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Spencer Wiggins at Porretta Soul Festival (photo by Pertti Nurmi)


in the company of his brother, PERCY WIGGINS

  It was a historic moment, when on Saturday night, July the 21st in 2018, Spencer Wiggins, Percy Wiggins and Wee Willie Walker shared the stage at the Porretta Soul Music Festival in Italy and sang Spooner Oldham’s and Dan Penn’s irresistible toe-tapper called I Need a Lot of Loving, first cut by the Ovations in 1965 and later, among others, by Wilson Pickett two years later.  After that one song, Percy and Willie left the stage and - backed by the ever-impressive Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra - Spencer proceeded into an emotional delivery of his ’67 recording, Lonely Man.  It was followed by a real slow rendition of Up Tight Good Woman with as many as five false endings.  Two sing-along dancers, What Do You Think about My Baby and Double Lovin’, closed the set.  Still on Sunday night, in addition to Double Lovin’ and I Need a Lot of Loving (all three on stage again), Spencer sang his beautiful 1966 ballad, Old Friend, co-written by the late George Jackson.

Spencer Wiggins together with Heikki Suosalo at Porretta Soul Festival (photo by Pertti Nurmi)


  Spencer Wiggins Jr. was born in Memphis on January the 8th in 1942, so he recently turned 77.  Spencer: “We were a close-knit family.  There were seven of us children.”  Born to Lessie and Spencer Wiggins and living at 805 Porter Street, close to downtown, Spencer’s list of his early musical influences consists of, among others, the Dixie Hummingbirds, Mahalia Jackson, James Cleveland and Brother Joe May, and on the secular side there were Ray Charles, B.B. King and Bobby Bland.  Spencer: “...and Percy Wiggins.  Percy had a big influence on my life.  He would be in the house all day practising songs.  We were real tight.  Bobby Bland lived right next door to us.  He was a nice fellow.”  Spencer doesn’t play any instrument.  “I used to try to play a little drum, but that went away.”

  Percy: “In 1950 I was seven years old and Spencer was eight.  We sang in the New Friendship Baptist Church Choir with our mother, our two sisters – Mary and Maxine – and two of our brothers, Joe and Clifton.  We didn’t have a group at the time.  We just sang in our church choir.” 

  “The Southern Wonders Jr’s were formed a year later in 1951.  The group members were James Hunter, Charles Walker (deceased), Spencer and me.  Around 1953 we broke up and the New Rival Gospel Singers were born.  This group consisted of Maxine Wiggins Taylor, Spencer, me, Martha and Helen Evans, and our pianist was Helen Shields, now deceased.  We had a 15-minute spot each Wednesday night on WDIA radio station with Bro. Theo ‘Bless My Bones’ Wade.  I was 10 and Spencer 11 ½.  Maxine Taylor is still singing in our church choir at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church.  Spencer and I also sing in the choir there, also my daughter LaShunda Wiggins.”

  “Two years later Spencer and I joined the ParkerAires Gospel Singers.  Brother Charles Parker (deceased) was the leader, manager and organizer of the group.  The members were J.L. Summers, Robert Honeysucker, Spencer and Percy Wiggins, and a guy out of Nashville, Amon Jones.  Our pianist and organist was the world renowned Napoleon Brown.  He also played for Mahalia Jackson, Cleophus Robinson, Brother Joe May, who were all great gospel recording artists.  I was twelve and Spencer had turned fourteen.  We sang in that group about two years.”  Charles, Spencer and Percy shared the lead vocals, and that was in fact the third gospel group for the Wiggins brothers in the 1950s.  Percy: “At the age of 15 and 16 we started singing rhythm & blues music.”

  Spencer and Percy first went to Porter Junior High and next to Booker T. Washington High.  Among their school mates there were James Carr, J. Blackfoot, Dan Greer, Homer Banks, Booker T. Jones, Andrew Love etc.  Spencer: “Me, Percy and Maurice White were very tight.  Maurice was a personal friend.”  Percy: “Also the Bar-Kays graduated from T. Washington High School, but they did not go to school with us.  They were much younger than us.”  In high school they formed with two school mates their first secular group called the Four Stars.  Percy: “It was a rhythm & blues group and it consisted of Spencer, myself, David Porter and Tyrone Smith, who lives in Nashville, Tennessee.”

