The story of Shrine Records, from its creation to demise, was told in Volume One. As promised Volume Two will look at those who contributed to the creation of the Shrine sound and the songs that have captured the attention of 60s Soul fans all over the world.
The story of Shrine Records, from its creation to demise, was told in Volume One. As promised Volume Two will look at those who contributed to the creation of the Shrine sound and the songs that have captured the attention of 60s Soul fans all over the world.
Assembling the team
Eddie Singleton, Raynoma ‘Miss Ray’ Gordy and, her half-brother, Stanley ‘Mike’ Ossman were the nucleus of the company. It was always their intention to surround themselves with individuals who had the potential, and talent to achieve, if given the opportunity. These gifted souls were to become the backbone of Shrine Records.
Harold E Bass was already an established member of the team moving down to D C with Mike in the spring of 1965. Harry had grown up in New York and met Eddie whilst singing in a group called The Toreadors. Impressed with their vocal talent, Eddie signed the group, to his new enterprise, Keith Records in 1962, where they released two singles as The Matadors. Fellow group member Richard Tenryck was to become one of the most respected arrangers in New York; as Richard Tee, his name was to be associated with many of the greats over the next four decades.
With Eddie to guide him, Harry started to learn about other aspects of the music industry and began writing songs. It was during this period that Miss Ray arrived in New York to open Motown’s publishing arm, the Jobete office. The relationship that subsequently developed between Eddie and Miss Ray saw Eddie take the uncharacteristic step of publishing some of his songs through Jobete, as opposed to using his own company. Harry took full advantage of the Motown connection, becoming friends with George Kerr, Sidney Barnes, Timothy Wilson and the future Mrs Wilson, Alice Ossman. It was with Alice that Harry co-wrote the bitter-sweet ‘Right Now’ for Sammy Turner, (Motown 1055), released in the February of 1964. This was to be one of only two New York acts that were accepted by Motown and like The Serenaders, they secured just the one release. Harry continued to sing with the Matadors who provided vocal back-up for Jackie Wilson on ‘She’s All Right’, (Brunswick 55273), in August 1964 and for a short spell became a member of Ray Pollard’s group The Wanderers. His role within the company would focus on writing, producing, finding new talent, mentoring the new recruits and helping Mike to run the company when Eddie and Miss Ray were absent.
The first batch of new recruits arrived together, just as the first wave of releases were hitting the streets. They were all local guys who had known each other for a number of years. Sidney Hall had been born in Virginia moving to D C in 1960, where he performed as a solo act in the local clubs and it was here that he first became acquainted with Keni Lewis.
Keni formed his first group, The V-J’s, whilst still attending Washington’s Cardozo High School. Modelling themselves on The Spaniels and The Dells, they started entering local talent shows with Keni composing original songs; one of which, ‘Bad Detective’ (Atco 6300), was eventually recorded by The Coasters in December 1963. A succession of group names and personnel changes followed and as The Lovebeats, whose line-up included Tommy Monteir and Gerald Richardson, they had an uncle drive them to New York’s famous Apollo Theatre for amateur night, where they secured second place. In 1962 Keni was once again on the look out for new group members and by chance met up with Sidney, who, at a loose end, agreed to audition at Keni’s house. The final member was Carl Lomax Kidd, who was originally from Charleston, West Virginia. He was an old friend of Keni’s and had just returned from a tour of duty in Germany with the Services. The new group called themselves The Surgeons and performed with their own band, which included future Shrine session man Charles ‘Skip’ Pitts. In the early part of 1963 the band split away and another name change saw the group become The Enjoyables. The line up remained fluid with Gerald Richardson, James Johnson and William Britton all spending brief periods with the group; by the fall of 1963 Keni, Maxx and Sidney had become a trio.
Their work in the clubs had brought them into contact with many of the top artists of the day and they became quite friendly with Smokey Robinson. At his suggestion they went to New York in early 1964, to audition for Miss Ray, but her recommendation for Motown to sign the group was rejected. Their next stop was at Capitol Records where they arrived without an appointment, but managed to get Robert Bateman to audition them, only because as Sidney recalled; he thought the group waiting in the lobby “were broads”. Nevertheless Bateman signed them on the spot and had them in the recording studio within the week. They cut around half-a-dozen tracks and in April 1964 released their only single for the label, ‘Push a little harder’ / ‘We’ll make a way’, (Capitol 5321). Despite the record deal the group didn’t appear to be making any significant impression, so they returned to D C where they disbanded, choosing to concentrate on new projects which included writing new material.
