Archive for the ‘Walter Jackson’ Category

Mitty Collier

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Listen: My Party / Mitty Collier

With a voice like the great Mitty Collier’s delivering the lyric of ‘My Party’, it’s impossible to imagine anything but the woman in this story being more than one drink away from getting dirty on her offender. Although songs like these from New York or Chicago’s deep soul labels are lyrically and thematically text book perfect, they’re near useless without a singer that makes the listener believe. Enter Mitty Collier.

Not unlike Walter Jackson’s ‘Deep In The Heart Of Harlem’, the two records crawl with the harshness of a ghetto existence, precisely what attracted anyone to them, excepting those forced into living that unlucky lifestyle.

These records sold primarily in the world they captured, achieving little to no airplay or exposure beyond that limited audience when current. Now, one listen and every collector worth their salt needs to own a copy.

Walter Jackson

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Listen: Deep In The Heart Of Harlem / Walter Jackson

Never reaching above #88 in the BILLBOARD Top 100, his mid chart RnB successes kept him very much out of the mainstream eye. With his thunderous, powerful baritone voice, it was hard not to notice the occasional bland, safe choices of singles from time to time.

Originally signed to Columbia in ’62, but being moved to their newly formed Okeh imprint by ’64 meant an out of jail free card was granted to him, given that label’s groovy personality.

In short, never pass up an Okeh single.

His version of ‘My Ship Is Comin’ In’ personally rivals The Walker Brothers’, which is saying a lot. Yet it’s his non-chart 7″, ‘Deep In The Heart Of Harlem’ a thematically updated version of Sam Cooke’s ‘Chain Gang’ in the message department, that stakes claim as my favorite of the Walter Jackson Okeh singles.

Despite a seemingly RnB track polished up in hopes of reaching the safe, white American adult stations, there’s no diguising the lyrical reality of the underlying message. It’s become a real period piece of 60′s struggle amongst the underprivileged.