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LIBERTY

No introduction needed for this EMI distributed label, set up in the UK in 1962, before which it’s releases had come out mainly on London. The Liberty numbering sequence is very confusing and does not run in numerical order. ‘55’ prefixed singles are from the parent US Liberty label; ‘66’ prefixed singles are nearly all from US Minit; ‘12’ prefixes are from a variety of sources including Minit and Soul City; whilst the odd disc that appears with a ‘10’ prefix may well be a British recording. Certainly the ultra rare 1964 Stylos single, Head Over Heels, was the first ever UK production released on UK Liberty. The band were from Manchester and disappeared after this one-off beat single. It’s probably safe to assume that many of P.J. Proby’s singles were also recorded in the UK. Sadly, the labels cannon is pretty low on highlights, though when it’s good, it’s very good!

Homer Banks - Three super singles in a row from US Minit, including the much imitated A Lot Of Love. These three records almost single-handedly sum up the UK rare soul scene of 1967-69.

Al Wilson - Al’s two singles for Liberty are both sought after, though whereas one has long had it’s day, the other is just beginning to get the recognition from collectors. The Snake was one of the biggest records ever on the Northern scene, though exactly why this is has always escaped me. Now I Know What Love Is was given a lot of exposure on the Kent LP Midnight Movers and consequently ‘took off’ in collecting circles.

Timi Yuro - It’ll Never Be Over For Me was recorded in the UK in 1969 and not issued in the USA on a 7", consequently the demand for this on UK Liberty has been astronomical until a reissue a few years back quelled the demand. A beautiful midtempo dancer of the highest quality from a superb vocalist, this has probably been the biggest sound of the last 10 years. All of Timi’s releases are top quality, though you may do well to avoid some of her ‘country’ recordings for Mercury (having said that, her Can’t Stop Running Away on Mercury is a must).

The Fifth Dimension featured vocalists Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr and hit gold with some sappy late 60’s numbers such as Aquarius and Up Up And Away. However, their Train Start Moving comes from another universe when compared to those titles, it’s a 200 mph unstoppable monster of a dancer and it truly is incredible. Betcha can’t stop yourself tapping your feet to this one.

Tommy Sands attempted to revive a flagging career by cutting a dance craze number entitled The Statue - well, the first 10 seconds are excellent, but it’s all downhill after that. Surprisingly, this was big for a few weeks during 1977 before a very dodgy pressing hit it for six - thank God for bootleggers.

Gene McDaniels cut singles a plenty for Liberty including the classic Walk With A Winner on which he gives a truly bad vocal performance that no-one seems to have noticed due to it’s crashing beat ballad backing. While this track is easily Gene’s best known Northern sound, his excellent version of Jimmy Radcliffe’s There Goes The Forgotten Man remains practically unknown on British. Strange.

The O’Jays need no introduction so I’ll just say that their Lipstick Traces is another seminal 60’s soul cut - what a shame they didn’t release I’ll Never Forget You on UK eh? Then there’s Irma Thomas, who’s probably never cut a bad record but neither did she have the success she deserved in the 60’s, usually beaten to the punch by an opportunist cover version. Irma’s biggest UK in-demander is What Are You Trying To Do, another record which shot up in price after it’s inclusion on a Kent LP.

Finally, among the waifs and strays we have the lovely Jackie DeShannon - Find Me Love, a one time biggie which was so popular it was pressed (you can now buy an original for the same price as a pressing), still hard-ish on UK though; Walk by The Fenways which is a headbanging 4/4 garage record; Moment Of Softness by US T-Bones (so called to differentiate them from the UK’s Gary Farr & The T-Bones), which is a simple but quite effective instrumental dominated by chimes; and the obscure Michael Clark Tams soundalike None Of These Girls. Did somebody mention Gary Lewis & The Playboys? Let’s get out of here!

LIB 10115 WILSON PICKETT It's too late / I’m gonna love you 8/12

10173 STYLOS Head over heels / By bye baby bye bye 50/65

10206 P.J. PROBY I don't want to hear it anymore / Let the water run down 4/6

12018 T-BONE WALKER Party girl / Here in the dark 12/15

12028 HOMER BANKS A lot of love / Fighting to win 12/2012040 JIMMY HOLIDAY Baby I love you / You won’t get away 7/14

12042 JOHNNY SAYLES Anything for you / Deep down in your heart 5/8

12047 HOMER BANKS 60 minutes of your love / Do you know what 12/20

12048 JIMMY HOLIDAY Give me your love / The turning point 6/10

12051 FIFTH DIMENSION Too poor to die / Go where you wanna go 6/10

12053 JIMMY HOLIDAY I'm gonna move to the city / Everybody needs help 6/10

12055 FATS DOMINO It keeps raining / Blue monday 6/10

12058 JIMMY HOLIDAY & CLYDIE KNG Ready, willing and able / We got a good thing goin’ 15/30

12060 HOMER BANKS Hooked by love / Lady of stone 12/20

15044 AL WILSON Now I know what love is / Do what you gotta do 15

15121 AL WILSON The snake / Who could be loving you 15

15177 CLASSICS IV 24 hours of loneliness / Stormy 4

15182 TIMI YURO It'll never be over for me / As long as there is you 100

15190 DORSEY BURNETTE The greatest love / Thin little plain little simple little girl 5

15221 VENTURES Hawaii 5-0 / Higher than thou 5

15243 FIFTH DIMENSION Working on a groovy thing / Sunshine of your love 4

15334 DEE CLARK 24 hours of loneliness / Where did all the good times go 4

15356 FIFTH DIMENSION Train keep on movin' / I’ll be loving you forever 15

15392 HOMER BANKS 60 minutes of your love / I know you know I know you know 555469 TIMI YURO What's a matter baby / Thirteenth hour 10/18

