“Getting Kind of Soulful” CD – Soul Junction Records SJCD5012
Release Date: Monday May 1st 2017
Press ReleaseThere were several groups within the Detroit music scene of the 1960’s that shared the performing name of ‘The Holidays’. But this cd compilation is dedicated to the one whose main protagonists are the brothers Jack and James Holland. Both sides of their excellent and highly collectable Soul Hawk 45 apart, it is their own productions for the Marathon, Ron-Hol and Rob-Ron labels both issued and previously unissued that has been included in this compilation.
Beginning with their 1969 ‘Popcorn’ Wylie’s produced, solitary Soul Hawk 45 “Maybe So, Maybe No” released under the group name of ‘The New Holidays’. This currently in demand 45 featured Jack and Jimmy Holland, Maurice Wise and former Motown group ‘The Contours’ ex member Joe Billingslea. The flipside of this release “If I Only Knew” is an excellent cover version of a previous Jimmy (Soul) Clark recording “If I Only Knew Then (What I Know Now)” which was recorded at a later session to “Maybe So, Maybe No” using a slightly different line up with Joe Billingslea making way for a youthful Elliot Smith.
“Maybe So, Maybe No” made sufficient noise in and around Detroit for it to be picked up for national distribution by the Westbound label. But the flipside of this release “My Baby Ain’t No Plaything” although credited as The New Holidays is definitely not them singing.
During their time at Soul Hawk records The New Holidays made several rehearsal recordings of songs that Popcorn’s partner wordsmith Tony Hester (ironically a former member of the Golden World group The Holiday’s who recorded “I’ll Love You Forever”) had composed. Songs such as “In The Rain” and “The Devil Is Dope”, which although considered for release “on Soul Hawk, never came out although they did later became hit songs for another Detroit ensemble, The Dramatics. Incidentally blue eyed singer and native Detroiter Mayer Hawthorne recorded a cover version of “Maybe So, Maybe No” during 2009.
By 1972 The Holidays although still performing in clubs were not signed to a record company, so they made the decision to form their own production company, releasing their first recording during the same year on their newly formed Marathon label. This initial release was an excellent double sider “I’m So Glad (That I Met You)/Too Many Times” (Marathon 257). A wonderfully upbeat and joyous song backed again with a ballad of which the issued and a longer unissued version are featured. Both songs were co-written by James Holland and Sylvester Potts a former member of the Motown group ‘The Contours’ and was recorded under the artist name of ‘The Fabulous Holidays. Into 1973 and their next release was the soulful ballad “Getting Kind Of Serious” (Marathon 18475) a Fritz Hale and Fredrick Charles Hawkins composition backed with an instrumental version of the same song. Followed by “Ego Tripping” (Marathon 18475) an upbeat funky little mover backed with another ballad “Lazy Day” written by James Holland, Anthony Hawkins and Fritz Hale.” Again the featured mix of “Getting Kind Of Serious” is a longer unissued version taken from the master tapes.
During 1975 The Holidays resumed their acquaintance with former record store owner Ronald Holmes a collaboration which led to the release of “This Is Love b/w The Love We Share” on the Rob-Ron (RR-75) label. Two excellent mid tempo sides, firstly the A-side “This Is Love (A Little Understanding)” to give it its full title. The “Love We Share” was recorded twice. Firstly as the issued 45 version under the shortened title of “The Love We Share” and as an unissued longer version under the title of “(Been Together Too Long) The Love We Share” but with slightly different lyrics, both versions have been included on this compilation. During 1976 a further Holland/Holmes collaboration saw the release of the message song “Procrastinate (Why Do We)” (Ron-Hol 76) recorded as both vocal and instrumental versions, with the Holland brothers cousin, James ‘Jay’ Reid joining them for this release only, Maurice Wise by then having quit the group. After this release Ronald Holmes and the Holidays parted company.
During late 1976 into 1977 Jack and James Holland wrote and produced two further songs which they recorded with Charles Hawkins. The up tempo dance track “You Make Me Weak” and the less frenetic “Lost Love” although never issued at the time both songs gain their initial release on this compilation. Following a period of inactivity musically The Holidays did have one last roll of the dice in the record industry during 1980 when they re-released a 45 featuring two of their previous recordings “Getting Kind Of Serious” backed with “(Why Do We) Procrastinate” (the vocal version), under the artist name of just ‘Holiday’.
Throughout the production and recording of the Holidays 1970’s output there has always been both a strong friendship and working relationship between the Holland and Hawkins families. Brothers Anthony (Wolf) and Charles Hawkins alongside bassist VC Lamont Veasey and drummer Tyrone Hite are better known as the founding members of the 1970’s Detroit Psychedelic Rock and later Funk band ‘Black Merda’ ( Merda being an African-American slang spelling of the word Murder). Between circa 1974-1977 the Holland and Hawkins brothers operated their own production company ‘HHH Productions’ releasing two 45 singles on their Amtonac label. Their first release was cut on the Hawkins brothers elder sister Linnie Walker “People Let Me Know/Darn Well” (Amtonac 001) while their other release was recorded on a blue eyed group of musicians called Bland Allison (taking their name from Bland Allison Act of 1878) The title of the recording was “Can’t Get Back To You Again” (Part1 & 2) (Amtonac 18476).
Following Jack Holland’s sudden death due to a brain aneurysm on the 21ST of January 1985 (his 40th birthday), James Holland was so sadden by this loss of his younger brother that he quit the music business for good only returning recently to collaborate on this project.
For further information please contact Soul Junction at:
Tel: +44 (0) 121 602 8115 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org