Teddie Morrow & Tera Shirma

Teddie Morrow first made his mark with the self-composed ‘What’s Your Sign' on the tiny Monterey based Seibu label, issued in 1976 and now a cult classic. Whilst this recording featured his pure falsetto, Teddie ‘s recordings over the years demonstrate to great effect the impressive versatility and ingenuity of the man’s many vocal styles, ranging from Philly sweet soul, impassioned gospel, the Motown sound, rasping southern soul, and a bluesy Chicago style baritone. When you listen to Teddie’s performances, you can imagine him equally at home at Detroit’s Motown, Memphis’s Stax, or Chicago’s Brunswick recording studios.

Teddie has even released a gospel album, ‘Your Grace And Mercy” on which he sounds very much like gospel giant Rance Allen, with whom Teddie has indeed collaborated. In addition to being a dynamic vocalist and performer, Teddie composes and arranges much of his own material, and plays keyboards and drums on his recordings.

Most recently, Teddie has been issuing a stream of releases on the renowned Tera Shirma label, run by Motown alumni Ralph and Russ Terrana. Teddie has been collaborating with the Terrana twins for more than a decade, and the Tera Shirma releases can be readily accessed on CDBaby.

Teddie Morrow - By The Time I Get To Pheonix

Teddie’s last release on Tera Shirma, “She’s Using You” showcased his smooth baritone, on a vocal / arrangement combination harking back to the golden days of the Chicago sound and Brunswick, when they were turning out classics such as Tyrone Davis’s “Be Honest With Me” and “In The Mood”. ‘She’s Using You” distinguished by an exceptional guitar break by Tom Ayres, has been very well received and continues to build Teddie’s profile and gain airplay, not only in the U.S.A, but around the world.

Tera Shirma, Detroit
Teddie’s new release will by “By The Time I Get To Phoenix”, the number known to soul fans all over the world as a classic by Isaac Hayes on the huge 1969 album, “Hot Buttered Soul”. Interestingly, engineer Russ Terrana remixed the Hot Buttered Soul album at Ralph’s Tera Shirma studio in Detroit. Some 44 years later, Ralph and Russ have produced and mixed the very same tune on Teddie Morrow at their Tera Shirma studio in Monterey. Whilst Isaac’s recording was taken at a very slow pace over 18 minutes, Teddie’s version features his vocal over a very nice grove with a nagging insistent guitar pushing along the rhythm track.

Teddie is a dynamic and highly experienced performer, having appeared with such stellar soul acts as The Whispers, Tower Of Power, and Jeffrey Osborne. Most recently Teddie opened for headliner Gladys Knight at her major Arizona Wild Horse Pass concert.

For more information on Teddie Morrow, Ralph and Russ Terrana, and Tera Shirma Sound Studios, or if you would like to feature Teddie Morrow or the history of the Terrana brothers and Tera Shirma Sound Studios on a show, please contact

Ralph.terrana @yahoo.com

Ralph is also moderator of the renowned website: www.soulfuldetroit.com


Ralph & Russ Terrana

A whole new generation of music fans has been introduced to the legendary Tera Shirma recording studio, as it is this facility where Sixto Rodriguez recorded his “Cold Facts” album, and which is the subject of the hugely successful global award winning documentary “Searching For Sugar Man”. The story of Tera Shirma itself is highly intriguing, as its history and principal players are interwoven across the decades with numerous artists who entered their doors, and the recordings which came forth to great success and are celebrated to this day.

Ralph and his twin brother Russ have been the driving force behind Tera Shirma from the outset, when the brothers were musicians in Detroit based group The Sunliners, who went on to become famous blue eyed soul group Rare Earth out of the Motown stable.

Ralph decided to move into the recording studio business, and ended up acquiring the studio facility in Detroit and named it Tera Shirma. Russ helped out in the engineering / mixing department, but was hired out of there by Motown’s founder Berry Gordy, who has an unmatched track record of spotting talent. At Motown, Russ went on to record or mix a total of 89 gold singles and 37 platinum albums, a success rate without parallel to this very day.

As for Tera Shirma itself, given the outstanding blend of advanced recording technology, acoustics and recording and mixing expertise, the studios were used by numerous record labels for their acts to record in. When Detroit’s Holland Dozier Holland set up Invictus / Hot Wax after leaving Motown, they used the studios to record Band Of Gold by Freda Payne, as well as many others by acts including Chairmen of The Board, Honeycone, Eighth Day and Laura Lee. Ollie Mclaughlin also used the studios for his Karla recordings on artists including Bettye Lavette.

