This has to be one of the most impassioned vocals of all time, Nelson Sanders’s sobbing, heartfelt interpretation of the song title – I’m Lonely.

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I don’t think I ever heard the name Levi Stubbs until Billy Bragg wrote and sang a song in the mid-Eighties called Levi Stubbs’ Tears. Even then I doubt I realised who he was.

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Not just a deep cut – this psych-garage gem is positively subterranean. And I’m only posting it for the title. It’s rubbish, of course, but I’m intrigued by what little I know of the perpetrators, The Driving Stupid.

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How great is this soul ballad?! That organ! Those vocals! You can just picture a disco at the end of the night in the late Sixties with young men awkwardly trying to smooch embarrassed girls on the dance floor as the DJ drops this tune.

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Earl Van Dyke was never a household name but he was one of the key figures in the success of Motown in the Sixties.

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The Tonettes – No Tears

27th January 2023 · 1960s, 1962, Music, Soul

I first heard The Tonettes on a vast box set anthology of Stax/Volt singles… though they were called The Charmels at that point. This was their first single – and the second to come out on Volt in early 1962.

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The Undisputed Truth were Norman Whitfield’s Motown laboratory for his psychedelic soul constructions, testing out songs that would end up with The Temptations. This was their only hit.

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James Brown – The Bells

25th January 2023 · 1960, 1960s, Music, Soul

When it comes to emotionally intense vocal performances, you don’t need to look much further than James Brown singing The Bells.

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This should be terrible. It’s a cover of a rock’n’roll standard by a one-hit-wonder known only for a novelty song half a century ago.

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There are few aural pleasures greater than accidentally stumbling across an old song you used to love that had somehow slipped from your memory. That’s what happened this weekend when I found an album comprising the early recordings of Kimmie Rhodes.

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