Sunday, 29 April 2018

Try Me Tonight

Johnnie Taylor was not one of my very favorites by any stretch but there's absolutely no denying the man's exceptional talent! Three Grammy nominations, multiple gold and platinum records, countless chart toppers and a repertoire that pretty much encompasses the spectrum ... soul, gospel, doo-wop, rhythm n blues, pop, funk, disco and straight blues. He's done it all folks!

From Arkansas and performing with gospel groups in his early years, later recording with Highway QCs and The Soul Stirrers in Sam Cooke's stead. In 1961 Taylor signed with Cooke's newly formed SAR Records as one of the label's first acts and recorded a few singles before the label went defunct following Cooke's death in 1964. Picked up by Stax Records in 1965 and relocating to Memphis, Tennessee, Taylor started cranking out singles and (soon after) LPs at a staggering rate. His second LP with Stax 'Who's Making Love' sold over a million copies and went gold, earning him the moniker 'The Philosopher of Soul'. The hits with Stax kept coming well into the 70s with many more charting numbers and another gold record. Taylor remained with Stax right up until they folded and like several others relocated to Columbia Records. It was there with Don Davis on production that Taylor had his biggest hit. After topping most the major charts for weeks, Disco Lady was the first certified platinum single (two million copies sold) by the RIAA. Taylor recorded several more successful albums and R&B singles with Davis on Columbia before Brad Shapiro took over production duties. Leaving for L.A. in the early 80s Taylor recorded one album with Beverly Glen Records and like many other multi-faceted soulsters found a lasting home with Malaco Records in 1984. Much like his time with Stax, Malaco afforded Taylor the freedom he so desired in the studio and this became a very amicable arrangement leading to 10 LPs in a 16 year stretch and a string of hits along the way. Johnnie Taylor died age 66 in May of 2000.

Try Me Tonight collects Taylor's complete studio output from 1961 to 1999 with one Live Album (circa 1972) released by Stax in 2007 and a posthumous collection CD issued by Malaco in 2003.

I didn't do a complete singles collection due to the massive overlap of songs but I did collect all tracks (1961-1974) not featured on the LPs. The SAR, Derby and Stax Records A-sides, B-sides, collabs, duets and a few unissued tracks ... all tagged in my usual fashion.

Nearly all files @ 320kbs with the exception of both 1977 LPs.

Enjoy and as always, thank you to original uploaders.


*Note: DL and extract both parts together

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Easier To Say Than Do

Sam Dees might possibly be the singularly most underrated contributor to soul music in existence. Much like his body of recordings, the man sort of fell into obscurity shortly after making his long overdue LP debut in 1975!

Starting his own vocal group as a teen in Alabama, Sam traveled often to perform and had the chance to cut a single with SSS International in 1968. He was quickly scooped up by Lolo Records where he cut a few more singles before being afforded the opportunity to record a pair of self produced singles with Chess Records. Shortly after these efforts Sam went in for two lengthy sessions with Clintone Records in 1971 yet only one single was released. By 1972 Sam found himself recording for Atlantic Records where he turned out a handful of great singles and his incredible 1975 debut LP 'The Show Must Go On'. Sam Dees was finally getting the credit he deserved and he soon became a highly sought after songwriter, penning numbers throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s for greats such as Gladys Knight, Atlantic Starr, Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Whitney Houston and many more. This effectively stalled his own recording career and until recently, we were all left with far too few of Dees' deep and tender songs.

Easier To Say Than Do is a very cool little collection and comes in 2 parts ...

Easier To Say Than Do Part 1: includes a few folders. A complete and chronicled 45s collection with the fore mentioned singles plus the 2 post LP singles and an unissued late 70s cut of 'Lonely For You Baby', The Show Must Go On LP and the recently unearthered Clintone recordings which is essentially a lost LP from 1971/72 boasting 13 unissued tracks.

Easier To Say Than Do Part 2: includes 2 jam packed collections put together by Kent Records ... Second To None and Heritage Of A Black Man. Both collections are comprised of completely unissued recordings from the early to mid-late 70s and are largely stripped down deep and soulful ballads with mainly just percussion, piano and of course Sam's scorching vocals.

All MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to the original uploaders. Enjoy!

Friday, 27 April 2018

Gusto's Groovy Gumbo Volume 24

01. The Counts - 1971 - Bills
02. Al Green - 1972 - I Think It's For The Feeling
03. Ruby Andrews - 1972 - Whatever It Takes To Please You
04. Hodges, James & Smith - 1973 - Little By Little
05. The Politicians - 1972 - Free Your Mind
06. Tower Of Power - 1974 - Only So Much Oil In The Ground
07. Oscar Brown Jr. - 1974 - Who Knows What Goes When the Doors Close
08. Denise Lasalle - 1975 - Any Time Is The Right Time
09. Betty Wright - 1974 - Value Your Love
10. Geater Davis - 1973 - I'm Gonna' Change
11. Prophets Of Peace - 1975 - You Can Be
12. Sam Dees - 1976 - Today Is A New Day
13. Yancey - 1976 - Honey Bee
14. Tommy Tate - 1977 - Identity (I've Got To Know Who I Am)
15. Southside Movement - 1975 - Acknowledge The Mind
16. Phillip Mitchell - 1975 - I'll See You In Hell First
17. Clydie King - 1976 - Punish Me
18. The Ovations - 1975 - Gotta Move On (To My Destiny) (192kbs)
19. The Steptones - 1975 - Success Don't Come Easy
20. Soul Controllers - 1974 - Right On Brother, Right On
21. New Birth - 1973 - Pains Of Love
22. Montgomery Express - 1973 - Steal Away
23. Inez Foxx - 1973 - Let Me Down Easy
24. Doris Duke - 1975 - Woman Of The Ghetto
25. Eugene Kemp - 1975 - No Pity In The City

(MP3 @ 320kbs unless otherwise noted)

GGG 24

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Bigger & Better

Mable John was born in Bastrop, Louisiana but was raised in Detroit. She worked and attended business school into her early 20s until one or two degrees of separation paired her with producer and Motown's Tamala Records owner Berry Gordy in 1959. Signed to his label the following year Mable John belted out a number of blues laden soul singles for the label but with little success, the contract was short lived and dissolved in 1963. John then joined Ray Charles' Raelettes before relaunching her solo career with Stax Records in 1966. There she released 5 singles with the label each charting a little lower than the previous. John left Stax and re-joined The Raelettes where she stayed for several years before leaving singing and secular music behind all together in 1973 to manage Christian gospel groups.

Bigger & Better collects all of Mable John's sides cut for Tamala and Stax and includes a whopping 26 unissued tracks between both labels. Don't get too excited though, all of these recordings are easily available between both the 'My Name Is Mable' and 'Stay Out Of The Kitchen' compilations, I've just put them all in one place and in order.

As always, thanks to original uploaders. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 24 April 2018


In several weeks I'll be wrapping up the Gusto's Groovy Gumbo series. I have other compilations in mind but not sure I will produce weekly as I have been. I will continue with comprehensive collections of select artists as they're completed of course but I am curious if there is any interest in tailored artist retrospective collections? Not complete collections or a greatest hits based on charts/sales/labes but rather my own personal take on a greatest hits collection. If you enjoy the compilation series, it stands to reason you may enjoy these as well.

Feedback greatly appreciated, please let me know in the comment section.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Close To You

When it comes to Clarence Ashe I'm not quite clear on his history and honestly never heard of him until RYP recently posted the 'Jesse James Meets Clarence Ashe' split collection recently at TZ. I didn't care much for Jesse James material but the back-end showcasing 13 of Ashe's 16 sides blew my hair back. Seriously spectacular gritty (and sometimes deep) southern soul!!!

Ashe's 1964 debut Single was released on Chess Records, the remaining 7 were cut for Zelma 'Zell' Sanders' label, J&S Records. As mentioned, the collection only featured 13 of Ashe's 16 released sides so I tracked down the other 3 and put em all in chronological order with release info tagged within. All tracks MP3 @ 320kbs. Enjoy and as always, thanks to original uploaders.

