Latimore (21st Century)

Daddy B. Nice's #21 ranked Southern Soul Artist



Portrait of Latimore (21st Century) by Daddy B. Nice
 



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"My Give A Damn Gave Out"

Latimore (21st Century)



September 21, 2013: NEW ALBUM ALERT

Read Daddy B. Nice's review of Latimore Remembers Ray Charles (Henry Stone Music, 2013) in....

Daddy B. Nice's New CD Reviews.

8/5/14: Daddy B. Nice notes:

The album review is now contained in this Artist Guide. Scroll down this page to "Tidbits #2."

Sample/Buy Latimore Remembers Ray Charles.

**********

Note: Latimore also appears on Daddy B. Nice's original Southern Soul Forerunners chart.  The "21st Century" after Latimore's name in the headline is to distinguish his artist-guide entries on this page from his artist-guide page on Daddy B. Nice's Forerunners chart.

**********

November 25, 2012:

I've been careful to limit the number of veteran artists on this new Top 100 21st Century Countdown, especially if they already have artist- guide pages.  So you won't see additional appearances by Peggy Scott-Adams, you won't see Roy C., you won't see Bobby "Blue" Bland or other monumental R&B figures who are featured elsewhere on the website.  

Nor will you see living legends like William Bell, who had one memorable 21st Century Southern Soul hit (accompanied by Jeff Floyd) with "New Lease On Life," and you won't see Dorothy Moore, who is currently enjoying the success of a great new album and a scorching hit single, "Institutionalize."

But how do you deny the ageless Latimore any more than you would deny Bobby Rush or Willie Clayton?

Latt's work atrophied to an extent in the late-nineties at Malaco Records--ironically just when so many other stars--Johnnie Taylor, Tyrone Davis, Little Milton--were peaking.

But in the new century Latt' has recorded with regularity and distinction on a par with just about everyone in the business.  He has, as they say, remained relevant.  The evidence is in the seven solid albums (including two compilations and one live album) and the stellar string of singles--most of them within the last five years--an admirable output for an artist whose career harks back to the early 70's.

An accomplished pianist, Latimore knows how to use both hands in constructing songs with songwriter-savvy chord changes, treble-and-bass-clef contrasts, bridges and coloration--all qualities present in his first significant single of the new millenium, "Around The World" from the Britney-produced 2003 CD, Latt Is Back.

Listen to Latimore singing "Around The World" on YouTube while you read.

I remember thinking when it first came out, "All right, that's pretty good, but if it's just one decent single in a fallow decade, maybe not so much." And, ominously, nothing new was heard from Latimore for almost four years.

Reuniting with his old mentor, Miami music mogul Henry Stone, was the catalyst. In 2005, two years after Latt Is Back, the New York-born Stone published a "greatest hits" set of obscure recordings Latimore had published in his early south-Florida years, mostly on Stone's Glades label.

Then, in 2007, Latimore launched the Back 'Atcha CD on a hybrid, partnered label, Lattstone, and abruptly the long wait for product came to an end. The set was full of fresh, potent material.

"My Give A Damn Gave Out" was arguably the most popular and iconic--

Listen to Latimore singing "My Give A Damn Gave Out" Live Onstage on YouTube while you read.

--but over the next couple of years, as one single after another rolled onto deejay playlists, it was the turn of "'Nanna Puddin'" and "Edna Mae," songs one had to hark back to early Clarence Carter for equivalent country-stud cred'.

Along with a handful of blues classics, 2009's All About The Rhythm & Blues (Latstone) presented two new and original Southern Soul singles: "Don't Give Up On Our Love" and "Mr. Right Now."

After an especially effective live-concert album, Live In Vienna (Henry Stone, 2010), Latimore returned
with another CD, Ladies' Choice (Henry Stone, 2011) featuring strong, original singles in "Cat Got My Tongue," "Dance With Me" and "A Woman's Love."

This string of singles showcased a singer undiminished by age, capable (as his bountiful YouTube videos attest) of delivering second-to-none vocals, not to mention adept at creating a full, orchestral sound against which to highlight his anguished vocals.

The latest single, "Cat Got My Tongue," may be the most powerful eye-opener. Here Latt' eschews his traditional electric-piano washes (good as they have always been) for an uncharacteristically steamy and bluesy organ sound and a funky guitar riff guaranteed to turn all but the most immobile heads.

Like the aforementioned Dorothy Moore's triumphant "Institutionalize," Latt's "Cat Got My Tongue" is so hot and up-to-the-minute it's hard to believe the silver-haired master hasn't found the fabled (and south Florida) Fountain of Youth.

To summarize Latimore's recent series of impressive singles, think of "My Give A Damn Gave Out" as the central song of the group, chitlin' circuit-certified, with "Around The World" at one extreme for that classic Southern Soul sound, and "Cat Got My Tongue" at the opposite end for the very latest in cutting-edge Southern Soul.

