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July 12, 2014

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Artist: Sir Lattimore Brown

Profile:

Lattimore Brown was a fixture on the “chitlin circuit” of the early and mid-’60s, and worked right into the subsequent decade — he enjoyed some success as a recording artist, mostly reaching audiences in and around the Gulf Coast, and was seen regularly on the soul showcase The !!!! Beat. Born in Memphis, Brown spent a good deal of his youth in the 1950s as a denizen of Beale Street, in gambling joints and, more importantly, the nightclubs in the city’s red-light district, absorbing the music around him — which was mostly blues. He broke into recording on the Excello label in 1960, cutting a pair of singles for the label’s Zil imprint, “It Hurts Me So” b/w “Got Plenty of Troubles” and “Chick Chick Chicky Chick” b/w “Always My Love.” Neither one was an especially big seller, but both were played heavily on local radio and paved the way for his first modest success, “Somebody’s Gonna Miss Me” b/w “Darlin’ Dear.” Issued on Excello’s own imprint, it did well enough to earn Brown a spot performing on the same bills with established labelmates Roscoe Shelton and Earl Gaines. In 1962, he jumped to the Nashville-based Duchess Records label, but a trio of singles there failed to generate any notable sales. It was Roscoe Shelton who led Brown to the newly founded Nashville-based Sound Stage 7 label in 1963.

He recorded well over a dozen tracks during this period, in Nashville, in Memphis at Stax (where he cut several with Booker T. & the MG’s), and at Muscle Shoals, but none of his music had any national chart impact. Perhaps his most widely heard record from this period was the single “I Knew I’m Gonna Miss You,” which was cut with an uncredited Shelton sharing the vocals. Brown’s biggest hit came later in the 1960s, when he released the Otis Redding tribute single “Otis Is Gone,” which had some modest chart success. Despite his lack of national sales, however, Brown was able to generate a full LP of his own, entitled This Is Lattimore’s World, at the end of the 1960s, which enjoyed sufficient sales and had enough impact to propel his career right into the next decade. He was dropped from the Sound Stage 7 roster in 1970 when the label’s management decided to focus on more contemporary soul sounds, and jumped to Renegade Records soon after (which, bringing his career full circle, was distributed by the Excello label).

Little Box of Tricks He cut a pair of singles by way of Muscle Shoals before moving on to Ace Records. Brown’s final two sides, “You Don’t Know Like I Know” b/w “Warm and Tender Love” (the A-side cut as an unofficial duet with Bobby Marchan), were released by Ace in 1975. That was his last bid for recording success, though he continued working with guitarist Larry Davis throughout the decade. Brown retired from music in 1980. Ironically, in the first decade of the 21st century, there was more of his music in print at once — and in more different media — than ever before in history. In 2005, Bear Family Records issued on DVD the complete run of The !!!! Beat, a mid-’60s syndicated television R&B and soul showcase, on which Brown had appeared in the company of such luminaries as Joe Tex, Etta James, et al. And in 2006, Australia’s AIM Records issued Little Box of Tricks, a 17-song CD collection that assembled virtually all of Brown’s mid- to late-’60s sides for Sound Stage 7. On March 25, 2011, Brown was struck by a car and killed as he crossed the street near his home in Pensacola, Florida. Bruce Eder, All Music Guide

Album: This Is Lattimore’s World

Release date: 1977

Tracklist:

01. I’ve Got Everything (My Baby Needs)
02. I’m Not Through Lovin’ You
03. Boo Ga Lou Sue
04. It Hurts Me So Bad
05. It’s Gonna Take A Little Time
06. Otis Is Gone Part 1 & 2
07. I Know I’m Gonna Miss You
08. It’s Such A Sad, Sad World
09. Don’t Trust No One
10. Bless Your Heart
11. So Says My Heart
12. Nobody Has To Tell Me (You Were Meant For Me)

‘I’m Not Through Lovin’ You (Live)’ On YouTube

Vinyl Covers & Labels (Click On The Thumbnails)

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Artist: A Tint Of Darkness

Album: A Tint Of Darkness

Release date: 1978

Tracklist:

1. Don’t Ever Take Your Love Away
2. Woman
3. I’m Happy
4. I Watched The Rain
5. Is That Enough?
6. Flashwatcher
7. The Lines
8. Play Fair
9. Hey Mr. Sunshine

‘Don’t Ever Take Your Love Away’ On YouTube

Vinyl Covers (Click On The Thumbnails)

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strong>Artist: Nancy Wilson

Profile:

Diva Nancy Wilson was among contemporary music’s most stylish and sultry vocalists; while often crossing over into the pop and R&B markets — and even hosting her own television variety program — she remained best known as a jazz performer, renowned for her work alongside figures including Cannonball Adderley and George Shearing. Born February 20, 1937, in Chillicothe, OH, Wilson first attracted notice performing the club circuit in nearby Columbus; she quickly earned a growing reputation among jazz players and fans, and she was recording regularly by the late ’50s, eventually signing to Capitol and issuing LPs including 1959’s Like in Love and Nancy Wilson with Billy May’s Orchestra. Her dates with Shearing, including 1960’s The Swingin’s Mutual, solidified her standing as a talent on the rise, and her subsequent work with Adderley — arguably her finest recordings — further cemented her growing fame and reputation.

