Monday, January 24, 2022

VA - Southern Soul Showcase, Cryin' In The Streets [2005]



VA - Southern Soul Showcase, Cryin' In The Streets [2005]

This is the first in-depth look on CD of the high quality output of the SSS International Group run by Shelby Singleton out of Nashville, Tennessee. Shelby had his greatest commercial success with Jeannie C Riley's Harper Valley PTA so it comes as no surprise that his musical tastes veered towards the country side of soul, which, as any self respecting soul fan will know, is the essence of Southern soul. Revered soul artists like Bettye LaVette, Johnny Adams and Sam Dees were taken into the great studios of Muscle Shoals, Memphis and Nashville in the late 1960's/early 1970's and came up with many classic Southern and deep soul tracks.

Compilation releases like this present an ideal opportunity to highlight tracks by artists who may have recorded only one or two 45's in their entire "career", and Gable Reed's sparse, bluesy I'm Your Man is one such solid outing worthy of your attention. Better still is the stirring I Can't Use You by mystery duo Double Soul, but best of the lot (and a contender for track of the CD) is the heart-wrenching Everybody's Clown with its great lyrics and suitably despairing vocals by the terminally obscure Johnny Dynamite. No commercial success was forthcoming. However, other shadowy singers did have hits, like George Perkins with the anguished civil rights anthem Cryin' In The Streets and Calvin Leavy's equally despairing soul-blues of Cummins Prison Farm.  It's not all suicidal stuff, though. For example, listen to the bright, stomping Mama's Got The Wagon by Mickey Murray and Dancing To The Beat by his brother Clarence Murray.

I can't praise this release highly enough. I know compilers John "nice production!" Broven, John "have you heard this one?" Ridley and Richard "lovely bluesy ballad" Tapp have spent months agonising over the track selections. Slot in Mr Ridley's excellent liner notes - plus an affectionate introduction by SSS songwriter Margaret Lewis - and it all adds up to a package that will appeal to the legions of fans of Dave Godin's "Deep Soul Treasures" series and Kent's other outstanding Southern Soul releases such as "The Dial Records Southern Soul Story" (CDKEND 223). I hear there is enough top quality material for at least one further SSS volume. Meanwhile, one to treasure. (Ace)



Track lists

01 Bettye LaVette He Made A Woman Out Of Me 2:34

02 Big John Hamilton I Have No One 2:31

03 Johnny Adams Reconsider Me 3:58

04 Danny White One Way Love Affair 2:37

05 Reuben Bell Too Late 2:45

06 Eddy Giles So Deep In Love 2:25

07 Oscar Irwin My Pillow Stays Wet 2:27

08 Johnny Soul Lonely Man 2:28

09 Peggy Scott You Can Never Get Something For Nothing 2:57

10 George Perkins Cryin' In The Streets Part 1 3:19

11 Gable Reed I'm Your Man 3:00

12 Johnny Dynamite Everybody's Clown 3:07

13 Johnny Adams I Want To Walk Through This Life With You 2:51

14 Clarence Murray Dancing To The Beat 2:18

15 Big John Hamilton How Much Can A Man Take 2:46

16 Doris Allen A Shell Of A Woman 3:00

17 Mickey Murray Mama's Got The Wagon 2:02

18 Peggy Scott & Jo Jo Benson 'Til The Morning Comes 2:49

19 Big John Hamilton I'm Getting It From Her 2:33

20 Double Soul Blue Diamonds 3:01

21 Johnny Adams In A Moment Of Weakness 2:38

22 Clarence Murray Poor Boy 2:53

23 Sam Dees Lonely For You Baby 2:39

24 Double Soul I Can't Use You 2:39

25 Calvin Leavy Cummins Prison Farm 4:43




  1. Great comp and tribute to an equally fantastic label. That Jackson record, "Crying in the Streets," is so masterful. Many thanks, BB.

    1. Hi Pmac,
      Thanks for highlighting the "Crying in the Streets" track. The opening track is great too.


    2. Oh absolutely correct re Bettye White. Also, Danny White was being groomed to be the alter ego of another singer from New Orleans, Ernie K-Doe.