And the best place to find these songs is interspersed among a few well-chosen vintage classics on Latimore's the new Henry Stone's Best Of Latimore (Henry Stone, 2012).

********

That all being said, every time we fans raise our eyes to the sky, we'll always see "Let's Straighten It Out" looming far above the entire genre--including Latt's recent singles and everyone else's--like Mt. Everest with its peak camouflaged in clouds.

Listen to Latimore singing "Let's Straighten It Out" on YouTube while you read.

My brother once told me that he'd never heard the "talking" version of "Let's Straighten It Out" until he started listening to my Southern Soul collection. I just shook my head, amazed. "How could anyone NOT play the talking version?"

To read more about "Let's Straighten It Out," go to Daddy B. Nice's Original "Forerunners" Artist Guide to Latimore.

--Daddy B. Nice


About Latimore (21st Century)

Born in Charleston, Tennessee in 1939, Benny Latimore entered the music business via Miami-based R&B/Disco producer Henry Stone as a house pianist for Florida-based groups like Joe Henderson and Steve Alaimo. He began recording singles under the name Benny Latimore on Stone's Dade label.  

Soon, however, Latimore dropped his first name. Steve Alaimo, who had had a pop-chart hit with "Every Day I Have To Cry," became Latimore's producer, and their first recording of substance, a cover of T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday," came out in 1973 (from the album, Latimore, on Henry Stone's Glades label).   

Then Latimore came up with a self-penned song, "Let's Straighten It Out," and history was made.  Using only a rhythm section and Latimore on a Fender Rhodes electric piano, with Latimore not only singing lead vocal (with discreet female backup) but delivering a two-minute-plus spoken-word prologue, the Alaimo-produced track rocketed to Number 2 on the R&B charts (inexplicably never making number one) and made a solid showing on the pop charts.  The album, More, More, More, was released in 1974.   The lead cut on the More, More, More album (containing "Let's Straighten It Out") was a cover of Bobby "Blue" Bland's classic, "Ain't Nothin' You Can Do."

"Let's Straighten It Out" was a revolutionary record, redefining the blues in a startlingly original way.  The record captured all of the feeling of the blues, but it put that feeling into an upbeat, streamlined, impeccably-arranged musical format and introduced one of the set-pieces of the contemporary Southern Soul genre: the spoken voice-over.  

Yet, as successful as it was, "Let's Straighten It Out" was largely lost in the deluge of mid-seventies musical material (singer-songwriter, reggae, disco, etc.), which were all peaking around that time.  But for a coterie of soul musicians and fans, "Let's Straighten It Out" became a talisman of what R&B could become. Songwriter/performers like Texas-born Mel Waiters and Chicago's The Love Doctor--to name only a couple--heard and absorbed Latimore's style from far beyond the usual chitlin' circuit venues. 

Latimore always looked the part.  Ruggedly handsome, with a long mane of hair and a regal bearing, he looked the way he sounded, like a lion, the king of the jungle, and in later years he frequently was called "The Silver Fox."

In the eighties Latimore moved to Southern Soul's Malaco Records in Jackson, Mississippi, joining fellow stars like Johnnie Taylor, Z. Z. Hill and Bobby "Blue" Bland to form the nucleus behind the hybrid sound that would become today's Southern Soul genre.  

Latimore's work ethic was--and continued to be--unflagging.  He released CD's regularly, scoring popular singles with "Sunshine Lady," "Slow Down (But Don't Stop)" and "Lay Another Log On The Fire."

Hill, Taylor, and other forerunners like Tyrone Davis and Little Milton passed on, but the 21st Century saw Latimore rejuvenate his career.

After seven albums on the Malaco label, he recorded one album with Mel Waiters' Brittney Records before rejoining producer Henry Stone in 2005.

The collaboration resulted in six albums to date (including two compilations and one live set) making Latimore just as relevant on contemporary Southern Soul playlists as a new generation of stars who hadn't even been born when Latt' recorded "Let's Straighten It Out."

Many of those popular new songs--"Around The World," "My Give A Damn Gave Out," "Cat Got My Tongue," "Nanna Puddin," "Edna Mae," "Don't Give Up Our Love," "Mr Right Now"--were collected in his most recent CD, Henry Stone's Best of Latimore (Henry Stone, 2012).

