Week 5: Gems
I want to thank everybody for all the thank-you’s, the input and the outpouring of love that has been flooding in since my last post. It has been a tremendous response and has encouraged the snot out of us all! Danke, danke, danke! And now, on with the show – with a great share from LP2!
Ruby Stackhouse, was born March 12, 1947, in Hollandale, Mississippi. This Chicago R&B singer made her reputation in 1967 with her one crossover hit, “Casanova (Your Playing Days Are Over)’, which went to number 9 in the R&B charts and number 51 in the pop charts. The song, co-written and produced by Joshie Jo Armstead, featured a typical Chicago-style mid-tempo lope, but was recorded and arranged by Mike Terry in Detroit. Most of Andrews” releases on the Chicago-based Zodiac label, however, were produced and written by the team of Fred Bridges, Robert Eaton and Richard Knight, who previously were moderately successful as the vocal group Brothers Of Soul (of “I Guess That Don’t Make Me A Loser” fame). Andrews evolved into a powerful vocalist on such aggressive stand-outs as “You Made A Believer (Out Of Me)” (number 18 in the R&B charts and number 96 in the pop charts in 1969), “Everybody Saw You” (number 34 in the R&B charts in 1970) and “You Ole Boo You’ (number 47 in the R&B charts in 1971). Most of her records were recorded in Detroit and Memphis. A period with ABC Records during 1976-77 produced no hits. The song that established Andrews” career, “Casanova”, saw new life in 1980, when a female trio from Chicago, Coffee, released a disco version that went to number 13 in the UK but proved unsuccessful in the USA. In 1991, Jerry (Swamp Dogg) Williams produced an appealing album with Andrews in California, called Kiss This. (Courtesy of Oldies.com)
I love belters who have that “collard greens and chitlins” growl in their voice that says “Fuck it, this ain’t no beauty pageant. Imma sang this shit!” Ruby kicks ass from the opening wail of “Whatever It Takes to Please”, to the raspy growl of “Overdose of Love”, and the blaxploitation sounds of “My Love is Coming Down.” The music behind “The Love I Need” sounds a lot like Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Your Precious Love.”
The “jewel” of the bunch, though, is “You Made A Believer Out Of Me”! Starting with a funky drum intro and jumping into a groove that is slightly reminiscent of The Soul Survivors’ “Expressway To Your Heart” (see soundbites below), it was hot enough for De La Soul to sample it for their track “Brain-washed Follower.” I defy you to keep your head from boppin’!
All thanks goes to LP2 for contributing this beauty!!!