One of the greatest southern soul groups of all time were not actually from the south at all. Brothers Robert, Curtis and Andrew Kelly plus Charles T.C. Lee and Offe Reece who usually handled the lead vocals, were from Chicago, and known as the Kelly Brothers!
The Kelly Brothers were originally a gospel group that surfaced on Vee-Jay Records in 1956. They cut a couple singles for Nashboro Records in the late 50s before signing with Federal Records in 1960. From there the singles flowed, recording 8 sides in their first session and releasing them all within the year. Both sides of their third single became radio hits in the region and showcased the groups vocally intense, guitar driven approach. Another session in 1962 churned out 8 more sides and a companion LP. By 1963 though, the group was not making a lot of moolah on the Gospel Highway so they heeded the advice of producer Alfonso Thompson and began singing secular soul songs. Thompson actually renamed the group The King Pins, and they waxed several singles for Federal. Still performing on various gospel programs as The Kelly Brothers, the dual identities proved problematic. Ironically, The King Pins breakout single for Federal was 'It Won't Be This Way Always' was a secularization of a gospel song. It reached #13 on the R&B charts. Whiler the group released more singles with the label, none had the same impact. Signing with Nashville-based label Sims Records in 1964 and reverting to The Kelly Brothers name, the group worked with fellow Chicago residents Dillard and Rufus Crume. With Curtis and Robert now handling the majority of leads and the labels production team, The Kelly Brothers sounded more southern than ever. The group released 11 singles with Sims between 1963 and 1967, then signed with Excello in 1968 and returned to their former gospel roots the following year, releasing an LP with Creed Records. Difficulties finding the right market led the group to call it a day in 1970.
Cryin' Days Are Over collects pretty close to everything by this incredible group. The 3 early singles, the complete Federal recording as The Kelly Brothers and The King Pins, the Sims single (less one song), the later Excello singles, the Creed LP, the one-off 1967 single for King Records; credited to TC Lee & The Bricklayers and a handful of unissued recordings. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.