A brief list of just some of the recordings at Tera Shirma:

Funkadelic - Album - Free Your Mind - Westbound
Barbara Lewis - Album - The many grooves of ... - Enterprise
Dennis Coffey - Album - Hair and Thangs - Maverick
Spyder Turner - Album - Stand By Me - MGM
Rodriguez - Album -Cold Fact - Impact
Isaac Hayes - Album - Hot Buttered Soul - Stax (also cut at United Sound)
Rare Earth - Album - Get Ready - Rare Earth
Belita Woods - Magic Corner - Moira106
Bob and Fred - I'm On My Way - Big Mack6101
Brooks Brothers - Looking For A Woman - Tay501
Doni Burdick - I Have Faith In You/Bari Track - Sound Pattern6807
Doni Burdick - If You Ever Walk Out.. /Open The Door To.. - Sound Impression6809
Dynamics - Whenever I 'm Without You/Love To A Guy - Top Ten927
Dynamics - Yes I Love You Baby/Soul Sloopy - Top Ten100
Fantastic Four - I Love You Madly - RicTic144
Freda Payne - Band of Gold - Invictus9075
Joe Mathews - Ain't Nothing You Can Do - KoolKat1001
Johnny Rogers - Make A Change - Amon815
Lonette - Mind Intruder/Stop - MS208
Louis Curry - A Toast To You - MS203
Louis Curry - CaptIvated - MS210
Melvin Davis - Save It/This Love Was Meant To Be - Mala590
Milton Wright & The Tera Shirma Strings - The Gallop - Carla1902
Nabay - Believe it or not - Impact1032
Patti Young - Head and Shoulders - Ernstrat495
Reggie Milner - She's Alright - Ron's2
Sam Ward - Sister Lee - Groove City205
Samson & Delilah - Woman - Red Cap101
The Strides - I Can Get Along/The Stride - MS202
The Monticello's - I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face - Red Cap102
Tobi Legend - Time Will Pass You By - Mala591
Tommy Frontera - Merry Go Round - Palmer5015
Tony Hestor - Sweet Darlin' - Soulhawk1

Tera Shirma continues to this day to release quality recordings, matching the expertise and wisdom of Ralph and Russ Terrana with gifted artists such as Teddie Morrow.
For more information on Teddie Morrow, Ralph and Russ Terrana, and Tera Shirma Sound Studios, or if you would like to feature Teddie Morrow or the history of the Terrana brothers and Tera Shirma Sound Studios on a show, please contact

Ralph.terrana @yahoo.com

Ralph is also moderator of the renowned website www.soulfuldetroit.com


Curtis Mayfield Tribute - Peace!

Today were going on a trip down memory lane. The radio show below was broadcast in six thirty minute segments over six weeks in the early 1990's on my Basement Soul show on PCRL, here in Birmingham. Bill Randle came to me with the idea of doing a tribute to Curtis Mayfield's large body of work.

Mayfield had recently been paralyzed by a freak stage accident at a charity show he was doing in New York and the world was in shock. So Bill wrote his piece we cranked-up the reel-to-reel recorder and started splicing the tapes, that's how it was done in those days, no digital editing suites, if you cut the tape in the wrong place you had to record it again.

Anyway the years have gone by and the tapes were getting older and dustier so I decided to transfer the analogue tapes to digital, this was in 2009 and Steve Williams expressed some interest in running the recording on his UK Vibe jazz site, but sadly nothing came of that. The years went by and Bill Randle who has now started his own radio show on Bridge FM in Stourbridge, said; "Wouldn't it be great to put a link to his new web Blog for the recording", also the time is right and with war breaking out again in the Middle East it's time again for that message: "We Gotta Have Peace".  So here it is in Full... enjoy

Track listing:
Impressions - Gypsy Woman
I'm The One Who Loves You
It's Alright
Major Lance - The Monkey Time
Gene Chandler - Nothing Can Stop Me
Walter Jackson - It's All Over
Impressions - Talking 'bout My Baby
Keep On Pushing
You Must Believe me
People Get Ready
The Woman's Got Soul
You've Been Cheatin'
5 Stairsteps - Little Young Lover
Impressions - I Can't Satisfy
Fascinations - Girls Are Out To Get You
Impressions - We're A Winner
This Is My Country
Choice Of Colours
The Girl I Find Stays On My Mind
Curtis Mayfield - If There Is A Hell Down Below, Were All Gonna Go
Love On Up
We've Only Just Begun (live)
We've Gotta have Peace
Little Child Running Wild
Pusher man
Freddie's Dead
Back In The World
To Be Invisible
On And On
Aretha Franklin - Giving Him Something He Can Feel
Curtis Mayfield - When Seasons Change
Soul Music
How Do You Like To Be Loved?
Your So Good For Me
with Linda Clifford - Between You Baby & Me
Curtis Mayfield - Never Stopped Loving Me
Toot Toot
Hey Baby
Baby It's You
You've Just Got To Be Real
I'm So Proud


