Ronnie Lovejoy

Daddy B. Nice's #2 ranked Southern Soul Artist

Portrait of Ronnie Lovejoy  by Daddy B. Nice

"Sho' Wasn't Me"

Ronnie Lovejoy

Composed by R. Davis

July 14, 2019:

Top Of The Charts

Readers of Daddy B. Nice's Guide to Ronnie Lovejoy know that for the past year and a half I have relegated Johnnie Taylor to the #2 Southern Soul Artist so that I could right a perceived wrong and feature Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me" as the #1 Song in Southern Soul. Which it is. But that experiment, I think, has run its course. It's time to reinstate Taylor in the #1 spot of the Top 100 Southern Soul Artists chart where everyone intimate with southern soul knows he belongs. In doing so, "Soul Heaven" moves back into the #1 spot on the Top 100 Southern Soul Songs chart, upending the more deserving "Sho' Wasn't Me," which I shall continue to headline as the "#1 Song in Southern Soul" on the Ronnie Lovejoy page.

--Daddy B. Nice

See Johnnie Taylor Artist Guide

See the Ronnie Lovejoy Artist Guide for the back-story (below). - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

Listen to Ronnie Lovejoy singing "Sho' Wasn't Me" on YouTube while you read.

Originally posted on Daddy B. Nice's Corner:

March 18, 2018:

Major Shake-Up! Top Of The Charts!

Ronnie Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me" Takes Over #1 Spot From Johnnie Taylor's "Soul Heaven"!

See the chart.

Listen to Ronnie Lovejoy singing "Sho' Wasn't Me" while you read.

I have been thinking about this for years. It is so long overdue... The greatest song in southern soul music is Ronnie Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me". I know it. The most knowledgeable people in southern soul know it. Everything you ever wanted to know about southern soul music is epitomized in "Sho' Wasn't Me". You cannot say that about Johnnie Taylor's "Soul Heaven," which--as beautiful as it is--could have been recorded in other genres--classic rock and roll, for example.

And when I go to Johnnie Taylor's "Soul Heaven" on YouTube, I see that it has garnered 5,629,251 views (DBN notes 7-14-19: now 17 million YouTube views), while when I visit Ronnie Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me" on YouTube, I note that it has only 417,000 views (DBN notes 7-14-19: now half a million YouTube views). I take some responsibility for this atrocious gap in views, because the top-visited page on this website is The Top 100 Southern Soul Songs, which for years has memorialized "Soul Heaven" as the top song in southern soul and sent potential fans via link to that YouTube page. (DBN notes 7-14-19: But the prime reason is the record has been out of print for years.)

If I believed so strongly in "Sho' Wasn't Me" two decades ago and was converted to southern soul music by this one song more than any other, you may wonder... Why did I ever put Johnnie Taylor's "Soul Heaven" above it? The answer is as mundane and frustrating as any answer could possibly be--a website glitch. An intractable glitch.

This website has over six hundred pages. (See the navigation bar in the left-hand column.) It has grown like an anthill manned by ferocious army ants into a pyramid of data I never could have foreseen in the beginning. The Daddy B. Nice charts were the very first in the nation and world to pull together, describe and rank what were at the time countless, far-flung artists recording under many diverse labels and genres.

And I remember fondly the early days, when there was no southern soul media, and you heard a song on the radio again and again without knowing the title or the artist. "Sho' Wasn't Me" was one of those songs for your Daddy B. Nice. I have dusty old cassettes in the closet with the legend (for the song) "A Case Of Mistaken Identity". That's what I thought the title was. I didn't know the name of the artist either.

In those days you might go a year or two before you finally figured something like that out. You'd find little-to-nothing by googling (which term wasn't yet invented) on the search engines. You just hoped there was some guy or gal on Napster or Morpheus or one of the other peer-sharing sites of the day who was willing and foolhardy enough to share the name, title and mp3, pulling back the curtain of mystery and bringing your long, valiant search to fruition.

I sometimes wonder if southern soul music, being so underground, would have survived without that much-maligned peer-sharing, which--say what you will about its harm to the recording industry--also had the beneficial effect of bringing these darkly-shrouded, chitlin' circuit artists into the light. SouthernSoulRnB brought them all together under one big tent called "Southern Soul," and in unity and inclusion there was strength. In spite of the dire predictions (as its major recording stars passed away in the early 00's), southern soul music has thrived.

