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  1. #1

    Scepter Records Story

    I've recently been enjoying this set but come the third disc, it basically becames a B.J. Thomas Greatest Hits set, apart from the occasional Dionne Warwick track. I realise this gives an accurate picture of Scepter's chart fortunes at the time, but it becomes a much less satisfying listen for me.

    https://www.discogs.com/Various-Capr...elease/2160195

    I'm not familiar with Scepter/Wand in the way that I am with Motown/Stax/Atlantic. I've been wondering about an alternate tracklist for Disc 3, one that might be called "The Other Side of Scepter", featuring small/non-hits from the late 1960s to the label's demise in the 1970s. I stumbled upon a good track on a Northern Soul compilation, "That's Enough" by Roscoe Robinson. I'm also familiar with some of their early Disco material, like the Curtis Mayfield tracks by Patti Jo, "Ain't No Love Lost" and "Make Me Believe In You". Any suggestions for other tracks of this ilk?

  2. #2

  3. #3
    https://acerecords.co.uk/various-artists-scepter-wand

    Small world,
    Kent ace have several CD comps, Northern/60s , on Wand and Scepter. See link
    Last edited by snakepit; 08-18-2017 at 03:11 AM.

  4. #4
    It's not disco, smallworld, but a solid soul smash slow jam from Wand in '73:


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by theboyfromxtown View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion. I wasn't aware that First Choice started off at Scepter.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    It's not disco, smallworld, but a solid soul smash slow jam from Wand in '73:

    I'd say that's more than solid. Smooth without being slick. Thanks!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by smallworld View Post
    I'd say that's more than solid. Smooth without being slick. Thanks!
    You bet, my friend! One of my sister's fave 45s from our youth...as I date myself yet again.😏

  8. #8
    loved hearing that version of " this is the house where love died " later made into a substantial disco hit by Simon Soussain for Pattie Brooks.

    The entire Scepter story is such a good one .

    At their end , they were one of the first labels to really dabble in disco, probably because as an aging struggling label they were more willing to explore. They listened to in house employee Mel Cheren who convinced them that the djs at these new disco clubs sought longer dance songs and he convinced Scepter to start offering instrumental "b" sides or even longer "disco" versions on their singles , creating an early playground for mixer Tom Moulton.

    Anyway here's a spry one Mel Cheren took on himself:

    Last edited by Boogiedown; 08-17-2017 at 11:48 PM.

  9. #9
    and for a Motown connection how about this British take on:


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    https://acerecords.co.uk/various-artists-scepter-wand

    Small world,
    Kent ace have several CD comps, Northern/60s , on Wand and Scepter. See link
    Smallworld
    Bump in case you missed this

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    Smallworld
    Bump in case you missed this
    Thanks for the bump. I thought I had replied. I'm well aware (or should I say: my wallet is) of Ace/Kent and their label-dedicated comps. I know I could do the "research" myself, but it's interesting to hear forum members' personal picks, especially those tracks that saw some action (chart/club) back in the day. I'll probably use your link to check out songs that can't be found on youtube. Thanks!

  12. #12
    Recently a very in-depth book on Scepter was published. It was discussed in the following thread.

    https://soulfuldetroit.com/showthrea...cepter+records

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    Recently a very in-depth book on Scepter was published. It was discussed in the following thread.

    https://soulfuldetroit.com/showthrea...cepter+records
    thanks for the book tip!! Can't wait to read it


    another British import :



    a Tom Moulton Mix

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    Recently a very in-depth book on Scepter was published. It was discussed in the following thread.

    https://soulfuldetroit.com/showthrea...cepter+records
    I would love to read a book on Scepter Wand story but that
    book is a problem for me...I've only seen 2 copies of it on
    ebay, both too high for me. It doesn't show up in books when I
    google it and shows up in Amazon as "unavailable"....No bookstore
    or library in New York has it so I'll have to pass on it...Too bad, the label had some stellar artists....

