Tommy Hunt’s classic 60s soul recordings for Scepter and Dynamo along with his elusive Atlantic and Capitol gems, plus five recent early 60s Scepter tape discoveries.
Tommy Hunt’s reputation as a major soul artist was built on his early 60s Scepter recordings; both the issued 45s and the master tapes Ace accessed in the 80s. Many of those were issued by us on “The Biggest Man” CDKEND 145 in 1997. Since then there have been more Scepter tape discoveries and increased demand for his superb mid-60s Atlantic and Capitol 45s – which are featured here.
There were several Scepter and Dynamo tracks that we could not fit onto “The Biggest Man”. We have included those so that all of Tommy’s 60s recordings are now available; including the rare alternate B-side ‘How Young Is Young’, his Hot 100 hit ‘The Door Is Open’ and the scarce Scepter LP-only ‘You’re So Fine’.
The unissued Scepter recordings include a great take on Van McCoy’s ‘What’s The Matter Baby’, originally cut by Van and Tommy but only issued by the Shirelles – Tommy’s version was recorded in 1963 with a different arrangement. ‘Lonely For You’ was written by Van McCoy with Tommy’s original producer Luther Dixon and, like ‘One Of These Days’, is a fine beat ballad. ‘Who You Gonna Thrill Tonight’ and ‘Girls Are Sentimental’ are the sort of romantic ballads typical of New York studios in 1962. All these newly found tracks are fully orchestrated.
Uptempo soul comes in the form of Oscar Brown Jr’s ‘The Work Song’, ‘Never Love A Robin’ and the 100 Club favourite ‘The Pretty Part Of You’, which emerged in the 80s Scepter trawl. Tommy’s four immediate post-Scepter recordings for Atlantic and Capitol in 1965 and 1966 are re-released for the first time and sound magnificent; the Atlantic recordings were cut in Chicago. It is the first time on CD for most tracks including hard-to-find Dynamo recordings such as the LP-only recording of his biggest hit ‘Human’.
Tommy’s intriguing life story as described in the notes covers his early years in vocal groups, especially the Flamingos, his move to Europe in the early 70s, his successful live appearances and his UK waxings in the 70s. Tommy’s personal black music history, which covers so many eras, is enthralling.