Little Brenda Starr
Despite its name the Vegas label has a New York address but owner Steve Schulman had very good contacts in Philly, and may even have recorded there. From the perspective of these pages, the key 45s Schulman released were by the fine New Jersey R & B singer Bobby Long, but there is one other track that I would recommend – the tasty ballad No One But You by Little Brenda Starr. I’m not sure if the “little” in her name refers to her size of her age, but if it’s the latter then her confident tone and her command of phrasing and tempo do her great credit. The arrangement has some R & B touches to it especially in the piano and horns, and is miles away from the lush orchestration we now associate with the city of Brotherly Love.
All three of Starr’s other Vegas racks are uptempo, the best being the infectious R & B of “Mix It Up”, and the dancers go for what I believe to be her final 45 for Polydor “Satan Let Me Sleep Tonight”. The flip is a little known “Soul Of Vietnam” song. The 45 was produced in New York by Ben E King and Rudy Clark.
UPDATE ~ John Smith has very kindly sent a handbill for a gig by Brenda which confirms her as a New York artist. I'm very grateful to him. And to the anonymous well wisher who kindly supplied the pic of Brenda herself.
Mix it up / (You’d better) dance dance baby ~ VEGAS 500 (1964)
No one but you / A dancing good time ~ VEGAS 800 (1964/5)
As BRENDA STARR
Soldier boy (my soldier boy) / Satan let me sleep tonight ~ POLYDOR 14032 (1970)