Denise LaSalle - One Little Thing

I've been loving this song, the b-side to Denise LaSalle's first single, "A Love Reputation", on Billy "the Kid" Emerson's Tarpon label.

Denise LaSalle - A Love Reputation

Emerson recycled an existing backing track from an earlier (and totally inferior) recording by Carol Vega, replacing the double tracked vocal with LaSalle's effortless delivery.

Carol Vega - One Little Thing

Where Vega's coquettish phrasing makes the organ and woozy guitar sound kind of annoying and cute, LaSalle's voice fills the whole arrangement, giving space & drama and against the odds lines like "one little kiss from you started an avalanche" come off feeling real and palpable. There's something about a voice like LaSalle's-- big & capable of the awesome-- singing small, sort of foolish songs that just slays me. Limitations of form or something? Best not to think.

Another recent favorite is Archie & Al Perkins' "You Can Belong to Someone," an answer to the Impressions' "I Need to Belong to Someone." The original is a bit of a poor man's "People Get Ready" (a monster by any non-Curtis standard) but the Perkins' traded verses take the song into realms of the infinite. Moment: "Stop CRYIIING like a motherless child"

Archie & Al Perkins - You Can Belong to Someone

The Impressions - I Need to Belong to Someone

While Perkins was a radio personality of some renown, his musical talents were apparently up for debate. In Chicago Soul by Richard Pruter, none other than Denise LaSalle recounts:

"Al Perkins, a famous disc jockey that was killed in [Detroit in 1983], was a good friend of mine. He couldn't sing that well, couldn't keep time with the music. Al went down to Willie Mitchell's studio and cut a smash hit. So I said, 'If this man can make Al sound that good that's where I'm going."

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