By then the arrival of Shrine was already creating interest across Washington, when Miss Ray, remembering the trio from their Motown audition, contacted Maxx and invited them to come down to the Shrine building. They duly arrived to see exactly what was on offer and liking what they saw, all signed contracts; Sidney as a solo artist, Keni and Maxx as songwriters, producers and recording group leaders.
The last of the key players to arrive was the legendary Dale Ossman Warren. Dale was a true family member as his mother, Ines, was Miss Ray’s sister. Dale was an accomplished violin player, classically trained and able to write and arrange for strings. He had been recruited by his aunt as an arranger for Motown in 1961 and Miss Ray felt these talents were exactly what Shrine needed to create a sound all of their own. A single phone call was made and Dale arrived three weeks later, ready for the challenge. Eddie felt that the team was now strong enough to start work on the second wave of Shrine product and so the creative juices began to flow
The Back Room Boys
The musicians who played on the Shrine sessions were all local guys, some of them being as young as 16. They formed a fairly stable outfit that was occasionally supplemented by personnel from the local Air Force bands and musicians who would drop in. The regular musicians were Otis McCoy (drummer), Maurice Gaskins (guitarist); Dewey C.. Holloway Jr (tenor & baritone sax), Donald “Duck” Rankin (trombonist); Waymond Harding (tenor sax); Carter R. Jefferson Jr.(tenor sax); Wornell Jones (bass), Fritz…….(bass); Donald Tillery (trumpet), Bobby Allen (trumpet) and Charles ‘Skip’ Pitts (guitar). After Shrine these guys continued to work in the industry, with many of them still playing to this very day. Additionally Freddie Perrin and Fonce Mizell were employed to write lead sheets for Shrine. This started their careers and they later moved on to Brunswick, Capcity and then to international success as part of the Motown songwriting group known as ‘The Corporation’, composing million sellers like ‘ABC ‘ and ‘I Want You Back’ for The Jackson 5.
100 LINDA & THE VISTAS – BAD APPLE / SHE WENT AWAY
Linda Tate heralded from Rochelle, New Jersey, was half-Indian and according to Eddie Singleton, had “a voice like a bird”. She had met Eddie whilst going out with Billy Brown, a future member of The Moments, who knew Eddie from their home-town of Asbury Park. Her first recording, ‘Believe me’ / ‘It’s not my will’ (Assault 1879), was written, produced and arranged by Eddie and credited to Linda & The Pretenders. Eddie believed that Linda had the talent required to make it big, so never wanting to miss a beat, he had taken her into the studio to cut her next single. The top side which was co-written by Harry Bass, was a bouncy girl group item which belonged to another era; sounding totally out of place as a Shrine 45. The flip was the tender, yet mournful, ballad, which provided such a perfect showcase for Linda’s unique voice. The song had been inspired by the assassination of John F. Kennedy of whom Eddie was a great admirer. Sitting at his piano he composed the lyric “He went away and left me crying, He went away and left me blue”; the song, when finished, became ‘She Went Away’. The plan to release the new recordings as a follow-up to the Assault single were shelved, as the deal fell through, but Eddie, believing the song to be worthy of release, decided to save it for a rainy day. When Shrine opened for business Eddie wanted to get some product out immediately and it seemed only fitting, given the circumstances of the song’s inspiration, that it should become the first release on the label. After all, its very name reflected Eddie’s admiration for the murdered President: literally a shrine to the memory of JFK. The single was pressed in early 1965 at the Custom Matrix plant on Long Island and it received some airplay, selling a few copies locally, but more importantly it served as an announcement that Shrine had arrived.
