Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Singles Club!

Betty Wright - If I Ever Do Wrong (from the album - Explosion)

Sides A+B:
If I Ever Do Wrong

Alston Records, 1976

Welcome to the first installment of the Saturday Singles Club. The name is rather self-explanatory, so I'll spare you details. I am going to be posting links to the songs, whenever possible. Some of this stuff may be hard to find, so if something you're in to is not shared, I apologize in advance.

Betty Wright was at the forefront of the disco movement in the early 70's in Miami. Starting her career in 1968 (at 15 years old!!) with the album "My First Time Around", Wright didn't begin gaining success until the early 70's. Being part of the legendary TK Records stable, Wright rode the massive wave of Miami disco to wider acclaim and peaked with a Grammy for "Where Is The Love?" in 1975.

As for the song, its on the Art Laboe/Quiet Storm late night slow jam tip. A brilliant horn+piano intro leads in to a torchy, sublime vocal from Wright. Some almost doo-wop backing vocals pepper the song throughout. Well known for her skills in the upper registry (she's been an oft used backing singer), Wright shows some real restraint on a song that is a bit of a departure from her disco-heavy output. Your standard RnB themes of infidelity and love show up lyrically and the unintentional humor is great. She's basically saying "Hey, if I cheat on you take heart that I put some thought in to it. But I'll try my best to be good". Its a morality play on wax.

This song is a gem, one of the hundreds of great soul ballads from the golden age. Sunny enough to accent a summer BBQ, dark enough for a rainy day. Enjoy.

Get Some

Availability: Not too rare

Legendary/Tragic Aspect: Betty sued and won 35% of the royalties from Color Me Badd's massive hit "I Wanna Sex U Up" for non-clearance of samples.

RIYL: Soul, Sunshine, Art Laboe, Philadelphia, Motown, Stax, Aretha

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