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Downtown Soul From The Nashville Indies


 
Label:
Release:
25.02.2011
Release date may vary per country.
Various Artists
Product type:
CD
Buy product at
01 Cought Up
02 Girl Watching On Broadway
03 Do Love You
04 Morning After ( Instrumental )
05 Wonderful World Of Love
06 Monterey Goodbye (Instrumental)
07 What Is It Baby
08 Winter I Remember (Instrumental)
09 Reality
10 The People's Choice (Instrumental)
11 The Funky Preacher (Alternate unreleased)
12 Too Much For Words (Instrumental)
13 Three For Sundown (Instrumental)
14 Will You Be Staying After Sunday
15 Ode To Billie Joe (Instrumental)
16 I'll Hold You In My Heart
17 And I Love Her
18 Make My Know
19 Poa Nickel(Alternate Unreleased Version)
20 Little Green Apples ( Instrumental)
 
Ref-O-Ree Records was founded by legendary songwriter/record producer Ted Jarrett in 1968, and its Tee-Jay subsidiary was launched a few years later. Ted had begun his career as an A&R man at Tennessee and Republic Records in the early 1950s, producing gospel music and R&B. When that company folded in 1955, Ted went with Alan Bubis´ Champion/Calvert/Cherokee/Kit group of labels from 1956 to 1959. He produced nearly every record that the company released. By 1960 Ted was one of the best known songwriters in rhythm & blues, having penned million sellers like "It´s Love Baby-24 Hours A Day" (Louis Brooks and the Hi-Toppers 1955) and "You Can Make It If You Try" (Gene Allison 1958). When Alan Bubis founded the Spar label in 1961, he again enlisted the services of Ted Jarrett. Ted produced most of the R&B recordings for the company and the two Herbert Hunter tracks featured here are from the Spar catalog, whereas all of the others on this collection are from the Ref-O-Ree years.
In 1962 Ted started his short lived Poncello imprint and again went back to edgier sounding productions, though he continued to work at Spar up until the late 1960s when he eventually departed to get busy with his Ref-O-Ree label (although it was distributed by Spar, and therefore still in the family). Ted wanted to record much more ambitious material than he had previously attempted, and in order to stay with current trends enlisted the help of Robert Holmes, the best black arranger in Nashville at the time. The company recorded everything from southern soul, to slick uptown soul and the kind of string laden orchestral crossover material featured on this collection. By the late sixties and early seventies many of Nashville´s R&B legends were without recording contracts, so Ted signed Roscoe Shelton, The Avons, Gene Allison, Peggy Gaines, Wendell Watts and Larry Birdsong. A good start. They also signed Herbert Hunter´s shamefully under recorded younger brother Rufus and Ted´s latest discovery Freddie Waters. Freddie was a spectacular singer and had recorded for Excello in the early and mid sixties with the group The Hy-Tones. Jarrett and Holmes put great stock in Freddie and recorded him more than any other artist on the label. They tried valiantly for a hit and came very close with the song "We´re In This Love Together", but as soon as the record started to move it was covered by major label artist Al Jarreau and the rest is history.

Ref-O-Ree recorded a fair amount of slick, jazzy instrumentals and many are featured here, the notable exception being the down home southern soul track by the Tempo Rhythms. The Little Rock Brotherhood was really just whoever happened to be in the studio on any given day. The studio musicians would knock out a couple of instrumentals at the end of a recording session.
By the mid 1970s Spar Records had gone out of business and Ref-O-Ree lost its distribution. They trudged on for a while using various regional distributors but soon called it a day. Bob Holmes continued to work as an independent arranger and Ted licensed his recordings to a variety of indie labels.
Ted Jarrett died in 2009 and left behind a rich legacy of wonderful recordings, he was truly one of the last of the great independent record men.
 
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