101 LEROY TAYLOR & THE FOUR KAYS – TAKIN’ MY TIME / I’LL UNDERSTAND
As the Linda & The Vistas 45 was hitting the streets, Eddie was already arranging for the next batch of songs to be recorded. Leroy Taylor was one of the first local acts to arrive and having had records released on H&H and Columbia, had no objection to being taken straight into the studio to put his vocals on top of some tracks that Eddie had already prepared. Leroy, who hailed from Baltimore, had his own band, The Four Kays. These musicians included Richard Spencer, who would go on to have a million seller in 1969 with ‘Color Him Father’, (Metromedia 117), as a member of The Winstons. Leroy made his final record in August 1967, cutting ‘Oh Linda’ / ‘Nobody can love you’ (Brunswick 55345), before leaving the music industry for good
102 JIMMY ARMSTRONG- I’M ABOUT TO SAY GOODBYE / MYSTERY
Jimmy was a prolific recording artist cutting songs for Stop, Enjoy, Brothers 3 and Jet Set. He was based in New York and had been enticed to D C by Eddie in July 1965 as an already established recording artist. He recorded a number of tracks and bagged the first release on the new, improved, label design. The top side is a mournful ballad which sounds very dated for it’s time, but that didn’t stop it being re-recorded as the flip of his later Jet Set 45, interestingly enough sounding much better. As a contrast ‘Mystery’ is a frantic uptempo dance track, featuring some great whooping girl back-ups, which suited Jimmy’s soul-shouting vocal perfectly.
103 RAY POLLARD – NO MORE LIKE ME / THIS TIME (I’m Gonna Be True)
Considered by many to be the jewel in Shrine’s crown, this awesome double-sider ranks as one of the finest examples of 60’s soul music. Ray was the biggest name on the label, having been lead singer with The Wanderers since the early 1950’s. The group recorded for a multitude of labels including Savoy, Orbit, MGM, Cub and United Artists, making the R&B charts on several occasions. Ray decided he wanted to develop a solo career and called Eddie, telling him of his intention. Eddie was a great admirer of Ray’s, describing him as “One of the voices of our time”, so when the opportunity arose, Eddie wasted no time in getting Ray into the studio. On a three day visit to Washington Ray cut two tracks and helped on a few back-ups. The resulting single has contributed to the elevation of Ray to icon status among soul fans and many who saw him perform in England in 1991 describe it as the best show they’ve ever witnessed. Whilst Ray could not even remember the songs prior to his visit, having never owned a copy, Eddie cited it as one of his greatest achievements: “It was probably the most exhilarating mix I ever did”, he recalls, “I remember being moved to tears with the excitement”. The beautiful ballad ‘No More Like Me’ was one of many songs Eddie wrote as a direct result of his relationship with Miss Ray and they often reflected its turbulent, emotionally charged nature; Eddie recalls writing most of them after various marital disagreements. The Shrine tracks were cut almost exclusively at the Edgewood Studio, but Ray’s visit clashed with some essential maintenance work, so the Rodeo Studio, in Georgetown was used for the session. The 45 sold locally but didn’t provide Ray with the big push that Eddie had hoped for. Ray continued to record until the early 1970’s securing releases on United Artists, Decca and Omnipotent before he shifted his focus towards a career in acting, which he is still pursuing in Las Vegas to this day.
104 THE CAUTIONS – WATCH YOUR STEP / IS IT RIGHT
The passage of time has resulted in everybody concerned forgetting the names of the teenagers who were better known as The Cautions. Given the group’s longevity at Shrine, this state of affairs has always puzzled me, as has the inability to track down one single group member. The best we can manage is; Nick, Joe Clyburn, Clooney and AB. The group were all local singers that Harry Bass had talent spotted and recalled them as being “tall and slender. They were good dancers who were really into the Temptations”. Their release, in June 1965, proved to be a hit in Baltimore and Washington, even making it onto the local charts and thus helping to justify Shrine’s policy of using local talent. Dale Warren described them as being “our bread and butter group. They sold a lot of records and helped the money come in”
105 JIMMY ARMSTRONG – I BELIEVE I’LL LOVE ON / IT’S GONNA TAKE LOVE
This 45 was scheduled for release but never issued; with no vinyl copies ever being pressed. However the identity of the missing number is now known. Eddie had pencilled this in for release, with a provisional date of September 1965, but when Jackie Wilson said he wanted ‘I Believe I’ll Love On’ for himself, the release was cancelled and the catalogue number never reassigned. Jimmy may not have been too pleased, but the money that came in from the Brunswick deal certainly helped Shrine to keep moving forward. As a point of interest the proposed flip side was another of Eddie’s ‘marriage’ songs.
