Semper sounds have been heard in television, film, and radio, a highlight being 2009 Eddie Murphy film Norbit, ‘The Hands of Time’. Creating music until his last days Geroge Semper transitioned in 2009 in his birthplace of Trinidad & Tobago, WI. Greatly inspired by his fathers musical talent and body of work Joel started The George Semper Music Archives. The archives include Semper and his collaborators’ 5 decades music catalog and restored master recordings!
A digital development consultant Joel resides in the San Francisco, California “Bay Area”. His musical journey began in learning more about his Fathers career. George and his Mother met at a turning point in US culture, a time when Semper backed Ray Charles at the Moulin Rouge hotel-casino. She, a southern Anglo Belle and George, created a booking company with some of the first racially integrated live shows on the Las Vegas strip.
Born into a creative world with mixed ancestry enriched Joel’s cultural and social perspectives with a diverse range of experiences. In his teens, like his Father, Joel pursued a music career as promoter and producer launching a successful live venue, independent record label, and leading production company securing a multi-artist production deal & platinum status. In his twenties, he moved to New York City, and worked with finance, consulting and tech companies, providing staffing & digital solutions. During this time he contributed to the development of the world’s first social site led by Peter Friedman talkcity.com and the first mobile YouTube Eveo.com.
Joel is a married proud father of two sons, whose journey continues with new discoveries of his Fathers music.
The most challenging aspects of archiving George’s works have been finding his Talented collaborating artists of yesteryear!
“I discovered Mary Ann Allan, pka Mary Love, recordings while exploring my late fathers music catalog. George Semper collaborators were a talented troupe who changed the world! Children of segregation who became a liberated creative class producing innovative Jazz, Funk, & Soul music. Mary, being one, overcame a difficult childhood through music, crafting a global career, and becoming the Queen of UK Northern Soul!
“More Love (And Then Some)” written by Mary & Michael Stevenson in 1981 recorded in 83 at Birdclift Studios in Culver City, CA. along with “Take It It’s Yours,” unreleased “Mister Sunshine,” & “Can You Feel Me.” Lively sessions engineered by Robert Ferrell (DJ Rogers), David Majal Ii (Marvin Gaye, Parliament, SOS Band) horn arrangements with Fred Wesley (James Brown, Funkadelic, JBs), & Kenny Mason (Mandrill & Harvey Mason’s brother). Backed by Fontella Bass (‘Rescue Me’) & Robbie Love first time vocals, produced by Nathaniel ‘Basey’ Johnson & George Semper, with Ray ‘Brother Puff’ Johnson drums. B side is a dance-inspired alt mix by the talented Jr. & Altroy, lightly touched with their authentic sound as past semper releases on Record Shack.
Mary began music singing in church as a child, her first paying gig at 17 after an open mic. She joined band The Vows & discovered by Sam Cooke’s manager J.W. Alexander, she cut demos including Cookes ‘Talking Trash’. 1964 a pinnacle year for an 18 yr old Mary, Hal Davis bestowed stage name “Love”, she secured a contract with Motown. Her family grew, marrying Ed Alexander Versey, they welcomed daughter Robbie, & later Sons Michael and Derrick. ‘A Touch of Venus’ produced by manager Marc Gordon was released by Sandy Wynns. In 65 Gordon secured a Modern Records deal at the end of her Motown contract.
From 1965 to 67 Mary released 6 singles on Modern leading with gem ‘You Turned My Bitter Into Sweet ‘/ ‘I’m in Your Hands’. Her 66 LP’ ‘Move A Little Closer’ charted & in 67 ‘Baby I’ll Come’ penned by a young Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson. Love, Ashford, & Simpson also collaborated on Mary’s favorite ‘Dance Children Dance’. And in 68 ‘The Hurt Is Just Beginning’/ ‘If You Change Your Mind’ an uncredited Love, Ashford & Simpson collab on Josie Records. The A side memorialized by protesters during Huey Newton trials adopting lyrics “Don’t let it happen!”
Her 1971 LP ‘There’s Someone For Me’ on Elco was recorded at Ray Charles studio in LA. Ray engineered the sessions himself! She first recorded with Semper in 72 backing Brenton Wood, Semper, & Al McKay in United Soul Association releasing single ’Sticky Boom Boom Too Cold’ on Epic & Prophesy. A widowed Love met second husband, Michael R. Stevenson, guitarist, writer, producer (Funkadelics, Dramatics, Sister Sledge, Barbara Morrison). They met at Grove Theater in Oakland followed by a week of touring Japan with Ike & Tina Turner.
In 1977 her single ‘Joy’ was featured in movie Peady Wheatshaw. She married Michael in 78 and while on tour in Osaka Japan they recorded ‘Odori Okaso at the Bamboo Inn’, an unreleased bilingual English-Japanese LP. In 79, Mary released, ‘Turn Me Turn Me’, on Inphasion & by the 80s, they were in bands; Basey Johnson’s Energy & 16 piece Love II Orchestra with David Majal Ii.
