viernes, 4 de septiembre de 2009
Barbara Mason: Yes, I'm Ready (1997)
Barbara Mason came from Philadelphia with a giant hit in the mid-'60s that outsold some of the records made by the Beatles at the height of their popularity. She was born in Philadelphia in 1947 and used to sing in impromptu talent shows as a child. They were held at a playground near where she lived. Barbara could sing well, and her reputation as a good singer began to grow around Philadelphia. Producer/talent scout Weldon Arthur McDougual caught her act and brought her to the studio. She started with a small local label called Charger, then moved on to the Arctic label in Philadelphia, which had a better shot at distributing her records. Jimmy Bishop founded and owned Arctic and was a disc jockey at a large Philadelphia radio station. Barbara wrote all of her own songs while with Arctic and recorded in a small back room there. One of those records, originally titled 'Are You Ready?', would propel her into stardom. Barbara had been a big fan of Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, who were making some good music in Chicago in the late '50s and early '60s. One song that Curtis had written and given to Major Lance, 'The Monkey Time', had particularly impressed her and became her inspiration for her own tune, which was re-titled 'Yes, I'm Ready'. In the Spring of 1965 it was recorded by Barbara in the back room at Arctic in two takes, and the next day Jimmy Bishop began to play it on his radio show. More and more requests came in, and other DJ's that Jimmy knew picked up on the song. Before too long, it reached the top forty and stayed there for ten weeks, peaking at the number five position. With her voice sounding young and innocent in its thinness and flatness, Barbara Mason became an international recording sensation before she was out of her teens. After that, she still cut some excellent follow-ups on Arctic, like 'Sad, Sad Girl' (R&B number 12/pop Top 30, 1965), 'I Need Love' (R&B number 25, 1966) and 'Oh, How It Hurts' (R&B number 11, 1968). This compilation of 27 songs gathers these early sides for the label; it's not complete, but the rest of her Arctic stuff appears on Oh How It Hurts, also on Bear Family, posted here half a year ago. With both volumes you should have everything she recorded at Arctic. She cut as many remakes and originals, some were standards, which suggests Arctic had hopes of crossing her over to the pop market, which never happened to any significant degree. The remakes run the gamut from Archie Bell's 'Tighten Up' to the Supremes' 'Come See About Me', a perfectly suited vehicle for Mason's innocent, sweet, aching voice. Other highlights include 'Come to Me', 'Keep Him', 'Trouble Child', 'Bobby Is My Baby', 'Change Me If You Can', 'Hello Baby', '(You Can) Depend on Me', 'Don't Ever Want to Lose Your Love', 'You Never Loved Me at All', and 'Half a Love'. http://www.answers.com/, http://www.tsimon.com/.