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OUTTA SIGHT

The legendary Okeh Records needs little introduction to soul music fans around the world. It has been relentlessly plundered and treasured for its slue of Northern Soul classics produced by A&R manager Carl Davis and his songwriter Curtis Mayfield during the “soul years” 1963-70.

However, the imprint was originally launched 100 years ago in 1918 by Otto K. E. Heinemann who had already established a recording studio and pressing plant in New York City. The label name was derived from Heinemann’s initials O.K.E.H. From the very early years, Okeh issued records for minority audiences, such as its foreign language music, field recordings and Dixieland jazz. But perhaps the most significant recording was “That Thing Called Love” by Mamie Smith in 1920, the first ever by a black blues singer. The success of Mamie Smith led to Okeh’s 8000 series which ran until 1932.

In 1953, Okeh became an exclusive R&B label and it is the ensuing decade of recordings that form the focus of our collection, from Titus Turner’s raucous “Big Mary” in ’53 to Gerald Sims’ laid back “Cool Breeze” in ’62.

The Soul of the Big City…

THE MAPLETON HOTEL (now the Thistle Piccadilly), In the heart of London’s West End, was the original home of the legendary Flamingo Club (OSVLP014). However, it is a little known fact that there was a second club, cloistered in the basement of the Mapleton, the ‘Americana’. The club was run by the Gunnell brothers, Rik and Johnny, who would go on to manage the Flamingo when it moved to Wardour Street and the Bag O’Nails, in Soho, where Jimi Hendrix first played in 1966 and where Paul McCartney met his future wife Linda Eastman.

The Americana was named to cash-in on the obsession at the time for all things American – food, drink, fashion, film, music – and attracted a large contingent of G.I.’s, still stationed in the home counties after the war. The club opened in 1955 and hosted All-Night sessions for two years. A ‘ten bob’ note gave you passage to a secret, subterranean world filled with exotic sounds and cultures and a 3 course meal of tomato soup, chicken & chips and ice cream. You got to dance all-night long to live acts playing a fusion of R&B, blues, jazz, calypso and ska which, in the mid-fifties, was the hottest sound in the world and heralded the Mod generation.

You could be forgiven for thinking that this compilation draws its name from Don Randi’s rare popcorn-oddity “Oh Yeah!” (side 1, track 8). But in fact, it is inspired by the opening lines of Bobby Mitchell’s legendary New Orleans R&B dancer (side 1, track 1)…

“Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah! Yeah, I done got over it.”

Mitchell’s epic fire starter was recorded in 1960 for Sho-Biz Records and has waited almost 60 years to be fully recognized as a truly awesome slice of R&B propelled along by Dr John’s piano and Hungry Williams’ rhythm section with a price tag in access of $500!

The set continues with Chuck Scratch Nolen’s signature guitar on his Federal rarity “The Way You Do” and the compelling R&B roller “Pack Your Clothes” by Hamp Jones. Dorothy Berry & Jimmy Norman raise the pace with HB Barnum’s production on his own Little Star label while Carol Fran terrifies everyone with her raucous R&B thumper “Knock Knock”. BK Anderson, Frank Minion and Don Randi round off side 1 with three storming popcorn favourites.

Side 2 is equally uplifting and kicks off with the insanley rare “Honey Bee” by Bethlehem recording artist Lenny Johnson. Look out too for Larry Bene’s in demander “Come Back” and Tony Allan’s harmony rarity “Little Lonely Girl” recorded for Art Laboe’s Original Sound label.

Oh Yeah Indeed!…

Prince Phillip Mitchell / Lou Ragland

I'm So Happy / Since You Said You'd Be Mine

Prince Phillip Mitchell has been performing, writing and producing since the early sixties and even spent a little time with Alvin Cash’s backing group the Cash Registers. He wrote hits for Mel And Tim and Millie Jackson but is best known on the Northern Soul scene for his ‘Shout’ recording “Free For All” and our chosen side, the crossover soul anthem “I’m So Happy”. Lou Ragland shot to fame on the Northern Soul scene with his 4-figure rarity “I Travel Alone”, recorded for ‘Amy’ Records in May 1967. It was his home town buddy, Edwin Starr, that helped Ragland secure the deal and although a flop at the time it cemented his popularity in England. When Starr came to the UK in 1983 with his Ric-Tic Revue Ragland was invited along and, at last, got the recognition he deserved.

