GEORGE JACKSON: Don’t Count Me Out (Kent)

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Indianola’s George Jackson is the real soul fans’ real soul man. Not only are his recordings revered but the songs he wrote for numerous other artists are cherished too. Well, the man’s legions of fans are in for a huge treat here as Kent/Ace release a generous 24 tracker of songs that Jackson wrote and demoed while he was contracted to the legendary Fame label as a writer. Only one cut here has ever been released before; it’s George’s intense reading of ‘Search Your Heart’ which was originally written for Wilson Pickett and collectors will know that it featured as the B-side of the Wicked One’s ‘Hey Jude’ single. All the rest of the music here has lain in the Fame vaults since the second half of the 60s but that doesn’t mean its quality is inferior in any way. Indeed Jackson lavished real love on his demos ( most recorded with the full Fame crew) and most of the stuff here was worth a release in its own right. Wily old George though knew that he wasn’t a big name artist and getting a song out on Wilson Pickett or Clarence Carter was always a good, safer bet. It would bring him the royalties which his own released efforts couldn’t have guaranteed.

Soul connoisseurs will, therefore, recognize much of the music here. For instance there’s ‘I Can’t Do Without You’, ‘Getting The Bills’, ‘I Can’t Leave You Alone’ and ‘The Feeling Is Right’ – all recorded by Clarence Carter; ‘I Want You So Bad’ was a vehicle for Jimmy Hughes; ‘Evidence’ was recorded by Candi Staton, The Sweet Inspirations and Patrice Holloway and so on…..

Interestingly the Ace/Kent detectives found that the option on some of the material here was never taken up by other artists; remarkable when you think of the quality of tunes like ‘Greedy Over You’, ‘Talking In Your Sleep’ and ‘Statue Of Soul’. They’re almost all intense southern soul gems – the main exception being ‘Let’s Stop Hurting Each Other’ which has the uptown feel of an early Impressions’ ballad. Like all the music herein, it’s a remarkable true soul artefact that’s lain neglected and unheard for 40 odd years. Thank the lord that  it’s easily available now and the good news for Southern collectors is that Ace/Kent reckon there’s enough other Jackson material in the Fame demo vault for at least two more albums.

(BB) 4/5