The Cleethorpes Northern Soul Weekender: 1993-2012

The Cleethorpes Northern Soul Weekender: 1993-2012


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This compilation's theme takes some explaining for those who aren't familiar with the U.K. Northern soul scene, and maybe even for some who are. Starting in 1993, "weekenders," or festivals of sorts for fans of the rare (usually dance-friendly) '60s American soul records and performers dubbed Northern Soul in the U.K., have been held on an annual basis in the English seaside resort of Cleethorpes. The "1993-2012" subtitle of this CD might lead you to mistakenly believe these are recordings made at those events. Fortunately, the contents are more exciting than that, the 25 tracks featuring rare vintage '60s recordings by 25 artists who have performed at these weekenders throughout the years. On the whole, it's not much different than numerous other Northern soul compilations on the Kent/Ace label, the Cleethorpes connection serving as a reason to generate yet another one. There are some obscure sides by artists who did achieve varying levels of major to modest commercial success, like Barbara Lewis, Maxine Brown, Tommy Hunt, Bettye LaVette, Doris Troy, and Bettye Swann. They're outnumbered, however, by selections from artists only collectors will know, particularly if they frequent Northern soul nights at Cleethorpes or elsewhere. The music's weighted toward uptempo, grooving '60s sides that aren't from the Southern "deep soul" camp or, often, quite as slick as Motown, though Motown's a big influence. And they're songs that, by and large, don't have the staying power of the best such soul, though it's easy to hear how they'd sound good or least acceptable for a soul dance night. Some of the better cuts come from material by or with connections to higher-profile names. Tommy Hunt's "The Pretty Part of You" is agreeably brash pop-soul; Maxine Brown outclasses most of the competition here as both a singer and a songwriter, even with one of her lesser-known efforts, 1966's "Let Me Give You My Lovin'" (where the string-laden production and strong backup vocals really help make this a cut above its surroundings); and it's a dependable pleasure to hear a couple early Van McCoy compositions/productions, with Kendra Spotswood's "Jive Guy" echoing the beat of Mary Wells' Motown hits. The 44-page liner notes feature detailed year-by-year memories of the Cleethorpes weekenders by frequent Ace Records annotator Ady Croasdell that might mystify readers in their overboard enthusiasm for cult performers. It's a world where booking a gig by Darrow Fletcher or Little Ann seems to be more cause for excitement than getting Aretha Franklin or Smokey Robinson to appear. Some of the stranger-than-fiction tales are intermittently entertaining, however, with soul legends repeatedly having to be coaxed to do old favorites that the crowd wants to hear. Highlight: when Al Wilson of "Show and Tell" fame clarified to Croasdell that he was not the same Al Wilson who did "Help Me" on Wand Records, he added, "Well the other guy ain't gonna turn up so let's do it anyway."

Product Details

Release Date: 06/05/2012
Label: Kent Records Uk
UPC: 0029667237420
catalogNumber: 6723742
Rank: 108834

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Hidle Brown Barnum   Conductor
Tim Cansfield   Guitar
Dave Lennox   Organ
Hank Levine   Conductor
Phil Medley   Conductor
Mike Terry   Conductor
Arthur Wright   Conductor
Dave Jenkins   Bass
Matt Winch   Trumpet
Andy Hamilton   Tenor Saxophone
Pete Stroud   Drums
Chet "Poison" Ivey Band   Accompaniment
Victy Silva   Background Vocals
Jayne Tretton   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Maxine Brown   Composer
Dave Hamilton   Composer
David Axelrod   Producer
Jerry Leiber   Producer
Barry Mann   Composer
Van McCoy   Arranger,Composer,Producer
George Jackson   Composer
Ed Miller   Composer
Lou Courtney   Composer
Sidney Barnes   Composer
Hidle Brown Barnum   Arranger
David Blake   Composer
Leroy Glover   Arranger
Ike Turner   Composer
George Kerr   Composer
Hank Levine   Arranger
Phil Medley   Arranger
Doris Payne   Composer
Bill Stanley   Producer
Mike Stoller   Producer
Bettye Swann   Composer
Mike Terry   Arranger
Cynthia Weil   Composer
Arthur Wright   Arranger
Ady Croasdell   Liner Notes
George Fischoff   Composer
Frank Wilson   Composer
Robert Schwartz   Composer
Don Juan Mancha   Composer
Marcus Schaeffer   Composer
Doug Morris   Composer
Lester Carr   Composer
Darrow Fletcher   Composer
Fred Smith   Producer
Bob Bateman   Composer
Rony Darrell   Composer
Ernie Wilkes   Arranger
James Carmichael   Arranger
Tommy Kaye   Composer,Producer
Bob Hamilton   Composer
Sherlie Matthews   Composer
Frank Dell   Composer
Anthony Bruno   Composer
Eliot Greenberg   Composer
Walter Whisenhunt   Producer
Ted Daniels   Producer
Victor Milrose   Composer
Barbara Baer   Composer
Ann Bridgeforth   Composer
Stan Kahan   Producer
Melvin Davis   Composer
Ollie McLauchlin   Producer
Nate McCalla   Producer
Kal Rudman   Composer
Marc Gordon   Composer

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