Monday, December 25, 2006

Little Mack Simmons

Little Mack Utrecht Blues Estafette 1998

My introduction to Mack Simmons was actually on the dancefloor of the Ritz Ballroom in Manchester in 1976, when his new PM 45, a cover version of Tyrone Davis's "Turning Point", was spun for the first time.

I only saw him perform once in Holland before he died but I was knocked out by his performance though, unknown to us in the audience, he was already very ill. He had much more power in his voice than I could have anticipated besides having a captivating stage manner which probably underlined his ability to command attention having played a dominant role back in his community in Chicago.

I did actually gather a lot of notes and material for an article which I was going to publish in the now defunct "Love Music Review" magazine run by my old friend Andy Love. The article would have joined a series I had written on other Chicago artists including Nate Evans, Donny Mann, Syl Johnson and Jackie Ross.

Mack in early 70's

For many years, very little was known about Mack and it wasn't until his resurgence as a solo artist in the mid 90's with the releases on the Canadian label Electro-Fi that he was interviewed and we found out more of his story. Electro-Fi also issued a collection of 45s from his label PM.

My biggest regret was not taking the opportunity to try and interview him while he was in Europe in 1997 but sadly he died before I could fufill that chance.

The above short reminiscenses were prompted by coming across a video of him on You Tube while drinking a few snifters towards the end of Christmas day - You Tube is better than TV!!!! Here is Little Mack with Little Scotty and "another"!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment