Gloria Jones – 1966 – Come Go With Me
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Great lost Uptown soul album, with nice arrangements by Lincoln Mayorga, and some very raw vocals from Gloria. We like this one much better than her later work, and it’s got a good soulful groove, mixed with some sensitive vocal interpretation. Titles include “Come Go With Me“, a real killer, plus “Yes, I Really Love You”, “Only You”, “Run One Flight Of Stairs”, and the 2 part “Heartbeat”.
A1 Come Go With Me 1:53
A2 Finders Keepers 1:52
A3 Heartbeat (Part I & II) 4:17
A4 Run One Flight of Stairs 1:58
B1 Yes, I Really Love You 2:28
B2 How Do You Tell an Angel 1:55
B3 Only You 2:20
B4 I Will Always Remember 2:19
B5 True Love 1:53
While still at school, she formed with Frankie Kahrl and Billy Preston the successful gospel group the Cogic Singers, with whom she recorded the album It’s A Blessing. Although she remained with the group for some four years, she soon found herself drawn into the Los Angeles pop scene.
In 1964, Jones, in her late teens, was discovered by the songwriter Ed Cobb. Signing with Cobb’s Greengrass Productions, she recorded her first hit record, “Heartbeat Pts 1 & 2“, which Cobb wrote and produced. She toured the United States, performing on several American television programs, footage of which still exists. One performance occurred at a Rock and Soul show in Disneyland in the summer of 1965. “Heartbeat” became a rhythm and blues tune which was recorded later by Dusty Springfield, Spencer Davis and many other artists.
By then, Jones had recorded other songs for Uptown Records, a subsidiary of Capitol/EMI. Included among these was another Cobb-written song, “Tainted Love“. Marc Almond of the duo, Soft Cell, whose cover version of “Tainted Love” reached #1 worldwide, originally heard the song in a nightclub in Northern England. So strong was Gloria’s following there that she was proclaimed the “Northern Queen of Soul.” Jones also recorded an album for the Uptown label entitled Come Go With Me which was released in 1966.
Jones studied piano, and acquired an advanced classical degree primarily in the works of Bach. In 1968, she joined the cast of Catch My Soul, a rock and soul version of the play, Othello, which included cast members Jerry Lee Lewis, The Blossoms, and Dr. John. During the summer of 1968, she performed in a play called Revolution, at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. That winter, she joined the Los Angeles cast of Hair, the musical. Eventually, she was to meet Pam Sawyer, who asked her to write for Motown Records. Jones and Sawyer were amongst the second string of writers at Motown, but still wrote for such artists as Gladys Knight & the Pips, Commodores, The Four Tops and The Jackson 5. As Jones was also initially a singer for the label, protocol demanded apseudonym, so for some of her earlier co-writes she used the name LaVerne Ware.
Songs that Gloria worked on during this period include The Supremes’ “Have I Lost You” (writer), Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross’ “My Mistake” (writer), Junior Walker’s “I Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” (writer/producer) and the Four Top’s “Just Seven Numbers” (writer). The most remembered song that Jones penned was Gladys Knight and the Pips’ “If I Were Your Woman“, which was nominated for a Grammy in 1971. However, Jones left Motown at the end of 1973, subsequent to the release of her album Share My Love.
In 1974, Jones joined T. Rex (which by that time was fading rapidly) as a keyboardist and backing vocalist. Becoming romantically involved with the singer, she also helped sway him into a more soul/dance-oriented direction. Bolan in turn helped her out on her solo album Vixen, playing guitar and writing songs. After having a child, their time together came to a tragic end when Bolan was killed in a car accident in 1977, with Jones at the wheel.
Get her “Share My Love” album in our back pages here.