  15. #15
    In 2015 and 2016, my friend Ed Alstrom and I had a radio show on WFDU in NJ called Got Soul? The first week of each month, we devoted a show to a label. Sometimes we needed 2, 3 or 4 shows to play what was necesary. We did 2 shows on Wand/Sceptre. I uploaded the shows and the songs that "I" had brought for the show. I do not have the full playlists. Anyway, here's the links to parts 1 and 2. Hope you enjoy. LOTS of obscure stuff on here.
    http://www45.zippyshare.com/v/T4K5u2ak/file.html

    http://www61.zippyshare.com/v/bWhPy6fA/file.html

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by imnokid View Post
    I uploaded the shows and the songs that "I" had brought for the show.
    Thank you! I'm sure this will help greatly in the endeavor.

    Thanks also to reese for the heads up on the Scepter book. Anyone on the forum read it?

  17. #17
    For clarity, the full shows are there. The word files have the tracklistings that "I" brought.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by smallworld View Post
    Thank you! I'm sure this will help greatly in the endeavor.

    Thanks also to reese for the heads up on the Scepter book. Anyone on the forum read it?
    I have gone through the book a few times since I purchased it. It is really in-depth. I tended to skim until I got to info on the artists I liked, like Dionne, Maxine Brown, etc. But it is really an informative look at the label, from the beginning to the end.

  19. #19
    This box set was issued many years ago. I was disappointed! It could have been much better. Tammy Montgomery, Twistin' With Linda by the Isley Bros., more of the Rocky Fellers. Yes, the third
    disc was disappointing. I passed on it as I didn't think it correctly represented the label.

  20. #20
    Twistin' with Linda is on the box set. I agree that it would have been nice to feature a Tammy Montgomery track. Which would you have chosen? I also think Big Maybelle's version of "Oh Lord What Are You Doing to Me" should have been included. Tommy Hunt's version is good, Maybelle's is deeper. She truly sounds as if she's "slowly dying".


  21. #21
    Here's another act that Scepter Records had in the funk/disco side of things in the mid '70s, the early recordings of B.T. Express.


  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by splanky View Post
    I would love to read a book on Scepter Wand story but that
    book is a problem for me...I've only seen 2 copies of it on
    ebay, both too high for me. It doesn't show up in books when I
    google it and shows up in Amazon as "unavailable"....No bookstore
    or library in New York has it so I'll have to pass on it...Too bad, the label had some stellar artists....
    I'm sure Steve still has copies. I will ask and tell him to come here with postage details etc if he has.

  23. #23
    Check out the tracks on this recent US vinyl release ... I think you'll find they're the sort of cuts you're looking for ... https://www.amazon.co.uk/Were-Gonna-...a+have+a+party

  24. #24
    One of the tracks off the LP ...

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by splanky View Post
    I would love to read a book on Scepter Wand story but that
    book is a problem for me...I've only seen 2 copies of it on
    ebay, both too high for me. It doesn't show up in books when I
    google it and shows up in Amazon as "unavailable"....No bookstore
    or library in New York has it so I'll have to pass on it...Too bad, the label had some stellar artists....
    Hi Splanky, distribution of the book Scepter Wand Forever! to the US has been inhibited somewhat by the high postage rates we have to pay here. The book weights in at over 1.5 kg (4 lb) and is 500 pp A4 size so costs nearly $30 to ship airmail to North America. The retail price for the book is 30 = just under $40. And so it is expensive I am afraid and this applies to my retailers here too, who have to pay the same postage rates. So far for the US market I have only used eBay (Amazon may follow at some point, and they do have much cheaper global shipping rates.) I'd love to have a US distributor, but don't have one at the moment. Another option is if you know anyone travelling from the UK who could bring one back home sometime. All the best, and apologies about the price. Steve (Author).

  26. #26
    I think we can all agree that The Scepter Records Story box set should've been at least a 4-disc collection to paint a better picture of the label. Regarding the Scepter/Wand book, I've never heard of it or seen it (here in US). In the meantime, here's a very good outline (and discography) of the company from the Both Sides Now website.

    http://bsnpubs.com/scepter/scepterstory.html

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by smallworld View Post
    Thanks for the bump. I thought I had replied. I'm well aware (or should I say: my wallet is) of Ace/Kent and their label-dedicated comps. I know I could do the "research" myself, but it's interesting to hear forum members' personal picks, especially those tracks that saw some action (chart/club) back in the day. I'll probably use your link to check out songs that can't be found on youtube. Thanks!
    And speaking of Ace/Kent, they have a new Chuck Jackson CD coming out later this month from the Scepter/Wand vaults.

