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ISSUE 10:

When I first heard Barry White singing “All In The Run Of A Day” it was just after he’d hit the big time with his Love Unlimited productions and was dominating the charts in the mid 70s. From Punk street kid to musical maestro, his contribution to soul on the West Coast encompasses the development from the RnB/Doo Wop influences of the late 50s right through to the almost disco like sound of the early 70s. In this issue we scrape back the veneer of his 70s outings and take a look at his formative years of the sixties. A true talent both in front of the mike and behind the mixing desk.

By the time subscribers open the cover of this Issue, the impending arrival in UK of Mr. Bobby Patterson will be occupying many minds as the Prestatyn Weekender approaches. We welcome to the pages of There’s That Beat! John Smith, long time collector and bio writer for the Midnight Hour Events who takes a fascinating look at some of the output of the Texan born soulster. Famed in UK for his Jet Star outings there’s much more to the man than just this labels output as John lets us know.

In the last Issue we investigated the French and Spanish issues of Rare Soul, concentrating on the pic sleeve products of the sixties. Well that feature should have included the Motown company’s contribution too but due to the bereavement of four Detroit superstars we postponed it until now. So here in all its full glossy glory is a tribute to the picture sleeves issued in France by Berry Gordy’s Motown empire.

As is usual in There’s That Beat! we like the unusual and in this issue we bring you the story of Philco Hip Pocket Records. In an effort to gain a place in the phonograph market Ford Motor company entered the fray with the production of a miniature record player! We bring you the soul product that was released as a ploy to get US fans to put their hands in their pockets and embrace the format. They didn’t and the company gave it up a couple of years later. The discs are becoming collectable as novelties and the machines are about as scarce as a Thomas Edison Mk1!

A rather special venue that has attracted the attention of soul fans/record collectors over the past year is also featured in this issue. The guys at “Dig Deeper” in NY have set the US soul scene alight with their fantastic monthly event which features live acts mainly consisting of our long forgotten heroes and heroines. Jason brings us the lowdown on what is rapidly becoming a must attend club for fans on both sides of the Atlantic!

Finally we bring you up to date with the Diary Of A Travelling Soulie… where we take you inside a couple of soul clubs worth a visit, one in the UK and one on the Continent. If you think you have a club we would enjoy visiting….give us a call, we’re on the road most months.


 



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ISSUE 9:

Unfortunately this issue starts by paying tribute to four of the soul world’s most iconic figures who in the space of a couple of months threw off their mortal coils and passed on. All four of them will need no lengthy introduction to readers of this particular magazine as I’ll guarantee their names are of the household variety as far as readers are concerned. It was felt that their contribution to the music was of such significance that their passing should be recorded within our pages and the legacy of their lives can be found here as we remember, Norman Whitfield, Richard “Popcorn” Wylie, Levi Stubbs and Andrew “Mike” Terry. Gone, but certainly never forgotten.

The Unifics are a group that doesn’t get a lot of dancefloor action, but just put a needle to any one of their records and you’ve got quality soul harmony. Jason takes a look at the entire career of the Unifics past and present, as well as an entire feature about the solo projects of their lead singer, Al Johnson. This is the first time their careers have been documented in great detail.

Lou Johnson is an artist at the top of many soul fans’ list of singers they would love to see perform live. We hope that can happen but until it does, Pete Burns delivers the story of this remarkable vocalist from his early days as a youngster in Brooklyn, NY right through his days working with giants Burt Bacharach and Hal David, his first appearances in Britain on the TV show Ready Steady Go and brings us up to date with Lou’s discography.

The European Soul scene has flourished in the past decade or so producing many events that continue to grow in stature. Lots of soul 45s were released in Continental Europe, many of them in beautifully crafted picture sleeves. We thought it time that we showed this segment of the soul record collecting World in all its glory. There are some great pic sleeves featured and some of the releases beg the questions How? Why? For instance how did Leroy Taylor’s wonderful (but commercially disastrous), Oh Linda end up with a fantastic picture sleeve that could be purchased in Spain for a few pasetas? It’s a fascinating slice of the collectors world that TTB will be returning to, in order to expand the series to include many other countries releases to add to the Spanish and French ones contained in this first look at the subject. This piece was intended to include the Motown releases of the era also but, to make room for the tribute to our four departed heroes it was decided to feature the Motown releases in the next issue.