But when I set up the first two original charts, Top 100 Artists and Top 100 Songs, I linked them together, along with the myriad hundred artists and their artist guides. That one fateful decision has haunted me ever since, because short of dismantling the entire, inter-connected edifice of charts and artist guide pages, the #1 artist on the former chart automatically became the #1 artist on the latter chart, or vice versa. It had to be Taylor at the top of both charts or Lovejoy at the top of both charts. And all these years, I've gone with Taylor, whom we all recognize as the godfather of contemporary southern soul

Call me stupid. It's well-deserved. And now if I look ignorant for putting Ronnie Lovejoy ahead of Johnnie Taylor on the Top Artists chart, it will only serve to make up for all the years I looked incompetent putting "J.T.'s "Soul Heaven" ahead of Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me" on the Top Songs chart.

Here's another thing...I think about all of the visitors to the website, the potential fans who googled "top 100 southern soul songs" and listened to "Soul Heaven" and nothing else, thinking it well-crafted, possibly a little maudlin (I've heard that comment), and left the website, never to give southern soul music another thought. Now I think there's a better chance.

Now they're going to travel via link to Ronnie Lovejoy and another kind of "southern soul heaven". I wish fans could hear the real thing (which I'm listening to right now), not just the YouTube copy, because "Sho' Wasn't Me" is the fullest flowering of the Johnny Vincent (Ace, Avanti) sound, comparable to the best of Stax (remember Al Green?) but different and distinctive, a little more laid-back. And, of course, Ronnie Lovejoy was a stone-cold genius and vocalist of the first order--the Wendell B. of his day.

Have you ever listened to the great Tyrone Davis's "Sure Wasn't Me"? It doesn't even qualify to stand in the shadow of Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me". Every element of the Lovejoy recording is state-of-the-art, yet seemingly intuitive, instinctual, sensual, sexual. On the one hand, you have the bawdiest of lyrics; on the other, you have the most sublime composition, vocal and instrumentation. The recording session is legendary, and a handful of female singers have written me over the years claiming to be one of the uncredited background singers. Here's a list of some of the distinguished contributors to this recording:

Thomisene Anderson Vocals (Background)
Jewel Bass Vocals (Background)
Harrison Calloway, Jr. Arranger, Mixing, Programming
Rue Davis Composer
Tina Diamond Vocals (Background)
Ronnie Lovejoy Composer, Primary Artist
Larry Nix Mastering
Mike Russell Guitar
Johnny Vincent Executive Producer, Producer

You can now buy "Sho' Wasn't Me" as an mp3 at Amazon. Do so. For many years, the song was not available. You can press the "Continue to Check-Out" tab with the confidence that you're purchasing the best that southern soul has to offer.

Soothe your wrinkled brow. Buy Ronnie Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me" at Amazon.

--Daddy B. Nice

Read Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Ronnie Lovejoy - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

Daddy B. Nice's Original Profile:

Listen to Ronnie Lovejoy singing "Sho' Wasn't Me" while you read.

"Well, she must need glasses,
'Cause that sho' wasn't me.
Your sister's got a bad case
Of mistaken identity."

His catalog isn't as big as Johnnie Taylor's or Tyrone Davis's, and compared to Peggy Scott-Adams the hits have been few and far between, but that only tells you the high esteem in which the deejays of the Deep South regard Ronnie Lovejoy's recording of "Sho' Wasn't Me," or as your Daddy B. Nice used to think of it when he first started hearing it on the radio, "A Case of Mistaken Identity."

First, its guitar riff is to die for. Executed with breathtaking precision and passion, it joins certain instrumental motifs (one thinks of Booker T.'s organ on various Stax occasions or the chords on Latimore's "Let's Straighten It Out") that we never tire of, that seem to be impervious to repetition, that--like the sun coming up and the birds singing each morning--always arrive fresh and pure.

And Ronnie Lovejoy's voice commands your total attention. One of those big, slow-moving men with deep, languorous voices in the mold of Barry White, Lovejoy is accustomed to sitting on a stool while delivering ballads of slow, steamy sensuality. And the steamiest track in Southern Soul is Lovejoy's beleaguered husband's labored alibi. From the very first words--

"Girl, you say your sister saw me
Coming out of the Holiday Inn. . . "

--to his next-to last words--

"You didn't find my drawers
Beside nobody's bed. . . "

--Lovejoy wraps the listener in his teddy-bear-like guilt and disingenuousness.

