Thursday, 6 May 2021

That's What A Man Is For

Big News and likely bad news for some ... moving forward I will continue to provide all compilations and grab bag anthology's via pixeldrain. However, any new collections, any potentially re-upped collections and all REDUX collections will only be made available via zippyshare. This means back to multiple links for many of the postings and of course means some people will have to take alternative actions to access them (i'm sure most of you will figure it out, if not already). Please spare any/all backlash, my mind's made up.

I may or may not systematically re-up collections that are 500mb or less in the coming weeks. I may or may not let you know about it. I have re-instated the **REDUX** section (notice re-ups not included) though, and will still focus on planned projects of that nature, as well as make an effort to make previous REDUX collections available again. Now, back to the meat and potatoes ....

The casual soul fan may or may not be vaguely familiar with this fella. However, the aficionado's will be well acquainted with 'Prince' Phillip Mitchell. He's had a handful of minor success' as a solo artist in the late 70s but he was best known among his contemporaries, as an accomplished songwriter. Not that surprising given his nomadic nature throughout the 60s; the road has a way of breeding seasoned storytellers, plus Mitchell had a brilliant grasp on structure and the delicate relationship between melody and rhythm. A fantastic producer in his own right. His work with the musicians in Muscle Shoals is downright dreamy. Mitchell's own "so called" demo material out of those studios is raw, emotive, sweet and delightfully deep. High praise from Groovy Gumbo!

Mitchell was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and began singing when at school. After first learning trumpet, he taught himself to play guitar and piano, and started writing songs at an early age. He became lead singer in a local group, the Checkmates, who first recorded in 1961, before he left to join another group, the Cash Registers, who had previously been led by Alvin Cash. They performed in Indianapolis, where Mitchell acquired the nickname "Prince" Phillip, but he was then drafted into the military. He was soon discharged on medical grounds, and became the lead singer for another Indianapolis group, the Moonlighters, before joining a musical revue touring the southern States. On reaching Muscle Shoals, Mitchell left the revue and signed as a performer with Rick Hall's Fame record label. However, his recordings were not released at the time, and he then recorded unsuccessfully with producer Huey Meaux in Houston, Texas. Next, he moved to Los Angeles, where he became a member of vocal and dance group the Bean Brothers, so named for their height – Mitchell is 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) tall. In 1969 he returned to Muscle Shoals, where he signed a contract as a songwriter with the Muscle Shoals Sound label run by Roger Hawkins and Barry Beckett of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. While there, he wrote "It Hurts So Good", first recorded by Katie Love in 1971 and later a hit for both Millie Jackson and (as "Hurt So Good") Susan Cadogan. Mitchell recorded for the Shout label, including the single "Free For All", and began writing songs for Stax Records. His most successful was "Starting All Over Again", originally written for Sam & Dave but recorded instead by Mel & Tim, whose version was a Billboard chart hit in 1972. Mitchell signed with Hi Records in 1971, recording several further singles, some of which were produced by the unrelated Willie Mitchell and others by Phillip Mitchell himself. Phillip Mitchell also worked as a producer with Archie Bell & The Drells, and Curtis Wiggins, as well as continuing to write songs for Millie Jackson, including several on her breakthrough albums Caught Up (1974) and Still Caught Up (1975). Jackson's producer, Brad Shapiro, also produced Mitchell's single "There's Another in My Life", which became his first hit as a performer when released on the Event label, a subsidiary of Spring Records. The single reached no.58 on the R&B chart in 1975. Mitchell also wrote "A Star in the Ghetto", recorded by the Average White Band with Ben E. King, and wrote songs recorded by Bobby Womack, Joe Simon, Candi Staton and more. By 1977 Mitchell was back performing in Louisville, when he was contacted by jazz musician Norman Connors; Mitchell wrote and sang on Connors' hit "Once I've Been There", and toured with Connors. As a result, Mitchell was signed by Atlantic Records and had several chart singles with the label, the most successful being "One On One" which reached no.32 on the R&B chart in 1978. Credited as Prince Phillip Mitchell, he also released two self-produced albums on Atlantic, Make It Good (1978) which was recorded in California, and Top of the Line (1979), recorded at Muscle Shoals. Both albums featured his own songs. "After I Cry Tonight", written by Mitchell, was recorded and released by the soul-funk band Lanier & Co. In 1982, the single reched No. 26 on the R&B chart and No. 48 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. After his Atlantic contract expired, Mitchell then left the music business for several years, before returning on the Ichiban label in 1986 with the album Devastation, which produced the minor R&B chart hit "You're Gonna Come Back To Love". However, a follow-up album, Loner, was not issued until 1991. He later performed on tour in the UK and Europe, and established his own recording company, 3rd Dynasty Records, in Louisville. A compilation album of some of his songs recorded (mostly) by other performers, Something New To Do: The Phillip Mitchell Songbook, was issued by Ace Records in 2004. The following year Grapevine released two CD compilations featuring entirely unissued recordings by Mitchell, made in Muscle Shoals during the early 70s, for demonstration purposes.

That's What A Man Is For celebrates Mitchell's work of the 60s and 70s. Featuring the aforementioned compilations -- rife with unheralded gems, both albums recorded for Atlantic, and a complete singles collection containing additional unissued material and featured performances. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.


Sunday, 2 May 2021

GGG Presents Goodie Grab Bags Volume 55

Two back to back funky southern soul brothers for ya's this fine Sunday afternoon.

