Friday, October 11, 2013

The Judy Files

Regular readers will know I am a fan of Judy White. The last time I featured her here was at the end of 2010. In that post I mentioned a very obscure record of hers I had picked up at a boot fair on the same day as I had also found one of her father’s LPs. One of those coincidences I love so much.

Well, the following summer there was another coincidence. At the same boot fair, in exactly the same corner of the field I had found the obscure single of hers the year before (though a different seller), I came across a souvenir programme of a Josh White concert. The concert was scheduled to have taken place on October 9th 1967 at the Bristol Colston Hall (I don’t know if it did happen, but certainly around the same time Josh and Judy made an appearance on Swedish TV). I was thrilled to find that the programme had two full page photographs of Judy. As far as the photos were concerned Judy had equal billing with her father, although it was a shame that in the programme narrative Judy didn’t get a single mention!  I bought the programme, of course.

So, to think, Judy may well have made an appearance in my home town. I would have been 9 at the time and yet to discover the magic of soul music.

I have been waiting to post up the photos from that programme ever since but wanted to include a particular 45 of Judy’s in the post too, and that 45 eluded me until a few months ago.

The Clarence Reid penned “Girls Can’t Do What The Guys Do” maybe more familiar to you as recorded by a young Betty Wright and I had thought, naturally really considering the Florida connection, that Betty’s was the original release. But in fact I now believe Judy’s record preceded Betty’s by a few months. Sometime ago I stumbled across an extensive radio station interview with Judy, her brother Josh White Jnr, and her eldest daughter Kelli Ellis in which they talked about Josh White, and their own careers. In the interview they discussed the “Girls” song. I believe in that interview Judy said that she did not know of Clarence Reid. I thought that funny at the time, but thinking about it now it doesn’t seem so unusual. Now with the benefit of a good deal of hindsight, and an internet that is awash with historical information, it is easy to be knowledgeable. But in 1967 Judy was a young person trying to forge her way in a big music world. New York, where Judy was based then, and Henry Stone’s Alston in Florida where Clarence Reid was based, were a long way apart back then.           


drew said...

Darcy that is wonderful. Thank you

Marc said...

Betty Wright recorded the original tune!

I've been in touch with Mrs. Judith.In an e-mail she told me : 'We were aware of the Betty Wright recording, Buddah Records was confident that we could produce a better rendition of it. I had not heard it until after my recording so not to effect or influence my solo.'

Keep up the good work!

Marc said...

Betty Wright's take on the subject is here:

Betty Wright March 1972 Interview

Note:I will have to correct Betty:New York Gospel singer Carol Carr is Judy White's mother.