UK black music collectors have revered the output of the
Modern and Kent labels from Los Angeles since the early days
of B.B. King, Ike & Tina Turner, and the Ikettes. Much of the
soul was crossed with R&B – witness the likes of Z.Z. Hill,
Vernon Garrett and Johnny Copeland. Garrett’s ‘Shine It On’
has become much in-demand in recent years along with Z.Z.
Hill’s cover of ‘Make Me Yours’ which was a UK-only 45 in the
60s. Larry Davis’ name was largely unknown until his ‘I’ve
Been Hurt So Many Times’ got Northern Soul plays in the 80s
Mel Williams’ storming ‘Can It Be Me’ is also on the tough side
– it has been a dancefloor-filler since its 'discovery' in the
early 70s; like Jimmy Bee’s manic ‘Wanting You’ it is taken
from recently found master tapes for even better clarity.
Access to the tapes revealed male duo Gene & Gary’s version
of the classic Danny Monday dancer ‘Baby Without You’ and
‘Get To Steppin’’, a Jackie Day track recorded in a very similar
vein to ‘Naughty Boy’, her Phelectron rarity. Johnny Copeland
made a great version of ‘No Puppy Love’ as released by Jackie
Paine on Jetstream, while the totally unknown Peggy Woods
contributed a classic soul-girl stomper on ‘Love Is Gonna Get
You’. The originally unreleased version of Wally Cox’s ‘This
Man’ was recorded before his 1970 Wand release, although
that actually sounds earlier.
Group soul comes from the Brilliant Korners’ rare and
collectable final Modern release ‘Three Lonely Guys’, while
Texas’ Other Brothers left ‘Nobody But Me’, their best
recording, on the tape shelf – it has grown continuously in
popularity since its 1995 debut. There’s a Mary Love classic
and a great Arthur Wright instrumental version of her ‘Lay This
Burden Down’ to round off a compelling compilation.
A vinyl-only release compiled and annotated by Ady Croasdell.