Micky Gynn – Soulful Football

Soulful Football Update: 28/04/2024

Heart To Heart  “Tuff” (Raven Records) LP 1982
Although this once obscure album, was a real, collectors dream, in 2015, it got an official reissue. Why pay £1000 for an original, when you can get it for £50. The original, I would say, always sounds so much better though. Lol.
A soul group, out of,  Atlanta, Georgia. The standout tune on this 1982 album, Nowhere, To Go, is superb. My type of early 80s midtempo soul. Also, on the album is another mellow tune, Never, make A Believer of Me, which was also released as a 45.
These fabulous local labels, with this gem, out of Dothan, Alabama keep the soul world ticking along.

Enlightment  “Faith Is The Key” (New Release Records Inc. ) 1984
This record, has been my favourite Gospel album for many years. I was fortunate enough to get in touch with the producer Larry. H. Jordan, who produced this wonderful album. He had 6 sealed copies back in 2010, but I only had the one off him, due to the high price.
In 2011, he auctioned a copy on E-Bay, which went for a lot of money. He did tell me, that it was a very rare album and predicted the French would put out an unofficial version, which they did in 2013, without permission. In 2017, it got an official release, which allows everyone to enjoy this brilliant album.  The production from Larry, is top draw. As good as it gets.

The best track on the album, is the stunning, UP And Away. The first time I was able to play it out, was on Bob Smith’s Starpoint show, one Sunday night in May 2012. The response was amazing. The whole gospel album, is well worth a listen. As with many groups & artists, this was the only album they released. But what an album !!

Billy Baker “Describing Love” / Love-Music Keeps Me Movin” (Garden City Records) 1984
Possibly the top 80s record in my collection. A 45 I located in Hong Kong after a tip off from a Japanese collector in 1988, when I went with Coventry City for an end of season trip. Then in the mid 90s, John Manship offered me another copy, which I sold many years ago, on Soul Source for peanuts. Not a good move, looking back.

The Describing Love side, is an amazing mid-tempo tune. Billy, puts in a stunning vocal performance. It still sends a shiver down my spine,  whenever I play it at home. The song was written by Edwards Saunders and produced by Weldon Arthur Mcdougall lll. It looks like it was his only release. Incredible to think after this masterpiece, Billy never got a deal to carry his career forward. Sadly, these Singers & Song Writers, never fulfilled their talent !!

The Soul Phonics “Without You (Life Is Nothing)” / “This Mother Sucker (Shadow) 7’
We have a record that is so obscure,  the info on the 45 is very limited to say the least.

The Soul Phonics, consisted of Lee Carter & L.C.Jones, and together they have put out this masterpiece of a soul tune. The vocals throughout are amazing. Looking at the record earlier, it has minimal info and going by the rarity of it, not many copies I don’t think would have been pressed. Hopefully, now I have brought it to the attention of the collectors on Mick’s wonderful Soul Discovery show and people who read the rubbish i talk about, other copies might surface.It is probably the rarest 45 in my collection. I took a chance on buying it many years ago, long before the internet came along. I am so pleased I did, as not even Discogs has had a copy go through its system. With these gems, buy them blind if you have not heard them. I promise you,  you will love them as much as I do.

The Mist “The Girl In The Window” /“Life Walked Out” (Twinight Records) 7’ 1971
The Girl In The Window, is a stunning soul tune of the highest order. From Chicago Illinois, apparently the group were unaware that the record had been released. Initially as a Promo DJ copy, which this is, then the red stock copy,  which is equally desirable The group later changed their name, to The Visitors on the Dakar label, where the quality continued. Eugene Record of the immense soul group, the Chi-Lites, must have had a massive influence on The Mist, all those years ago.
A desert island disc for me and would make my top 20 of all time from my collection.

The Saints “Love Can Be” /“I’ll Let You Slide” (Wigwam) 7’ 1973
Both sides are just wonderful. The A side,  Love Can Be, is a top 5 desert island disc, for me, from my collection.  This was given a reissue, on the Wigwam label, which was very much needed by many collectors. A tough 45 to find on the original orange Wigwam label. As good as it gets.
The B side is a well know modern soul tune, which from across the soul scene in UK & Europe, has been very popular with the DJs, lucky enough to have this superb 45.

Jerone “Hey, you got me in daze” / “Instrumental” (Money Mountain Records) 7’ 
One of the best 45s I have in my collection. Sadly, it is also one of the rarer 45s to find.
The good news it got a reissue in 2022, thanks to the Epsilon Record Co.
It was very much an unknown soul tune, until then.
His full name Jerone Roy, it is a fabulous vocal performance from him.
The record itself is just superb. Recorded in Oakland C.A. it is a timeless record for me.

