Bob Shad ran several record labels between the late 50s and the mid-70s, Brent being the one he chose to issue the majority of his 60s soul output. He made good contacts around the USA while working for Mercury and used them when he launched his labels. The CD opens with a soul opus by Dave Crawford, who became a kingpin of the Miami soul sound in the 70s; ‘Millionaire’ featured on both decks of promo versions of the 45, but store copies with ‘Praying For The Rain To Come’ on the other side have never been seen, or heard until now. In 1967 Crawford worked with the Lovells whose ‘Here Come The Heartaches’ was an early Northern Soul scene hit. He also took Linda Lyndell to Stax after recording her on ‘Pretty Boy’ and ‘My Man, He’s A Loving Man’ for Brent, both previously unreleased. The Sunshine State was also the origin of the Moovers’ vocal group nuggets ‘I Love You, Baby’ and ‘One Little Dance’, as well as the haunting ‘I Need You, Baby’ by Lewis Clark.
Mike Lenaburg of Phoenix ,Arizona had two productions released on Brent, of which Ronnie White’s pleading ballad ‘Begging You’ was the label’s swansong. Also included is White’s fast and funky ‘Got To Give You Up’, unissued until recently. Shad released music from any area that was happening and was one of the first to venture into Detroit soul, before it had really exploded. Releases from Marva Josie and Laura Johnson came from the Correc-Tone studios; they are highly sought-after records, exceptionally well-written, produced and sung.
Los Angeles was a major source of material for the label. Singer-songwriter June Jackson cut two sides with his group the Jackaels. The mid-tempo big beat ballad ‘Port Of Happiness’ is as good a find of this genre as has been unearthed in the last decade. Jackson wrote ‘Oh My Angel’ for Bertha Tillman, who closes this CD with an unissued ballad. Brenton Wood recorded four sides for Brent. For the first time in stereo we present ‘Cross The Bridge’ and ‘I Want Love’. Clarence Hill’s in-demand ‘A Lot Of Lovin’ Goin’ Round’ and Carl Lester & the Show Stoppers’ ‘Don’t You Know That I Believe’ are alsoLos Angelesrecordings.
Shad’s home base wasNew York, from where two unissued dance tracks by jazz singer Jeannie Trevor emanate. ‘Tinklin’ Bells’ is a forceful version of the Johnny Payne popcorn classic and ‘You Did It Before’ is a similarly strident big city production. Both were co-written by Rose Marie McCoy, who also penned ‘Fly By Night’, recorded by Varetta & the Thomases, and Clyde Wilson’s unreleased big beat ballad ‘Go To Him’.
By Ady Croasdell