  At the end of the decade the brothers sang still in another secular group called the 5 “T’s”.  Percy: “That was made out of a group called WDIA Teentown Singers.  It consisted of the students from all the high schools throughout the Memphis area and surrounding areas.”  Besides Spencer and Percy, the other members included Tyrone Smith, Marvell Thomas and John Ray Buntyn.  He passed away last year.”

  Spencer and Percy both graduated in 1961, although Percy was over one year and eight months younger.  Percy: “Because of Spencer’s poison ivy rash I managed to catch up with him.  It was big pox – white bumps all over his chest, arms, back, neck, and during that time the doctor said it was contagious, so he had to stay home most of the time.  He spent most of the year out of the school because of that.”


  After graduation the brothers went their separate ways.  Percy moved to Nashville and went to Tennessee State University, while Spencer stayed in Memphis.  Spencer: “Percy was in college, when I was in the Flamingo Room.”  You can read about Percy’s career in my interview with him two and a half years ago at

  Right after the school Spencer started gigging at Clifford Miller’s popular club called The Flamingo Room, close to Beale Street in Memphis.  “I must have worked there for around 10-15 years.”  Mainstay at the upper Flamingo Room or downstairs all through the 1960s, Spencer was first backed by Gene “Bowlegs” Miller’s house band with Isaac Hayes on organ and Howard Grimes on drums.  Besides leading the band, Gene also played trumpet.  Percy: “Andrew Love played tenor sax, Charles Friday was on guitar and Cleves “Frog” Shears on bass.  Spencer: “Spooky Butler played organ for a while and you also had Richard Chan on piano.”  Jesse “Spooky” Butler has one instrumental album released on the Phillips label called Memphis Soul in 1967.  Percy: “Spencer sang more than just blues at Club Flamingo Room.  He sang all the top hits that were played on the radio.”

  A song called The Rub is said to be Spencer’s first record, and the troops are still on a lookout for an actual copy.  Spencer: “I was really young then.  I really forgot I ever recorded the song.  That was my first recording.”  Percy: “It was an uptempo song.  I don’t recall the label.  It was a red label.  I believe it was produced by Chips Moman.  Isaac Hayes and Gene “Bowlegs” Miller wrote that particular song along with the second song, What Do You Think about My Baby.  Isaac played organ on it.”


  Seymour “Sy” Rosenberg (1933-2011) was a music attorney, who retired in 2008.  Some of his biggest clients included Charlie Rich and Rufus Thomas, and, besides being a lawyer, during his career he wore many hats, that of a producer, publisher and manager in music.  Furthermore he played trumpet in the Memphis Jazz Orchestra and he was the co-owner of American Studios.

  On their Goldwax label out of Memphis, Quinton Claunch together with Rudolph Doc” Russell produced some of the most remarkable and unforgettable soul records of the 1960s.  There were extremely soulful gems by James Carr, O.V. Wright, George Jackson, Wee Willie Walker, the Ovations and many others including, of course, Spencer Wiggins.  You can read more about Quinton’s career at (please scroll down a bit).  Quinton: “Spencer is a real super-nice guy.  He has a good personality, and he’s very talented.  He didn’t get the attention he deserved.  We first met in the early 1960s.  Seymour Rosenberg had him under the contract.  Seymour was an attorney.  I had heard Spencer’s demos, and I called Seymour and he said that if I would use him, he would release him to Goldwax.  He was an attorney and busy with those things.” 

  Spencer’s very first single with Quinton and “Doc” was released in April 1965 on the Bandstand USA label, a division of Goldwax.  Some of the other artists on that label included the Playboy Five, Dorothy Williams, Jeanne Newman and Bill Childress.  Cut at American Studios, Lover’s Crime is a bluesy, big-voiced ballad written by Isaac Hayes, and on the flip they placed the song Percy mentioned above – What Do You Think about My Baby – a rolling r&b mover with a kind of a seesaw rhythm and with horns giving an extra punch on the background.  This was also one of the songs in Spencer’s Porretta repertoire last summer.