Our Philadelphia resident Hitsviller Mr. Weldon A McDougall III reports on the latest additions to the city’s Walk of Fame inductees that include a number of “our” favourite people, some of whom have featured within these pages already. Weldon has a habit of getting his camera right at the center of any action and we appreciate him taking the time to contribute.

The 4th Hitsville Soul Weekender took place in Spain in September and we record the frivolities as well as report on some of the music and 45s that saw their spotlight on the club’s Technics this year.


 



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ISSUE 8:

Strange things happen when you edit a magazine… Bev (Styrene 45) was contacted by a lady in South Carolina with reference to a song/record that had been featured on our sister website www.hitsvillesoulclub.com. It transpires that she worked with one Pat Watson (Nee Cox). We now know the whearabouts and can update you on yet another lost group of soulsters…the rest of the story can be found within the pages of this issue.

In our quest to investigate the catalogue of Berry Gordy’s stable of labels we have reached the point where the title of the label gives you an inkling of the content of it’s A&R roster, I’m referring of course to the Soul imprint. Sometimes overlooked in favour of the BIG three of Gordy’s logos, there are a number of hidden gems, on both 45 and LPs that deserve their time in the spotlight and we oblige accordingly. From the dancefloor clasics of The Gladys Knight and The Velvelettes, right through to the 70s outings of Jr Walker, it’s a journey with many stops along the way to visit the artists and producers that put the “Sound” into The Sound Of Young America.

Jimmy Radcliffe’s “Long After Tonight Is All Over” is an instantly recognized track that will always have a special place in the heats of rare soul fans due to it’s association with Wigan Casino’s Three before Eight. Although a fantastic song sung by a fantastic singer it’s not the only legacy that Mr Radcliffe left us. His repertiore as a songwriter, producer, arranger and vocalist may surprise a few. In this issue, we are pleased to welcome his son Chris to our pages, as he invites us into his father’s musical world and introduces us to the myriad of songs and artists his father influenced, recorded and with whom he created some of the most soulful songs ever committed to wax.

The City of Philadelphia gave birth to many people who would contribute much to world of music, both black and white. The city would spawn icons of music spanning the heydays of DooWop, through the Rock N Roll years and eventually find favour with soulfans across the world. One of these icons is the subject of the latest feature in TTB! in which we endeavour to bring you the stories of the creators of the music we all love and share. Mr Jerry Ross, a native of Philly, tells the story of his meandering journey through the musical cauldron that was the City Of Brotherly Love. From early beginnings on the nationwide smash hit TV show American Bandstand, to the mellow mid tempo tones of Virgil Henry, Jerry tells his own story, in his own words, of his involvement with some of rare soul most treasured recordings.

It would seem that this issue has gone all European! We review a number of European gigs including Prestatyn’s Midnight Hour Weekender, The King’s N Queen’s Weekender in Hamburg and Spain’s Gonna Be A Big Thing Weekender in Valencia. With travel now so much easier around the continent people are looking further afield in their hunt for a good soul event and we hope to let you know the ins and outs of these gigs and what they offer musically.

For many soul fans the city of Detroit was the hub of a network of musicians that created the sounds of soul that spread to UK and beyond back in the day. For one soul fan it became more than that. Carl Dixon tells There’s That Beat! of his journey from soul fan to songwriter/record producer in D-Town. A lifelong ambition that I’m sure will resonate with many a reader . We’ll be keeping an eye on Carl’s fortunes as he makes his way through the quagmire of the business whilst maintaining the production values of the golden age of soul
.


 



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ISSUE 7:

You may remember that in a previous issue I mentioned I’d bumped into Rev Bobby Fulton whilst on a record hunting/allnighter trip to Pittsburgh. Well, it’s taken me a while but inside this issue we finally bring you the whole story of the Soulville and Jaywalking record labels, through the words and pictures of Bobby Fulton himself. The Soulville Allstars, Donald Lee Richardson and others have filled dancefloors for the past three decades but there’s much more to the labels than just these two acts. The rich tapestry of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and the closely knit group of musical enthusiasts who created the labels makes for fascinating reading.