Ernie Hines - Discography 1967-72 [17sides+]

01. Ernie Hines - 1967 - Thank You Baby (For A Love Beyond Compare) (U.S.A. 888)
02. Ernie Hines - 1967 - We're Gonna Party (U.S.A. 888)
03. Ernie Hines - 1968 - Rain, Rain, Rain (U.S.A. 896)
04. Ernie Hines - 1968 - Sincerely Mine (U.S.A. 896)
05. Ernie Hines - 1970 - Help Me Put Out The Flame (In My Heart) (Stax STA-0063) [mono]
06. Ernie Hines - 1970 - A Better World (For Everyone) (Stax STA-0063) [mono]
07. Ernie Hines - 1971 - Electrified Love (We Produce XPA-1802)
08. Ernie Hines - 1971 - Come On Y'All (We Produce XPA-1802) (We Produce LP XPS-1902)
09. Ernie Hines - 1972 - Electrified Love (We Produce LP XPS-1902)
10. Ernie Hines - 1972 - Your Love (Is All I Need) (We Produce LP XPS-1902)
11. Ernie Hines - 1972 - What Would I Do (We Produce LP XPS-1902)
12. Ernie Hines - 1972 - Sugar Plum (Gimme Some) (We Produce LP XPS-1902)
13. Ernie Hines - 1972 - A Better World (For Everyone) (We Produce LP XPS-1902)
14. Ernie Hines - 1972 - A Change Is Gonna Come (We Produce LP XPS-1902)
15. Ernie Hines - 1972 - Explain It To Her Mama (We Produce LP XPS-1902)
16. Ernie Hines - 1972 - Our Generation (We Produce LP XPS-1902) (We Produce XPA-1809)
17. Ernie Hines - 1972 - What Would I Do (We Produce XPA-1809)
18. DJ Nu-Mark w. Ernie Hines - 2013 - Our Generation [Re-Edit] (Hot Plate HPR 010-7) [mono]

J.J. Williams - Discography 197?-77 [12sides]

01. J.J. Williams - 197? - She Hit Me From The Blind Side (Unissued Capitol)
02. J.J. Williams - 197? - My World Tumbles Down (Unissued Capitol)
03. J.J. Williams - 1972 - Gonna Have A Murder On Your Hands (Capitol 3436)
04. J.J. Williams - 1972 - Make A Believer (Out Of Me Again) (Capitol 3436)
05. J.J. Williams - 1973 - I'm Gonna Bite That Apple (Capitol 3605)
06. J.J. Williams - 1973 - Do The Kick Back (Capitol 3605)
07. J.J. Williams - 1973 - Spare The Rod, Spoil The Child (Capitol 3682)
08. J.J. Williams - 1973 - Too Much Woman (Capitol 3682)
09. J.J. Williams - 1974 - Lord Have Mercy On My Soul (Polydor PD 14233)
10. J.J. Williams - 1974 - Love Market (Polydor PD 14233)
11. J.J. Williams - 1977 - Hooked And Heart Broken (Monkey Town 0-0004) (Cynthia CR-1003)
12. J.J. Williams - 1977 - Heavy On Top (Monkey Town 0-0004) (Cynthia CR-1003)

Monday, 26 April 2021

GGG Presents Glucose For Comfort Vol. 04

I'm sure many of you have noticed that once again, all the collection links are dead. Last week, in one fell swoop, workupload killed all my links ... new uploads, recent re-ups and long standing links ... 200+ links, all gone. Bit of a stinger after almost completely re-upping for a third or fourth time. However, I've been expecting something of the sorts and have stated since my recent return that if so, I will not be re-upping again. I meant it. The recent Smokey post and accompanying re-ups were available for over 5 days before removed -- and previous posts/re-ups even longer -- so if you missed them, tough titties!

I have repeatedly urged people to subscribe or check in every few days to ensure access to the download links. Most of you probably do the latter, very few have done the former. To the bunch requesting re-ups, if you're unwilling to do either and obviously refuse to read/understand The First Page, your ignorance will certainly not be rewarded. If you're new to the site, no offence intended but you've missed the boat.

No matter what the future holds for Groovy Gumbo, I will continue to churn out compilations. And on that note, let's negate some of this bitter truth with some sweet, sweet soul music!

01. The Miracles - 1973 - Love You Secretly [alt] (Unissued Tamla)
02. Blue Magic - 1974 - When Ya Coming Home (Atco LP SD 36-103)
03. The Escorts - 1974 - I Can't Stand (To See You Cry) (Alithia LP AR-9106)
04. The Moments - 1974 - What's Your Name (Stang LP ST-1024)
05. Love Unilimited - 1972 - Walkin' In The Rain With The One I Love (Uni 55319)
06. Tyrone Davis - 1976 - Close To You (Columbia 3-10457)
07. The Temprees - 1972 - Dedicated To The One I Love [short] (We Produce 1808)
08. Jesse Johnson & Chocolate Fudge Express - 197? - Thank You Girl (Unissued)
09. Billy Martin - 1970 - If You Care [inst] (Trans-World LP TWF-9540)
10. The Fuzz - 1971 - I Love You For All Seasons (Calla LP SC-2001)
11. The Impressions - 1971 - I'm So Proud (Curtom 1957)
12. The Soulville All-Stars - 1969 - Won't You Please Be My Girl (Soulville SV-1005) [mono]
13. Honey & The Bees - 1969 - Sunday Kinda Love (Arctic 158) [mono]
14. The Delfonics - 1969 - Everytime I See My Baby (Philly Groove LP 1151)
15. Billy Bass - 1968 - I Need Your Love So Bad (Philly Groove 153)
16. The Mad Lads - 1968 - Whatever Hurts You (Volt 162)
17. The Commands - 1968 - I've Got Love For My Baby (Dynamic 123) [mono]
18. Al Haskins & The Mastertones - 1966 - Tame Me (Sure-Shot 5018) [mono]
19. Al Greene & The Soul Mates - 1967 - Back Up Train (Hot Line MJ 15,000)
20. The Dells - 1968 - Stay In My Corner (Cadet 5612)

Friday, 9 April 2021

Baby Come Close

Been a hot minute since we went full on mainstream with a 'masterclass' collection but I've been leaning towards the sweet soul and the magic of early Motwown as of late, so thought I'd take a moment to talk about the real Detroit muscle behind the infamous hit factory ... sir Smokey Robinson not only gave Gordy the idea to start his own record label, Robinson wrote for and produced most of the labels roster -- and of course, wrote for, produced and performed with The Miracles -- providing most of labels earliest hits, one way or the other. And Robinson continued to be a hit making machine in all three capacities with consistency for well over a decade and against all odds, re-established himself as a solo artist after his cherished time with The Miracles. Robinson was also upper management for Motwown for over 25 years and has been cited by countless musical 'greats' as one of the most influential artists of all time. A true living legend!

