As well as UK release dates, as the above shows, the original US release dates are now traced and documented. Where possible, recordings for which we previously did not have a US number or release date are also now documented.
WI 4052 – – “I can’t save it”/”I can take care of myself” by Gene Chandler was scheduled and advertised but not released. Did not chart in the US. The record was subsequently released in the UK on Action ACT 4551 in 1969.
The Sapphires, a vocal group from Philadelphia, were Carol Jackson, George Garner and Joe Livingston. This was their first single, and features Leon Huff and Thom Bell on keyboards. Philadelphia session men Bobby Eli and Bobby Martin are also on the recording. The record did not chart. The Sapphires went on to make more singles and an album but broke up in 1966. WI 4050 was scheduled and advertised but not released.
Harvey Blackston (Harmonica Fats) was born on September 28, 1927 in McDade, Lousiana and was raised on a farm. He learned the harmonica from the age of four and cited Sonny Terry as a main influence in his playing style. He played with Sam Cooke, Lou Rawls, Etta James, Tina Turner and Bobby Darin among others. “Tore Up”, his version of a song by Hank Ballard, is his best selling record, and was recorded with session musicians. It was a regional hit and reached no. 102, just outside the Billboard Hot 100, in 1962. It was originally released on a local label, Skylark. Harmonica Fats died on 3 January, 2000 in Los Angeles, California.
“Tore Up” was previously released in the UK on EMI Stateside SS-184 in 1962. Scheduled and advertised but not released on Sue. Subsequently released in the UK on Action ACT 4507, 1968.
Singer, songwriter, record producer, saxophonist and arranger Don Nix was born in Memphis, Tennessee on September 27, 1941. He recorded under a number of pseudonyms during his career. He was involved in the production of The Mar-Keys “Last Night” and also took part in the “Concert for Bangladesh” of 1971. He is associated with George Harrison, John Mayall, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and others.
This recording was made for the small Pure Gold label of Memphis and features Stax regulars from the Packers and Mar-Keys, and Steve Cropper.
WI 338 was scheduled, but not announced, then was withdrawn after a disagreement with the American owner of the recording.
Thanks to Martin Whitell for his help with this post.
Mike Kerry and Chris Hall of Start Productions are working on a documentary about Guy Stevens, pictured, whose taste in music was central to the lasting appeal of the UK Sue Label, with which he will ever be associated.
The team, who have already produced highly commended documentaries, has extensive interview footage about Guy including interviews with his late wife Diane. Their previous documentaries focused on the American 1960s acid rock group Love and the British rock band Mott The Hoople, a film which the BBC has broadcast. Their films have been shown at film festivals and in independent cinemas.
Mike explains: “Chris and I have wanted to make a film on Guy for some time now. From his early days DJ-ing at “The Scene” and the influence he had there, the incredible output of music whilst heading up Sue Records, working for Island and helping form Mott The Hoople, right through to “London Calling”. It’s an incredible story, with some of the very best music. As a film, it absolutely just needs to be told.”
The team is now appealing for the wider community of Sue Records UK fans to help. Do you have any stories about Guy? Do you have any Sue memorabilia, archive press cuttings, photos and promotions? If you can, please email Mike Kerry.
Betty Green’s recording of “He’s Down on Me” was issued on the Ensign Sue musiccassette “Maximum R&B”. Sir Shambling suggests the recording dates from 1964 and that Betty Green hailed from New York, but there is no other information available.
ILP 911 was used for the Inez and Charlie Foxx “Mockingbird” LP but the number had earlier been advertised on Island group LP covers as being “The New Sound of Ernestine Anderson”.
Released on US Sue LP 1015 in 1963, the track listing of the album was:
Out Of My Continental Mind | One Never Knows | You Deserve The Best | Evil Spelled Backwards Means Live | If I Love Again | Keep An Eye On Love | I Believe In You | The Best Is Yet To Come | Quiet Nights | You’re Not The Guy For Me | Will I Find My Love Today | One Heartache Ago
The album is currently available for download from Amazon including two bonus tracks.
(You’ll Always Be) The One I Love | Social Call,
I’ve listened to the album. More jazz than R&B, it reveals a very high standard of arrangement and production and is typical of early 1960’s New York sophisticated vocal jazz music, but nonetheless a good album.
R&B trumpeter, bandleader, songwriter, arranger, record producer and A&R man for Duke/Peacock Records, Joseph Wade “Joe” Scott, was born in in Texarkana, Texas on December 2, 1924 and died in Culver City, California on March 6, 1979.
He wrote and arranged songs for Johnny Ace, Big Mama Thornton, Bobby Bland and Junior Parker, as well as leading their touring bands, and is regarded as the man who created the big horn sound for blues bands.
Conductor, composer, arranger and record producer and multi instrumentalist Eugene Edgar “Gene” Page Jr. was born in Los Angeles, California on September 13, 1939 and died in Westwood, California after a long illness on August 24, 1998. He was one of the most prolific arrangers/conductors of popular music during his time and worked on more than 200 gold and platinum records. Some of the Bob and Earl recordings issued on UK Sue were arranged by Gene Page.