Willie Hutch

Willie Hutch - Season For Love - RCA LSP - 4296 (1970)

Season For Love/The Twelfth Of Never/Trying To Understand A Woman/ When A Boy Falls In Love/ The Shortest Distance/ Hurt So Bad/ Walking On My Love/ Wichita Lineman/ Let's Try It Over Again/ The magic Of Love

 Produced by: John Florez


Willie Hutch - When A Boy Falls In Love 

 Prior to this album Willie Hutch had ween working as a songwriter/producer for The Fifth Dimension. His manager in 1970 was J.W. Alexander who had also managed Sam Cooke in the early 1960's and also wrote the sleeve notes for this album. He compares Willie to Sam Cooke & Nat King Cole.

His second album for RCA, Season For Love also contains a popular Modern soul classic Let's Try It Over, that also came out as a single. Gaining value on the vinyl market at the moment is todays spin: When A Boy Falls In Love. A little ditty that is now picking up a few plays even though it as a long introduction (but it's worth the wait).
Also the stepper fans will enjoy his version of The Twelfth Of never and more joy can be found the the song  Hurt So Bad

Willie is also much loved for his big Northern soul rarity (£700) tune on the Trudel label when he sang with Phonetics with Just A Boys Dream. After today's featured album came out he wrote I'll Be There for Hal David a Motown producer and it was a hit for the Jackson Five, so impressed was Berry Gordy he asked him to join the Motown writing staff in 1971. Many nice albums/soundtracks about ten in all were released there, but no great success came for him as a singer. Later he joined Norman Whitfield on his label for two final LP's. Just before he died in 2005 he did a wonderful DVD for Expansions Records UK, where he performs at a Togetherness soul event it also contains a nice interview.

Willie Hutch - Lucky To Be Loved By You by mickeynold


Van McCoy

Rare 25 minute interview with Van McCoy

Van McCoy - Dancin' - SSS Int. SSS-33 1976

Sweet & Easy, If I Could make You Mine, The Generation Gap, Help Is On It's Way, What Kind Of Man, The Woman Who Made Me A Man, Just Another Dress Rehearsal, With All My Heart, Ain't Got No Love, Back Trackin'

Produced by Van McCoy

Van McCoy the gentleman that gave David Ruffin a R&B number one with 'Walk Away From Love', Gladys Knight  one of her first hits with 'Giving Up', later also hit for Donny Hathaway, he talks here about the supprise success with the Hugo & Luigi production of 'The Hustle' to New York DJ Al Gee in a rare Forces Radio broadcast from 1975.

Chris Bartley -'Ain't Got No Love'

Van McCoy as an artist had early singles with Scepter label, Rockin' in 1960, he had his early pre-northern soul success with his 'Sweet & Easy' on Share records, in 1968 that later got release on a SSS Int (Shelby Singleton) Lp Dancin' (1976) that contained some unreleased intrumentals along with the Chris Bartley track 'Ain't Got No Love' that was also popular with the northern fraternity. Sadly McCoy died at an early age of 39 from a heart attack in 1979. He will fondly be remembered though for his pritty soul productions with people like The Spellbinders,  The Stylistics, Brenda & The Tabulutions & Peaches & Herb. The interview is taken from Rap & Rhythm, a double LP of interviews from Forces DJ Al Gee that are current for sale on my web site along with the above LP on request
Van McCoy Discography:
I Wancha Back / That's How Much You Mean To Me - Rockin' 100 - 1961
Never Trust A Friend/ Mr DJ - Rockin' 101 - 1961
Baby Don't Tease me/ Girls Are Sentimental - Rockin' 1012 - 1962
It Ain't Nobody/ Love Can Mess Up Your Mind - Rockway R711 - 1963
Butterfly/  Keep Loving Me - Columbia  4-43415
I Will  Wait For You/ The House That Love Built -  Columbia 4-43694 - 1966
I'll Make My Father Proud/ Where There's A Heartache - CGC 115 - 1967
Follow Your Heart/ Lonely - Liberty F55457 - 1968
Nice & Easy/  If I Could Make You Mine - Share SR 102  -1968
I Started A Joke/ Tony's Theme - Epic 5-10470
I'm In Love With You Baby / ? - Buddah BDA 297 - 1972
Soul Improvisations Pt 1/ Part 2 - Buddah BDA - 1974
Killing Me Softly/ Love Is The Answer - Avco 4639 - 1974
Boogie Down/A Rainy Night In Georgia - Avco 4648 - 1974
The Hustle/ Hey Girl Come & Get It - Avco - AV 4653 - 1975
Change With The Times/ Good Night Baby/Love Child  Avco 4660 - 1975
Night Walk/ Love Child - Avco/H&L 4667 - 1975
Party/ The Disco Kid - Avco/H&L 4670 - 1975
The Shuffle/The's The Joint - Avc/H&L 4677 - 1976
Soul Cha Cha/African Symphony - Avco/H&L 4682 - 1977
My Favorite Fantasy/ Your So Right For Me MCA - 1978
Two Points/ Trying To Make The Best Of It MCA - 1978


