Listen: Cry To Me / Betty Harris BettyHarrisCryToMe.mp3
Listen: I’ll Be A Liar / Betty Harris BettyHarrisIllBeALiar.mp3
Bert Berns’ classic ‘Cry To Me’ had the luxury of being recorded by some truly seminal acts: Solomon Burke (who cut the classic original RnB chart entry), The Rolling Stones and The Pretty Things (see previous post). Often criminally overlooked when sighting legendary versions, Betty Harris not only belts out a rip roar performance for this A side, but actually out does herself on the flip ‘I’ll Be A Liar’. Also written by Burns, and as with it’s top side, produced by Leiber & Stoller, I’d bet this is the hotter of the two. The sparsity of the arrangement leaves plenty of space for her to shred the lead – pretty much scaring off any female competition. I don’t know of another version.
Betty went on from Jubilee to the Sansu label, recording ten singles there with Allen Toussaint. Although most of her work is collectable to both Deep Soul and Northern fans, my money’s on this essential double sider as the Betty Harris desert island choice.