Close To You

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Lonely Heart Crying In The Night

The Monitors are probably the most pop-oriented vocal group I groove on! That's not to say this is nothing more than commercial soul jingles and senseless jivers, far from it in fact. This group had range, rich harmonies, thick R&B roots, adventurous arrangements but certainly the pop sensibilities to make their music widely approachable.

Richard Street fronted a little outfit called the Distants and recorded a single at Thelma Records in the early 60s but with little success. Soon after The Distants merged with The Primes becoming The Temptations. Street did a short stretch with The Peps before re-forming The Majestics with former members Warren Harris and Maurice Fagin who were in the second incarnation of The Majestics for their mainstay with Chex Records. This third incarnation with Street were signed to Motown sub-label V.I.P. Records but the vocal group's debut 1964 single was actually shelved and their follow up in 1965 experienced significant delays as it was discovered that yet another vocal group also called The Majestics had already been recording material for a release. It was then that they changed their name to The Monitors and new labels were issued for the single. The Monitors went on to release 4 more singles with V.I.P. between 1966-68 and a companion LP featuring most of these recordings in 1968. Unfortunately the groups chart success topped out early on and far from the top which I believe was a surprise to the label as the group recorded nearly 2 albums worth of material with V.I.P. that never saw the light of day. Throughout the late 60s and early 70s Richard Street often filled in for Paul Williams and eventually took his place in The Temptations permanently in 1971. This was the end of The Monitors, a final single was issued in 1972 on Buddah Records. Warren Harris did revive a fourth version of The Monitors in 1990 and cut an album but frankly I find it un-listenable.

Crying In The Night collects all of these early issued and unissued tracks but one ... #38, the B-side from the Buddah Records single. The majority of these tracks came from a FLAC rip of the incredible Kent Soul collection released in 2007 and the others were provided by fellow enthusiasts.

As an added bonus I've also included the six singles by both earlier versions of The Majestics.

Lonely Heart collects their 1959-1963 releases ... one with Contour Records and their four with Chex Records.

All files chronicled, tagged with release info and exported as MP3 @ 320kbs. Enjoy and thanks to original uploaders, as always.

*Note* Still need this track so please share if you have it

The Monitors - 1972 - Have You Seen Her (Buddah Records 278)

Friday, 20 April 2018

Gusto's Groovy Gumbo Volume 23

01. J.J. Barnes - 1975 - Help Me
02. Merry Clayton - 1975 - Sink Or Swim
03. Norma Jenkins - 1976 - I Fooled You
04. The Independents - 1973 - Show Me How
05. Bobby Womack - 1973 - Nobody Wants You When You're Down & Out
06. Concept Nine - 1971 - No Escape
07. Ruth Copeland - 1971 - Gimme Shelter
08. Soul Survival - 1967 - When Something Is Wrong With My Baby
09. O.V. Wright - 1969 - This Hurt Is Real
10. Tony Fox - 1967 - ESP
11. Sylvia Maddox - 1966 - Got To Be Free
12. Ann Hodge - 1966 - Your Own Free Will
13. Herb Fame - 1966 - You're Messin' Up My Mind
14. The Isley Brothers - 1966 - Seek & You Shall Find
15. The Four Tops - 1965 - Lonely Lover
16. The Supremes - 1964 - Run Run Run
17. Tommy Good - 1964 - Leaving Here
18. The Vibrations - 1964 - I Peeped Your Hole Card
19. Wilson Pickett - 1963 - Baby Call On Me
20. Pearl Woods - 1961 - Keep Your Business To Yourself
21. Lavern Baker - 1960 - Bumble Bee
22. Bobby Bland - 1961 - How Does A Cheating Woman Feel
23. Little Henry & The Laveers - 1963 - What To Do (192kbs)
24. Irma Thomas - 1962 - I Did My Part
25. The Drew-Vells - 1964 - I've Known
26. Margo White - 1964 - I Got A Right To Lose My Mind
27. Jimmy Hughes - 1964 - Try Me

(MP3 @ 320kbs unless otherwise noted)


Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Hall Of Soul

St. Louis native Chuck Bernard started singing with doo-wop group the Blue Notes before relocating to Chicago where his music became synonymous with that gritty hard soul sound of the windy city. Signed to Satellite Records in 1964 as an artist, producer and occasional A&R man Bernard cut 5 smoking singles between 1965 and 1967 with the label before moving to New Breed in 1968 where he cut another couple of singles. The following year Bernard cut one single with Maverick and then found a great home with Zodiac Records where he cut 6 more quality singles between 1969 and 1973. A final single with Brunswick was released in 1975 and that (as they say) is all she wrote.

