|By Eli (18.104.22.168 - 22.214.171.124) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 01:56 pm:|
I am trying to get Billy to come on. He is no longer on line and still in the mourning process due to the pasing of his wife Mikki Farrow.
He is a very good friend of mine and I want to see him happy again. He is very much into the Lord and such a genuine person.
I told him about the paragraph in the book "This is northern soul. where d.j. Ginger says that when he dies the only thing he wants in his coffin with him is his treasured copy of "Right Track" and the vast popularity of his music to this day. I must get him on board to see for him self.
|By Ralph (126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 02:01 pm:|
He would be comforted by the love of a lot of people here.
|By Eli (184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 02:07 pm:|
For sure Ralph. Two Thanksgivings ago, I was ill and had been in the hospital for a week and after coming out I was on some medication that I was not used to and I wanted to go to NYC to be with Vonnie so he accompanied me on the train just to make sure that I would be allright and turned back around back to Philly to be with Mikki .
I will never forget that!!
|By Ralph (18.104.22.168 - 22.214.171.124) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 02:11 pm:|
That'a a true friend Bobby.
|By Eli (126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 02:13 pm:|
|By Ritchie (184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 07:45 pm:|
This is really freaky. I was only listening to my Billy Butler CD this afternoon. I check into the Forum and the next thing I see is a thread headed "Billy Butler" and Bobby saying, "I am trying to get Billy to come on."
If Billy is in any doubt about the respect and love he'll find here, I'm sure you can reassure him - Okeh?
|By david, glasgow, scotland (18.104.22.168 - 22.214.171.124) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 07:45 pm:|
When 'The Right Track' was issued here in the early days of the Northern Soul scene it caused a storm. Billy wrote it himself.
It was one of those 45's which had an equally great flip side too,'The Boston Monkey'. Co-written Sims/Lance.
I always remember being in Roger Banks house in Blackpool one morning. Roger is one of the top collectors and deejays on the scene.
I was buying a copy of Chicago Soul from him, and as he brought it down the stairs he said you'll never believe who phoned me last night...Billy Butler.
He was so proud it was unbelievable.
Bobby, I hope you can bring Billy on to the forum; but when you see anyway, tell him we love 'The Boston Monkey' too...and 'Can't live without her', 'Found true love', 'You ain't ready, 'I'm just a man'.........
|By John Lester (126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 08:24 pm:|
I didn't think there was a Northern Scene as such in the Soul City days.....the whole country was playing the same new records. It was my understanding that the "Northern scene" (which came later) was and is characterised by the fact that the music being played (by and large but of course not exclusively) was not the latest releases.
When Right Track was issued on UK Soul City, it was played everywhere. You guys surely must recall Soul City Records on Monument Street, run by Dave Godin!
I could never figure out why Right Track was not a hit, even my school mates into Move, Who etc bought that record. Mind you, what Bobby said today on another thread, is SOOOO true!!!
|By Mark Speck (184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 09:20 pm:|
Don't forget his Brunswick sides as well!!
Please get him on board--he'd be a great addition to the distinguished panel.
|By Eli (18.104.22.168 - 22.214.171.124) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 09:50 pm:|
I rang him up today and he was asleep.
Mikki's daughter answered. Billy lives alone since Mikki passed on so her daughter Dawn( the other is Ebony) was probably cooking for the Memorial Day holiday.
If anyone wants to ring him up his phone number is 215-425-2864
I am sure it will cheer him up as well knowing that his music is so revered.
|By david, glasgow, scotland (126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 09:59 pm:|
The rare soul scene in the North of England had been in full swing for several years before Dave Godin gave it the Northern Soul handle in 1971.
In Keith Rylatt & Phil Saxe's excellent book 'The Story of The Twisted Wheel' deejay Paul Davis recalls a swing to rare soul records in late 1968.
When I was in Torquay in July 1969 I was told to go to the Wheel 'where you can hear records that you don't hear anywhere else'.
I would be surprised if Dave Godin did not get some of his feedback from the North before releasing Billy Butler, Major Lance and in particular Chris Jackson. I have a feeling these were released 1969.
Also Soul City was based in Deptford High Street before moving to 17 Monmouth Street.
|By John Lester (184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11) on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 10:39 pm:|
Thank you David for telling me off about not reading Keith's book all the way through!! Dont tell Keith though!
Deptford was too far for me.....but I forgot about that.
That is interesting what you said.....and now you come to say that, I do recall getting record lists from Oldies Unlimited in 1968 and I recall seeing Hit Pack for £2....which was a huge sum in those days
|By Carl Dixon London (18.104.22.168 - 22.214.171.124) on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 08:01 am:|
Oldies Unlimited - I thought it was called Soulscene - or are these different place? I bought 100 soul records from the above for £6 in about 1974. Such excitment when the postman knocked. In amongst them was the odd load of ****, and I still have them too.
|By david, glasgow, scotland (126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52) on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 09:51 am:|
The place to buy Soul Packs was definitely John Anderson's in Kings Lynn. Maybe just before your time Carl. 100 for $6.
