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CHICAGOSOULMAN
08-09-2010, 05:21 PM
I know that the Opals did background on Walter Jackson's "It's All Over", however the "No, No, That Wouldn't Do" refrain is obviously some other female(s). Also on "It's An Uphill Climb To The Bottom" the very prominent female background is a mystery to me. I know that Kitty Haywood and Theresa Davis did some things with Walter but it doesn't sound like them either. Any ideas?

robb_k
08-09-2010, 07:30 PM
214

I listened to "It's All Over" again, and listened to all my Opals records on Beltone and Okeh Records. I think ALL the female voices on "It's All Over" are The Opals. In the normal chorus, The Opals use a high register, but in "No, No, That Wouldn't Do", their voices are lower. But, what makes you think that there were other female voices on that recording? Curtis Mayfield and Riley Hampton ran that session. Who else do you think Curtis would have brought to that session?

CHICAGOSOULMAN
08-09-2010, 08:36 PM
You could very well be right, it doesn't seem necessary to use two different background groups. However, I am not convinced, to me they sound more like the background on "Uphill Climb" going more by the style.

daddyacey
08-10-2010, 04:20 AM
"Who else do you think Curtis would have brought to that session? "
In the KENT CD ,"It's All Over" ,The OKEH Recordings Vol 1, booklet it's stated that Billy Butler and The Enchanters were also on the background vocals. I.A.O is a classic Mayfield song and it shows in both the writing and the production of both the W.J. version (You can't deny that Mayfield sound in it) , and the Impressions version. Mayfield's stlye , (I.M.O.) , was based on the tenor and mid-range voice. The Fascinations , The Opals , Linda Clifford and even Aretha was cut in her higher range when he produced her. As for the males ,The Stairsteps , Major Lance and Billy Butler are tenor based. The exceptions to this are Walter and Gladys ,who don't have that tenor based sound. "Uphill" ,not being a Mayfield production ,would not sound the same ,but seems like they tried to continue the formula and came close to it.

CHICAGOSOULMAN
08-11-2010, 06:40 PM
Obviously the background vocals are females and it's not the Opals as "Uphill Climb" was recorded in early 1966 by which time they were no longer with Okeh. So who else could it be? I really can't say, but they almost sound like a choral group, I don't know how else to describe it. Born and raised in Chicago during the 50's, 60's and 70's and can't say who else they sound like, not the Gems or any other group moonlighting. But we know that Carl Davis was not above outside folks (ie. Funk Brothers and Andantes on Jackie's "Higher and Higher"). So I guess until someone comes forward with a definitive answer it will just be one more of the great unknowns.

paladin
08-11-2010, 07:01 PM
I'll ask the Chicago Mafia check in, I dont have any idea........

robb_k
08-11-2010, 07:57 PM
277

Obviously the background vocals are females and it's not the Opals as "Uphill Climb" was recorded in early 1966 by which time they were no longer with Okeh. So who else could it be? I really can't say, but they almost sound like a choral group, I don't know how else to describe it. Born and raised in Chicago during the 50's, 60's and 70's and can't say who else they sound like, not the Gems or any other group moonlighting. But we know that Carl Davis was not above outside folks (ie. Funk Brothers and Andantes on Jackie's "Higher and Higher"). So I guess until someone comes forward with a definitive answer it will just be one more of the great unknowns.

I lived in Chicago from 1959-67, so I know who the Opals, Gems, Fascinations were. I spent a lot of time in East Chicago, too (Lots of family there). I don't know who sang backgrounds on "Uphill Climb", but I agree that it wasn't The Opals. But, I also don't think that group was a "second background group" on "It's All Over". I think that The Opals had more range than you're giving them credit for having. What other female group would Curtis Mayfield have used? If here were to have planned to use The Fascinations, he wouldn't have used The Opals. I can't imagine that Carl Davis would have "forced" him to use The Opals. I know that Davis was the official producer, but I suspect that he let Curtis and Riley run the session.

CHICAGOSOULMAN
08-13-2010, 02:13 PM
Don't really have an idea as to else Curtis might have used, but we have to remember that this was Walter Jackson who was a whole different entity at that time. I know this is a stretch, but maybe he altered his normal formula just a bit. Anyway. maybe someone out there knows. I wish i would have called in when the Opals were on WHBK's "Sitting in the Park". Bob is in touch with them so maybe he could find out. In fact, I will email him myself and will share any information he might be able to provide. Thanks for the input.