Hall Of Soul collects all 33 of these sides but I really can't take any credit for it. this one comes almost entirely from the deepest digger I know ... SoulTime59! Never would have heard of Chuck Bernard (or many, many other unearthed artists) without his incredible efforts. There were a few missing tracks that other really kind soulies provided so I thought I'd add em and tag em all appropriately and in order. Pretty much every source sight I use has conflicting release info so I'm not absolutely 100% the dates are correct but fairly certain they are. Anywho, enjoy and all praise be to SoulTime59 and the TZ community.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Singing Man

Ted Taylor was a top tier artist and one of my very very favorites. A multi-faceted and extremely talented singer/songwriter who touched down and firmly planted his flag in the realms of Doo-Wop, Soul, R&B, Funk and the Blues. Aside from the top notch offerings across this spectrum, his style and unique, unmistakable vocal delivery really put him in a class all his own. Certainly influenced by singers like Jackie Wilson and Little Willie John but there's no confusing the lot. No one sounds quite like Ted Taylor!

Taylor got his start in 1952 with The Mighty Clouds Of Joy and The Santa Monica Soul Seekers. The latter were picked up by Modern Records and were persuaded to record secular music for the label as The Cadets and The Jacks. Taylor sang lead for a handful of these recordings and was first or second tenor for many of the others until leaving the group. Taylor started his solo career in the coming couple years and between 1957-1978 recorded and released singles and LPs with about 20 different labels including his own 'Solpugids' but most notably Okeh (61-66) and Ronn Records (67-73). Singing Man is not one of my favorite songs but I truly can't think of a more appropriate title for a Ted Taylor collection. He had pipes for days. This one's a monster post people, the Singles collection alone is a whopping 142 sides, same deal with the LP collection and as an added bonus I've included a smaller zip file with The Cadets/The Jacks complete discography and Taylor's Unissued Ronn Recordings.


*Note* The quality and original bitrate of roughly 10 source files range in the Singles collection but I ran them through Audacity to clean them up a bit and bring levels closer together. The bulk of the tracks and nearly every LP were sourced from FLAC and all files were exported as MP3 @ 320kbs.

Hope you enjoy, big thanks to original uploaders.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

It's Almost Sundown

Nashville native Roscoe Shelton joined The Fairfield Four as lead vocalist in 1949, a few years later he was drafted and spent four years with the US Air Force. Upon discharge he joined the Skylarks in 1956 and recorded for Nashboro Records. After the group disbanded, Shelton sang alongside and toured with both Bobby Hebb and DeFord Bailey, Jr. while cutting some quality blues singles for Excello Records. In 1961 Shelton's debut album, 'Roscoe Shelton Sings' was released by Excello and various singles followed. At this point Shelton had effortlessly infused Soul and R&B into his down home blues sound which proved quite pleasant on his early to mid sixties singles with Sims Records. In 1965 Shelton signed with SoundStage 7 Records and released the 'Soul in His Music, Music in His Soul' LP the following year. the long gap between album releases and the gradual shift to a more soulful sound did not bode well for Shelton though and his recording career kind of stalled out. Following the death of friends Sam Cooke and Otis Redding late in 1967, Roscoe was never the same. Overcome with sadness and often unable to perform, Roscoe Shelton quit the music industry all together in 1969/70 and didn't return for nearly 25 years.