55480 GENE MCDANIELS The point of no return / Warmer than a whisper 8/12

55510 GENE MCDANIELS Somebody’s waiting / Spanish lace 6/10

55519 TIMI YURO Ain't gonna cry no more / Love of a boy 15/22

55553 RIVINGTONS I’m losing my grip / The birds the word 15/20

55597 GENE McDANIELS Its a lonely town / False friends 8/12

55752 GENE McDANIELS (There goes the) forgotten man / ????????? 10/15

55805 GENE McDANIELS Walk with a winner / A miracle 50/90

55842 TOMMY SANDS The statue / Lolita 20/30

55867 U.S. T-BONES Moment of softness / Sippin’ and chippin’ 6/9

55893 MICHAEL CLARK None of these girls / Work out 5/8

55898 GARY LEWIS & the PLAYBOYS My heart's symphony / Tina 5/10

55923 GENE MCDANIELS Make me a present of you / In times like these 5/8

55936 P.J. PROBY Niki hoeky / Good things are coming my way 5/12

55953 MARK JAMES I can’t let you go / Bimbo knows 5/10

65974 P.J. PROBY You can’t come home again / Work with me Annie 5/12

66009 MAJORS Ooh wee baby / I’ll be there 15/22

66013 IRMA THOMAS Breakaway / Wish someone would care 10/20

66041 IRMA THOMAS Time is on my side / Anyone who knows what love is 10/20

66082 FENWAYS Walk / Whip and jerk 8/12

66102 O'JAYS Lipstick traces (on a cigarette) / Think it over 20/35

66137 IRMA THOMAS What are you trying to do / Take a look 20/40

66197 O'JAYS Friday night / Stand in for love 15/25

66224 JACKIE DESHANNON Find me love / Come on down (from the top of that hill) 8/15

 

LONDON-AMERICAN

This giant label is perhaps the most important collector’s label of all time, spanning 3 decades and churning out rarity after rarity, with some of the most valuable items from the rock and roll era going way into four figures. London deserves a book to itself (an excellent complete discography was published by Record Information Services in the 80’s and should still be available) so here is just a basic bit of information on the rather confusing prefixing system that the label used. All London singles have the prefix HL. This is then followed by the number, or in many cases, an extra letter before the number e.g. HLK, HLU etc. This third letter is a code for exporting. HL refers to ‘Home London’, whilst the third letter, let’s just say for instance ‘A’ (making the prefix HLA) means that the record could be exported to all countries except the USA, Canada and South America.

London were an early convert to the 7" 45 rpm format and many of their early releases are highly prized. All releases on London featuring gold lettering on a black background should be snapped up immediately, even if it’s by the likes of Pat Boone.

HLU 8853 was probably the first ‘silver top’ release, in April 1959. This sees the top half of the label change from plain black to silver, with the London logo at the top. The last triangular centre release was released in February 1960 (HLU 9050). The silver top label ran until 1967 when, alongside it’s parent company Decca, it reverted to a plain label with a boxed logo at the top. This has thrown up a few anomalies: Charlie Rich’s Love Is After Me is common as a black label, but rare as a silver top, even though it was never officially deleted in silver top format.

In the 50’s, demos were always on two one sided discs, and so consequently over the years many of the pairings have been split up. If you truly want to own a demo of Barrett Strong’s Money, then you’d need to track down two demos instead of one.

This process must have been phased out in 1960 as The Miracles’ Shop Around is a double sided demo. All of the single sided demos are orange and feature a matrix number rather than a catalogue number. The catalogue number is often hand written on the label. 60’s London demos came in a bewildering variety of styles. Very early 60’s demos are usually orange with the ‘Decca’ style outer ring but no indication as to which is the A side. 1961-63 saw yellow, white and orange demos, notable for a large thin A which touches the sides of the label. Often the only information on the label of this type of demo is artist/title/number. Next demo was usually yellow or orange and featured a similar layout to the silver top issue and utilised the Decca style outer ring and featured a small A in the top left corner. This design seems to have been used until late 1969, when it was replaced with a maroon label demo with a box logo.

Interesting London facts!

8856 (Marv Johnson) and 8998 (Paul Gayten) were the first Motown records ever released in the UK. Although the label of the Johnson release credits the source as being United Artists, they licensed the record from Berry Gordy after it had become a local hit. Both of these singles had triangular centres and were also released as 78’s.

Initial copies of Del Shannon’s Runaway (9317) inadvertantly featured 9356 The Snake by Maximillian on the B side. The latter is a popular mod sound.

9291 Al Tousan was, as one might have guessed, Allen Toussaint, though some copies carry the mis-spelling Al Poussan.

Lou Johnson’s London singles list the US label as being both Big Top and Big Hill, depending which single you come across. The UK release of the classic Unsatisfied runs about 5 seconds longer than the US original!

9393 (Bobby Parker), 9410 (Chris Kenner), 9451 (Ike & Tina Turner), 9513 (Barbara George) were all reissued on the Sue label.

9908 Round Robin was a protoge of Chubby Checker and was responsible for a short lived dance craze around the Philadelphia area called The Slauson.

10037 The American Poets had to undergo the name extension to avoid confusion with Scottish beatmeiseters The Poets (see also ‘Manchesters’ Playboys).

10070 Darrell Banks’s magnificent double-sider appeared as a London demo before being swiftly withdrawn and reissued on Stateside three weeks later. The London demo gives the incomplete title to the B side (Our Love instead of Our Love (Is In The Pocket)), while the Stateside red and white demo gets the title of the top side wrong (Open The Door Of Your Heart instead of To). No silver top copies of Open The Door To Your Heart are known to exist - although someone knows someone who’s cousin’s sisters next door neighbour once saw a copy! If a silver top copy were to be found it would surely realise 1000+.

10090 Little Hank’s Mister Bang Bang Man was one of the late 60’s most in-demand items, having been withdrawn after being on sale for a few weeks. Issues would appear to be scarcer than demos, quantity wise. It was eventually reissued on Monument in 1970 to meet with ‘discotheque’ demand.