  Spencer’s first single on Goldwax (118) in early 1966 was supposed to be Quinton’s thrilling soul ballad with a touch of country titled Love Works That Way, but it was never officially released and saw the light of the day only on later compilations.  Allegedly bootleg copies were available already prior to that.  Gene Miller wrote for Spencer a beautiful and tender soulblues ballad called I’ll Be True to You, which bears a resemblance to Bobby Bland’s You’re the One, and it was supposed to be the flip side.  This single would have been an impressive double-sider.


  First Goldwax records in the 100-series were distributed by Vee-Jay out of Chicago.  Quinton: “Vee-Jay went broke.  Al Bell used to be a disc jockey here in town and he called me and said ‘would you like to go with Bell Records in New York?’  He probably called Larry Uttal, who called me, and later Larry came down here.  We got along fine.  He was a businessman.”  Starting from 1966, Goldwax’s 300-series was distributed by Bell.

  During the next 2 ½ years starting from May 1966, Spencer’s first six Goldwax singles form such a string of emotional deep soul treasures that it almost defies description.  The first one was Dan Penn’s and Spooner Oldham’s dramatic ballad Take Me Just as I Am, which has an almost aggressive spoken passage in the middle.  Solomon Burke had a hit with it a year later (# 11 – rhythm & blues / # 49 – pop) and Arthur Conley, Charles E. Chalmers, Latimore, Mitty Collier and James Govan have also covered it, but originally it was cut by Lonnie Ray aka Dan Penn on Fame 6409 in 1965 as a country song.  On the B-side of Spencer’s single there’s Dan Greer’s swaying toe-tapper called The Kind of Woman That’s Got No Heart.  Dan’s and Spencer’s paths would cross still in the 1970s.

  Old Friend (You Asked Me If I Miss her) is a touching, country-tinged ballad written by George Jackson and Woodrow Webb, who wrote many songs for Jerry Lee Lewis.  Spencer: “George Jackson was a great writer.  We were very tight.  He was a lovable guy, and a self-taught pianist.”  Quinton: “We cut that at Sun Records.”  George Jackson’s swinging dancer called Walking out on You was placed on the flip.  

  The popularity of this single, especially in the New Orleans area, caused Spencer to form a 4-piece road band with Kenny Ray Kight on guitar, David Govan on drums, Dennis Smith on bass and a fellow called Bojack on trumpet.  Percy:  “Kenny Ray was the band leader.  He plays with Bobby Rush now.”  These occasional tours, however, were not always professionally organized.  Spencer: “I didn’t have the manager to guide me.”

  Along with Jimmy Johnson, Oldham and Penn were the composers of the dramatic and soulful Up Tight Good Woman, which again Dan Penn recorded first.  Spencer’s single was released in April 1967, but already in December 1966 Wilson Pickett had it on his Wicked Pickett album.  Laura Lee made a small hit out of it in late 1967 (# 16 – rhythm & blues / # 93 – pop) and again Solomon Burke in 1969 (# 47 – rhythm & blues / # 116 – pop).  This great song was backed with a mover named Anything You Do Is Alright, co-written by Earl Cage, Jr.  Quinton: “It was recorded at American Studios.”  Percy: “Spencer recorded some of his songs at American, some at the local Fame studio in Memphis and most of them at Fame in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.”

  Up Tight Good Woman was one of the most popular Spencer’s Goldwax singles, but somehow it missed the charts.  Spencer: “It was a great song and it was produced alright, but it was not promoted like it was supposed to be.”


  As usual, produced by Quinton and Russell, The Power of a Woman is the 4th great deep soul ballad in a row, backed with an infectious and melodic uptempo song named Lonely Man.  The arranger on these sides is Al Dante.  Quinton: “I wrote The Power of a Woman, and that was cut at Sun.  Al Dante was a guy from New York, who came to see a friend or something.  I don’t know anything about him.  He was just a few weeks down here, and then he went back somewhere east.”

