Most UK soul fans know (and support) SOUL BROTHER, the UJK’s premier soul emporium. The Putney based shop also has its own quality reissue label, imaginatively called Soul Brother Records which has some tasty 45s lined up for imminent release – here’s a selection to tempt you!
VANEESE & CAROLYN were/are a vocal duo who recorded two singles together at Polydor in 1977 and 1978. The most in-demand of them paired ‘Just A Little Smile ‘ with ‘The Goodbye Song’ and the disc meant little on release. Needless to say, it now fetches big money (over £300 at the last glance at Discogs!) so it was a no brainer for the Soul Brother team to license it and reissue it. John “Monster” Davis was involved in both tracks and for this reissue the A side becomes the gentle, stately two stepper ‘The Goodbye Song’. Vaneese, by the way, is one of Rufus Thomas’ daughters. Not too much is known about Carolyn Mitchell.
‘Am I The Same Girl (Soulful Strut)’ is always associated with the lovely Barbara Acklin while the Young Holt instrumental refuses to go away (it’s currently in a TV ad for something or other). Dusty cut it too, of course as did Swing Out Sister. UK-based jazz singer SALENA JONES recorded it as well. She featured it on her 1970 LP, ‘Everyone’s Talkin‘ About Salena Jones’ and since then the brassy, swinging, jazzy version has become in-demand and easy to hear why. It’s a lovely vibrant cover and sufficiently different to the original to merit investigation. Now reissued by Soul Brother, the B side is the Herbie Mann tune, ‘Right Now’ which was recorded with lyrics by Mel Torme. This new 45 comes recommended!
Those with long memories might well remember CHINA BURTON and the tune ‘You Don’t Care About Our Love’ which since release in 1979 on Logo Records has achieved a sort of cult status. It’s Brit disco funk at its best and has been boot-legged countless times so step in Soul Brother for the first official vinyl reissue – a proper memory-jerking sound. The B side to this disc is the instrumental version.
London-based Jamaican born saxophonist HAROLD MCNAIR is another cult artist who in his time was a regular at Ronnie Scott’s. He also played with Donovan’s band. His most famous recording is ‘The Hipster’ which comes from his second UK album and was issued on RCA as a 45 in 1968, which is now verymuch in demand and sells for approx. £300. The track has become one of the most iconic 60s British jazz dance tracks and was featured on Gilles Peterson ‘Impressed Vol 2’ compilation. To oblige collectors this too now wins a Soul Brother vinyl reissue with ‘Indecision’ on the B side.
Lastly we turn this Soul Brother spotlight on dear BETTY EVERETT. A prolific artist, she’s maybe best known for her 60s outings but way into the 70s she was still cutting some fine soul like her 1974 Fantasy album, ‘Love Rhymes’ and that’s the source of a new Soul Brother 45 which pairs her lovely ballad ‘Wondering’ with ‘Try It You’ll Like It’. Both are quality tracks written by Johnny Guitar Watson and co-produced by David Axelrod.