Listen: I Need Your Loving / Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford
Despite having a Top 20 US Pop single with the edited, cleaner version of ‘I Need Your Loving’ in ’62, Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford always seemed relegated to the non-priority portion of the Fire label’s roster. Two further singles, one entitled ‘Don’t You Worry’ reaching #66, were released but still, they were dumped by the end of ’63. Don Gardner went on record stating he had never earned a cent in royalties from the company, one of the many injustices so common during the period. No surprise then that their presence and coverage on the THE FIRE / FURY RECORDS STORY box set was minimal.
In ’49, he put together his first performing band, The Sonotones, with Jimmy Smith of organ. Smith was eventually replaced by Richard Groove Holmes, who left in ’60. During March of that year, Don Gardner recruited Dee Dee Ford to double on both keyboards and as co-lead vocalist. Their call and response live shows are rumored to have been riveting as can be heard here. The single even managed a UK release on Stateside, with an invaluable deep groove promo pressing that’s basically impossible to top, in my humble opinion.