Little Ron Johnson  ‘I Keep Telling You’ HARD TIMES


This 45 remains unlisted in one major guide so far, (although apparently received plays at Stafford) and seems to have a small cult following amongst collectors. It hails from Cincinnati, although I have no idea who Little Ron is and whether he had any involvement in any other significant 45s. It’s a mid-tempo crossover, probably post ’67-’68 and features a superb rolling funk-infused bassline, overlaid with gritty affecting vocals from Little Ron. Worth looking out for it is unfortunately probably destined to remain a collector’s record but it shouldn’t set you back more than £70 for a clean copy.

Mickey & Ernie ‘Baby I’m In Love’ HOT LINE MUSIC JOURNAL


I first heard Sam play this record in the rare room at Stoke last year and was immediately struck by it’s jangly guitar intro and organ led hook, all propelled along by some excellent drum work. Mickey & Ernie share rousing vocal duties and the record takes on a different form when heard out over a loud sound system, being instant dancefloor fodder. The 45 hails from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is notable for being Al Green’s label for his 1967 release, ‘Backup Train’. This, Al Green’s effort and another very rare deep 45 seem to be the only things I have found were issued by the label, (which was owned by Curtis Rogers and Palmer James of The Creations fame) but rest assured there is probably more…

It’s been a regular spin for Sebastian and Helena over at Club Function for a while now, and seems to be picking up interest from some funk collectors as well, perhaps for its flipside, ‘Soul‘in’

Flint Emeralds ‘Just Like A Baby’ GATEWOOD


The Flint Emeralds from Michigan also cut a decent 45 on Coconut Groove, but for me this is their best effort. A beautiful mid-tempo crossover filled with male group vocals and a falsetto lead, it’s a real gem of a 45. I’m not sure if it’s ever received much attention club-wise but it certainly deserves to be aired as it oozes quality.  Its written and arranged by Alphonso Hamilton, who also had his own rare 45s on Gate-Way and Gatewood. Books at £500 and you don’t see if for sale very often at all, although a couple have appeared on E-bay in the last few months via the same seller.

Mojave ’Never Give Up Your Love’ NORTH STAR


A gorgeous mid-paced 70’s record that really comes into its own once the quality vocal kicks in. It reminds me melodically of the True Image on Super Smash, although not sharing such a frenetic beat, being more in the two-step style. The flip however, ‘Out To Get’cha’ is a fine boogie/soul dancer although if you aren’t a fan of a slap bass or a Jerry Washington-esque guitar break I’d stay well clear! The group would seem to descend from the Yucca Valley, California according to the label and really put in a great soulful performance. Current value is around £200 – £300.