Listen: Hitchhike To Heartbreak Road / Bobo Mr. Soul
Hitchhike To Heartbreak Road / Bobo Mr. Soul
A story for Record Store Day.
A happy garage sale find this one. It was Whitestone, a typically bad place to find anything. But I was in the neighborhood having trolled better surroundings earlier that morning, and was on a mission. A lesson concerning garage sales I’d taught myself many times prior, never assume what’s on the driveway or lawn is telling you the whole story.
Case in point, after inquiring had they any records, the mom goes into the farthest reaches of the garage and pulls out a hollow glass wall brick that’s packed with about thirty 7″ singles, a perfect fit. They were all London and London label orange swirl promos from the early 70′s. ‘Headloss’ by Caravan was one, and a whole bunch of Hi releases the others. The grilling began instantaneously but alas, no family member ever worked for the company, no other records were in the house and no one had a recollection where they even originated from. Guess they fell out of heaven.
‘Hitchhike To Heartbreak Road’ was first to hit the turntable at home later. How perfect, it’s immediate Northern intro validated an official find and a day most well spent.
Written by Phillip Mitchell, could that be brother to Hi Records staff and alumni Willie Mitchell? Logical assumption but wrong, sort of. According to a published Phillip Mitchell interview, although not an immediate relative, a possible distant one. Who knows, he didn’t really seem to.
Bobo Mr. Jones was the early moniker for Beau Williams, now a gospel artist, after a spell in the mid 80′s for Capitol Records. When Phillip Mitchell was signed to Hi as an artist in the early 70′s, he brought in a version of ‘Hitchhike To Heartbreak Road’ he’d recorded and produced earlier by Curtis Wiggins but with Beau’s vocal re-singing Curtis’ parts instead. The label decided to give this new update a release.
According to Phillip Mitchell: “Curtis was a very similar singer and I produced the record for him in Muscle Shoals. However, we never got a chance to get a deal for it. I then brought in Beau Williams. We called him Bobo Mr. Soul, dubbed his voice on the track and shopped it with Hi Records.”
Lucky for us.