It's Almost Sundown collects Shelton's complete 45 output from 1958 to 1969 ... 23 of em in total with a whopping 21 unissued tracks, all @ 320kbs with release info tagged within.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Gusto's Groovy Gumbo Volume 22

01. Jeanne & The Darlings - 1968 - What Will Later On Be Like
02. Baby Huey - 1971 - A Change Is Going To Come
03. Danny Edwardson - 1977 - Stuck In
04. Marcia Hines - 1975 - I Need It Just As Bad As You
05. The Dramatics - 1975 - Never Let You Go
06. Raelettes - 1973 - If You Wanna Keep Him
07. Tower Of Power - 1973 - Clean Slate
08. Gwen McCrae - 1972 - I'm Losing The Feeling
09. B.B. King - 1970 - Chains & Things
10. Little Milton - 1968 - At The Dark End Of The Street
11. Luvenia Lewis - 1969 - Tender Loving Pain
12. Reuben Bell - 1969 - You're Gonna Miss Me
13. Howard Tate - 1967 - I Learned It All The Hard Way
14. Laura Lee - 1968 - Sure As Sin
15. Paul Petersen - 1967 - Chained
16. The Temptations - 1966 - (I Know) I'm Losing You
17. Vickie Labat - 1968 - Got To Keep Hanging On
18. The Pets - 1965 - I Say Yeah
19. The Kolettes - 1964 - Just How Much (Can One Heart Take)
20. Joe Hinton - 1963 - You Know It Ain't Right
21. Beverley McKay - 1965 - No, No I Can't Help You
22. O.V. Wright - 1964 - That's How Strong My Love Is
23. The Jive Five - 1967 - No More Tears
24. Lavern Baker - 1967 - I Need You So
25. The Fabulous Peps - 1967 - I Can't Get Right
26. Inez & Charlie Foxx's Swinging Mockin' Band - 1968 - Shimmy
27. Gladys Knight & The Pips - 1968 - The End Of Our Road

(MP3 @ 320kbs)


Tuesday, 10 April 2018

End To End

Switchin' it up a little today ...

Two fairly different outfits but essentially one and the same. The history of the group began with the instrumental outfit The Nite-Liters, which was originally formed in 1963 in Louisville, Kentucky by Tony Churchill and Harvey Fuqua. A few years later Fuqua went on to produce acts at Motown, including Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye. After leaving Motown, he secured a production deal with RCA, where he brought back his old instrumental band the Nite-Liters and produced their 1970 eponymous debut album. Late in 1969 Vernon Bullock had thought of creating an ensemble of groups for a touring company and Harvey Fuqua and Tony Churchill took an immediate interest. After discovering a male vocal group, The Now Sound and also a female vocal group known as Mint Julep, they brought them together with The Nite-Liters plus additional vocalist, Alan Frye, calling the newly formed ensemble New Birth. The 13-17 piece band came together late in 1970 with their self-titled debut LP also on RCA. The two acts continued to simultaneously release consecutive albums with RCA for a few years before officially merging into the New Birth name. The Nite-Liters released 5 LPs (1970-73) with RCA Records and New Birth released 9 LPs (1970-82) with the label as well as a 1975 release on Buddah Records, one with Ariola America and two with Warner Bros. With their more sophisticated orchestration and sweeping vocal arrangements New Birth was the dominant outfit of the two but I personally prefer the more straight ahead and largely instrumental funk stylings of The Nite-Liters. I've gathered all 18 of the LPs here so you can be the judge. 

Bitrates range from 192-320kbs with New Birth LPs and are listed with titles.
All The Nite-Liters LPs @ 320kbs ... Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy!!

NL (new link)

*Note* Extract NB 1 and NB 2 together

Sunday, 8 April 2018

No More Tears

Eugene Pitt and The Jive Five are just about the most enduring doo-wop/vocal soul group of all time! Fronted by the dynamic Pitt, the strikingly self aware group accented his vocal range superbly while maintaining a slight melodic contrast to Pitt's guttural drawl. With Beltone Records the group released 8 singles between 1961 and 1963 before moving to United Artists where they first re-invented themselves and shifted to a more soulful approach. In 2 short years with UA they released 9 singles with the label before going MCA subsidiary Musicor Records for the remainder of the decade. With minimal success and releases the group once again re-invented themselves. In fact they went on a re-invention spree sort of speak ... between 1970 and 1975 the group cut varied style singles under a number of alias' such as The Jyve Fyve, Shadow, Ebony, Ivory, & The Jades on a half dozen labels such as Decca, Avco, Brut, Chess and Columbia. They changed the name back to The Jive Five in 1978 but very little was happening in terms of writing and recording. however, in 1982 Pitt once again reformed the group, bringing it back to a more traditional doo-wop style and released the 'Here We Are' LP on Ambient Sound Records with a follow up LP 'Way Back' in 1984 also on the label. In 1985 Pitt and The Jive Five found lasting work in television and film as an acapella group involved with many big ticket projects leading well into the mid 2000s.

