A special tribute to Northern Soul
I was looking for background on singer James Fountain from Atlanta, Georgia who in 1976 had a minor hit with a track Cee Lo Green could have scribbled, “Seven Day Lover,” and found nothing but empty space across the Internet other than William Bell produced for his small independent label, Cream.
Frustrated, I dug deeper until I discover Fountain made an impact in Northern England when Northern Soul was rocking nightclubs during the late sixties to mid 70s’- like Blackpool Mecca, Golden Torch, Catacombs, Wigan Casino – up in the English Midlands, Scotland and Wales. Fountain didn’t have a clue this was happening for him and was invited back in 2007 before he passed on.
“Seven Day Lover” became a collectors dream selling in the mid 70’s for L500, a world record for a 7” single. The real buzz for me is how a region locked in on a specific sound and built a fashion industry and happening music scene around obscure artists such as Fountain.
Motown played a small part setting things in action but it was all about one-shot artists and that one-time sound. Most artists had name changes to suit the label masters and most came from small regional operations such as Ric-Tic and Golden World out of Detroit, Mirwood in Los Angeles, Shout and Okeh in New York and Chicago. The beauty in this – you can still find the person in the music as if they have never exited the planet.
With this in mind, the Rhythm Express couldn’t resist sinking their teeth into this rarely heard gem of a song. The melody required some of that soul testimonial Southern Baptist hard edge “shout and strut.” With singer Michael Dunston close by and a native of North Carolina and a big voice in the Express collective, this came naturally. Michael was brought up on Wilson Pickett, Otis and Sam & Dave.
released January 31, 2016
The usual culprits supplied backing rhythm: Shane ‘Shaky J’ Forrest guitars/recording engineer, Everton “Pablo” Paul drums/executive producer – Jesse “Dubmatix” King bass/cover graphics - Bill King – producer/arranger/adapted/keyboards – Bobby Hsu tenor and alto sax and Alexander Brown trumpet.
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