Listen: Act Naturally / Betty Willis 01 Act Naturally.mp3
In my quest to get all the Phi-Dan singles, this has been the most elusive. Finally snagged it last week and man, was it worth the wait. Although the label was Phil Spector’s, all the releases were not his productions. In fact, Leon Russell took charge on this 1965 single. ‘Act Naturally’ is way better than I was anticipating. It’s over the top RnB meets mock Spector drama, as opposed to a more predictable country rendition. The little known Betty Willis is super hot on this, only her second single in five years, even some of those screeches are forgivable. Great one Betty, I love you.
Listen: Soul / Betty Willis BettyWillisSoul.mp3
Then there’s the B side ‘Soul’. In what appeared to be Phil Spector policy, the flip is a jam – an obvious publishing grab. Remember the disappointment when flipping The Ronettes ‘Be My Baby’ to find ‘Tedesco & Pitman’, a real drag of an instrumental at the time? A solid guess would be this here’s Leon on piano – and God knows who else. Great track though.