Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Frank Elson - Checkin' It Out Northern Soul Column (April)

Frank Elson - Checkin' It Out @bluesandsoul.com
Frank Elson - Checkin' It Out @bluesandsoul.com

It must be 25 years or more since I last met Paul âEddyâ Edmondson, from Kendal. In fact, the last time we met we were fly-fishing for trout. The fact that we had been coarse fishing together and sea-fishing shows that, not only were we friends outside of the Soul scene, but also that we don't like to be pinned down to any one style of fishing. The same goes for Soul music. Whilst I am mainly a Northern Soul fan, with feelers out into all facets of our wonderful music, Eddy always said that he was not a Northern Soul jock, but just played Soul for dancing to.

The fact that the Isley's Harvest To The World was one of the crowd's favourites in Kendal shows that, I think.

The Ley Inn, at Leyland, has been growing in popularity, with Eddy and Steve Plumb (now, where have we heard that name before?) running the decks, with various guests popping in. And the night's banner adverts which read âQuality crossover and 70's Soul anthems, played lovingly from original vinylâ gives us another clue.

I'm sure that the politicians of the scene will argue for and against, and will no doubt come up with more names and labels but I'm just writing about âDancing Soulâ so they can please themselves really. All I will say is that the music I heard that night was excellent â think up your own labels.

Steve was playing when I arrived so the standouts, for me, included: David Ruffin, Rowed By The Place Where We used to Stay; Larry Houston, Let's Spend Some Time Together; Oscar Perry, I Got What You Need; The Rance Allen Group, I Know a Man Who, The Epics, Let's get Together; Darrell Banks, I'm The One Who Loves You.

Some solidly smooth tunes there. Since coming back to the scene I have been mainly immersing myself in known oldies... I'm pleased to say that every track I heard off Steve was new to me!

Unfolding my piece of paper I next come to Matty Sherlock, a Yorkshireman building up a damn fine name for himself... and no wonder with the quality of music he plays. Let's try The Impressions, Potent Love, this track features Leroy Hutson singing lead and is from the first album the Impressions made, Times Have Changed in 1972 after Curtis Mayfield left; Patterson Twins, I Need Your Love; Jay Dee I Can't Let You Go... Matty played this from a white label album and told me that Jay Dee is, in fact, Jackie Lee (yes, âThe Duckâ man and Earl Nelson â his real name - of Bob and Earl Harlem Shuffle fame), wants a release this; Darrow Fletcher, It's No Mistake; Joseph Webster, My Love Is So Strong. Living In The Footsteps of Another Man; Jerry Butler, High Stepper; Modulations, I Can't Fight Your Love; Prince Philip Mitchell, One On One; Ace Spectrum, Don't Send Nobody Else; R.B. Hudmon, Holdin' On.

And, last, but by no means least (I don't think his wife, Shirley, remembered me!) Eddy Edmondson's playlist included: Ronnie Dyson, Lady In Red; Grover Mitchell, What Hurts (hee hee, I wrote Groover, now that's a freudian slip if ever there was one 'cos this guy grooves...); Darrow Fletcher, âIt's No Mistake; Stevens and Foster, I Want To Be Love; Special Delivery, This Kind of Love; The Invitations, Look On The Good Side.

As I said on the top, âQuality Crossoverâ... some extremely nice danceable anthems were played at the Ley Inn. The guys must be doing something right as the place was heaving and the dancefloor was full most of the time.

If you want to hear some more of the stuff these guys play then Eddy's website address is http://www.soultime.org.uk/

One of the features on this site is embarrassing photographs... I was pleased to see that the one of me from the 1970s, with no shirt on, holding the world's smallest perch (a fish, what did you think it was?) is NOT on there!

You can also find Eddy on www.solarradio.com, Sunday evenings, 8pm-10pm.

* One of the great features of Facebook (don't mention the awful Timeline) is that we can post links from Youtube. Always lots of great memories â and newies of course â but one that popped up the other day was one of my all time favourite's: Felice Taylor I Feel Love Coming On.

Produced by Barry White this record should be completely wrong, with a strange vocal, too much backing... yet it all works sooooo good. In fact, many years ago, in the old days, I made up a cassette tape loop of just this one song so I could play it over and over, and over... and over... again in my car.

The other oddity about this track, that actually reached number 11 in the UK pop charts on President in 1967, is that I regularly find Northern fans who have never heard of it. If you're one, then look it up... absolutely top choon!

* What with deadlines and such this piece may be out of date by the time you read it, but there is a campaign in Manchester to stop the Twisted Wheel building being demolished - along with the whole block â to make space for a new hotel. In case there is still time you can find the petition here:
http://www.change.org/petitions/manchester-city-council-save-legends-nightclub

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