This is the continuing series I will post every other day while i'm out of town, thanks to Jonathan Toubin DJ of New York Night Train.
Lee Rogers was one of the finest and most prolific vocalists of the soul era in Detroit and was a big influence on Marvin Gaye and the Detroit sound in general. While Rogers is underrated and virtually unknown in the outside world, you'd be hard pressed to find a soul 45 collector that doesn't have at least a few of his jams.
Mississippi-born Lee Rogers appeared on the Detroit recording scene with a vocal group called The Peppermints, but really made his mark in the early 1960s singing with The Barons whose amazing early soul/post-doo wop group 45s "Dog Eat Dog"/"Money Don't Grow On Trees Who's In The Shack"/"While The Cats Away" are still goodtime dance party classics! In 1962 Rogers went solo with "Walk On By" but DJs flipped it for the side you're hearing, the very swinging and dynamic "Troubles." Next Morris Levy's Roulette Records saw enough potential here to pick the platter up for national distribution.
And why not? "Troubles" has everything! Check out that piano intro! And the way the up-high guitar figure slides in over a banging beat! And Rogers' stunning falsetto! Gliding and vibrating all over the top and eventually howling by the end! And all the stops and the sax that comes in outta nowhere! And its got so much fluidity and emotion that you don't even notice how much is happening! A bonafide early rockin' soul classic!
After "Troubles," Rogers moved away from the rock'n'roll/rhythm and blues influence in favor of a mid-1960s Motown soul approach and went on to record countless canonical sides for D-Town, Wheelsville, Premium Stuff, Diamond Jim, and Loadstone.
Soulful Detroit on Lee Rogers
graphics by AVI SPIVAK (http://www.avispivak.com)!
You're listening to my daily addition to the New York Night Train Party Platter playlist. Each track here is recorded directly from my original 45s (no bootlegs, reproductions, etc) to give you an idea of what the real deal authentic vinyl sounds like. COME BACK EVERY DAY FOR A NEW FIX! Because the records pass so quickly at my dance parties, this channel is an attempt to stop and focus on one record at a time in hopes to personally learn more about each one and at the same time turn you on to the artists, tracks, labels, etc. I'm just hipping myself to a lot of these records for the first time as well - so you can view this as our journey to learning more about cool old records together! But mostly I hope this music moves you as much as it moves me.
Get your enjoys,
Soul Proprietor, New York Night Train