Are you ready for a deepie or two? Here comes Clay Hammond. ?
"No One Else Will Do"
Okay, the next song I've filed under "big goose bumps inducing." Clay Hammond has as clean and clear a tenor as it can get. And when he hits the high notes, I feel like thanking God for making (some) humans capable of singing like this man does.
Along with Johnny Adams and David Ruffin, Clay Hammond is one of the rare vocalists who master the high notes with perfection.
"I'll Make It Up To You"
If you are in the mood for a voice resembling Sam Cooke's set against a backdrop of a soft guitar, a moaning harp, interspersed with the sound of a Hammond organ -- then listen to the next track. Top the whole thing with perfect female background vocals and a driving drum beat showing the song its direction. I could have said I am in the mood for some Southern Soul -- but that just won't do it.
"The Good Side Of My Girl"
"Clay Hammond may be best remembered as the author of Little Johnny Taylor's huge soul hit, "Part Time Love." He was also a decent Sam Cooke-style soul singer in his own right, however, who recorded for various labels in the 1960s. His most well-known efforts from that time are the four singles he did for Kent between 1966-69. These mixed Southern soul, gospel, and blues styles, yet also had a somewhat lighter and poppier production aura than much Southern soul, perhaps because they were recorded in Los Angeles. All eight songs from these 45s, as well as eight others that were recorded but not released in the 1960s, appear on the Ace CD Southern Soul Brothers, which also includes ten tracks recorded for Kent around the same time by fellow soul vocalist Z.Z. Hill. Hammond recorded sporadic singles and albums for various labels after the 1960s, in addition to singing in the lineups of groups such as the Drifters and the Rivingtons on the oldies circuit."
(Biography by Richard Underberger)