Spanky Wilson – 1975 – Specialty Of The House
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Rip and research by Mr.Moo
Spanky’s last album before her recent revival, a jazzy soulful effort cut for Westbound, with arrangements by Johnny Allen, and a nice moody mellow sound. The overall approach is quite different than most of her work with HB Barnum, but Spanky’s voice is still in great shape, and Detroit soul legend Al Kent wrote most of the cuts.
a1 Specialty of the House 2:52
a2 Missing Pieces 3:56
a3 I Think I’m Gonna Cry 3:37
a4 I’ll Stake My Life on You Boy 3:03
a5 Downer Down I Go 3:22
b1 Love Song 3:41
b2 Non-Stop Flight 3:11
b3 Easy Lover 3:31
b4 Will Power 3:59
b5 Home 2:48
The Westbound years
Spanky first rose to fame as a gritty singer mixing jazz and soul on a series of late 60s/early 70s sides with HB Barnum, but during her Westbound years she cleaned things up a bit – taking her already-rich vocals, and turning them towards fuller backings and more soaring soul that almost hit the heights of soul singers like Marlena Shaw or Motown artists of the time. Backings penned by David Van DePitte, Paul Riser, and others gave Wilson a nicely mature sound that was a good change from her aging style of previous years – but other singles still maintained a grittier, funkier groove too – allowing for a nice range of modes during these short years at Westbound Records
Jazz singer Spanky Wilson is currently the name to drop in the hip ‘jazz not jazz/groovy music’ world. After years of being just a name known to collectors, happening DJ/Producer Quantic used her vocals on a track from his 2004 album “Mishaps Happening”. So successful was this that he then made a whole album with her – the critically acclaimed “I’m Thankful”. The end of 2006 saw Quantic and Spanky tour Europe to full houses. An incredible comeback.
Ms Wilson’s musical roots stretch back to late-60s Los Angeles where she was discovered by legendary producer and arranger HB Barnum. Barnum signed her to his Mothers record label, where she recorded three sought-after albums which included the BGP classic ‘You’.
In the early 70s she signed to the Westbound label in Detroit, where she recorded the fantastic album “Specialty Of The House” which was in a more straightforward soul bag than her previous efforts.
You can get her “Doin’ it” album on our back pages here