Monday, March 13, 2006

Sanctified Southern Soul!

The Kelly Brothers - Falling in Love Again

The Kelly Brothers (Andrew, Curtis and Robert Kelly, Offe Reece and T.C. Lee - the three Kelly brothers are depicted above) were described by Robert Pruter in the liner notes to the CD Sanctified Southern Soul as being the soul group equivalent of Otis Redding or other Southern soulsters, an accurate description. The group's '60s sides for Sims and Excello were cut from that rough-hewn gospel cloth as those more-famous artists. The gospel part of the equation isn't so hard to account for, as the group started out in gospel in the late '40s, recording throughout the following decade for Vee-Jay and Nashboro. By the early '60s the group was recording in Chicago for King Records' Federal label. Inspired by Sam Cooke's success in the secular field, the group began to record R&B as the King Pins, scoring a hit right out of the gate in 1963 with "It Won't Be This Way (Always)." Further success eluded them at Federal and within a couple of years the group, now again using the Kelly Brothers name, began recording for the Nashville-based Sims label. After some great but commercially unsuccessful singles, today's selection gave them their first (and only national) hit on Sims.

"Falling In Love Again" features great gospel harmonizing and an attractive guitar and horn arrangement cooked up by producer Robert Holmes (who, like Ted Jarrett, was a very important figure in the Nashville R&B scene). It's a solid ballad featuring Curtis Kelly's lead.

The strength of this single, and regional success with follow-up recordings, earned the group a TV appearance on the 1966 Hoss Allen-hosted series "The Beat!!!!" The entire run of this show, 26 episodes, has now been reissued on DVD by Bear Family and is a "must-have" for any soul and/or TV history fan. The Kellys' performance of "Falling In Love Again" is a highlight of the show and is well worth seeing.

I will post more Kelly Brothers and even some King Pins material as the week progresses. Enjoy!

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