"Now, I've been accused,
Oh so many times.
All these women you're giving me,
They can't all be mine.

You say the husband's coming in the front door,
And I'm running out the back.
Well, it couldn't be me, babe,
You see, I wasn't raised like that."

. . .And the listener, cowering in the aural magnificence of Lovejoy's cathedral baritone, senses an underlying sexual drive so immense it's impossible to believe, in spite of all of his protesting, that the man could ever be innocent. Impossible to believe, in other words, that a man of such super-charged appetites could have ever succeeded in denying himself.

...Such is the stuff that legends are made of, and "Sho' Wasn't Me"--whose seven minutes go by in what seems like three--would catapult Ronnie Lovejoy into its lofty position on Daddy B. Nice's chart even if it were the only song Lovejoy had ever recorded. Sadly, Lovejoy's already spare catalog reached its finale with his passing in 2001.

--Daddy B. Nice


August 17, 2011: "Sho Wasn't Me," is now on YouTube!

Listen to Ronnie Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me" on YouTube.

To read the latest updates on Ronnie Lovejoy, scroll down to the "Tidbits" section. To automatically link to Ronnie Lovejoy's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and many other references and citations on the website, go to "Ronnie Lovejoy" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.


November 1, 2010:

Daddy B. Nice's Updated Profile

I just finished reading a review of the new Keith Richards autobiography, "Life," in which he recounts meeting Mick Jagger during a time in England that came to be called "the Awakening." (David Remnick, "The New Yorker," November 1, 2010.)

The "awakening" was the discovery of American rhythm and blues, the slimmest sliver of a connection for Richards being a single jukebox in a London ice cream store that played American black records.

When Richards met Mick Jagger in 1961, Jagger had all the latest Chess music by Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Willie Dixon. From there Richards went on to absorb T-Bone Walker and B. B. King, schooling himself to become guitar-hero riffmaster of the self-proclaimed "world's greatest rock and roll band."

And it made me wonder, as I have annually since the late nineties, when I was lucky enough to travel often in the most neglected region of this country--deep Dixie, the Delta--when the "awakening" to today's black music, the purest and best of which is flying under the world's radar as Southern Soul music, will occur yet again.

"One of the more touching moments," Remnick writes in his review, "is when the very young Rolling Stones arrive at the Chess recording studios in Chicago, a blues Mecca. A workman is painting the ceiling. The workman's name is McKinley Morganfield, better known as Muddy Waters.

"The Stones were headed for a life of millions, and the least they could do over time was pay tribute to their heroes. They named the band for one of Morganfield's songs and sang his praises and the praises of all their best forebears.

"Richards had escaped the Reaper, but not his most essential debt, and he was true to it. "Me?" Keith once said. "I just want to be Muddy Waters. Even though I'll never be that good or that black."

Where are today's Richards and Jaggers? Why haven't the youth of today discovered the heroes of contemporary Southern Soul? Where is that tiny sliver of inspiration--that ice cream store jukebox that Richards sat in front of like a shrine--in today's world?

With the advent of YouTube, one after another of the obscure dominoes--the out-of-print Southern Soul classics--has appeared, but the greatest of all Southern Soul songs, and the greatest song (period) of the nineties--Ronnie Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me," is still a rumor, a legend, and a no-show.

(And only a thirty-second sound sample on the last legitimate media link, All Music Guide, from total oblivion.)

Lovejoy's subsequent copycat song "Still Wasn't Me" doesn't cut it. Tyrone Davis's unspectacular cover of "Sho' Wasn't Me" doesn't come within a mile of it. Only the real thing, the Lovejoy recording of "Sho' Wasn't Me," the song which I once likened to the Southern Soul equivalent of the Sermon On The Mount, the song which featured Lovejoy's finest (almost miraculous) vocal, Southern Soul's most sublime guitar lick, and hands down the greatest female back-up in the history of R&B (Tina Diamond, Thomisene Anderson, Jewel Bass and Ondrea Nicole Meyers).

It's inconceivable to me that anyone with a shred of musical genius, upon hearing this song, wouldn't fall into a state of discovery, of bliss, of grace capable of fueling an entire career of music ala Keith Richards. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

--Daddy B. Nice

About Ronnie Lovejoy

Ronnie Lovejoy was born in Wetumpka, Alabama, sixty miles north of Montgomery, in 1950. After a youth spent singing with church choirs, and working in various bands, Lovejoy worked with Benny Latimore, playing keyboards and singing vocals. He also wrote songs for Buddy Ace.

