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Covered with Soul Vol. 8

September 15th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

This is Volume 8 of Covered With Soul, and there is no end in sight (unless a lack of comments suggests there should be). Check out the re-interpretation of Wichita Lineman, Be My Baby, Won”t Get Fooled Again, Fever, Sunshine Superman and Rainy Day Women #12 & 35.

Perhaps the most radically reworked cover here is David Porter”s take on that old crooners” favourite All The Way. It”s not how Sinatra sang it (he certainly had no harp in his version). But my favourite cover here might be Esther Phillips” of Gilbert O”Sullivan’s Alone Again Naturally. David Porter is, of course, better known as a songwriter. With Isaac Hayes he wrote such soul classics as Sam & Dave”s golden trinity of Soul Man, Hold On I”m Coming and When Something”s Wrong With My Baby, and Carla Thomas” B-A-B-Y. He released four albums between 1970-73; All The Way appeared on the last of them.

The version of Wichita Lineman on this mix is particularly impressive in light of the age of the performers. Sunday”s Child were a trio of teenage girls who had been influenced by the Jackson 5. Mentored by Sammy Davis Jr, they released only one album, in 1970, which unjustifiably flopped. The youngest of the Portland trio went on to have some success. Renn Woods, then 13, recorded a few unsuccessful solo records, but had a long career in acting, most notably appearing in Hair (she sang Aquarius in the film) and as Fanta (the girl Kunta Kinte meets in Africa before his capture) in the TV series Roots. Also a one-off album released in 1970 is that of Hearts Of Stone ““ John Myers, Lindsey Griffin, Floyd Lawson, and Carl Cutler ““ who recorded on the Motown subsidiary VIP.

Still on 1970, Sharon Cash“s debut album, He Loves Within My Soul, is full of cover versions. Fever is the best of them; in fact, it”s as good as any cover of it this side of Peggy Lee”s. Cash released another album in 1973 before joining The Honey Cone in 1976.

The Ambassadors ““ another one-album outfit ““ were pioneers of Philly Soul by way of being among the earlier acts produced by Gamble-Huff. The CD re-release of the 1969 Soul Summit album includes a couple of live tracks which suggest The Ambassadors were great on stage.

The blurb on Lou Bond“s eponymous 1974 album suggests that the singer “is not to be categorized. He is like no other artist in the business. Past or present”. He certainly had an eclectic thing going on, rooted in soul and infused by folk and the great crooners. Marvin Gaye”s What”s Going On social consciousness vibe surely was an influence as well. Recording on Stax, there are echoes of labelmate Isaac Hayes in Bond”s music: four of the LP”s six songs are longer than six minutes. Unlike Ike”s albums, there is only one cover, the Carly Simon song featured here.

No doubt Al Jarreau felt validated in his vocal style by Lou Bond. The Milwaukee native signed his first recording contract, with Reprise, a year after Bond”s album was released. Jarreau had no plans to become a singer; having studied psychology, he was a rehabilitation counsellor. He was persuaded to take to the stage by friends who had heard him sing at private parties.

Finally, Kellee Patterson was a beauty queen before she became a soul recording artist (signing to a jazz label!). Coming from the Jackson”s hometown of Gary, she was the first black Miss Indiana. As a child, she had competed in talent contests, often on the same bill as the Jackson 5. By 16, she recorded the first of four LPs. Her version of You Are So Beautiful comes from the second album, titled Kellee (from which we might hear more yet in this series), after which she turned to disco, with some success. She is still performing today.

TRACKLISTING
1. Labelle – Won’t Get Fooled Again (1972)
2. Martha Reeves – Wild Night (1974)
3. Sunday’s Child – Wichita Lineman (1970)
4. Merry Clayton – Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (1975)
5. Margie Joseph – My Love (1974)
6. Hearts Of Stone – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother (1970)
7. Maxine Weldon – Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye (1971)
8. Chairmen Of The Board – Only Love Can Break A Heart (1974)
9. James Brown – Spinning Wheel Part 1 (1971)
10. Sharon Cash – Fever (1970)
11. Melba Moore – Sunshine Superman (1975)
12. Marsha Hunt – Long Black Veil (1971)
13. Cissy Houston – Be My Baby (1969)
14. The Ambassadors – Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (1971)
15. Diana Ross – Something (1971)
16. David Porter – All The Way (1973)
17. Esther Phillips – Alone Again (Naturally) (1972)
18. The Sweet Inspirations – Let It Be Me (1967)
19. Lou Bond – That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be (1974)
20. Al Jarreau – Fire and Rain (1976)
21. Kellee Patterson – You Are So Beautiful (1975)

GET IT!

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  1. September 15th, 2011 at 05:02 | #1

    No, no, don’t stop!

    Commentcommentcommentcomment!

    I very much appreciate every single one of your posts.

  2. September 15th, 2011 at 07:12 | #2

    Whoa! This mix looks superb, Dude. I’m especially interested in Sunday’s Child and the Esther Phillips track. Thanks for digging!

  3. Trod
    September 15th, 2011 at 08:33 | #3

    Wonderful stuff, please continue.

  4. J. Loslo
    September 15th, 2011 at 23:05 | #4

    Oh, this looks like fun. I’m annoyed that I probably won’t get to listen to it until tomorrow. Ah, well. Thanks….

  5. wiley prybar
    September 18th, 2011 at 03:07 | #5

    Thank you! Your covered with soul collections are such great listening. Terrific to have a new one to listen to on our road trip tomorrow. Thank you!

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