth it. The uptempo flip is a great tough piece of R & B – really recommended. Can this be her real name?
UPDATE ~ Ady Croasdell from Ace UK has kindly written with some more info about Lois that he discovered while researching for the second ManHattan Soul CD. He writes:-
"Apart from digging the great music, the best part about this job is discovery. It can be from anything as important as a previously unissued recording, to a little-known fact about a singer, writer or producer. In this case we have covered both areas. ‘No Jealous Lover’ is one of two extra tracks cut by Lois Lane that we found on the multi-track tape of her Wand 45 recording ‘Turn Me Loose’ / ‘My Only Prayer’. That tape box had the name Louise Williams written on it and some basic research showed that Philadelphia DJ, musician, songwriter and producer Jimmy Bishop had been married to a Louise Williams and they had four children together before a painful divorce. The Wand label showed that Louise co-wrote one side of the disc and that it was a Dynodynamic Production, Jimmy Bishop’s company. Some googling then threw up the fact that Louise had been a top gospel DJ on WDAS in Philly, as was her husband, who presented the secular side of the business. Along with fellow DJ Georgie Woods they were credited with keeping the city’s streets relatively trouble-free after the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King. On that tense, dramatic day Louise made her gospel record collection available to all the station’s DJs in an attempt to reinforce and repeat Dr King’s message of non-violence.
Louise’s gospel grounding fits in with the musical traits of her recordings and maybe her pseudonym was chosen to keep her singing career separate from her church work. ‘No Jealous Lover’ / ‘Till I Met My Man’ were scheduled for an early 1964 Scepter release but although it was given a release number no copies have ever emerged, so the single was probably pulled.
Born in Cairo, Georgia, she moved to Philadelphia as a teenager and earned a degree in communications and radio broadcasting, soon getting a radio job in gospel music that lasted for 49 years. Her radio preaching led to her becoming a church minister in 1978. She further advanced her career into politics in 1988 when she was elected as a member of the US House Of Representatives; she continues working as a Congresswoman to this day.
Apart from these records it is likely that the Louise Williams singles on BB in 1966 and North Bay in 1972 are by the same singer as both were Philadelphia releases and on the latter 45 she was credited with a choir singing behind her."
I'm very grateful to Ady for taking the time and trouble to send me this excellent info.
Turn me loose / My only prayer ~ WAND 166 (1964)
No jealous lover / Till I met my man ~ SCEPTER 1270 (1964)
Note ~ The UA 45 is a different artist – country not soul.