Had some minutes to kill earlier in the week so nipped into a charity shop (of course). Together with last weekend's booter finds these have restored my digging faith which had been seriously flagging lately. There was quite a lot of vinyl to rummage through, and while most of it was certainly staying in the shop I was very happy with to come away with two albums and a single – one Soul comp, a great slab of post punk a la Slits from the Mo-dettes, and a lovely Lovers 45 which will appear here very soon.
The Soul comp is New York City Soul, a Kent compilation album from 1985 focussing on the Laurie, Rust, Spectrum and Providence labels. Kent Soul comps are always worth it. I wondered about this one though as the focus was the Laurie label which in my limited experience is a bit too poppy for my liking. But it turns out to be well worth it.
The original title for this post was going to be “Eager to please”. Why? Because in the cover notes of this album "Harboro' Horace" (aka Ady Croasdell) points out that Brenda Lee Jones, who is also Jean in Dean & Jean, would resurface in the early Seventies as Brenda Lee Eager. I certainly didn’t know that but was willing to share this “fact” with you today. I thought it best to do a bit of on-line research on Brenda first with the result that I am now confident to say that Jones (RIP) and Eager are certainly not the same person. Unusual for Kent to get this wrong. I suppose 30 years on and with a medium available that encourages information sharing it is not surprising that new facts have come to light. At the same time though when “Horace” wrote the notes for the album it would have been little more than 10 years after Brenda Lee Eager’s duets with Jerry Butler (and her sublime 1974 Larry Mizell produced When I’m With You), and Eager I’m sure would still have been active on the scene. So it would surely have been easy to check?
Turning to Brenda Lee Jones, to summarise what I have found out in my reading around: she may have come from Dayton, Ohio. She was the Jean half of Dean & Jean that recorded on Rust in the first half of the Sixties. By this time she was married, her married name being Melson. After the Dean & Jean duo she went on to record a number of solo outings up until the late Sixties. She then took a break from the music scene to raise an adopted son. She returned to the scene around 1971, although had little output after that. Brenda passed away in 2001 four years after her long time husband.
Both these tracks can be found on the New York City Soul compilation. Silly Little Girl was, unbelievably, left unreleased at the time of its recording (around 1965?). You’re The Love Of My Life was one side of a Rust 45 issued in 1967.