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MILLIE JACKSON JANUARY 1972 INTERVIEW
MILLIE Jackson has had one of the most meaningful songs of 1971 in her current hit, "A Child Of God (It's hard To Believe)". Not only is it a deeply moving lyric, but Millie handles it so well that it adds a new dimension to the actual message. The content of the latter is that Millie considers some of the people in her neighbourhood and she explains their faults and that 'it's hard to believe that they are children of God', which is in itself adequate food for thought.

The song was brought to her by Don French, who had already got the first verse and the basis of the tune. Millie added further lyrics and generally dressed the song up until it was ready for a demonstration recording, which Millie then took to Spring Records via Ray Godfrey, a close friend of Joe Simon and a Spring artist in his own right. The company was generally impressed and authorised Ray to re-cut the record — presumably, he is the Raeford Gerald credited with production and co-writers on the 'B' side — and this was done in New York last autumn with the record being released straight away. The public's immediate reaction was spontaneous and within days the record was showing on local charts and soon was climbing both the R&B singles chart — where it finally attained the No. 11 spot — before also entering the pop Hot 100 for a brief while.

Millie was born Mildred Jackson in Thompson, near Augusta, Georgia, on July 15, 1944. She now lives in New York's Brooklyn, where she is married to one Mr Davis, who also is the leader and organist with her group, the Family Affair. "No, we didn't take the name from Sly's hit", Millie hastened to point out. "We really are a family affair because my two brothers-in-law are also in the group, on bass and guitar with my husband on organ. Only the drummer isn't in the family."

Singing has been a way of life for Millie for several years although she is still only singing part-time — "at weekends and whenever I can get suitable work" — and plans to still concentrate on being a housewife until she really hits the top. Her only other record was "A Little Bit Of Something" which was released on MGM about a year and a half back although it didn't achieve any real measure of success. Over the years she has also written some worthwhile songs although only one has been recorded to date and that was "The Surprise Was On Me", which local New York man, Max Romo recorded on Sue some years back.

Her immediate plans include a new single, "Ask Me What You Want", which she also co-wrote, along with Billy Nichols this time. She is also in the process of working on her first album which should be completed within the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, her "Child Of God" is due for British birth during this month and on Mojo, the resident label now of Doris Duke, another female talent in a similar mould. Certainly, British Soul lovers are bound to make the natural comparison, not so much in vocal style or even similarity but rather in actual simple Soul. In all honesty, we don't anticipate Britain accepting the record as the true gem it is but it will be satisfying if only the few hundred genuine Soul people accept it and praise it.


  
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