  That’s How Much I Love You is another thrilling deep soul ballad.  Quinton: “I wrote that.   That’s How Strong My Love Is influenced me on that” (laughing).  This single was released in 1968 and on the B-side there was a routine dancer titled I’m a Poor Man’s Son, co-written by Denis Pantis, an artist in his own right, too.

  A strong candidate for Spencer’s most outstanding side on Goldwax is the passionate and intense Once in a While (Is Better than Never at All).  Released in November 1968, with his amazing delivery Spencer really takes us to church.  The song itself bears a remote resemblance to For Your Precious Love, and it was written by Quinton, David Hall and Carmol Taylor.  Carmol (1931-86) is a country singer and songwriter, who recorded a couple of small hits for Elektra in the 1970s but also had one release on Goldwax in 1967, Did She Ask about Me.  Quinton: “I believe I did Once in a While at Sun.”  On the flip there was a hilarious scorcher named He’s Too Old, co-written by George Jackson.

  Spencer’s final single on Goldwax was released in 1969, and it was a cover of Aretha Franklin’s gold hit two years earlier, I Never Loved a Woman (the Way I Love you).  Quinton: “I did that at Fame Records.  Duane Allman played guitar on that.”  The flip featured a screaming, Wilson Pickett type of a stormer called Soul City U.S.A., written by the same trio that created Once in a While.

  In spite of the great quality of these Spencer’s Goldwax singles and his amazing vocal performances, not a single one turned into a nationally charted hit.  Spencer: “All the songs I recorded were hit records, they just weren’t pushed right.”  Consequently Spencer had to find  regular jobs outside music, too.  “I worked at a furniture store.  I used to deliver furniture.”  Percy: “Spencer worked at Royal Furniture store driving a truck, delivering furniture in 1963-64.  He was married to Cora Richards at the time.”

  Quinton: “Bell Records’ forte really wasn’t the blues.  They got lost in the shuffle.  They didn’t have right connections.  To tell you the truth, they concentrated more on James Carr.  It was the lack of promotion for Spencer Wiggins’ records.”


  During his Goldwax period Spencer recorded many more remarkable, finished tracks that were unearthed for later compilations after Quinton had leased them to Vivid Sound in Japan and Ace in the U.K.  Most of them were cut in Muscle Shoals in July 1967, including Let’s Talk It Over, which is a northern soul type of a dancer, cut at Fame and released in the U.K. on Torch 001 in 1998.  Similarly, We Gotta Make up Baby is a dancer, and Quinton also wrote the uptempo Love Attack, which we know better as a small hit single by James Carr in 1966.

  Spencer turns the familiar Cry to Me into a dramatic, big-voiced sermon.  Water, on the other hand, is a country-soul ballad and the pretty Love Me Tonight belongs to the same category.  It was written by Carmol Taylor and Quinton, and Carmol’s version of it was actually released on one of Goldwax’s subsidiaries, Timmy, in 1968.  Spencer’s version was also released but on Fame Records one year later.

  There are still Spencer’s three bluesy tracks that were shelved: Buddy Guy’s slow My Love Is Real, B.B. King’s Sweet Sixteen and the rolling Who’s Been Warming My Oven, which was cut also by James Carr and Cable Reed.

  Quinton: “We couldn’t get anything big going for Spencer, so we just kind of gave up and I sold his contract to Fame Records.”


  According to Spencer, at Fame it was Rick Hall’s idea to try him on an aggressive funk number called Love Machine in 1969.  Spencer was one of the co-writers along with Earl Cage, Joe Reynolds and Oscar Smith.  The single was coupled with the beautiful Love Me Tonight, from the Goldwax era as mentioned above.

  Love Machine still didn’t do the trick, but the follow-up became Spencer’s first and only charted record.  A poppy, pre-disco sing-along ditty titled Double Lovin’, written by George Jackson and Mickey Buckins, peaked at # 44 on Billboard’s soul charts in the fall of 1970.  Percy: “Spencer cut it first, and the Osmonds did it later, after One Bad Apple.”  The Osmonds’ single went as high as # 14 on Billboard’s Hot 100 charts.

