3 Love Songs
G. L. Crockett Every Hour, Every Day (4 Brothers, 1964)
Alan Knight Chills (Tide, 196?)
Jay & the Techniques Stronger than Dirt (Smash, 1967)
For Valentine's Day, I give you three love songs. It should be no surprise that they are older R&B songs, for R&B is a genre heavy in love songs.
First off, you get a record that is reported to be in John Peel's record box, a small crate full of records that the great dejay cherrished. GL Crockett and the Chicago label, 4 Brothers, had a national hit with the song It's a Man Down There, a good bluesy rocker in the style of Jimmy Reed. However, as I've often written in these pages, it is the flipside that is the keeper. Every Hour, Every Day starts off with a nice sweet, almost hessitant guitar line and then it shuffles into a great groove and stays there. The guitar riffs, the backing vocals swing, and the piano plinks about. Half way through the song, the bass comes to the front. Crockett improvs over the whole thing. It is one of my favorite R&B songs, up there with Rosie & the Originals' Give Me Love and the Carter Brothers' Do the Flo Show, both songs which this resembles.
All I know of Alan Knight or his song Chills is that it came on the Los Angeles label, Tide, and sounds like it was influenced by my favorite soul singer, Little Willie John. Other than that I draw a blank. But before I move on to the third record, let me give a plug for Los Angeles R&B. I was in my favorite record store and the proprietor was playing a Flip Records comp and commented on how LA R&B doesn't get the props it deserves. That's all I want to say about that right now.
You should already know about Jay & the Techniques. This Allentown, Pennsylvania soul band had a big hit with Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie and later with Strawberry Shortcake. Did you know that the group was integrated? Only the lead vocalists Jay Proctor & Lucky Lloyd are Black. The rest of the band are White. Does this matter? Only if we want more proof that good music is color blind. Stronger than Dirt is the flipside to the hit Apple, Peaches... and is very easy to find. The 90s garage punk band The Mummies did a great version of it on their Never Been Caught LP.