SAM & BILL FORUM: Archive - Beginning May 30, 2003: SAM & BILL
Top of pageBottom of page   By Soulpuss ( on Thursday, April 17, 2003 - 08:02 pm:




Top of pageBottom of page   By Mark Speck ( on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 01:06 am:

Here's a little info on S&B to start:

Evidently they had something to do with Johnny Nash, as they recorded for his Joda label around '65-'66. They cut a couple of singles for the label, "For Your Love" (is this a version of the Ed Townsend tune?) and "Fly Me to the Moon".

They later had a single for Decca that appeals to both Northern and deep soul fans. One side, "I'll Try", is a Northern tune, and folks who are into the deep soul style would probably dig the flip, "I Feel Like Cryin'". Both sides were featured on Kent LPs, "Soul Class of '66" ("I'll Try") and "The Deep South" ("I Feel Like Cryin'").

I'd have to check, but I believe they also had a record on Capricorn as well, early in that label's run.

That's about all I know. HTH.



Top of pageBottom of page   By benji ( on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 04:48 am:

they had another 45 on decca called "trying to get back to my baby"/"i need your love to comfort me". both decca 45 were released over here in europe

for scans of the picture sleeves of their german and spanish decca 45s.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Davie Gordon ( on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 03:25 pm:

They were Sam Gary and Bill Johnson on Joda
but one one of them was replaced on the Decca singles - I'd have to check to see which one.

They were from somewhere in the south, Bill
Johnson apparently cut some tracks for Sun
in the late fifties and there's a Bill Johnson
single on a label called Talos which is from
(I think) Tennessee.

Their Decca material was produced by Doug Tanner
who operated out of South Carolina so they may
have been based there for a while. Tanner's other
act was Little Mac and the Boss Sounds who're
remembered over here for their version of "In
The Midnight Hour".

The last I heard of Sam and Bill was around 1970
when they were one of the first acts signed to the then-new Capricorn label. Maybe they'd
moved to Macon - it looks as if they got around.

They probably broke up after the Capricorn singler
failed to sell - soul duos had had their day by then.

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME ( on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 05:36 pm:

Sam and Bill.
I helped a friend out,now deceased,
with various things for his own magazine that was prominantly dedicated to the Rare Soul Scene.
we both did a lot of research on the various topics etc,and one of them was on Sam and Bill.
This is what my mate put in his very first edition of his mag,titled (and dedicated to Mr.Dave Godin of Blues and Soul)The Gospel According To Dave Godin(pt.1)sadly of only the 3.
(an edited version from above )
Sam and Bill.
A native of Augusta,Georgia.
Bill Johnson was born on the 16th of October,1932.
He began singing in a religious group in his local gospel church.
At the age of 14 he began singing Rock,RnB with many teenage groups.Aged 16 Bill left school and formed his own band in his home town,which he called
Bill Johnson and the 4 Steps of Rhythm Orchestra.

while Bill was with the band for 5 years,no recordings were ever made.It was during this period that Bill's voice marked him out as a Blues singer,and the name of
Blues Boy Johnson was given to him.

He cut his disc in 1959 for the Memphis based Sun Label.Called 'Babaloo'.
In 1961 he cut his second called 'you better dig it'for the local Talos label.Both 45s flopped.

In 1962,
Bill went to New Jersey where he appeared as a vocalist for The Soul Brothers at the Orbit Lounge.
Here he met
Sam Gary,who hailed from Columbia,South Carolina.
When the Soul Brothers were doing a one night stand in Columbia,Sam eventually joined the group as a guitarist.

Noticing the great harmonys together,they decided to join up together as Sam and Bill.
It was at this time that the duo were discovered by singer/actor
Johnny Nash.

They signed to Johnny's newly formed company of
Joda Records.
Jointly owned with the former president of a theatrical New York booking agency(called Hemisphere Attractions)Mr.DannyD.Simsjnr.
They only cut 2 discs for Joda,
'For your Love'and'Fly me to the Moon'.Bill also cut a solo for the Label called
'you got Soul'
which never saw the light of day.But Johnny Nash may of hit with it in the uk for the Major Minor label.

Shortly after the label went out of buisness(Joda)along with it's subsidaries of
Jomada and Jocida.(Gloria Gaynor recorded a rare dancer for Jocida,titled 'she'll be sorry'.
Anyway the duo split up
and Sam Gary went back as a guitarist for The Soul Brothers.

His replacement was
Sam Davis jnr.
A native of Winston Salem,North Carolina.Where he was born on 10/12/1940.He had a similar time as Bill regards the church and at school etc.
His first group were
The Invaders,
around 1965,shortly later he formed
Sammy David and the Two Jays.
It was in 1966 when he joined up with Bill.

