Chuck Chellman’s Nashville based Renegade label didn’t release many 45s but they are all worth seeking out. The Jimmie Baker is perhaps the rarest of them all, and the fine Lattimore Browns the most common, but these two from Lee Martell shouldn’t be over looked. While “A House By The Side Of The Road” / “Everything Is Beautiful” is a bit too far countrified for me, A Good Woman falls firmly into the soul camp. I could listen to the guitarist behind Lee all day long, and the singer seems to be energised by the accompaniment putting in some lovely hoarse phrases and coming across much more positively than in the other 45.
I’ve heard rumours – based on the writer credit no doubt – that Lee is in fact the same singer as Lee Bynem who cut “Two Warm Bodies” for True. There's the same country style, it was cut in Nashville as well and the singer has a similar light baritone voice. Can anybody confirm?
UPDATE ~ The producer of Lee's Renegade 45s Chuck Chellman has confirmed that Martell and Bynem are the same guys. Sadly he also reports that he passed away several years ago.
NEW UPDATE ~ My great friend Greg Burgess writes to say that
A house by the side of the road / Everything is beautiful ~ RENEGADE 1202 (1970)
It's impossible to describe our love / A good woman ~ RENEGADE 5602 (1971?)
Thanks to Garry Cape for the new info and to Greg Burgess for the details in the New Update.