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This musical journey through the fifties into mid-sixties threw up some surprises. The upbeat “Love Is Such A Good Thing” from The Convairs kicks off this compilation devoted to Al Sears’ New York City record labels. And no two tracks are alike. For example, Gene Burks’ “Take My Hand” almost verges on country/western, while Tutti Hill’s “When The Going Gets Rough” chugs along at a medium pace. Hints of “Harlem Shuffle” can be heard in Gary & Gary’s “I’m Leavin’ (For Parts Unknown)”, and Van McCoy’s penned “I Really Love You” by The Diplomats is a rare treasure. Likewise Van’s own “It Ain’t No Big Thing”. And I have a real soft spot for the passionate “This Is My Prayer” delivered by an extremely dedicated Theola Kilgore. The track is dramatic and wholesome, written/produced by Ed Townsend, as is Sinner Strong’s “Nobody But Me”, although the latter is more ballsy. Also, Garrett Saunders’ “Easier Said Than Done” is the better of his two tracks here, the other being “I Keep Comin’ Back For More”. A really pleasurable trip indeed and I’d have thought this compilation to be a journey most serious collectors would take.

Rating: 8

About the Writer
Sharon Davis ran the Four Tops fan club before spearheading Motown Ad Astra, catering for all the Motown acts, where she edited the in-house magazine TCB. Was publicist for Fantasy, Stax and Salsoul before joining Motown Records in London. Formed her own press/promotion company Eyes & Ears, worked for Blues & Soul magazine and website, and became a full time author and researcher. To date Sharon has written eleven books (her last A Girl Called Dusty published by Carlton Books) and she’s working on her next - Divas Of Motown. As a researcher, Sharon assisted Diana Ross with her autobiography Secrets Of A Sparrow, and is now in constant demand for her knowledge about Motown and its artists.



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