The 70’s releases by Chubby Checker, Bunny Sigler, Bobby Paris, Yvonne Baker etc were credited to ABKCO Records. These are in fact all Cameo/Parkway recordings, the masters of which are owned by and leased from Alan B. Klein Co.

A handful of American labels had their first UK releases here on exclusively designed labels which incorporated their logo: London Atlantic, London Monument and London Dot being the best known.

8856 MARVJOHNSON Come to me / Whisper 50/70

8998 PAUL GAYTEN The hunch / Hot cross buns 50/70

9088 BARRETT STRONG Money (that’s what I want) / Oh I apologise 50/80

9112 BO DIDDLEY Road runner / My story 25/40

9176 LITTLE WALTER My babe / Blue midnight 20/30

9209 SHIRLEY & LEE Let the good times roll / Keep loving me

9226 IKE & TINA TURNER A fool in love / Thse way you love me

9265 MARV JOHNSON Happy days / Baby baby

9266 ROSIE & ORIGINALS Give me love / Angel baby

9276 MIRACLES Shop around / Who’s lovin’ you 40/70

9319 GENE McDANIELS A hundred pounds of clay / Take a chance on love 8/12

9358 BEN E. KING Stand by me / On the horizon 5/10

9366 MIRACLES Ain't it baby / The only one I love 40/70

9392 BOBBY PARKER Watch your step / Steal your heart away 20/25

9399 MAR-KEYS Last night / Night before 10/15

9410 CHRIS KENNER I like it like that / Part 2 8/12

9448 GENE McDANIELS Tower of strength / The secret 7/10

9449 MAR-KEYS Morning after / Diana 6/10

9451 IKE & TINA TURNER It's gonna work out fine / Won’t you forgive me 6/10

9463 JUSTIN JONES Dance by yourself / Love 20/30

9481 SHOWMEN It will stand / Country fool 30/40

9496 ROBERT KNIGHT Free me / The other half of man 10/15

9510 MAR-KEYS Foxy / One degree North 8/12

9523 ARTHUR ALEXANDER You better move on / A shot of rhythm and blues 15/30

9544 BEN E. KING Hermit of misty mountain / Don’t play that song 9565 FALCONS I found a love / Swim

9570 BENNY SPELLMAN Fortune teller / Lipstick traces 30/60

9571 SHOWMEN The wrong girl / I love you can’t you see 75/100

9586 BEN E. KING Too bad / My heart cries for you 10/15

9595 BOOKER T. & the MG'S Green onions / Behave yourself 5/15

9631 BEN E. KING Walking in the footsteps of a fool / I’m standing by 8/15

9643 MEL TORME Coming home baby / Right now 8/20

9680 JIMMY HUGHES My lovin' time / I’m qualified 12/20

9681 SHEPHERD SISTERS Don’t mention my name / What makes little girls cry 8/15

9689 JERRY JACKSON Gypsy eyes / Turn back  15/20

9699 DRIFTERS On Broadway / Let the music play 6/12

9720 BARBARA LEWIS Hello stranger / Think a little sugar 10/20

9730 JAMES BROWN Prisoner of love / Choo choo

9733 VOLUMES Sandra / Teenage paradise

9743 RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS Little latin lupe lu / I’m so lonely 12/20

9749 DORIS TROY Just one look / Bossa nova blues 10/18

9750 DRIFTERS Rat race / If you don’t come back 6/12

9757 GARNELL COOPER Green monkey / Long distance 12/20

9763 SOLOMON BURKE Stupidity / Can’t nobody love you 12/20

9765 DARLENE LOVE Wait til my Bobby gets home / Take it from me 15/20

9768 HIGH KEYES Que sera sera / Daddy ooh long legs 8/15

9778 BEN E KING The beginning of time / I (who have nothing)

9779 BARBARA LEWIS Straighten up your heart / If you love her

9805 LOU JOHNSON Magic potion / Reach out for me 20/35

9809 DYNAMICS Misery / I’m the man 20/30

9814 RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS My babe / Fe fi fidily I oh

9820 CHARMETTES Please don’t kiss me again / What is a tear 15/20

9832 BARBARA LEWIS Snap your fingers / Puppy love

9837 CRYSTALS Uptown / Little boy (withdrawn)

9875 VIBRATIONS My girl Sloopy / Daddy woo woo

9881 RUBY & THE ROMANTICS Much better off than I’ve ever been / Our everlasting love 10/15

9886 DRIFTERS One way love / Didn’t it 6/10

9897 DON & DEWEY Get your hat / Annie Lee

9908 ROUND ROBIN Kick that little foot Sally Ann / Slauson party 20/35

9917 LOU JOHNSON Wouldn't that be something / Always something there to remind me 15/30

9918 BARBARA LYNN Oh baby ( we got a good thing goin’) / Unfair

9925 BILL BLACKS COMBO Little queenie / Boo-ray 15/30

9926 WILLIE MITCHELL Secret home / 20-75 7/12

9932 TOMMY TUCKER Oh what a feeling / Wine bottles 20/40

9935 RUBY & the ROMANTICS I cry alone / When you’re young and in love

9953 DOBIE GRAY The 'in' crowd / Be a man 8/20

9959 CAROLYN CARTER I'm thru / It hurts 15/20

9970 SOUL SISTERS Good time tonight / Foolish dreamer 20/35

9974 TINA BRITT The real thing / Teardrops fell 20/35

9976 RONETTES You baby / Is this what I get for loving you

9977 BARBARA MASON Keep him / Yes I’m ready 12/20

9981 LENNY WELCH Darling take me back / Time after time 8/12

9983 BURT BACHARACH / TONY MIDDLETON My little red book / What’s new pussycat 15/25

9987 BABY WASHINGTON Only those in love / The ballad of Bobby Dawn

9990 JAMES BROWN Papa's got a brand new bag / Part II 6/20

9994 LOU JOHNSON Unsatisfied / A time to love, a time to cry 30/60

9998 BONNIE & the TREASURES Home of the brave / Our song 15/20

9999 AL DE LORY Traffic jam / Yesterday

