Archive for the ‘Doris Troy’ Category

Doris Troy

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Listen: I’ll Do Anything (Anything He Wants Me To Do) / Doris Troy
DorisTroyIllDoAnything.mp3

Like a few other great vocalists from the US (Madeline Bell, P. P. Arnold), Doris Troy visited England as a backup singer yet found appreciation for her own voice from both UK fans and musicians. So much so that, like the other two, she relocated there during the 60′s, just after releasing an early Gamble & Huff track ‘I’ll Do Anything (Anything He Wants Me To Do)’ on Cameo Parkway, which later became a Northern Soul success. As a result, it was re-released a few times, including on this Mojo pressing from ’71.

When it comes to the genre, a song almost doesn’t get better than this one. A slightly over complicated chord arrangement was way more quality songwriting than careless stumbling. Possibly the original reason for it’s lack of airplay upon release, but not many years later, instead, it became the track’s appeal.

Billy Preston

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

billyprestongotusps, billy preston, apple, george harrison, doris troy, beatles, sue records, capitol, sunny, bobby hebb

Listen: All That I’ve Got (I’m Gonna Give It To You) / Billy Preston
All

1968. The Beatles starting Apple Records, and even better, turning into A&R guys who immediately proceeded to over spend on their friends. Thankfully they kept George Martin well clear of their roster.

Seems it was primarily George Harrison who got in there signing, writing, playing, producing. His works with Jackie Lomax, Doris Troy, and Billy Preston all proved to be good ones.

Maybe it was the Abbey Road studios, where I’m guessing they were all recorded. Not sure, but something gave every one of those records a roomy, live sound. A decidedly American Delaney & Bonnie & Friends communal feel identified this particular single. Like my previous Billy Preston post, his releases were a touch classy, oddly polished and unpolished alike, and kinda too good for mainstream consumption. What else is new?

Junior Campbell

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Listen: Sweet Illusion / Junior Campbell
Sweet Illusion / Junior Campbell

Very over produced commercially intended records, often termed schlock, were in full swing by ’73, when ‘Sweet Illusion’ was a #15 UK hit. British Decca and sometimes their subsidiary label Deram, seemed to puke them out regularly. Years later, these titles were occasionally referred to as guilty pleasures. Some of us didn’t wait for the hipster’s chic nod of approval, instead finding such artifacts a genre onto themselves to collect from the start.

‘Sweet Illusion’ was an airwaves fixture that summer ’73 in London, played way more than the sales charts indicated it should have been. Clearly, this was a disc jockey favorite, a turntable hit for sure, despite a non aggressive chart climb and ultimate peak. My guess is even the #15 slot was a healthy dose of a deal being done. Like did anybody really, really buy this one?

During his time as a founding member of The Marmalade, who used Keith Mansfield as an orchestral arranger on many of their successes, including ‘Lovin’ Things’, ‘Wait For Me Mary Ann’, ‘Baby Make It Soon’ and ‘Reflections Of My Life’, Junior Campbell reportedly studied Mansfield’s scores at close range. Being impressed with the craft of arranging for orchestras, as well the expertise of orchestral musicians in general, led to him handling accompaniment arrangements on the band’s future sessions himself. Once tired of touring in ’71, he left The Marmalade to study orchestration and composition with Eric Guilder and Max Saunders at the Royal College of Music

During the 70′s he had two self-penned solo successes, ‘Hallelujah Freedom’ (#9 in ’72), with Doris Troy, and ‘Sweet Illusion’.

The Sweet Inspirations

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Sweet Inspiration / The Sweet Inspirations

Listen: Sweet Inspiration / The Sweet Inspirations
Sweet Inspiration / The Sweet Inspirations

That's How Strong My Love Is / The Sweet Inspirations

Listen: That’s How Strong My Love Is / The Sweet Inspirations
That's How Strong My Love Is / The Sweet Inspirations

Cissy Houston, Lee Warrick with daughters Dee Dee and Dionne Warwick, Judy Clay, Doris Try – they were all members of The Sweet Inspirations at one time or another. Even if you haven’t heard these classics by them – you have heard these voices many times, contributing to endless sessions by Solomon Burke, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Esther Phillips, Van Morrison’s ‘Brown Eyed Girl’, The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s ‘Burning Of The Midnight Lamp’, even Elvis. Ahmet Ertegan finally decided in 1967 to record them as their own entity. Not only cutting an initial album, but in a one year window, they recorded three. Their versions of current hits became hits again – this time for themselves: ‘Why (Am I Treated So Bad)’, ‘To Love Somebody’, ‘Unchained Melody’. They really hit pay dirt with The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section in Alabama during the early months of 1969 – from which these singles come. Their theme song is a classic. And the gospel purity of ‘That’s How Strong My Love Is’ makes for difficult upstaging.

