The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for March 14th, 2014

Ace Heads Back to the “Hall of Fame” and The “Cellar of Soul”

with 3 comments

Hall of Fame Volume 3Ace Records’ Kent label will travel just about anywhere to bring you the greatest soul you’ve never heard – hence, Kent has recently revisited both the Hall of Fame and the Cellar of Soul in new installments of each series.

Back in March of last year, we reported on Hall of Fame Volume 2, which presented 24 cuts recorded at Rick Hall’s storied FAME Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama – 20 of which were previously unissued.  The new, third volume of Hall of Fame boasts another 24 slabs of prime southern soul, only two of which have ever previously seen the light of day!  This release is especially timely considering that the well-regarded 2013 documentary Muscle Shoals, detailing the FAME story on screen, has just arrived on DVD and Blu-ray.  Whereas the first two volumes of Hall of Fame include tracks from both male and female artists (not to mention groups!), Volume 3 focuses purely on the great male singers who recorded on Hall’s hallowed grounds.

Many of the names here will be familiar to Ace devotees as subjects of their own anthologies on the label.  Clarence Carter (whose complete FAME singles output has been released on Ace) appears on three songs including “I Feel a Burning,” an embryonic version of what would become “Tell Daddy,” best known in Etta James’ gender-switched recording as “Tell Mama.” (Carter’s “Tell Daddy” appeared on Hall of Fame Volume One back in 2012.)  George Jackson, subject of three FAME volumes from Ace, is represented with the ultra-rare “I Don’t Want to Know” – even the identity of its authors has been lost to time – and Prince Phillip Mitchell delivers the lively proclamation that “Hail! Hail! The Gang’s All Here!”

Two more of the exciting finds here are “You’re Too Much” and “Why Don’t You Care” from Otis Redding protégé Billy Young.  Redding wrote the former and had a hand in its production, as well.  As “Too Much,” it was issued on Mercury Records in 1967.  The latter track was recorded at the same session as Young’s Chess single of the southern soul staple “You Left the Water Running.”  Redding frequently recommended acts to FAME’s Rick Hall, among them Herman Moore and the duo billed here as Billy and Clyde.  The tape to “World of My Own” was found by the Ace archaeologists in a box marked “Otis acts,” with the song likely recorded at FAME by Redding and Hall.  The identities of Billy and Clyde remain unknown, as do a couple more acts on Hall of Fame Volume 3 billed less colorfully as Unknown Male No. 1 and Unknown Male No. 2.  What isn’t unknown, however, is that these voices had grit, authenticity and vocal power in abundance.   Just hit the jump to keep reading! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 14, 2014 at 09:03