The Isley Brothers’ T-Neck label is famous for its funk tracks of course, but they did record music in other styles notably the superb ballads cut by Judy White – and this obscurity from Milton Westley. You’d think that a track entitled Gee Whiz would be an inconsequential piece of teenage fluff but it is in fact a strong double sided ballad. Westley gives a committed and heartfelt vocal over a very churchy backing – just check out the fine organ playing. I love the way the arrangement ebbs and flows between the quieter verses and the very upfront chorus, matched by the tough and gritty singing. I could certainly have done with more from this artist..
Gee whiz / Pt 2 ~ T-NECK 931 (1971)
UPDATE ~ My great friend Greg Burgess reports that Milton was the keyboard player for the Isleys when this 45 was recorded. Sadly he is no longer with us haing passed away in New Haven, CY on January 10 2010. You can read a little bit more about his life here. I'm very grateful to Greg as always.