Pointer Sisters / Drifters

Send Him Back / You Got To Pay Your Dues

The Pointer Sisters first came to the attention of the Northern Soul scene when the shook the floor at the dawn of Wigan Casino All-Nighters with their storming Atlantic 45 “Send Him Back”. The group, sisters June, Ruth and Anita Pointer went on to fame and fortune with multiple Grammy’s when they switched to ‘Blue Thumb’ Records but nothing could touch the atmospheric “Send Him Back”, famously rerubbed by the mighty Pilooski. The Drifters need little introduction with their string of hits on both sides of the Atlantic. They’ve also enjoyed consistent plays on the rare soul scene including their fifties recording “Drip Drip” through to their late seventies UK rarity “Pour Your Little Heart Out”. But here we hear the pinnacle of their Northern Soul output “You Got To Pay Your Dues” featuring the late great Johnny Moore.

Soul Brothers Six / Willie Tee

I'll Be Loving You / Walkin' Up A One Way Street

The Soul Brothers Six hailed from Rochester, New York and have played a part on the Northern Soul scene for over 50 years. Their first recording, for Lyndell Records in 1966, is now a 3-figure rarity, but it is their debut disc for Atlantic, “I’ll Be Loving You”, that first graced the decks at the Twisted Wheel, The Pendulum et al and has become a perennial Northern Soul favourite. At the time of release it was the B-side to “Some kind Of Wonderful” which took the disc to No.91 on the R&B charts. Willie Tee has also been a familiar figure on the rare soul scene since the early Mod clubs with his archetypal New Orleans mid tempo soul sound. His early recordings on Gatur rank as some of the most collectable 45s to emanate from the Crescent City. Here we feature his club classic from 1964, the anthemic “Walkin’ Up A One Way Street”.

Frank Wilson

Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) / Sweeter As The Days Go By

Exactly 40 years ago the original copy of “Do I Love You” arrived on these shores and, for the first time the true identity of its author and performer was revealed. Today “Do I Love You” has transceneded the strange world of Northen Soul and has become enshrined in the wider public’s concsiousness due to mainstream radio play, TV advertising (most recently the ‘Happy Egg Co.’) and in 2017 an appearance on the country’s most popular TV show Strictly Come Dancing. Now you too can own a copy of “Do I Love You”…

THE No.1 Wigan Casino and Northern Soul anthem · THE most valuable record in the world · THE first ever legal reissue, outside of Motown · THE last record ever played at Wigan Casino. 

Robert Knight

Love On A Mountain Top / Everlasting Love

Robert Knight (born Robert Peebles) was originally a member of The Paramounts who signed to Dot Records in 1960. He scored a modest hit with “Free Me” before returning to University to complete his chemistry degree. In 1967 he signed to Buzz Cason’s Rising Sons label and cut “Everlasting Love”, a #13 Hot 100 hit. In the UK the pop group Love Affair took it to No.1 with their cover version the following year. “Love On A Mountain Top”, another Buzz Cason composition, was recorded in ’68 but failed to chart. However, via the explosion of the Northern Soul scene in late ’73 it shot to No.10 on the UK chart prompting a reissue of Everlasting Love” which broke the Top 20 in March ’74. Here, at last, over 40 years later we have both soul classics back-to-back!

All time Northern Soul Classic from The Torch and Wigan Casino Two fabulous sides

Trammps

Scrub-Board / Hold Back The Night

The Tramps are irresistibly listenable, B Side "Hold Back The Night" is easily the best feel-good song to sway to while simultaneously nodding your head to. When Moulton did the final mix of “Hold Back The Night” in New York he was instructed to slow it down, so much so that he was worried about the pitch of Ellis’ vocals. He needn’t have worried, it went on to become their biggest UK hit peaking at No.5, higher than their Saturday Night Fever epic “Disco Inferno” released just a year later. However, it was the instrumental version, “Scrub-Board” that caught the imagination of the Northern Soul scene becoming a forever floorfiller at the Blackpool Mecca and beyond. Both songs are perfect dancefloor fillers!



Little Richard

Poor Dog / A Little Bit Of Something

Little Richard needs “little” introduction the UK soul fan having enjoyed a string of Northern Soul collectables on Vee-Jay, Kent, Modern, Brunswick and, of course, Okeh. These two swinging Northern Soul classics are filled with all the nostalgia and groove to transport anyone back to the dancefloor. Both “Poor Dog” and “A Little Bit Of Something” have cult status having originally been spun on the embryonic Northern/Mod scene at the legendary Twisted Wheel club in Manchester. Wigan Casino DJ Dave Evison revived “Poor Dog” as a Mr M’s Oldie before taking it downstairs to the main ballroom where it cemented its ‘Hall Of Fame’ legacy.




