This time around I thought we would go back to August 1975 and a warm day in a Brighton Record shop when I bought the latest copy of Blues & Soul which was then one of the leading sources of information for soul fans in the UK. At this time, I was a student in Brighton on a restricted budget for spending on 45s!
Dave Godin was already a big influence on my collecting by August of '75 through his writings for Blues & Soul and Black Music. He had returned to writing for Blues & Soul earlier that year after a stint at Black Music and his column was usually split into various sections - commentary on soul music, Significant Sides, Five Years Ago and Run Out Groove.
In Issue 167, Dave invited in Colin Curtis to share his music with the readers of B&S and his thoughts on the scene at that time. Colin was then a leading DJ on the UK Northern Soul scene who had a weekly residency at the Blackpool Mecca with Ian Levine. Colin and Ian Levine were then embarking on a major cultural shift in the music played on the Northern scene with the introduction of new or recent releases which had a more modern beat or slower pace to the traditional Northern on the floor stompers.
I had already embraced this cultural change and was eager to hear or read about these new sounds especially because I was not able to travel up to Blackpool on a regular basis because of funds and distance.
Dave Godin reviewed 8 45s in that issue of Blues & Soul and talked with Colin about the cultural changes taking place on the Northern scene and illustrated it with these 8 sides.
Here is a list of the sides:
Lou Edwards & Today's People Talkin' About Poor Folks Columbia
The MVP's Turnin' My Heartbeat Up Buddah
Main Squeeze Let It All Come Roulette
Segments Of Time Memories Sussex
Joshie Jo Armstead I Got The Vibes Gospel Truth
Patsy Gallant Get That Ball UK CBS
Jesse Fisher You're Not Loving A Beginner Way Out
Kenny Smith Lord, What's Happening To Your People GAR
If you look back not all became big sounds - The MVP's went into history as the song played over the opening credits of the famous Granada TV programme about Wigan Casino; Lou Edwards and Kenny Smith were also massive 45s on the scene at the time though I would say that Kenny Smith has had the strongest longevity on the dancefloor. As for the others - Main Squeeze has a very tricky beat and I cannot recall hearing it in a club; Segments of Time was probably not rare enough; Joshie Jo Armstead is a cracker but was also quite common and as for Patsy Gallant she was a white Canadian pop singer and in the hallowed company of the other 7 sides sounds like one!
That leaves us with Jesse Fisher and his classic Cleveland recording which was my favourite. However, it simply wasn't rare enough to be big which is a pity because it is a good sound and the one I have chosen to feature below.
Jesse Fisher You're Not Loving A Beginner
After reading the article, I decided that I would get all the sounds mentioned as soon as possible! I had picked them all up by late 76 from a variety of sources - at the time the most expensive were MVPs, Lou Edwards and Kenny Smith. Originally, I had a multi-coloured copy of Jesse Fisher but later got the 1st issue as above.
Jesse Fisher is now a cult artist mainly because of his Sojamm 45 Honey - a lovely mid-tempo side and the colossal deep side I Can't Stop Loving You plus he has the funk classic on Way Out - Mr Super Nobody. There is some good stuff on the Net about Cleveland soul including bits on Jesse and the Way Out label
Have a look here:
Lou Ragland Remembers 2
Colin Curtis and Dave Godin continued after 1975 to influence my collecting but I can never forget the excitement of reading about the above sides and beginning the quest to get them!