The more I delve into the vaults of vintage soul, the more previously unheard gems I unearth. I guess that goes without saying. Like this classic example, a tune that’s better than many of the similar soul singles that packed the charts in the Sixties and Seventies.
The Hamilton Movement – named after their hometown in Ohio – might not the greatest name for mass appeal but, somewhat surprisingly, there was an English group of the same name in the mid-Sixties.
Originally called The Reaction, the London lot were contemporaries of The Who and recorded a couple of decent Mod singles, both cover versions – I Won’t See You Tonight and future Bananarama hit Really Sayin’ Something – featuring lead singer Gary Laub (who changed his name to Gary Hamilton to fit in with the new band name).
Their American counterparts arrived a little later and came from Hamilton, Ohio, which sounds like a no-brainer in hindsight – though they had moved to Indianapolis by the time they released this tune in 1976.
The singer on this song is a fellow called King Solomon Prather, and the band members include Melvin Brown and James Matthews from another group I’ve never heard of, the rather fabulously named Movin’ Groovin’ Soothin’ & Stone Funk Band, plus Tyrone Caldwell and Richard Mitchell.
This killer cut, with a galloping rhythm and passionate vocal that earned it cult status on the Northern Soul circuit, was written by Dick Melvin, the boss of their label Look-Out.
As far as I can tell the highlight of their career was a gig supporting BB King when he came to Indiana on tour, and they split up in the mid-Eighties, having released just enough singles to be gathered on a Best Of compilation on that local label.