Here is the second installment of Any Major Soul 1969, which might actually be even better than the first. Those three opening tracks alone…my, what a year for soul that was!
We previously met The Flirtations on the Christmas Soul Vol. 1 mix with their gorgeous version of “Christmas Time Is Here Again”. “Nothing But A Heartache” (which was actually first released in December 1968) was their big hit, reaching #34 on the US Billboard charts and #51 in the UK. It was revived in Britain in 2007 as part of an advertising campaign for the colonel’s fatty fried battery chicken which will give you nothing but a heart attack. The Flirtations continued releasing records into the 1980s, when they briefly became a Hi-NRG act — you might remember their 1983 song “Earthquake”.
Tina Britt released only one album, titled Blue All The Way. It’s an eclectic mix by a singer who could do the Motown thing as well as the Marlena Shaw thing. She had only one minor hit, a R&B Top 20 song titled “the Real Thing”, composed by Ashford and Simpson.
The best song title on this mix must be “Hip Old Lady On A Honda” by Rhetta Hughes, who has featured a few times (twice on Covered With Soul, the “Light My Fire” song swarm, the Amy Winehouse-inspired mix). Hughes was still a teenager when “Hip Old Lady” came out, having recorded for four years before that. The Chicago singer also has had a career as a part-time actress.
Janice Tyrone’s song here, “I’m Gonna Make It”, apparently features Aretha Franklin. Like Rhetta Hughes, Tyrone had begun as a teenage singer, going by the moniker Little Janice. By the time she was too old to be little, she released the excellent “I’m Gonna Make It”. Alas, it was her final record.
The closing track, by The Ambassadors, is another one of those productions which presaged the rise of Philly Soul, here its funkier side. The band never had commercial success, but the musicians who played on their 1969 LP, Soul Summit, went on to be big session names in Philadelphia, from the late, great Vince Montana to saxophonist Sam Reed, trombonist Fred Joiner and drummer Earl Young.
I’m not sure whether this series has run its course; the feedback to the last couple of mixes, if measure by the volume of comments, has been unenthusiastic. I have much more soul music to share, but whether to continue I shall leave up to you.
As always the mix is timed to fit on as standard CD-R, and includes covers.
1. Sly and the Family Stone – Stand!
2. The Impressions – Mighty Mighty (Spade & Whitey)
3. The Flirtations – Nothing But A Heartache
4. The Mad Lads – Make Room (In Your Heart)
5. Sweet Inspirations – Watch The One Who Brings You The News
6. Aretha Franklin – River’s Invitation
7. Tina Britt – Who Was That
8. Clarence Carter – You’ve Been A Long Time Comin’
9. The Chambers Brothers – Girls, We Love You
10. Friends Of Distinction – I’ve Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)
11. Barbara McNair – The Hunter Gets Captured
12. Ila Vann – Keep On Laughing Baby
13. Tony Clark – Ain’t Love Good, Ain’t Love Proud
14. Rhetta Hughes – Hip Old Lady On A Honda
15. Janice Tyrone – I’m Gonna Make It
16. Solomon Burke – What Am I Living For
17. O.V. Wright – This Hurt Is Real
18. Isaac Hayes – One Woman
19. Linda Carr – In My Life
20. Cookie V – You Got The Wrong Girl
21. Dee Dee Warwick – That’s Not Love
22. Carolyn Franklin – There I Go
23. Sonny Charles & The Checkmates – Black Pearl
24. Stevie Wonder – Angie Girl
25. The Five Stairsteps – We Must Be in Love
26. The Exciters – Fight That Feelin’
27. The Ambassadors – Music (Makes You Wanna Dance)
Postscript: Turns out that Track 14, Rhetta Hughes’ “Hip Old Lady On A Honda” is missing from the zipped file. You can get it HERE to add to the mix.
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