The Complete Fame Singles Vol 1 1964-1967 Various Artists (Fame)


Southern Soul
Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDCH2 1391

The Muscle Shoals music scene, and its pioneer Rick Hall, have received a lot of attention recently. The Muscle Shoals documentary film devoted a great deal of coverage to Hall’s work and in January 2014 the Grammy committee presented him with a Special Merit award. Only a man with such great talent could have made a one-track country town in Alabama an important centre of the American recording industry. As a tribute to his outstanding legacy, we are releasing the first volume in our “The Complete Fame Singles” series.

Hall opened Fame Recording Studios in 1961. Arthur Alexander’s timeless single, ‘You Better Move On’ b/w ‘A Shot Of Rhythm and Blues’ – a big hit on Dot and a monumental influence on a generation of UK musicians, was the first of many hits recorded at Fame. At first Hall hired out the studio to producers such as Ray Stevens and Bill Lowery who wanted to take advantage of his crack studio band and his engineering skills. He also issued a few records by local acts on the R and H or Fame labels and leased out other masters to larger imprints for national distribution. When he found Jimmy Hughes, who he hoped would follow Arthur Alexander as his star act, he licensed ‘I’m Qualified’ to Jamie-Guyden in Philadelphia. Only when he failed to place Hughes’ follow-up with a national company was he forced to start Fame as a serious label, helped by Dan Penn, his main songwriter and right-hand man in the studio. This is the point where our collection begins.

The single was the southern soul masterpiece ‘Steal Away’. Following Hall and Penn’s early attempts at promotion, the record was picked up by Vee-Jay for national distribution. On the back of a Top 20 Pop hit and a #2 position on Cash Box’s R&B chart, Vee-Jay demanded more material from Hughes and signed a distribution deal for the Fame label. Fame attempted to repeat Jimmy Hughes’ success and issued a selection of records from musicians who formed the team around Rick Hall.

On this first of three volumes, we follow the development of the great songwriting team of Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham and hear the records made during the years 1964 to 1967. Many failed to make a mark, as much of the label’s early period was devoted to finding out what route would lead to success. By the end of the second disc, Clarence Carter is established as the label’s main star, distribution has switched to Atlantic and the Fame label’s path is set. The 52 tracks here tell this fascinating story.

By Dean Rudland


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Steal Away - Jimmy Hughes

  • 02 Preview Lolly Pops, Lace And Lipstick - Jimmy Hughes

  • 03 Preview Close To Me - Dan Penn

  • 04 Preview Let Them Talk - Dan Penn

  • 05 Preview Try Me - Jimmy Hughes

  • 06 Preview Lovely Ladies - Jimmy Hughes

  • 07 Preview I'm Getting Better - Jimmy Hughes

  • 08 Preview I Want Justice - Jimmy Hughes

  • 09 Preview Hey, Do You Wanna Marry? - Spooner & The Spoons

  • 10 Preview Wish You Didn't Have To Go - Spooner & The Spoons

  • 11 Preview Almost Persuaded - June Conquest

  • 12 Preview Party Talk - June Conquest

  • 13 Preview Goodbye My Lover Goodbye - Jimmy Hughes

  • 14 Preview It Was Nice - Jimmy Hughes

  • 15 Preview (Take Me) Just As I Am - Dan Penn

  • 16 Preview Diamonds - Dan Penn

  • 17 Preview You Really Know How To Hurt A Guy (You Really Know How To Make Him Cry) - Jimmy Hughes

  • 18 Preview The Loving Physician - Jimmy Hughes

  • 19 Preview Midnight Affair - Jimmy Hughes

  • 20 Preview When It Comes To Dancing - Jimmy Hughes

  • 21 Preview Keep On Talking - James Barnett

  • 22 Preview Take A Good Look - James Barnett

  • 23 Preview Gonna Make You Say Yeah - Terry Woodford

  • 24 Preview Hit The Ground - Terry Woodford

  • 25 Preview Neighbor, Neighbor (Version 2) - Jimmy Hughes

  • 26 Preview It's A Good Thing - Jimmy Hughes

Side 2

  • 01 Preview It's His Town - Terry Woodford

  • 02 Preview She Wants What She Can't Have - Terry Woodford

  • 03 Preview Laugh It Off - The Villagers

  • 04 Preview You're Gonna Lose That Girl - The Villagers

  • 05 Preview I Worship The Ground You Walk On - Jimmy Hughes

  • 06 Preview A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues - Jimmy Hughes

  • 07 Preview In The Same Old Way - Arthur Conley

  • 08 Preview I Can't Stop (No, No, No) - Arthur Conley

  • 09 Preview I Can't Get You Out Of My Mind - Art Freeman

  • 10 Preview Slippin' Around With You - Art Freeman

  • 11 Preview I'm Gonna Forget About You - Arthur Conley

  • 12 Preview Take Me (Just As I Am) - Arthur Conley

  • 13 Preview I Stayed Away Too Long - Clarence Carter

  • 14 Preview Tell Daddy - Clarence Carter

  • 15 Preview Why Not Tonight - Jimmy Hughes

  • 16 Preview I'm A Man Of Action - Jimmy Hughes

  • 17 Preview Everybody's Got To Cry Sometime - Art Freeman

  • 18 Preview A Piece Of My Heart - Art Freeman

  • 19 Preview Thread The Needle - Clarence Carter

  • 20 Preview Don't Make My Baby Cry - Clarence Carter

  • 21 Preview Don't Lose Your Good Thing - Jimmy Hughes

  • 22 Preview You Can't Believe Everything You Hear - Jimmy Hughes

  • 23 Preview Hi Heel Sneakers - Jimmy Hughes

  • 24 Preview Time Will Bring You Back - Jimmy Hughes

  • 25 Preview She Ain't Gonna Do Right - Clarence Carter

  • 26 Preview The Road Of Love - Clarence Carter

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