10003 CASTAWAYS Liar, liar / Sam 12/15

10004 WILLIE MITCHELL That driving beat / Everything’s gonna be alright 6/15

10009 INEZ & CHARLIE FOXX Hummingbird / If I need anyone

10010 LENNY WELCH Run to my lovin' arms / Coronet blue 8/15

10014 VOGUES Five o'clock world / Nothing to offer you 6/10

10020 STRANGELOVES Night time / Rhythm of love 10/15

10024 DARROW FLETCHER The pain gets a little deeper / My judgement day 40/60

10037 AMERICAN POETS She blew a good thing / Out to lunch 35/70

10038 EXCITERS Weddings make me cry / You better come home 15/25

10039 WILLIE MITCHELL Bad eye / Sugar T10057 JOE SIMON Long hot summer / A teenager’s prayer 10/20

10059 JIMMY BEAUMONT You've got too much going for you / I never loved her anyway 30/75

10062 DONALD HEIGHT Talk of the grapevine / There’ll be no tomorrow 35/50

10069 INTRUDERS Up and down the ladder / United 20/30

10070 DARRELL BANKS Open the door to your heart / Our love (Demo only) 250

10078 MARGARET WHITING Nothing lasts forever / Wheel of hurt 4/6

10081 IKETTES Whatcha gonna do / Down down

10083 IKE & TINA TURNER A love like yours / Hold on baby

10085 WILLIE MITCHELL Mercy / Sticks and stones

10090 LITTLE HANK Mr. Bang Bang Man / Don’t you know (Withdrawn) 30/50

10094 BARBARA LYNN You left the water running / Until I’m free

10102 KNICKERBOCKERS Please don’t love him / Can you help me

10103 FREDDIE SCOTT Are you lonely for me baby / Where were you

10104 CHARLIE RICH Love is after me / Pass me by 15/20

10107 TOMMY G & the CHARMS I know what I want / I want you so bad

10114 MARGARET WHITING Just like a man / The world inside your arms 4/6

10116 DONALD HEIGHT 365 days / I’m willing to wait 25/35

10120 FORUM The river is wide / I fall in love 6/9

10121 EARL HARRISON Humphrey stomp / Can you forgive me 30/50

10123 FREDDIE SCOTT Cry to me / No one could ever love you

10129 EDDIE FLOYD You set my soul on fire / Will I be the one

10139 FREDDIE SCOTT Am I grooving you / Never you mind

10146 WILSON PICKETT Billy the kid / I don’t want no part time love

10155 IKE & TINA TURNER I’ll never need more than this / Save the last dance for me 4/6

10162 JERRYO Karate boogaloo / The pearl 5/15

10164 HELENA FERGUSON My terms / Where is the party 25/40

10169 FANTASTIC JOHNNY C Boogaloo down Broadway / Look what love can make you do 5/10

10174 BRENDA & the TABULATIONS Hey boy / When you’re gone 6/12

10180 HESITATIONS Push a little harder / Born free

10181 GEORGE TORRENCE & NATURALS So Iong goodbye / Lickin’ stick 5/10

10186 WILLIE MITCHELL Soul serenade / Buster Browne

10212 FANTASTIC JOHNNY C Hitch it to the horse / Cool Broadway

10215 WILLIE MITCHELL Prayer meeting / Rum Daddy

10217 IKE & TINA TURNER We need an understanding / It sho’ ain’t me 4/6

10220 ERMA FRANKLIN The right to cry / Don’t catch the dog’s bone 4/6

10224 WILLIE MITCHELL Up hard / Beale Street mood

10227 MARGARET WHITING Can't get you out of my mind / Maybe just once more

10230 UNIFICS Court of love / Which one should I choose

10233 JACKIE LEE The duck / Dancing in the street 4/6

10235 ROYAL GUARDSMEN So right ( to be in love) / Baby lets wait

10246 WILLIE MITCHELL Everything's gonna be alright / Mercy 4/6

10250 INEZ & CHARLIE FOXX Mockingbird / Hummingbird 4/6

10258 BILLY ADAMS Why don't you believe me / I need your love 4/6

10262 RAY BARRETTO Acid / Mercy mercy baby 4/6

10267 IKE & TINA TURNER I’ll never need more than this / A love like yours 4/6

10268 DOBIE GRAY The in crowd / Be a man 4/6

10269 LOU JOHNSON Always something there to remind me / Message to Martha 4/6

10274 BOBBY BENNETT Baby try me / Big New York 4/6

10280 MARTHA VELEZ Tell mama / Swamp man 4/6

10282 WILLIE MITCHELL Young people / Kitten corner 4/6

10293 INTRIGUES In a moment / Scotchman rock 8/12

10352 DONNIE ELBERT Where did our love go / That’s if you love me 3/5

10354 PONDEROSA TWINS + ONE Hey girl / You send me 4/6

10370 DONNIE ELBERT A little piece of leather / If I can’t have you 3/5

10418 BOBO MR SOUL HItch-hiking to heartbreak / She’s my woman

10464 HAMMOND BROTHERS & MAGGIE Soul over easy / Garbage man 3/4

10469 LARRY SAUNDERS On the real side / Let me be the special one 8/12

10479 MILT MATTHEWS All these changes / When kids rule the world 5/8

10480 McCOYS Fever / Hang on sloopy 3/5

10483 BILL BLACK’S COMBO Little Queenie / Boo ray 4/6

10489 ACE CANNON Sea cruise / Peace in the valley 4/6

10491 BARBARA MILLS Queen of fools / (Make it last) take your time 4/6

10507 JACK ASHFORD Do the choo choo / Version 2 4/5

10514 JEAN PLUM Look at the boy / Back at you 4/5

10515 CHUBBY CHECKER At the discotheque / Slow twistin’ 4/6

10518 BUNNY SIGLER Girl don’t make me wait / Let the good times roll 4/6

10545 WILLIE MITCHELL The champion / Part 2 5/6

10553 BOBBY PARIS Night owl / You didn’t say a word (by Yvonne Baker) 5/6

10557 CHUBBY CHECKER You just don’t know / Two hearts make one love 5/6

10579 RAY CHARLES Compared to what / Now that we’ve found each other 3/5

 

