When R & B met gospel music and soul came out from their union in the early 60s there were a lot of records that were quite difficult to categorize. Nancy Love’s two fine Vee Jay 45s are right in that bag. As Sure As I Live is a lovely ballad with Nancy’s vocal showing both a fine bluesy touch and some strong gospel influences. On the whole the church wins out I think, particularly when you check out the chord changes and hear the background singers as well. Love the triplet piano and vibes. Prove It To Me has a similar feel and packs an equal punch. Great vocals again from Nancy especially when she gets low down in the chorus. Nice horn fills as well.
UPDATE ~ Davie Gordon has kindly written with his views on the Decca 45. He says:-
"Is the Nancy Love on Decca the same as on VeeJay ? - I'd say yes. The VeeJay tracks came to the label via Bill Lowery in Atlanta where VeeJay had a regional office. The Decca single, issued in June 1968, was produced by Don Carroll. Carroll, who produced the Winstons' "Color Him Father", also produced a number of other acts who had ties to Bill Lowery so I think we safely say the VeeJay and Decca records are by the same singer and that she was probably from the Atlanta area. The full details of the Decca single : -
Decca 32338 (June 1968) 120,341 Put It Off Until Tomorrow (Dolly Parton, Bill Owens) 120,342 Hangin' On (Buddy Mize,Ira Allen) Prod : Don Carroll
"Hangin' On" was a hit for Joe Simon a few months earlier the other side was a big country hit (# 6) for Bill Phillips on Decca in 1966."
As sure as I live / Rescue me ~ VEE JAY 432 (1962)
Love letters in the sand / Prove it to me ~ VEE JAY 458 (1962)
1. "As sure as I live" can be found on the P-Vine CD "The Vee-Jay R& B Rarities Move And Groove". This also includes two unissued tracks "Baby I'm not over you yet" and "It's really real".
2. Is the Nancy Love on Decca from 1968 the same artist?
Thanks to Jim the Strandwolf for the excellent suggestion. And to Davie Gordon for the excellent extra info.