106 THE EPSILONS – MAD AT THE WORLD / I’M SO DEVOTED
This recording marked the second wave of Shrine releases, reflecting the changes that had taken place within the company. A new distribution deal / financial investment was in place from the Jet Set connection and the introduction of Keni, Maxx, Harry and Dale as the main players in the recording studio was established. The Epsilons had been spotted by Al Fox of The Wisemen, who had taken them along to the studio to audition. James Duvall, who played guitar on the session, Ronald Williams and Gregory Thomas impressed all present and they were offered a recording contract. Miss Ray then gave the group their name, deriving it from the fifth letter of the Greek alphabet. It was released at the beginning of the summer of 1966 and it became the label’s best seller, even requiring a second pressing to meet the demand generated from airplay in the Tri-state area. Whilst this ‘hit’ appeared to herald an upturn in the commercial success of Shrine, it was to become their last moment of achievement in the market place.
107 D.C. BLOSSOMS – I KNOW ABOUT HER / HEY BOY
In 1958 a quartet of girls christened themselves The Tropicals and began to perform in the local clubs. Their repertoire consisted of many of the hit tunes of the day and old favourites that would get the audience up on their feet. The group, all hailing from the D.C. area, consisted of sisters Jacqui & Vicki Burton and their long-time friends Jeanette Talley and Roberta Miller. What the girls wanted more than anything was to get a recording deal and become stars, but their first break was a long time coming. In 1962 they were seen by Clyde Otis, who offered them his services as their manager and secured a contract for them with Okeh Records. Before their first visit to a studio, in August 1962 a change of name was required, so the girls became The Blossoms. Vicki recalled that they subsequently cut “enough tracks for an album”, but all of their efforts only produced one solitary release the following month; ‘I’m In Love’/’What Makes Love’ (Okeh 7162), which failed to make any impression and the girls were released from their contract. Despite their immense disappointment, they continued to tread the boards and upon hearing about Shrine Jacqui recalled, “We rushed down there to get ourselves a piece of the action”. The girls signed as a trio, with Roberta having retired from the group due to ill health which left her unable to perform and immediately went into the studio to start rehearsing. Another change of name was required to distinguish them from Darlene Love’s West Coast group, so the girls became the D. C. Blossoms. Their record, the first to be picked up by the UK’s Northern Soul dance scene, became the first casualty of the label’s decline. It is almost certain that it never even got into the shops; as was probably the case with every one of the eleven releases stockpiled in readiness for the anticipated breakthrough that never happened.
108 J.D. BRYANT – I WON’T BE COMING BACK / WALK ON IN
J D was originally from South Carolina, but had been a fixture on the New York music scene for a number of years. He had recorded R&B records for a whole host of labels including Enjoy, Alfa and Josie. Eddie had written ‘I Won’t Be Coming Back’ with the intention of giving it to Ben E. King. To present the song Eddie needed a demo and when his A&R man, Matt Parsons, suggested they use his half-brother, who had a vocal style similar to that of Ben E. King, Eddie agreed. The session was set up at Herb Abramson’s A1 Sound Studio at 234 W. 56th St NYC, sometime in the middle of 1964. Eddie, wishing for the demo to sound as good as a finished master, made sure some of his usual session players were available, including the drummer Gary Chester. He was so thrilled with the finished track that he decided to keep it and release it himself, while hastily arranged for a ‘B’ side to be recorded. New York veteran producer Teacho Wiltshire stepped in to arrange ‘Walk On In’ in a style that J.D. was more familiar with. However Eddie’s plan to issue the 45 was shelved, as his time became increasingly occupied with planning the move to D C. Whilst Eddie thinks J.D. may have visited Washington at some point and would have been given a copy of his record; the chances are he has no knowledge of the song’s release, let alone of the current popularity that the track enjoys on the international 60s soul scene.
109 SIDNEY HALL – THE WEEKEND / I’M A LOVER
Sidney’s only solo 45 proved he had a gift. The top side, which is a snappy uptempo number with vocal back up provided by Harry Bass, captures the feeling of a specific point in time, never to be recaptured. It is about the celebration of a weekend of high living, including drinking, dancing and “driving a Cadillac to match my mohair suit” which portrays Sidney as a man about town. The flip side is an epic beat ballad that allows Sidney to show off his vocal skills. After Shrine closed Sidney joined The Flamingos for a while before leaving the business and moving to Springfield, Mass. His lead vocal can be heard on ‘Itty Bitty Baby’ (Philips 40413) a song composed by former Enjoyable Keni Lewis.
