Thursday, December 07, 2006

Helene Smith Wrong Or Right He's My Baby Deep City

I have actually posted up an audio file of the A-side of Sure Thing - the gorgeous deep side "Wrong Or Right He's My Baby". I knew a few 45's by the lady but it took my mate Nick Sands to inform that there was an album on Deep City. The album must rank as one the hardest 60's soul albums to find.

This track was probably recorded circa 1967 at the Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida backed by the house band The Rocketeers led by Frank Wiiliams. You can read all about the Deep City label in the notes to the superb CD issued by Eccentric Soul dedicated to the label.

I didn't get much info off Clarence Reid about Helen when I interviewed him. She was married to Johnny Pearsall who owned the Deep City label and she had previously worked in his record shop in Liberty City.

The Eccentric Soul CD notes intriguingly hints that there was an intense rivalry between Helene and the young Betty Wright who also recorded for Deep City. It is a shame that Helene's talents disappeared from view when the label went under and her whereabouts are unknown.


  1. Hi Colin,

    I really love your blogs. So much great information, sound clips, label images - I'm in soul heaven!! I especially enjoy the Helene Smith clip. Who is the uncredited group behind her? And is she the same Helene Smith who sang "Like A Baby" on the Phil-La of Soul label?

    :) Nikki

  2. Hi Nikki

    Thanks for dropping by! I am pleased you are enjoying the blog - makes such a difference now that I have added audio so I can share the music!

    Yes it is the same Helene - Johnny Pearsall was able to strike a distribution deal with Jamie who owned Phil-La Of Soul. I am not sure who the backing vocals are?? Perhaps the girl singer from Frank Williams Rocketeers or Jeanette and Betty Wright or another young singer called Freda Gray.

    I did extract a lot of info from Clarence Reid but it was one of the most challenging interviews I have ever conducted because Clarence loves going from his alter ego Blowfly to Clarence but he is as sharp a 70 year old that you are ever likely to meet!!! I just need to transcribe all the info so there may be more facts in there about Deep City.

    The best collection of Deep City is the Eccentric Soul collection but it doesn't have all the Helene Smith cuts!