VARIOUS: Dore LA Soul Sides 2 (Kent)


As the title succinctly says this 24 tracker is Ace/Kent’s second look at the soul output of LA’s Dore label which was set up in 1958 by one-time stand up comic Lew Bedell. Bedell’s previous record biz experience was working with Herb Newman at Era Records where he learnt the basic logic of indie label survival… score a couple of hits a year and you can just about keep your head above the water. So, record and release enough material and, with a bit of luck, a couple of releases might make it!

Nothing on this new compilation was ever a hit but soul collectors will be delighted to have easy access to some very rare material. Rarest of the rare here is Little Johnny Hamilton’s ‘Keep On Moving’ of which it’s believed that there is only one copy in existence. The tune has the feel of those classic mid 60s Major Lance hits and easy to hear why there’s such a buzz on the record on the Northern scene. ‘Nitty Gritty City’ from femme group, the Swans is another in-demand item – high octane Northern fare.

Those who prefer soul balladry will love the sumptuous ‘I Look In The Mirror’ from Eddie Kool while a young combo called the Whispers offer ‘As I Sit There’ – the sweet harmonies were there right from the start! The Whispers are probably the biggest names on the album though there is also one cut from New Orleans’ Toussaint McCall. His cut is the sombre, melancholic ‘Saigon To San Francisco’ and it’s clear that Mr Mc was still trading on his biggie, ‘Nothing Takes The Place Of You’. Its bluesy, ethereal feel shows that Bedell and his Dore team could craft much more than what eventually became tagged “Northern” soul.

(BB) 4/5