Avery Stafford

My Friend 

Love Like I Do/My Friend/Bounce/Heartbeat In The Night/The One For me/If You Had To Love You//I'm Yours/ Everyday/Cool Winds/Come To You/You Blessed Me - ASM 64522 [2012]

The new album from LA born Avery Stafford is part Gospel part R&B.  He began singing Gospel in his youth & later became a Youth Minister at Port Orchard Church Of Christ. This new album contains tracks produced by the Gospel favorite Jon Gibson. As of 2012 Avery has released six albums, the latest is an independent release that is also to be promoted in the UK.

I must admit I haven't heard his earlier albums, but having reviewed this one I will now be looking for them! Today's featured track, 'My Friend' is a standard four beats to the bar dancer with the old style saxophone bridge (by Prince's Eddie M), sax breaks much loved by UK Northern Soul fans in the past. Others tracks use the odd rock guitar but with a light smuthering (this may affend some soulies I know.) But all-n-all the music production is to a high class. Other stand out tracks are 'Love You Like I Do' & 'You Blessed Me'.

The album will be released on April 8th and available from Amazon, iTunes etc.
UK booking  agent: Mark Hix (+44) 208 830 6268 

Avery Stafford Discography:
How Sweet it is/Get My Praise On/Listen To Our Hearts/Family  (ASM cd single)

So Good Inside (1987)
Lift Up Your Voice (1995)
Come Bless Da Lord (1996)
Bridges (1999)
Undignified (2004)
End Of Five - ASM (April 8, 2012)


Lee Dorsey

Yes We Can/Occapella - Polydor 2066 063 [1970]
Great social aware double sided two-stepper, although on UK issue only, the US issue has different 'B' side. The flip Occapella though did come out in 1971 on US Spring. Both songs written by the great Allan Tousaint, produced by Allan and Marshall E. Sehorn for the US Sansu label. It's probably why the album goes for about £90 now and the fact that the 2007 President Obama  campaign used the version sung by the Pointer Sisters to help it move along.

Mini-skirt en route!
I brought this polydor copy new from Jimmy at the Diskery when it was housed in Hurst Street, Birmingham in 1970. Jimmy still works there today along the more recent staff member Liam. Using my lunch hour from studying at Matthew Boulton Technical Collage, my friends and myself would make the 20 minute walk either way and that left us 20 minutes to, find some new tunes, eat our lunch and perhaps photograph some pretty girls. Most of my collage pals never got past the Wrens Nest (local pub) though that was en route -  those were the days! Some later lunch breaks we went to watch the Radio One Club Road show at the Top Rank in Digbeth, it was free to get in but the music was awful. Good though to hear a decent sound system in them days (BBC).

At this time I was already a fan of the New Orleans sound in the form of Willie Tee, Dixie Cups and Aaron Neville. It was on one of these trips I found the Earl Van Dyke album that I recently sold for £150, I remember Jim had about 10 copies on the shelf at the time! In those days the Diskery kept the singles in company order on the shelves and I can vividly remember rows of blue Stateside singles, black Chess singles and orange Tamla-Motown sleeves! I always wanted to look through them, but behind the counter was for old and trusted customers only! (I'm now a trusted customer but they have all gone now!!!!)

