Arthur Prysock’s career began in the 1940s and spanned almost 50 years. He recorded hundreds of sides, first as a singer with the Buddy Johnson band and later as a solo artist. His name is well known to soul and jazz lovers, yet his catalogue has been mostly unavailable in the CD era. Ace help rectify that situation with “Too Late Baby”, a collection of his singles on Old Town Records between 1958 and 1966. The CD shows he was not daunted by any changes in popular music and was more than capable of meeting them head on.
Arthur enjoyed two tenures with Old Town. The first embraced the end of the rock’n’roll years and carried on into the golden age of soul. The second, in the mid-70s, brought him unexpected success with disco-flavoured hits such as ‘When Love Is New’. Although ‘It’s Too Late, Baby Too Late’ was his only hit of substance during his first spell at the label, he recorded many fine songs by contemporary R&B writers such as Bert Berns, Robert Mosely and Rose Marie McCoy, while top-flight arrangers Charlie Calello, Joe Rene, Herb Bernstein and Mort Garson were employed to ensure he was presented as the class act label boss Hy Weiss always believed him to be. Apart from a couple of vinyl reissues of his Old Town albums and a 1967 “Best Of”, most of his catalogue for the label has been unavailable for over 40 years.
In the course of this set you’ll hear R&B (‘I Just Want To Make Love To You’ and ‘Good Rockin’ Tonight’), easy listening balladry (‘Ebb Tide’ and ‘Pianissimo’), contemporary soul (the ‘Twist And Shout’-alike ‘One More Time’), the original of the oft-recorded ‘My Special Prayer’ and much more besides. Arthur’s first recording of what many consider to be his career song, ‘I Worry About You’, is also here, along with the title track, a Top 10 R&B and Top 40 Pop hit in 1965. These and 17 other tracks, most making their CD debut here, show why Arthur’s peers held him in such high esteem.
By Tony Rounce