Unique Blend “I’ll be a fool for you” / “I can’t stop my leg”  (K.W.O.) 7’
I’ll Be A Fool For You, is another outstanding midtempo tune. Recorded in 1984 at The Sound Room in Oglethorpe G.A.
The female lead vocalist, Didi Franklin, puts in a superb performance, throughout the 3.22 minutes of this 80s masterpiece. The A side is a Funk track  which I have no interest in.
This 45, is another record, unknown to many collectors. The Group itself, is a different Unique Blend to the 70s soul group. The Saxophone lead at the start of the track, let’s you know how good the track will be. Another tough one to find.

Hard Tymes with The Hard Tymes Band “I ask a question Answer simply” /“Slow down word” (Ruby Records) 7′
The most outstanding 45 I ever brought off Rod Dearlove, from Voices From The Shadows back in the late 80s. I Ask A Question, is a desert island disc for me. If you are ever feeling low and need a lift, this 45 does it for me all the time. This duet, is to die for.
Produced by Roosevelt Matthews out of St Louis, Missouri.Anything from the year I left school, in 1977, is close to my heart. This record is a must for every collector out there.

Force “Children of the world” / Get up and get out” (Bandolier Records) 7’
Another killer 45 from 1977. The A side is a typical up-tempo tune from this era. Not my style of soul music, I have to say. The flip side is the one that is now in big demand. The Group Harmony/Sweet Soul genre of the 70s, has in recent years, gone crazy. This used to be a £10 record at best. The last copy i saw for sale, was £125. Vocally, amazing group harmony soul. This 45, is only going one way in price.

Freedom Machine “Stop doubting my love’ / “She shakes me for my sake” (Alarm Records) 7’
 A total coincidence, with this record, again from the fabulous year of 1977. Three on the trot was not planned by myself. Another wonderful group harmony tune, Stop Doubting My Love, flipped by a Funk track, which I have never played. The side I adore, is from a group that only did two 45s. It is tragic, that when you play records of this class & quality and think, why oh, why, did they not record more tracks like this one.
Written by Marvin Elam & Dexter Walker. To you both, thank for this masterpiece of soul.Another 45 that has shot up in price. No shock there, as the demand for these records, will continue.

Vann & Reggie “If this ain’t love”/ “I’m falling in love” (Brilliant Minds Records) 7’
Two top sides from a superb year of 1983.If This Ain’t Love, is my fav side on this tough to find 45. Still sounds so fresh, another record I would never part with. The only record they released together, which is very sad. Another must have for your collection.

Reggie Garland  “Why now” (Big Willie Records) 7’
Another top record produced by Reggie Garland. Along with the Vann & Reggie 45 I mentioned before, this is another outstanding tune. With background vocals by Ladonna Bell from the group Mixed Sugar, it floats along so well, with the whole production making it just so good. Not that well known, but one I would recommend  if you like classy early 80s soul. 

Lonnie & Cutis  “Here to stay” (Churchill Records Ltd) 7’ 
A superb ballad out of Brookfield- Chicago. Only downside, is this wonderful tune is only 2.34 mins long. The only record they brought out and written along side a top vocalist himself, Billy McGregor. If you like classy soul, this is one to treasure.

Desire “Love toll” / “I’ve never turn my back on you” (Red Robin Records)  1977
Again the killer tune on this rare 45 is the flip side.This is my type of soul.Wonderful midtempo floater, with the female group Desire, sounding just so good.I never tire of playing this 45, it always sounds so fresh.A year I always cherish, 1977 the year I left school and started my soul collection,with records like this gem. Sadly their only release, on this Disco label.Would love to know why they never did anything else. Desert Island Disc for me !!

Essence “I’ll give you the sunshine” / “ Deep in my eyes” (Tac Town Records) 1983
A superb midtempo tune from 1983. Hard to believe it is on the A side, of this super rare solid center 45. Totally brilliant tune, with classy vocals. Flip it over and it is a very in demand 45 for the French & German collectors, who are more into the frantic soul tunes that came out in 1983. Well worth tracking down, as I was told that 500 copies were pressed at the time of the records release !!

Al Miller “ Trust is a must” / “ Let’s get away from it all” (Golden Wheels) 1975 
The only 45 he did, this is quite stunning soul music from 1975.Written and produced by Horace Ott  a top Soul & Jazz musician in his own right.Trust Is A Must  is a superb vocal performance and the flip side is also well worth a spin.When you hear the soul in his voice, it makes you wonder why he never did anything else. Sadly, another class act that could never get a deal to go with his talent.

