“This Old Town”: Where Love is the Prevailing Order

In Wilson Pickett’s town, universal respect for the humanity common to us all allows for an enlightened self-governance to rule the day.

This track from Pickett’s 1970 Atlantic album, Right On, was never to appear on a 45, which is a shame, since I think it’s a classic.

Wilson Pickett LP

The people in this town ain’t got no faces – they just got love between the races.

The people in this town don’t do no cryin’ – don’t have to rob and steal for survivin’.

The heart that should be speaking out just won’t stay silent – and everybody knows that no man is an island.

I saw a father and his son walking down the street – they walked hand in hand, what a beautiful sight to see (that makes me know)

The people in this town don’t need no soldiers – they don’t go around looking over their shoulders.

Everyone’s going around shaking hands, loving everybody and their fellow man – ain’t got no room for aggravation, what they love is communication.

Now open up your heart to harmony – give a little love, it will set you free.

You don’t have to go round searching for this town – right in your heart is where it’s found.

Song written by William Stevenson, Don Covay & Wilson Pickett.                Produced by Jerry Wexler & Tom Dowd.

Musicianship provided by The Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section=

Roger Hawkins:   drums

David Hood:          bass

Eddie Hinton:       lead guitar

Jimmy Johnson:    rhythm guitar

Barry Beckett:    keyboards

Backing vocals:   Cissy Houston, Judy Clay, Jackie Vercell & Jerome Gasper

 

“Don’t Mess With Cupid”: A Mostly B-Side

Interesting that web discographies consistently list “Don’t Mess with Cupid” as the B-side of Otis Redding’s “My Lover’s Prayer” single from July 1966 (on both sides of the Atlantic) – but then this rare Atco picture sleeve shows “Cupid” to be the A-sideDon't Mess with Cupid 45 - Otis Redding

Song written by Steve Cropper, Eddie Floyd and Deanie Parker.- included on 1968’s posthumous Otis Redding Volt/Atco LP, The Dock of the Bay.

“Proud Woman”: Unrequited Love’s Soulful Side

Shelby Singleton was someone who dared to be a little different from the rest of what Nashville was turning out in the late 60s and early 70s.  Singleton’s Plantation Records label enjoyed a great reputation for offbeat, funny tunes and wry social commentary, including early efforts by David Allan Coe, as well as Jimmie Dale Gilmore & the Flatlanders, whose 1973 debut recording was – intriguingly – released solely on 8-track.

Johnny Adams joined forces with Singleton in 1968 and, over the course of 3 years, proceeded to release a string of 11 singles on Shelby’s SSS International label, as well as one album, Heart & Soul, that included some great songs – such as this 1969 A-side single release, “Proud Woman“:

“Proud Woman”     Johnny Adams     1969

According to the indispensable Both Sides Now Publications website:

In 1968, Singleton signed Johnny Adams, a soul singer with a remarkable voice. Adams had had a minor hit for the New Orleans-based RIC label in 1962 (“A Losing Battle” [6/62, #27 R&B]), but had been having trouble getting on the national charts since. A New Orleans native, Adams had started out as a gospel singer, but eventually brought his voice and soaring falsetto to secular music, first with RIC and then with Wardell Quezergue’s Watch label. It was for Watch that he recorded a country song, “Release Me,” but it had little success until he signed with Singleton and reissued it on the SSS International label [SSS International 750]. This time, it reached #34 R&B and #82 pop when issued at the end of 1968.  For a followup, he tried another country song, “Reconsider Me” [SSS International 770], with Shelby Singleton producing and Adams going through an amazing vocal workout which reached #8 R&B and #28 pop. It proved to be Adams’ biggest hit. Two more minor hits followed, after which Adams left the label, only to fall into relative national obscurity again.  At home in New Orleans, he performed for years at clubs until his death in 1998 in Baton Rouge.

 

Johnny Adams - Heart & SoulThanks to the equally indispensable Soulful Kinda Music online discography for the following info about Johnny Adams’ SSS singles output – interesting to see that the B-side of “Proud Woman” ended up being the A-side of his next single:

SSS International 750 – Release Me / You Made A New Man Out Of Me – 1968
SSS International 770 – Reconsider Me / If I Could See You One More Time – 1969
SSS International 780 – I Can’t be All Bad /   In A Moment Of Weakness – 1969
SSS International 787 – Proud Woman / Real Live Livin’ Hurtin’ Man – 1969
SSS International 797 – Real Live Hurtin’ Man / Georgia Morning Dew – 1970
SSS International 809 – I Won’t Cry / I Want To Walk Through This Life w/ You – 1970
SSS International 831 – South Side Of Soul Street / Something Worth Leaving – 1970
SSS International 865 – Too Much Pride / I Don’t Worry Myself – 1971
SSS International 867 – Kiss The Hurt Away / Something Worth Leaving For – 71
SSS International 870 – Born To Love You / You’re A Bad Habit Baby – 1971
SSS International 873 – Just Call Me Darling / How Can I Prove I Love You – 1971