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HICKORY

Nashville-based label which gained it’s own outlet in the UK courtesy of Pye Records.

It ran from 1964 to 1966. Various issues exist. Most common is a white label with black lettering and a white and grey logo, but there are also black and pink, and black blue and silver issues around. Demos are the white Pye style. The most sought after disc by a long chalk is the perennial classic Queen Of Fools by Barbara Mills, which should need no introduction to readers. Her other single, Try, has been unjustly overlooked as it’s a quite sublime midtempo offering, often ignored due to it’s uptempo flip side Let’s Make A Memory. Queen Of Fools is a much repressed single and I wish I had a pound for the amount of times I’ve been offered a reissue as an original (ditto the Frankie & Johnny pressing on US Hickory).

Apart from Barbara, there’s only really The Newbeats who give us anything to search for on Hickory. After a couple of hit singles, their falsetto styling paled and they released several non-hits which were picked up by the Northern scene. Crying My Heart out is the best-known, and this achieved monster status at Wigan in 1977. The Newbeats lead singer Larry Henley released a little known solo single entitled Sticking Up For My Baby, and this is currently quite in-demand on UK Hickory. It’s a pretty good midtempo dancer with a stomping chorus and some neat sax work.

45 1272 LARRY HENLEY Stickin' up for my baby / My reason for living 8/12

1323 BARBARA MILLS Queen of fools / Make it last (take your time) 80/90

1328 SUE THOMPSON It's break-up time / Afraid 4/7

1332 NEWBEATS Run baby run / Mean woolly willies 8/15

1366 NEWBEATS Too sweet to be forgotten / Shake hands 6/8

1387 NEWBEATS Crying my heart out / Short on love 10/18

1392 BARBARA MILLS Try / Let’s make a memory 7/12

1395 B.J. THOMAS Never tell / Billy and Sue 5/6

 

HMV

HMV began way back at the start of the century, but as no soul music was being produced then we’ll quickly jump to 1953/54 when the label started issuing 7" singles in the UK. HMV became a legend with collectors due to it being the first label to issue Elvis Presley recordings in the UK, all of which, needless to say, are big money items nowadays, especially those with gold lettering on the label.

The original label was mauve with gold lettering, then mauve with silver lettering, moving on to blue and silver in the late 50’s before finally changing to the well known black label with silver lettering (featuring the ‘nipper’ dog logo) in 1963. Some releases appear on both blue and black labels (e.g. Danny Williams - Moon River).

HMV also incorporated United Artists records for a short while before the latter was given it’s own UK imprint, consequently certain early 60’s releases are on a split HMV/UA blue and silver label (including the classic Phil Upchurch Combo - You Can’t Sit Down 45). Demos were originally plain white with black lettering on both sides before switching to the normal EMI red and white style in 1961. Demos do not utilise the dog logo. Green and whites followed in 1967, but confusion reigns here when you think that HMV 1566 Ray Charles - I Don’t No Doctor is a December 1966 release using a green and white demo, whereas Kenny Lynch - It’s Too Late, issued well into 1967, has a red and white demo (in fact, I’ve even seen a copy without the red A!).

Naturally the HMV label is dominated by the mighty Impressions who issued 16 singles in the 60’s, all of which are of a very high standard. From the same source comes Maxine Brown’s Am I Falling In Love, a rare 1963 cut which has become popular over the last few years, and two stunning singles from The Sapphires, both smashing uptempo 60’s dancers and both very, very rare on UK HMV. Gotta Have Your Love seems to have been around forever and still receives a lot of oldies spins at venues, whereas Evil One, it’s lesser known counterpart, may be just a little too fast for todays dancers.

Other artists to look out for are the late Sam Cooke who had five singles issued in the 50’s on HMV including the classic (What a) Wonderful World; Bobby Day, whose Little Bitty Pretty One got it’s first UK issue on HMV, many years before becoming popular on it’s Sue reissue; and of course there’s Ray Charles who has a list of releases a mile long, though Northern Soul aficionados only get excited by the thought of mint copies of I Don’t No Doctor and the massively underrated I Chose To Sing The Blues.