  Although only two singles were released on Fame, Spencer cut altogether nine songs in his three sessions between late 1969 and early 1971, six of which were released only on a later compilation.  The mid-tempo I’m at the Breaking Point was probably influenced by Tyrone Davis’ recent hits, and the powerful George Jackson-Eugene Williams composition This Love Is Gonna Be True certainly had hit potential.

  Recorded in May 1970, an impressive southern soul ballad named Holding on to a Dying Love would have been another candidate for a hit record.  Co-written by George Jackson, Otis Clay released his version on Hi in 1972.  Versions of Bettye Swann’s Make Me Yours and Clarence Carter’s song, Ooh-Be Ooh-Be-Doo, are both light and playful dancers, while Hit and Run is a big-voiced, slowish blues.


  The founders of first Penn and then X-L labels in Memphis in the first half of the 1960s were Gene Lucchesi and Stan Kesler, and, although they initially concentrated mainly on pop and dance records, in the 1970s they also produced soul music on such artists as Barbara & the Browns and the Ovations.  In addition to those two groups, on their Sounds of Memphis label between 1970 and ’72 they released singles by Dan Greer, Lou Roberts and the Minits, among others.  Not only a recording artist, Dan Greer was also the head of A&R and one of the producers, and he was also in charge of the three singles that Spencer had on those labels.

  Produced, co-arranged and written by Dan Greer, I Can’t Be Satisfied (with a Piece of Your Love) is a terrific southern soul ballad and in terms of sheer emotion and intensity of soulful delivery it’s one of the musical peaks in Spencer’s career.  It came out on the Sounds of Memphis label in 1973.  Percy: “Spencer covered the song that Louis Williams and the Ovations had out first on their album.  They used the same track.  They just took the piano part off the front and put a guitar part on.  Spencer did that at MGM Sounds of Memphis in Memphis.”  The Ovations’ version was released on their Hooked on a Feeling album (on SOM-7001, in 1972).  On Spencer’s version Oscar Smith plays the lead guitar, and Spencer still later revived this song during his gospel days.  Earl Cage and Robert Owens wrote and co-produced with Dan a light dancer called Take Time to Love Your Woman on the B-side.

  The troops are on a lookout for Spencer’s next two singles on the XL imprint in 1973, too, because probably they were not officially released.  I Can’t Get enough of You Baby is a messy funk, whereas on the flip there’s another fine southern soul ballad from Dan’s pen, You’re My Kind of Woman.  A cover of Ted Taylor’s Feed the Flame sounds like a demo, while El Paso reminds you of the Temptations’ psychedelic scorchers those days.  Dan Greer not only wrote the song but also released his own version of it on MGM in 1973 under the title of Hell Paso.


  In 1974 Spencer married Bennie McCoy and moved down to Florida.  Spencer: “I wasn’t doing so hot out in the music world, so I got into church and started singing in there.”  Eventually he became a deacon and a choir director at the New Birth Baptist Church in Miami, where he’s still leading the Wisdom Choir today.  He also drove a truck from the early 1980s until his retirement twenty years later.

  However, in the late 1970s for a minute he hooked up with recording again.  Percy: “Those songs were recorded at Al Green’s studio.  They were produced by Howard Grimes, the drummer.  Those songs still haven’t been released.” 

  Spencer’s return to recording took place in 1995, when he sang the self-written I Love Jesus on New Birth Choir’s album Gifts of Praise.  This was the choir in Spencer’s church.  His solo gospel release came out three years later and it was a cassette called Jump for Jesus on J.C. Records, a division of Message Music out of Hollywood, Florida.  Spencer: “My pastor’s sister wanted to record me, and so she did.  She spent the money out to record Jump for Jesus.”  Victor T. Curry is the pastor, and the executive producer of the cassette is his sister, Julie Curry-Reid, so it’s not very difficult to figure out where the name J.C. Records comes from.

