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Artist:
Title:
The Knox Phillips Sessions: The Unreleased Recordings
Release Date: 8/14/2019
Format: CD
List Price: (B12) $12.98 

Knox Phillips, elder son of Sun Records founder Sam, followed his father into the world of record production, engineering and studio ownership. By the mid-'70s he was running his father's studio in Memphis. Jerry Lee Lewis was recording a series of less-than-inspiring Country albums on Nashville but turned up at Phillips Recording in the evenings when he wanted to explore a different type of repertoire. This CD is the result of those late-night visits - 10 tracks where Jerry Lee trawls the great American songbook - all covers, warts and all. Good time rock'n'roll with plenty of Jerry Lee's piano.

Artist:
Title:
Joy In My Soul: The Complete Sar Recordings
Release Date: 8/14/2019
Format: CD
List Price: (B12) $12.98 

Sam Cooke began his career with the Soul Stirrers gospel group and after achieving huge success as a solo secular star he signed the group to his SAR label. This 2CD set contains both albums the Soul Stirrers recorded for SAR, 1961's Jesus Be A Fence Around Me and Encore! With The Soul Stirrers from the following year. In addition there are seven tracks released on other various artists compilations and non-LP singles, plus four previously unreleased tracks. Notes by Bill Dahl.

Artist:
Title:
Evidence: The Complete Fame Records Masters
Release Date: 8/14/2019
Format: CD
List Price: (B23) $23.98 

Candi Staton is the finest female singer ever to grace a Southern Soul recording, her achingly vulnerable vocals perfect for the lyrics of the best country/soul songs. Luckily for us, during her tenure at Rick Hall s Fame label she got the best songs, mostly from the pen of George Jackson, perhaps the top Southern Soul songwriter of his generation. George spent every waking minute of his day writing songs and probably came up with a few while he dream t too. As Candi herself said, That was his thing. Brought to the FAME studio by her then husband-to-be Clarence Carter, Candi had a Top 10 R&B hit with her very first single on the Fame label, the catchy and upbeat I d Rather Be An Old Man s Sweetheart (Than A Young Man s Fool) , penned by Jackson in 1969. Those who flipped the single over were treated to more Staton/Jackson magic on the beautiful ballad For You . From 1969 to 1973, Hall got the very best from Candi, with one gem after another pouring out of his studio down in rural Alabama: songs of cheating, heartache and loss such as the superb Mr And Mrs Untrue , the edgy Evidence , the tender Too Hurt To Cry , the heartrending You Don t Love Me No More and the churning I m Just A Prisoner . Years later Candi revealed that the appealing raw edge which crept into her voice at times was achieved by Hall urging her on to record the same song up to 25 times. Though George Jackson was Hall s writer of choice for Candi, Rick was also brave enough to take a chance recording her on songs that were firmly associated with other more established artists. Candi s take on Tammy Wynette s Stand By Your Man is a marvelous slice of Southern Soul whatever your views on the politically incorrect lyrics, while her exquisite version of In The Ghetto rivaled Elvis Presley s mega-hit, and both her covers received Grammy nominations. Candi s complete output on the Fame label, in pristine sound, would be a mouth-watering prospect for any soul connoisseur, but Kent have upped the ante immeasurably with the addition of 12 previously unissued tracks, including her final session for the label recorded just before she signed with Warner Brothers in early 1974. The standard of the unissued sides is easily on a par with her released material and I wholeheartedly endorse Dean Rudland s assessment of these tracks as significant discoveries in his excellent liner notes accompanying this release. Here again George Jackson s name can be found on many of the credits, including the infectious dancefloor number One More Hurt (which has stood the test of time a lot better than many of Candi s later disco releases), but the find of Kent s trawl through the FAME vaults is We Had It All , an outstanding country soul ballad written by Donnie Fritts and Troy Seals and previously recorded by Waylon Jennings. Candi Staton has since spoken about the ups and downs in her personal life at the time of these recordings, but even before we read about it we could hear in her voice that she had lived the heartache, loneliness and doomed love affairs contained in the lyrics of these songs. There are many first class Southern Soul records by female vocalists from the late 60s and early 70s, but none were as consistently excellent as Candi Staton s output for the Fame label. This is simply as good as Southern Soul gets. By Martin Goggin

Artist:
Title:
Lookin' For A Love: The Complete Sar Recordings
Release Date: 8/14/2019
Format: CD
List Price: (B12) $12.98 

Our friends at ABKCO in New York continue their reissue programme of material recorded for Sam Cooke’s SAR label with this mid-priced Valentinos anthology. The group – Bobby, Curtis, Harry, Friendly Jr and Cecil Womack – recorded two gospel 45s for SAR as the Womack Brothers before turning secular for five R&B singles as the Valentinos, including the original version of ‘It’s All Over Now’, as covered by the Rolling Stones. Compiled by Grammy-winner Teri Landi, the collection comprises those 14 tracks, two titles first issued on ABKCO’s “Sam Cooke’s SAR Records Story” in 1994 and seven previously unreleased masters – all produced by Sam Cooke between June 1961 and September 1964. The booklet contains a scholarly essay by Bill Dahl drawn on interviews with several members of the group, plus detailed track annotations, including recording dates and session musicians.

Artist:
Title:
Okeh : A Northern Soul Obsession
Release Date: 8/14/2019
Format: CD
List Price: (B16) $16.98 

This CD contains obscure Okeh tracks, featuring such artists as the Triumphs, the Seven Souls, Johnny Robinson, the Opals, the Carstairs, Jimmy Church, the Little Foxes, and the Autographs. The only real hits are The Artistics' "This Heart Of Mine," and Walter Jackson's "It's An Uphill Climb To The Bottom." Billy Butler & the Chanters does "My Heart Is Hurtin'," and the Vibrations' "Gonna Get Along Without You Now," both chart strangers. The Carstairs "He Who Picks A Rose," previously done by both the Temptations and Edwin Starr, is as scorching as the Motown originals. In addition, there's two pre "Love Won't Let Me Wait" sides from Major Harris, as well as, tracks by Little Richard, and Tommy Tate. Twenty-three interesting tracks, with strong liner notes enhancing the unfamiliar music.


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