Jackie Montre El
Minnie Lee Curry was born in Newberry, SC on Feb 6 1945 and spent a lot of her life in Linden, NJ and Metuchen, NJ. She was known as Jackie and although her married surname was Thompson she adopted the strange name of Montre El for her singing career.
Jackie first recorded as a member of the Perigents (or Jackie & The Perigents as they were also called) for the great George Kerr who put two 45s out on the Maltese label. The tracks were heavily influenced by the Motown sound and the beating "Love On A Rampage" has had a lot of plays on the Northern scene. The lilting - and rather more easily paced - "One Girl Too Many" is my personal pick of them.
She made an excellent series of big city ballads, indeed amongst the most celebrated that New York had to offer in the 60s. The first famous coupling featured Doomed By Jealousy with it's heavy emotional impact and I Worship The Ground You Walk On which was almost as compelling. Jackie's hall mark gospel drenched delivery is simply stunning and the arrangements by Teddy Vann are of the highest quality - note especially the superb drumming by Jackie's good friend Pretty Purdie. Both these cuts are simply essential for any serious soul collector to have.
The 45 was picked up nationally by ABC for whom Jackie also had a further couple of single releases. Perhaps the pick of the tunes was "Love At The End Of The Day" on which her wonderfully expressive voice brought out all the pathos of the lyric. Jackie could also swing on more uptempo material as well as her perfect timing on "A Poet's Gesture" and "The Love Man" demonstrate, but for me she will always be a top class deep soul artist.
Purdie was also involved in the arrangements for Jackie's final 45 for Success Express. By far the better side was the tuneful mid paced "What Do You Want From My Life" on which she turned in another top notch vocal.
Sadly Jackie was killed in an auto accident in Colonia, NJ on September 30 1997. She is buried in the Graceland Cemetary, Kenilworth, NJ. At the time of her death she was apprently working on a gospel set - I bet it would have been sensational.
One girl too many / Let's get into something ~ MALTESE 101 (1965)
Love on a rampage / Better keep movin' ~ MALTESE 106 (1966)
JACKIE MONTRE EL
Doom / Worship ~ READY 1008/9 / ABC 11035 (as "Doomed By Jealousy" / "I Worship The Ground You Walk On") (1968)
A poet's gesture / Love at the end of the day ~ ABC 11037 (1968)
A poet's gesture / The love man ~ ABC 11210 (1969)
Love me or leave me alone / What do you want from my life ~ SUCCESS EXPRESS 112 (1971)
Special thanks to Michael Moon Reuben for much of the info and particularly to Dave Turner for pulling all this together.