  Produced by Katrel Bennett and Troy Reid, Jr., Spencer wrote two songs for this 6-track cassette with the running time of over half an hour.  One of them is the title track, an uptempo repetitive chant with a heavy beat, and the second one a haunting and quite restrained ballad titled I Don’t Know What I Would Do.  Backed by a real rhythm section and as many as five background vocalists, the power of the choir becomes even too evident on Katrel’s slow song called Nails.  Of the Katrel’s two other songs, Gonna Be Caught up is mid-tempo, Restore Me downtempo, and L.E. Campbell’s Something within uptempo.


  A musician/songwriter/producer Thomas W. Demerritte aka Tommi D founded in 2000 Tavette Records and signed seven acts.  Most of them were urban r&b and hip-hop artists, but there was one surprise signing from the gospel field – Spencer Wiggins.  As incredible as it seems, Key to the Kingdom – released on Tavette in 2003 – is Spencer’s first-ever album!  Already prior to that, in 2002 they released a single, an urban beater titled Keep on Jumpin’ backed with the mid-tempo Be like Jesus, both co-written by Tommi and Spencer.

  On the 18-track CD there are two interviews and a couple of spoken tracks.  Often the music leans heavily on urban contemporary with occasional hip-hop elements, but the CD includes also more traditional inspirational music, e.g. A Rebirth, Call on Jesus, Near the Cross, Jesus all the Time. At one point they stretch out to blues (Praise the Lord) and even introduce Caribbean rhythms (Encourage Yourself).  Laurana Strachan is a guest vocalist on the CD.

  Spencer: “The CD was real nice.  Tommi D wrote the songs, and I helped him write also Key to the Kingdom.  The CD didn’t sell very well, because again it wasn’t promoted.”  Key to the Kingdom is a slow inspirational song, and they also shot a video for it at the New Birth Baptist Church.

 Still in 2003 on Tavette they released a single titled Who Dat? The Florida Marlins! by the Tavette All Stars “featuring Spencer Wiggins and Co.”, which was a commercial for the local baseball team. 

Spencer and Percy Wigginsin and Wee Willie Walker singing in church at Porretta (photo by Marjo Parjanen)


  When Spencer’s second Tavette CD, I’m Going on, was released in 2009, I interviewed him and he told me that “I’m working at the church that I belong to, the New Birth Baptist Church.  I’m working as a security guard --- I’m also a deacon at my church.”  Featuring real rhythm section, horns and background vocalists, the main writers on the CD are Thomas Demerritte and Spencer.  “Most of the songs go back some years... very old songs.  We kind of changed them around.”  All Spencer’s quotes below on this CD come from my interview ten years ago.

  The opener, Highway to Heaven, is like an uptempo “camp” song. “That’s a very old song.  We just came back with it and we just sang it our way.”  What a Friend is a more bluesy slow number.  “It’s more like B.B. King’s Sweet Sixteen style.  Everybody’s raving about that particular song.”  The mid-tempo I’m going on is performed a cappella.  “We were having problems with the musicians showing up at the studio to really get this song down, so all those parts and stuff that you hear on that particular song I’m doing with my mouth... bass, drums and everything.  So there’s no music on there.”

  The uptempo Praise Your Name features Queen Kathleen.  “She’s a young lady out of Chicago.  She used to belong to our church.  She came down here maybe about six years ago.  The last I heard of her she had moved to Key West, Florida.  She has a lovely voice.”  God Is So Special is a slow and deep song. “It’s a beautiful song.  I wrote that song way back in 1979.  I was supposed to record it back then at Al Green’s studio, but we had other plans and he never did call me back to get me back into his studio.  When I got with Tommi, we changed the title from God Is Somebody to God Is So Special.”  There are also two festive songs, More Love at Christmas and Make Sure They Know It’s Christmas.  “I did them about two years ago.  Tommi wrote those songs.”  They were also released as a single at the time.

  Incidentally, ten years ago in my interview Spencer also briefly reminisced about a couple of his fellow artists.  “James Carr is a personal friend of mine.  He had this big hit on Goldwax, Pouring Water on a Drowning Man.  He was a very nice gentleman, soft-spoken, always smiling.  He was a very nice guy, a very quiet guy.  O.V. Wright is another personal friend of mine.  We were on different shows together.  This guy could really sing.  I’ve never seen anybody make another man cry.  I was on a show with him back in ’71 in New Orleans along with Jackie Wilson, Bobby Bland, Denise LaSalle, and he just turned the place up.  He had me just crying.  He was really a soulful singer.”