The modern day diskery
I already owned about six UK Bell singles by Lee Dorsey; My Old Car, Working In A Coalmine, Confusion, Get Out Of My Life Woman, Holly Cow and  Ride Your Pony. His best sixties song though (in my opinion) eluded me for a long time, was Go-Go Girl although I had it on a reel-to-reel recording in 1967 from the radio. On the same tape I remember I had a song by Barbara 'Handoff'  that later turned out to Barbara Randolph (I'd never heard the name before LOL) 

One of about 6 European EP's
Lee Dorsey was born in Louisiana, Memphis in 1926 and died there 60 years later in 1986. An ex-boxer (nicknamed "Kid Chocolate") turned singer, Dorsey first recorded for Joe Banashak's Instant label. One song, "Lottie Mo", became a regional hit and led to a contract with Fury. The infectious "Ya Ya" (1961) was a number 1 US R&B and pop Top 10 single. A year later a version by Petula Clark, retitled "Ya Ya Twist", made the US Top 10 and reached the UK Top 20. Dorsey's next release "Do-Re-Mi" (regularly performed by Georgie Fame and Dusty Springfield) was also a hit, although this time reaching no higher than 27 in the Billboard pop chart, and subsequent releases on Fury Records were less successful. His career stalled temporarily when Fury collapsed, but Dorsey re-emerged in 1965 with the classic "Ride Your Pony" on the Amy label. Written by Allen Toussaint and produced by Marshall Sehorn, this combination created a series of impeccable singles that blended crisp arrangements with the singer's easy delivery.

Hard to find UK Sue LP
In 1966 he reached the peak of his success by gaining four Top 40 hits in the UK, including two Top 10 singles with "Working In The Coalmine", featuring a wonderful bass riff, and "Holy Cow", with a mix that enhances Dorsey's melancholic vocals. Both songs reached the US R&B and pop charts. The sweetly doom-laden "Get Out Of My Life, Woman" was another excellent song that deserved a better commercial fate. "Everything I Do Gohn Be Funky (From Now On)" became Dorsey's last substantial hit in 1969, although the title track to his "concept" album, "Yes We Can", did reach the US R&B Top 50. Dorsey continued to record for Polydor Records and ABC Records and remained a popular figure, so much so that he guested on the 1976 debut album by Southside Johnny And The Asbury Dukes and supported the Clash on their 1980 tour of North America. Sadly, he died of emphysema in December 1986 and deserves to be remembered for the outstanding examples of melodic soul he recorded. (bio: music.us)

Lee Dorsey USA Discography (excluding 2nd issues)

Valiant 1001 - Lottie Mo/Lover Of Love – 1958
Rex 1005 - Rock/Lonely Evening – 1959
Ace 640 - Rock/Lonely Evening – 1961
ABC-Paramount 10192 - Lottie Mo/Lover Of Love – 1961
Fury 1053 - Ya Ya/Give Me You – 1961
Fury 1056 - Do-Re-Mi/People Gonna Talk – 1961
Fury 1061 - Eenie Meenie Mini Mo/Behind The 8-Ball – 1962
Fury 1066 - You Are My Sunshine/Give Me Your Love – 1962
Fury 1074 - Hoodlum Joe / When I Met My Baby – 1963
Smash 1842 - Hello Good Looking/Someday – 1963
Constellation 115 - Organ Grinder's Swing  – 1964
Constellation 135 - You're Breaking Me Up – 1964
Amy 927 - Ride Your Pony/The Kitty Cat Song – 1965
Amy 939 - Can You Hear Me/Work, Work, Work – 1965
Amy 945 - Get Out Of My Life, Woman/So Long – 1965
Amy 952 - Confusion/The Neighbors' Daughter – 1966
Amy 958 - Working In The Coal Mine/Mexico – 1966
Amy 965 - Holy Cow/Operation Heartache – 1966
Amy 974 - Gotta Find A Job/Rain, Rain, Rain, Go Away – 1967
Amy 987 - My Old Car/Why Wait Until Tomorrow – 1967
Amy 994 - Can't Get Away/Vista Vista – 1967
Amy 998 - Go-Go Girl/I Can Hear You Callin' – 1967
Sansu 474 - Love Lot's Of Lovin'/Take Care Of Our Love – 1967
Sansu 1012 - Hey Babe/Say It Again – 1967
Sansu 1017 - Soul Mining/Draining – 1967
Amy 11,010 - I Can't Get Away/Cynthia – 1968
Amy 11,020 - Wonder Woman/A Little Dab A Do Ya – 1968
Amy 11,031 - Four Corners (Part 1)/Four Corners (Part 2) – 1968
Amy 11,048 - I'm Gonna Sit Right Down/Little Ba-By – 1968
Amy 11,052 - What Now My Love/A Lover Was Born – 1969
Amy 11,055 - Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky.. – 1969
Amy 11,057 - Give It Up/Candy Man – 1969
Bell 908 - I Can Hear You Callin/What You Want – 1970
Polydor 14038 - Yes We Can (Part 1)/O Me O, My O – 1970
Spring 114 - Occapella/Tears, Tears And More Tears – 1971
Polydor 14055 - Sneaking Sally Through The Alley  – 1971
Polydor 14106 - Freedom For The Stallion/If She Won't  – 1971
Polydor 14147 - When Can I Come Home/Gator Tail – 1972
Polydor 14181 - On Your Way Down/Freedom For The Stallion – 1973
ABC 12326 - Night People/Can I Be The One – 1978
ABC 12361 - God Must Have Blessed America/Say It Again – 1978

