They say behind every successful man is a woman. Obviously, that’s not true.

Take James Brown for example. Heaven knows he didn’t just have one woman. He had a whole pack of them. And I dare say the legacy we usually ascribe to him wouldn’t be anywhere near legendary if it weren’t for the women behind him, next to him, in front of him (and the J.B.s, or course). And let’s leave out the ones who only ever made it onto his pillows. I’m talking about Lyn Collins, Vicki Anderson, Marva Whitney and the rest of them.

As a youngun only just getting interested into the history and the roots of hip-hop, delving into some of James Brown’s innumerable releases and hearing the “uh”s, the “get down”s and the classic riffs and horn melodies in their original context opened up a gate to me. It was a revelation of all these funky-ass singers and musicians that are usually lumped together under the man’s name.

For one, to pay tribute to the late J.B. and his work, but also to the people who made him what he was in the first place, while dwelling in his shadow (to various degrees) and sometimes not getting their proper shine, I wanna give to you this gem.

It’s a compliation of James Brown’s female singers and (if you believe the liner notes), nearly all of their songs. For those like me who’ve tried to dig up a Lyn Collins album or something of the kind will know that unless you can afford to fork over the money to order stuff from some aficionado from Japan, chances are slim you’ll hear her songs on one record. (Though I hear her records have got re-released recently.) Most of the divas’s work is scattered over countless 45s and some even lost forever. For this comp, Harry Weinger and Alan Leeds restored recordings off the best copies they could find and put them all together on this double album.

For those interested to read a bit more on J.B.’s work with his ladies, read on here. Pretty enlightening.

Now make way for the soul sisters…

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DISC 1: THE SIXTIES
1 You’ve Got The Power – Bea Ford/James Brown
2 Little Taste Of Soul, A – Sugar Pie DeSanto/The Nat Hendrix Band
3 I Found You – Yvonne Fair
4 If I Knew – Yvonne Fair
5 You Can Make It If You Try – Yvonne Fair
6 Straighten Up – Yvonne Fair
7 Say Yeah Yeah – Yvonne Fair
8 I Cried – Tammy Montgomery (Tammi Terrell)
9 If You Don’t Think – Tammy Montgomery (Tammi Terrell)
10 If Somebody Told You – Anna King
11 Make Up Your Mind – Anna King
12 Baby Baby Baby – Anna King/Bobby Byrd
13 All Of Me – Elsie May
14 Whole Lot Of Lovin’ – Elsie Mae
15 Do You Really Want To Rescue Me (Part 1) – Elsie Mae
16 This Is My Story – The Jewels
17 Wide Awake In A Dream – Vicki Anderson
18 Baby, Don’t You Know – Vicki Anderson
19 Unwind Yourself – Marva Whitney (remix)
20 I’m Tired, I’m Tired, I’m Tired (Things Better Change Before It’s Too Late) – Marva Whitney
21 What Do I Have To Do To Prove My Love To You – Marva Whitney
22 You Got To Have A Job (If You Don’t Work-You Don’t Eat) – Marva Whitney
23 It’s My Thing (You Can’t Tell Me Who To Sock It To), (Parts 1 & 2) – Marva Whitney
24 I Made A Mistake Because It’s Only You (Parts 1 & 2) – Marva Whitney
25 Things Got To Get Better (Get Together) – Marva Whitney/Lyn Collins/James Brown (remix)
26 Answer To Mother Popcorn (I Got A Mother For You) – Vicki Anderson
27 I Want To Be In The Land Of Milk And Honey – Vicki Anderson

DISC 2: THE SEVENTIES
1 Message From The Soul Sisters (Parts 1 & 2), The – Vicki Anderson
2 Super Good (Answer To Super Bad) (Parts 1 & 2) – Vicki Anderson
3 I’m Too Tough For Mr. Big Stuff (Hot Pants) – Vicki Anderson
4 Don’t Throw Your Love In The Garbage Can – Vicki Anderson
5 You’re Welcome, Stop On By – Vicki Anderson/Bobby Byrd
6 Lord Will Make A Way Somehow (Parts 1 & 2), The – Kay Robinson
7 People Make The World A Better Place – Shirley Jean & The Relations
8 Wheel Of Life – Lyn Collins
9 Think (About It) – Lyn Collins
10 Me And My Baby Got A Good Thing Going – Lyn Collins
11 Mama Feelgood – Lyn Collins (previously unreleased, long version)
12 Take Me Just As I Am – Lyn Collins (previously unreleased, long version)
13 Don’t Make Me Over – Lyn Collins
14 What My Baby Needs Now Is A Little More Lovin’ – Lyn Collins/James Brown
15 We Want To Parrty, Parrty, Parrty (Parts 1 & 2) – Lyn Collins
16 Rock Me Again & Again & Again & Again & Again & Again (6 Times) – Lyn Collins
17 You Can’t Love Me, If You Don’t Respect Me – Lyn Collins (promo-only long version)
18 Put It On The Line – Lyn Collins
19 Summertime – Martha High/James Brown

Take it, just as it is…

Peace, 9@home