Another story that we bring you is told through the eyes of one of the main players in what many soul buffs regard as the very first soul supergroup, The Vibrations. Within this issue, we take you on the group’s journey from their early days at school in California, through the bustling musical era of NY doowop, stopping off at Philadelphia via the Windy City for a period of soul before returning to the West Coast–all through the eyes of Mr. Carl Fisher, one of the mainstays and creative force behind the group. From dance-craze quirky songs, through slick, soulful ballads on Okeh and raucous stompers with Gamble and Huff, the Vibrations danced and sang their way to soul superstardom through the early sixties. Constantly gracing the stages of such legendary venues as NY’s Apollo and the Uptown Theater in Philadelphia, the group laid the foundations for those who followed.

The name of George Kerr will be familiar to most readers of There’s That Beat! As part of The Serenaders alongside Timothy Wilson and Sidney Barnes, he set out on his musical life in the NY JoBeTe offices and was later responsible for many of the records that went on to become dancefloor classics. We take a quick look at the list of artists he worked with, including The O’Jays, Linda Jones, Troy Keyes, The Mamselles and The Persians to name just a few. His musical track record shows the esteem in which he was and still is held by soul fans worldwide. In this issue, we welcome Daniel Forsthoff, a US collector and fan of Mr Kerr’s, to the pages of the magazine as he takes a look at his work with these and many other artists within his portfolio.

On a sadder note, Jason Thornton marks yet another passing of a legendary soul location. Bobby Robinson, the owner of Fire and Fury record labels amongst others, has finally had to close the famous record store in Harlem known as Bobby’s Happy House. The corporate world that has moved into Harlem has deemed there is no room for what is an important landmark in the city (Bobby’s Record Store was the first black-owned business on 125th Street), and despite protests from local supporters, the store has finally succumbed to “progress”. We pay tribute to Bobby and his lifelong association with music and records and use the pages of There’s That Beat! to salute this 91 year old soul hero who is still determined to forge ahead.

In the ongoing exploration of Berry Gordy’s empire, we take a look at a rather unusual and often overlooked slice of “Motown” as we bring you all the Topps company produced Cardboard Discs that Gordy commissioned in 1967. Now sought after for their vibrant colorful pictures, we show you every single one of them, all in fantastic color, just how it should be.







ISSUE 6:

There are a number of groups whose journey along the decades are peppered with quality classics recorded in different cities and released on a series of different labels. The Dynamics is one such group. From their early beginnings as individuals in the playgrounds of Detroit, the members would eventually gravitate to each other and form one of the truly great soul groups of the era. Mr. Fred "Sonny" Baker guides Jason Thornton through the groups experiences on such legendary labels as Big Top, Top Ten, Wingate and others. A great story about a great set of soulsters whose lives intertwined with many of Detroit's musical luminaries.

With the loss of Willie Tee earlier in the year, the heart of the Crescent City was once again burdened with grief. Often described as the heartbeat of New Orleans, Mr. Wilson Turbinton’s musical legacy will remain revered amongst soul fans worldwide for many years to come. In this issue, Colin Dilnot takes us on a celebratory tour of Willie’s discography, 45 by 45. It’s a fantastic journey with stop-offs at many classic records along the way.

The city of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, has long been a mecca for Rare Soul fans. With legendary studios like Cameo/Parkway, Virtue, Sigma Sound and Philly International Records pumping out classic record after classic record, the city’s musical heritage, soulwise at least, has long been assured. We take you behind the scenes of the more famous locations that were responsible for recording and mastering many of the city’s Rare/Northern Soul classics and meet a few of the people responsible for them.

Live shows in the US with iconic Rare Soul stars are few and far between. But when they happen...they sure happen! With stars like Billy Paul, The Impressions, Gene Chandler and the Iceman himself singing "Moody Woman", attendance is a no brainer! We review the day that Chi Town came to Florida! From both the center seats and backstage.