The group that would go on to became The Miracles was first formed in 1955 by five teenage friends from Detroit, Michigan, under the name The Five Chimes. Three of the founding members, Smokey Robinson, Warren "Pete" Moore, and Ronnie White, had been singing together since they each were around the age of eleven. The group, influenced by acts such as Billy Ward and His Dominoes and Nolan Strong & the Diablos, featured Clarence Dawson and James Grice in the original lineup. All of the group's original members attended Northern High School in Detroit but after Dawson quit the group and Grice dropped out to get married, they were replaced by Emerson "Sonny" Rogers and his cousin Bobby and changed their name to The Matadors. Coincidentally, both Smokey Robinson and Bobby Rogers were born in the same hospital on the same date (February 19, 1940), despite not actually meeting each other until they were fifteen. In 1957, Sonny Rogers left to join the United States Army and Claudette Rogers, his sister, who had been singing with the sister group the Matadorettes, joined them shortly afterwards, and in 1958, the group officially became The Miracles. Following nearly two years of courtship, Smokey and Claudette married in November 1959. The group auditioned for Brunswick Records in front of Alonzo Tucker (an original member of The Midnighters who had since left the group to join Jackie Wilson's management team), Nat Tarnopol (Jackie Wilson's manager) and one of the label's staff songwriters, Berry Gordy, who remained quiet during the audition. Tucker was unimpressed by the audition, stating that because there was The Platters that "there couldn't be two groups in America like that with a woman in the group." After the Tarnopol and Tucker rejection, Gordy followed them and soon agreed to work with the group after discovering Robinson's notebook full of songs he had written and having been impressed with Robinson's singing voice. Gordy recorded their first single, "Got A Job", an answer song to The Silhouettes' "Get A Job" in January 1958. Gordy shortly thereafter struck a deal with George Goldner's End Records to distribute the single. Before the song was released, the group changed their name to The Miracles, taking it from the moniker "Miracletones", with the "'Tones" taken out. After earning only $3.19 for his production success, Gordy was told by Robinson to form his own label, which Gordy did, forming Tamla Records in 1959. One of their first Tamla singles, the ballad "Bad Girl", became The Miracles' first song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop chart that October when it was licensed to and issued nationally by Chess Records. The next Miracles song, "It", was credited to Ron & Bill, in a duet between White and Robinson, and was released on Tamla and nationally picked by Chess subsidiary Argo Records. Following a dismal reception at the Apollo Theater in 1959, Robinson recruited guitarist Marv Tarplin to join them on a few touring dates after Tarplin played with the Primettes (later the Supremes), with Tarplin officially joining The Miracles shortly afterwards. This addition was the final element in making The Miracles' "classic lineup" complete.