Fats Domino had several singles released on HMV in the early 60’s, with 1964’s If You Don’t Know What Love Is becoming a popular Northern spin in the mid-90’s, even though it’s more rock & roll than soul. The Marvellos cut several quality dancers for ABC Paramount in the States but HMV only licensed the almost doo-wop sounding I Do for UK release. The there was Ray Whitley who wrote and recorded the original version of I’ve Been Hurt as well as several items alongside or for Billy Joe Royal and Joe South.

HMV wasn’t exactly awash with new home-grown talent, though they did release the odd decent item by a UK based band or artist. Several of Kenny Lynch’s singles have found favour among the soul fraternity, including current flavour of the month Movin’ Away, which is, to be honest, a pretty awful pop song, though his version of My Own Two Feet is a stormer. Lynch was/is better known as a tv personality/all round entertainer/golf player. Other UK recordings of note: Elkie Brooks’ He’s Gotta Love Me has had a few feet a-shuffling over the years, West Five turned in an adequate reading of Just Like Romeo & Juliet, and I’ve been spared the probable torture of hearing dear old Beryl Read performing Deon Jackson’s Love Makes The World Go Round!

With honourable mentions for The Dixie Cups almost perfect What Kind Of Fool Do You Think I Am and the always popular Dust My Broom by Ike & Tina Turner, HMV is a pretty worthwhile label for UK collectors to invest in. Incidentally, HMV stopped releasing American soul music in late ‘67 when EMI decided to put out all their soul output via the Stateside label.

POP 899 PHIL UPCHURCH COMBO You can't sit down / Part II 10/15

947 HANK LEVINE Image / Part II 6/12

961 IMPRESSIONS Gypsy woman / As long as you love me 25/40

1017 RAY CHARLES Hide nor hair / At the club 8/10

1067 TEDDY RANDAZZO Dance the locomotion / Cottonfields 5/681091 FREDA PAYNE He who laughs fast / Slightly out of tune 5/8