Love released ‘Tit For Tat’ in 82 & backed Semper for his 1984 ‘Themes for Television Sports & Aerobics’ LP. She met third husband Brad Comer, musician-producer on her 45 ‘Save Me’. In 1986 their CoLove Records released ‘Be Baby’/ ‘Never Gonna Break It Up’, 87 gospel LP ‘‘His Servant Am I’, 1988 the 12” EP Caught Up, & LP ‘Sin No More” in 89.
By the 90s they released 12” EP ‘Understanding/In My Life/More Than Enough Love’ the B side a duet with Mary & son Derrick Versey. She toured singing mostly gospel & legendary performance at Cleethorpes Northern Soul Weekender in the UK presented by Ace-Kent Records! A powerful spirit Mary, spread Love through New Judah Christian Fellowship Evangelistic Church & Lost Soul Patrol Ministry. In her honor she created a successful 5 decade music career, family, & ministry.
Mary’s voice amplified “across the pond”, connecting American music artists of African descent to the UK Northern Soul & Mod scenes achieving a step in the evolution to today’s global urban music. She is survived by children Robbie, Dereck, & Michael, numerous grandchildren, Family, Friends & Fans worldwide!”
One such artist is Mr. Ron Thatch. A timeless and largely unsung Talent in his elder years, everybit of the Star he was in his youth. Ron, from Cleveland, Ohio was a child prodigy who went on to be the lead singer in the original incarnation of the Dazz Band. As destiny would have it the path to Ron’s MoJo recordings began with the lifelong collaborations of Semper and Jimmy Smith.
MoJo Records began in 1974 as a conduit for Jimmy Smiths solo and collaborative projects alongside recordings with BlueNote, Verve and other labels.
Releasing several 45s and LPs in the 70s MoJo laid dormant until their last recordings in 1987. George returned to San Diego his hometown for Family matters in 1983. Ever the music entrepreneur Semper connected with his old Friend Jimmy Smith and manager Wife Lola to reactivate the MoJo label. Joining as Vice President Semper A&Rd several up and coming local artists and recommendations. Nathaniel “Basey” Johnson founded and produced the band Pure Funk in 1976 with Ron on lead vocals. Basey recommended Thatch to George based on his unique R&B voice, writing ability and dynamic performances.
In 1987 along with a roster of MoJo artists assembled by Semper, production began on Ron’s 45 ‘Jealous Man/Who Can Define Love’ and solo LP. Thatch composed both songs, the music crafted by Ron’s guitar, top-musicians and production of Semper and Basey Johnson. The 45 reached chart status along with ‘Long Long Way from Perfect’ recorded for Ron’s solo LP that went unreleased, but appeared on Semper’s 1992 “Love Moods” compilation LP.
Ron, returned to Cleveland and toured performing with several R&B groups and the MoJo recordings would be his last records. In 2017 Super Disco Edits UK issued two previously unreleased early Ron Thatch recordings co-written with Michael Calhoun with Dazz Band Predecesor Bell Telephunk – Ain’t No Tellin’ / Sister Moon and Love Vibrations / Love Company. Incredible tunes which would have likely been hits in their time had they been released.
I was fortunate to have interviewed Ron, and recorded his biography “straight from the horses mouth”. An unsung natural creative there is so much more to Ron Thatch and his story. Have a listen for yourself to the story of this timeless Talent!
I learned of Candy Rae, from the catalog of my late Father George Semper. Born Rachel L. Holden in 1946 Philadelphia, PA she’s known for a duet with Ron Kenoly as “Ron & Candy” & their 1973 Inner City Records hit single ‘Lovely Weekend/ Plastic Situation’. Candy & Ron, solo recordings on Inner City went unreleased except for this sweet soul gem “Tenderness’ from Candy, we present for your enjoyment!
In her youth Candy was a recognized talent in her church choir. Making her way to Hollywood, Semper discovered her from memorable performances at Wonder Gardens, Club Harlem, & Soundtrack backing Jimmy McGriff & Kool & The Gang. ‘Tenderness’ backstory begins in 1969 with Semper relocating from Las Vegas, backing Ray Charles & headlining in a tuxedo at Caesars Palace as “George Semper & The Soul Patrol”, to Black is Beautiful LA, Compton, & Watts.
Joining The Merry Clayton Group, he went bearded & began wearing a turban as seen in Wattstax. In a new music era of urban creatives, fusion, & electronics, Semper envisioned his label as a creative refuge for Talent backed by his production command center! Inner City launched in 1972 setting up shop at 1752 W. Adams in LA. The first release Ron & Candy, ‘Lovely Weekend / Plastic Situation’ was a hit selling 150k copies! Pairing Candy & Ron (now a renowned gospel singer) paid off!
Massive radio play championed by Legendary KDAY DJ Wolfman Jack. His cross-border XERB “The Mighty 1090” radio blasted “50,K watts of Boss Soul Power” across the USA! Sadly, the single was their only release as a duet.