In 1960, the Miracles reached the charts with "Way Over There", their second national hit, which Robinson wrote and based on the Isley Brothers' "Shout". Later that year, The Miracles released "Shop Around", backed with "Who's Lovin' You", which became the group's first smash hit, reaching number one on the R&B charts, number two on the Billboard Hot 100, and number one on the Cash Box Magazine "Top 100" Pop Chart, and was the first Motown single to sell a million copies. Both sides of this record became classics, and standards for R&B and rock musicians alike for several decades afterwards. As a result of this success, The Miracles became the first Motown act to appear on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" on December 27, 1960. The Miracles had modest success with their next few singles, including "Ain't It Baby", "Mighty Good Lovin'", "Brokenhearted" and "Everybody's Gotta Pay Some Dues", as 1961 continued. During this early period, the group suffered some problems as Robinson caught Asian Flu and had to be bedded for a month, leaving wife Claudette Robinson to lead The Miracles on tour until he recovered. Claudette herself had her share of problems, having suffered her first miscarriage that occurred after a car accident and Pete Moore was drafted to serve in the United States Army. The group's next charted successes included "What's So Good About Goodbye", and the string-laden "I'll Try Something New". The group reached the top ten again with "You've Really Got A Hold On Me" in 1962, featuring lead vocals by Smokey Robinson and Bobby Rogers. This song actually began life as the "B" side to the group's intended "A" side, "Happy Landing", but the nation's Dee Jays flipped the song over, because they liked "Hold On Me" better. The Miracles hit the top ten still a third time the following year with the Holland-Dozier-Holland-written-and-produced song "Mickey's Monkey". The group's exciting live performances were so well received, they were often referred to as "The Showstoppers". The Miracles' success paved the way for all future Motown stars, and as Motown's first group, they would serve as the prototype for all other Motown groups to follow. The Miracles had become a national sensation, and their success catapulted them to the position of Motown's top-selling act, making them headliners at the nationwide Motortown Revue package touring shows, which showcased Motown artists, and that started around late 1962. The Miracles were also the first Motown act to receive coaching and instruction from famed choreographer Cholly Atkins, who had previously worked with Little Anthony & The Imperials, The Cadillacs, and future Motown act Gladys Knight & The Pips. (Bobby Rogers, The Miracles' best dancer, did choreography for the group prior to Atkins' arrival). Through his association with The Miracles, Atkins came into Motown at their insistence, and soon became the official in-house choreographer for all of the company's acts, including The Temptations, The Marvelettes, The Four Tops, The Contours, Martha & The Vandellas, and The Supremes. In addition to penning their own material, Miracles Robinson, White, Rogers, Tarplin, and Moore wrote for many of their labelmates as well. Motown hits written, but not recorded, by members of The Miracles include songs for The Temptations ("The Way You Do The Things You Do", "My Girl", "Don't Look Back", "Since I Lost My Baby", "It's Growing", "Get Ready", "My Baby"), Mary Wells ("My Guy", "The One Who Really Loves You", "What Love Has Joined Together", "Two Lovers"), Marvin Gaye ("I'll Be Doggone", "Ain't That Peculiar", "One More Heartache"), The Marvelettes ("Don't Mess With Bill", "My Baby Must Be A Magician", "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game"), The Contours ("First I Look At The Purse), and Brenda Holloway ("When I'm Gone"). Unlike other Motown artists, whose songs were written for them by staff songwriters, The Miracles were one of the few Motown acts that composed their own songs, adding to the group's already impressive reputation. Around 1964, Smokey Robinson became Motown's vice president, while the other members of The Miracles also began to work staff jobs with the company. Smokey and Claudette Robinson made plans to begin a family, but the rough life of touring caused Claudette to have several miscarriages. In early 1964, Claudette decided to retire from the road and remain at home in Detroit after another miscarriage, her sixth. From this point on, Claudette did not tour with The Miracles or appear in any official group photographs or on television, although she remained as a non-touring member of The Miracles, and continued to sing backup with the group in the studio until 1972. After Claudette Robinson's departure, the remaining Miracles appeared on The T.A.M.I. Show, a landmark 1964 concert film released by American International Pictures that included performances by numerous popular rock and roll and R&B musicians from the United States and England, filmed and recorded live at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on October 28 and 29, 1964. This film had theatrical release in theatres across the United States, and also included performances by fellow Motown artists The Supremes and Marvin Gaye, along with Chuck Berry, Lesley Gore, The Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, and James Brown & The Famous Flames. The Miracles' performance was one of the show's highlights, called "athletically electrifying" by critics. Hit singles that year included "That's What Love Is Made Of" and "I Like It Like That". In early 1965, the group released Motown Records' first double album, The Miracles Greatest Hits from The Beginning, which was a success on Billboard's Pop and R&B Album Charts. Also in 1965, The Miracles released their landmark Top 10 album, Going To A Go-Go, under the new group name of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. This album launched four top 20 singles into the Billboard Hot 100, including the landmark million-selling Grammy Hall of Fame single, "The Tracks Of My Tears", "Ooo Baby Baby", "Going To A Go-Go" and "My Girl Has Gone", all of which became top ten R&B hit singles as well. During this period, their music had also made its way abroad, influencing several British groups along the way. The effects of this influence soon became even more pronounced when The Beatles, The Hollies, The Zombies, The Who, and Rolling Stones all began recording covers of Miracles hits. Members of The Beatles, in particular, publicly stated that the music of The Miracles had greatly influenced their own. Around this time, the group had begun performing in nightclubs and other high-profile venues after years on the Chitlin' Circuit. According to an Ebony article on the group, the group began grossing $150,000 a year due to royalties and personal investments. They also were making between $100,000 and $250,000 for nightly shows. In addition, The Miracles appeared on many of the popular variety television programs of the period, including The Ed Sullivan Show, Shindig!, Hullabaloo, American Bandstand, Where The Action Is, The Mike Douglas Show, The Andy Williams Show, Teen Town, Hollywood A Go-Go, Upbeat and Britain's Ready Steady Go!. The Miracles' success continued with several hits including "(Come 'Round Here) I'm The One You Need", "More Love", "Special Occasion", "If You Can Want", and the Top 10 hit "I Second That Emotion". Around this time, the group was starting to be billed as Smokey Robinson & The Miracles on several of their albums. The name change did not appear on their singles until the release of "The Love I Saw In You Was Just A Mirage", a Top 20 hit released in 1967. On that song's flipside was the tune "Come Spy With Me". The Miracles sang the original theme to the 1967 20th Century Fox film of the same name. The year 1968 brought a second "greatest hits" collection, The Miracles Greatest Hits, Vol. 2, which was the group's second Top 10 album, which featured the most popular singles from their successful Going To A Go-Go, Away We A Go-Go and Make It Happen albums of the 1965–67 period. Also in 1968, the group released their hit album Special Occasion which spawned 3 more Top 40 singles, including the smash "If You Can Want", which the group performed on their first appearance on CBS' The Ed Sullivan Show, at the time considered television's top talent and entertainment showcase. However, due to constant changes in the music industry and Motown, by 1969, Smokey Robinson sought to leave The Miracles and the stage, to settle for continued work as Motown's vice president as well as become more of a family man to his wife Claudette and their children. The year 1969 had brought a second Ed Sullivan Show appearance for the group, singing their then-current singles "Doggone Right", and their hit cover of Dion's "Abraham, Martin and John". Robinson's departure plans however, were thwarted after the group's 1969 song "Baby Baby Don't Cry" hit the Billboard Pop Top 10, and when The Miracles' 1967 song, "The Tears Of A Clown", (their fourth Grammy Hall of Fame-inducted hit) was released as a single in 1970, it became a number-one hit in the UK. It was subsequently released in the US, where it duplicated its UK success, reaching number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Chart and selling over 3 million copies. As a result, the Miracles became hotter than ever, and Robinson decided to stay with the group for another two years. In 1970, the group were given their own ABC television special, The Smokey Robinson Show, which starred The Miracles, with guest stars The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, and Fran Jeffries. In 1971, they scored one more top 20 hit with 1971's "I Don't Blame You At All". In 1972, Robinson made good on his promise to leave The Miracles, starting a six-month tour which ended in July 1972 at Washington, D.C., later introducing Billy Griffin as his official replacement. This series of final live Miracles concerts with Robinson was released by Motown on the double album Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: 1957–1972 (Tamla TS320). About that final tour, Miracle Pete Moore stated: "We had 12 farewell engagements playing to sold-out houses. It was amazing." Also released that year was the group's final studio album with Smokey, Flying High Together, with its ironic lead single "We've Come Too Far To End It Now" reaching the Billboard R&B Top Ten (their 23rd visit to the Top Ten of that chart). After Smokey's retirement, Billy Griffin was introduced to national television audiences on NBC's The Midnight Special, on an episode guest-starring The Miracles and hosted by Smokey Robinson, broadcast on July 13, 1973. Claudette Robinson completely retired from the group when Smokey finally stepped down, and within a year, Marv Tarplin also left. The remaining Miracles, with Billy Griffin, re-emerged with the critically acclaimed album, Renaissance – their first without Smokey Robinson on lead vocals, which included the Marvin Gaye composition, "I Love You Secretly", "What Is A Heart Good For" (the intended first single), and the charting single,"Don't Let It End (Til You Let It Begin)".

