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WILLIE HIGHTOWER


Willie Hightower at Porretta Soul Festival, Italy (photo by Pertti Nurmi)

  Willie Hightower didn’t disappoint his many European fans, who had come to see him at the Porretta Soul Festival in Italy last July.  On the contrary, he thrilled us all with his half hour set, which included many of his best-known songs from the 1960s and 1970s.  There were such happy-go-lucky, finger-snapping numbers as Nobody but You and If I Had a Hammer and the imposing Walk a Mile in My Shoes, but the most impressive and touching moments were felt during the bluesy You Used Me Baby and especially the deep Time Has Brought about a Change and It’s a Miracle.  This concert took place on Friday evening, July the 21st, and two nights later Willie still appeared on stage to sing Walk a Mile in My Shoes and You Used Me.

THE GOSPEL CONSOLATERS

  Willie Frank Hightower was born in Gadsden, Alabama, on September the 30th in 1940.  With a population of over 35 000, Gadsden is located about 90 km northeast of Birmingham. A blues musician by the name of Jerry McCain (1930-2012) hails from that region as well as Beyoncé’s father, Mathew KnowlesWillie: “It was a nice neighbourhood, a safe neighbourhood.  I enjoyed Gadsden, and I still live in there.  In the early days I stayed out on the road quite a bit, so I didn’t spend very much time at home.”  Of the family, only Willie’s two daughters – Kathy (53) and Frankie (51) – are involved in music.  “A couple of years back they were on the road with me.  They were backup girls, plus they would do their own show.”  The music world knows also another Willie Hightower, a jazz cornet and trumpet player out of Nashville, but he passed away in Chicago already in 1959.

  Willie: “I started in music when I was about six years old and I sang in a church choir in Betlehem Baptist Church.  The Silver Stars was my first group.  It was a local group and all the members were raised up in the same neighbourhood.  I went on the road with the Gospel Consolaters from Pasadena, California, when I was 18 years old.  I was with them for a couple of years, and I came back home.”

  Initially called the Loving Five, the group was founded in Texas in 1949 and under the new name of the Gospel Consolaters (also spelled Consolators) in the mid-1950s in California it recorded for Big Town and H & W Records.  The latter label was named after the founder of the Loving Five, Robert H. Hood, and another member at the time, Rio Watson.  In 1959 on Julius Cheeks’ advice, Don Robey signed the group to his Peacock label out of Houston, Texas, and organized three recording sessions for them between 1959 and ’61.  In the line-up of Charles B. Johnson (lead tenor), Nathaniel Bills (bass), Robert Hood and Joseph Dumas (tenors) and Oscar Cook (baritone, Sam Cooke’s cousin), they had seven singles released on Peacock between 1959 and 1962/3. 

  The group, however, had disbanded already in 1961, but Willie definitely attended one of those recording sessions.  “I recorded with them on the Peacock label a song called Why Do Men Treat the Lord the Way They Do.  I was one of the lead singers. However, I never got to meet Don Robey.”  Written by Hightower, the song was released on Peacock 5-1845, and Willie is singing also on the B-side, The Last Mile.  Still on Peacock 1850 they released a song titled Lord Be My Guide, credited again to Hightower.  “I really don’t remember that song.  I wrote so many songs those days” (laughing).

  Willie is sometimes believed to be a member of another gospel group those days, the Hightower Brothers, who recorded for Gospel, Nashboro and Peacock labels between 1958 and ’64.  It was however father and five sons out of DeLand, Florida – based later in Newark, New Jersey - and the second tenor in that group was called Willie James Hightower.  “As a matter of fact, the Hightower Brothers travelled with us quite a bit.  We would do programs together”


WHAT AM I LIVING FOR

  “In r&b my favourite artist is Sam Cooke and in gospel the Soul Stirrers, the group Sam Cooke was in.  I play a little guitar, a little bass and a little keyboard.  In the early 1960s I started working in a little club in Birmingham, Alabama.  First I was working in my friend’s band, and then about a year and a half later I put my own band together.  There was a DJ down there in Birmingham by the name of Shelley Stewart.”

  Born in 1934, after a rough childhood filled with abuse Shelley kicked off his radio career at an early age, actually when he was only fifteen.  In the early 60s he was broadcasting as “Shelley the Playboy” on the WENN AM station in Birmingham, where he had a huge following, and he was also a well-known civil rights activist those days.  Eventually he got inducted into the ABA Hall of Fame and today at 83 is still known as an active businessman.

