Jay Wiggins is best known for his biggest seller Sad Girl from 1963. This tuneful ballad with its tasteful doo-wop style feel and superbly clear vocal from Jay is indeed a fine side and worthy of the several releases it got. But there were others as good if not better that didn't quite click with the public for some reason. For example there's the delicate "You're On My Mind" which sounds as though it could have been cut at the same session as "Sad Girl" so close in tempo and arrangement is it. The flip "Tears Of A Lover" is an excellent mid paced soul song still with that lovely doo-wop feel.
But for me Jay's most artistically successful tracks are the deep I Work So Hard on which his commitment is so much more evident and the production by Jay and his long term collaborator Lloyd Smith so splendidly effective, and Forgive Then Forget. This fine ballad may just be the best side he ever recorded. The horns blaze away adding power and weight to Jay's lovely baritone vocal.
The address on Wiggins and Smith's "Solid Sound" label is a Washington DC one and he may well have made his home there. These days Jay Wiggins calls himself Majeed and lives in Maryland. And the brief biography there indicates why his musical career came to such an abrupt halt - he was imprisoned for refusing the draft for Vietnam. Thankfully he is still making music and you can hear a couple of clips from his newer material on his MySpace entry here.
Sad girl / No not me ~ IPG 1008 / ERIC 154 (1963) / AMY 955 (1966)
Forgive then forget / My lonely girl ~ JW 1015 / IPG 1015 (1963)
You're on my mind / Tears of a lover ~ SOLID SOUL 3001 (1964?)
I work so hard / I am the man ~ SOLID SOUL 3002 (1964?)
Note ~ "Sad Girl" can be found on the Kent UK CD "Birth Of Soul Vol 2."
Thanks to Pete Nickols for the great ad.