Meanwhile, after a year of retirement, Robinson announced his comeback with the release of the eponymous Smokey album, in 1973. Joined again by Marv Tarplin, the album included the Miracles tribute song, "Sweet Harmony" and the hit ballad "Baby Come Close". In 1974, Robinson's second album, Pure Smokey, was released but failed to produce hits. Robinson struggled to compete with his former collaborators Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and former Temptations member Eddie Kendricks, as all three had multiple hit singles during this period. Former Beatle George Harrison featured the track "Pure Smokey" on his 1976 album Thirty Three & 1/3 as a tribute to Robinson. (Harrison's fellow Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney were also fans of Robinson's songwriting and the group covered "You Really Gotta Hold On Me" on their second UK album With the Beatles and US album The Beatles' Second Album, respectively). Robinson answered his critics the following year with A Quiet Storm, released in 1975. The album launched three singles – the number-one R&B hit "Baby That's Backatcha", "The Agony & The Ecstasy" and "Quiet Storm". However, Robinson's solo career suffered from his work as Motown's vice president, and his own music took the backseat. As a result, several albums including Smokey's Family Robinson, Deep In My Soul, Love Breeze and Smokin, saw poor promotion and subsequently received bad reviews. During this stretch Billy Griffin's Miracles were still riding high off the success of "Do It Baby" and doubling down with the back to back LP's Don't Cha Love It and City Of Angels -- from which the single "Love Machine" reached number-one on the Hot 100 in early 1976, The Miracles' first since "Tears Of A Clown", and later sold over 4.5 million copies. The Miracles, who had long been written off by the music industry, had proven that they could have big hits without Robinson. Despite this success, however, in 1976, The Miracles' relationship with Motown imploded during contract renewals after their contract with the label had expired. When Motown, then going through a contract issue with Stevie Wonder, advised the group to wait "six months" to discuss a new contract, the group took on an offer to sign with Columbia Records, signing with them in 1977. The group immediately had problems after signing with Columbia, starting with the release of their first Columbia single, "Spy For Brotherhood". Expecting controversy from the single as well as possible threats from the FBI, Columbia pulled the song from the airwaves. The group failed to have a hit during their short Columbia run and in 1978, Pete Moore decided to retire from the road while Billy Griffin wanted to return to his solo career, leading to the group to disband. That same year Marv Tarplin presented Smokey with a tune he had composed on his guitar. Robinson later wrote the lyrics that became his first solo top ten Pop single, "Cruisin'". The song hit number one in Cash Box and peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It also became his first solo number one in New Zealand. Robinson would follow a similar approach with his next album, Warm Thoughts, which produced another top 40 hit, "Let Me Be The Clock", though it did not repeat the success of "Cruisin'". In 1981, Robinson topped the charts again with another sensual ballad, "Being With You", which was another number one hit in Cash Box and peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. It also hit number one in the UK Singles Chart, becoming his most successful single to date. The Gold-plus parent album sparked a partnership with George Tobin and with Tobin, Robinson released his next several Motown albums, Yes It's You Lady, which produced the hits, "Tell Me Tomorrow", "Touch The Sky" and "Essar". In 1983, Robinson teamed up with fellow Motown label mate Rick James recording the R&B ballad, "Ebony Eyes". In 1980, Ronnie White and Bobby Rogers decided to carry on with The Miracles as a touring unit replacing Pete Moore and Billy Griffin with Dave Finley and Carl Cotton, which carried on for three years as "The New Miracles". This version of the Miracles was short-lived though after White decided to retire from show business following the death of his wife Earlyn, who died from breast cancer in 1983, disbanding the group again. Around this same time, most of the original Miracles including Smokey Robinson and Claudette Robinson as well as Pete Moore, Marv Tarplin, and Bobby Rogers reunited to perform a medley of their songs on the 1983 NBC television special, Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever. Ron White was attending his wife Earlyn's funeral around this time, and did not participate in the reunion. Following his reunion with the original Miracles on Motown 25, Robinson became dependent on cocaine, which affected his life and career and in 1986, Smokey's marriage with Claudette Robinson ended in divorce. In 1987, following this period of personal and professional issues, Robinson made a comeback with the album, One Heartbeat and the singles, "Just To See Her" and "One Heartbeat", which were Top 10 hits on Billboard's Pop, Soul, and Adult Contemporary charts. They were aided by popular music videos. "Just To See Her" won Robinson his first Grammy Award in 1988. The album became one of his most successful ever, selling over 900,000 copies in the United States alone. In the same year, Robinson released One Heartbeat, the UK group ABC released a tribute song, "When Smokey Sings". He was inducted as a solo artist to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, later igniting controversy as the committee had inducted only Robinson and not members of his group, The Miracles, which Robinson was personally offended by. In 2012, however, the committee rectified the mistake announcing that the group would be inducted on their own merit. Though Robinson was not listed as an inductee, he was due to induct his former group at the ceremony in April 2012. After Motown was sold off to MCA in 1988, Robinson relinquished his position as vice president. Following the release of the album, Love Smokey, in 1990, Robinson left Motown for a deal with SBK Records in 1991. However, the album, Double Good Everything failed to chart. Robinson remained virtually quiet during the nineties (though he would make a notable cameo appearance in The Temptations 1998 miniseries), making a brief comeback in 1999 when he re-signed with Motown and issued the album, Intimate, which included the song "Easy To Love". In 2003, he once again split ties with Motown, releasing the gospel album, Food For The Soul on Liquid 8 Records in 2004. In 2004 Robinson sang the main title theme song "Colorful World" to the American children's animated series ToddWorld for Discovery Kids, TLC and Mike Young Productions. Two years later, Robinson released the standards album, Timeless Love, in 2006 on Universal Records. In 2009, he issued the album, Time Flies When You're Having Fun on his own label, Robso Records. It reached number 59 on the Billboard album chart, his highest showing since One Heartbeat. He subsequently released "Now And Then" in 2010, which peaked at number 131. Smokey & Friends was released in mid-August 2014. It was an album of duets, including ones with Elton John, Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor. It reached number 12 on the Billboard album chart. Christmas Everyday was Robinson's first post-Miracles Christmas album, and was released on November 10, 2017. In 2018, he appeared on an episode of CMT Crossroads alongside country singer Cam, and he also appeared as a special guest on the Fox network's show Beat Shazam.