This unique set brings together a treasure trove of R&B rarities enshrined by the $3,000 “Lookin’ For My Baby”, recorded by The Nightriders in 1959 for Juggy Murray’s Sue imprint. Murray had co-founded Sue Records two years earlier with fellow New Yorker Bobby Robinson whose Fire label provides us with the equally compelling “Keep A’Calling” by Paul Perryman (side 1, track 1), a snip at only $300! The set bursts into life with Vernon Harrell’s hot dance ticket “Slick Chick”, currently commanding a cool $400 on its original Lescay label. Northern Soul fans will be interested to know that Harrell co-wrote “Seven Days Too Long” with J R Bailey (aka Chuck Wood) and “Sweet Sweet Lovin’” for The Platters. Mike Robinson (“Lula”) also has a tenuous Northern Soul connection, he was originally in Bobby Thomas’ Vibranaires before joining the Orioles alongside the legendary Sonny Til. BOTH Earl King’s make the playlist: Earl “Connelly” with his hard “Every Whicha Kinda Way” and the New Orleans native Earl King with “Darling Honey Angel Child”, an early prototype of the standard “Come On”. Look out too for rare soul sweetheart Baby Washington, “Medicine Man”. A Collection to Treasure…
Over $6,000 worth of original vinyl now available - for the first time - on one collectable Long Play vinyl album

Mr Floods Party

Compared To What / Can't Turn Around Now

    “Compared To What” was an original composition by Gene McDaniels and was first recorded by jazz musician Les McCann on his 1966 album Les McCann Plays The Hits. It is a highly regarded Vietnam protest song and has been covered by over 270 artists. Mr Floods Party recorded and released their version in Detroit in 1970 on GM 714. It was released the following year in Europe on Ember (UK), Metronome (Germany) and Melody (Greece). The Northern Soul scene adopted it as a new release at The Torch all-nighters in Stoke-on-Trent but it gained its anthemic status a few years later at Wigan Casino. It was reissued in the UK, by popular demand, in 1975 on the Bulldog label but both of the UK releases use an alternate master that lacks the energy of the original ‘GM’ 45 featured here on our official 2017 edition. CAN’T TURN AROUND NOW – FORK IN THE ROAD (GM 712) A superb, reactivated, Wigan Casino oldie originally released on GM 712 in 1970. Little is known about Fork In The Road except that the quartet, from Detroit, were clearly inspired by the Four Tops but only managed one 45, although it did see a release in the U.K. on Ember and in a picture sleeve on German Vogue. The Ember release is the rarest and is now highly collectable.

    Torch and Wigan Casino anthem · Wigan VS Cleethorpes – two legendary venues – two legendary 45s

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Millie says: Bold northern soul tunes blaring out from this bigger than life seven inch. This is needed for all your foot tapping and hip swinging dance-floor moves.

    Cobblestone / The Moods

    Trick Me, Treat Me / Rainmaker

    Cobblestone “Trick Me, Treat Me” polarized opinion when it was launched onto the Northern Soul scene in the latter half of the Seventies by DJ Richard Searling. Whatever side of the cobblestone’s you were on, it captured the dance floor at Wigan Casino and became one of the biggest sounds of the decade. 40 years on and it’s still in demand, particularly with record dealers as it’s a sure-fire seller every time it’s listed – which is increasingly infrequent. “Trick Me, Treat Me” was co-written and produced by Reid Whitelaw who also gave us the brilliant “Love Is Serious Business” by Alfie Davison (also available from Outta Sight). The Moods “Rainmaker” was released in the same year as “Trick Me, Treat Me”, 1970, and was produced by Philly legend John Madara. The two sides are further connected by the aforementioned Reid Whitelaw who, today, administers the Madara catalogue, however, that’s where the similarities end.




    Porgy And The Monarchs

    Hey Girl / My Heart Cries For You

    PORGY WILLIAMS and his Monarchs recorded a handful of singles in the mid-sixties on almost as many labels. They made their debut in ’63 on Mala Records before moving to Musicor where they scored two singles: “That Girl” / “If It’s For Real Baby” and “My Heart Cries For You” / “Think Twice Before You Walk Away”. Produced by Teddy Randazzo, all four sides are excellent but incredibly didn’t see any chart action at the time. Fortunately all was not lost and, almost a decade later, “My Heart Cries For You” became a much cherished dance floor anthem in the U.K. Our topside “Hey Girl” was recorded in New York for Musicor but was not released until 1975 when, quite by accident, it was wrongly pressed as the B-side to a reissue of “My Heart”. Musicor, realising the error, withdraw the disc… UNTIL NOW!!!