Many records came through these packs which would command big prices in the years to come.
Even John couldn't have anticipated that.
|By Dave Godin (184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11) on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 01:56 pm:|
I greatly enjoyed reading the various messages in this thread and totally agree that Billy Butler is one of the great contrbutors to the Soul music scene. Can I however just tidy up a few slight misconceptions? It is true that what subsequently became known as the Northern Soul scene was in the mid-60s either playing hot new releases or records which had been released and overlooked. Since many of the latter had already been deleted from UK catalogues, it therefore gradually transformed itself into a "rare" Soul scene because of this fact. The beginning of the term "Northern Soul" was in "Soul City" record store because unlike London and Home Counties customers, I found that folk from the North didn't seem interested in the sides that were then making the US Soul charts, which were definitely moving in the direction of what we subsequently called "Funk", and so I coined the term to designate certain sides as "Northern Soul" so that we knew which sides to audition for Northern customers. The term somehow infiltrated over the counter, although not without some misunderstanding since to this day there are still people around who think it refers to the geography of the USA rather than the UK, and that "Northern Soul" records were made exclusively in studios in the North of the US. It may surprise and amuse you now to learn that I was very reluctant to use the term outside of the shop, since to me it seemed slightly divisive (and, as those who were around at the time can affirm and remember, look how subsequently my reservations were vindicated!), and I prefered just to carry on using the term "Soul music" which, in my view, united us all under one umbrella regardless of the particular genre we prefered. Eventually of course this position could no longer be sustained, and one reason why I capitulated was because by using this term, this at least united the North under one generalised umbrella. Again, if you recall, there was tremendous rivalry between Northern venues which often descended to quite acrimonious levels, and I think that by utilising the term properly and as I originally created it, it did mitgate against this so far as the fans were concerned, and circumvented a flakey situation further degenerating in the way you sometimes see in football team rivalry! However, let it also be remembered that the other genre defining term I coined about the same time, "Deep Soul", had to wait almost 20 years before it passed into generalised usage!!
So far as "The Right Track" is concerned, yes, we too were bitterly disappointed that it didn't make the charts, (and the following comments also apply to Major Lance's "It's The Beat", and Bessie Banks' "Go Now" on "Soul City" label) and although in terms of sales it should have made the charts, it was the chart compiling method used in those days that worked against it. What happened was that only major stores submitted sales figures to the charts, and, as nearly all our records were only stocked and sold by specialist or ruggedly independent outlets, their sales volume went unrecorded. It was only some years later when it was shown that this method was wide open to corruption and manipulation that the method of compilation was changed and made less vulnerable to dubious practises. Too late alas for Billy, Major or Bessie... or now that I think of it, The Valentinos. Hope this clears up any confusions, and if anyone out there wants to ask me questions whilst I'm still in the world of the living, they can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
What great memories these classic records always bring back too! Oh, and whilst I'm here setting the record straight, the label name "Soul City" was inspired by the title of a record by Leon Huff and Pervis Herder on the US "Jamie" label. Somehow Johnny Rivers got to hear of it and registered the name as a label in the USA before we could. OK, these things happen, but imagine our outrage when we got a legal letter trying to prevent US from using the name in the UK!! I refused to be intimidated and stood my ground, and the verdict was eventually ruled in our favour that we had first legal claim on the name as a record label. Finally, how did we eventually get access to records from the "Okeh" label which were exclusively licensed to "CBS" at that time? Well, it's really another story, but briefly it was part of the deal I struck with them in return for promoting Sly & The Family Stone over here. It was me who suggested (against, let it be recorded, strong opposition from CBS over here) that they re-issue "Dance To The Music" instead of going with his latest release, (you'll recall it had had a brief life on "Columbia" before they lost the rights to "Okeh"), and I'd help promote the record too. We had about 30 great sides (and LPs too!) cleared from them to issue under the "Soul City" imprint, but alas, financial troubles overtook us before we could release more than just a few of these. And finally, finally, although I gave them permission to use the label name and esign, I am in no way connected with the revived "Soul City" label in the UK.
|By Ritchie (18.104.22.168 - 22.214.171.124) on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 03:00 pm:|
Mr Godin -
Thank you for setting more than a few records straight here. (Who's going to argue with The Man..?!)
Those of us, who've been around the music longer than we might care to admit, remember exactly where the term "Northern Soul" originated, and what it signified. To this day I still consider myself simply a SOUL fan - united with many like-minded friends across the globe under that wonderful "umbrella" to which you refer. I was born and raised in North Manchester, so I guess that makes me a Northern Soul fan by definitition, whatever I might think of the much-misused term!
|By B. Eli (126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52) on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 05:56 pm:|
Glad you made it onto forum!!