Mebeus “Party crazy” / Love’s journey” (Vigor Records) 1974
Out of New York, this is one of the harder 45s to locate on the Vigor Record label.From 1974, the A side is a typical Funk tune from that era, which does nothing for me.But on the rare issue copy, you have the sublime, Love’s Journey, a classy soul record.I just love the melody and awesome vocals.One worth breaking the bank for, if you can find one !!

Kariza “Magic lady” / “Will you dance with me” (FRP Records) 7’
Another outstanding Midtempo 45 from Austin Texas from 1984.Outstanding vocals on this tough to find record. The plug side is a big tune in France,which is where I got my copy from back in the 90s. The side we are talking about is just stunning. Just love this !!This is the only record they ever released, having originally been called Trace Of Smoke, which included their superb Modern tune Treasure Mind, another 45 well worth finding.

Frankie Zhivago Young “Somebody stole my heart” (Ultra) 7′
This is very much a mellow choice from me. Don’t know anything about the artist and it looks obscure. Just floats along with fantastic backing from the musicians. A tough one find.

The Opells “You know I love you”/“Day & time” (Linco) 7’ 1971
When I left school in 1977 and started work as an apprentice footballer at Posh, I spent all my £8  wages on records. Albums were my passion in those days and group harmony soul was my love even as a 15 year old. So when the internet age began, I was able to locate superb group harmony soul 45s like this gem from 1971. It is just a wonderful record and well worth hunting down. Out of Greensboro North Carolina, the vocal by Tom Smith is to die for.

Homegrown Syndrome  “Confrontation” / “You and me baby” 1981 Arista Records Inc.
This 45 did get reissued in 2015, which will please the French collectors, who love the sound of the tune, Confrontation. The Demo has this track on both sides.The issue copy is the one you need, as you flip it over to an amazing Mellow sound of You And Me Babe, which if you are into Midtempo Soul, this will blow you away. Produced by Perry Kibble of Taste Of Honey fame. Nothing he ever did comes close to this masterpiece. Possibly the rarest 45 on the label.Around this time Arista Records had artists like Norman Connors on their roster. Anything by him, is well worth picking up.

August “If he makes it good” (14KT Gold) 7’
From the late 70’s. What a period for great music, I suppose I’m bit biased as it is the time I started collecting 1977 onwards. Just a fabulous group sound which I just adore.

Hiram and Direct “Turn it around’ (Hirome) 7′
Originally brought this for the dancer on other side, by accident played the this side and it blew my head off. Four minutes of superb harmonies between the duo.

Coast To Coast “I want you” / Paula Marie” (1982 Multi-Sound) 7’
Staying in the 80s with the wonderful I Want You Dear. At 6.45 minutes long, it is the longest 45 in my collection and when a ballad of this quality comes along, that is a real bonus.Coast To Coast brought out another record, this time a 12″ on the same label in 1983. Well worth picking up as well.

Visions Of a new World “Children” (New World) 7’
Out of Illinois USA sounding very much from the late 70’s. Artists like ‘Pleasure’ + ‘The Blackbirds’ would always on their albums have something like this – No idea about the group or it’s rarity. 

Andrew Curd “Spinning dizzy” (Lemco)
Awsome 2-Stepper from the late 70’s which I managed to obtain about 17years ago. At any mid tempo session it will be massive.

Keiko Project “Midnight shuffle” (Canyon)
Only ever released in Japan,with vocals by Terry Bradford. The late 70’ early 80’s I brought a mass of Jap LPs into this country. This track off a mimi LP is one of the best.

Gerald Dimitr “Falling in love” (Destiny)
I’ve been looking through some old LPs from the 90’s and came across this album vocals by Al Broomfield . This is a mellon Jazzy song with a lovely feel to it.

George Butts “Keep that same old feeling” (K-Star) LP
Back into the 80’s with this one, YES another version of this great song. If you like me love 80’s quality soul, this is another welcome addition to the collection.

Frankie Gearing “Teardrops” (Beale St.)
Staying with quality Jap release only The Stray Soul. This is one of the best ever female soul records in my opinion. You go through the collection and you come across something as good as this, you know why we collect this type of music, JUST SO GOOD

Norman Conners “Melancholy fire” (Arista) LP
On a trip to Hong Kong this came on my headset. Having not heard this in years it totally knocked me out. Glenn Jones best ever ever vocal performance, these regular LP tracks tend to get overlooked at times for various types of 7’s

Til next time Micky Gynn