Friday, August 20, 2010

Georgia on my mind

The nest is active at the moment. Just as our son was returning home after six weeks backpacking with friends in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia so our daughter was departing, again with backpack, for five weeks+ in America. (Perhaps I should say under a backpack as she is only little!). Our son had a great time and we have hopes that our daughter will have a similarly great experience.

At the same time one can’t help but feel a little bit envious. For various reasons trawling around the world wasn’t quite so easy when I was our children’s age. I need to start hatching some plans for a sabbatical.

Any sabbatical would of course have to include some vinyl hunting. When my work actually took me to the Atlanta area, some years ago now, my vinyl habit had only just been rekindled and, although I did manage a fair amount of digging, I can’t help thinking I really didn’t take full advantage of the opportunity.     

So, whilst a live digging trip to America remains a dream, I make do with the virtual experience on eBay etc.

Sometime last year this little bit of America came to me, through our letterbox. It is yet another record I first became aware of via Sir Shambling’s great site.

This record truly feels like a little bit of America because a) it was recorded in a Georgia studio by a local singer and released on a local label, b) it looks like Gina herself has signed it(!), and c) the package it came in had a Georgia postmark. You can almost smell the pines.

Because of my numerous trips to the Atlanta area a few years ago I developed a certain affinity for the area. So to think that for the 40ish years since this record was pressed, until my purchase, it had probably never left the state of Georgia, and that Gina herself has quite probably handled it and signed the dedication on the label (I wasn’t aware of this possibility when I bought it on eBay) somehow makes it very special to me.           

I know nothing about Gina beyond what appears on Sir Shambling’s page  dedicated to the artist (which, wonderfully, includes a picture of Gina). The record itself actually got two releases. I am assuming the first was on the Jill label – or could it be gill I wonder? (Gina hILL). I had not previously heard of the Lou-Neita label either but found this August 1970 Billboard article on the label (part of a feature on the Atlanta area recording scene), so I now know more about Lou-Neita than Gina Hill. Lou-Neita was named after the wives of the two label owners. It was initially primarily a country label but by 1970 its releases were about 50-50 country and soul. As it was undoubtedly a bigger concern than the Jill label it is reasonable to assume that Lou-Neita picked up Gina’s recording and issued it to enable wider distribution. Except that now, 40 years later it seems the Jill release is the one that turns up much more often than the Lou-Neita one.

In this instance I have to disagree with Sir Shambling and say that my preferred side of this 45 is “Help Me Solve This Problem”. Enjoy.

Gina Hill – Help Me Solve This Problem  1970?     


davy h said...

Lovely, lovely Southern Soul - thanks Darce: that'll be coming on hols with me.

ana-b said...

Very nice...even better that it's signed. I'm gonna have to keep my eyes open for a copy.


WZJN said...

Yet another fine track to be turned on to. You're amazing with these digs.

Good luck to your little one.