  “Shelley and Bobby Robinson were friends.  He got in touch with Bobby and told him that he got a young man here that he liked a lot.  Shelley was never my manager.  I managed myself at that point.  Shelley only introduced me to Bobby.”  A record shop owner first, Bobby Robinson (1917-2011) evolved into a well-known New York producer and a label owner.  Starting out in music business as early as in 1951, his best-known labels were Fury, Everlast, Fire and Enjoy Records, and some of the artists he produced on those labels included Gladys Knight & the Pips, Buster Brown, King Curtis, Bobby Marchan, Wilbert Harrison, Lee Dorsey and a number of r&b and doowop artists prior to the 60s soul era and even rap in his later years... and, of course, Willie Hightower.

  As a result of Shelley contacting Bobby, Willie flew to New York.  “New York was different from the south, but I’ve always enjoyed working in clubs in New York.  Crowd was very responsive.  Bobby was a nice fellow.  When we recorded, he mostly let me do what I wanted to do.  He never put pressure on me.”

  Willie’s first secular single in 1965 on the Enjoy label introduced his cover of What Am I Living For.  Cut in New York in July, the song had been a gold record for Chuck Willis in 1958 and it’s been covered by Z.Z. Hill, Percy Sledge, Conway Twitty, Solomon Burke, Clyde McPhatter, Barbara Lynn etc. etc.  Written by Fred Jay and Art Harris, Willie turned the song into an uptempo number.  “It was my idea.”  The self-written flip, Too Late, is a plaintive bluesoul ballad, which bears a resemblance to some of Bobby Bland’s music those days.  “I was never influenced by Bobby Bland.  I like Bobby Bland, but Sam Cooke was my idol.”

IF I HAD A HAMMER

  Bobby Robinson released Willie’s next two singles on his Fury label.  Pete Seeger and Lee Hays wrote If I Had a Hammer already in 1949, and the Weavers were the first to release it on Hootenanny Records a year later.  Other noteworthy versions include Pete’s own recording in 1956, Peter, Paul and Mary in 1962 (# 10-pop, Billboard), Trini Lopez in 1963 (# 3-pop), Martha and the Vandellas and Freddie Scott in 1963, and Aaron Neville in 2002.

  Willie’s vocalizing is powerful on this pop-goes-soul, finger-snapping arrangement of the song, which was released in 1966.  “I chose the song.  I liked the song the way Sam Cooke did it on his album, which was Sam Cooke at the Copa (1964).  That’s where I got the idea from.  If I Had a Hammer was recorded in Memphis.”  On the B-side they placed Willie’s nice toe-tapper titled So Tired (of Running away from Love). 

  The second Fury single a year later combines Bobby’s soft serenade, the pretty (Take My Hand) Let’s Walk Together with a Sam Cooke-sounding, easy mid-tempo mover named I Love You (Yes I Do), also credited to Robinson.  Warm and Tender Love and Lookin’ for a Home were also Fury recordings, but went unreleased at the time.

  During a two-and-a-half-year period from the spring of 1967 till the end of 1969 Willie had still four singles and one album released, but this time they all appeared on Capitol.  “It was through Bobby.  His label went out of business, so he contacted Capitol Records.  He knew some people there.”

    Willie’s first Capitol songs were recorded in New York in March 1967 and released in May.  Produced by Richard Gottehrer and Seymour Stein(bigle) and arranged by Robert Banks, a tender Sam Cooke medley of For Sentimental Reasons & You Send Me was coupled with Willie’s storming scorcher spiced with full horns and intense background vocals called Because I Love You.  One of the producers, Richard Gottehrer, had enjoyed earlier success with the AngelsMy Boyfriend’s Back and the McCoys’ Hang on Sloopy, and afterwards with Seymour Stein he founded Sire Records in the late 1960s.


IT’S A MIRACLE

  Willie’s first record to appear on Billboard’s charts is his second Capitol single, released in the summer of 1968.  It’s also Willie’s own favourite out of all the material he has released.  Produced by Bobby Robinson again, a beautiful and haunting ballad named It’s a Miracle (by Robinson-Hightower) peaked at # 33 - rhythm & blues and # 130-pop, although this took place only about ten months after its official release date.  On the flip there was a cover of Dee Clark’s late 1958 hit, Nobody but You, and in this case Willie added a lot of soul to this merry mid-tempo jogger.  “I chose that song.  I really like that.  Dee and me, we were friends.”

