Kimberley Briggs – 1972 – Passings Clouds
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Here’s an album sooooooo rare!!!!. A collector’s item. But also a real gem.
Nashville-born/Cleveland-raised singer/songwriter Dorothy Kimberley Tolliver is an unsung Southern Soul heroine to many collectors of rare and antique R&B records. Blessed with a powerful and tremendously expressive set of pipes.
This is her first and rarest of her two albums.
I feel very proud and honoured that Mr. Moo share it with us through this blog.
I think that the regular visitors will know Mr. Moo through his past uploads in the cbox, and a lot of you are already members of his wonderful blog.
We were introduced to each other by Lafayette of 4BB and found out that we share a similar love for old school soul and funk music. Furthermore he is running a small private blog ( ) for about a year now, which focuses on seventies and eighties funk, soul, rap & disco. An exceptional blog full of great music, I suggest you should visit daily.
Mr. Moo explains : “ I found this one in a box with other (mostly scratchy) albums years ago, (almost literally) in a haystack near a home of an aunt of an old late friend. The album didn’t come with a sleeve, so I include a front and back cover I found on the internet. The quality of the vinyl is only average, but I did my best to make it soundable.”
And he did. Be sure you can find it only here cause the artist and record is so rare. Neither label promoted the pleasing LPs and both were deleted before most knew they existed.
‘Come & Get Me I’m Ready’ her 2nd album, now released on CD for the first time – thanks to the new US reissue label Reel Music, proves to be a genuine soul masterpiece.
This is a @256 vinyl rip of the original Fantasy Records album.
A1. My Whole World Ended 5.11
A2. Give A Man An Inch 2.23
A3. What In This World’s Happening To Love 8.37
A4. He’s Still On My Mind 3.32
B1. Girl Talk With Parents 3.29
B2. The Letter 6.41
B3. Leaving On A Jet Plane 5.51
B4. If I Could Work A Miracle 3.35
Despite the fact that she never had a hit single in her lengthy career, those who know Kim Tolliver’s recordings will testify that her brand of emotional passion and power made her a premiere league singer. Her voice could project a sense of world-weariness and resignation like no other, making her ballads deep soul of the highest quality. And unlike many of her contemporaries she wrote some very fine songs, not just for herself but also for others, notably Margie Joseph in the early 70s.
Kim’s recordings started with the 1967 release of “In Return For Your Love”. Although released on Don Robey’s Houston based Sure Shot label the songs certainly weren’t cut in Texas, but most likely taped in Memphis or Nashville. The excellent deep ballad top side showed that Kim had matured into a powerful vocalist with a fine sense of dynamics
In 1968 she signed with Jack Taylor in New York, who issued four Kim Tolliver 45s on his Rojac label. With his superb series of recordings by Big Maybelle, Taylor had already demonstrated that he could bring out the best in a female artist, and the tracks he cut with Kim were further proof.
Kim was by now married to Freddy Briggs, a songwriter of no mean ability and the couple based themselves in Memphis and Cleveland, the first fruits of this Memphis connection being Kim’s releases on Superheavy and General American Records. The self-penned “How Long Can I Keep Hanging On” (Superheavy 301) was issued under the pseudonym “Big Ella”, possibly for contractual reasons. It was another of those emotionally wracked songs at which so excelled, as was the flip of the GAR release “Get Myself Together” which had a fine melody and the benefit of a tortured vocal performance.
Over the next couple of years Kim issued her two LPs. Briggs pressed up copies of the first set on their own Kimbrig label and titled it teasingly “Who’s Kimberley?” Fantasy picked it up the following year and issued it as“Passing Clouds” by Kimberley Briggs. Sadly the rather overproduced set vanished without trace. As did her second album, “Come And Get Me I’m Ready” which was issued in 1973 on Chess. This set was in a different league to the first effort, full of finely honed songs; although the production was again heavily orchestrated there were less of the soul/rock overtones that rather marred “Passing Clouds”. I think it was very significant that neither Fantasy nor Chess issued a 45 from the albums – were they both aimed at the rock market rather than a black audience?
After a dance orientated 45on Castro, Kim had a very fine 45 which was leased to Pathfinder. This was a truly excellent version of a country hit “Standing Room Only” on which Kim gave one of her very best vocal performances. It’s one of the very best country soul records cut in 70s – up there with the Candi Staton discs on Fame and Marion Love singles on Mercury. These singles are just the tip of the iceberg of Kim’s mid-70s recordings as enough material for another LP was cut but sadly never released. She issued – if that’s the word for pressing a couple of hundred copies – a piece of a live performance singing “If Loving You Is Wrong” at a venue in LA on her own “Revillot” label (try “Tolliver” backwards). This lengthy two-part version has a rap related to the one with which Millie Jackson scored so heavily.
It wasn’t until 1980 that Kim had one last shot at making a hit record. She reunited with Jack Taylor who had re-activated his Tay-Ster label and released two 12” singles with no success.
“Passing Clouds” – From John Ridley’s liner notes…
Tolliver and Briggs adopted a similar production approach to Kim’s own first album, which was cut in a variety of southern studios during 1971. Briggs couldn’t get Stax interested in it so he pressed up copies on their own Kimbrig label and titled it teasingly “Who’s Kimberley?” Fantasy picked it up the following year and issued it as “Passing Clouds” by Kimberley Briggs. On the set Kim tried a lengthy rap to the Box Tops hit “The Letter” and also did a big orchestra number on David Ruffin’s “My Whole World Ended”. She even essayed John Denver’s “Leaving On A Jet Plane” but the tracks that have stood the test of time best are the originals. “He’s Still On My Mind” is Kim at her desperate best and the tuneful “If I Could Work A Miracle” is first class as well. Marketing the album was a big problem. Fantasy was not known as a soul label and failed to issue a “taster” 45 from the set. Furthermore, the name on the front was an unfamiliar one and the anodyne skyscape on the cover did little to help sales. The LP disappeared without trace.
I would like to thank the amazing Mr. Moo for this contribution. Enjoy and show him some love and respect.