MERCURY

During the 60’s Mercury was a massive operation, running not only it’s main label but also subsidiarising Philips, Blue Rock, Smash etc. There are literally hundreds of Northern discs on those labels, but as usual that’s not quite the case with it’s UK outlet. The early years, and by this I mean the years that this book covers, 1960 onwards, are dominated by The Platters, Sarah Vaughan and Brook Benton, but none of those great artists recordings fit into the general scheme of things here. In fact, the first UK Mercury recordings of note in the discography are all by UK artists. British artists feature throughout the Mercury listings, though in truth none of these are anything to write home about with the exception of Lesley Dawson’s Run For Shelter which is a fairly memorable girl vocal effort, and the brilliant relatively recent discovery from Bruce Scott entitled I Made An Angel Cry. Absent from all other discographies, this has to be one of the very best UK label discoveries in years and it’s dramatic stop/start rhythm would/will make it a dance floor packer - once someone manages to get hold of a copy to play!

Even the American recordings are a bit of a motley crew here; for every Timi Yuro, Dee Dee Warwick, Jerry Butler and Prophets, you get a Leslie Gore or Keith. Anyway, here’s a quick guide to UK Mercury, in no particular order of merit:

804 Ethna Campbell - a competent cover of Mary Wells’ What’s Easy For Two.

805 Dave Ventura - The Hurt Stays In The Heart. Hideous beat ballad of no interest whatsoever. Once tipped in Shades Of Soul. Ouch!

859 Timi Yuro - Can’t Stop Running Away. Brilliant Teddy Randazzo production also cut in almost identical form by The Royalettes on an MGM LP.

860/867/890/909/974 Dee Dee Warwick - all top quality soul numbers with Worth Every Tear I Cry currently the en vogue sound with collectors. 974 is the original version of Margo & The Marvettes on Pye.

871 Stevie Lewis - Take Me For A Little While. One of a seemingly endless supply of versions of this song, this is a fairly routine girl version which must have sold a few copies going by the number there are knocking around.

872/889/984 Leslie Gore - Spent the rest of the 60’s trying to match It’s My Party and in doing so cut a few uptempo pop dancers, the best of which is the lesser known I’m Falling Down.

911 Favourite Sons - That Driving Beat. The price of this record - a solid cover of Willie Mitchell’s r’n’b standard - has risen very dramatically since it’s B side was included on a psychedelic compilation a few years back. 10 to 75 in one jump!

The group were British and hailed from Hatfield. This was their only record release.

923 Robbie Royal - Only Me. Thump-thump stomper of the pop variety which had it’s moments in Manchester during ‘78. Now banished from DJ decks forever.

943 Karen Young - Are You Kidding. This isn’t particularly good but I mention it because it was also cut by Vicki Baines as the flip of the mighty Country Girl on US Parkway.

964 Jerry Butler - Some Kinda Magic. Great version of a midtempo number also recorded by Bobby Hebb.

965 Lesley Dawson - Run For Shelter. Frothy girly dancer from an artist who also recorded for CBS.

969 Paul Newman - Ain’t You Got A Heart. probably not the famous American actor, this oft-recorded number was spun by, I think, Messrs. Rhodes and Winstanley in the late 70’s.

973 Les McCann - Bucket O’ Grease. The title may have put a few people off but this is a fast, frantic, brassy instrumental which should really be spun. It’s terrific.

1001 Margie Hendrix - On The Right Track/Restless. Only mentioned here due to the fact that these tracks where so popular at one time that they were bootlegged on the infamous Soul Sounds label back in 69/70. I haven’t heard either for many, many years. On The Right Track is a very fast dancer if my memory serves me well.

1031 Dave Antony - Hide And Seek. This is, believe it or not, a cover version of Eddie Regan’s Playin’ Hide And Seek, released here as a flip side by a none too clever vocalist.

1097 Prophets - I Got The Fever. Now we’re talking, can anyone honestly say they’ve never danced to this at some time in the distant past? It’s catchy, it’s uptempo, I’ve heard it a million times but it still hits the spot. See also Creation on Stateside for the same record. Very desirable as a demo, this one.

1122 Jerry Butler - Moody Woman. For some reason, this went massive as a revived oldie in 1977 and prices went as high as....5! Lovely record.

6052301 Millionaires - Never For Me. A perfect soul dancer from a very accomplished group. You can dance to it, you can sing along with it, and in the opinion of this writer it’s the best record released on UK Mercury - only on black label, mind!

6052634 Don Covay - It’s Better To Have. I remember buying this one when it charted in 73/74 and was as surprised as anyone when I heard it spun at Northern venues in the 77/78 period. I still don’t class this as ‘Northern Soul’ per se, but there’s no denying it’s a good record, whatever it’s gender or genre.

The label was black with silver lettering throughout it’s lifespan, with a small change in logo being the only alteration circa 1964. Demos were plain white in the early 60’s when the label was distributed by EMI, but once distribution went to Philips there were no demos, just issues with either a demonstration sticker on the label or a yellow stamp on one side saying ‘sample copy not for sale’. White demos returned in 1968 and probably stopped in 1972. Many Mercury singles post 1967 were made without centres.