  Some of the songs that were cut in those Capitol sessions were left in the can.  Willie remembers having recorded Time Waits for No One, but he doesn’t recognize such titles as It Is No Secret (What God Can Do), Happy Go Lucky Fellow and He Had a Dream.

  The final Capitol single with fresh material was released in the summer of 1969.  Both sides written by Bobby and Willie and produced by Bobby, It’s Wonderful to be in Love with You is a laid-back and a bit bluesy ballad, whereas Ooh Baby How I Love You bears a slight resemblance to Fred Hughes’ 1965 hit, Oo Wee Baby, I Love You.  “I think they were recorded in Memphis, but I’m not one hundred percent sure.”  The fourth and last Capitol single in late 1969 paired two previously released sides, If I Had a Hammer and It’s Too Late.  Interestingly, It’s Too Late is now credited to both Hightower and Robinson, as opposed to Hightower alone as on Enjoy in 1965.

  Willie’s first album, If I Had a Hammer (on Capitol in 1969), was actually a collection of his earlier single sides.  Of the 11 tracks on display, only two appear here for the first time.  Willie takes Sam Cooke’s song Somebody Have Mercy to church, and this driving track became later known also under the title of Standing Here Wondering.  A self-penned beautiful serenade called You Are Mine derives from Willie’s first Capitol session, which was produced by Gottehrer and Stein.  Executive producer of the album is Tom Morgan, who produced for Capitol from the late 1950s till the early 1970s numerous artists, including Ed Townsend, Nancy Wilson and Al Martino.  In 2016 Capitol released a downloadable, expanded edition of the If I Had a Hammer album with seven bonus tracks.

WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES

  “I was on the Capitol label and Rick Hall and Capitol were kind of merged together.  Rick Hall would record r&b stuff, so that’s how I wound up with Rick.”  Cut at Fame in Muscle Shoals and produced by Rick Hall, an energetic and truly soulful cover of Walk a Mile in My Shoes was released in the spring of 1970, and it became Willie’s second and last charted single in Billboard (# 26-soul, # 107-pop).  “It was Rick Hall’s idea.  Rick was a great producer and I enjoyed recording for Fame Records.”

  Joe South’s original single had peaked at # 12-pop in early 1970, and of countless other versions soul music fans cherish especially Otis Clay’s rendition in 2007.  Backed again by the Fame Gang, on the B-side Willie delivers a mournful and deep soul ballad titled You Used Me Baby, co-written by his grandmother.  “She got benefits from it” (laughing). 

  Six months later a passionate reading of Time has brought about a change was released on Fame.  “I wrote that.  I got the idea from Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come.”  Although Willie was never active in civil rights movement, he put his heart and soul into this deep ballad.  Produced by Rick and strings arranged by Jimmie Haskell and horns by Harrison Calloway, Willie’s impressive delivery is full of emotion, whereas on the flip George Jackson’s and Mickey Buckins’ pretty ballad called I Can’t Love without You is lighter and more restrained.


  On the plug side of Willie’s third and final Fame single in March 1971 they released O.B. McClinton’s touching and story-telling mid-tempo song called Back Road into Town.  “Rick wanted me to do it, because Clarence Carter was so successful with Patches, and he thought that it would be a good idea to record Back Road into Town.”  Indeed, Patches is the closest comparison and, among others, O.B. himself recorded Back Road in 1988.  On the flip they put George Jackson’s and Raymond Moore’s peaceful country-soul number named Poor Man.

  After six single sides, Southern soul fans were ready for Willie’s Fame album, but unfortunately it never materialized.  According to Willie, at Fame nothing was left in the can.  “Rick just decided that he would go out of r&b.  He let me go, he let Clarence Carter go, he let Candi Staton go...  I think he wanted to go another way.”  Indeed, Rick and Fame started focusing more on country and rock at that point.

Rodney Hall would like to point out that Clarence and Candi both were with Fame several years after Willie was with Fame. Candi and Clarence did several albums during the United Artists era of Fame Records.


Willie with Rick Hall

DON’T BLAME ME

  “How I got with Mercury?  I think a friend of mine called them and told them that I was free to record for other people, if they were interested.”  Musically abandoning Fame wasn’t such a catastrophe after all, because the next stop for Willie was at Chips Moman’s American Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.  “I really enjoyed working with Chips.  We only did that one record, but I would have liked to record more there, because he’s really a good producer, but we didn’t get a chance to do anymore.” 

