lunes, 13 de julio de 2009

Mitty Collier: Shades of a Genius (1965) ... plus

Born in Birmingham, AL, Mitty Collier sang in church and toured with the gospel group the Hayes Ensemble, before she started singing R&B in local clubs. Winning WGES DJ Al Benson's Talent Contest at the legendary Regal Theater for six weeks straight, she was offered a record contract by Ralph Bass of Chess Records in 1960. Her first charting single was an answer record to Little Johnny Taylor's ‘Part Time Love,’ a number one R&B smash in summer 1963. Collier's ‘I'm Your Part Time Love’ b/w ‘Don't You Forget It’ hit number 20 R&B in fall 1963. Her next hit became her signature song. Inspired in part by gospel great James Cleveland's ‘I Had a Talk with God Last Night’ and produced by Chess staff producer Billy Davis, ‘I Had a Talk with My Man’ b/w ‘Free Girl (In the Morning)’ hit number three R&B on Cashbox Magazine's R&B chart in fall 1964. Another hit inspired by Cleveland (‘No Cross No Crown’), ‘No Faith, No Love’, peaked at number 29 R&B in early 1965. Collier's only album for Chess, Shades of a Genius, was released that same year and is an above-average mid-'60s soul LP, particularly for an artist that never had a big pop hit. Her voice is deeper and more gospel-inflected than that of most woman soul singers of the period. She favors slower material than most soul vocalists did as well, but she also proves capable on swinging medium-tempo belters, as on the imaginatively arranged version of ‘My Babe,’ which sounds here more like gospel-soul than the electric blues tune as popularized by Little Walter. Ray Charles stands out as an influence, as three of his songs are covered. It's quality, varied soul, not simply collector marginalia despite Collier's obscurity. The top-flight Chess soul production - frequent tasteful brass and strings, yet also some earthy numbers with tough bluesy licks - sometimes recalls the sound of Etta James' recordings from the same era. This ‘90s reissue expands the LP program considerably to 22 tracks, featuring many of her early-‘60s singles which were not originally included on the album. I also added the B-side of 'Ain't That Love', 'Come Back Baby', which was not available neither here nor on her Chess Singles comp. In 1969, Collier signed with Peachtree Records and released five singles; two years later she left secular music to sing gospel music and, later on, she became a minister at a church in Chicago.

Mitty Collier performing her biggest hit 'I Had a Talk with My Man':

5 comentarios:

Nosi dijo...

Sevefunk dijo...

Muy buena la señora Collier.
Gracias por el enlace
Sabes que Eli Paperboy en una de sus entrevistas concedidas durante su ultima gira por España comenta:
.."Puse rumbo a Chicago. Con la maleta llena de viejos vinilos soul que compraba con el dinero ganado en los bares, fui en busca de Mitty Collier, la mítica cantante del sello Chess convertida hoy en pastora religiosa. "Le dije que era fan suya y que yo también tocaba música. Me invitó a probar su nuevo piano y le gustó lo que hice con él. Me nombró ministro musical de su iglesia"....

Soulsaludos soulgirl

Carlos Blanco dijo...

Muchas gracias otra vez. Increible toda la musica que nos regalas.
Saludos, Car

Preslives dijo...

Mitty Collier. What can you say? She was simply incredible.


Rolf dijo...