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Simon White


My Top 10

If I could only listen to ten records for the rest of my life they'd all be by Little Richard really but in the interest of sanity and reality, they might be these ten. 

1. Lucille - Little Richard - Specialty
2. I Don't Know What You've Got But It's Got Me - Little Richard - Vee Jay
3. Was That All It Was - Jean Carn – PIR
4. I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself - Cissy Houston – Janus
5. Everything I Own - Ken Boothe – Trojan
6. I Don't Wanna Leave You - Debbie Taylor – Arista
7. She Put The Hurt On Me - Trade Martin - Stallion
8. California Montage - Young Holt Unlimited – Brunswick
9. Comin Home Baby - The Soulful Strings – Chess
10. Take A Chance On Me - Anisteen Allen - Capitol

A huge fan of the work of Little Richard since I was four years old, discovering Richard's 60's recordings on Okeh led me to the strange world of Northern Soul. As a keen Disco bunny in the 70's with one eye on Jazz - Funk and Boogie, it became obvious that I wasn't going to make a living as a music journalist or as a glamour photographer (ah, the memories....) so I concentrated on running my newsagent shop where customers could hear the likes of Buster and Eddie, Esquerita, John Davis and The Monster Orchestra, Jackie Lee and Mirwood, Motown, Debbie Taylor, Jean Carn, The Charades and Pookie Hudson while they got their fags, which of course means cigarettes in the UK .... eighteen months of four a.m. starts were more than enough though and I took up work landscape gardening and loved it — when it didn't rain. 

The eighties were spent ducking and diving (mainly ducking)and deejaying at venues like Crazy Larry's, the newly opened Groucho Club and at various parties for that crowd until raves and warehouse parties took over and I lost interest . Life got in the way again until 1991 when I worked for a year with Ian Levine in the dying days of his mammoth Motorcity project, meeting and working with heroes and heroines like Saundra Edwards of The Elgins, Vermettya Royster of The Sisters Love, JJ Barnes, Pat Lewis, Gladys Horton, The Contours, Martha Reeves, Marv Johnson, Brenda Reid, Edwin Starr, The Trammps and Harold Melvin amongst others. 

In 2001, I was asked to put on my DJ clothes on again for the first time in a few years for the main room at the Metropolitan Soul Rocket All Nighters and I played the very first record, Joy Lovejoy's In Orbit (just who IS she?) After a phenomenal first night the Metropolitan Soul All Nighters lasted for just over a year before finally collapsing in a heap of controversy. Running concurrently, I hosted The Metropolitan Soul Show alternately with Paul Clarke on Soul 24/7 and then solo on Starpoint Radio for four years and compiled On The Real Side and Flying High under the collective banner of "The Modern End Of Northern Soul" and the now collectable Lee Moses CD "Time And Place, and worked with Phil Chapman on the reconstruction/remix of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" for The Ashford and Simpson Songbook - the first ever time it had been remixed. 

I still write the monthly Metropolitan Soul column (can you see the pattern here?) for Manifesto magazine and I keep my deejay hand in when the mood takes me. I am so lucky and I owe all this to people who don't know how grateful I am. Now I find myself working for the coolest record company in the world and they have pictures of Little Richard on the wall, so what more could I ask for? 

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