The Soul Goes On
Jerry Butler The Soul Goes On LP (Mercury, 1968)
I think that this is the most accessible thing I've ever posted. At least it might be the easiest to obtain. But I am posting it nonetheless, because after years of having a thrifted copy, one beat to shit, I scored a much cleaner one. Besides, Jerry Butler is one of my top ten soul singers of all time and this record is a classic.
Like most folks, I first heard Jerry Bulter sing with the Impressions, a group that should need no introduction. However the first time I put a name to his voice was when I dug up a 45 of I Stand Accused. A perfect R&B ballad if there ever was, I Stand Accused had me tracking down not only everything by Jerry Butler but ever version of the song. Eventually I found a copy of The Soul Goes On and was reacquainted with a song I heard many times as a kid during couples skate at King's Skate Country, on Bradshaw in suburban Sacramento. Whenever I hear Never Give You Up (or Al Green's Tra La La) I am taken back to pre-teen me working up the nerve to ask some cute girl if she would hold my hand as we skated around the rink during couple's skate. I believe I batted .500 in those days, though not too difficult to do when you overcome your fear of rejection a total of 4 times! (The only other song that brings up a strong memory is T-Rex's Bang a Gong, a song that transports me to the back seat of my dad's Opel, rolling out of the parking lot of the Rosemont Cabana Club, hot air blowing through the windows, my dad whistling along with the song, tapping out the rhythm on the steering wheel.) Never Give You Up also reminds me of hanging out at William Land Park as a teen, watching the lowriders cruise by, old dowop and Sixties/Seventies soul pouring out their windows. It is perfect summer music.