  That one record that Chips and Willie did together for Mercury in 1972 was a pleasant cover of Freddie Hart’s melodic and smooth mid-tempo floater called Easy Lovin’.  Freddie himself had released the song in July 1971 and earned gold with it.  It even topped country charts for three weeks.  On the B-side of Willie’s single there was a self-penned, mellow mid-pacer named I Love you so.

  Written, produced and arranged by Willie, his second Mercury single is one of his masterpieces - a beautiful and heartfelt ballad called Don’t Blame Me.  Released in May 1973, it’s simply one of his most emotional and soulful deliveries.  On the flip they released a track from Willie’s and Chips’ preceding session in Atlanta, a quick-tempo and intense number titled Hungry for Your Love.  In 2001 on a CD called 24 Karat Soul there was still James Carr’s slowed-down version of the song, which was co-written by Willie and Shirley Pruitt.  “She’s a writer from Gadsden.  She’s still alive, but she’s not writing anymore.”

  The following year on Mercury they were supposed to release a single with such songs as Freedom Wasn’t Meant to Be and Hello Happiness.  “They were never released.  Freedom was a slow message song, and Hello is kind of uptempo.”  They also left in the can at least two more songs.  “Close People is mid-tempo and Medley of Love is slow.”

  We had to wait until December 1976 for Willie’s next single.  This time on the almost dormant Sound Stage 7 label out of Nashville they released two funky cuts: the radiating and energetic Chicago, Send Her Home backed with the more angular Ain’t Nothing Wrong (with Loving One Woman).  They were produced and written by Jesse Boyce and Sanchez Harley of the Bottom & Co fame.  “I knew the bass player Jesse Boyce.  He’s the one, who played bass on Walk a Mile in My Shoes, and he and Sanchez Harley teamed up.”

  Thanks to Garry J. Cape in the U.K. and his Hit and Run label, still in 2011 we could enjoy two more songs created by Willie, Jesse and Sanchez.  Recorded at Pete’s Place in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1977, Special Affair is a nice, light disco dancer, while Love Pains is a more formulaic disco number.

  Unfortunately, Chicago remained Willie’s sole single on Sound Stage 7.  “I don’t know what happened over there.”  Actually Willie’s next recording sessions took place only in 1982.  “In between I wasn’t doing anything.  I was performing, but not recording.”


Willie Hightower with Heikki Suosalo (photo by Pertti Nurmi)

WILLIE and QUINTON

  Willie: “Quinton Claunch called me and asked me, if I’d be interested in doing an album with him.  I told him ‘yes’ and we did it.  That’s how that one came about.”  For the short history of Quinton Claunch, please go to http://www.soulexpress.net/williewalker_interview.htm and scroll down a bit.

  Quinton: “Back in the 1970s I leased to Vivid Sound in Japan several masters, all that Goldwax stuff.  They called me back later in the ‘70s and said ‘we’ll give you $ 15 000 for an album and invite you and Willie Hightower over here to produce it’, but I couldn’t run Willie down.  I couldn’t find him.  I finally met him in 1982.  It all started with a call from Japan again, after which I ran Willie down in Gadsden, Alabama.  I made two trips to his home, and after that we started to do the album with Willie Mitchell.”


  Recorded at Royal Recording Studios in Memphis, produced by Quinton Claunch and William (Bill) Cantrell and engineered by Willie Mitchell, the players in those sessions included Teenie Hodges on guitar, Leroy Hodges on bass, Charles Hodges on keyboards, Howard Grimes on drums, Andrew Love on tenor sax, James Mitchell on baritone sax and Gene Miller on trumpet. 

  Quinton: “Bill Cantrell helped me to set this thing up with Willie Mitchell at his studio.  Willie Hightower had to make two trips up here to record those songs, altogether two days.  We picked the songs – some I liked and some of them I didn’t like, but I didn’t want to push him too much.  He and his co-writer wrote ten of those songs, and I had one that he liked really well and he wanted to do that.  I was in charge of paying everything, the sessions, his motel and all his expenses here.  All it cost him was his time.  He agreed to half of the writer publishing.”  The publishing was split between Willie’s Too Late Music and Quinton’s Philtac Music Company.  “P-Vine in Japan gave me a $ 2000 advance.”

  They recorded twelve songs in Memphis, and most of them were light mid-tempo toe-tappers or more hammering steppers, such as Walk on Water, Intensive Care, Too Many Irons in the Fire, Try My Love and a re-recording of Hungry for Your Love from Willie’s Mercury days.  You can throw in the same bag a nice cover of All Because Of Your Love, best known by Otis Clay.