    Billy Thompson / Clarence Reid

    Black Eyed Girl / I'm Your Yes Man

    BILLY THOMPSON’s solo outing “Black Eyed Girl” was pressed twice in 1965, on the local Boston label Columbus and for national distribution on Wand. Despite the quality of the song, written by Barry Richards and “Boston’s No.1 Soul Man” Herschel Dwellingham, it came to nothing, leaving once again the U.K. soul scene to come to the rescue.

    By contrast CLARENCE REID recorded a slue of 45s from 1963 to ’76 including our mega rarity “I’m Your Yes Man”, produced by Buddy Killen.

    • All time Northern Soul Classic - Two fabulous sides

    • Over £1,000 of original vinyl 


    “I stopped the music at the Mecca and made an announcement; ‘This is a very special record that I heard on the radio in Miami and it’s taken me 7 months to find it. You have to trust me, it’s not like your normal northern soul record, it’s got something special. Give it a chance and you’ll love it like I do. So, I played it and a few people danced to it. Within an hour I had over 100 requests to play it again and I played it 3 times that night. Inside two weeks it stood to epitomise the sound of Blackpool Mecca and paved the way for other, similar sounding records to follow.” - Ian Levine

    The record in question is, of course, our opening track “It Really Hurts Me Girl” by the Carstairs and the DJ that broke it and pioneered the changing sound of northern soul is Ian Levine. The “something special” that Ian refers to is the more sophisticated groove that marked the transition between the traditional sixties stompers, preferred at Wigan Casino, and the emerging disco beat. The “new sound” would divide the northern soul scene and fuel an intense rivalry between the two super clubs. The Mecca embraced the evolving funkier sound of the seventies breathing new life into an otherwise regressive and introverted soul scene. It finally closed its doors in late 1979 but, almost forty years on, the music sounds fresher than ever!


    Jimmy Radcliffe

    Long After Tonight Is All Over

      Jimmy Radcliffe is perhaps best known as the artist who closed, the now legendary, Saturday / Sunday Wigan Casino all-nighters. Shortly before 8am ever Sunday morning from 1973 to 1981 Radcliffe’s soulful tones would signal the end of proceedings and the start of the long journey home for thousands of soul pilgrims. But, “Long After Tonight Is All Over” was a familiar song years before Russ Winstanley added it to his three-before-eight, having reach No.40 in the UK charts back in 1965. Here Outta Sight feature the classic 1964 original plus the new-to-vinyl Italian language version.

      Radcliffe was an accomplished musician, songwriter and performer. He also wrote and performed over 200 jingles, most notably the 1969 Pontiac commercial “breakaway in a wide tracking Pontiac” which was extended by Steve Karmen and released as the northern soul 45 “Breakaway”. 


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Laura says: An absolute gem of a Northern Soul tune. Get your talc out and get practising those moves!

      Bob And Earl / Mel And Tim

      Harlem Shuffle / Backfield In Motion

      Bob and Earl have perhaps made more impact on the UK northern soul scene than any other duo or individual performer. During their respective careers they have recorded as Bob Relf, Bobby Garrett, Bobby Valentino, Earl Nelson and Jackie Lee. The duo wrote “Harlem Shuffle” in ’63 and it was arranged and produced by West Coast luminairies Barry White and Fred Smith. Mel And Tim were cousins and were signed to Mel’s mother’s label, Bamboo Records (managed by Gene Chandler), when they hit with “Backfield In Motion” in 1969. The disc went to No.3 R&B and No.10 Pop on the Billboard charts selling over one million copies. 

      Booker T &The MGs / The Mar-kets

      Green Onions / Balboa Blue

      Booker T & The MGs will be forever synonymous with the sound of Memphis soul, as defined by Stax Records for whom they were the house band. In 1962 they made it to No.1 in the R&B charts and peaked at No.3 in Billboards Hot 100 with “Green Onions”. The classic 12-bar blues anthem features Steve Cropper on a Fender Telecaster and Booker T Jones’ rippling Hammond M3 organ. It's the ultimate R&B / mod soul instrumental, and one of the most recognisable tracks ever.The Mar-Kets (later The Marketts) were a California instrumental surf band best remembered for their 1963 million-selling album 'Out Of Limits'. “Balboa Blue” features on their debut LP 'Surfer’s Stomp' and first appeared on the northern soul scene at Manchester’s Twisted Wheel club.

