miércoles, 25 de febrero de 2009
Judy Clay & Veda Brown: Private Numbers (1993)
This superb 1993 compilation brings together most of the solo recordings that Judy Clay and Veda Brown cut for Stax in the late '60s (Clay) and early '70s (Brown). Although neither of these formidable soul sisters enjoyed much chart action, they both deserve to be more than footnotes in the history of Soul. Judy Clay’s deep, potent voice never translated to commercial success, but the impact of her collaboration with Billy Vera as the first interracial male/female duo to record for a major label should not be understated. At Stax she was also teamed with William Bell, whose recording of 'Private Number' reached #17 in the R&B chart and #75 on the U.S. pop chart, and had even greater success in the UK, reaching #8 on the UK Singles Chart. The follow-up, 'My Baby Specializes' made the R&B chart too, unlike Judy's fantastic solo 'Bed Of Roses', which fell on deaf ears. As for Veda Brown, she is one of the lesser-known singers on Stax's roster in the early '70s. She did manage to crack the lower regions of the charts with two of her four singles on the label, 'Short Stopping' and the ballad 'Don't Start Lovin' Me (If You're Gonna Stop)’ (both included here); but after a couple of subsequent singles on the Raken label, nothing was heard from her again. Kent released a similar compilation in 2008 titled The Stax Solo Recordings. That British CD is notably different from this 1993 anthology, including 16 cuts by Brown (where this has just eight), and nine by Clay (where Private Numbers has ten which included four duets with William Bell and a song from the Uptight soundtrack, ‘Children, Don't Get Weary’, that are not on The Stax Solo Recordings). Similarly, The Stax Solo Recordings has four tracks not on Private Numbers. Hopefully both comps will help to illustrate why these great vocalists deserved far more than they got in their respective careers.