Listen: Justine / The Righteous Brothers
Dear Delilah / The Righteous Brothers
Seems in the 60′s, with singles deals being the prevalent form of partnership between record company and artist, an act could basically be on two labels at once. Not an uncommon occurrence, particularly with the RnB and Soul acts. Therefore, the usual result being one label would have success, with the other forever limping behind, trying to trade off it’s back.
In the world of The Righteous Brothers, such seemed the case with Moonglow, an Atlantic imprint, and Phil Spector’s Philles Records. But in reality, they were signed to Moonglow proper from ’63 to ’66. During that time, Moonglow would also license their services to Spector. His releases were typical Wall Of Sound productions and the much bigger hits, whereas their more homegrown, raw RnB came out through Moonglow, consistently charting low as with ‘Justine’.
That single only reached #85 during July ’65, but got played into the ground on the Syracuse Top 40′s. It’s wild, Little Richard delivery a perfect showcase for the pair’s distinctive baritone grounded vs. tenor off the chain duets.
Listen: Now I’ve Got A Witness / The Rolling Stones
Now I've Got A Witness / The Rolling Stones
It’s well documented that The Rolling Stones were indeed extremely knowledgable American blues and RnB record collectors. What’s fun is to occasionally stumble on an obscure single with some uncanny resemblance toward an original song the band recorded, all the while fantasizing they picked up that very record during one of their excursions through the Mom and Pop stores of Harlem or East LA. I like to think ‘Justine’ was one such record, at least when listening to their ‘Now I’ve Got A Witness’ from the ENGLAND’S NEWEST HIT MAKERS album.
Listen: (You’re My) Soul & Inspiration / The Righteous Brothers
(You're My) Soul & Inspiration / The Righteous Brothers
The first single with new label Verve, after leaving both Moonglow and Philles in early ’66 was classic in more than one way. Clearly, Bill Medley (one half of The Righteous Brothers), paid close attention during his time in the studio with Phil Spector, thereby lifting every last technique off the master, and applying them to his very own production of their #1, ‘(You’re My) Soul & Inspiration’.
Yes, I loved the record at the time, but so wished they had their image down like The Walker Brothers for instance, who were coincidentally doing the exact same style of music but looked about one trillion times better.