Ron Kenoly, Candy Rae, George Semper
‘Tenderness’ Candy’s first solo was co-written by Marshall McQueen, Jr.. He & George met at Capitol Records, during production of ‘Stuck In The Mud’ by Myles Grayson which Marshall wrote and plays guitar. After hearing ‘Tenderness’ George knew it had to be her first tune. Candy, collaborated with label mates & under alias. This is how aliases “Annie Mae Pennbrook” and “Funkhouse with Candy” came about. Obscure to the masses, she’s left a lasting Legacy in the Inner City catalog, compilations, & re-issues with labels worldwide! Recorded at Wally Heider Studios Hollywood, in keeping with authenticity the master tapes for this release were transferred at Wally Heider, San Francisco now named Hyde Street Studio -Tape Vault.
Inner City Records was a keystone to future Semper productions & posterity as a model predecessor of modern artist led, production oriented, independent labels.
Joel S. Brockman ©2023 The George Semper Music Archives
Candy Rae – Vocals
Marshall McQueen, Jr. – Guitar
David Majal II – Saxophonist
Hollis Gentry – Trumpet
Ernest Ray “Brother Puff” Johnson – Drums
Nathaniel ‘Basey’ Johnson – Bass
George Semper – Keyboard
Writer – Marshall McQueen, Jr., Winston Ray Wilson
Producer – George Semper
Arranger – George Semper & Marshall McQueen, Jr.
Edited – George Semper
Publisher – ©1973 Sybil Music
Phonographic Copyright – ℗The George Semper Music Archive
Recorded – Wally Heider Studio, Hollywood
Tape Transfer – Hyde Street Studio, Tape Vault
(originally Wally Heider Studio, San Francisco)
Liner Notes – Joel S. Brockman\
Photos & Media – ©2009 The George Semper Music Archive
One of the most impactful early finds in my late Father’s vault were master recordings from the time of my birth…literally! A set of them recorded between Las Vegas and Los Angeles held the choons of a singer named Patti Williams. Obscure, can be a subjective statement as proven in the case of Patti, who was heard by the masses but lesser known to them.
Fortunately in spite of being 50 years old these master tape recordings were recoverable! We baked, transferred, and waited. To our delight the sounds were impeccable. An entire unreleased album, largely written by and backed, by George and his cadre of accomplished young musicians.
Unfortunately with major shifts in American music programming her album would not be released. That and Patti’s move to Phoenix Ariona where she pursued live shows and acting made researching her career challenging at best. Thankfully, her fan base in Phoenix, co-singers, and artifacts she left in films and radio filled in the blanks.
Patti, was truly a special Talent who with George, created timeless moving memorable experiences. Our release of ‘Do You Know’ with label partner Dynamite Cuts UK is the perfect example!
Enjoy to the fullest there is much more to come from us at The George Semper Music Archive and Ms. Patti Willaims!
Joel Semper Brockman
Dynamite Cuts & The George Semper Music Archives present you this third in a series of soulful dancers ‘Do You Know’ from Patti Williams! Her powerful, gospel inflected performance on the rare gem A, ‘Do You Know’ is an anthem of Women overcoming scorn.
Written and Produced by George Semper, as part of her unreleased album, ‘Do You Know’ was recorded at Original Sound Record Hollywood in 1969. The master recording lay dormant in the vault until now!
Semper first met Patti in 1968 during her days as a backup vocalist in Las Vegas, NV. They first worked together at Forward Records where he wrote and produced Williams 1970 Soul gem “I’m Doing The Best That I Can”. Sheperformed live with other Semper collaborators Mary Love and Barbara
Morrison. Often compared to Aretha Franklin, Patti stood out as a Female vocalist in an era of Male dominated acts.
Patti, released four recordings during the 1970s ‘Wings of Love’ was produced by the ‘’Duke of Earl” Gene Chandler. As an actress Williams appeared in the 1976 Rudy Ray Moore action comedy film “Human Tornado”. In the 1980’s she relocated to Phoenix, Arizona where she lived most of her adult Life. Most known as “Phoenix First Lady of Soul” Williams performed regularly throughout Phoenix and California and was resident artist at Phoenix’s The Rhythm Room.
Patti, was active in the music & church community mentoring aspiring artists and local youth. A Lifelong artist, her Love affair with music sadly ended too soon, with Williams passing shortly after a surgery at 65 years old. Enjoy this George Semper gem performed by the much loved Patti Williams at her PEAK!
Transition In Power
Patti Williams B.11-21-1945 / D.03-08-2010.
George Semper B.01-01-1942 / D.01-09-2009.
Vocals – Patti Williams
Background Vocals – George Semper, Patti Williams
Piano, Hammond B3 Organ – George Semper
Trumpet – George Semper
Saxophone – Hollis Gentry, III
Drums – Ron Anderson
Bass – Nathaniel “Basey Green” Johnson, Sr.
© 1969 George Semper, Sybil Music (BMI)
℗ The George Semper Music Archives
Produced by: George Harley Semper
Written by: George Harley Semper
Directed and arranged by: George Harley Semper
Liner Notes: Joel S. Brockman, Bob Corritore – The Rhythm Room Phoenix
Archival Research: Joel S. Brockman
Tape Transfer: Alec Palao
Licensed by: Malachi Trout
Cover design and artwork: by Rob Crespo