Albums: (US And EU)
Ya Ya - Fury - 1961
The Best Of Lee Dorsey - Sue ILP 924 - 1965
The New Lee Dorsey - Stateside - 1966
Ride Your Pony/Get Out Of My Life - Amy Stateside - 1967
Yes I Can - Polydor 2489 006 - 1970
Night People - ABC - 1978
Can You Hear Me - (Germany) - 1982
All Ways Funky - Charly - 1982
Goh Be Funky - Charly - 1986
Am I That Easy To Forget - Charly - 1987
Do-Re-Mi - P-Vine (japan) 1987


Charles Mingus Film

A film about the Jazz legend Charlie Mingus (who died in 1979) who was one of the early jazz artists to contribute to the black American freedom campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King amongst others by releasing music with a black awareness themes.

Mingus's first signing
This documentary on the life of Charles Mingus is directed by his grandson Kevin Ellington Mingus entitled "Mingus on Mingus" (formerly known as "A True Jazz Legend"). They are at the beginning of the production phase and conducting interviews of people that knew and played with Charles Mingus.
Now very happy to announce the launch recently their fund-raising campaign through Kickstarter platform.

Thay have a big challenge ahead of them and they would like to count on your help. A successful campaign means we can move forward with the project and capture moments that we might otherwise loose. The making of the documentary will be a long road but having the resources to begin our journey is all we can hope for.

We know it will not be possible without your help. We would like your support in reaching out to the jazz community by featuring information about our project in your blog and linking or embedding our small trailer for our fundraising campaign. Our goal is to reach $45,000 in 40 days!! Please watch the video and help by donating some cash!! - Mickey


O.V. Wright

O.V. Wright -The Bottom Line - Hi HLP 6008 (1978)

The Bottom Line/I Don't Do Windows/That's The Way I Feel About Cha/ Your Good Thing Is About To End/Let's Straighten It Out/ I Don't Know Why/No easy Way To say Goodbye/A Little More Time/Since You Left These Arms Of Mine/A Long Road

Produced By: Willie Mitchell

Let's Straighten It Out

A fine stepper taken from his Hi album The Bottom Line, written by Benny Lattimore and recorded at the famous Royal Studios in Memphis. His voice sounds a tad weaker than in his Back Beat days and his also has a lisp in his voice. Maybe the drugs are taking affect or he might have lost some teeth, who knows. He recorded this album just after a spell in prison for drug offences - ooops. "Let's Straighten It Out" has also been sampled by rappers, the Wu Town Clan! as are many of his other sides.

Photo: Benny Joseph
I've always admired his work right from the first Goldwax single 'There Goes My Used To be" 'b' side in 1964. It goes without saying that about ten of this Back Beat sides are must-have Northern soul singles;" I Can't believe", "Poor Boy" and even as late as 1970 with 'Love The Way You Love' are all stunning tunes.

Back to today's album though the other stand out track here is the Bobby Womack song "That's 'The Way I Feel About Cha" given the OV treatment. The other tracks are of the very finest Southern soul. OV incidentally stands for Overton Vertis, he was born in Leno, Tennessee on 18th. October, 1939 he later started singing Gospel with the Harmony Echoes and Sunset Travelers who recorded for Don Robey's Peacock label in Texas. As well as being a singer he wrote songs and was a multi instrumentalist in his own right.