No More Tears is a complete and chronicled collection of all these fore mentioned 45s (1961-82) and as a bonus it kicks of with all 5 singles (1958-61) by Eugene Pitt's former outfit, The Genies!

*Note* The quality and original bitrate of some source files range in the Singles collection but I ran them through Audacity to clean them up a bit and bring levels closer together. all files were exported at 320kbs. Feel free to contribute a better version of any track on here if you have one.

*Edit* I accidentally tagged the wrong img in the song files. I may re-do this whole posting down the road but feel free to use this new img above instead and/or until I get around to it.

Hope you enjoy, big thanks to original uploaders.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Gusto's Groovy Gumbo Volume 21

01. Bettye Crutcher - 1974 - A Little Bit More Won't Hurt
02. Joyce Williams - 1972 - The First Thing I Do In The Mornin
03. 100 Proof Aged In Soul - 1970 - Not Enough Love To Satisfy
04. Spencer Wiggins - 1967 - Let's Talk It Over
05. Mary Wells - 1966 - Can't You See You're Losing Me
06. Cleo Randle - 1966 - You Got Everything
07. Art Grayson & The Graysettes - 1966 - Bad Dreams
08. Willie West - 1965 - Did You Have Fun
09. O.V. Wright - 1973 - He's My Son (Just The Same)
10. Irma Thomas - 1967 - Here I Am, Take Me
11. Ruby Johnson - 1968 - No No No
12. Barry St. John - 1968 - Cry Like A Baby (192kbs)
13. Little Milton - 1965 - Your People
14. Bobby Byrd - 1964 - I Love You So
15. Sugar Pie DeSanto - 1964 - Use What You Got
16. Ann Cole - 1960 - Brand New House
17. The Tams - 1962 - Disillusioned
18. The Top Notes - 1963 - I Love You So Much (224kbs)
19. The Rockmasters - 1963 - A Wonderful Thing (Love)
20. Eddie Holman - 1964 - Lost (192kbs)
21. Mitty Collier - 1966 - My Party
22. The Metros - 1967 - Since I Found My Baby
23. Howard Tate - 1969 - It's Too Late
24. Otis Clay - 1970 - Pouring Water On A Drowning Man (256kbs)
25. African Music Machine - 1974 - Masoro (224kbs)
26. Ollie Nightengale - 1971 - I'll Take Care Of You
27. Merry Clayton - 1970 - Forget It I Got It
28. Candi Staton - 1972 - The Best Thing You Ever Had

(MP3 @ 320kbs unless otherwise noted)


Thursday, 5 April 2018

I Got The Feelin'

Here's a companion piece to my recent Bobby Byrd post. Some interesting comments and feedback on that one, even if you didn't know who Bobby Byrd was, you know Bobby Byrd's work! Last post showcased his solo and latter efforts while this post showcases his earlier efforts with his R&B vocal group The Famous Flames (also known as many variations of the name). They helped usher in and solidify the mighty reign of James Brown. Brown got his start with this group in the early/mid 50s and was fronting the outfit by the time of their first pressing in 1956 but it was Byrd's arrangements, writing and stage choreography that set the outfit so far apart from the competition. The group's tight and tender harmonies provided a stark contrast to Brown's raw and impassioned leads but they did not always take the backseat either.

As previously stated, Brown and Byrd have a long and checkered past with a good amount of documentation and it's worth reading. There was a lot of dissension within The Famous Flames leading up to the end of their run but from 1956 to 1964 they were an intrinsic part of both the birth of soul and the origins of funk and they backed Brown on all the essential early sides and LPs. A wide range of harmonic honkers, deep soul stirrers, poppy R&B knockers and funky floor fillers that set a standard for the entire world of soul. I Got The Feelin' gathers all The Famous Flames sides from 1956 to 1968 ... 150 of em (omitting re-issues) and much like the singles themselves, comes in 2 parts ...

