Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tuff Stuff!

Roscoe Robinson - What Makes a Man Do Wrong

Gospel and soul singer Roscoe Robinson has been a busy guy lately, doing gigs organized by John Ciba (compiler of the Birmingham CD that I have praised relentlessly on this blog and on the podcast). A short article about his amazing career and an interview with Robinson can be found here. When Robinson released his first secular sides in the mid-60s he had already been all over the gospel highway as a sighted member of the Blind Boys of Mississippi and the Blind Boys of Ohio (Robinson would also work with the Blind Boys of Alabama), and so it's a natural that his gospel intensity would grace one of his first soul 45s, the great "What Makes a Man Do Wrong," released on Tuff. Over a strong beat and soaring background vocals, Robinson lays out the anguish of a man who knows he's in the wrong and wishes he could do better. It's a killer, but it went nowhere when released. Shortly thereafter Robinson created his own Gerri label, and his awesome "That's Enough" was picked up by Wand, which released other great 45s. Later releases on Sound Stage Seven, Atlantic, FAME and Paula didn't fare as well, and Robinson would return to gospel, where he remains save for the occasional gig. At his advanced age, Robinson is still tough enough!

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