A Valentines Day Dedication – The Broadways – You Just Don’t Know

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Harry Ray, Al Goodman & Billy Brown

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Listen -You Just Don’t Know – MP3″

Greetings all.

I’m getting my third weekly post up a day early to mark Valentine’s Day.
I hadn’t originally planned on doing a V-day post, but inspirado snuck up on me and I dipped into the stack of digi-ma-tized tracks in search of a serious love song.
The track I chose, is something that I was holding in reserve for something a little more long-form, that being a survey of Jersey Shore soul (which will probably happen anyway, sometime in the not too distant future).
A while back, while digging for information on local garage punk groups of the 60’s I stumbled upon a discography that indicated that the Selsom label (run by local legend Norman Seldin) had released soul sides by two local groups, the Valtairs and the Uniques.
Up until that point, though I had assumed there had been R&B/soul groups at the Shore – Asbury Park having been a thriving city in the 60’s with a large African-American population – I had no idea that any of these groups had recorded.
I started out looking for records by the Valtairs and the Uniques and quickly discovered that they were not only rare, but in the case of the Uniques 45, very, VERY expensive*.
I dod however manage to locate one of the two Valtairs 45s on Selsom. The more research I did, the more interesting the story became.
The Uniques, formed in the early-60s in Asbury Park was in fact an integrated group whose members included Harry Ray and Billy Brown**, later of the Moments and Ray Goodman and Brown.
A few years later, Brown, along with Ronnie Coleman and Leon Trent reformed as the Broadways and recorded two 45s for MGM (both prized by collectors of Northern Soul). I discovered the both of these 45s (this one in fact) could be quite expensive, but fate stepped in and a few weeks later a good friend of mine – who also happens to be a record dealer – included copies of both Broadways 45s on his list. They were graded a little lower than I like, but since this cat is probably THE most conservative grader I’ve ever encountered (and an all around righteous dude), I took a chance and grabbed both of the records.
It was a good thing I did, because they were both excellent and (as expected) in excellent shape.
That all said, I’ll save further detail (and the Valtairs side) for a later date.
However, in the spirit of amore, and in dedication to my wife, who I happen to love very much, I bring you today’s selection, the Broadways’ blissful ‘You Just Don’t Know’.
‘You Just Don’t Know’ is one of those records that ought to be kept ready for whenever someone asks you just what Northern Soul is.
Backed with a solid dancers beat, a wonderful melody, sweet harmonies, vibes, strings and baritone sax accents, the Broadways’ ‘You Just Don’t Know’ is a slice of absolute perfection. It’s one of those sweet, upbeat soul 45s that seems to physically lift you out of your seat. You just want to close your eyes, sway to the beat and clap your hands; a little bit like the feeling of being in love.
So, in dedication to my wife Jenny – who even though I’m a crabby bastard sometimes, still loves me – I say ‘You Just Don’t Know (How Good You Make Me Feel)’.

Peace (and LOVE)
Larry

*The Uniques 45 on Selsom  – which, when it turns up sells for hundreds – is prized by doowop collectors. Oddly enough, though I haven’t been able to score a copy of the 45, there’s one hanging on the wall of the office of the Advertising VP where I work, who just happens to have been a member of the Uniques. Small f*cking world!

**I have yet to confirm that Ray, who was definitely in the Valtairs actually recorded with the Uniques

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11 Responses to “A Valentines Day Dedication – The Broadways – You Just Don’t Know”

  1. brea Says:

    I <3 ur page!

  2. Planet Mondo Says:

    Another great valentine’s tune is the soaraway Soul of ‘I want to walk through this life with you ‘ sung by the mighty Johnny Adams

  3. Vincent the Soul Chef Says:

    …thanks as always for the share, and for the plug on the WFMU blog. Much much appreciated.

    Peace and blessings.

  4. fleamarketfunk Says:

    thanks for the plug dude…and i’m looking to see how much my local 45s are worth here in AP…..

