James & Marva & Lyn (& Herb, sort of…)

Example

James Brown

Example

Marva Whitney

Example

Lyn Collins

Example

Example

Listen – Marva Whitney – This Girl’s In Love With You – MP3″

Listen – James Brown & Lyn Collins – This Guy/Girl’s In Love With You – MP3″

Greetings all.

I hope all is well on your end.
This will be the second and final post this week. I have some real world stuff going on that needs my attention, and as I’m already sleep-deprived, stressed and not feeling my old, creative self I’ll be taking the rest of the week off.
Of course I couldn’t leave you all hanging, so you get two songs today.
They’re the same song (two different versions), so you’ll have a little something extra for your ears.
A while back, DJ Prestige – always on top of his game – brought in yet another outstanding guest DJ to the Asbury Park 45 Sessions, this time the world-renowned Dave Withers.
Each and every Asbury 45 hang has it’s share of trainspotting amongst the selectors, but this time out I think I jumped up on the riser to spec out what Dave happened to be spinning at least three or four times. He dropped a very heavy set, and I walked away with a number of new want list items.
Today’s selection is the only one of those that I’ve been able to track down in the time since.
A few seconds after he dropped the needle, I – and pretty much everyone else – was hit with a twinge of recognition. It was one of those, ‘I know this song, but not this version’ things. It was almost immediately obvious that I was hearing a distaff reworking of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s ‘This Guy’s In Love With You’, presented here in a storming, funked up version. I gave it a good listen, thinking it sounded like Marva Whitney, a hunch that was confirmed when I checked out the label.
It was one of those “where has this record been all my life” happenings, and I went home that night, grateful to Dave for hepping me to that, and a few other killer records.
Not long after that, I found a nice, clean copy, digimatized it and prepped it for blog-i-fication.
Not long after that I was out digging with a couple of my AP45 comrades and what should I come across in a crate of 45s but another version of the tune, this time a duet by James Brown and Lyn Collins.
Methinks the Godfather liked this song.
Naturally, after further recording and uploading a single tune quickly became a double-feature, and here we all are today.
The two presentations of the song are radically different, but both cool in their own ways.
If you’ve heard any of the Marva Whitney material that has appeared in this space, you’ll already know that she was a purveyor of vocal dynamite, with a powerful instrument at her disposal. Her take on ‘This Girl…’ is, if not completely unique (there is after all Lyn Collins’ version of ‘Fly Me To the Moon’ to consider) is still a very unusual entry in the JB-related King discography. Recorded and released in 1969, a year after Herb Alpert’s Top 40 OG, Whitney’s interpretation of the song is a great show of restraint on here part, allowing the listener to really hear the quality of her voice, generally eschewing the vocal acrobatics of some of her ‘harder’ material.
The instrumental arrangement manages to be both lush (dig those strings) and funky (hard, snapping drums and guitar), and it’s a little surprising that it wasn’t a hit, though a look at the King discography reveals that they released in excess of 70 singles in 1969, half a dozen of them by Whitney, either on her own or in duets with James Brown.
The duet version, by JB and Lyn Collins was recorded a few years later (in 1972), and the approach is somewhat more conventional, coming across as a romantic – and soulful – duet, with a great performance by JB, with Collins taking more of a supporting role. It’s certainly not among the first rank of Brown’s catalog, even among his duets, but it does provide an interesting contrast of his conception of the song over the course of a few years. Like the Whitney version, this recording is a reminder of what a great “conventional” singer JB was.
The Whitney and Brown/Collins recordings are hardly the only soulful versions of the song. There were countless versions of the song, among them Dionne Warwick’s hit in 1969 as well as others by Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Ruffin, Barbara Acklin, Gene Chandler and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, among others.
That said, I hope you dig the sounds, and I’ll be back on Monday, hopefully well rested (though I doubt it), clear headed (never that son) and ready to go (as always).

Peace
Larry

PSS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for some late 60s Detroit City freakout!

PSSS Check out Paperback Rider as well.

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4 Responses to “James & Marva & Lyn (& Herb, sort of…)”

  1. Joe Wroblewski Says:

    Wow, that Marva Whitney version is great, thanks for posting it!

    What other records was he spinning that night?

  2. funky16corners Says:

    Lots of interesting stuff, including ones by Quartette Tres Bien and Clarence Curvan that I’m still looking for.
    Great DJ.
    L

  3. haineux Says:

    It’s been a while since I lost track of your blog. Man, this Marva Whitney song is FANTASTIC. GREAT sound and super righteous funk bass. And of course, Marva Whitney just pounding out the notes, hitting every one square on and full force. And I always love the trackout/needle lift noise. Man!

    THANKS!

  4. Nagl Says:

    The Brown/Collins duet’s going in my wedding playlist for next year, methinks. Great call! Hope your weekend’s as restful as it can be.

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