      Moments

      I've Got The Need / Nine Times

      Next in their northern soul 45s reissue series Outta Sight feature two all-time classics from the New Jersey trio, The Moments, aka Harry Ray, Al Goodman and William Brown. The top-side, “I've Got The Need” is an original album-only cut taken from their 1975 Sharp LP on Joe and Sylvia Robinsons Stang label. The song, a massive Blackpool Mecca spin at the time of release, also enjoyed popularity at Wigan Casino by Chuck Jackson and Cleethorpes by Spooky & Sue.

      The flip side is no slouch either. “Nine Times” from 1976 is a true club-classic with its unforgettable “telephone” intro calling you onto the dance floor. Both sides remain floor fillers today and are available for the first time back-to-back.

      James Walsh Gypsy Band

      Cuz It's You Girl / Bring Yourself Around

      Outta Sight are back with another six sides of northern soul featuring new-to-vinyl couplings and rarities. Their bargain-friendly series includes over £1,000 worth of original northern soul 45s for the price of a night out.

      On this third instalment of the latest batch of 45s we have The James Walsh Gypsy Band and the their crossover classic, “Cuz It’s You Girl”, which has become a firm favourite in northern soul rooms in recent times. It's flipped with the soul / jazz-funk crossover smash 'Bring Yourself Around' which has enough of the soft-rock about it to become an underground gem on the yacht-rock / Balearic scene as well.


      Candy & The Kisses

      The 81 / Bok To Bach

      OUTTA SIGHT PROUDLY PRESENT the Jerry Ross series.

      In the early sixties the girl group sound was dominated by maverick male producers: behind the Crystals was Phil Spector; the Shangri Las had Shadow Morton; the Chantels were steered by Ritchie Barrett and the Yum Yums, Sapphires and Candy & The Kisses were the protégés of Jerry Ross.

      Candy & The Kisses (originally known as the Symphonettes) reached no. 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 with their debut 45 “The 81” in 1965. Jerry recalls, “Kenny Gamble and I were at a record hop where the kids were doing a new dance called The 81 to Martha & The Vandellas ‘In My Lonely Room’. Kenny and I went back to my office and wrote the song there and then”.
      Father Angelo’s ‘Angels’, a 9-piece blue-eyed soul band with a self-contained horn section, were brought to Jerry via WAEB DJ Gene Kaye. Their anthem “Bok To Back” was recorded at Bell Sound Studios in 1967.

      Al Wilson

      The Snake / Show And Tell

      Outta Sight herald the new year with two fabulous floor-packers from the glory days of northern soul.

      Second on the list comes Al Wilson’s “The Snake”, perhaps THE most played northern soul oldie ever! It first came to prominence at Manchester's famed Twisted Wheel Club and is now embedded in the scene along with patches, talcum powder and baggy trousers. It has graced many a TV and film soundtrack and is currently on rotation in every TK Maxx store in the country. Love it, hate it, you can’t ignore it!

      Dobie Gray

      Out On The Floor / The 'In' Crowd

      Outta Sight herald the new year with two fabulous floor-packers from the glory days of Northern Soul.

      First up is Dobie Gray's “Out On The Floor”. This absolute classic has it all; the perfect lyric married to the perfect dance beat, and now made even better by having Dobie Gray’s perennial mod / soul anthem “The ‘In’ Crowd” on the flip side. These two icons of the scene are brought together for the first time… Northern soul heaven!

      Little Arthur Mathews / Willie Wright

      I'm Gonna Whale On You / I'm Gonna Leave You Baby, And I’m Goin’ Away To Stay

      Who needs the summer when the next three Outta Sight R&B collectables are as hot as these?

      The Northern end of R&B continues to pack the dancefloors across Europe and it is showcased - at its best - in these in-demand cuts. Six top tunes that would set you back a month’s wages if you’re lucky! All hard to find on their respective original labels which, incredibly, date from as early as 1952.

      On side A Little Arthur Mathews hooks up with the Johnny Otis Band for the horn honking skiffle-like cut "’m Gonna Whale On You". On the flip Willie Wright belts it out on rhythm & blues roller "I’m Gonna Leave You Baby, And I’m Goin’ Away To Stay".


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