JACKIE RAGLAND

  Willie’s co-writer that Quinton mentioned above is Jackie Ragland, who was also in Porretta this summer.  He wrote with Willie most of the slow songs for the project, including the smooth Tell Me What You Want, the beautiful Sunshine and the mellow Friend to Friend.  Among their songs there were still a beat-ballad called Caught up in the Middle, a mellow down-tempo number titled Rock Me Slowly and High on Your Love, which is more like a post-disco dancer.  Willie: “Walk on Water is one of my favourites, but I really like them all - especially Tell Me What You Want and Too Many Irons in the Fire.  Jack and I wrote those together.”

  Jackie: “We were both born here in Gadsden.  I’ve known Willie for all of my life.  When we first started writing together, I was the principal of the school his daughters went to.  I told them that I was writing a bit, so we got together with Willie and started writing together.  Willie had stopped singing at that point.  I already had some songs and we just pieced them together.”

  Those recordings, however, were released only 25 years later and only in Japan.  Quinton: “I couldn’t get attention on the album.  I couldn’t get takes on it, couldn’t come up with an agreement.  I released it over in Japan with three other artists, but P-Vine couldn’t do a thing with it.  I thought it’s going to be terrific.  I’m surprised that - although it has aged - it sounds so good.  I enjoyed working with Willie.  He’s real nice.”

  Those three other artists on Quinton Claunch’s Hidden Soul Treasures (on P-Vine in 2007) are Jerry L (Put Love First / Ease It To Me / Too Poor to Die / The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me), Ollie Nightingale (Sexy Lady, Love Me After Midnight) and Joe L. Thomas (You Could Stand Another Greasin’). 


TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT

  Willie’s last record – prior to the upcoming CD – derives from 1985, when he re-cut two of his favourite songs from the Memphis sessions, Too Many Irons in the Fire and Tell Me What You Want.  Willie: “We re-recorded them with James Anthony Carmichael, who was Lionel Richie’s producer.  James is my cousin.”  Released on the L.A. based Adventure One Records in 1985 and - in spite of James’ involvement - the credited producers on the label are Mitchell, Hightower and Cochran – “he’s from New York.”  Some of the other artists on that short-lived label include Eula Cooper, (the actor) Roger E. Mosley and Plateau.

  Music-wise the last thirty years has been a lean period for Willie.  “I wasn’t doing any recordings, just mostly personal appearances... and not so very often.”  He made his triumphant return on October the 2nd in 2015 in New Orleans at the Ponderosa Stomp festival.  “That was my comeback (laughing) and now Porretta is the second one.  I’m really looking forward to coming back here.  Other than that, I’m looking forward to finishing my new album.”

OUT OF THE BLUE

  Quinton, who turned 96 the 3rd of December and is doing great: "I had signed a new artist, Alonzo Pennington, to a recording contract and we were looking for the best studio to do an album on him. A good friend in Muscle Shoals recommended that I check out Wishbone Studio. There had been a lot of Hits, cut with them. This reminded me, there are a host of World Class musicians in that area. We checked out the Wishbone Op, and were very impressed with the sound quality and the expertise of the recording engineer, Billy Lawson. Therefore, I booked it for the Alonzo P. project. Lawson told me, he was opening his own studio, & asked if I knew any Old School R&B Artists? I asked if he had heard of the legendary... Willie Hightower. He quickly replied, he had, and asked if I could find out if he was interested? I did locate him, and after a detailed conversation, we signed a recording contract on December 20, 2015. Lawson & I forged a co-production agreement for the Hightower Project, & we recorded the first 4 songs, at his new, Big Star Studio, and the results were, very good! Lawson has since purchased Wishbone, & we've recorded the additional 6 songs to complete a 10 song CD and titled it "Out Of The Blue".

"Ace Records in London will be handling the World-Wide distribution on our Soultrax Label. They are confident, it will be a Winner!"

"I'll take this opportunity to say, Willie is a very congenial person, & even at his age, he still has the full package! He told me, he had other offers for recording, but wanted to work with me instead! This is an honor... indeed!!!"

