Era Northern Soul Various Artists (Dore)


Northern Soul
Catalogue Id:

Herb Newman’s Era Label was well established in Los Angeles by the time the soul era came about. With over 150 singles behind him by the time our musical story starts in 1962, Herb was a record label veteran. Originally more at home with straight pop records, Herb only occasionally dabbled in black music.

Era’s biggest hit by a black singer was Jewel Akens’ ‘The Birds And The Bees’, which was pure pop but came out of a notable session by accomplished soul group the Turn Arounds. Two great sides by the group feature here, along with the full story behind that hit. But Akens could sing soul as well as pop; a great late 60s stomper, ‘Your Good Lovin’’, written and produced by Eddie Daniels, debuts on this CD. We also found a little-known New Breed R&B gem from one of Jewel’s more obscure groups, the Composers.

Herb Newman already had a future soul star on his roster in the young Brenda Holloway who recorded as half of the Soul-Mates earlier in 1963. A track by the Lovemates, another boy/girl duo featuring Brenda, is also included, along with her 1964 solo outing for Catch.

Another future soul chart-maker was Jimmy Lewis who had just one Era release, arranged by Northern Soul hero James Carmichael. Jesse Davis’ ‘Gonna Hang On In There Girl’ was a rare soulful departure for the nightclub singer but the Sherlie Matthews composition sounds awesome when blasted out of the speakers at Northern gatherings. Wigan (and elsewhere) favourites are provided by Othello Robertson’s ‘So In Luv’ and Billy Watkins’ ‘The Ice-Man’ and there are alternate versions of ‘A Slice Of The Pie’ and ‘Meet Me At Midnight’, each arguably better than the Jewel Akens and Cindy Lynn originals.

Further unissued manna comes from the H.B. Barnum-arranged ‘Dance With Me’ by Billy Watkins and excellent alternate readings of ‘Stand There Mountain’ and ‘The Blue Shadow’ by ex-vocal group singer Vince Howard; Herb Newman had previously cut the songs on pop acts. There are Popcorn classics from the very colourful Bruce Cloud (check out the sleevenotes on him) and the glamorous and equally newsworthy Carol Connors. Both sides of Steve Flanagan’s Stafford monster ‘I’ve Arrived’ sound great alongside Melvin Boyd’s killer version of ‘Exit Loneliness, Enter Love’, produced by Miles Grayson. We throw light on Steve Flanagan’s identity but are still scouring the internet for Melvin Boyd.

Although Era started out a million miles away from black music, by the late 60s it had embraced it and utilised some of its most accomplished talents. 

By Ady Croasdell


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview The Ice-Man - Billy Watkins

  • 02 Preview So In Luv - Othello Robertson

  • 03 Preview I've Arrived - Steve Flanagan

  • 04 Preview Meet Me At Midnight - Bruce Cloud

  • 05 Preview Ain't Nothin' Shakin' - The Turn Arounds

  • 06 Preview What Can I Do Now - Jimmy Lewis

  • 07 Preview Exit Loneliness, Enter Love - Melvin Boyd

  • 08 Preview My Book - Bruce Cloud

  • 09 Preview I Wanna Know - Carol Connors

  • 10 Preview Boomerang - The Lovemates

  • 11 Preview The Blue Shadow - Vince Howard

  • 12 Preview Echoes In The Night - Tommy Mosley

  • 13 Preview I Get A Feeling - The Soul-Mates

  • 14 Preview Run Away And Hide - The Turn Arounds

  • 15 Preview I Need To Be Loved So Bad - Steve Flanagan

  • 16 Preview Gonna Hang On In There Girl - Jesse Davis

  • 17 Preview Your Good Lovin' - Jewel Akens

  • 18 Preview Dance With Me - Billy Watkins

  • 19 Preview Sir Galahad - The Elites

  • 20 Preview A Slice Of The Pie - Bernie Byrd

  • 21 Preview You And Yours - The Composers

  • 22 Preview I Ain't Gonna Take You Back - Brenda Holloway & The Carrolls

  • 23 Preview Stand There Mountain - Vince Howard

  • 24 Preview Come On Home - Othello Robertson

Delivery & Returns


We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.

We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.

In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

Customer reviews


Related products

Customers who bought this item also bought