Saturday, August 11, 2012

Betty Everett-The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)

Betty Everett sang gospel growing up in Greenwood, MS, before relocating to Chicago and moving into secular music. She began recording for Cobra in 1958, then joined Vee-Jay in the early '60s and started to land hit records. Her original version of "You're No Good," though sung with fire and verve, didn't make much impact until it was turned into a number one pop hit by Linda Ronstadt in 1975. Her next single, "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)," was her first major release, peaking at number six pop in 1964. Her next success was the duet "Let It Be Me" with Jerry Butler, a soul version of the Everly Brothers tune that reached number five R&B that same year. Everett's finest song as a solo act was 1969's "There'll Come a Time," which reached number two on the R&B charts and also cracked the pop Top 30 at number 26. Everett was now on Uni, where she remained until 1970. She continued recording for Fantasy until 1974 and made one other record for United Artists in 1978. A comeback performance for the 2000 PBS special Doo Wop 51 was her last public appearance; she died at her Wisconsin home in August 2001.

These are Betty Everett recordings, minus the duets with Jerry Butler, from 1963 to 1966 -- the Vee Jay years. A thorough overview for the period covered, but not a definitive collection of Everett's career because it doesn't include earlier tracks (she began recording in 1961), or later recordings on ABC, Uni ("There Come a Time"), Fantasy, Soundstage, United Artists, or 20th Century Fox Records. But if you want her solo Vee Jay Records' story, this is it, includes the substantial hits "The Shoop, Shoop Song" and "You're No Good"; Van McCoy's unsung "Getting Mighty Crowded"; as well as three early Valerie Simpson/Nicholas Ashford/Joshie Armstead compositions, "Too Hot to Hold," "The Real Thing," and "The Shoe Won't Fit."

Originals Cover

01. The Shoop Shoop Song (02:16)
02. You're No Good (02:21)
03. Too Hot To Hold (02:11)
04. Gettin' Mighty Crowded (02:13)
05. Hands Off (02:02)
06. Chained To Your Love (03:01)
07. It Hurts To Be Love (02:26)
08. By My Side (02:10)
09. I Don't Hurt Anymore (02:49)
10. Where Are You (02:25)
11. The Real Thing (02:05)
12. Can I Get To Know You (02:36)
13. Hound Dog (02:28)
14. Prince Of Players (02:33)
15. June Night (02:13)
16. I Need You So (02:42)
17. Somebody Soon (02:03)
18. No Place To Hide (02:41)
19. Trouble Over The Weekend (02:09)
20. Down In The Country (02:22)
21. Gotta Be Ready (02:35)
22. With You I Stand (02:41)
23. The Shoe Won't Fit (02:24)
24. I Can't Hear You (02:36)
25. Until You're Gone (02:50)

Though sometimes classified as a girl group singer because of the Top Ten success of "The Shoop Shoop Song," Betty Everett's main thrust was much more in the R&B/soul vein. This excellent 25-track anthology of her 1963-1965 material shows her facility with various soul, R&B, and pop styles. She had three other minor hits -- the original hit version of "You're No Good," the energetic Goffin/King pop/rocker "I Can't Hear You," and Van McCoy's soulful "Gettin' Mighty Crowded" -- all of which are featured here. But most of the other material is equally enjoyable, including other early efforts by McCoy, Valerie Simpson, and Nick Ashford, and even P.F. Sloan (whose "Can I Get to Know You" is presented in a much earthier, slower version here than the Turtles' rendition several years later).

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