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Saturday, February 12, 2011


While I would make no claims that this cover in any way, shape or form stacks up to the wicked Wilson Pickett's version, this Australian version packs a particular wallop nonetheless (mostly in the hot brass and fuzzed out guitar). Hailing from Sydney, The Whispers (not to be confused with the great US vocal group) began life as a surf/ instrumental group until those pesky Beatles changed everything, at which point they recruited the good looking / OK singing Ray Brown as lead singer. I actually like the fact that Ray doesn't attempt to sing this song in any kind of blue eyed soul style; he basically sings it straight and it's kinda charming; the BAND on the other hand, is hot stuff indeed and I can just imagine them whipping a wild Aussie crowd into a frenzy (especially as this country was, sadly, true r&b deprived!)

Almost overnight, the group became a big success in Australia; even though OZ radio did not play American r&b, they loved it and covered many classics of the genre. There was no national chart at the time, but this record came close to #1 in both Sydney and Melbourne. And, like so much of this great Aussie beat music, was not released elsewhere.

from 1966...


KL from NYC said...

Cameo released at least one of the Ray Brown & The Whispers singles in the US.

Richard from Seoul said...

Thanks for this one, brings back memories of Sydney in 60's. Not sure about where you are getting your information from, but Sydney definitely had pop charts then, and R&B (both local and imported).

Ray Brown tried his luck in America in 1967 and made a woeful LP on Capitol which sank without trace.

oldgarageluvver said...

Nice track...Thanx Derek!!