Baby Come Close of course is a monster-sized package despite containing absolutely no post-70s recordings. What we do have here is Smokey's 20 full length albums with The Miracles through to 1972 and 9 solo releases bringing us to 1979. The first half dozen are souced from high quality mono remasters, while the remaining twenty something are sourced from high quality stereo remasters. Additionally I've included a custom GGCollection in the chronology ... 'I Like It Like That [Alternate Stereo Mixes]' pulls from several previously issued collections to present every alternate stereo version of recordings that had originally been released by The Miracles in mono only (1961-1964). All those albums can found RIGHT  HERE! And as per usual, I've also amassed a swath of material for a complete singles and rarities collection. Again, sourced almost entirely from remasters, this bundle contains the complete Miracles A's and B's through to 1972 in mono, Smokey's solo sides through to 1979 and it's interspersed with all the rarities from the Motown Unissued Series', the 35th Anniversary Collection, The Gold Collection, Ooh Baby Anthology and other various collections. And it's capped with a 45min interview/concert clip montage from 1980, in promotion of Smokey's Warm Thoughts LP (ironically not included in this collection). Get that one HERE! Finally, though twice-removed from Smokey Robinson, I've included the complete post-Smokey Miracles with Billy Griffin in an additional zip. This includes all eight LP's (six remastered), a Motown issued compilation and a customized complete singles and rarities collection by yours truly. Get it HERE! All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

GGG Presents Deep Dish Delicacies Vol. 40

Second (and maybe third) thing first folks; another 10-15 re-ups have been added to the pile and much like the last round, many of them are some of the earliest collections posted here at Groovy Gumbo. As such, most will be a little rough around the edges in comparison to my more recent work. I hope and plan to revisit most of these someday for a redux, but who knows when that'll actually be!? Also, as previously mentioned, I've created a quick fix link for the re-upped Goodie Grab Bag series -- it's just above the re-upped compilations that some people still can't manage to find (... god bless them) -- and several volumes have been updated to include previously missing tracks. Thanks as well to USMAN47 for the Futures track, full re-up still to come. 

Now, first thing last ... I'm excited to return to this series that is so near and dear to my heart. It's been over six months since the last installment, but Deep Dish Delicacies is back for the big 4 0 !!

01. Lee Moses - 1971 - Adorable One (Maple LP 6001)
02. Bobby Patterson - 1972 - She Don't Have To See You (To See Through You) (Paula 362)
03. Johnnie Taylor - 1974 - Darling I Love You (Stax LP STS-5509)
04. Joe Wilson - 197? - Don't Look Back (Unissued)
05. Art Benton & The Ray Franklin Orchestra - 1972 - Get Off Your Um Huh (Chris 110)
06. Wanda Davis - 1970 - Take Care (Project Soul 001)
07. Sam & Bill - 1970 - Who Will It Be (Capricorn 8001)
08. Andrew Jeffery - 1970 - I Wouldn't Change Her (Shama 622)
09. Irma Thomas - 1968 - Can't Get Enough (Unissued Chess)
10. James Bounty - 1967 - Life Will Begin Again (Compass 7005)
11. Duke Earl & The Roulettes - 1966 - Oh-Boy (Bee 175)
12. Ohio Untouchables - 1964 - I'm Tired (Lu Pine 1011)
13. Bobby Angelle - 1966 - I Wanna Go Back Home (Money 125)
14. The Turn Arounds - 1966 - I Want You To Know (Unissued)
15. The Exciters - 1968 - Take One Step (I'll Take Two) (RCA Victor 47-9633)
16. Frank Tenella -  196? - You Came Along And Changed My Whole Life (Odex 133-OR-1067)
17. Otis Brown - 196? - I Don't Wanna Cry (Exspect More ‎S-106551-3)
18. Earl Gaines - 1969 - The Meaning Of A Sad Song (Deluxe 111)
19. Sam Moore - 1970 - Tennessee Waltz (Atlantic 2762)
20. Lonnie Jones - 1971 - She's My Lady (Jenmark 101)
21. Bill Brandon - 1973 - It's All Wrong, It's All Right (Moonsong 9005)
22. Sam Dees - 1975 - Troubled Child (Atlantic LP SD-18134)
23. Doris Duke - 1975 - Please Come Back (Contempo 7703) (Scepter LP SPS 5124)
24. Howard Tate - 1976 - Pride (HT 001)
25. Darondo - 1974 - I'm Lonely (Unissued Music City)

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Love Is Here

Bit of a stretch since the last post so thought I'd pad the re-up pile with a 20-stack this time around ~ we're getting there. Now, I suspect like me, most of you have noticed over the past several weeks, many of our usual (blog) haunts have been featuring a flurry of Philly soul gems; both hidden and familiar. However, I was a little surprised to see nobody put any real emphasis on one of my fav's -- The Futures -- who cover the spread sort of speak. One of the city's finest quintets but they just couldn't make it click, in terms of forging a promising career. As far as disco-soul goes, this group is actually quite palatable in my opinion and consistently had strong production. Sadly, they weren't properly supported by their label(s) and suffered dearly due to a lack of promotion. It's a near-miracle they managed to wax three albums to be honest.

