Miss Betty Everett
“Listen – Betty Everett – Is There a Chance For Me – MP3″
Here’s hoping that you’re all as happy as I am that the week is at an end, and that the long weekend (at least here in the States) is upon us. Despite a couple of chilly days, things have suddenly gotten seasonably warm, although the pollen monster seems to stalk my every move (it’s baaaad this year…).
The tune I bring you today is a late period number by one of the truly great Chicago soul singers of the 1960s. Betty Everett spent the better part of the 1960s recording hit after hit (after classic), starting with ‘You’re No Good’, moving on to ‘The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)’ (right up there with Fontella Bass’s ‘Rescue Me’ on the list of soul records I never need to hear again) and on to one of my personal faves – from Chitown or anywhere else – ‘Getting Mighty Crowded’.
Her first wave of hits was recorded for Vee-Jay, but after that label folded she bounced around a bit before landing on Uni. Everett worked with the Brainstorm Records team of Leo Austell, Archie Russell and Hillery Johnson (who worked with Cicero Blake among others) and had her second biggest hit ‘There’ll Come a Time’ in 1969 (co-written by Eugene Record of the Chi-Lites).
The tune I bring you today comes from the ‘There’ll Come a Time’ LP, which includes tunes by Record and Curtis Mayfield among others. ‘Is There a Chance For Me’ is a funky number with all the hallmarks of the best 1960s Chitown soul. The song was co-written by Danny (guitar) and Bernard Reed (bass) from the Okeh Records house band, and two other folks I haven’t been able to pin down.
In addition to hooks you get Everett’s husky, soulful vocals. I love the arrangement on this tune (dig the xylophone accents running in time with the bass and drums), especially the way the horns and the strings play off of each other. While it’s not as lush as an Evans or Stepney Cadet production, not every record from Chicago needed to sound that way. Had the drumbeat been a little more straight ahead, without that certain dash of funk, you might have had yourself a nice Northern Soul record. As it is, ‘Is There a Chance for Me’ is a good example of the way funkier sounds were working their way into a lot of records during that time period.
Betty Everett would record a few more albums during the 70s, but by the end of that decade she had settled in Wisconsin and returned to her gospel roots. She passed away in 2001 at the relatively early age of 61.
I’ll be back on Monday with a whole week of Chicago sides (soul and funk).
Have a great weekend.