Lovejoy began recording in the early nineties and soon was opening for headliners like Tyrone Davis and Johnnie Taylor at venues throughout the Southeast. Early albums included 1993's Suddenly, 1995's My Baby's Cheating On Me, and 1996's Think About You All The Time.

However, with the arrival of the CD Nobody's Fault But Mine (Avanti, 1999), which contained "Sho' Wasn't Me," Ronnie Lovejoy's career took a quantum leap forward, putting him in the select company of Taylor, Davis, Willie Clayton and Z.Z. Hill as one of Southern Soul's premier blues balladeers. A follow-up album, Still Wasn't Me (Goodtime), came out in 2000.

Unfortunately for his many fans, Ronnie Lovejoy's career was cut short at the age of only 51. He died in his Alabama hometown on October 23, 2001.



1994 Suddenly (Evejim)

1995 My Baby's Cheatin' on Me (Ace)

1996 Think About You All the Time (Ace)

1998 Until You Get Enough of Me (Avanti)

1999 Nobody's Fault But Mine (Avanti)

2000 Still Wasn't Me (Good Time)

Song's Transcendent Moment

"You can put me anywhere,
Anywhere you want me to be.
But if you didn't come up and touch me,
Then it sho' wasn't me."



Ronnie Lovejoy's song "Live In Man," from the extraordinarily influential album, Nobody's Fault But Mine, became the inspiration for Southern Soul diva Pat Brown's smash radio single, "Live In Woman" (from the CD For Your Information Only) in 2004.


Three of the most storied female back-up singers in Southern Soul contributed vocals on "Sho' Wasn't Me": Thomisene Anderson, Jewel Bass and Tina Diamond. Tina Diamond later recorded a popular cover of "Sho' Wasn't Me" called "Positive I.D." (from the CD In The Heart Of The City, Avanti).


February, 2006. Yet another new song--J.T. Watkins' "Where Did Our Love Go?"--borrows the chords from Ronnie Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me." The guitar riff is absent, and the song stands on its own fairly well.


April 16, 2006. Ronnie Lovejoy's "(Ain't Gonna Let) Nothin' Bother Me," from the Still Wasn't Me LP, has been sounding very good to your Daddy B. Nice lately. When the 2000 CD arrived years ago, it was--for all but diehard Lovejoy fans--somewhat of a disappointment, and "Nothin' Bother Me," with its direct rip-off of the "Sho' Wasn't Me" melody, fit that pattern.

But now, years later, as the classic song has receded further in the distance and "Sho' Wasn't Me" remakes like casino queen Tina Diamond's "Positive I.D." have become commonplace and even eagerly anticipated, Lovejoy's own copycat song, "Nothin' Bothers Me," sounds like yet another fascinating addition to those "Sho' Wasn't Me" echoes.

The beat in "Nothin' Bothers Me" is a trifle faster, and the backup singing (see above) is excellent. The vocal is more casual, even tired-sounding, but it's Ronnie Lovejoy's voice. What could be better? It's like hearing an out-take from the "Sho' Wasn't Me" vault--a posthumous gift.


Author's Update: October 30, 2007.

Ronnie Lovejoy's masterpiece of Southern Soul, "Sho' Wasn't Me," and the Avanti CD from which it came, Nobody's Fault But Mine, has gone out of print. So one of the top two or three songs in contemporary Southern Soul isn't available to the listening and buying public. Someone needs to remedy this--and soon.

If nothing else, look at it from the perspective of our young Southern Soul artists. They need to hear songs like this. They need to know how sleek and how deep classic R&B can sound. They shouldn't be listening to covers and imitations, even if they're by Ronnie himself ("Nothin' Bother Me").

They should be listening to the real thing, the original--arguably the greatest song in contemporary Southern Soul music.

And we wonder why the "freshest" Southern Soul sound is drifting towards hiphop and funk? It's because many of the classic Southern Soul songs of five to ten years ago are out of print. Many of the artists who have rejuvenated Southern Soul music since then have rarely if ever heard those recent classics--the songs, if you will, that started it all.

Deejays who do possess copies should blow the dust off Nobody's Fault But Mine and play "Sho' Wasn't Me."