(Interviews conducted on July 22, October 25, November 11 and December 3 in 2017)


DISCOGRAPHY

SINGLES

(label # / titles / Billboard placings: rhythm & blues or soul/pop / year)

THE GOSPEL CONSOLATERS

Peacock 1845) Why Do Men Treat The Lord The Way They Do / The Last Mile (1962)

Peacock 1850) Lord Be My Guide / Who Is He (My Friend Jesus)

WILLIE HIGHTOWER

Enjoy 2019) What Am I Living For / Too Late (1965)

Fury 5002) If I Had A Hammer / So Tired (Of Running Away From Love) (1966)

Fury 5004) (Take My Hand) Let’s Walk Together / I Love You (Yes I Do) (1967)

Capitol 5916) For Sentimental Reasons & You Send Me / Because I Love You

Capitol 2226) It’s A Miracle (# 33/130) / Nobody But You (1968)

Capitol 2547) It’s Wonderful To Be In Love With You / Ooh Baby How I Love You (1969)

Capitol 2651) If I Had A Hammer / It’s Too Late

Fame 1465) Walk A Mile In My Shoes (# 26/107) / You Used Me Baby (1970)

Fame 1474) Time Has Brought About A Change / I Can’t Love Without You

Fame 1477) Back Road Into Town / Poor Man (1971)

Mercury 73338) Easy Lovin’ / I Love You So (1972)

Mercury 73390) Don’t Blame Me / Hungry For Your Love (1973)

Sound Stage 7) Chicago, Send Her Home / Ain’t Nothing Wrong (With Loving One Woman) (1976)

Adventure One 8502) Too Many Irons In The Fire / Tell Me What You Want (1985)

Hit And Run 1510 - U.K.) Special Affair / Love Pains (2011)

ALBUMS


IF I HAD A HAMMER (Capitol, ST-367) 1969

It’s A Miracle / I Love You (Yes I Do) / It’s Wonderful To Be In Love With You / Take My Hand (Let’s Walk Together) / It’s Too Late / Nobody But You / Ooh Baby How I Love You / Somebody Have Mercy / Medley: (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons & You Send Me / You Are Mine / If I Had A Hammer

QUINTON CLAUNCH’S HIDDEN SOUL TREASURES (P-Vine, PCD25052) 2007

Walk On Water / Rock Me Slowly / All Because Of Your Love / High On Your Love / Tell Me What You Want / Sunshine / Intensive Care / Friend To Friend / Too Many Irons In The Fire / Try My Love / Caught Up In The Middle / Hungry For Your Love

+ 7 tracks by Jerry L, Ollie Nightingale and Joe L. Thomas

SELECTED COMPILATIONS

GOLDEN CLASSICS (Collectables, COL-5170) 1990

-          note: first on Fire Records, P-Vine PLP-6002 in Japan in 1983

It’s A Miracle / Nobody But You / Ooh Baby How I Love You / (Take My Hand) Let’s Walk Together) / I Love You (Yes I Do) / If I Had A Hammer / Standing Here Wondering / It’s Too Late / So Tired (Of Running Away From Love) / What Am I Living For

HIGH QUALITY SOUL (Capitol, TOCP-6601) 1991

-          CD with 12 tracks

THE BEST OF WILLIE HIGHTOWER (Soul From The Vault, SFTV-1001) 1992

-          vinyl with 10 tracks

WILLIE HIGHTOWER (Honest Jon’s Records, HJRCD11) 2004

Walk A Mile In My Shoes / Back Road Into Town / If I Had A Hammer / Nobody But You / You Used Me / Time Has Brought About A Change / It’s Too Late / (Take My Hand) Let’s Walk Together / Poor Man / I Can’t Love Without You / I Love You (Yes I Do) / It’s Wonderful To Be In Love With You / Ooh Baby How I Love You / Somebody Have Mercy / Because I Love You / You Are Mine / It’s A Miracle / For Sentimental Reasons & You Send Me

-          also an EP, 12 “ vinyl: Walk A Mile In My Shoes / Back Road Into Town / I Can’t Love Without You // Time Has Brought About A Change / You Used Me Baby / Poor Man (Honest Jon’s HJP22; 2004)

THE GENUINE SOUL OF WILLIE HIGHTOWER (Fire-60022; Japan) 2014

-          27 tracks

Acknowledgements to Willie Hightower, Quinton Claunch, Jackie Ragland, Graziano Uliani and Pertti Nurmi; and a big thank you to Debbie Dixon.

Sources: Red Kelly (www.souldetective.com/hightower.html), Tim Tooher, Opal Nations and Bob McGrath’s Soul Discography.

© Heikki Suosalo





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