Monday 4 May 2015
My Northern Soul Top 50, 45 - 41
45. Ellie Greenwich - Baby
The first of a few records in the list that you wouldn't think of as strictly soul. This record penned and sung by one half of one of the greatest song writing partnerships ever was released on Shadow Morton's Red Bird label in 1965 and for some reason bombed. The flip side of this is also a belter of a song and probably my favourite Greenwich composition after Be My Baby but not a northern soul tune.
44. Jimmy "Preacher" Ellis - I'm Going To Do It By Myself
I don't know much about this record apart from it was the b-side to Go Head On and originally released on the Jewel label out of Louisiana by coincidence the same year the Greenwich single above, and was written by the blues writer Fats Washington. Mine's is the re-issue that came out in 2013 on the Austrian label Record Shack which had this as the a side and Go Head On as the b side. This track has a funkier feel to it than most of the tunes that were popular with the original northern crowd.x
43, Azie Mortimer - Haunted
I can find out very little about Azie Mortimer. She released her first single in 1960 and as far as I can gather began her career as a jazz vocalist before moving into soul. She recorded a couple of good singles on Okeh in 1970. You Can't Take It Away featuring here back at the tail end of 2013. Haunted which was released in 1973 has also been posted before, at Halloween predictably is the one which does it for me most.
42. Mamie Galore - It Ain't Necessary
It ain't Necessary was penned by Jerry Butler, a singer, as a solo artist as well as a member of the Impressions is well known within the soul fraternity. This single was released on the Chicago label, St Lawrence in 1966 and is backed by the nearly as good Don't Think I Can Stand It.
41. Johnny Bragg - They're Talking About Me
Last up in this batch is one of the first northern soul records I ever heard as it was on the Out On The Floor inferno released on Neil Rushton's Inferno label. I bought this album back in 1985 which contains another 4 or my top fifty amongst its 16 tracks. This album was responsible for starting my obsession with this type of music and probably in no small part for me purchasing my first scooter a year or so later.
Johnny Bragg cut this single while detained in a correctional facility in Nashville in 1967, which was not his first time in prison, being convicted of 6 counts of rape in 1943 at the age of 17. This sentence was commuted in 1959. He was also responsible for penning the Johnny Ray hit Just Walking In The Rain. Bragg died from lung cancer in 2004.