110 SHIRLEY EDWARDS – IT’S YOUR LOVE / DREAM, MY HEART
Shirley was a Washington native who had originally signed for Shrine as a group member with her cousins Sylvia Hampton and Marietta Anderson. As Shirley became a solo act they secured positions as backing singers. Shirley came from a musically rich background and her relatives included Billy Stewart, Jimmy & David Ruffin, Grace Ruffin of the Four Jewels and Little Richard. Like so many others this proved to be her only solo appearance on record, although she did work for a short time doing back ups for Dale Warren at Stax. Her biggest opportunity for a break came when Dale offered her the chance to try for a film theme he had a ten day option on, but Shirley’s husband was opposed to her having to go out of town for the audition. As it transpired another singer got the deal when her company put up the money for the production costs The other singer was Shirley Bassey and the film was Goldfinger
111 THE CAIROS – DON’T FIGHT IT / STOP OVERLOOKING ME
Keni Lewis had started his career as a singer and, in addition to writing and producing, still wanted to continue performing and making records. Calling up some of his old friends he quickly assembled a new group who needed little practice to achieve their tight vocal harmony. Keni was joined by Famon Johnson, who sang lead on ‘Stop Overlooking Me’, Gerald Richardson, Tommy Monteir, whose distinctive bass propels Keni’s lead vocal on ‘Don’t Fight It’ and another of Shirley Edwards’ cousins, Wilford ‘Dough Boy’ Ruffin.
112 EDDIE DAYE & 4 BARS – GUESS WHO LOVES YOU / WHAT AM I GONNA DO
By the time they signed to Shrine the 4 Bars were already vocal group veterans. Originally formed in 1953, as The Four Bars of Rhythm, the group line-up changed regularly with Eddie Daye and Melvin Butler being the only permanent members. Their recordings for Joz, IPS, Cadillac, Len, Dayco, Time, Flying Hawk, Shelley and Falew have won them a legion of admirers from the world of R&B/Vocal Group collectors, but many consider the Shrine 45 as their finest moment on vinyl. The 1965 group consisted of Eddie Daye, Melvin Butler, Elsworth Grimes and Betty Wilson who all hailed from the D.C. area. The group continued to record in Washington, on Eddie’s resurrected Dayco label, until 1975 when they formally disbanded.
113 BILL DENNIS – I’LL NEVER LET YOU GET AWAY / POOR LITTLE FOOL
Little is known about Bill other than he was a Baltimore resident who had always wanted to be a singer and had spent many hours rehearsing trying to improve his vocal before auditioning for Shrine. As Eddie recalled Bill was “just this fellow who walked in one day and I liked what he was about”. With Harry feeling the same way, Bill got to realise his ambition. It is believed he went on to become a DJ for WHUR, Howard University Radio and the Voice of America network.
114 LES CHANSONETTES – DEEPER / DON’T LET HIM HURT YOU
Harry Bass took charge of this trio of Baltimore high school girls who he thought were probably sisters. “They had never been in a studio before and were a little nervous. I remember their mother used to drive them in and acted as a sort of chaperone. I spent hours rehearsing them to build their confidence. One of them was called Delores, I don’t recall the names of the others”. The songs chosen for the girl’s debut had been written a few years previously, in New York and were published by T M Music which was owned by Bobby Darin. Fully titled, Trinity Music, the company had an office located down the hall from Jobete in the Brill Building and Rudy Clark, the only black songwriter at T M, had composed a song called ‘Deeper’. He cut a demo of it and then took it to Miss Ray in the hope that she could place it with either The Vandellas or The Marvelettes. Harry, who was friendly with Rudy, then composed a song called ‘Don’t Let Him Hurt You’, which had a similar feel and placed it with T.M. for publishing. When the move to Washington was made Harry took the acetates with him deciding to use both of the tracks for his nervous, but enthusiastic, girls. They managed one more release, on the Mon’ca label before fading into obscurity.