1102 MAXINE BROWN Am I falling in love / Promise me anything 30/50

1215 MADELEINE BELL Because you didn't care / I long for your love 8/10

1129 IMPRESSIONS I’m the one who loves you / I need your love 10/20

1226 IMPRESSIONS It’s alright / You’ll want me back 8/15

1254 TAMS What kind of fool / Laugh it off 8/12

1262 IMPRESSIONS Talking 'bout my babyNever too much love 10/20

1283 GLENDA COLLINS Baby it hurts / Nice wasn’t it 20/30

1295 IMPRESSIONS I'm so proud / I made a mistake 8/15

1298 TAMS You lied to your daddy / It’s alright, you’re just in love 6/10

1303 FATS DOMINO If you don’t know what love is / Something you got baby 12/20

1317 IMPRESSIONS Keep on pushing / I love you 8/15

1331 TAMS Hey girl don't bother me / Take away 30/45

1338 JOHN LEYTON I want a love I can see / Don’t let her go away 5/8

1343 IMPRESSIONS You must believe me / See the real me 8/15

1367 KENNY LYNCH My own two feet / So much to love you for 10/20

1371 JUDI JOHNSON My baby’s face / Make the most of it 8/14

1372 DANNY WILLIAMS Forget her, forget her / Lollipops and roses 5/8

1390 HANK LEVINE ORCHESTRA Image / Part II 5/8

1399 JUDI JOHNSON & the PERFECTIONS A way out / How many times 6/8

1408 IMPRESSIONS People get ready / I’ve been trying 10/18

1410 DANNY WILLIAMS Go away / Masquerade 5/6

1428 WEST FIVE (Just like) Romeo & Juliet / Someone ain’t right 12/18

1429 IMPRESSIONS Woman got soul / Get up and move 8/15

1431 ELKIE BROOKS He’s gotta love me / When you appear 15/22

1432 SOUPY SALES The mouse / Pachalafaka 4/5

1433 MARVELOWS l do / My heart 10/20

1435 TOM & JERRYO Boogaloo / Boomerang 10/22

1441 SAPPHIRES Gotta have your love / Gee baby I’m sorry 80/100

1446 IMPRESSIONS Meeting over yonder / I found that I lost 6/12

1461 SAPPHIRES Evil one / How could I say goodbye 80/100

1464 TAMS Concrete jungle / Till the end of time 6/8

1472 IMPRESSIONS I need you / Never could be you 8/15

1473 RAY WHITLEY I've been hurt / There is one boy 40/60

1489 BERYL REID Love makes the world go round / When the circus comes to town 5/6

1492 IMPRESSIONS Amen / Long long winter 6/10

1498 IMPRESSIONS You’ve been cheating / Just one kiss from you 10/30

1504 DELLA REESE Her little heart went to loveland / Home 6/8

1516 IMPRESSIONS Since I lost the one I love / Falling in love with you 8/10

1524 DIXIE CUPS What kind of fool / Danny Boy 7/12

1526 IMPRESSIONS Too slow / No one else 8/10

1531 STEVE ALAIMO So much love / Truer than true 6/10

1537 RAY CHARLES The train / Let’s go get stoned 5/7

1544 IKE & TINA TURNER Beauty is just skin deep / Anything you wasn’t born with 10/15

1545 IMPRESSIONS Can't satisfy / This must be the end 10/30

1548 THE HIGH &THE MIGHTY Help me escape from Cuba / Tryin’ to stop cryin’ 20/30

1551 RAY CHARLES I chose to sing the blues / Hopelessly 8/15

1560 DANNY WILLIAMS I'm so lost / Rain (falling from the skies) 4/6

1566 RAY CHARLES I don't need no doctor / Please say you’re fooling 25/50

1577 KENNY LYNCH It's too late / I just wanna love you 8/15

1579 JIMMY REED Two ways to skin a cat / Got nowhere to go 6/10

1581 IMPRESSIONS You always hurt me / Little girl 8/10

1583 IKE & TINA TURNER Dust my broom / I’m hooked 18/35

1585 MARSHALL SCOTT ETC. Goin’ where the lovin’ is / Come to me 4/6

1591 RAELETTES One room paradise / One hurt deserves another 5/8

1594 B.B. KING Think it over / I don’t want you cuttin’ off your hair 5/7

1604 KENNY LYNCH Movin' away / Could I count on you 20/40

1607 RAY CHARLES Something's got to change / In the heat of the night 5/6

 

IMMEDIATE

‘Proud to be a part of the industry in human happiness’ was the slogan of this classic mid-60’s label, the epitome of the Swinging London era and much beloved of Mods everywhere. Immediate was owned by Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham and a large percentage of releases have either a Stones or a Small Faces connection, be it via songwriting, producing or arranging. The label’s output varied immensely, from r & b to pop, blues to soul, psychedlia to freakbeat and everything inbetween. The label was manufactured and distributed by Polydor records, and in line with that label, issued very few demos. The label was grey, though some releases were white, and later releases were pink , all with black lettering. demos were white with a red A, though many demos from 1967 onwards were simply date stamped above the title.

Soul collectors will be familiar with most of P.P. Arnold’s releases, the former Ikette having settled in London and issued six decent singles on the label. The big one is Everything’s Gonna Be Alright, her first for the label, an immensely popular sound which is very scarce on it’s UK issue. The exotically-monickered Golden Apples Of The Sun cut an excellent and quite scarce version of Major Lance’s The Monkey Time which was originally scheduled to appear on Decca but had it’s release cancelled. The band were managed by fashion photographer David Bailey. The wonderful Barbara Lynn somehow managed a release on the label, the dancing You Can’t Buy My Love which vanished without trace, and Scottish beat group The Poets cut an almost freakbeat version of Marvin Gaye’s Baby Don’t You Do It, producer of which was credited as being one Paul Raven, who is far better known as Gary Glitter!

Look out for the McCoys criminally underrated version of the standard Fever - it utilises an identical backing track to their smash hit Hang On Sloopy (with one minor chord change) and it really stomps, a truly stupendous version of a great song.