I appreciate the commentary.
The first time that I heard the term was via Ian Levine in London , circa 1986 when mentioned my James Bounty record "Prove yourself a lady" being a smash, and I responded: "well, it sure took long enough, as it was recorded in 1967!"
Then proceded to explain the Northern thing to me.
Coincidentally, in the late sixties, I worked at all of the famous Northern venues when I was the guitarist and conductor for the Vibrations.
|By david, glasgow, scotland (184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11) on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 08:09 pm:|
I'm glad you are enjoying this thread.
Isn't great to hear of Bobby Eli's love of The music that we hold so dear to our hearts?
I would like to tell our many American friends that Dave was one of the pioneers who brought the Motown sound to the U.K.
Mrs Gordy Edwards mentioned his name to me at the beginning of a long discussion about Motown in Europe.
She holds him in high esteem for the part he played in helping break the music over here in the very early days.
So to do the thousands of Soul fans, who in the late sixties and early seventies, read his monthly, then fortnightly articles, on Soul Music in Blues and Soul Magazine.
He was the light which shone for us in a country which by that time had become besotted with psychedelia and hard rock.
Soul Music has always been an underground scene in this country but, thanks to Dave Godin, we had someone who could educate us on what was worth checking out, and who the real stars of Black America were.
Welcome to the forum Dave.
|By John Lester (18.104.22.168 - 22.214.171.124) on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 08:17 pm:|
Even though you don't know us, we know you.
We are your followers!
|By Mark Speck (126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52) on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 02:05 am:|
Welcome aboard, Dave. As a self-converted Northern fanatic, it's good to hear from the man who popularized the music.
|By keith Rylatt (184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11) on Saturday, June 01, 2002 - 02:48 am:|
Hi Dave. Good to see you on the forum - at last. On the topic of Okeh material destined for your Soul City / Deep Soul labels, Sandi Sheldon, who's monster `You're gonna make me love you` was I know sheduled for release, is appearing live in London later this month. On the other topic of Billy Butler, does anyone have any info on his recording of `I'll Bet You` ? keith
|By Eli (18.104.22.168 - 22.214.171.124) on Saturday, June 01, 2002 - 12:56 pm:|
I'll ring him up and adk him. Also here is his phone number again if any wants to say hello.
|By Eli (126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52) on Wednesday, June 12, 2002 - 07:26 pm:|
Happy belated birthday to Billy Butler ( June 7th)
|By MEL&THEN SOME (184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11) on Tuesday, July 09, 2002 - 11:25 am:|
MY CONDOLENCES TO MR. BUTLER AND HIS FAMILY OVER HIS SAD LOSS OF HIS WIFE.WHOSE GREAT DANCER ON THE KARATE LABEL,SET MY HEART AT EASE(AND THE FLIP)BRINGS BACK SOME GREAT NIGHTS FOR ME.I ALSO SAW BILLY LIVE AT WIGAN CASINO AROUND 1975.ALL THE MATERIAL HE HAS CUT ARE SUPERB.I OBTAINED MY COPY OF RIGHT TRACK IN 1971.HIS BRUNSWICK AND OKEH MATERIAL ARE SECOND TO NONE,MANY THANKS BILLY TO YOU AND YOUR LATE WIFE. MEL(AND THEN SOME)
|By david, glasgow, scotland (18.104.22.168 - 22.214.171.124) on Tuesday, July 09, 2002 - 12:16 pm:|
Nice touch Mel.
What do you remember of that night at Wigan Casino?
|By MEL&THEN SOME (126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52) on Tuesday, July 09, 2002 - 09:32 pm:|
DAVE,NOT A LOT IM AFRAID,ALL I SEEM TO RECALL WAS BILLY DOING SONGS THAT KEPT THE CROWD HAPPY,BUT WE ALL WANTED THE RIGHT TRACK.NOW AS I SAID,THINGS ARE A LITTLE HAZY REGARDS THE SOUNDS HE DID DO,BUT ILL NEVER FORGET THAT FIRST FEW BARS TO THE RIGHT TRACK WHEN IT CAME,THE CASINO BLEW UP.ID APPRECIATE ANYONE THAT WAS THERE THAT NIGHT,IF THEY COULD LET ME KNOW THE SONGS HE DID DO.THE REASON I DONT RECALL MUCH IS BECAUSE I WAS ONLY 15 AT THE TIME,AND MR SMITH KLEIN AND FRENCH CAME ALONG.BUT JUST REMEMBERING THE RIGHT TRACK WILL KEEP ME HAPPY. MEL(AND THEN SOME)