Saturday, May 26, 2007

Capitol City Soul

Dennis Brennan has been selling soul 45s Stateside for a number of years and has now issued a wonderful CD of vintage soul from the Harrisburg area.

Here are the CD notes:

With the emergence of The “Motown” sound in the early sixties, thousands of wanna be soul groups emerged across the U.S. Not to be left out, Central Pennsylvania also gave birth to many of these bands and groups who wanted to emulate the new Detroit sound.Although many of these bands never made a recording that was released, many were equally as good as those who had recorded such as the El Dantes, and the Thundering Centuries!

Not mentioned in this CD are many outstanding soul bands, The Emperor’s, The Magnificent Men, The Ambassadors, The Endells, The Exciting Invictas and The Mastermen, whom all made records in the sixties and seventies, were all from the area.

Most of these bands flocked to larger metropolitan areas such as Philadelphia and New York to record their songs with the likes of the legendary Frank Virtue Studios in Philly!

Because of our friends the British, most of these recordings have become collector’s items, falling into the category of “Northern Soul”. Central Pennsylvania had it’s own studio also in the Mechanicsburg area, know as Baldwin Studios, where many local bands have recorded their tunes. Most of the groups frequented local fire halls, VFW’s, American Legions and high school dances and Hershey’s Starlight Ballroom to hone their skills and of course to make a few dollars which many times ended up paying for stage clothes and equipment. In the mid sixties the “Raven” emerged as the premier location for this type of entertainment. Located in the farmland outside of Harrisburg, surrounded by cow pastures, this dance hall became the foremost place for entertainment as well as showcasing each group’s talents from the area! The weekly entertainment always consisted of a headline act such as the Impressions, The O' Jays, Vibrations or The Temptations with a local group always opening the shows. Due to the success of the Raven, many copycat clubs opening in the area and all had brief success – The Sunny Club, The Barn and many more.

The CD…23 titles and 12 different artists…
Rarest of the rare – The Tranells … “Blessed with a love” on the top of the list for northern soul collectors.
The Soul Exotics……. nearly as rare as the Tranells … “Baby it’s true” and “Darlin”.
Equally rare … Peter & The Wolfs “Monkey Time”
Very collectable “Del-Chontays” …. “Baby I love you” on the Steeltown label.
The Shan-dells ….. Harrisburg rock/soul band with the very collectable “I’ve got to love her” on the local Bridge Society label.
Harrisburg’s own Del-Cords… "A little misunderstanding” (a cover of The Contours on Gordy) and “Won’t you let me know”.
York’s Soul Clinic … “No one loves me anymore” and “So sharp” on Baltimore's Bay Sound imprint.
Emperor’s Soul ’69 …. The very collectable “Sad girl” and “Bring out yourself”.
Middletown’s Intentions ……. “Don’t forget that I love you” on the Philips label along with 2 featured un-issued tracks from Virtue studios, “Honest I do” and “It’s got to be love".
The Soulsations with Twila Howard …. “Here comes the pain” on the Ste-Al label.
The Soulville All-Stars, a favorite of the Brits….. “Nobody to blame”, “Won’t you please be my girl”, "Nothing in this world matters” and “I’m gonna get to you”.
And Lancaster’s Georgie Wilson ….. “Here stands the man who needs you” and "Everything will be fine” and a special addition, the unreleased G.L.& Vesters - "If she’s your girl”.

Although my friends in the Harrisburg area may be asking themselves why didn’t you include this song or that song into this CD, my intention was to create a group of recordings that were the favorites of Northern Soul collectors and my Central Pa. friends. If all goes well, Volume 2 will be forthcoming.

A special note….. This labor of love is dedicated to the late Georgie Wilson, who has recently passed away.

This CD has been a lot of work (3 years) but very rewarding. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have producing it, with the help of many friends and associates along the way.

You can buy the CD direct from Dennis Brennan - please support him - the George Wilson tracks alone are worth the monies!!!!

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