Who was the mysterious Little Lover?
“Listen – Little Lover – Ditty Wa Ditty – MP3″
I have returned from the hinterlands of New England, if not well rested, at least well fed. No matter how many of the region’s storied lobster shacks are still shuttered for the season, a dedicated fan of the wily (and delicious) crustacean will find his or her reward with a minimal amount of work.
In a development that should come as not surprise whatsoever to anyone who stops by here on the reg, I also managed to get some digging in (hitting a couple of newly discovered spots), reeling in a couple of piles of vinyl to fill the storehouses at both Funky16Corners and Iron Leg. There weren’t many 45s to speak of (a couple of psych things and one nice one I’ll feature here as soon as I get to digi-ma-tizing), but I scored a grip of jazz, pop and psych LPs.
The weather was fantastic, and despite a last minute change of plans we all had a great time.
The tune I bring you today is something that (quite literally) came to me a few months ago. A friend of my wife’s was getting rid of some records that had belonged to her late husband, and asked if I’d be interested.
Naturally I responded in the affirmative.
I never expect much from these situations, but sometimes, even if the haul isn’t chock full o’raer, you get a couple of nice surprises. Most of the good stuff in this batch was older rock stuff that I didn’t have copies of. However, there was also a box of 45s (mostly unsleeved…urrgghh) that produced some unusual stuff, including today’s selection.
It caught my eye immediately (the pink and blue label was hard to miss), mainly because the info on the label suggested a soul 45, and the label itself, Vest was one I’d never seen before.
The artist – Little Lover – remains something of a mystery. The singer sounds like a big Sam Cooke fan, and the tune is a nice bit of upbeat, 1964 New York City soul. The only familiar name on the label was producer Gene Redd.
The song, ‘Ditty Wa Ditty’ (not the famed growler laid down by Bo Diddley and Captain Beefheart among many others) was written by a couple of cats named Naverro Artis and Ronald G Mosely. I wasn’t able to turn up anything on Artis, but a BMI search revealed that Mosely wrote a fair amount of material (often with Robert Bateman who also collaborated with Lou Courtney) including Anna King’s “answer record” ‘Mama’s Got a Bag of Her Own’.
The label itself was one of the lesser subsidiary’s in the R&B empire of Bobby and Danny Robinson (Fire, Fury, Enjoy, Everlast, Red Robin), and a discography I found didn’t yield too many familiar names (aside from a 1965 Wilbert Harrison cover of ‘Poison Ivy’).
If anyone has any info on the identity of ‘Little Lover’, please drop me a line and let me know.
I hope you dig the tune and I’ll be back in mid-week with a slice of deep southern soul.