In the years to follow, however, Wilson often moved away from jazz, much to the chagrin of purists; she made numerous albums, many of them properly categorized as pop and R&B outings, and toured extensively, appearing with everyone from Nat King Cole and Sarah Vaughan to Ruth Brown and LaVern Baker. She even hosted her own Emmy-winning variety series for NBC, The Nancy Wilson Show, and was a frequent guest performer on other programs; hits of the period included “Tell Me the Truth,” “How Glad I Am,” “Peace of Mind,” and “Now, I’m a Woman.” Regardless of how far afield she traveled, Wilson always maintained her connections to the jazz world, and in the 1980s, she returned to the music with a vengeance, working closely with performers including Hank Jones, Art Farmer, Ramsey Lewis, and Benny Golson. By the 1990s, she was a favorite among the “new adult contemporary” market, her style ideally suited to the format’s penchant for lush, romantic ballads; she also hosted the Jazz Profiles series on National Public Radio.

In the early 2000s, Wilson recorded two albums with Ramsey Lewis for Narada (2002’s Meant to Be and 2003’s Simple Pleasures). Her 2004 album R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal) was a blend of straight-ahead jazz and ballads, similar to her next record, 2006’s Turned to Blue, which, like R.S.V.P., used a different instrumentalist for each track. In 2005, Capitol released a three-part series to pay tribute to Wilson’s contributions to music in the ’50s and ’60s: Guess Who I Saw Today: Nancy Wilson Sings Songs of Lost Love, Save Your Love for Me: Nancy Wilson Sings the Great Blues Ballads, and The Great American Songbook. Jason Ankeny, AllMusic Guide

Most of Nancy Wilson’s late ’60s releases contained four or five good tunes and the rest would be filler from the day’s batch of B-grade pop material. Her 1967 date Welcome to My Love, though, is an exception. It offers a consistent selection of high-quality standards and strong contemporary material impressively set off by Oliver Nelson’s soulfully urbane arrangements. On the subdued end there are straightahead ballads like “May I Come In” and “It Never Entered My Mind” as well as more soul-tinged numbers such as “Welcome to My Love” and “Let’s Make the Most of a Beautiful Thing.” Wilson’s smoky, whispered voice imparts just the right amount of tender drama here while Nelson’s dark and restrained string charts keep things from getting syrupy. Balancing out the set are a series of bluesy big band numbers including “In the Heat of the Night,” “I’m Always Drunk in SF” and an amazing version of “Ode to Billy Joe.” This classic Bobbie Gentry tune gets a funked up, backwoods treatment à la Etta James with Wilson in full swagger. Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis effectively echoes the intensity with his back in the mix, burning tenor solo while drummer Shelly Manne and bassist Buster Williams anchor the proceedings with driving intensity. The set is rounded out by fine renditions of “For Once in Life” and the classic Ray Charles hit “You Don’t Know Me.” On Welcome to My Love, Wilson successfully straddled the jazz/soul divide and in the process produced one of her best albums of the 60’s. Stephen Cook, All Music Guide

Nancy Wilson gets some great help here from Oliver Nelson – whose solid arrangements make the record one of our favorites from Wilson’s early Capitol years! There’s a feel here that’s a bit earthier and bluesier than some of Wilson’s other albums – a mode that’s a nice extension of the post-R&B sound that Ray Charles was forging, but done with more of the class and sophistication you’d expect from Nancy. Nelson still uses a fair bit of strings in the mix, and although the pace is often gentle, there’s an undercurrent to the record that keeps things soulful and strong! The set features a great reading of “I’m Always Drunk In San Francisco”, plus versions of “Why Try To Change Me Now”, “You Don’t Know Me”, “Ode To Billie Joe”, and “May I Come In?”.

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Album: Welcome To My Love

Release date: 1967

Tracklist:

01. In The Heat Of The Night
02. May I Come In?
03. Angel Eyes
04. It Never Entered My Mind
05. I’m Always Drunk In San Francisco (And I Don’t Drink At All)
06. Theme From “Hotel”
07. For Once In My Life
08. You Don’t Know Me
09. Why Try To Change Me Now?
10. Welcome To My Love
11. Ode To Billy Joe

‘Angel Eyes’ On YouTube

Vinyl Covers & Labels (Click On The Thumbnails)

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Artist: Soul Sounds

Profile:

Take Phil Upchurch Combo’s ‘You Can’t Sit Down’ and King Curtis’s ‘Jump Back’, add many of the biggest selling soul instrumentals and you not only have a great party album but also excitement! Starting with ‘Last Night’ right through to the last bar of ‘Night Train’ the Soul Sounds (led by the driving beat of drummer Carlo Little) never let the excitement drop. Dick Errington on tenor sax along with organist Nicky Hopkins can be heard playing solos on most of the tracks. Listen to Dick’s sympathetic solo on ‘When Something Is Wrong With My Baby’ and Nicky on the rousing ‘I Feel Good’. If soul music is your bag and dancing your relaxation this album will bring you hours of enjoyment. Liner Notes

Album: Soul Survival

Release date: 1967

Tracklist:

01. Jump Back
02. See Saw
03. You Can’t Sit Down
04. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
05. Soul Soup
06. Sunshine Superman
07. Last Night
08. When Something Is Wrong With My Baby
09. I Feel Good
10. Philly Dog
11. Soul Survival
12. Night Train

‘Soul Soup’ On YouTube

Vinyl Covers (Click On The Thumbnails)

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