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Lou Johnson


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Lou Johnson is shipping around 3/16 and is limited and numbered to 898 LPs worldwide.

This album got its first repress since the original release in 1969. Second hand copies are scarce and expensive. The album was sourced from the original analog master tapes and was made available for the first time in mono! The deluxe ROG edition was pressed on 180g black vinyl at Record Industry in the Netherlands and comes in a single pocket tip-on Stoughton sleeve. Each LP is individually numbered and strictly limited based on pre-orders.

Brooklyn soul singer Lou Johnson was a singer and pianist who actively recorded between the years of 1962-1972. As a teen he sang in gospel choirs and studied music at Brooklyn College. In 1962 Johnson signed with Bigtop Records, run by the Hill & Range publishing group located in the Brill Building. It was during this tenure that Johnson befriended the iconic songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. They wrote his first three singles, “If I Never Get To Love You,” “You Better Let Him Go,” and “Reach Out to Me.” The first two songs failed to connect on the charts but the third reached #74 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963. Unfortunately Bigtop folded just as the song began to climb the charts and Johnson’s success with the song was hampered. He then signed to Big Hill and continued his association with Bacharach/David. In 1964 his original version of “Always Something There to Remind Me” with backup vocals by Doris Troy, Dee Dee Warwick and Cissy Houston reached #49 in the US charts. Lou also recorded original versions of other Bacharach/David songs that went on to become bigger hits for artists such as Dionne Warwick and Adam Faith. Johnson recorded two albums for Atlantic Records, one of which, Sweet Southern Soul, is our featured voting title here. Released on Atlantic’s subsidiary, Cotillion in 1969, it was produced by Jerry Wexler and Tom Dowd at Muscle Shoals Studios. Featuring the Muscle Shoals band and including songs by Curtis Mayfield, Eddie Hinton and Don Covay, it had all the elements of a classic Atlantic soul album of the era but failed to garner much attention. His final full length, With You in Mind, was produced by Allen Toussaint for Stax’s Volt label but it too sunk like a stone. Johnson later moved to Los Angeles and became a nightclub entertainer. Sweet Southern Soul is a classic crate digger record and would find a welcome home in any soul collector’s library if voted to win.

Track Listing:
Side A
1 Rock Me Baby 2:13
2 It’s In the Wind 2:24
3 This Magic Moment 2:06
4 She Thinks I Still Care 3:11
5 Move and Groove Together 2:41
6 Please Stay 2:45
Side B
1 I Can’t Change 2:46
2 Tears Tears Tears 2:35
3 People in Love 2:37
4 Don’t Play That Song (You Lied) 2:30
5 Gypsy Woman 2:58