I Got The Feelin' Pt. 1
I Got The Feelin' Pt. 2

All files @ 320kbs with label info tagged within. Extract both files together. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

The Way I Feel

Although Bobby Byrd had over twenty years as a solo performer under his belt, it was his association with James Brown and efforts in defining the funk scene in the late 60s/early 70s for which he is chiefly remembered. And hey, credit where credit is due but why he gets little praise for his straight up soul/R&B cuts throughout the 60s is a bit beyond me. They're really quite good!

Byrd's and Brown's history is long, somewhat checkered but well documented and certainly worth a read but the main focus of this collection is on Byrd's solo efforts so there are no 'Flames' or 'The Famous Flames' recordings included in the pre-funk singles.

The Way I Feel offers up quite a selection of strong work from Byrd in the realms of R&B, soul and funk and includes a complete and chronicled 45s collection featuring 60 sides with nearly a dozen labels between 1963 and 1980, the Live LP from 1970, The Original Soulciety Sessions CD featuring alternate  and instrumental versions of the early-mid 70s singles plus I threw in a smoking unissued version of 'When Something Is Wrong With My Baby'.

*Note* The quality and original bitrate of some source files range in the Singles collection but I ran them through Audacity to clean them up a bit and bring levels closer together. all files were exported at 320kbs. Feel free to contribute a better version of any track on here if you have one.

Hope you enjoy, big thanks to original uploaders.

Monday, 2 April 2018

I'll Be Your Anything

UPDATED June 25, 2020 From humble Mississippi roots yet raised in Memphis with close ties to his church and community, Ollie 'Nightingale' Hoskins was just barely hitting his stride when he found himself fronting what would become the fabulous southern gospel R&B outfit, The Dixie Nightingales. Starting with local label, Pepper Records, in 1958 and moving to Nashboro Records in the early 60s. They then signed with Stax gospel subsidiary, Chalice Records in 1964. During their stay with Stax, the Nightingales honed their craft, produced incredibly powerful recordings (each better than the previous) and Ollie established himself as a world class vocalist.

In an interesting turn of events Stax Records executive Al Bell, convinced the group to turn towards pop oriented secular R&B and then signed them to the main label. A new day, a new sound, the group needed a new name. Ollie & The Nightingales released several well received singles and a companion LP, supported label heavyweights Sam & Dave and Eddie Floyd on tour and then released a not so well received follow-up single in 1970 all with the Stax label. Dissatisfied with the direction the music was headed, Ollie Hoskins split from Stax Records and the group to peruse solo ventures. The Nightingales recruited Tommy Tate and continued cutting singles with Stax over the course of a couple years but that's another story. Now, Ollie Nightingale didn't return to gospel music but he sure revived his southern roots and cut some seriously top notch funky soul sides with Memphis Records in 1971. Several more singles in the same fashion followed, culminating in the Sweet Surrender LP released in 1973 on Pride Records. Towards the end of the decade, Ollie re-surfaced with a 45 for Pathfinder Records in 1978 and a few more singles for Jenny Records in 1980. A decade after Sweet Surrender, Ollie's long awaited follow up came in the form of a fairly blues laden album released on Retta's Records in 1983. The follow-up 'Freedom', released in 1985 leans more towards electo-boogie and does little for me. I just love Ollie's vocals ... be it soul spirituals, secular soul, pop R&B, funky soul, or even the disco ... the man always delivered it deeply, earnestly and seemingly effortlessly!

I'll Be Your Anything collects the near complete works of Ollie Hoskins with both versions of the Nightingales, as well as his solo stuff into the mid 80s. I'm not too proud to admit when I've made a mistake, or several. The errors in this original posting seriously read like a grocery list; I knew it needed addressing but had no idea the extent. No sweat, all fixed now with correct, improved and additional material including all 22 sides by Dixie Nightingales (many unissued), mono single versions of the Stax sides and additional rare cuts as by Ollie & The Nightingales, all of Ollie's solo material for the Memphis and Pride labels, the correct version of the Pathfinder sides, plus it's been expanded to include the Jenny sides and both rare Retta's Records albums (thanks to Loofer). All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy!