Superb 60s Soul Sounds

11th January 2016

Title: Superb 60s Soul Sounds

Label: Kent

Music historians describe Bob Shad as, “A short, stocky, beetle-browed man with a bullish air, Shad was at once a musician, a technician and an astute businessman.”

An ideal individual, therefore, to run a record label or, indeed, several record labels as his list that included Castle, Spirituals, Jade, Jackson, Jax, Harlem and, indeed, Brent, proves.

“I started producing R&B records right after the war,” he said. “The majors were neglecting R&B and any independent who could get pressings made had no problems selling.”

Shad was working for Mercury when he started the Warner record label which he then sold to Warner Bros. Pockets full of cash, he left Mercury and started his own labels: Shad, Time and Brent in 1959.

Shad filled his roster with pop-oriented tracks but entered the growing world of soul in 1962 with the signing on June Jackson who appears on this CD with The Jackals on a song called Port Of Happiness.

There are also a couple of interesting tracks licensed from the murky world of Correc-Tone that was run by the numbers racketeer, Wilbert Golden. Signing a deal with Golden, Shad took both Laura Johnson’s Wondering If You Miss Me (Johnson was a Correc-Tone staff member) and Marva Josie’s Later For You Baby. Both of which appear on this CD.

Arriving with an interesting background was Varetta Dillard who teamed up with a mystery male backing outfit to become Varetta & the Thomases singing Fly By Night. This would be Dillard’s only secular release. She would join her husband’s gospel group, the Tri-Odds soon after. Varetta Dillard suffered from a physical disability and could only walk with crutches, yet her voice soared free from any encumbrances.

A CD that will provide many delightful new discoveries for soul fans.