    https://www.amazon.com/Big-New-York-Soul-1961-1966/dp/B074JV6YCL/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1504627247&sr=1-1

  28. #28
    I don't remember Twistin' With Linda on the original box set. That was one of the reasons I passed on it. That record was a big hit on pop radio in Miami. The Rocky Fellers follow-up to Killer Joe was a hit too, Like The Big Guys Do. Tammy Montgomery's Make The Night Just A Little Longer is great! Same backing track as the Shirelles, with their backup vocals, but she does a great job. Also her "If You See Bill" is good too.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by rrussi View Post
    I don't remember Twistin' With Linda on the original box set. That was one of the reasons I passed on it. That record was a big hit on pop radio in Miami. The Rocky Fellers follow-up to Killer Joe was a hit too, Like The Big Guys Do. Tammy Montgomery's Make The Night Just A Little Longer is great! Same backing track as the Shirelles, with their backup vocals, but she does a great job. Also her "If You See Bill" is good too.
    Randy did you all get out of Florida ok?

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by jsmith View Post
    One of the tracks off the LP ...
    That's a solid track. Thanks! I find it funny how some material seems to be getting a vinyl re-release, bypassing digital/CD. I guess it's a piracy thing - vinyl is really "pirateable" in the same way as digital media.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    Here's another act that Scepter Records had in the funk/disco side of things in the mid '70s, the early recordings of B.T. Express.

    A bona fide 1970s hit! That would certainly earn it a place on a compilation spanning the life of Scepter. Thanks.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by rrussi View Post
    Tammy Montgomery's Make The Night Just A Little Longer is great! Same backing track as the Shirelles, with their backup vocals, but she does a great job.
    Those mopey whitebread backup vocals don't sound like the Shirelles to me. I suspect "Make the Night a Little Longer" was like "Baby It's You", an augmented demo (as if anyone would hire Burt Bacharach as a session singer...). Good choice - it's one of those 60s songs that makes me scratch my head that it wasn't a hit for anyone.
    Last edited by smallworld; 09-13-2017 at 02:20 PM.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by smallworld View Post
    Those mopey whitebread backup vocals don't sound like the Shirelles to me. I suspect "Make the Night a Little Longer" was like "Baby It's You", an augmented demo (as if anyone would hire Burt Bacharach as a session singer...). Good choice - it's one of those 60s songs that makes me scratch my head that it wasn't a hit for anyone.
    I love this song, especially Dionne's version. I thought the background vocals might be done by Carole King and some others.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    And speaking of Ace/Kent, they have a new Chuck Jackson CD coming out later this month from the Scepter/Wand vaults.

    https://www.amazon.com/Big-New-York-Soul-1961-1966/dp/B074JV6YCL/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1504627247&sr=1-1
    Thank you Motown Eddie! I forgot about this one coming out and I need to order it.

  35. #35
    Only real Motown fans know the Tammy Montgomery tracks are by a young Tammimi Terrell!

  36. #36
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    There were several Detroit productions leased by Scepter-Wand including by J.J. Barnes, Jack Montgomery(Marvin Jones), Diane Lewis(Pat Lewis' sister), and some from Chicago (The Esquires, Roscoe Robinson, etc.). Here's Jack Montgomery arranged and produced by our own Dennis Coffey!

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    Here's J.J. Barnes from 1963:

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    Here's Diane Lewis (Pat's sister), in a Detroit production by Herman riffin and Andrea Henry:

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    Here's Roscoe Robinson:

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    Here are The Esquires:

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    Here are The Diplomats from D.C. singing a great Ashford-Simpson-Armstead song:

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    Here are The Masqueraders from Texas:

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    Here's Philadelphia's Nella Dodds singing Mary Wells' and HDH's "Honey Boy":

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    Here's Chicago's Betty Moorer:

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    Here's Detroiter Gino Washington with a great 1964 sound:

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    Here's Gino's other 1964 great song:

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    Here's another by Nella Dodds:

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    Here's an early Brenton Wood song:

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    Here's Tommy Hunt:

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    Here are Dan and The Clean Cuts:

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