Sunday, July 28, 2013

Johnny Robinson: When A Man Cries

What can I say? For years and years, I've been digging out one neglected artist, one unappreciated gem after another and still keep finding new ones. There seems to be an unimaginable wealth of good, even great, music lingering in the dusky vaults of music's history. That fact alone makes it so rewarding to keep blogging.

I found today's track in my "research artist" folder. As with many other artists, though, there is not much info available on Johnny Robinson.

He was born in Tuskagee, AL in 1939. His gospel origins unmistakably show in his late 60's releases for the Okeh label as today's track proves. "It's All Over," his first 45 according to Sir Shambling, was released on Strike Records in 1966/7. I agree with Sir Shambling that "Poor Man" and "When A Man Cries" mark the peek of Robinson's early recordings.

"Memphis High," his only Lp, was produced by Willie Mitchell in the vein of Syl Johnson's work, I would say.

My favorite track from "Memphis High" is without a doubt "Nothing Can Touch This Love." Robbinson's take on "Reconsider Me," the country tune that became a hit for Johnny Adams in 1969, is a close runner up. Actually, the album teems with great songs, and it will definitely be an asset to any deep soul collection.

So, go and get it!

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