Update, November 21, 2010, to article below:


I finally discovered this, not through any feedback from readers, but by accessing a special computer set up by my computer tech by remote control and delving into the I-Tune catalog. The entire album, Nobody's Fault But Mine, is available (unlike my current CD Store affiliates), including Lovejoy's neglected classic.

I do not currently have I-Tunes as an affiliate, so I cannot provide the link. It will be easy enough for I-Tunes users to find the song. Remember that it is not the tune "Still Wasn't Me." It's the tune "Sho' Wasn't Me."

--Daddy B. Nice


September 9, 2012: From Daddy B. Nice's Mailbag


Good morning Daddy B. Nice,

My name is Ondrea Myers. I came across this awesome write up of Mr. Ronnie Lovejoy. The paragraph below caught my attention because it highlighted the awesome female backup to the song "Sho' Wasn't Me."

"Lovejoy's subsequent copycat song "Still Wasn't Me" doesn't cut it. Tyrone Davis's unspectacular cover of "Sho' Wasn't Me" doesn't come within a mile of it. Only the real thing, the Lovejoy recording of "Sho' Wasn't Me," the song which I once likened to the Southern Soul equivalent of the Sermon On The Mount, the song which featured Lovejoy's finest (almost miraculous) vocal, Southern Soul's most sublime guitar lick, and hands down the greatest female back-up in the history of R&B (Tina Diamond, Thomisene Anderson and Jewel Bass)." (From Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Ronnie Lovejoy)

I just had to make one correction. I TOO was a part of that background ensemble. My name, as listed on the credits on the album was Ondrea Lewis. I was actually priveledged to sing on about 5 of the songs on that "Nobody's Fault But Mine" album. That was my first time participating in a professional recording and it was truly a great experience. The engineer was Lavalle Benson. He had actually provided me with additional tracks to do some writing of my own. I too am a singer/songwriter.

Well, I won't take up much more of your time, but I did want to share my contribution to that highly regarded recording.

Ondrea Nicole Meyers

Daddy B. Nice replies:

Dear Ondrea,

What a wonderful, unexpected letter. I will put this into the record on Daddy B. Nice's site (give me some time).

It sure would be nice to hear from more people from those Lovejoy sessions. And although I'm extremely pleased that "Sho' Wasn't Me" is finally on YouTube to give evidence to what I've been trying to say for years--that it's the best--I'm also a little troubled by the poor sound quality of the version available on YouTube. It doesn't do justice to the fullness of the song's sound. It really needs to be reprinted.

Thank you,
Daddy B. Nice

Ondrea Meyers responds:

Dear Daddy B. Nice,

Thank you so much for your kind response. I honestly wasn't sure how my message would be received since I'm not well known in the genre. I have a few memories from the sessions but it was so long ago that they are a bit sketchy. I was 7 or 8 months pregnant with my second son and he is almost 14 now. I do remember that Mr. Lovejoy was very friendly and that he was serious about his work. I lost contact with him when I returned home to Dayton, OH in the fall of '99. I was still there when I heard the announcement on the radio of his death. When I moved back to Jackson, MS in '02, I found out that he'd been looking for me to do some performances. I often think about that missed opportunity. However, I still have the experience of recording "Sho Wasn't Me" and that's something that can never be taken from me.

Well again I want to thank you for your time. I've been reading over your site and you have a lot of info on there so I'll keep an eye out for your updates.


Ondrea Nicole Meyers

PS: Just in some case you may want to know more about me or see me in action you can check me out at Ondrea Meyers on YouTube.

OndreaNicole responds again:

Daddy B. Nice, good morning again!

You know, I was browsing your site and seeing your extensive list of Southern Soul Artists, I didn't realize that I'd sung with so many of them. It's been a long time, but over the years I've come across many of them on a professional level. Dave Mack, LaMorris Williams, Andre Lee, Pat Brown, Mister Zay, and Stevie J. are the ones that come to mind right away. It is quite awesome to see them all collected there together.

There's one Blues Man that I don't know if he'll qualify for your list, but his name is Dexter Allen. Check him out when you get a chance at Dexter Allen's official website..

I just wanted to share that with you. I hope you're having a great day.

Mrs. Ondrea Nicole Myers

Daddy B. Nice replies:

Dear Ondrea,

I've finally got the record changed. Your name is now included in that paragraph about Ronnie Lovejoy's background singers. Thanks for sending the YouTube video, which I enjoyed, and yes, I have heard of Dexter Allen--I run across his name occasionally when doing Jackson-area concert dates--but I've never been privileged to hear his music. I will also post your correspondence in the "Tidbits" section of the Ronnie Lovejoy Artist Guide.

