I caught Roy C’s “Shotgun Wedding” on the ricochet when it hit the UK charts in 1972. I hadn’t been long into the music thing. In those days BBC radio, and my limited pocket money, offered just about the only opportunities to hear things. It was the heyday of the pop charts, and with BBC Radio 1 operating a playlist it was easy to become very familiar with the hits of the day. This would explain why “Shotgun Wedding” is indelibly etched in my memory and I have always been fond of it. It struck me at the time that in comparison to many of the other soul records in the charts at the time the track had a sort of unsophisticated feel to it. This would, of course, partly have been due to the fact it was first recorded in 1965/6. In fact due mainly to the gunshot sounds on the record it was, I believe, received almost as a novelty record.
It is only recently that I have been listening to more of Roy C’s not inconsiderable back catalog and it is evident, I think, much of his output does have a sort of naïve quality to it. Maybe that accounts for him never having another charting single, and I have to say at first I was almost dismissive of what I heard, but there was something that made me listen again. Roy has written most of the songs he has sung and they have never strayed far from his Southern roots,in fact his music seems almost out of time. The melodies and backing are often simple and Roy often part speaks his tales of love and deception, but the magic is there and I am hooked.
Here’s a good example. Something you can imagine listening to while gently rocking yourself back and forth on the front porch….
But wait. I’m doubly glad I have given Roy C some listening time because it means I discovered a record he cut back in 1970, initially on the tiny Pan Records label. This has elements of the finest deep soul. I could easily imagine Percy Sledge singing this. A stunning track. Something reserved for the back porch, in the dead of night.
Both the tracks here can be found on the CD “Sex And Soul”.
You can find a comprehensive Roy C discography here.