photograph courtesy of Jim
Wingate004 was released
in August 1965, but it was an uninspiring 45 by Al Kent, called "Country boy".
Al's name had already appeared on a couple of Golden World
discs in the capacity
of songwriter, notably working with New Yorkers such as
Charlie Calello and Sammy Lowe. No doubt this connection
came from his days as an artist in NYC on the Wizard label.
Over the next six
months the Wingate label would change direction by bringing
in some jazz influence in the form of Sonny Stitt and Hank
This would appear to
have been another shrewd move by Ed, especially putting
Sonny out on established songs, but strangely there was no
Jim Gallert was able
to tell me that Sonny was born
Edward Boatner in 1922 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and grew
up in Saginaw, Michigan. It was on his beloved alto
saxophone that he worked with such greats as Billy Eckstine
& Dizzy Gillespie. In the fifties, he would begin to
feature the tenor saxophone.
His first 45 for Wingate, "Agent-Double-O-Soul", was a
beautiful, crystal clear recording, that did this great song justice. It is a travesty that it was not a hit.
recording was "Concerto for jazz lovers" c/w
"Just dust" which was released in December.
Hank Marr made his debut in January '66 with a nice number, "Marr's
groove". On the flip side was another Sonny tune,
Hank had a string of releases
on the Federal label in Cincinnati before joining Wingate.
He was a jazz organist and had formed the Hank Marr Trio
playing behind stars such as Della Reese and Lou Rawls.
After some outings
on the King label he worked on TV with George Kirby as a musical director .
Wingate012 followed just four weeks later. "White house
party" c/w "The out crowd" were two great
in the Ramsey Lewis mould, and like the Sonny Stitt
recordings, were produced by Bob d'Orleans.
flurry with Jazz came in April '66 with The
Mark 111 Trio and "G'Wan" c/w "Good
grease". This number was produced by percussionist
Perhaps the Mark 111
name is derived from Hank Marr's surname?