Money records issued some fine, fine music on nearly 50 singles over twenty two years in a variety of musical styles showcased in this second volume (of a planned threesome).
Money first operated between 1954 to '57 by John and Ruth Dolphin, who also ran the two famous Dolphins Of Hollywood record shops in South Central Los Angeles. John Dolphin was shot dead in 1958 but Ruth and Dolphins of Hollywood storefront DJ Alton “AC” Scott revived the label in the mid 60s, up until 1968 when it closed down again. It restarted in '72 for two more years before closing again. It revived for one final year in 1976. Add to that the other labels Ruth and Al ran at the time: Ten Star, Utopia and Call Me... did I say this was easy?
So wadda we have here?
We have tracks including Can’t Say No from the wonderfully named M-Ms & the Peanuts (sometimes there was just one Peanut sometimes more), Strange Things Are Happening To Me and That Old Neighborhood from Eric Williams (it’s 95% likely it’s him…these were found on a master tape with his two released sides) recorded at Gold Star studios and Ted Walters’ Should I Take A Chanc. All will stun you and until now they’ve remained unreleased. The raid on the tape vaults also yielded some other great uncredited tracks like the fabby Too Late Now (the unknown group has been dubbed the Mysteries).
The first three tracks that open the CD will interest the Northern Soul crowd. But there’s plenty here for the ballad lovers, the R&B lovers and lovers of soul music in general.
We have names like Arthur Lee Maye with his… err… pounding 1958 (but sounds later) release Pounding; Henry Strogin’s Ten Star release, the fantastic Chicago-styled beater Love Insurance; and Eddie and Tommy “Buster” Williams’ soulful I Love My Baby from 1966. All of these are tied together with Ruth and John Dolphin by their doo wop roots via the Crowns, the Larks and the Hollywood Flames. That group harmony legacy is there for all to hear, especially on strong ballads like Toni and The Showmen’s version of Jessie Belvin’s great Beware and the Question Marks own Ain’t That Kinda Sad.
Add to all that the inclusion of Bettye Swann's unreleased album version of the groovy and understated The Dance Is Over with its single-tracked lead vocal and backing singers (different to the one on her own compilation “The Money Recordings” CDKEND 197 ) plus her in-demand 45 The Man Who Said No; an elusive single from the Larks entitled The Ducks which is not a version of Can You Do The Duck but a different song entirely. But listen to the group’s Lost My Love Yesterday for a bit of understated Uptown soul pizzicato drama! Crossover styled, Delilah Moore’s Wrapped Up Tight and Pat Livingston’s You Bet I Would both come from 1973 and are great mellow dance soul sides, Bobby Angelle’s unreleased dancer I’m A Soldier Boy and his Living A Lie are delights and Hank Jacobs and the TKO’s Tam-A-Rind is a Function At The Junction-styled piano and organ instrumental. Did I say the music on this comp was diverse? The CD covers a wad of soul styles from doo wop to dance and every one has been carefully selected to blend into a collection that runs smoothly through from beginning to end without a hitch. As they say, Money talks. Me I’m off to get me some Love Insurance.
by Simon White