One of Philadelphia's finest groups; The Futures made good music, but Lady Luck refused to work her magic on them. Frank Washington, Kenny Crew, James King, John King, and Henry McGilberry emulated the Temptations and in the beginning, it worked well for them. Christmas came a few weeks early when Amjo Records released their first single late in 1970. After some decent local response, the single was re-issued by Avalanche Records just a couple months later. The next single, "Love Is Here," appeared on Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff's Gamble label in 1972. It was a lovely Gamble and Huff song featuring a soaring falsetto, McGilberry's deep bass, and weaving harmonies that sadly only got spot play in a few cities; The Dramatics recorded an inferior version on their 10 1/2 album. Furthermore, The Futures made a terrible career move when Gamble Records ended by signing with Buddah Records and missing a golden opportunity with Philadelphia International Records. Their first Buddah release, "(That's) The Way Of A Woman In Love" b/w "Grade A Woman," dropped in January 1974 to a deafening silence. The second single, "No One Could Compare" b/w "You Better Be Careful," also failed to register. As they wallowed in obscurity, The O'Jays and Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes bloomed on Philadelphia International and The Spinners and The Stylistics reaped the benefits of their productions. Buddah released The Futures' third single, "Castles," in June of 1975, which continued the string of flops. Followed by the debut full-length "Castles In The Sky" LP in the autumn, which didn't include the first two singles and its promotion was virtually non-existent. Barbara Mason wrote their final Buddah single, "We Got Love," prompting a poorly promoted tour with Philly's First Lady of Soul. Things looked bleak for The Futures, Buddah lost all interest (if they ever had any in the first place), and The Futures faded further into obscurity. A few years later the group reunited with Gamble and Huff in 1978 at Philadelphia International Records, but the company's glory days were over. The first release, "Part Time Party Time Man," an energetic dancer with a terrific vocal, never charted high, yet was their most successful single. Its delightful successor, "Ain't No Time for Nothing," was succeeded by three more singles, including "Mr. Bojangles." Philadelphia International released two albums by the Futures: 'Past Present & The Futures' and the obscure 'Greetings Of Peace'. Warped Records issued the final Futures' recordings in 1982: "Let's Get To It" b/w "Young & Tender" and "Angel In Disguise" b/w "Betcha Come Back." ~ Andrew Hamilton [allmusic]

Love Is Here purposely omits the last two 45s from The Futures because they're simply awful, but everything else is here and almost entirely sourced from remastered material. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

*thanks to USMAN47 for the missing track

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

GGG Presents Darling Dear Vol. 09

This one's probably more of a grower than a shower ... yeah, this one wanders a little but will get you where you need to go. Oh, and speaking of growing, check the re-up stack, another heap have been added! Close to half of the dead links (excluding those slotted for Redux) have been replaced within the past month and the rest should be as well within another month or so. However, I am currently neck deep in a personal project that will have me tied up for a few weeks so don't count on seeing any Redux Collections for at least a month. I'm still astonished at how many people remain oblivious to the QUICIK FIX options, but for those of you in the know, I'll be adding a new stand-alone archive for Goodie Grab Bags series soonish. For now, enjoy.

01. The Satellites - 1958 - Heavenly Angel (Class 234)
02. The Buckeyes - 1957 - Since I Fell For You (DeLuxe 6110)
03. The Tads - 1957 - Glowing Moon (Unissued Porter)
04. Ruth McFadden & The Royaltones - 1956 - Two In Love (Old Town 1020)
05. The Duponts - 1958 - Half Past Nothing (Roulette 4060)
06. The Heartbeats - 1956 - A Thosand Miles Away (Hull 720)
07. Grady Chapman & The Suedes - 1955 - I Need You So (Money 204)
08. Richard Berry & The Dreamers - 1955 - Baby Darling (Flair 1058)
09. The Excels - 1957 - You're Mine Forever (Central NA-2601)
10. The Bobbettes - 1959 - Don't Say Goodnight (Atlantic 2027)
11. Little Milton (w. Oliver Sain Orchestra) - 1959 - Strange Dreams (Bobbin 112)
12. The Castaleers - 1958 - Lonely Boy (Felsted 8512)
13. Johnny Two-Voice & The Sliders - 1959 - You And Your Lovin' Ways (Speciality 676)
14. The Blends - 1960 - Now It's Your Turn (Casa Grande 3037-45)
15. Jimmy Jones - 1960 - Too Long Will Be Too Late (MGM LP E3847)
16. The Fi-Dells - 1961 - What Is Love (Imperial X5780)
17. The Sheppards - 1961 - Tragic (Apex 7762) (Vee Jay 441)
18. The Jokers - 1961 - Whisper (Wand 111) **
19. The Companions - 1962 - How Could You (Amy 852) **
20. The Desires - 1960 - Set Me Free (My Darling) (Hull 733)
21. The Vines - 1961 - I Must See You Again (Cee-Jay 582)
22. The Dee Cals - 1959 - Stars In The Blue What Should I Do (Co-Ed 1960)
23. Beverly Ann Gibson - 1959 - Without Love (DEB 506) [stereo]
24. The Cyclones - 1957 - My Dear (Flip 324) **
25. Del-Satins - 1958 - Counting Teardrops (Win 702) **

all tracks [mono] except track #23 [stereo]
** mono track electronically enhanced for stereo playback

Friday, 5 March 2021

GGG Presents Goodie Grab Bags Volume 54

Here we have two terrific vocal groups out of Texas; The Van Dykes and The Commands. Also, I added a bakers dozen of fresh re-ups, and a reminder to access comps via the Quick Fix!

The Van Dykes - Discography 1965-67 [15sides]

01. The Van Dykes - 1965 - No Man Is An Island (Hue CSP-6500) (Mala 520)
02. The Van Dykes - 1965 - I Won't Hold It Against You (Hue CSP-6500) (Mala 520)
03. The Van Dykes - 1966 - I've Got To Go On Without You (Mala 530)
04. The Van Dykes - 1966 - What Will I Do (If I Lose You) (Mala 530)
05. The Van Dykes - 1966 - Never Let Me Go (Mala 539)
06. The Van Dykes - 1966 - I've Got To Find A Love (Mala 539)
07. The Van Dykes - 1966 - You Need Confidence (Mala 549)
08. The Van Dykes - 1966 - You're Shakin' Me Up (Mala 549)
09. The Van Dykes - 1967 - A Sunday Kind Of Love (Mala 566)
10. The Van Dykes - 1967 - I'm So Happy (Mala 566)
11. The Van Dykes - 1967 - Hey Mr. Lonesome (Unissued Mala)
12. The Van Dykes - 1967 - I'm For Real Baby (Unissued Mala)
13. The Van Dykes - 1967 - Save My Love For A Rainy Day (Mala 584)
14. The Van Dykes - 1967 - Tears Of Joy (Mala 584)
15. The Van Dykes - 1967 - Doin' The Best I Can (Unissued Mala)

