Jerry Butler – Sings Assorted Songs with Assorted Friends and Relatives (1971)


Jerry Butler
Sings Assorted Songs with Assorted Friends and Relatives
1971
Mercury Records ST-61320

A1 How Did We Lose It 3:03
B. Butler , C. Jones
A2 How Does It Feel 3:45
A. Miller, B. Butler
A3 Special Memory 3:08
J. Butler/B. Butler , L. Wade
A4 Built My World Around You 2:38
C. Jackson
A5 Going Back To My Baby’s Love 2:25
C. Jackson
B1 If It’s Real What I Feel 2:38
C. Jackson
B2 Strong Enough To Take It 2:08
B. Butler , J. Jones , J. Blumenberg
B3 What It Is 3:00
J. Blumenberg
B4 Why Are You Leaving Me 3:30
J. Blumenberg , J. Butler , J. Jones
B5 Do You Finally Need A Friend 3:20
C. Jones , L. Wade , T. Callier

Ignore the chimps who write for the AMG (I have pictures!) who have dissed this album and enjoy this classic piece of early 70s Chicago soul. It sprung from the famous songwriting workshop he ran, it has arrangements by Donny Hathaway and Gerald Sims, and a song contributions from Terry Callier (What Color Is Love?) and Chuck Jackson (later of The Independents). In fact Jerry contributes very little writing to the album, instead letting his then-unknown collaborator/students shine through with their material. And the results pay off. Do I really need to give you the hard sell on this, what more do you need? Okay, I would almost bet you $20 that is Curtis Mayfield holding a guitar on the cover, who may have appeared uncredited as a favor to his old friend and colleague. But that`s just speculation. The truth is there is a scarce amount of information out there about this album that I`ve been able to find. The songwriting is top notch throughout, some of it a bit funkier than what I`m used to from Mr.Butler, and the band is tight. Another great album that is still somewhat in the same vein is The Sagittarius Movement, released the same year, for which I also did a vinyl rip but seems to have gotten lost somewhere before locking all must things in the Kayman Islands vault. Which leads me to my

CAVEAT! This is not the best vinyl rip you will see on the site. For one, the source material — I have a well-played copy with substantial surface noise. From a sound engineering standpoint it’s best to leave that stuff alone unless you have access to a CEDAR mastering suite, which I don’t. I ran a basic ‘declicking’ process on it and that is all the processing that was done. At least there are not skips. Secondly, this was ripped on what I am calling my “ghetto rig” before I made some substantial upgrades in turntable, preamp, and recording device. Still sounds good, just as not as good as it would if I could redo it today. The Sumiko cartridge I am using for transcriptions at the moment is much more forgiving for rough “well-played” vinyl than the Goldring, for example. But alas, this record be locked up in my Kayman Islands vault so this will have to do.

If anyone can help me pin down the exact lineup of session players on this badass record, including the name of the poodle on the front cover, I would be much obliged.

VINYL RIP – Technical Specs

Music Hall MMF.5 Turntable with Goldring 1012GX cartridge, Gyger II diamond stylus, and MK II XLR Ringmat –> Pro-ject Speedbox II -> Parasound Z Phono Preamp -> Marantz PMD 661 digital recorder at 24/96khz .Declicked on very light settings with Click Repair -> DC Offset and track splitting in Adobe Audition 2.0 Dithering to 16-bit in IzoTope RX Advanced using M-Bit algorithm. Converted to FLAC and mp3 with DbPoweramp. Tagged properly with Foobar 2000.

Jerry Butler – Sings Assorted Songs with Assorted Friends and Relatives (1971)

Jerry Butler – Sings Assorted Songs with Assorted Friends and Relatives (1971)

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11 Comments

  1. I'm sure that's Curtis as well – my eye went straight to him when I looked at the cover …

  2. Never seen or heard this one! Thanks for the share.

  3. On track 7 and haven't heard a dud yet, wasn't expecting to. Thanks for this obscure album, feelin' it. Question, do you know of any other funky tracks like Jerry Peters & Jerry Butler's Melinda soundtrack "part iii." I know you do. It's on youtube but I can't post the url here. Anyways, thanks alot for this and everything else, excellent rips.

  4. Thanks for sharing. I too enjoyed this.

    I'm not sure it is Curtis Mayfield (who was much shorter of physical [but not musical] stature). I think I am right in saying that at this time Jerry's brother, Billy, was MD for his older sibling. Billy contributes some song writing and is joint producer on this record, and was a sometime guitar player (taught, I think, initially by Mayfield, but not to be confused with the jazz guitarist of the same name). The guitar playing is quite distinctive, [Hendrix-influenced for a short break on How Did We Loose It], and I have never heard Mayfield play like that.

    Billy's group Infinity was also signed to Mercury at this time, and the two people to each side of the Billy/Curtis character could be Larry Wade and Phyllis Knott from Infinity, especially as Wade contributes to the song writing here. There's a picture of Infinity circa 1971 for comparison at http://bp0.blogger.com/_KY1Ez0TsjN8/RjCCTkpo0vI/AAAAAAAAAIA/qIRPCvYpzAY/s1600-h/Infinity.jpg

  5. Butler possesses one of the greatest, most touching voices i've ever heard. Never seen this album before, many thanks!

  6. Do I hear Willie Weeks on bass on a few of these cuts? Damn the mystery just hurts more the more I spin this album. I've hatched a way to get to the bottom of it, I'll keep you posted if it works.

  7. Okay, so I've written a gushing letter to Chairman Jerry "Iceman" Butler at his Cook County office to see if he can shine any light on this gem of a record!! Let's keep our fingers crossed for a response!

  8. That's enterprising of you, Flabbergast. I'm looking forward to finding out if he even remembers the record!!

  9. I remember the cover, somewhere my brain recalls something…..but not as much as I wish. Anyway, thank you so much for this rarity!!!

  10. Back in the day, before the laws changed in 1976, a song had to be notated on music manuscript paper in "lead sheet" format showing chords, melody and lyrics.

    I was lucky enough to have the job of transcribing songs by incredible writers like T. Callier, B. Butler, L. Wade, M. Yancy, Talbert, Jackson and more. I would go down to the Songwriters Workshop on South Michigan Blvd, pick up cassette tapes and lyric sheets, transcribe the rough songs into a lead sheet and bring them back to the Workshop and pick up another batch.

    The cool thing is that I still have all the original 1st draft lead sheets from back them. Incredible memorabilia. I wish I could get these originals to the song writers but I don't know how to contact them.

    David

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