(l to r) Marc Gordon, Marvin Gaye and Gene Page, 1963 | Gene Page
Richard Wayne Penniman (Little Richard) was born on December 5, 1932 and died on May 9, 2020 after a short illness.
The BBC notes that
“He had his biggest hits in the 1950s and was known for his exuberant performances, shrieks, raspy voice and flamboyant outfits. He sold more than 30 million records worldwide.
Paying tribute after news of his death emerged, former Beatles drummer Sir Ringo Starr tweeted: “God bless Little Richard, one of my all-time musical heroes.”
Chic co-founder Nile Rodgers said it was “the loss of a true giant”, while Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys said his music would “last forever”.”
Little Richard was still performing. Guitarist Charles Glenn told celebrity news website TMZ the singer had been ill for two months and died at his home, with his brother, sister and adopted son present.
Don Robey in his pressing plant | Copyright control | donrobey.jpg
Record label executive, songwriter (under the name Deadric Malone – although others may have sold him the songs), founder of Peacock Records (named after his night club), artiste manager and record producer Don Deadric Robey was born in Houston, Texas on November 1, 1903. He was responsible for developing or managing the careers of many rhythm and blues artists during the 1950s and 1960s.
While he was held in high regard by some of the musicians who worked for him, he was notorious for his alleged business practices.
Robey sold his record labels (and some of their contracted artistes) to ABC Dunhill Records in 1973, while remaining as a consultant. The rights are thought to be now owned by Universal.
Mr. Robey died of a heart attack at St. Luke’s Hospital in Houston on June 16, 1975.
Robert Parker – Barefootin’ | Julien Covey – A Little Bit Hurt | The Soul Sisters – I Can’t Stand It | The Anglos – Incense | The Righteous Brothers – Little Latin Lupe Lu | Inez And Charlie Foxx – Hurt By Love
Bob And Earl – Harlem Shuffle | Owen Gray – You Don’t Know Like I Know | Robert Parker – Let’s Go Baby (Where The Action Is) | Donnie Elbert – A Little Piece Of Leather | Billy Preston – Billy’s Bag | Righteous Brothers – Justine
Syd Nathan at his Record-Shaped Desk | History of Rock and Roll | sydnathan
Music business executive and recycling pioneer Sydney Nathan was born on April 27, 1904 and died on March 5, 1968. He founded King Records in a disused (and smelly) spice warehouse in Cincinatti in 1943. It was a self contained independent record company which, unusually, even pressed its own records – and any that didn’t get sold were recycled and re-pressed!
He will always be associated with James Brown but also helped develop other musicians and singers including Earl Bostic, The Five Royales and Lonnie Mack.
He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
King Records was sold to Starday Records in the early 1970s, its back catalogue was also sold on, and the record presses ended up in Jamaica pressing reggae records.
The book “James Brown The One” was published in 2012. I managed to obtain a copy released by the Fort Myers Public Library, Florida, through Thrift Books in Arizona, for £4.50 through Amazon.
It is a fascinating book which I have found utterly absorbing, and it sheds more light on the recording he made with The Famous Flames of “Night Train” which was released in the UK on Parlophone and then Sue UK WI 360.
Original US single on King 5614 | 45 Cat | king5614
Original UK single on Parlophone R4922 | 45 Cat | r4922
The backing band, or as King Records would have it, “orchestra” he was using at the time was the original one, The Famous Flames, and the personnel on this recording were Bobby Byrd, Johnny Terry, Bobby Bennett, J. C. Davis, Lloyd Stallworth and Nat Kendrick. The band often featured the number on stage, often adding snatches of other tunes including Bill Doggett’s “Hold It”.
The book is well worth looking out for and inexpensive to buy – it seems supply outstripped demand for this volume!
Blues singer, songwriter and businessman Rosco N. Gordon III was born in Memphis, Tennessee on April 10, 1928 and died of a heart attack in Queens, New York City, on July 11, 2002. He is regarded as a pioneer of the Memphis Blues style of blues music. His biggest successes were “Booted” and “No More Doggin'” in 1952 and “Just a Little Bit” in 1960. He was one of the “Beale Streeters” along with Johnny Ace, Bobby Bland and B. B. King.
Wikipedia notes that
In 1962, he quit the music industry and moved to Queens, New York City, with his new wife, where he purchased a partnership in a laundry business. Following his wife’s death in 1984, he returned to performing in the New York area.
Instrumentalist, arranger and band leader Noble “Thin Man” Watts was born on February 17, 1926 and died on August 24, 2004. He specialised in jump blues, blues and rhythm and blues music.
“Born in DeLand, Florida, Watts studied violin and trumpet in his youth, later switching to sax[ophone]. He gained musical training at Florida A&M, where he played in the school’s marching band with future saxophonist Cannonball Adderley.”
He is mentioned in the 2012 book “The One – The Life and Music of James Brown” as being a major influence on funk music and especially James Brown.