In the last two decades, Little Ann’s music has gone from
being almost unheard to celebrated widely across the world.
Initially known only as a footnote for having one side of one
Ric-Tic single in 1968, the discovery and playing of her acetate
of ‘What Should I Do’ at Wigan Casino in the late 70s meant her
name become important to rare soul fans (when it was
revealed that Little Ann was the real singer of the song
erroneously attributed to Rose Valentine at the time).
Once Ace Records acquired Dave Hamilton’s Detroit studio
tapes, through the auspices of researcher Richard Gilbert,
more previously unheard gems came to light and eventually
there were found to be nine songs recorded in 1967 and 1968
with Dave and his partner Darrell Goolsby. The dancers ‘Who
Are You Trying To Fool’, ‘Sweep It Out In The Shed’ and ‘Lean
Lanky Daddy’, proved to be perfect additions for the Northern
Soul dance scene, while ‘I Gotta Have You’ and ‘Possession’
wowed the funk crowd, and the beauty of ‘Deep Shadows’ got
through to every type of soul fan.
In 2009 Finnish label Timmion Records licensed a vinyl LP of
the nine songs from Ace which was well received by soul
collectors around the globe, especially in the USA. Since then
more tape research has revealed a noticeably alternate take of
‘Who Are You Trying To Fool’, ‘I Gotta Have You’ with added
backing vocals, and a cleaner version of ‘What Should I Do’.
For this LP we were able to access Ann’s only other known
recordings, which she cut under her real name of Ann
Bridgeforth in Canada in 1972 and 1973.
Her self-penned ‘That’s All I Want From You’ is right up there
with ‘Deep Shadows’ as a truly great ballad. Ann’s cousin
provided us with a great colour shot of her from her high
school days and the artwork and presentation of the album
makes it a desirable object on many levels.