Latimore's Discography:

1973 Latimore (Glades)

1974 More, More, More (Glades)

1975 Latimore III (Glades)

1977 Dig a Little Deeper (Glades)

1977 It Ain't Where You Been (Glades)

1980 Getting Down To Brass Tacks (Glades)

1982 Singing in the Key of Love (Malaco)

1985 Good Time Man (Malaco)

1988 Every Way But Wrong (Malaco)

1988 I'll Do Anything for You (Malaco)

1989 Slow Down (Malaco)

1991 The Only Way Is Up (Malaco)

1993 Catchin' Up (Malaco)

1995 Sweet Vibrations: The Best Of (Castle)

1995 Straighten It Out: The Best Of (Rhino)

1996 Turnin' up the Mood (J-town)

1998 All You'll Ever Need 601 Music (Malaco)

2000 You're Welcome to Ride (Malaco)

2003 Latt Is Back (Britney)

2005 The Early Years (Henry Stone)

2007 Back 'Atcha (Latstone)

2009 All About the Rhythm and the Blues (Latstone)

2010 Live in Vienna (Latstone)

2011 Ladies Choice (Latstone)

2012 Henry Stone's Best of Latimore (Henry Stone)

To sample and/or buy Latimore CD's, go to Daddy B. Nice's CD Store.


Song's Transcendent Moment

"She said, 'Baby,
You don't live here
Anymore.'

I said, 'Woman,
It's cold out here.
Please let me in!'

She said,
'Why don't you go back
Where you been?'

She said,
'My give a damn
Gave out
A long time ago.'"


Tidbits

1.

November 23, 2012: YouTube offerings for Latimore


Listen to Latimore singing "Cat Got My Tongue" on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "Let's Straighten It Out" on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "My Give A Damn Gave Out" Live Onstage on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "Around The World" on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "Sunshine Lady" on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "Let's Straighten It Out" Live Onstage in Vienna on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "Sunshine Lady" and "Let's Straighten It Out" Live Onstage on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "My Give A Damn Gave Out" on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "Take Me To The Mountain Top" on YouTube

Listen to Latimore singing "Mr. Right Now" on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "Bad Risk" on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "Stormy Monday" on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "Something 'Bout 'Cha" Live Onstage in Vienna on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "Every Day I Have The Blues" on YouTube.

Listen to Latimoe singing "Stormy Monday" on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "Dig A Little Deeper" on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "Out To Lunch" on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "Keep The Home Fires Burning" on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "All You'll Ever Need" on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "There's A Red Neck In The Soul Band" on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "Don't Give Up On Our Love" on YouTube.

Listen to Latimore singing "A Woman's Love" on YouTube.

August 5, 2014:

FROM THE ARCHIVES--DADDY B. NICE'S CD REVIEW OF LATIMORE REMEMBERS RAY CHARLES



September 21, 2013:
  LATIMORE: Latimore Remembers Ray Charles (Henry Stone Music) Four Stars **** Distinguished Effort. Should please old fans and gain new.

Here's a great album for the old school. The more interesting question is whether Latimore Remembers Ray Charles will have any relevance for the younger generation of R&B enthusiasts for whom Ray Charles may seem as biblically distant as Methuselah.

Here are just a few of the many tantalizing facts surrounding this giant of early soul music:

Ray Charles is ranked #2 on "The 100 Greatest Singers" by "Rolling Stone" magazine, second only to Aretha Franklin.

Ray Charles wasn't born blind. He had his eyesight and saw the bounteous visual beauty of the world until the age of four or five, when his vision became impaired, presumably by glaucoma. By the age of seven he was consigned to a world of blackness. Imagine how much more difficult than being blind from birth it was to first know the world visually and then lose it.

In his youth Ray Charles lived and worked throughout Florida--Greenville, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Tampa, Tallahassee, Miami--but when he decided to leave the Sunshine state he told a friend that he wanted to go as far away from Florida as possible. He ended up in Seattle, where he met a young fourteen-year-old named Quincy Jones.

Ray Charles grew up in an America ruled by jazz and swing, and popular music headlined by such African-American artists as Nat King Cole and Johnny Mathis. If you want to know why Ray Charles is considered a revolutionary artist (one of the pioneers of soul, R&B and Rock and Roll), listen to the Tin Pan Alley-era sounds of Cole or Mathis and then play Charles' rollicking "What'd I Say."

Although worthy and invaluable in exposing the music of the great Ray Charles to a new generation or two, Latimore Remembers Ray Charles is a tricky project. Can Latimore's versions of the songs--recorded at the legendary Florida music mogul Henry Stone's Miami studios--stand by themselves? Or do they just remind you of the originals, and pale by comparison?

"Georgia On My Mind," for example, which came out when your Daddy B. Nice was about 13 years old, makes me pine for the incredible "high-definition" vocal and production of Ray's original, which--along with Charles' other country-western excursions like "Crying Time" and "I Can't Stop Loving You"--tore up the static-ridden radio of the early sixties.

On the other hand, "Hit The Road, Jack," this last summer's hit Southern Soul single by Latimore, achieves a compelling identity of its own. It's a genuine updating of its own--not as starkly brilliant as the Grammy Award-winning, Charles version that already sounded like a throwback to mid-fifties R&B by the time it hit Billboard's #1 in 1961--but with a casual charm and appealing voice-over towards the end that makes the song completely and comfortably Latimore's.

