Twenty years’ worth of elusive West Coast dancers, sweet soul ballads and all points in-between.
This is the second and final volume of our Doré Soul story. As with the first volume, it’s strong on harmony groups, uptempo dancers and quirky one-offs from the vivid imagination of label owner Lew Bedell. The tracks were cut at the best Los Angeles studios using arrangers of the calibre of Miles Grayson, Gene Page, Ernie Freeman and Jack Eskew. Bedell produced most of the recordings and wrote several too.
The rarest of the rare is Little Johnny Hamilton’s ‘Keep On Moving’ of which there is one known issue that resides in the Potteries. The same scenario applies to the Swans’ punchy ‘Nitty Gritty City’; just to finally see the label scans was a thrill. The Milton James disc is almost as rare and the beautiful flipside ballad ‘That’s What Love Will Do’ is on CD for the first time. It was re-recorded by the outfit when they became War in 1971.
Early 60s tracks by the Darlings and the Vows harken back to that classic vocal harmony sound Doré excelled at in the late 50s. By the mid-60s the label was enjoying success with the Superbs, Whispers and Entertainers IV in this field. That continued into the 70s when Bobby Swayne of the Superbs and Entertainers IV formed Natural Resources. Doré was home to one-off acts such as Dee Torres, the Puffs, Rambling Willie and Johnny Braff who produced fascinating black music, worthy of our attention. Eddie Kool, Eddie Williams and Bobby & Eddie were all variations of 50s veterans Bobby Day and Eddie Williams and their glorious attempts to hit the soul market. Toussaint McCall had moved to LA from New Orleans. His downbeat ‘From Saigon To San Francisco’ is reminiscent in mood to his big hit ‘Nothing Takes The Place Of You’.
Modern soul fans will enjoy Natural Resources and Gail Anderson’s scarce 1981 outing. Lovers of Northern Soul will dig the Superbs’ recently played rarity ‘Wind In My Sails’ as well as the tried and trusted tracks ‘What Did You Gain By That’ by Kenard and ‘Getting Back Into Circulation’ by the Entertainers IV; the latter is heard here in superior remixed quality with an improved EQ. The old Wigan favourite ‘We Together Baby’ by Smoky & the Bears sounds much better than when I first danced to it, while the Fidels ‘I’m Giving You Notice’ just epitomises that vibrant 1966 soul sound.