On a recent trip to Memphis I spent some time talking with Linda Lucchesi, the custodian of her late father’s music catalogue. We talked about Memphis in the 1960s, prompted by a picture of her as teenager with pianist Bobby Wood during his short period as a Bobby Vinton-style singing star. She related stories of seeing garage bands and soul acts around town and of hearing Barbara & the Browns up close and in person. It sparked a lifelong love of music which sees her involved to this day searching out new talent as well as working on our reissues of XL and Sounds Of Memphis material. In recent years Linda has found many unissued recordings, which have formed the foundation of our “Lost Soul gems” series.
The recordings featured on this latest volume, made between 1964 and 1974, show the development of soul inMemphis. Sad to say, the tracks by Barbara Brown and William Bollinger are probably their last to be uncovered. They are joined by three cuts by Rudolph Taylor, a man who only ever released one single when he was an active artist. There are also previously undiscovered numbers by George Jackson and Dan Greer, as well as new finds from Vision and the Jacksonians, who have graced our compilations several times before. Marjorie Ingram opens the comp with the sister-funk dancer ‘Tempted’ from her Dan Greer-produced session at Sounds Of Memphis Studios. My favourites of the unreleased 70s tracks are those by Fran Farley and the gospel soul of Donald O’Connor, who I hope will also feature on future volumes.
Of the previously released sides, Tommy Raye’s version of ‘You Don’t Love Me’ was the first single on XL, while that song’s writer Willie Cobbs’ ‘Hey Little Girl’ was an early 70s 45 and the little-known Carroll Taylor’s version of ‘A Great Big Thing’ is a prime example of 1960s Memphis soul.
By Dean Rudland