I like Tip’s first record, written and produced by himself as on his other releases, whicx appeared on his own Flower label to start with. Both sides of this Chicago 45 are well worth searching out, thanks to the quality of the songs and Riley Hampton’s big production. “You Deserve The Right To Be Called Father” is a chugging beat ballad on which Watkins' voice is noticeably lighter in tone than on the H & L 45. The flip “I’m A Family Man” is another finely wrought piece of music, slower than the A side, but equally effective. The sound is typical Windy City – think Curtis Mayfield. Tip's second release, the two part “People Gonna Talk” is fat too discofied for my taste despite his powerful and well-judged vocals and the catchy chord changes.
When Watkins moved to Memphis he took the Flower masters with him, and issued “Father” on his new Play Me logo. The Chi Town connection continued via what for me is his best track, a version of Wrapped Up In Your Warm And Tender Love. This was written by Carl Davis and Richard Parker, a prolific tunesmith who cut his own version on BRC, but who got most of his reward from Tyrone Davis putting it on the flip of his big hit “There It Is” in 1973. Tip’s takes on this very tuneful song and puts his own stamp on it, with a lot of help from the crack Memphis musicians of the Isaac Hayes Movement – just check out those fat horns. And of course Tip’s lovely high tenor vocals – with the occasional falsetto phrase. Great.
Speacial thanks to Davie Gordon for sorting the discography out. I'm always grateful to Davie for his input.
You deserve the right to be called father / I’m a family man ~ FLOWER 3515 (1971)
I'm the bear / I'm a family man ~ FLOWER ???? (early 70s?)
People gonna talk / Pt 2 ~ H & L 4683 (1977)
Wrapped up in your warm and tender love / Wrapped up (medley) ~ PLAY ME 1943 (early 80s?)
I dreamed you were here / Deserve the right to be called father ~ PLAY ME 1945 (1982)