Monday, April 20, 2009
Bobby Taylor - Blackmail
Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers, an interracial act signed to Motown in the late '60s, is probably best known for three things: their 1968 hit "Does Your Mama Know About Me," that frontman Taylor (not Diana Ross, as is often reported) "discovered" the Jackson Five (WVON jock Pervis Spann has disagreed with this narrative, though, claiming that his initial promotional efforts with the group paved the way to their success), and that guitarist Tommy Chong would later find fame with "Cheech" Marin as the stoner comedy act "Cheech & Chong." Taylor stuck with the label after the group disbanded and recorded a handful of sides that were released on V.I.P. Today's selection, a Gloria Jones-Pam Sawyer composition (Jones was billed on the label under her pseudonym, "LaVerne Ware"), was a 1970 single. Although the dandy, shuffling flip, "Oh, I've Been Bless'd," has found more favor among the rare soul set, Taylor steps up to the plate on "Blackmail" and effectively captures the anger, fear and confusion that the song's lyrics and surging arrangement portray. "I hardly touched that evil girl; to lose my bride-to-be would surely end my world," Taylor sings. What a predicament!