AMT 1071 SARAH VAUGHAN Smooth operator / Passing strangers (with Billy Eckstine) 5/10

1139 PHIL PHILLIPS No one else but you / I love to love you

1195 QUINCY JONES Soul bossa nova / On the street where you live 10/20

1202 XAVIER CUGAT Watermelon man / Swinging shepherd blues

???? SCOTT GARRETT I'm gonna give you all my love / ???????? 4/6

MF 802 VELVETTES He's the one I want / That little boy of mine (picture sleeve)

804 ETHNA CAMPBELL What’s easy for two / Again 8

805 DAVE VENTURA The hurt stays in the heart / Is a red bird red 4

851 CHRISTINE HOLMES You’d better believe it / Many things from your window

857 BRUCE SCOTT I made an angel cry / Don’t say goodbye to me 25

859 TIMI YURO Can't stop running away / Get out of my life 25

860 DEE DEE WARWICK Do it with all your heart / Happiness 15

867 DEE DEE WARWICK We're doing fine / You don’t know 10

871 STEVIE LEWIS Take me for a little while / My whole world seems to be tumbling 6

872 LESLEY GORE My town, my guy and me / Girl in love 6

874 LEMME B. GOOD I can't stop myself / Mother may I

885 AL KOOPER You're the loving end / Parchman farm

887 CHRISTINE HOLMES Goin' where the lovin' is / Where there’s smoke 4

889 LESLEY GORE I won't love you anymore / No matter what you do 5

890 DEE DEE WARWICK Gotta get a hold of myself / Another lonely star 8

909 DEE DEE WARWICK Worth every tear I cry / A lover’s chant 25

911 FAVOURITE SONS That driving beat / Walkin’ walkin’ walkin’ 30

912 ERNESTINE ANDERSON You can't buy love / Jerk and twine 12

923 ROBBIE ROYAL Only me / I don’t need you 10

932 JERRY BUTLER Lonliness / Love (how sweet it is)

937 DEE DEE WARWICK I want to be with you / Alfie

940 KEITH Ain't gonna lie / It started all over again

943 KAREN YOUNG Are you kidding / I’m yours, you’re mine 6

946 LESLEY DAWSON Just say goodbye / Just a passing phase 4

952 PRINCE HAROLD Baby you've got me / Forget about me 9

958 CHUCK BERRY Club nitty gritty / Laugh and cry

964 JERRY BUTLER Some kinda magic / I dig you baby 7

965 LESLEY DAWSON Run for shelter / I’ll climb on a rainbow 15

969 PAUL NEWMAN Ain't you got a heart / ?????????? 20

973 LES McCANN Bucket o' grease / All 7

974 DEE DEE WARWICK When love slips awayHouse of gold 7

976 MARGIE HENDRIX I call you lover (but you ain’t nothin’ but a fool) / The question 5

979 SHANGRI-LAS Footsteps on the roof / Take your time 4

984 LESLEY GORE I'm falling down / Summer and Sandy 7

989 KEITH Daylight savin' time / Happy walking around 5

1000 MAUDS Hold on / Forever gone 4

1001 MARGIE HENDRIX On the right track / Restless 12

1005 JERRY BUTLER Cause I love you / Mr. dream merchant 5

1017 LESLEY GORE It’s a happening world / Magic colours 4

1026 MOB I wish you'd leave me alone / Disappear 4

1031 DAVE ANTONY Hide and seek / Race with the wind 6

1034 JAY & the TECHNIQUES Help yourself to all my loving / Baby make your own sweet music 4

1056 JUNIOR WELLS Girl you lit my fire / It’s a man down there 4

1061 DEE DEE WARWICK Monday Monday / I’ll be better off 15

1062 MAUDS Soul drippin' / Forever gone 4

1077 MOVING FINGER Higher and higher / Shake and fingerpop 8

1093 SHIRELLES There's a storm going on in my heart / Call me 5

1097 PROPHETS I got the fever / Soul control 15/25

1109 CHARLIE RICH Mohair Sam / I washed my hands in muddy water 5/8

1122 JERRY BUTLER Moody woman / Go away, find yourself 6/12

1127 MOMS MABLEY Sunny / Abraham, Martin and John 5/8

1133 BENNY & TINA This love is real / Over my dead body 4/6

6008 003 RAY GODFREY Candy clown / I want to be your only love 2

6052 027 NEWBY & JOHNSON Sweet happiness / I want to give you everything 6

033 GENE CHANDLER Groovy situation / Not the marrying kind 4

073 LORRAINE ELLISON Call me anytime you need some lovin’ / Please don’t teach me 5

098 GENE CHANDLER You're a lady / Stone cold feeling (withdrawn)

110 JIMMY CASTOR Hey Leroy your mama’s calling / Hamhocks Espanol 2

119 JERRY BUTLER Moody woman / A brand new me 3

301 MILLIONAIRES Never for me / If I had you babe (black label) 10

634 DON COVAY It's better to have (and don’t need) / Leave him part 2 3

6167 064 KEITH Daylight saving time / Happy walking around 2

196 RALPH CARTER When you’re young and in love / version 2 1

379 RALPH CARTER Love is like an itching in my heart / Baby it’s true 1

127360 JAY & THE TECHNIQUES Help yourself to all of lovin’ / Baby make your own sweet music 3

 

MGM

The MGM label started up in the UK in the mid-50’s and quickly hit the big time with a succession of massive hits by Connie Francis. Material was released from the main US MGM label and subsidiaries such as Verve, and was initially distributed by EMI until it went over to Polydor in 1967. The label was the familiar yellow label with black lettering and the lion’s head MGM trademark as a logo. In 1969 this changed to a split blue and gold label in the Ying/Yang style. Demo’s are slightly more complicated. The EMI demos are pretty straightforward; pre-1962, both sides are white; after 1962 they become red and whites; in late 1966, a few demos slipped out as green and whites, at the same time as all EMI labels changed to green and white; then almost immediately the label moved to Polydor and started to put out stunning looking purple demos with silver A’s. These demos also utilised the cartoon lion holding a record a la US MGM demos. Confusingly, I’ve also spotted a couple of these Polydor MGM demos as purple and white stuck on paper labels!

Most of the MGM releases are pop, with token attempts to cash in on the then soul craze by signing the likes of Kim Weston, but there are some excellent titles to collect, and a handful of very, very rare items.