IM 007 STRANGELOVES Cara-Lin / Roll on Mississippi 6/8

008 VAN LENTON You don't care / Gotta get away 8/12

009 FACTOTUMS In my lonely room / Run in the green and tangerine flaked forest8/12

010 GOLDEN APPLES OF THE SUN The monkey time / Chocolate rolls, tea and monopoly 10/15

011 BARBARA LYNN You can't buy my love / That’s what a friend will do 10/18

021 MCCOYS Fever / Sorrow 5/8

023 CHRIS FARLOWE Don't just look at me / Think 6/15

024 POETS Baby don't you do it / I’ll come home 20/30

026 GOLDIE Headlines / Goin’ back 8/10

029 MCCOYS Up and down / If you tell a lie 5/7

038 CHRIS FARLOWE Headlines / Ride on baby 5/7

040 P.P. ARNOLD Everything's gonna be alright / Life is but nothing 50/80

041 CHRIS FARLOWE My way of giving / You’re so good to me 4/6

055 P.P. ARNOLD If you see what I mean / The time has come 4/6

061 P.P. ARNOLD (If you think you're) groovy / Though it hurts me badly 4/6

 

ISLAND

Think of the Island label and what immediately springs to mind? Probably reggae, maybe folk from the late 60’s or perhaps early 70’s progressive rock; usually not soul music. However, on close inspection Island’s 60’s catalogue contains several releases which will be of great interest to the UK label collector.

The label was set up by Englishman Chris Blackwell in Jamaica in 1959 or thereabouts and issued West Indian recordings in the popular New Orleans influenced R&B style of the time. Some of these recordings appeared in the UK on another independent label, Starlite, which also released pop and rock’n’roll and is in itself a collectable label. In the 50’s and early 60’s, Jamaican music was greatly influenced by American rhythm and blues, and productions from this period are basically Jamaican copies of the American style. Much of this happened because the US originals were imported in very small quantities and would then be "covered up" in order to stop rival sound system operators getting hold of an exclusive sound. Sound familiar?

Island first appeared in the UK in 1962, utilising a white label with logo at the top. By 1964, this had changed to the more familiar white label with the red band running across the centre (exactly the same style as Island offshoot Sue). Late 1967 saw the introduction of a new numbering series (6000) and a new label design - a striking pink label with the word Island at the top and a weird target-type symbol on the left. This changed to the well-known "palm tree" design in 1970, by which time the soul content of the label was nil and the reggae content minimal.

The discography featured here includes practically all non-Ska/Rocksteady/Reggae singles, though not all will be soul - I’ve never heard Sam Houston or Tony Washington’s releases, but you never know!

Highlights From Island

One current in-demander from Island is the superb Wide Awake In A Dream by The Blues Busters (219), though the credit on the UK release is simply to group member Phillip James.

Jackie Edwards’ immortal I Feel So Bad (3006) has been played on the soul scene almost since the day of it’s original release and now commands a very high price. An alternative version of I Feel So Bad appears on a very scarce French EP, where the original backing track has been overdubbed with a new vocal version containing a duet between Jackie and an uncredited girl singer (said by some to be Joyce Bond).

The V.I.P.’s were a beat group from Carlisle who recorded three very rare singles in the 60’s, one for RCA and two for Island (and also one for CBS as The Vipps). The second Island single, Straight Down To The Bottom (6005), is a superb Northern dancer and quite soulful to boot. The band went on to become Spooky Tooth.

Wynder K.Frog was a group rather than a person and was fronted by keyboardist Mick Weaver who had previously been with The Fairies. Their version of Spencer Davis Group’s I’m A Man (6014) was supposedly recorded live at Brigitte Bardot’s birthday party in Paris! Apart from their well known Northern ‘hit’ Green Door (6006), the band also did a fine instrumental version of none other than I Feel So Bad on the LP Sunshine Superfrog.

Jimmy Cliff’’s Waterfall (6039) was written by the band Nirvana (no, not that Nirvana, this was a 60’s hippy band), was very big as a revived oldie in 1977, and consequently pressed.

Tim Tam & The Turn-Ons’ Wait A Minute (6007) comes from, of all sources, the much respected Detroit label Palmer and was originally played in 1978 as a joke! It went on to become one of the years’ biggest spins. The flip side is a pretty neat Mod instrumental.

