“Join Together” / U And Me”
Label: Pass The Baton
Catalogue Number: SDE67
Release Date: April 2023
During the summer youth program of 1970 and ’71 at St Paul’s Catholic church a young Tunnie Smith was singled out by Father George Artist for his outstanding singing abilities. He was soon introduced to Joe Delpit and Reginal Brown to sing along with their show and dance band “The 13Th Amendments. It didn’t take long before Tunnie was a full member of the band and became a featured singer performing throughout Louisiana. After a year and a half of performing at nightclubs, military bases and universities Tunnie landed a record deal with Rick Hall’s Fame/UA record label. His first single from 1973 was a wonderful mid-tempo number entitled “Finders Aren’t Always Keepers” flipped with “Do That To Me” It gained National distribution and had some good success.
Tunnie left Fame records and was introduced to Stax record executives Al Bell and John Smith. After signing with Stax Tunnie met legendary writer and performer David Porter where they recorded an album which was scheduled for release around 73/74.Unfortunately Staxs association with CBS came to a halt and the project got shelved. From those session arose the wonderful “U And Me Together”, leading on from the well produced “Finders Keepers” cut the song builds up with an epic 1:30 string and drum arrangement that really sets the picture for Tunnie to arrive with vocals way above his young age would suggest. A story of a boy and girl determined to make it and be the great combination that their love affair deserves. We cant believe a gem like this has been waiting to come out. And should have catapulted Tunnie to the next level or artist rosters.
Alas, Tunnie went home and carried on performing around the Louisiana area with his new band Sweet Music Orchestra” Fast forward to 1983 Tunnie whilst recording some vocals at River City Recording met Chicago producer and arranger George “Paco” Patterson. George was musical director and had worked with The Isley Brothers Wilson Pickett and many other well known artists. During this period Tunnie along with George formed a great partnership and along with some top session musicians record some incredibly lush, well produced and atmospheric songs The A Side “Join Together ” is from the same session as “Dancing On Da Clouds” and could have easily be picked for his first single on Pass The Baton records. It oozes the same heavy production with opening piano cords and layered scatting then bosh, in comes the drums and Vox taking you on a mesmerising space like 2 step extravaganza . So there you have it, once again two amazing slices of soul on one single from Tunnie Smith. Lets hope this artists finally reaches his potential from that young man who stated recording in 1973.