GeeTee(HPK)
08-13-2010, 02:16 PM
It's WHPK. http://whpk.org

kevgo
08-15-2010, 12:07 AM
When Carl Davis met Walter Jackson in the early 1960s, he brought the singer to Columbia Records. After trying a few singles that stiffed, Carl was offered the gig to run the Okeh subsidiary out of Chicago. His goal with Walter Jackson was to target him toward the adult crowd while at the same time having Walter cut contemporary tunes for the music charts ("It's All Over").

Carl knew who to bring in to help create great tunes and hits. He brought Curtis Mayfield on board while at Okeh and let him loose in the studio (did the same at Brunswick with William "Sonny" Sanders, Willie Henderson & Eugene Record).

Carl left Columbia/Okeh in early 1966 when the CBS brass found out that he was moonlighting (producing Gene Chandler at Constellation, Mary Wells for 20th Century Fox). Ted Cooper took over producing Walter Jackson.

Ted produced classic tunes for Walter as well, including "An Uphill Climb To The Bottom". I did some "needle-dropping" recently to answer the question as to who may have sang background on the tune. Comparing the tune to others produced in Chicago, it sounds as if Kitty Haywood may have been one of the background singers. I'll have to further consult a few friends in the Windy City to confirm this.

Kevin Goins - KevGo

CHICAGOSOULMAN
08-16-2010, 01:12 AM
Got a response from Bob at WHPK who talked to Rosie of the Opals who didn't mention any other background singers on "It's All Over" so I guess it WAS just them. However, she did say that the background on "Uphill Climb" was performed by "studio girls" who she did not identify. So that mystery continues.

daddyacey
08-16-2010, 02:22 AM
CHICAGOSOULMAN's post , raises questions then ,considering his source ,about the statement made in the KENT CD booklet by Tony Rounce ,that Biily Butler and The Chanters were also on the background of It's All Over. Rosie, just by being there is a credible source of information. Tony Rounce was not there ,and reasonably his research may not be completely correct. On the other hand ,I think that it should be considered that in August of 64 ,Columbia ,(a major label) had at least 4 track recording and it is possible that other background voices were recorded and could have for example, been mixed in with the Opals background track afterwards ,which Rosie may not have known about. That's because only the producers would know ,for sure , how and what was used to create the final product. We should consider that Davis ,Mayfield and Hampton ,through the resources of a major label like Columbia, had the ability to produce and write on the same level as the independent Motown label. That's just an observation that I have considered ,in my listening to the track and an added point to the mystery. Just for the sake of conversation. :D

CHICAGOSOULMAN
08-22-2010, 10:20 AM
Hadn't considered the mixing in of additional background vocals in post-production, it is a possibility. All this talk about Walter had me take a closer listen to his work. "Welcome Home" although released in 1965 was recorded in 1963, before "It's All Over" to me the background vocals are similar to those on "Uphill Climb". My point being that it appears that unknown personnel outside of the usual suspects were being used for some of Walter's recordings. The question remains: WHO ARE THEY!!! Not trying to belabor the point, just trying to keep the discussion going. Listen for yourself.

robb_k
08-22-2010, 01:31 PM
433
The background singers used on Ted Cooper's productions, should be looked for first in New York. The same is true for Walter's Columbia cuts.

KevGo: Carl Davis moonlighted w Mary Wells for ATCO Records not 20th Century Fox (Robert Bateman worked with her for them (both in Detroit and NY)).

CHICAGOSOULMAN
08-24-2010, 08:29 PM
OK. Did some research and found that Ted Cooper used a session background singer by the name of Jean Thomas on Walter's You're My One Chance To Make It" and on his demo for "After You There Can be Nothing" and Major Lance's demo for 'Ain't No Soul In These Old Shoes" (see seesion logs at www.jeanthomas.info/).Have also seen her name mentioned elsewhere as doing backgrounds for Walter. Of course just because she did the demos doesn't mean she was on the final product. Anyway, I'm still looking, any help would be appreciated.