Various Artists ~ Lost Deep Soul Treasures Vol 9 (S.O.S. 2013)
By Pete Nickols
Roberta & The Sisters of Righteous ~ Hold On To What You Got ~ King 6324; Mighty Sam (McClain) ~ A Soul That’s Been Abused ~ Black Top LP 1036; Diplomats ~ I’m So Glad I Found You ~ Dynamo 122; G.H. Franklin ~ Satisfied ~ Faces 2018; Rudy Mockabee ~ Think About It ~ Atco 6748; Bobby Adams & The Serenaders ~ All Alone ~ Old Town unissued on vinyl; Darryl Carter ~ Crying ~ Perception 500; Willie B ~ I Trusted In You ~ Hermitage 306 & 806; Phil Flowers ~ Cry On My Shoulder ~ Dot 17058; Ike Noble ~ It’s Bad ~ Alley 1058; Gladys Patrick ~ Losing Comes ~ Atlantic 2640; Electrifying Cashmeres ~ Ooh I Love You ~ Sound Stage 7 1500; Irene Reid ~ I’m Too Far Gone To Turn Around ~ Verve 10526; Ray Charles ~ I Wonder ~ ABC-Paramount 10141; Magics ~ If I Didn’t Have You ~ R.F.A. 100; Charles Spurling ~ Don’t Let Him Hurt You Baby ~ King 6115; Joe Tex ~ Goodbye My Love ~ Jalynne 105; William Stuckey ~ You Can Count On Me ~ I.C.A. 006; Nappy Brown ~ Don’t Hurt No More ~ New Moon Blues NMC 94051 CD version; Little Charles & The Sidewinders ~ You’re A Blessing ~ Red Sands 701.
And so this long-running deep-soul saga reaches episode 9. Certainly the years-span of the tracks on offer here takes some beating, running between 1958 and 1987.
The sound quality is somewhat variable, even if it’s the music which matters most when dealing with often rare 45s. For instance, the impressive opening piece of deep gospel-soul from the Sisters of Righteous (with Roberta DuBois on lead) is very low-fi, even if it was taken off a King single. You can find out more about this ‘righteous’ group on this very site, where there are two audio-clips, including one of this piece.
As one would expect from a late 80’s recording, Mighty Sam’s effort is at least aurally easier to listen to. Sam cut this track quite a few times with white blues guitarist Ronnie Earl, originally on the “Hubert Sumlin’s Blues Party” various artists set from 1987. If you like lay-back moody bluesoul in the Bobby Bland mould this one will be right for you.
Uptown, string-drenched emotive group-soul with a fine high-tenor lead comes next, courtesy of ex-Salisbury, Maryland doo-woppers, the Diplomats, who by the time of this ’68 Dynamo cut comprised simply founder-members Ervan Water, Sam Culley and Tom Price.
G. H. Franklin was already something of a gospel stalwart by 1978 when he cut the nice mid-pacer featured here and he would return to gospel later as George H. Franklin, fronting up The Glories Singers. He strains a bit, though, on the higher notes towards the dramatic track-end of this secular outing.
South Carolina’s Rudy Mockabee had terrific vocal quality and his “Think About It” is a deep gem for sure, eclipsing even Otis’ good version. Again you can enjoy an artist-page on Rudy on this site.
We go way back to a 1958 unreleased Old Town recording next, “All Alone” by Bobby Adams & The Serenaders later seeing CD release on both doo-wop and soul compilations which begs the question, which was it? Well I would plump for gospel rather than either – to me this is a pure gospel-quartet emotive outpouring of a genuinely high quality with secular lyrics inserted. A terrific track with a real powerhouse tenor-lead from Bobby.
