DD016 Lee Hurst ‘ Whole Lotta Your Love’ / Terry & The Pyrates ‘Someone’

London Ontario’s Frank “Lee” Hurst cut his teeth playing in such Canadian bands as Pepper Tree, which developed a following on the Ontario dance circuit

While known as a bassist, Lee’s soulful vocals eventually caught the ear of record exec Merv Buchanan, who laid down two of Lee’s originals – “Whole Lotta Your Love” & “Saturday’s Wild.”

Gerry Lacoursiere, Toronto-based president of A&M Canada released “Whole Lotta Your Love” as a single in 1973. The song received strong airplay throughout Canada but went no further.

Many years later, recognised as a high calibre ‘Sweet and Low’ Soul tune, the record captured the imagination of the UK collector’s scene. Over the past few years, it has been deemed perfect for such enlightened Soul venues as Carib Soul, Majestic Soul and our own Diggin’ Deep events, aired by the likes of Mark Houghton, Tommo and Blake Helliwell.

The recording itself is so alluring it was picked up by Sony Pictures and featured in the soundtrack of the award-winning movie ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ in 2018. This has only added to the disc’s growing appeal and subsequent demand, leading to this timely and welcome vinyl issue.

Terry & The Pyrates, were a hot R&B band with roots at The Modern Age Lounge, in east end Toronto. Originally known as “The Dana” they made waves throughout the greater Toronto area in the late 1960s – playing high school dances throughout the city.

The original line-up of Glen Daigle (vocals), Val Ruffo (guitar), Mike Levine (bass), Lance Wright (drums) and Aldur Kunder (organ) shifted when Daigle left the band and was replaced by the more experienced vocal powerhouse Terry Walker, who had worked as MC and back-up singer for The Associates. John Tarsey, Peter Misfud and John Rudder were quickly added to the horn section and the band’s sound exploded in new and exciting Soul and Funk directions.

“Someone” was a standout feature of their shows as this live recording, from one of their concerts in Calgary, superbly demonstrates. The track received extensive regional airplay, as they gigged heavily throughout Ontario, but went no further. After a number of years the members went their separate ways with members forming R&B band Aurora Borealis.

Sean Hampsey