Thanks again for writing in,
Daddy B. Nice


Daddy B. Nice notes:An obviously thoughtful and musically-passionate reader shared his thoughts about "Sho' Wasn't Me" and Southern Soul music in general recently.


Dear Daddy B. Nice,

I first discovered your web site about two years ago. What really got my attention was your "Top 100 (really 200) Southern Soul Songs".

What really caught my interest was that you had my all time favorite song, "Sho Wasn't Me" by Ronnie Lovejoy on top, at that time.

I had heard of most of the artists and had many of their songs but I was really interested in ones I hadn't heard. After reading your excellent bios (nice sketches), I decided to dig deeper.

At that time I had about half of the 200 songs in my collection (on 70 cd's ). Two years and the purchase of 38 cd's later, I'm still 50 songs (about 26 cd's) short.

I had never heard of, but really liked An-Jay, Big Ike, Fredrick Brinson, Tina Diamond, Maurice Wynn and especially Frank Mendenhall.

I don't plan on buying the cd's by R. Kelly, Luther Vandross, Angie Stone, Glenn Jones or Jaheim in the near future. Not my kind of Southern Soul.

Thanks for your great website.

Sincerely Yours

P.S. This letter was written before your list changed. I think "Sho Wasn't Me" should still be #1. It is the epitome of Southern Soul.

Daddy B. Nice replies:

Dear Peter,

I'm sorry for the delay, which was caused by my wish to give your letter a thoughtful reply.

First, I'm especially grateful for your "testimony" to the entertainment and education you've derived from my "Top 100 Southern Soul Songs" list. Although I get bits and pieces of positive feedback on the website from time to time, your Daddy B. Nice seldom receives the kind of engaging and overall appreciation that you were kind enough to send.

Second, your patient purchasing and collecting over the years of the CD's that contain these Top 200 Southern Soul songs should give many a dejected and jaded Southern Soul producer proof that people do indeed still buy (not steal) the music.

Third, your listing of the artists that are not your "kind of Southern Soul" is right-on, and I couldn't agree with you more. (And you're not the first to say so.) Why then, you might ask, do these questionable or marginally Southern Soul artists still hold down spots on the "Top 100 Southern Soul" songs?

I can tell you that I myself do not like to turn to Southern Soul radio stations and hear a preponderance of music by artists such as Jaheim or Angie Stone. (See my most current column--"DJ Breezy Love"--on Daddy B. Nice's Corner.)

When I constructed the Top 100 chart in the early years of the century, no one had ever attempted a grouping of the artists on the chart, and no one had called it "Southern Soul." I was lucky enough to be in a special place at a special time, and I literally spent years of analysis devising a chart I thought might constitute a legitimate platform to showcase the artists and the songs of this genre or sub-genre no one else (at the time) really believed existed.

Jaheim's "Put That Woman First" (based on A William Bell classic), R. Kelly's "When A Woman's Fed Up," Erykah Badu's "Tyrone" and Glenn Jones "Baby Come Home," to cite some examples, were legitimate, early contemporary Southern Soul hits played by the deejays who were in turn schooling me, and now those artists remain on the chart, even though it's a little like defects in a gold nugget.

Because I'm an ornery and cantankerous sort, with a respect for the history of the genre, I have been too stubborn to remove certain artists who were crucial to the formation of contemporary Southern Soul, EVEN THOUGH their career trajectories have proven them to be urban or hiphop artists in the years since.

One other reason factored in. Have you ever gone to a list of music or musicians on a brand new website and searched in vain for someone you know and found yourself scratching your head and not knowing any? You probably threw up your hands and gave up.

I wanted to avoid that sort of impasse at SouthernSoulRnB. By including a few mainstream artists, I was also trying to throw a "lifeline" or a "handle" to readers and listeners who had absolutely no inkling of who Johnnie Taylor or Marvin Sease or Willie Clayton were.

Finally, you state that Ronnie Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me" is your favorite Southern Soul song. You can count your Daddy B. Nice as a soul-mate. Ronnie Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me" is also MY favorite Southern Soul song, and I have written on many occasions (in bio's, sketches, and columns) that it is the best Southern Soul song.

