1967 Mike Hanks got involved in Rudy and Cody's setup at
Ram-Brock records and doesn't appear to have had any direct
involvement in the Wee 3 and Premium Stuff labels. Many -
perhaps all - of the Premium Stuff tracks were cut in
Memphis with Willie Mitchell's taking care of the sessions.
The vocals were then overdubbed in Detroit, although Lee
Rogers and The Peps actually travelled south to record.
brothers, Curtis and Moses Boone, had had "What Can It Be"
as the last disc on D-Town and it was also released on Wheelsville USA. It was then re-released with a different
flip - "Been So Long" - as the first one on Wee 3, but
unfortunately it wasn't third time lucky for the
high-pitched duo: The Lil' Soul Brothers.
Buddy Lamp's two Wee 3 songs - "Confusion," and "I Wanna Go
Home" - were from his Wheelsville days and could possibly
have been Pete Hall's attempt to recoup some of his
investment: it didn't happen.
this time Pete had developed a close relationship with
Martha Jean Steinberg, who used "The Queen" as her radio
name in Detroit. She hailed from Memphis where her deejaying
title had been "Premium Stuff" and the
pair tried to strike it rich with this label towards the end
ten-record lifespan started out with a couple of vinyl
platters by The Fabulous Peps and recordings by other ex-D-Towners
and Wheelsvillers soon followed. And The Peps later had a
third 45, their version of The Impressions' classic song,
Lee Rogers's "Jack
The Playboy" and "Sweet Baby Talk" are in the same punchy
mould as his earthy D-Town recordings. The A-side was later
put on the flip of "I Need Your Love," a tune that has a
distinct echo of The Temptations' 1966 hit, "I Know I'm
Losing You." That's possibly because Lee's song was produced
by one of Motown's Funk Brothers, Jack Ashford, who'd
started his own independent company: Just Productions.
Premium Stuff record is his must-hear "Sock Some Love Power
To Me," which has a tambourine and guitar dominating a
vibrant, must-dance track.
D-Towner, Dee Edwards, recorded a couple of songs that were
arranged by Sonny Sanders. And the Godmother of Detroit
Soul, Johnnie Mae Matthews, was behind Timmy Shaw and Little
Melvin's impassioned deep soul disc, "Can't We Make This
Love Last." This is one my personal favorites, with the two
singers soulfully intertwining their voices over a simple,
southern-flavored guitar session.
The last Premium
Stuff 45 was released in February '69 and by then Mike had
been busy re-launching his MAH'S label and scoring a hit
with The Magic Tones.
Notes thanks to Graham
image must not be
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