Julian Covey was actually Phil Kinorra from Nottingham. Backing group The Machine featured sometime members of Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, Blossom Toes and Shotgun Express. A Little Bit Hurt (6009) is a long standing classic which still gets played at oldies nights.

Owen Gray was a veteran Jamaican singer who cut a cover of The Anglos’ Incense (6000) for Island. The Anglos themselves were a studio project fronted by Stevie Winwood. Island was the home of the third release of their version of Incense (6061), it having previously seen the light of day on the tiny Island offshoot Brit from where it was picked up by Fontana. A projected reissue on Sue never materialised even though a catalogue number was allocated.

Finally, an honourable mention goes to Robert Parker’s classic Let’s Go Baby (Where The Action Is)(286) which simply makes you want to dance - and that’s what it’s all about.

WI 189 RUDY SEEDORF One million stars 7

214 BLUES BUSTERS How sweet it is / I had a dream 10

219 PHILLIP JAMES Wide awake in a dream / Unknown (Maytals track) 25

270 JACKIE EDWARDS Come on home / Sometimes 8

271 PATSY COLE Disappointed bride / Honeymoon night (by Earl Bostic) 7

273 ROY C Shotgun wedding / High school dropout 4

273 ROY C I'm gonna make it / Shotgun wedding 4

274 JACKIE EDWARDS L-o-v-e / What’s your name 6

286 ROBERT PARKER Barefootin' / Let’s go baby (where the action is) 8

287 JACKIE EDWARDS Oh Mary / Think twice 8

WIP 3006 JACKIE EDWARDS I feel so bad / I don’t want to be made a fool of 75

3008 ROBERT PARKER Happy feet / The scratch 6

3019 JOYCE BOND Tell me what it's all about / Tell me right now 5

6000 OWEN GRAY Incense / Help me 6

6004 JIMMY CLIFF Give and take

/ Aim and ambition 5

6005 VIP’S Straight down to the bottom/In a dream 30

6006 WYNDER K. FROG Green door / Dancing frog 12

6007 TIM TAM & the TURN-ONS Wait a minute / Opelia 15

6008 JACKIE EDWARDS Come back girl / Tell him you lied 6

6009 JULIAN COVEY & the MACHINE A little bit hurt / Sweet bacon 12

6014 WYNDER K. FROG I'm a man / Shook shimmy and shake 8

6039 JIMMY CLIFF Waterfall / The reward 10

6053 BOB & EARL Harlem shuffle / I’ll keep running back 4

6061 ANGLOS Incense / You’re fooling me 5

6280 BARBARA PENNINGTON Running in another direction / Running away 2/3

6285 JACKIE EDWARDS I feel so bad / Come on home 6/7

6442 JULIAN COVEY & the MACHINE A little bit hurt / Sweet bacon 4/5

USA 006 BOBBY McCLURE You bring out the love in me / Daybreak (by Survival kit) 10/12

USA 008 FANTASTIC JOHNNY C Don't depend on me / Waiting for the rain (by Philly Sound) 8/10

 

JAYBOY

A very underrated label which did a sterling job in making some of the late 60’s/early 70’s biggest sounds available at high street prices. The label was owned by President Records, run by David Kassner and began issuing records in 1968 with Doris Willingham’s (aka Doris Duke) You Can’t Do That. The first 20 or so releases were a strange mixture of beat, soul and pop, little of which are worth mentioning. An early Record Collector issue reports that the MC5’s seminal Kick Out The Jams was issued on Jayboy, but I haven’t been able to find any evidence to substantiate this claim, especially as it was released as a single on Elektra. So really we have to jump to 1970 and Ray Merrell’s fantastic Tears Of Joy, which is easily the rarest release on the label and is probably worth as much as every one of the other 114 or so releases put together. And this from an Irish country and western singer too! That this single is in such short supply has led to claims that it was withdrawn, but there seems no reason for this - it probably just sold zilch. The next couple of years saw Jayboy plundering the Mirwood back catalogue and releasing practically everything of note from that L.A. source. The quality of most of these releases is of a very high standard but items such as Jimmy Conwell’s awesome instrumental Cigarette Ashes, it’s vocal version That Beatin’ Rhythm by Richard Temple and singles from Jackie Lee, Bob & Earl Band and The Sheppards are all so well known that to go into a breakdown of each release is almost on a par with reviewing every Tamla Motown release.