Darryl Carter is a very prolific co-songwriter who could certainly also sing for his supper. (I say “co” as he rarely wrote alone). Raised on Chicago’s West Side, he arrived in Memphis in early ’65 and had a long, distinguished career, chiefly in that city, working in virtually all of its studios at one time or another, including an early long spell at American and another long spell in the 70’s at Hi. He co-write widely with Bobby Womack, co-produced Margie Jospeh and the Mad Lads at Volt and cut solo recordings on the West Coast for Mickey Stevenson’s Venture label and in Memphis for the New York TTC concern. The track included here is a 1971 Sigma Sound, Philly cut for the New York-based Perception label and is a really nice, romantic slow-pacer, Darryl’s rather gravely voice actually contrasting well with the typically quite lush Philly arrangement.
We jump back in time again to 1962 for Willie B’s fine layback storyline piece. Willie has a nice expressive high-tenor voice and there’s some telling piano accompaniment from a certain Esquerita (Eskew Reader), a man usually associated with a wilder kind of music! The disc emerged on Hermitage 306 but I have seen it also on 806 – whether this was a reissue or a misprinted label I’m not sure.
Cult favourite Phil Flowers offers up a genuinely dramatic deep winner with his excellent Dot outing “Cry On My Shoulder”; while Ike Noble’s Alley side “It’s Bad” is a kind of low-key and low-paced jazz-blues-funk item – very listenable but hardly deep.
Gladys Patrick’s song has gospel references in its secular storyline lyrics and one suspects that gospel played a big part in Gladys’ early years. This is a very enjoyable moody piece of deepish soul, issued, surprisingly perhaps, on Atlantic.
The Electrifying Cashmeres hailed from Akron Ohio and here we can enjoy some fully-arranged uptown emotive soul, a style rarely heard on their label of the time, Sound Stage 7.
Irene Reid sounds to have been strongly influenced vocally by Little Esther and/or Dinah Washington but she performs this telling soul-ballad exceptionally well in that vocal style. It’s a Clyde Otis/Belford Hendricks piece, produced by Otis, arranged by Bert DeCoteaux and recorded in the Big Apple on 24th April 1967.
Back we go to 1960 for a classic Ray Charles track, the emotive slow-blues “I Wonder”, which owes as much to the terrific vocal chanting of the Raelets as to Ray’s strong lead and impressive piano fills.
The Magics offer their blue-eyed interpretation of Bobby Patterson’s Jetstar side “If I Didn’t Have You”. Read more about it - and them (including a link to even more info.) on their artist-page on this site.
Charles Spurling’s King side “Don’t Let Him Hurt You Baby” is a slow-paced soul winner with the terrific female back-up group virtually sharing honours with Charles in creating the required emotion. This is ‘controlled’ drama, but a great track.
1961 saw Joe Tex moonlighting to the Jalynne label for the low-key meandering ballad “Goodbye My Love” with its minimal guitar-led accompaniment. Very well sung and certainly pleasant, without being outstanding.
We shoot 16 years forwards next for William Stuckey’s equally meandering (and somewhat less impressive) item, “You Can Count On Me”, issued on ICA in both 7” and 12” formats, mainly because of its dance-floor ‘A’ side, “Disco Fly”.
Nappy Brown, who died in 2008, had one of the longest musical tenures around. More of a blues than a soul man, Nappy’s terrific voice was nonetheless capable of great expression. He first cut “I Don’t Hurt No More” on Savoy 1551 way back in 1958 at 2mins 25secs length, but I suspect this much longer version (which omits the “I” from the title) stems from his 1994 “I’m A Wild Man” New Moon Blues CD. This is rolling-paced blues-soul which is OK of its kind but 2 mins 25 secs worth would have been long enough for me.
Little Charles & The Sidewinders’ Red Sands item “You’re A Blessing” returns us to potent deep-soul, with the back-up group giving great support behind Charles’ dramatic phrasing. Fine track.
One person’s definition of “Deep Soul” will vary from another’s but, for me, there are too many ‘fringe’ selections here, some also clearly pre-dating what would normally be regarded as the soul era. Tracks 1, 5, 9 and 20 are the best genuinely deep ‘soul’ offerings to my ears, although Track 6 is superb pre-soul ‘deep-gospel’ but with secular lyrics.