I Got A Woman" and "What'd I Say" are almost as skillfully transformed, deferring to the iconic sound of the originals while adding a deft and casual contemporary feel.

Those three songs made Charles' reputation as "the genius" in the early sixties, and along with Chuck Berry, Little Richard, the Everly Brothers and Elvis, Charles paved the way for the explosion of rock and roll in the mid-sixties by The Beatles, Beach Boys and Bob Dylan.

Charles explained that the piano-driven chords and back-and-forth choruses of "What'd I Say" developed from give-and-take with his audiences, with the wailing call-and-responses ("Heyyy!"..."Heyyy!") imitated by every live rock and roll and R&B band over the next two decades.

"I Can't Stop Loving You," #1 for ten weeks on "Billboard" in 1962, was Charles last great blockbuster, ironically (for a black artist) setting up country music as well as soul music as a dominant American genre for decades to come.

Latimore is such a logical choice for a project paying homage to Ray Charles it's remarkable, in retrospect, that it wasn't conceived until now. Latimore followed Ray Charles into Henry Stone's Florida studios not long after the Genius made his mark in the early sixties, becoming arguably Stone's single-greatest vocalist after Charles. The familiarity of the two living principals makes the album a slam-dunk in execution.

Latimore plays piano and keyboards, Warren "Roach" Thompson plays guitar and Gene Mulvaney plays steel guitar on the country-western cuts. The songs feature live brass sections and faithful background vocals mimicking Ray's venerable Raelettes by Gwen McRae, Valerie Woods and Tessie Porter, among others. George "Chocolate" Perry and Joe Stone do the bulk of engineering, mixing and production.

Highly recommended.

--Daddy B. Nice

Sample/Buy Latimore Remembers Ray Charles at CD Baby.

Read Daddy B. Nice's new 21st Century Artist Guide to Latimore.

**********


Honorary "B" Side

"Around The World"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy My Give A Damn Gave Out by  Latimore (21st Century)
My Give A Damn Gave Out


CD: Back 'Atcha
Label: Latstone

Sample or Buy
Back 'Atcha


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Around The World by  Latimore (21st Century)
Around The World


CD: Latt Is Back
Label: Henry Stone

Sample or Buy
Latt Is Back.


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy 'Nanna Puddin' by  Latimore (21st Century)
'Nanna Puddin'


CD: Back 'Atcha
Label: Henry Stone

Sample or Buy
Back 'Atcha


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Cat Got My Tongue by  Latimore (21st Century)
Cat Got My Tongue


CD: Ladies' Choice
Label: Henry Stone

Sample or Buy
Ladies' Choice


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Let's Straighten It Out by  Latimore (21st Century)
Let's Straighten It Out


CD: Henry Stone's Best Of Latimore
Label: Henry Stone

Sample or Buy
Henry Stone's Best of Latimore


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Dance With Me by  Latimore (21st Century)
Dance With Me


CD: Ladies' Choice
Label: Latstone

Sample or Buy
Ladies' Choice


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Don't Give Up On Our Love by  Latimore (21st Century)
Don't Give Up On Our Love


CD: All About The Rhythm & Blues
Label: Latstone

Sample or Buy
All About the Rhythm and the Blues


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Edna Mae by  Latimore (21st Century)
Edna Mae


CD: Back 'Atcha
Label: Latstone

Sample or Buy
Back 'Atcha


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Keep The Home Fires Burning by  Latimore (21st Century)
Keep The Home Fires Burning


CD: Henry Stone's Best Of Latimore
Label: Henry Stone

Sample or Buy
Henry Stone's Best of Latimore


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Mr. Right Now by  Latimore (21st Century)
Mr. Right Now


CD: All About The Rhythm & Blues
Label: Latstone

Sample or Buy
All About the Rhythm and the Blues


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Something 'Bout 'Cha by  Latimore (21st Century)
Something 'Bout 'Cha


CD: Live In Vienna
Label: Latstone

Sample or Buy
Live in Vienna


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Stormy Monday by  Latimore (21st Century)
Stormy Monday


CD: Henry Stone's Best Of Latimore
Label: Henry Stone

Sample or Buy
Henry Stone's Best of Latimore


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy A Woman's Love by  Latimore (21st Century)
A Woman's Love


CD: Ladies' Choice
Label: Henry Stone

Sample or Buy
Ladies' Choice


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Bow Wow (I'm An Old Dog) by  Latimore (21st Century)
Bow Wow (I'm An Old Dog)


CD: Ladies' Choice
Label: Henry Stone

Sample or Buy
Ladies' Choice


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Take Me To The Mountain Top by  Latimore (21st Century)
Take Me To The Mountain Top


CD: Live In Vienna
Label: Latstone

Sample or Buy
Live in Vienna


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