We are back with the NY connections again. I originally got involved with Red Kelly's Soul Detective blog when he was asking for help on the first case which was about Joe Haywood.
The other day, I was playing through some sides by Billy Hambric and there in front of me was another connection - Billy Hambric also did a version of "Talk To Me Baby" on Fury which was also recorded by Joe for Enjoy. When we were putting the blog entries together for Joe this version completely slipped my mind until I played the 45.
Nothing is known of Billy except his recordings as was the case before we started digging into Joe's repetoire!!! Perhaps Billy is another candidate for a case on Soul Detective? I have read that he was an albino and that is all we seem to know and that he worked with a number of key NY players such as Luther Dixon and Bobby Robinson.His voice is across between Chuck Jackson, Tommy Hunt with a bit of Lou Johnson thrown in - all good NY singers. He has had a couple of sides notably played on the Northern Soul scene which were even issued in the UK back in the 70's on the 1st Grapevine label.
Derek Pearson did do a short piece including a discography back in Shades Of Soul 18 in the 90's and with the exception of one additional 45 turning up the information cannot be expanded. Perhaps Red Kelly could speak to Bobby Robinson about Billy and find out something?
Here is the discography as published by Derek Pearson:-
Jovial 730/731 Just Can't Take It No More/Someone To Love
Lee 5001/Soho 5001 New York City Baby/I Sure Can't Stand It
Fury 5000 Human/Talk To Me Baby
Fury 5005 Flaming Mamie/You're A Sweetheart
Fury 5006 This Is My Prayer/Everybody Needs Love
Pyramid 101 I Gotta Find That Girl/I Need Your Love So Bad
Drum 1204 I Found A True Love/She Said Goodbye
(This was Billy's biggie on the Northern scene and issued in UK on Grapevine 139 in 1979)
Ducan 1601 Just Have A Little Faith/All About Carrol
Since the above was published I have found out that there is at least one other 45 by Billy:-
Brecht ? She's Gone/?
I stumbled on this only the other day on a tape from Sir Shambling so I will contact him for more details.
Maybe, I can twist Red Kelly's arm and get him to do an in-depth feature on Billy over on Soul Detective!!!!!
Back to the featured 45 at the top of the post - "New York City Baby" is an evocative early NY side which fizzs along in a style reminiscent of some of Chuck Jackson's up tempo sides.