The Commands - Discography 1966-68 [12sides]

01. The Commands - 1966 - Hey It's Love (Dynamic 104) (Back Beat 570)
02. The Commands - 1966 - No Time For You (Dynamic 104) (Back Beat 570)
03. The Commands - 1966 - Don't Be Afraid To Love Me (Dynamic 111)
04. The Commands - 1966 - Around The Go-Go (Dynamic 111)
05. The Commands - 1966 - Chain Gang (Dynamic 114)
06. The Commands - 1966 - Must Be Alright (Dynamic 114)
07. The Commands - 1968 - I've Got Love For My Baby (Dynamic 123)
08. The Commands - 1968 - Too Late To Cry (Dynamic 123)
09. The Commands - 1968 - A Way To Love Me (Dynamic 123 alt press)
10. The Commands - 196? - Only Lovers (Unissued)
11. The Commands - 196? - L.A. Is Where It's Happening (Unissued)
12. The Commands - 196? - Puppets (Unissued)

Thursday, 25 February 2021

GGG Presents Metamorphic Malfunktions Vol. 04

Just added a dozen or so re-ups!!!

Now, back to brass tacks. Have yourselves a wonderfully funky weekend friends, enjoy.

01. Tony Ssenkebejje w. The Cranes - 1975 - What's Love (The Cranes TCR 7-07)
02. Oliver Sain - 1974 - Blowing For Love (Abet LP 406)
03. Con Funk Shun - 1974 - Clique (Fretone 009)
04. California Gold Notes - 197? - W.B. 302 (Aduwa 350)
05. Darker Shades Ltd. - 1972 - Tracking Down Jody [Part 2] (ARC 7241)
06. Charlie Whitehead - 1973 - Let's Do It Again [Parts 3 + 4] (Fungus ‎LPFB 25145)
07. Dickie Goodman - 1973 - Friends (Rainy Wednesday 202)
08. The Meters - 1970 - Britches (Josie LP JOS-4012)
09. Sound Experience - 1971 - Blow Your Mind (Philly Soulville 1423)
10. Rosetta Hightower - 1971 - I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Rediffusion LP ZS 88)
11. Harvey Scales - 1969 - Trackdown (Magic Touch 2077)
12. Soul East - 1969 - Funky Lady [Part 1] (DeLuxe 108)
13. Soul East - 1969 - Funky Lady [Part 2] (DeLuxe 108)
14. Soul Machine - 1968 - Bag Of Goodies (Pzazz 021)
15. Booker T. Averheart - 196? - Heart 'n Soul (Soultex 1933)
16. Tommy Bush - 1967 - I Don't Like It (But I Love You) (Rika 108)
17. Kashmere Stage Band - 1970 - Thank You (Kram LP-102)
18. Free Soul - 1973 - (I Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind (GSF LPS-1009)
19. Illinois Connection - 197? - Po Boy's Dream (Unissued)
20. Hetti Lloyd - 1972 - Grief, Sorrow, Pain And Woe (Pride 1014)


Sunday, 21 February 2021

I'm So Glad I Found You

Despite pointing it out in 2 of the last 4 postings, people are still requesting compilation re-ups. Well, if you can't be bothered to read what I write, all I can say is too bad for you. For the rest of you, the remaining anthologies have been added and I've also recently re-upped a few collections, including the complete Master-Class series (Sam, Curtis, Aretha and the Big O) from last year and the heavily requested Delfonics discography, among others. Enjoy.

Now, moving on...

It's difficult to determine whether it was pure happenstance or perhaps, by some strange design, but for over a decade, The Diplomats (later known as Skull Snaps) were leaps and bounds ahead of the pack, yet managed to fly completely under the radar. The core of the group recorded under nearly half a dozen different monikers though retained The Diplomats name for the majority of their career. Originally from Washington DC though during the 60s, they recorded primarily out of NYC where they were an 'in-demand' backing group for a number of the city's best labels. 

The Diplomats were a trio from Washington, D.C. whose early origins go back to 1958 and a quintet named Tiny Tim & the Hits. Formed by William Collier, Thomas Price, Lionel Brown, Orlester Smith, and Howard "Timothy" Wilson, the group had a pair of singles on Roulette: "Wedding Bells" and "Golden Moments". Nearly five years passed before Collier resurfaced with Samuel Culley and Ervan Waters as the Diplomats on Arock Records. The tight-harmony trio remake of "Unchained Melody" was the first single, and they got their foot halfway through the door with their second single, "Here's a Heart" (October 1963). A fourth Arock single, however, took them back to square one. On to Wand Records in 1965 for two singles that also failed to go, before a one-off on Minit Records in 1966, "Honest to Goodness." Whether for contractual reasons or simply change, the trio's next single, "Right or Wrong," (on Fat Back), was credited to the Four Puzzles (Thomas Price from the Tiny Tim & the Hitmaker's days had come onboard). A second Fat Back recording, "My Sweet Baby," was released in February 1968 and credited simply to Puzzles after Collier left. Constantly changing names, the trio's first (of six) Dynamo singles, "Hard to Get," was credited to Sam, Erv & Tom. For the next five singles, including Herb Rooney's (L.A. Reid's father) "I Can Give You Love," they were the Diplomats again. It made no difference what they called themselves, as nothing was clicking on a national level. During their Dynamo stay, they accompanied (uncredited) Tony Drake on the singers Musicor and 3rd World recordings. A few years on in 1973, with George Kerr handling the productions, the Diplomats became the Skull Snaps who many think were a funk band. Newcomer George Bragg joined Culley and Waters for their recordings on Lloyd Price's GSF label. GSF issued three singles and a much sought-after album that year. Early in 1975 a final single on Grill Records, "Ain't That Lovin' You," surfaced and it's even scarcer than the GSF tracks. ~ Andrew Hamilton [allmusic]

I'm So Glad I Found You gathers this incredible group's complete recordings in one place. Including unissued cuts, the rare sides as by The Four Puzzles/The Puzzles, All Dyrections, and of course, the complete Skull Snaps recordings. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.