After his first hit with Goldwax label Don Robey reminded him he was with Peacock/Back Beat records because of his previous Gospel work, that's how he came/forced to be on Back Beat! ABC bought out Peacock in the early 70's and OV moved to Hi Records in 1975 having already recorded Nickel And A Nail/The Memphis Album with Willie Mitchell at Hi Records b/w 1971-1973 for Back Beat anyway. Collectables: His 60's LP's are all mega-rare I've never seen a copy of Memory Blues album it may not exsist? ABC re-issued some of them in early 70's. Uk Sue single & Ep £60+, Action single hard.

Harder to find O.V. Wright  LP's on The Back Beat Label
Sadly he died at the young age of 41 after a heart attack in Mobile, Alabama, 9th. November 1980. A memorial site has been set up at: http://www.ovwright.org/

All his Back Beat sides including the Goldwax single were released in a 3 CD box set in Japan in 2008.

O.V. Wright Discography (Albums):

1965 If It's Only For Tonight (Back Beat) £75
1967 8 Men And 4 Women (Back Beat) £150 uk £350
1968 Memory Blues (Back Beat)
1968 Nucleus Of Soul (Back Beat) £75
1971 A Nickel And A Nail And Ace Of Spades (Back Beat) £200
1973 Memphis Unlimited (Back Beat)
1977 Into Something I Can't Shake Loose (Hi Records)
1977 The Wright Stuff (Hi Records)
1978 The Bottom Line (Hi Records)
1978 Pleading With My Love (Hi Records)
1979 0.V. Wright Live (Hi Records) Victor Japan
1979 We're Still Together (Hi Records)


Jesse James

Jesse James - I've Been There Before - Gunsmoke GUN006 [1990}

This is was a single that I heard played on the Southport Weekender Radio in 1990. Thanks to friend, Carl Ingram who came back from there with about 20 hours of radio that he recorded on his Hi-Fi VHS video recorder from his chalet.

I wrote to the label Gunsmoke Records in Red Oak GA, and they kindly sent copies for use as radio competition prizes on PCRL radio UK. Later Jessie made me a Station ID jingle and sent more Gunsmoke releases which I promptly played. My first James single was one I obtained in a 1971 Blues & Soul magazine 'Soul Pack' They supplied about ten USA singles for couple of UK shillings - great way to build up your collection.

Rare Shirley Single from 1965
It was a bit of a bargain and Jesse's 'Believe in Me Baby' was enclosed, pity it wasn't his Shirley label track 'cus that's now worth £800+, still must not complain as the track enclosed was quite nice. The Shirley single " Are You Gonna Leave Me/Someone To Love Me" is by far the rarest and most popular Northern track in the style of early Impressions sound (I'm The One Who Loves You.) Incidentally his first Shirley single 'I Will go,' had Sly Stone on guitar making his first recording session!

JJ's 1986 UK visit
Looking back (1990) was the album that contained the 1975, If You Want A Love Affair that we played on my Basement Soul show. It took off and is now a £60 20th Century 45 track.
In March 2011 Jesse James came over to the UK and did a soul weekender at Prestatyn. Four previously unreleased sides came out on the Soul Junction label just before his tour (see discog section.) This was his first return I think since 1986 when he did the famous Voices from The Shadows magazine interview with Rod Dearlove.

1968 Self titled Album
Jesse James, affectionately known as J.J. to friends and close associates, has a unique soulful sound. Born in Louisiana, Jesse’s singing ability was recognizable at an early age when he began singing, clapping, and praising God along side his Mother in church.
While still a toddler, his family relocated to California. After literally singing his way through school he accepted his first professional singing engagement at The Makesmo, a popular Richmond Night Club. That is where Jesse’s singing style and flavor earned him constant bookings and respect as a professional recording artist, composer and entertainer.

Working with the late great Hosea Wilson, who was the National Promotion Director for 20th Century Records, Jesse enjoyed success with his first major release “Believe In Me Baby”. Jesse quickly became a hot ticket and made believers out of a lot of critics. The hit “I Can Do Bad by Myself” launched a new chapter in Jesse’s career.

Jesse James
In 1988, Jesse signed with Barbara Thomas; President of ATL based Gunsmoke Records and release four CDs. The first CD “I Can Do Bad By Myself,” sold over one million copies that included great hits such as ZZ Hill’s “Cheatin’ In the Next Room” as well as “I Can Do Bad By Myself Remix”. The versatility of his CD included a collection of past recordings which was a huge seller overseas. Jesse’s third album at Gunsmoke Records dealt with socio-economic issues with songs like “What Happened to the Dream,” “Something to Believe In” and “We’re Gonna Make It”.

