Mr. Oscar Toney, Jr.
Listen/Download -Oscar Toney, Jr. – Everything I Own
I hope the dawning a new week finds you well.
You’d never knowing by looking at (or reading) me, but I spent Friday night and most of Saturday in the hospital by virtue of another chapter in my ongoing kidney stone saga. Despite the fact that the stones I had were lasered down to a size that I was assured were “passable”, they decided to try to pass at exactly the same time (and in the same place), thereby beating the oddsmakers and sending me back to the operating room.
Fortunately it was a quick procedure and I was home in time for Saturday dinner, but honestly, this shit is getting old.
That said, I decided to get the week started with something soulful and mellow.
Not too long ago when the wife and I were up in Massachusetts – she digging for yarn, me digging for records – I happened to pick up a 45 by one of my fave, underrated 60s soul singers, Mr. Oscar Toney Jr.
One of the very first soul 45s I ever picked up (and fell in love with) was Oscar Toney Jr.’s ‘Ain’t That True Love’. A classic southern soul burner by any standard, ‘Ain’t That True Love’ is pure Muscle Shoals goodness with a blazing vocal by Mr. Toney.
Toney recorded a number of 45s (and an LP) for Bell between 1967 and 1970, before moving on to the Capricorn label for the next two years.
By 1973 Toney’s career had run it’s course in the US. However, in the UK, John Abbey, founder of ‘Blues and Soul’ magazine and the man responsible for placing a number of US soul and funk sides with the Mojo label founded Contempo Records. Over the next few years Abbey would work with acts like Sam and Dave, JJ Barnes, Tamiko Jones and Oscar Toney Jr.
Toney’s sole Atco 45 (coming right after his association with Capricorn) was a Contempo production, a cover of the 1972 Bread hit ‘Everything I Own’.
The tune is a great showcase for Toney’s wonderful voice and he manages to tear the song from its original soft rock setting and recast it as a deep soul ballad.
Toney eventually recorded a number of singles and an album for Contempo before leaving secular music and returning to his gospel roots in the 80s. He returned to the soul scene once again with a comeback album in 2000.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll be back later in the week.
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