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Sunday, January 27, 2013


Wess was born Wesley Johnson in North Carolina; young Wesley's family moved to New York, where he was apparently groomed for a career in music. As a very young man Wesley joined Rocky Roberts' group The Airedales as bassist. In an interesting twist of fate, the group was discovered by an Italian production team who essentially imported the whole outfit to Italy, and the group found massive success playing authentic soul music in Italy and the European continent.

By the time the Airedales split from Rocky Roberts in late '67 (after several succesful singles and TV appearances), Wess had already sung lead on a few singles credited to The Airedales (without Rocky Roberts). I own one of these as well and at some point I'll feature it here on this site. On this particular side (the b-side of a slick cover of Procul Harum's big hit), Wess lays out some fantastic soul that displays his southern roots beautifully; although it sounds as though it was cut in New Orleans or Muscle Shoals, the track was put to tape in Italy. The copy you see is of Spanish origin.

Wess had a very successful career in Italy (and Canada) until his too-early (age 65) passing of an asthma attack in 2009.

from 1968...



tut said...

can we also have the flip side ?

Derek See said...

I'm not that crazy about the flip, so I don't think I'm interested in posting it, sorry.

Flipsider said...

This is lovely, thanks.