115 THE CAUTIONS – NO OTHER WAY / POOR LOSER
The only group to manage two releases on Shrine returned with a floorshaker of a recording that would test even the most energetic of dancers. The flip featured an early version of a synthesiser called an Ondioline, which featured on a number of Shrine recordings and demonstrated the willingness to innovate and experiment in the studio.
116 THE PROPHETS – HUH BABY / IF I HAD (One Gold Piece)
These were another talented group of local youngsters who were given to Maxx to work with in the studio. The resulting record was a stunning double header, which reflected the growing musical maturity of the company with its sophisticated arrangements and increasing diversity of musical styles. The group consisted of Raymond Davis, Tommy Brooks, Harry Courtney, David Budd, Preston Booze and George Kirksey. This was one of the last Shrine 45s to surface with its existence not being confirmed until 1991. Up to this point it was assumed that the tracks were unissued. David Budd was given the main lead vocal on ‘If I Had’, which was complimented by Raymond’s earthier tones delivered in a call-and-response style. Raymond recalled that the group cut versions of ‘Shame’ and ‘I’ll Take You Back’ whilst at Shrine; a recollection supported by Tommy and Preston.
117 THE COUNTS – PEACHES BABY / MY ONLY LOVE
Yet more local youngsters, whose average age was 16 meaning they had to have their parents sign the Shrine contract. The group consisted of Richard Collins, Clarence ‘Money’ Munroe, Jimmy Faison, Lamont Wash and Stanley Minor. This was another record whose existence was not established until 1991; again up to this point we assumed the tracks were unissued. When Eddie and Ady Croasdell first catalogued the surviving master tapes in 1989 ‘My only love’ was there as a finished track but ‘Peaches Baby’ was simply a backing track woefully missing vocals. The first copy to surface came from Richard Collins who, in addition to his remaining copy, had found another in his aunt’s basement. At this point he trashed the first copy, as it looked a little worn and entrusted his mother with sending the second over to the UK. She completed his request but failed to protect the disc, treating it as if it was simply a letter. The disc duly arrived in six pieces and until another copy surfaced, some seven years later, the only way to hear the vocal version required calling Stanley Minor and asking him to sing it over the phone. Thankfully Lew Stanley, a highly respected USA record dealer, provided us with a dub of the track from a single he turned up years later, thus enabling us to include it on this compilation. The group continued to work with Maxx Kidd recording ‘So Frustrated’/’Should’ve Been Satisfied’, released locally on Spooky 10001 before going national on Chess 2116, as Five Miles High and also ‘Come on, Fall In Line’/’Problem Child’ (Calla 169) as 4 Miles High.
118 THE ENJOYABLES – SHAME / I’LL TAKE YOU BACK
Maxx felt the same way as Keni and formed a new version of the Enjoyables soon after joining the company. The new incarnation reunited former members, with Maxx, on lead, supported by James Johnson, William Britton and Gerald Richardson. The group had recorded their tracks in July 1965, during the first wave of sessions and James recalled that the group disbanded almost immediately after the songs were completed.
119 THE CAVALIERS – DO WHAT I WANT / TIGHTEN UP
The last Shrine record to be found, finally allowing us to complete the discography. The master tapes contained rhythm tracks for both songs in a format that can only be described as being at the rehearsal stage. The two copies, currently known to exist, were both rescued from Maxx Kidd’s basement and revealed one of the most bizarre tracks recorded for Shrine, featuring a harmonica as the lead instrument. Maxx recalled they wanted to use a harmonica as “Bob Dylan was very popular at the time and we wanted to try and capture some of that sound”. As a point of interest it was the only Shrine track that saw Keni, Harry and Maxx working together as songwriters. Nothing is known about the group other than, once again, they were all local teenagers consisting of Steven Carey, Albert Carmichael, Alfred Duncan, David Duncan and Theotrice Gamble.
HEM 1003 THE EPSILONS – MIND IN A BIND / IT’S ALL RIGHT
Due to the popularity of ‘Mad At The World’ Eddie decided to cut a follow up and took the group into the studio to personally supervise the session. ‘It’s All Right’ was simply a continuation of the story told in ‘Mad At The World’, with a very similar, easily recognisable, rhythm track. ‘Mind In A Bind’ was another one of Eddie’s songs about his relationship with Miss Ray, on which he put her name as composer to get it published with Jobete. The tracks were issued in 1967 on a local independent label that had a distribution deal with Atlantic. It has to be assumed that the masters that Eddie had left at the Edgewood studios were simply grabbed by persons unknown, as neither Eddie or James Duvall had any knowledge that this had taken place.