Highlights From MGM

The two Wanderers singles (1102/1169) both feature Ray Pollard but are of nominal interest only as they are firmly in the ‘pop’ mould.

Jackie Burns & The Bells single I Do The Best I Can (1226) is a stunning more recent discovery which was originally covered up as Jackie & The Gilettes. In the USA this disc was credited to Jackie Burns & The Bo-Bells, but had the artist credit changed on it’s UK release, presumably to avoid confusion with a UK group, The Bow Bells.

Elmer Bernstein’s version of The Rat Race (1238) is an early version of the Righteous Brothers Band Torch monster and is the theme from a 1960 Tony Curtis movie.

The Panic Is On (1251) must surely be the late Roy Hamilton’s finest recording - it’s certainly his rarest in the UK. This superlative beat ballad has headed many collectors’ wants lists for nearly a decade.

All of The Royalettes singles are worth picking up, especially their version of Never Again (1292), popular in the UK recently via Little Anthony & The Imperials. The wonderful production talents of Teddy Randazzo can be found on most of The Royalettes recordings.

Wilson Pickett’s Let Me Be Your Boy (1286) was an early recording for Correc-Tone which got itself a release in 1965 to cash in on Pickett’s Atlantic success. Somewhat surprisingly, this record went very big in the mid-80’s and heralded a wave of early 60’s black pop records which now seem to have been accepted as part of the scene in the same way that the beat ballads have. Wilson, you’ve got a lot to answer for!  The label mis-spells the source as Correo-tone.

Spyder Turner’s You’re Good Enough For Me (1332) is a good uptempo dancer with an amazing version of Stand By Me on the flip in which Spyder impersonated the styles of various soul singers of the day (Billy Stewart, Smokey Robinson, Chuck Jackson etc).

Kim Weston’s I Got What You Need must be the most common import record of all time. They used to give these away at prizes at our local fair in the early 70’s! However, on it’s UK issue (1338) it’s slightly more desirable, as is the moody That’s Groovy (1357) which has picked up a few plays recently.

The April Stevens track Wanting You (1366) is a long time collectable but is pure pop. It was re-pressed due to a Wigan Casino reactivation in 1977 on MGM 2006586.

John Drevar’s Expression were a 6-piece Motown influenced band from Southampton. The Closer She Gets (1367) was composed by the ubiquitous Teddy Randazzo and is good, solid Brit-Northern. Don’t confuse this version with the poor remake issued on Destiny in 1979, which wasn't even by John Drevar!

Along with the Roy Hamilton track mentioned a while ago, The Formations’ At The Top Of The Stairs (1399) is possibly the finest release on MGM. A classic single which MGM picked up from the Bank label, it sold little on it’s original release but made the lower reaches of the charts via a 1971 reissue on Mojo.

Fathers Angels were a real group, but they only performed on the A side of their only single, Don’t Knock It (1459). The B side, a throwaway instrumental intitled Bok To Bach, was performed by a group of session musicians at the disposal of producer Jerry Ross. In typical Northern Soul scene style, it consequently went on to become one of the biggest instrumental sounds of all time, while the vocal A side has been long forgotten. A Simon Soussan produced vocal version of Bok To Back, entitled Dance Of Love and credited to Suzy Parker appeared on the Port label in 1977, having been originally spun from Emidisc in 1975.

Finally, I’m So Glad You’re My Baby by Johnny Nash (1480) was a cash-in re-release which did little chartwise. It is, however, a lovely midtempo dancer and comes highly recommended.

The American MGM label has been a constant source of brilliant Northern Soul for many years. A CD compilation of some of the best of these tracks is available on the Goldmine/Soul Supply label entitled Big City Soul Volume 3 (GSCD 47).

MGM RAY FLEMING I’m glad I have you / ?????????

MGM 1102 WANDERERS I could make you mine / I need you more

MGM 1169 WANDERERS As time goes by / There is no greater love

MGM 1183 FRANK CHERVAL How come / Tag along

MGM 1226 JACKIE BURNS & the BELLS I do the best I can / He’s my guy 40/70

MGM 1238 ELMER BERNSTEIN The Rat Race / Saints and sinners 12/18

MGM 1251 ROY HAMILTON The panic is on / There she is 130/200

MGM 1265 CONNIE FRANCIS (I don’t want to be) no better off / Forget Domani 10/14

MGM 1268 ROY HAMILTON A thousand tears ago / Sweet violets 6/10

MGM 1270 GINNY ARNELL Just like a boy / Portrait of a fool 6/9

MGM 1272 ROYALETTES Poor boy / Watch what happens 6/12

MGM 1279 ROYALETTES Out of sight, out of mind / It’s gonna take a miracle 5/8

MGM 1286 WILSON PICKETT Let me be your boy / My heart belongs to you 25/60

MGM 1292 ROYALETTES Never again / I want to meet him 10/20

MGM 1302 ROYALETTES Only when you’re lonely / You bring me down 8/15

MGM 1308 LOU CHRISTIE Rhapsody in the rain / Trapeze

MGM 1313 ROBIE PORTER Either way I lose / Let it be me

MGM 1321 SANDY POSEY Caution to the wind / Born a woman 7/12

MGM 1324 ROYALETTES It's a big mistake / I want to meet him 4/6

MGM 1328 STEREOS Sweet water / The big knock 8/10

MGM 1332 SPYDER TURNER You're good enough for me / Stand by me 16/25

MGM 1338 KIM WESTON I got what you need / Someone like you 8/12

MGM 1357 KIM WESTON That’s groovy / Land of tomorrow 7/10

MGM 1366 APRIL STEVENS Wanting you / Falling in love again 50/75

MGM 1367 JOHN DREVAR'S EXPRESSION The closer she gets / When I come home 50/60

MGM 1378 CALVIN ARNOLD Snatchin' back / Funky way 5/8

MGM 1382 KIM WESTON You're just the kinda guy / Nobody 6/10

MGM 1389 JESS & JAMES Move / What was I born for 5/10

MGM 1398 LUCAS & MIKE COTTON SOUND Soul serenade / We got a good thing going baby 10/20