In the third of four part of the series celebrating Berry Gordy’s empire, the Tamla label is under the microscope. From the early days of Anna Records and Gordy’s collaborative period with Billy Davis, the idea of an independently owned label for his song-writing talents slowly developed until finally the dream came true. TAMLA.


 

ISSUE 5:

The West Coast of America produced many legendary records on A-list legendary labels. In this issue we take a look at one of them that produced dance floor classics that continue to stand the test of time. The Warner Brothers subsidiary was home to the likes of Linda Jones, The Apollas, Lorraine Ellison, and The Soul Shakers to name but a few. With producers of the caliber of Jerry Ragovoy, George Kerr and others, the label was assured that even though it’s lifespan was short, it’s legacy would live on.

Many ‘stars’ of the Rare/Northern Soul world have not seen as much time in the mainstream spotlight as their talents deserve and in this issue Colin Dilnot highlights someone who many fans may have not been aware has contributed so much to the genre. With a resume that includes such quality records recorded by Towanda Barnes, Sam Williams and The Adventurers to name but three, the work of Mr. Johnny Brantley is at last celebrated center stage.

The Dynovoice label of Bob Crewe bridged the genres of 60s music in a way that many labels tried and failed. From the dance orientated blue eyed soul of The Beach Girls to the slick well defined soul sound of The Invitations, the label has left it’s unique imprint on the psyche of soul fa ns everywhere. We welcome to the pages of There’s That Beat! Leonardo Flores, long time fan and director of the movie Young Birds Fly! (www.myspace.com/youngbirdsfly) As he takes us on a tour of the legendary label and the people who created it.

In this, the second of a four part series, There’s That Beat! Takes an investigative look at the label that bore Berry Gordy’s family name. We showcase the Rare/Northern Soul favorites on the label along with the artists and writers/producers that created the music that led to the success of the label and the creation of Gordy’s maxim "It’s What’s In The Groove That Counts!"



ISSUE 4:  FIRST ANNIVERSARY ISSUE

The names Dyno Dynamic and Harthon have led to many a record collector buying a 45 on the strength of the label credits alone. The Philadelphia based Harthon company have filled dance floors and record boxes for 40 years and we bring you the story of the guys who made the music. Johnny Stiles, Luther Randolph and Weldon A. McDougal III tell their full story for the first time. From their first meeting as young musical wannabes to the sessions in Frank Virtue's studio creating such classics as Herb Ward - Strange Change, Cooperettes - Shing A Ling and Larry Clinton - She's Wanted.

The sheer size of Berry Gordy's Motown company's Rare/Northern soul output alone could fill a whole year's worth of issues. Therefore we decided to break it down into "episodes". The first one featured on Page looks at the input on the Motown label itself. From the massive hits of The Four Tops and Supremes, to the wonderful classics that sank without trace for whatever reasons.

Although Soul is primarily a US based art form, there is a species of collector who experiences the same thrill when finding a UK issued 45 that has been eluding him as much as a Don Gardner eludes most US collectors! In this Issue we welcome Neil Rushton to our pages as he takes an investigative look at Rare/Northern soul on UK labels, including the ones never released in the US.

Detroit soul has many icons. As the late 50s slipped away and many young musicians were graduating High Schools around the city, they were galvanized into bands and groups that would emerge on a plethora of record labels. One of these musicians, who's reputation within soul fans circles would reach the status of "legend", is Mr Andrew "Mike" Terry. Jason Thornton brings us an in depth look at the man's contribution, which extends much further than his signature saxophone skills, to the musical world of Detroit and beyond. From Motown's "Snakepit" through Pied Piper and spanning 3 decades, Mike tells it as is he lived it. Fantastic stuff!

A couple of venue reviews up this issue too. One either side of the pond. The visit to The Midnight Hour Prestatyn Event in March was a great success and a weekend crate digging in Pittsburgh including the first Allnighter in the Steel City is also reviewed. So..hopefully something of interest for everyone...

 


ISSUE 3:

In our third issue, Motown collector Barry Simpson digs out some of the earliest Motown singles and investigates some of the first releases on what have become known over the years as "The Motown Pinks."