The forth CD entitled “It Just Don’t Feel the Same” really showcases Jesse’s versatility with soulful gospel and R&B sounds. It’s no surprise that Jesse would pay tribute to his roots I the gospel song “The First Day of My Life”. For Blues lovers he features Millie Jackson on the remix of, “It Just Don’t Feel The Same” and “I’m Not Gonna Go Down”.

Jesse James is back blazing the trails with his latest CD release, “It Ain’t So Bad After All”. This CD is by far the best yet. Jesse continues to reinvent himself with his continuous drive and determination, proving that he does have staying power.

Bio from Jesse's own site: http://www.gunsmokejessejames.com/

Jessie James Discography:

(+ Royal Aces) I Will Go/Cha Cha Minnie - Shirley 103 1960
Baby Please Come Home/I Got A Little Girl - Shirley 106 
A Love Like The Wind/Baby Please Come Home - Shirley 109
A Sad Sad Situation/My Future - Shirley 110
I Wanna Full Time Love/I Gotta Little Girl - Shirley 112 1965
Are You Gonna Leave Me/Someone To Love Me - Shirley 119 1965
(+ Dynamic Four) I Call On You/Bring My Back Back - Hit 6119 1966
(+ Dynamic Four) Believe In Me Baby/Part 2 - Hit 6120 1966
Time After Time/Bring My Baby Back - Hit 6122 1966

Believe In Me Baby/Part 2 - 20th Century 45 6684 1967
Thank You Darling/Bring My Baby Back - 20th Cent 45 6700 1968
Green Power/If You're Lonely - 20th Century 45 6704 1968
Ain't Much Of A Home/Don't Fight It - Uni 55171 1969
Don't Nobody Want To Get Married/Pt 2 - Roulette 195066 (France) 1970
Don't Nobody Want To Get Married/Pt 2 - Zea 50 000 1971 * also UK Mojo 2092 016
At Last/I Know I'll Never Find Another - Zea 30 002 1971
I Need You Baby/Home At Last - Zea 50 003 1970

I Know I'll Never Find Another Like You/At Last - Zay 30 002 1971
I Need Your Love So Bad/I Know I'll Never Find Another - Zay 30 003 1971
No Matter Where You Go/You Ought To Be Here With Me - 20th Century TC2118 1974
If You Wan't A Love Affair/I Never Meant To Love Her - 20th Century TC2201 1975
The Same Thing Happens/Part 2 - Happy Fox HF 514 1977

I Got The Feeling/Let me Show You - Moonlite Hope 5701 1983
At last/I Can Feel Your Love Vibes - Midtown 008 1984
She's A Winner/Part 2 - Midtown 009 1984
I Can Do Bad By My Self /Dub/Inst - TTED TDE 3026 [12") 1987
I Can Do Bad By My Self/Inst - TTED TDE 7 3031 1987

I'm Gonna Be Rich And Famous/Don't Get Amnesia On me Baby - TTED 7 3031 1988
I'm Gonna Be Rich And Famous/Love The One Your With TTED TDE 3031 [12"] 1988
Love On The Side/Another Man's Woman - Gunsmoke 001 1989
I Can Do Bad By Myself(remix)/Inst -
Gunsmoke 002 1989
It Ain't raining On Nobody's House But Mine/Ins Gunsmoke 005 1990

I've been There Before/Inst - Gunsmoke GUN 006 1990
I Feel Your Love Changing/It's Time For A Change - Soul Junction SJ 508 2011
I Gave You Love With An A Plus/Are You Gonna Leave - Soul Junction SJ 511 2011

Jesse James - 20th Century Fox S 3197 1968
Same Thing Happens - (VA Soundrack) Black Fist - Happy Fox 1977
It Takes One To Know One - T.T.E.D 3026 1988
I Can Do Bad By Myself - Gunsmoke SMO 001 1990
Looking Back - Gunsmoke SMO 002 1990
Operator Please Put Me Through - Gunsmoke SMO 003 2005
I Just Don't Feel the Same - Gunsmoke SMO 2548 200?
It's Not So Bad After All - Gunsmoke SMO 627 2006
Versatility - Gunsmoke GMO 1218 2007
Get In Touch With Me - Gunsmoke 792058.2 2009
Do Not Disturb - Gunsmoke 2012
Let Me Show You - Soul Junction SJCD 85005 2012

Discography  kindly checked and added to by Dave Allen.
(There are quite a few other artistes with the same name, hopefully non have been included here. If you know to any missing songs please let me know.