Doris Troy

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Jacob's Ladder / Doris Troy

Listen: Jacob’s Ladder / Doris Troy
DorisTroyJacob'sLadder.mp3

Although having recorded with The Rolling Stones, Humble Pie, Kevin Ayers, Dusty Springfield, Nick Drake, Junior Campbell and Pink Floyd, it was The Beatles, and especially George Harrision, who seemingly had the real jones for Doris Troy. Signing to their Apple label, she was afforded a self produced long player, DORIS TROY. Apple issued two singles from it, the second being a remake of the biblical folk/gospel standard, ‘Jacob’s Ladder’.

Get Back / Doris Troy

Listen: Get Back / Doris Troy
Get

Both Apple 7′s luckily had non-LP B sides from the album sessions. For the flip of ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, the basically still current ‘Get Back’ was used. In general, the overall recording approach for the project was very 1970, it’s a total Mad Dogs & Englishmen shamble/jam. No musician credits are listed on the album sleeve although it’s widely accounted that Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, Leon Russell, Bill Wyman and Peter Frampton all joined George Harrison in it’s recording.

Freddy Cannon / Where The Action Is

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

freddycannonaction, Freddy Cannon, Where The Action Is, Dick Clark, American Bandstand

Listen: Where The Action Is / Freddy Cannon FreddyCannonAction.mp3

Let’s face it. The theme song to ABC’s syndicated daily pop show, WHERE THE ACTION IS, titled ‘Action’ by Freddy Cannon, was so good, even The Ramones could have covered it.

I lived for WHERE THE ACTION IS and saw many a great act each day after school. Our local Syracuse affiliate, WSYR-TV, was wishy-washy, and many times pre-empted it with other things. Looking over the complete, chronological list of episodes and guests, I’ve only just discovered missing Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours, The Action and Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Tich for just that reason. Indeed, I’m a bit crushed having now discovered these atrocities. Scumbags.

But seeing an LA centric act almost daily, given they were basically down the street from the studios, must have been daily bliss. To name a few: The Guillteens, The Ikettes with and without Ike & Tina Turner, The Vejtables, The Leaves, The Seeds, Gary & The Hornets, Love, Dino Desi & Billy, The Buffalo Springfield, Jan & Dean.

Not to mention the RnB stuff: Martha & The Vandellas, Doris Troy, The Royalettes, Mary Wells, Brenda Holloway, The Toys, Maxine Brown, Kim Weston, Carla Thomas, Billy Stewart, Bobby Hebb, Alvin Cash & The Crawlers or Felice Taylor. I still replay The Vibrations doing ‘My Girl Sloopy’ vividly in my memory.

Then there were the black and white segments from England, a real high for we Anglophiles: The Small Faces, Gary Farr & The T-Bones, Them, The Mindbenders, The Zombies, The Moody Blues, The Kinks, Unit 4 + 2, The Who, Wayne Fontana, Marianne Faithfull, The Yardbirds and The Cryin’ Shames.

Barbara Lewis

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

barbaralewisbaby, barbara mason, atlantic

Listen: Baby I’m Yours / Barbara Lewis BabaraLewis.mp3

I just remember this slummping in with Dusty Springfield and Cilla Black, the female singers we felt were British Invasion by association. It was a bit later I found her to be authentic American, signed to Atlantic. But I mean, no negative here, all positive, not only did the English bring our own urban music back to us, but they supported many an artist like Barbara Lewis, inviting them to the UK for double bills, support etc. Doris Troy was another lucky recipient. P. P. Arnold and Madeline Bell too. ‘Baby I’m Yours’ still sounds so solid today.