Mary Love’s vocals topped and tailed the first two groundbreaking UK Kent LPs in 1982 and she has had a place in the hearts of Kent collectors ever since. Her recordings for Los Angeles’ Modern label covered the golden age of soul music, 1965-1967, and ranged from Motown-inspired dance tracks to beautiful ballads, raunchy blues-based numbers and even a gospel-tinged rave-up on ‘Dance Children Dance’. We have collected them all on to a vinyl LP for the first time and added two highlights from her self-produced soulful gospel tracks, recorded in the 80s. That era was indeed her second coming, musically as well as spiritually, with ‘Come Out Of The Sandbox’ taking on anthemic status among European soul fans. ‘You Turned My Bitter Into Sweet’, ‘Lay This Burden Down’ and ‘Let Me Know’ had already achieved that standing among Northern Soul fans, who have danced along for many years. The more tender side of her work can be heard in Ashford & Simpson’s ‘Baby I’ll Come’, while her only Modern hit, the sensual ‘Move A Little Closer’, is another show-stopper.

Mary loved the family atmosphere that Modern Records created at their South Normandie Ave complex. Los Angeles soul was booming … More

One for the Northern Soul collectors, what a voice! Blown away by this album. “In the last two decades, Little Ann’s music has gone from being almost unheard to celebrated widely across the world. Initially known only as a footnote for having one side of one Ric-Tic single in 1968, the discovery and playing of her acetate of ‘What Should I Do’ at Wigan Casino in the late 70s meant her name become important to rare soul fans (when it was revealed that Little Ann was the real singer of the song erroneously attributed to Rose Valentine at the time).”

Once Ace Records acquired Dave Hamilton’s Detroit studio tapes, through the auspices of researcher Richard Gilbert, more previously unheard gems … More

Maxine Brown has been popular in the black music world since 1960. ‘All In My Mind’, her hit debut, is cited as one of the first soul records but it was not until she moved to the Wand label in 1963 that her career really took off. Maxine’s golden period included her signature hit ‘Oh No, Not My Baby’ & beautiful ballads such as ‘It’s Gonna Be Alright’ & ‘Gotta Find A Way’. These are loved in the UK but it was her less familiar, uptempo Wand releases that turned her from an admired artist to a soul goddess on the Northern Soul scene. The hard-to-find ‘One In A Million’ and ‘Let Me Give You My Lovin’’ were played at rare soul dances for many years, attaining classic status on the scene, despite not selling enough to chart in the USA at the time of release.

Interestingly, when her run of solo R&B hits dried up Maxine continued to reach the pop charts with ‘One Step … More

Out now! A vinyl-only release drawn from the Modern & Kent labels of Los Angeles. Black music collectors have revered the output of the Modern and Kent labels since the early days of B.B. King, the Ikettes and Ike & Tina Turner. Much of the soul was crossed with R&B – witness the tracks here by Z.Z. Hill, Vernon Garrett and Johnny Copeland. Garrett’s ‘Shine It On’ has become much in-demand in recent years, as has Z.Z. Hill’s cover of Bettye Swann’s ‘Make Me Yours’. Larry Davis’ name was largely unknown until his ‘I’ve Been Hurt So Many Times’ got Northern Soul plays in the 80s and onwards.

Mel Williams’ storming ‘Can It Be Me’ is also on the tough side – it has been a dancefloor filler … More