Chris Savory recalls an interesting anecdote in Record Collector 33 concerning a visit paid to David Kassner by himself and Clive Richardson, who had taken a liking to a single on US Veejay by Little Wayne Anthony. The duo played Kassner the record, left it with him, and a matter of weeks later a Jayboy demo of the self same record duly dropped through their letterboxes! Nice to see a record executive with an open enough mind to take into consideration exactly what the soul buff on the street wanted to be issued in the UK. The fact that the record sold nothing on it’s UK release is a moot point.

Most of the Jayboy soul singles are worth around a fiver, with some of the demos fetching a tenner. The exception, as mentioned previously, is the Ray Merrell record which is now a hundred pound plus item. I remember when I finally got a copy of that particular record, someone had desperately tried to erase the pencil-written price on the label of 20p!

BOY 1 DORIS WILLINGHAM You can't do that / Lost again 8/10

22 RAY MERRELL Tears of joy / Searchin’ 130/150

24 INVITATIONS How’d we ever get this way / Picking up 4/5

25 BOB & EARL Harlem shuffle / Send for me I’ll be there 3/4

26 JACKIE LEE Do the temptation walk / The shotgun and the duck 4/5

28 JACKIE LEE Would you believe / You’re everything 4/5

29 HIDEAWAYS Hideout / Jolly Joe 3/4

30 SHEPPARDS Stubborn heart / How do you like it 15/25

31 RICHARD TEMPLE That beatin' rhythm / Could it be 5/8

32 DONALD HEIGHT Talk of the grapevine / There’ll be no tomorrow 4/5

33 JERRYO Karate boogaloo / The pearl 4/5

36 ERMA FRANKLIN The right to cry / I’m just not ready for love 2/3

37 PHILLIP MITCHELL Gonna build California all over the world / World needs more people 5/6

38 EXCITERS Soul motion / You know it ain’t right 2/3

40 LIBERTY BELLES Shingaling time / Just try me 2/3

42 DREAMS (They call me) Jessie James / The charge 2/3

44 BLUES BUSTERS Inspired to love you / I can’t stop 5/6

48 GEORGE TORRENCE & NATURALS So long goodbye / Lickin’ stick 4/5

51 DONALD HEIGHT 365 days / I’m willing to wait 4/5

52 JACKIE LEE & DOLORES HALL Whether it’s right or wrong / Baby I’m satisfied 3/4

54 GEORGE FREEMAN Why are you doing this to me / I’m like a fish 4/5

56 OLYMPICS Baby do the philly dog / Secret agents 4/5

57 PHILUP MITCHELL Free for all (winner takes all) / Flower child 4/7

58 ERNIE & ED Indication / Beautiful world 5/6

59 FREDDIE SCOTT Are you lonely for me baby / The love of my woman 4/5

61 FURYS What is soul / I lost my baby 3/4

62 JERRYO Dance whatcha wanna / Afro twist time 2/3

63 LOU & LAURA POOLE Only you and I know / Look at me 5/6

64 JIMMY CONWELL Cigarette ashes / Second hand happiness 5/7

65 MIRETTES He's alright with me / Now that I found you baby 4/5

66 JACKIE LEE Oh my darlin' / Don’t be ashamed 5/6

67 JIMMY THOMAS Where there's a will / Just trying to please you 4/5

68 FURYS I'm satisfied with you / Just a little mixed up 4/5

69 FI-DELS Try a little harder / You never do right 5/10

71 WATTS 103rd ST. BAND Spreadin' honey / Charley 4/5

72 BOB & EARL I can't get away / I’ll keep running back 4/5

73 BOB & EARL BAND My little girl / His and hers shuffle 4/5

74 OLYMPICS The same old thing / I’ll do a little bit more 4/5

75 BOBBY WOMACK What is this / I wonder 4/5

78 CLAY HAMMOND Dance little girl / Twin brother 4/5

109 FOXY Get off your aah and dance / Part 2 1/2

111 MIAMI Kill that roach / Mr Notorious 1/2

 

KAMA SUTRA

This intriguingly monickered label saw it’s first releases come out in the UK on ernational before establishing its own imprint, primarily as an outlet for releases by the labels’ biggest stars, The Lovin’ Spoonful. Kama Sutra only has a handful of releases to interest the soul collector, but one of those is surely one of the most collectable records ever released - or unreleased - in the UK.