  5. themusicologist Says:

    great selection..so many tunes to listen to and so little time…

    thanks for sharing

  6. Norman Seldin Says:

    You’ll hear The Valtairs with Harry Ray, The Uniques featuring Nicky Addeo, Tony Maples, The Soul Set featuring Norman Seldin, The Motifs with Walter Cichon, Norman Seldin & The Joyful Noyze with Clarence Clemons, the Jaywalkers, Stormin’ Norman Seldin’s Rock N Roll Plus with Very Special Friends, and Stormin’ Norman & Steel Breeze all on a 3 CD set due to come out on Fri. Aug. 29th at the Stone Pony concert with the Creators of the Sound of Asbury Park takes place. This will be a limited edition of vinyl masters to digital and superb sound! Check out the new book Local Heroes..The Asbury Park Music Scene published by Rutgers Press and available by 6/10/08 at Trinkets in Red Bank, NJ. Just call Jamey 732-741-6990.

  7. ronnie coleman Says:

    larry:
    I’m ronnie coleman. one of the original members of the “Uniques” and
    “Broadways”. I want to thank you so much for such a wonderful comment
    thought we didn’t get the recognition, it’s words like your’s that’s great to
    hear from time to time. hey man!!! we thank you.Harry Ray didn’t sing
    with us. he was a Valtare. the “Broadways consisted of Ray Morris , Leon
    Trent . Billy Brown & yours truly. ” GOIN-GOIN-GONE ” was our big play.
    but “you just don’t know how good you made me feel”. Thanks again Larry. p.s I sure would love to have a c.d copy of the records.
    Yours Truly
    Ronnie Coleman
    Of The Broadways

  8. Norman Seldin Says:

    ASBURY PARK THEN & NOW BY STORMIN’ NORMAN & FRIENDS is now available at http://www.backstreets.com for the entire 2 cd set or digital downloads at http://www.emusic.com, just type in ASBURY PARK THEN & NOW and all of the tracks will come up. The Valtairs with Harry Ray, The Uniques with Leon Trent, Ronnie Coleman, Nicky Addeo, also The Soul Set, The Joyful Noyze, Stormin’ Norman & Steel Breeze, The Motifs, the Jaywalkers, Tony Maples, Barbaroso & The Historians, Nicky Addeo & The Night Owls, Stormin’ Norman solo piano and much more. There are 46 tracks re-mastered from 1963 up to 2008.

  9. Norman Seldin Says:

    I wanted to let all of you know that the above mentioned double CD set Asbury Park Then & Now by Stormin’ Norman & Friends is now officially released nationally and “The Uniques” recording of Fool Number Two is on a top #22 golden oldies station in Germany and being played in rotation with two other cuts by Barbaroso & The Historians. Articles in Sweden and Norway are numerous, the 5 E Street Band members backing me are being heard on the HAWK FM, 90.5 The Night FM, with many joining in on cuts from this release. http://www.backstreets.com, http://www.emusic.com are on line and is also available at Jacks Music and Trinkets in Red Bank. You surely can find it in the Stone Pony gift shop in Asbury Park also.

  10. Margaret & Rhonda Says:

    The Broadway’s “Goin-Goin-Gone” was heard and enjoyed over the radio by many in Boston, MA! Those of us in Beantown loved that great song “then” and still do “now!” Thanks for sharing the history behind it. A special hello to Leon and Ronnie.

  11. Norman Seldin Says:

    The double cd set Asbury Park Then & Now by Stormin’ Norman Seldin & Friends is now back in stock and available from http://www.cdbaby.com and for digital downloads http://www.emusic.com. It is being played all over Europe! Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, UK, Holland, Norway, and too many more to mention. The Uniques, Valtairs, and the whole 46 set of songs from 1964-2008 are on dozens of radio charts both pop, oldies, r&b, and even country! Stormin’ Norman Seldin will solo debut on piano/vocals for the first time in seven years without his backup band Friday June 5th, 2009 at Mister C’s Beach Bistro in Allenhurst, NJ right on the ocean.

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