Spencer Wiggins and Percy Wiggins together with Heikki Suosalo at Porretta Soul Festival (photo by Pertti Nurmi)


  Besides Spencer’s one gospel single release four years ago – the mid-tempo Where Would I Be without My Friend Jesus, backed with a slow song titled Sin – in 2013 on Electraphonic they released a heartfelt and truly soulful rendition of The Dark End of the Street by the Bo-Keys featuring Spencer & Percy Wiggins. 

  Wherever Spencer and Percy Wiggins have performed in recent years, they’ve been a highly praised act.  Their Porretta gigs in July 2018 was actually their third visit there, after 2009 and 2011.  They also sang at Cleethorpes in the U.K. in 2010 and at the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans in 2013.  Percy: “We did London and Manchester during the Thanksgiving holidays back in November 2017.  We had a great time there, a great show and people were wonderful.  The response was fantastic.”

  Percy: “I anticipate on going back into the studio doing some new music.  Ben Cauley, formerly of the original Bar-Kays, and I had written several songs, but we didn’t finish them, so I’m in the process of trying to finish those things along with his son-in-law, Jeff.  Of course, I still work with Scott Bomar and the Bo-Keys periodically. Spencer is involved in the upcoming project with Jeff, Howard Grimes and me.”



(Label # / titles / Billboard placing, soul / year)

???) The Rub

Bandstand USA 1004) Lover’s Crime / What Do You Think About My Baby (1965)

Goldwax 308) Take Me Just As I Am / The Kind Of Woman That’s Got No Heart (1966)

Goldwax 312) Old Friend (You Asked Me If I Miss Her) / Walking Out On You

Goldwax 321) Up Tight Good Woman / Anything You Do Is Alright (1967)

Goldwax 330) The Power Of A Woman / Lonely Man

Goldwax 333) That’s How Much I Love You / I’m A Poor Man’s Son (1968)

Goldwax 337) Once In A While (Is Better Than Never At All) / He’s Too Old

Goldwax 339) I Never Loved A Woman (The Way I Love You) / Soul City U.S.A. (1969)

Fame 1463) Love Machine / Love Me Tonight

Fame 1470) Double Lovin’ (# 44) / I’d Rather Go Blind (1970)

Sounds of Memphis, SM 716) I Can’t Be Satisfied (With A Piece Of Your Love) / Take Time To Love Your Woman (1973)

(XL 1345) I Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby / You’re My Kind Of Woman

XL 1347) Feed The Flame / El Paso)

                      Note: the two above possibly not officially released

Tavette 69626-12343) Keep On Jumpin’ - Main Mix / D-Mix / Choral Mix / Be Like Jesus (2002)

Tavette 69626-12347) Key To The Kingdom (2003)

Tavette 69626-12349) It’s Christmas (2006)

Elektraphonic, ER-110: The Dark End Of The Street (2013)

                      Note: by The Bo-Keys feat. Spencer & Percy Wiggins

CBP Music) Where Would I Be Without My Friend Jesus / Sin (2015)


JUMP FOR JESUS (J.C. Records, D14C8) 1998

Note: released in 2011 also on CD

Jump For Jesus / Nails / Gonna Be Caught Up // Restore Me / Something Within / I Don’t Know What I Would Do


REV. MELVIN DAWSON & GENESIS ENSEMBLE: MESSAGES OF HOPE (Tyscot) 1994 (Spencer Wiggins): Old Time Religion

NEW BIRTH CHOIR: GIFTS OF PRAISE (Star Song Communications/Capitol 20087) 1995

(Spencer Wiggins:) I Love Jesus

KEY TO THE KINGDOM (Tavette 069626-123463) 2003

Introductory Interview / A Rebirth / Praise The Lord / You Better Think / He’s Everything To Me / Who? / Get In Order / Who Is Spencer Wiggins / Key To The Kingdom / Encourage Yourself / Be Like Jesus / Keep on Jumpin’ / Intermission Interview / Call On Jesus / Near The Cross / Jesus All The Time / High Steppin’ / Keep On Jumpin’ (reprise)