Kama Sutra 208 is Six O’Clock by The Lovin’ Spoonful, the tune of which may be familiar to older readers as it was released as ‘Supertime’ by The Golden World Strings on a fake Stephanye label in the very early 70’s. It turned out to be an obscure LP track by Total Eclipse. The Spoonful’s vocal is okay but hardly essential. Now, the only other release of note on this label is Billy Harner- What About The Music, a 1970 release which fetches up to a tenner on British. However, by one of those strange quirks of fate, a handful of advance copies were pressed up with an extra 1:30 second instrumental version of What About The Music hidden away unannounced. This instrumental - which is excellent, by the way - was itself bootlegged in very poor quality as a one sided disc in 1977. It can now be found in perfect quality on one of the Deep Beats Northern Soul compilations CD. I only know the whereabouts of one copy of this record for definite - though somebody always knows someone who’s got one - and because of this, I would rate this is the hardest UK Northern Soul 45 of all time to find, and in real terms it should be worth double the price of a Darrell Banks London demo due to it’s supreme rarity. I also know (and this is the God’s honest truth) a guy who told me that he’d sent copies back to the manufacturers because of this strange fault/extra track. I was told this back in ‘77, the guy was the manager of a record shop in the village where I used to live so there’s no need to doubt him. Sigh. One more thing: you can only tell whether you’ve got the ‘special’ version by playing the thing - labels are identical to issues!

KAS 208 LOVIN' SPOONFUL Six o'clock / The finale 4/6

2013029 BILLY HARNER What about the music / Please spare me this time 6/8

2013029 BILLY HARNER BAND What about the music / Instrumental version / Please spare me this time

(Instrumental only on a handful of mispressed demos) 300

 

KING

Another weird and wonderful UK label, King issued basically anything they could get their hands on between 1966 and 1968. The label was run and owned by Rita & Benny King and based in Stamford Hill in London. They had previously run the R & B label and were responsible for ska/rocksteady labels such as R & B, Caltone, Giant and Jolly. All of these labels are collectable today. King itself went from the ridiculous (Irish singalongs from Larry Cunningham - the most common King singles by a mile) to the sublime (the wonderful Mary Love). Elsewhere you’ll find the rare surf-meets-Northern instrumental Soulful Jerk by The Rumblers, very rare and very expensive too; June Adams’ gospell-ish River Keep Moving, a relatively recent discovery which is very, very good; and the best ever Cliff Richard impersonation from The Rocomars who give us All In Black Woman - why this has been listed in previous discographies is beyond me, but I will include it here to save people writing in and telling me I’ve forgotten it!

The label comes in a variety of colours: black and silver, blue and silver, or sea-green and silver, all utilising a ‘crown’ logo at the top of the label. Later labels are sky blue with a pattern running around the centre. No demos seem to exist, though Mick Smith obtained a white test pressing with hand written labels directly from the labels’ owners a few years back.

KC 1002 BETTY EVERETT Your loving arms / Happy I long to be 5

1007 DYNAMICS So in love with me / Say you will 5

1009 SONNY HINES Nothing like your love / Anytime, anyday, anywhere 5

1018 CHANTAYS I'll be back someday / Beyond 5

1021 RUMBLERS Soulful jerk / Hey did a da da 35

1024 MARY LOVE You turned my bitter into sweet / I’m in your hands 60

1031 ROCOMARS All in black woman / Give me time 5

1035 VOGUES Magic town / Humpty dumpty 5

1038 JUNE ADAMS River keep movin' / Heavenly father 15

1041 SAM & DAVE You ain’t no big time baby / No more pain 8

1044 GUESS WHO Hey girl / It’s my pride 6

(c) 1998 Pete Smith

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Copyright M Fitzpatrick
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