MGM 1399 FORMATIONS At the top of the stairs / Magic melody 70/90

MGM 1420 JESS & JAMES Something for nothing / I let the day go by 5/8

MGM 1425 MAGISTRATES Here comes the judge / Girl 5/8

MGM 1431 TRULY SMITH This is the first time / Taking time off 8/15

MGM 1434 FANTASTICS Baby make your own sweet music / Who could be lovin’ you 4/6

MGM 1435 BLOSSOMS You got me hummin' / Tweedle dee 4/6

MGM 1436 SHOWSTOPPERS How easy your heart forgets me / Eeny meenie 5/8

MGM 1437 MAGISTRATES After the fox / Tear down the walls 5/8

MGM 1438 CHERRY PEOPLE And suddenly / Imagination 15/25

MGM 1447 LARRY WILLIAMS Shake your body girl / Love (I can’t seem to find it) 6/10

MGM 1449 CALVIN ARNOLD Mini skirt / Mama in law 5/8

MGM 1454 JESS & JAMES Thank you showbiz / Motherless child 4/6

MGM 1455 MARIE FRANKLIN You ain't changed / Don’t cha bet no money 5/8

MGM 1459 FATHERS ANGELS Bok to Bach / Don’t knock it 80/90

MGM 1479 BILL DEAL & the RHONDELLS I've been hurt / I’ve got my needs 5/8

MGM 1480 JOHNNY NASH I'm so glad your my baby / Stormy 10/18

MGM 1482 BETTY MADIGAN I'm gonna make you love me / Goodnight 4/6

MGM 1488 BILL DEAL & the RHONDELLS What kind of fool do you think I am / Are you ready for this 4/6

MGM 2006 419 GLORIA GAYNOR Honey bee / Come tonight 4

MGM 2006 422 BILL DEAL & RHONDELLS I’ve been hurt / I’ve got my needs 4

MGM 2006 586 APRIL STEVENS Wanting you / Falling in love again 5

MGM 2006 603 VELOURS I’m gonna change / Don’t pity me 5

 

ORIOLE

Oriole had been issuing records since the early 50’s but it’s the labels releases from 1962/63 that soul collectors are most interested. During this short period, Oriole became the outlet for Motown product in the UK, issuing 19 highly collectable singles and a handful of very rare albums from the likes of The Contours, Miracles and Mary Wells. You may quite easily come across copies of Fingertips or Do You Love Me as these were both good sellers - but the rest? Well, the Valadiers and Mike & The Modifiers singles are both valued at around 400 these days, and even very familiar items such as Marvin Gaye’s Stubborn Kind Of Fellow won’t leave you with much or any change from 50. Although promoted weekly on Radio Luxemburg, some of Oriole’s Motown releases were very poor sellers, though it does look as if Berry Gordy threw in a couple of clinkers to make up the contract (after all, who in the UK had even heard of the above two bands?)

The Oriole label design is quite neat. Originally it was a striking blue label with silver logo and lettering, but this changed to the familiar black label with a large yellow square in the centre containing the label name in the early 60’s. Demos are very scarce and are often sold as issues as the only difference is a tiny silver A in the centre - so if you’re centre’s been pushed out, you’ll never know if you had a demo or not! Somewhere in the cobwebs of my mind I recall seeing a red and white demo on Oriole but this must have been very late in the labels’ life.

The Oriole label also issued a couple of interesting non-Motown singles, including a stomping instrumental version of The Four Seasons’ Sherry by Hugo Montenegro which was so popular in the early 70’s that it was bootlegged on Out Of The Past, and a great single by Erroll Dixon entitled Rocks In My Pillow which is a kind of soul/ska hybrid. As with CBS, the label which swallowed up Oriole in 1964, most of it’s releases were underpromoted so there’s a good chance that other items may well turn up in the future, especially from beat bands covering soul numbers. Oh, and if you ever come across a number called Little Brown Jug by Ritchie Blackmore on Oriole, you can start planning your holiday abroad now!

CB 1762 MARY WELLS You beat me to the punch / Old love 25/35

1763 CONTOURS Do you love me / Move Mr. man 15/25

1764 MARVELETTES Beechwood 4-5789 / Someday someway 50/60

1749 JACKIE TRENT The one who really loves you/Your conscience or your heart 15/20

1775 MIKE & the MODIFIERS I found myself a brand new baby / It’s too bad 300/400

1792 HUGO MONTENEGRO Sherry / Get off the moon 15/20

1795 MIRACLES You really got a hold on me / Happy landing 30/40

1796 MARY WELLS Two lovers / Operator 20/30

1799 CONTOURS Shake sherry / You better get in line 15/25

1803 MARVIN GAYE Stubborn kind of fellow / It hurt me too 40/50

1808 EDDIE HOLLAND If its love (ifs alright) / It’s not too late 200/300

1809 VALADIERS I found a girl / You’ll be sorry someday 300/400

1814 MARTHA & the VANDELLAS I’ll have to let him go / Baby won’t come back 50/60

1817 MARVELETTES Locking up my heart / Forever 150/200

1819 MARTHA & the VANDELLAS Come and get these memories / Jealous lover 50/60

1829 MARY WELLS Laughing boy / Two wrongs don’t make a right 25/35

1831 CONTOURS Don't let her be your baby / It must be love 20/30

1846 MARVIN GAYE Pride and joy / One of these days 40/50

1847 MARY WELLS Your old standby / What love has joined together 20/30

1853 LITTLE STEVIE WONDER Fingertips part I / Part II 12/25

1863 MIRACLES Mickey's monkey / Whatever makes you happy 30/40

1914 ERROL DIXON Rocks in my pillow / Give me more time 20/25

(c) 1998 Pete Smith

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