Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Going to the River With Ollie & The Nightingales

Ollie & The Nightingales - A Smile Can't Hide (A Broken Heart)

The Ace/Kent setup in the UK has been rolling out lots of great stuff lately, and their new boxed set Take Me To The River: A Southern Soul Story 1961-1977 continues the trend. Over three CDs, Southern soul chestnuts and absolute rarities sit side by side. Naturally, Memphis soul is highly represented, and Stax sides make up a good number of tracks. A treat from the Stax stable in the set is today's selection.

William Bell released "A Smile Can't Hide (A Broken Heart)" as the B-side to his version of the Albert King classic "Born Under a Bad Sign." Ollie & The Nightingales cut a version as well that languished in the can but is now available on Take Me To The River. The mid-tempo groove gives the group plenty of room to do its gospel harmonizing and for Ollie Nightingale to bring his piercing lead vocals. The unearthing of this side makes me wonder if anyone plans to release their "Heartaches Mountain," which I have not heard, which was released only on the Stax various artists double LP Soul Explosion, several tracks of which have still not seen CD reissue. One can only hope!

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