Sunday, March 18, 2007

Roscoe Robinson - We're Losing It Baby (Paula 378)


We're Losing It Baby

In the early seventies, Stan Lewis' Jewel/Ronn/Paula empire would become home to some of the truly great names in Gospel and R&B. As many independent labels folded or were sold off to the highest bidder, Lewis was positioned to scoop up the cream of what they left behind. When Roscoe Robinson came into the fold in 1971, he joined an already impressive roster of talent that included veterans like Charles Brown, Ted Taylor, Lowell Fulson and Clarence Fountain. In many ways the perfect environment for him, the company walked the line between Gospel and R&B with ease.

The six singles he released on Paula over the next couple of years are simply fantastic. Some were deep ballads that featured old Chicago pal Cash McCall on guitar, like Without You and Prove It, while others were just straight ahead funk, like the way cool song you're listening to now. Written and produced by the in-house Jewel team of Jerry Strickland and Bobby Patterson, Roscoe's backed here by the seventies Sound City rhythm section known as The African Music Machine (dig the congas). Great Stuff! How records like this didn't make the charts is beyond me.

The fact remains, however, that they didn't, and Roscoe decided to go back to singing Gospel. He didn't have to go far, as Stan Lewis was just as happy to have him as a Gospel artist, and released the great He Still Lives In Me on his Jewel label in 1972 (for more on that, please visit holy ghost). That album, along with the Paula sides (and his first Gerri single as well) have been collected on the great Japanese release Heavenly Soul Music on P-Vine records. You need to own a copy.

Please rejoin me over at The B Side for the rest of the story...

2 Comments:

Anonymous Vincent said...

Great record. Would that be the same African Music Machine that brought us "Black Water Gold"?

2:01 PM  
Blogger Red Kelly said...

Yup!

According to our man on the bayou, Dan Phillips:

"During the early to mid-1970’s, the African Music Machine was the prime recording ensemble at Sound City Studios in Shreveport. Working for Stan Lewis’ Jewel-Paula Records group, which included the Ronn (not to be confused with Ron – with one “n” - Records of New Orleans) and Soul Power labels...

The eight-piece AMM backed many of Lewis' artists, laying down blues, soul and funk grooves for Little Johnny Taylor, Ted Taylor, Bobby Patterson, and Tommie Young, among others..."

They were some tight outfit, huh? Da Fonk was in da house!

2:33 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home