Pittsburgh seems like an unlikely mecca of soul music, but Jason shows us that amongst those hills and rivers, there lies a treasure trove of great records from all walks of life. In this article, you’ll learn about some of the well-known artists and not so well-knowns from the area.

Also in this issue Rob Moss celebrates the life and legacy of one of Detroit’s finest soul voices. The late Mr. Emanuel Laskey’s work ranks up alongside the very best that the Motorcity ever produced and Rob’s story provides an insight into the man and his music.

We take a look at Bankhouse Books and how a number soul personalities have realized that their fans are interested in their stories and are finally getting their recollections out there. Most of the books we review are written by the people involved themselves and are must buys simply for the vintage pictures of the era alone.

There’s That Beat! brings the expertise of one of the world’s best exponents of the craft to it’s pages as Dave Ferguson introduces us to the talents of an industry icon ...Jimmy "The Wiz" Wisner, whose resume reads like a who’s who of musical royalty, from industry icons like Tony Bennet, to the soulful tones of The Tymes.

Pied Piper Productions was a "Tour de Force" of artists, writers, producers and musicians, has captivated dancers and collectors alike since the early days of Rare Soul. We welcome Eddie Hubbard to the pages of There’s That Beat! as he takes an in-depth look at the people and artists behind the famous name and the glorious records that are their legacy.

 

ISSUE 2:

Inside this issue, you'll find the story of Harry Balk and John Rhys, as they provide an insight to the people and events that resulted in Impact Records of Detroit—from the early days, through to the Inferno Records catalogue. A great journey that typifies the aspirations of so many labels of the era in D-Town.

Van McCoy has been forever synonymous with soul music and not many soul stars can match his contribution. Chris Lalor takes a look at the man, his life, his music and pays tribute to one of the few people who wear the mantle of "legendary" in complete comfort.

Rare Soul collecting by the Californian based low rider/ Latin/ Chicano genre is often overlooked. Tommy Potts, an Anglo exile in LA, investigates one of the icons of this particular style of soul...Thee Midnighters.

Rob Moss brings us the story of a group of musicians that have long been admired by collectors but whose existence has been sadly "under the radar" for far too long. The Just Brothers played on many legendary records and Rob brings them to life for us at long last.

The search for obscure 45s has been the driving force of Rare Northern Soul collectors. Record execs, artists, producers, etc. must have all had faith in the ones featured within "The Little Records That Could" as the feature is concerned with 45s that saw the light of day on more than one label, sometimes half a country away!

Also included, is "Poncho's Porch" selections from well known collector Barrie Waddington. Barrie's also put sound files on his website so if you wanna take a listen to his selections you can....cool!

Finally, we have a quick look back at major events with the Hitsville Soul Club in 2006. Web sites, weekenders, allnighters... It was nothing but rare soul from coast to coast this year. Have a look and see what kind of year it’s been for us!

 


ISSUE 1:

In the pages the first issue of "There's That Beat!" you'll find features relating the story of Joe Evans, the man behind the Carnival & Chadwick record labels. This is a fascinating story of the late saxophonist, turned record producer based in Trenton New Jersey. With records by The Topics, The Pets, Phil Terrell and of course the Manhattans. Joe's label is often strangely overlooked in the hunt for quality soul.

The Revilot record label owned by LeBaron Taylor will be no stranger to Rare/Northern Soul fans. We take a look at the Revilot catalogue and an insight into Mr. Taylor's along with his fellow producer Don Davis', contribution to some the greatest soul recordings to come out of the Motorcity's golden era.

With the Donovan Building in Detroit being recently demolished Rob Moss relates the loss of another Detroit building with iconic qualifications. Golden World Studios, Studio B, on West Davison has been torn down. Rob celebrates some of the music produced by the revered facility and the people involved.

The catalogue of Jackie Wilson is under the microscope in this inaugural issue. As well as the more famous outings by Mr. Excitement, we take a look at some of his lesser know sides and delve into his LP outings for some buried Northern tracks that deserve to see the light of day too.