Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Motown Moment With Chuck Jackson

Chuck Jackson - Pet Names

Chuck Jackson's legacy in the annals of R&B history are linked to his great records for Wand, where uptown arrangements and Chuck's fiery baritone made for fine alchemy. When Jackson and Wand boss Florence Greenberg fell out by the end of the '60s, he moved over to Motown and recorded for a few years. Although Chuck's recordings on Motown and then V.I.P. (can you say, "demotion"?) are not bad at all, the Motown sound just didn't create the same kind of magic that he'd enjoyed earlier. Today's selection was Jackson's final V.I.P. 45 from 1971. Smokey Robinson wrote and produced "Pet Names," which joined Jackson's string of non-hits for the label. Probably the song was too sweet and maybe even somewhat corny at a time when the Temptations, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder were laying down substantially heavier material (maybe this would've been a better Jackson Five side). There's something about it, though, that I do like, so I invite you to listen and to judge for yourself.

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