The Unissued Songs
TIPPIE & THE WISEMEN – LET ME WALK AWAY / WAIT ‘TIL I GET THERE / I WOULDN’T MIND CRYING / BYE BYE
Like The 4 Bars the members of this group were also industry veterans by the time they arrived at Shrine. The Clovers, who hailed from the Washington area, had been recording since 1950; by 1961 the group had split and reformed as two, separate Clovers, one led by Harold Lucas the other by John Bailey. The line-up of the Lucas group was Robert Russel, James ‘Toy’ Walton, Al Fox and Eddie ‘Tippie’ Hubbard. On signing with Shrine in 1965 they became known as Tippie & The Wisemen, although they continued to perform as Tippie & The Clovers. Their first recording sessions took place in June 1965 and it is known they cut tracks in addition to those that have survived. Given the quality of the tracks, it is surprising that none of them were released, but as Al Fox explained; “None of our product was ever issued, the reason being that we had released a lot of records over the years and were happy for the younger, newer acts to get their records out first. We were content just to wait”. In January 1966 Eddie took his tapes of ‘I Wouldn’t Mind Crying’ and ‘Bye Bye’ to Brunswick, where he was head of A&R, with the intention of doing a deal, but when he walked out after a heated disagreement with Nat Tarnopol, the tapes were left behind. Whilst researching another project, Kent CD compiler Ady Croasdell noticed the tapes were logged into the vault and eventually managed to extract copies. On hearing the news Eddie was ecstatic as he viewed ‘I Wouldn’t Mind Crying’, yet another of his marriage songs, as the best track he had ever recorded at Shrine.
BOBBY REED – CALDONIA BROWN / BABY DON’T LEAVE ME
Bobby spent a few years as a recording artist cutting tunes for various labels including Brunswick, Clay Town, Bell and Loma. These tracks were recorded in January 1966, produced by Clay Roberts, with the arrangement being done by Freddie Perrin, under Eddie’s supervision, while he was still at Shrine.
LITTLE BOBBY PARKER-I WON’T BELIEVE IT ‘TIL I SEE IT
Another local lad who did just one track before moving on. The tune is a powerhouse version of the Jimmy Armstrong song released on Jet Set.
TRACI – TAKE IT FROM ME
A mystery girl; who cut just one song and then disappeared. Eddie used the song again for Barbara Long on Jet Set.
THE CAUTIONS – FALL GUY / TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR BABY / I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND
Both ‘Fall Guy’ and ‘Take A Look’ were found by Ady Croasdell in the Scepter-Wand tape vaults in 1985 and were assumed to be Capcity recordngs. Further research established that they were Shrine tracks that Eddie had taken to Scepter, where he was head of A&R, in November 1966, in a last attempt to try and secure further funds for Shrine. They were probably the last songs recorded before Shrine closed. Yes the final track is the Beatles song being given a Shrine makeover. It’s a personal favourite of Eddie’s and he remembers thinking he was going to be a millionaire after he cut it. Reality dawned sometime later
JIMMY ARMSTRONG – I BELIEVE I’LL LOVE ON / IT’S GONNA TAKE LOVE
The tracks scheduled for Shrine 105 that got pipped at the post by the Jackie Wilson deal. ‘Love On’ is an uptempo screamer whilst ‘It’s Gonna Take Love’ is a powerful bluesy ballad.
LEROY TAYLOR & FOUR KAYS – I AIN’T WORRIED ABOUT YOU
A complete change of style for Leroy as he hits a dance groove on this lively uptempo number; The Cautions can be clearly heard providing back-up.
THE FOUR KAYS – FUNKY MONKEY
Leroy’s boys jamming to create a wild rhythm track
D. C. BLOSSOMS – THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE
The girls deliver another of Keni’s love songs on a track that got overlooked during the cataloguing in 1989 and therefore came as a real bonus find when the tapes were reviewed
Andrew Rix 2000
With special thanks to Eddie Singleton, Rob Thomas, Rob Hughes, Derek Pearson, Nick Brown, Bobby Allen and all of the Shrine family who have happily become too numerous to mention.