Saturday Single No. 702

Yesterday, as I looked at the popularity of Brook Benton’s “Rainy Night In Georgia” at the various radio stations that made up my listening in 1970, I asked long-time reader and Top 40 expert Yah Shure if St. Cloud’s WJON had released surveys during that era.

He replied:

I have no idea whether or not WJON published a weekly survey in 1970. Only a stray earlier chart or two from the mid ’70s turned up after I started working there in 1977.

Then he commented on the source WJON used for Benton’s hit during his days at the station:

By that time, the Cotillion 45 had been retired from the WJON library, so we played Brooks’ “Rainy Night In Georgia” off of a 1973 Atlantic Records 25th anniversary double-LP, The Soul Years.

He went on to note an interesting thing about that album, one that made me stop and think:

Although it was, in all likelihood, a result of pulling the wrong tape during the production process, this various artists compilation is notable for a rocked-up re-recording Ruth Brown did of her 1953 hit, “Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean.” The recording date of the remake wasn’t listed – probably mid-to-late ’50s – but boy, does it smoke!

I headed to my LP database, and yes, I found a listing for The Soul Years. But did it survive the Great Vinyl Sell-Off a few years back? I thought that it did but wasn’t entirely sure, so I grabbed a flashlight and headed for the stacks. And yes, there it was.

And this morning, I fired up Audacity and after lots of difficulties getting the program to work – it was the first time I’ve used it on my new desktop – I got the track ripped. I made – with again, some difficulty – a video and put it on my YouTube page.

So here’s Ruth Brown’s remake, likely from the mid- to late 1950s, of her 1953 hit “Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean.” Yah Shure is right, it smokes! And it’s today’s Saturday Single.


One Response to “Saturday Single No. 702”

  1. Yah Shure says:

    Thanks for posting this to YouTube, whiteray!

    I was never aware of ‘The Soul Years’ prior to joining WJON, and it was while still working at the station that I acquired a copy of the LP in a roundabout way: One of the stores we called weekly to get record sales figures was the St. Cloud Zayre location, where a fellow by the name of Tom managed the department. When that store closed, Tom became the manager of the Musicland location in the Eden Prairie Center, where I had worked briefly in 1976 as the interim manager at the new Baskin-Robbins store, while they sought a franchisee. Tom had ‘The Soul Years’ in stock and he gave me a generous discount, unasked. I never played it much over the years, primarily using it as a source for dubbing tracks for the various radio stations I would work at.

    Fast forward to January, 2018, when I received a request from Mark Mathews, the mastering engineer at reissue label Eric Records. He’d gotten a request for the Ruth Brown remake, noting that it wasn’t available on YouTube and that the person asking for it had mentioned its appearance on ‘The Soul Years’. I just reread that message, in which Mark had guessed that Ruth re-cut this version circa 1955. I hadn’t been familiar enough with Ruth’s 1953 hit to know it wasn’t the version on the album, so credit should go to Mark for opening my eyes to the remake, which is now my default “Mama…” I should note that the length of the remake is 2:17, but the label on ‘The Soul Years’ states 2:57, which is likely another indication that there had been a mix-up on this song.

    And to complete the circle, Mark had asked for another song in that same email: the 45 version of Brook Benton’s “Rainy Night In Georgia”!

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