"Sho' Wasn't Me" is currently ranked number three, after Johnnie Taylor's "Soul Heaven" and Tyrone Davis's "Leavin'". But whenever I think of a potentially new fan coming to the website and sampling "Soul Heaven" but not "Sho' Wasn't Me," and possibly passing up Southern Soul fandom because he or she didn't sample "Sho' Wasn't Me," I am deeply contrite.

And again I have to go back into the decade-long history of the website (although it hasn't been online that long) to explain why this is. The website started with just one chart: the Top 100 Southern Soul (90's-00's).

I knew I had to come up with a formula to simplify the incredible number of artists and songs eligible, and the formula I finally struck upon was to 1/ only list each artist once; and 2/ to compensate for only one listing by awarding artists with the greatest catalogs the highest spots on the chart.

Over the years, even in the most hostile and enraged criticisms from artists who thought they had been slighted via my rankings, no one has ever denied that Johnnie Taylor and Tyrone Davis were the two giants of the genre. (Actually, in the original ranking, Peggy Scott-Adams was number two.)

But the beautiful part was that it was also a Top 100 Songs Chart. To this day, the song (which has always been more important to me) is listed in a headline directly underneath the drawing on the Artist Guide. Thus, in the early days of the website, the page was called simply "Top 100 Southern Soul."

When I constructed the Top 100 Southern Soul Songs many years later, it was just a matter of designing a page and changing the headlines. It linked to the Top 100 Southern Soul Artists chart (the old original chart), so that whatever entry was at the top of the Top 100 Artists was also at the top of the Top 100 Songs.

When you first visited the site a couple of years ago, Peter, I had decided that "Sho' Wasn't Me" was so magnificent that Ronnie Lovejoy deserved the top spot not only on the Songs list but the Artists list. Since then I've flip-flopped back to Johnnie and Tyrone, because it doesn't seem right to rank Lovejoy's relatively short career above theirs on the Top 100 Artists Chart.

I was more or less content until your letter stirred it all up for me again. And you never know: Ronnie Lovejoy may again ascend to the number one spot.

You have put your finger on a flaw of the website that I've never been able to quite resolve.


Daddy B. Nice

************ - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

Feedback, comments, information or questions for Daddy B. Nice?

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If You Liked. . . You'll Love

It doesn't quite match the bombastic production of Phil Spector's soul-rock classic, but if you loved the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," you'll be sure to enjoy Ronnie Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me."

Honorary "B" Side

"Live In Man"

5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Sho' Wasn't Me by Ronnie Lovejoy
Sho' Wasn't Me

CD: Nobody's Fault But Mine
Label: Avanti

Sample or Buy
Nobody's Fault But Mine

5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Live In Man by Ronnie Lovejoy
Live In Man

CD: Nobody's Fault But Mine
Label: Avanti

Sample or Buy
Nobody's Fault But Mine

4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy (Ain't Gonna Let) Nothin' Bother Me by Ronnie Lovejoy
(Ain't Gonna Let) Nothin' Bother Me

CD: Still Wasn't Me
Label: Good Time

Sample or Buy
Still Wasn't Me

4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy A.P.B. Out On Me by Ronnie Lovejoy
A.P.B. Out On Me

CD: Nobody's Fault But Mine
Label: Avanti

Sample or Buy
Nobody's Fault But Mine

4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Nobody's Fault But Mine by Ronnie Lovejoy
Nobody's Fault But Mine

CD: Nobody's Fault But Mine
Label: Avanti

Sample or Buy
Nobody's Fault But Mine

4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Think About You All The Time by Ronnie Lovejoy
Think About You All The Time

CD: Think About You All The Time
Label: Ace

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Think About You All The Time

3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Take It Personal by Ronnie Lovejoy
Take It Personal

CD: Think About You All The Time
Label: Ace

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Think About You All The Time

3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Tears by Ronnie Lovejoy

CD: Nobody's Fault But Mine
Label: Avanti

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Nobody's Fault But Mine

2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy Bring It On by Ronnie Lovejoy
Bring It On

CD: Kings And Queens Of Ace
Label: Ace

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Kings & Queens Of Ace

2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy Give My Life by Ronnie Lovejoy
Give My Life

CD: Nobody's Fault But Mine
Label: Avanti

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Nobody's Fault But Mine

2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy Love Doctor by Ronnie Lovejoy
Love Doctor

CD: Nobody's Fault But Mine
Label: Avanti

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Nobody's Fault But Mine

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