I’M GOING ON (Tavette 69626-12346) 2009

Highway To Heaven / If You Never Needed God Before... / What A Friend! / I’m Going On / Praise Your Name / God Is So Special / What Do You Think About Jesus?  / Key To The Kingdom (acoustic mix) / In The Garden / More Love At Christmas / Make Sure They Know It’s Christmas

NEW BIRTH BAPTIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL CHOIR: IT SHALL BE DONE (New Birth Records International) 2009 (Spencer Wiggins): Let's Praise The Lord


SOUL CITY U.S.A. (Vivid Sound; VG 3002 - vinyl) 1977

Take Me Just As I Am / The Kind Of Woman That’s Got No Heart / Love Works That Way / I’ll Be True To You / We Gotta Make Up / Old Friend (You Asked Me If I Miss Her) / Walking Out On You // Soul City U.S.A. / The Power Of A Woman / That’s How Much I Love You / He’s Too Old / Once In A While (Is Better Than Not At All) / Up Tight Good Woman /I Never Loved A Woman (The Way I Love You)

(Vivid Sound; VGCD-003 - CD) 1990

all the above (except We Gotta Make Up) + I’m A Poor Man’s Son / Water / Lover’s Crime / Sweet Sixteen / Cry To Me / Anything You Do Is Alright / What Do You Think About My Baby / Who’s Been Warming My Oven


Once In A While (Is Better Than Never At All) / Old Friend (You Asked Me If I Miss Her) / The Kind Of Woman That’s Got No Heart / Lonely Man / He’s Too Old / I’m A Poor Man’s Son / What Do You Think About My Baby / Anything You Do Is Alright / I’ll Be True To You / Take Me Just As I Am / That’s How Much I Love You / I Never Loved A Woman (The Way I Love You) / Who’s Been Warming My Oven / Walking Out On You / Soul City U.S.A. / Sweet Sixteen / Up Tight Good Woman / Lover’s Crime / My Love Is Real / The Power Of A Woman / I’m A Poor Man’s Son (alternate)/ That’s How Much I Love You (alternate)

THE GOLDWAX YEARS (Kent 511 – vinyl) 2018

I Never Loved A Woman (The Way I Love You) / Old Friend (You Asked Me If I Miss Her) / Up Tight Good Woman / That’s How Much I Love You / Take Me Just As I Am / I’m A Poor Man’s Son / Lonely Man // He’s Too Old / Anything You Do Is Alright / I’ll Be True To You / Sweet Sixteen / The Power Of A Woman / Lover’s Crime / Once In A While (Is Better Than Never At All)


I’m At The Breaking Point / We Gotta Move Up Baby / This Love Is Gonna Be True / Holding On To A Dying Love / You’re My Kind Of Woman / I Can’t Be Satisfied / I’d Rather Go Blind / Love Works That Way / Feed The Flame / Make Me Yours / Ooh-Be Ooh-Be-Doo / Take Time To Love Your Woman / Let’s Talk It Over / I Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby / Double Lovin’ / Love Machine / Love Attack / Hit And Run / Best Thing I Ever Had / Water / Love Me Tonight / Cry To Me

Additions to the discography courtesy of Rune Blomqvist. Thank you for your help!

(Interviews conducted with Mr. Quinton Claunch on February the 27th and March the 6th and with Spencer and Percy on July the 21st in 2018 and January the 18th in 2019.  Acknowledgements to Spencer and especially Percy Wiggins, Quinton Claunch, Debbie Dixon, Graziano Uliani, Pete Hoppula and Pertti Nurmi.  Additional sources: Bill Dahl - Colin Dilnot/David Cole (In The Basement # 27, fall 2002), Ray Ellis (Juke Blues # 69 and 70, in 2010) and Dean Rudland).

© Heikki Suosalo

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