I will keep it short now,
in 1967 they cut there first disc for Brunswick Records in Green's Borough,N.C.
'I Feel like crying/I'll Try.
The flip of 'I'LL Try'was later to be a big and collectable dancer on the all-nighter scene in the uk.Which was also released on the uk Brunswick label.
Other known discs,
'trying to get back to my baby'
'let it be me'
and also an album.

But,as far as we know,
that was it.Apart from unissued material in the vaults(probably).
Exactly what year they left Brunswick records is a mystery but would guess at around the 1967/68 mark.

In 1970 they had a release on the Capricorn label(no.8001)titled
'who will it be'
which also flopped.There next commercial release was to be on
Kenny Rogers
Brothers label(owned by Lelan Rogers)who was involved with many soul artists such as
Betty Lavette.

They cut 'come on and show me'around 1971 for The House of the Fox label(no.9)again doing nothing.
After this the duo seemed to disappear,
with nothing happening on the commercial front etc.Unless anyone can fill me in regards any other material.
A great pity that nothing materialised for them but like so many other great and notable acts,it was'nt to be.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Soulpuss ( on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 06:55 pm:

Thanks gang. The Family comes through again with flying colours.

"For Your Love" also came out on Karate Records. It sounds identical to the Joda recording.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Davie Gordon ( on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 01:15 pm:


I remember them mentioning recording tracks for an album when they toured the UK in late '67 but
as far as I know the project was never completed
- if the album actually exists it must be one of
the rarest sixties soul releases.

Soulpuss, that Karate release puzzles me - the number indicates a 1965 release so maybe it was first issued by Karate then Joda re-released it
when Karate (a subsidiary of Audio Fidelity)
got nowhere with it. All the chart info. I have
shows the hit was on Joda.

Here's what info. I have on Sam & Bill's records

Joda 100 8/65 SAM & BILL
For Your Love (Ed Townsend)
Beautiful Baby (Mgt. Nash,Sam Gary, Bill Johnson)
Prod. Johnny Nash
reached # 95 on Billboard Hot 100

{also issued on Karate 508 before (?) the release
on Joda)

Joda 104 01/66 SAM & BILL
Fly Me To The Moon (Bart Howard)
Treat Me Right (Margaret Nash, Sam Gary)
Prod. Johnny Nash
reached # 98 on Billboard Hot 100

Decca 32143 06/67 SAM & BILL
I Feel Like Cryin' (Jesse Wilson)
I'll Try (Doug Tanner)
studio band : Little Mac and The Boss Sounds
Prod. Doug Tanner

Decca 32200 10/67 SAM & BILL
Trying To Get Back To My Baby (?)
I Need Yoor Love To Comfort Me (Doug Tanner)
Prod. Doug Tanner

Capricorn 8001 04/70 SAM & BILL
Who Will It Be
The Things I'd Do
Prod. Jackie Avery ? rec. Macon, Ga.

House of the Fox 9 06/71 SAM & BILL
Come On, Show Me
Prod. Lelan Rogers rec. in Nashville ?

Bill Johnson's releases were

Talos 45-402 1959 BILL JOHNSON
You Better Dig It
Right To Love
[Talos was based in Augusta, Georgia]

Sun 340 7/60 BILL JOHNSON
Bad Times Ahead
{probably recorded in Memphis]

Jocida 301 1966 BILL JOHNSON
You Got Soul (Margaret Nash)
It Ain't Never Gonna Die (Nash,Gary, Johnson,Fowles)
Prod. Johnny Nash

"Fowles" in the credits is Gloria Fowles, better
known as Gloria Gaynor. Sam & Bill were involved with her first record, co-writing the b-side

Jocida 300 1966 BILL JOHNSON
She'll Be Sorry (Dennis Lambert, Lou Courtney)
Let Me Go Baby (M Nash, Gary, Johnson, Gaynor)

Sam Gary resurfaced in 1974 running his own label, Sambea, which issued at least one single
"There's A Girl Somewhere For Me" by Bobby Rich,
written and produced by Sam.

If anyone can fill in the gaps .....

Top of pageBottom of page   By Soul Sister ( on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 01:31 pm:

Hi Mel; Would love to get a copy on that magazine, is it possoble?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Davie Gordon ( on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 02:35 pm:

That last record mentioned in my listing, Jocida 300 should show the artist credit as GLORIA GAYNOR.

I need some coffee !

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME ( on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 03:43 pm:

unfortunatley there was only a limited amount actually done.
I have all three copies of the magazines and the only way I could get you any would be for me to scan them to you.
And I am without a scanner,hopefully not for long.
But if you pressed me for a copy I could get a mate to do the honours for me.
They have become collectors items in a way,as my mate has put lots of good various items in them all.
Ranging from obscure Detroit soul,interviews,listings,good in depth articles on everything that was all meticuosly researched.
Anyway sorry,

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