Soul Fantasy

Friday, December 11, 2009

James Ingram & Garland Green

In 1980 Lamont Dozier formed the soul group Zingara. Lamont found a trio of singers James Ingram, Lady Bianca and Wali Ali. Lamont Dozier said: "My wife Barbara knew singer James Ingram. James was very well known around Los Angeles for singing on everyone's demos”. Before I knew what had happened, one of the songs, "Love's calling" had turned into this huge cult radio hit and people were jumping up and down looking for the guy behind the record. “I think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever written and produced,” affirms Lamont.

At the time, Geffen Records called and wanted to sign the album - and the group, too. “But I was already kinda involved with the people at Wheel Records, so I stuck with them. Maybe I took the wrong option” said Lamont. Zingara released an album in 1981 on Wheel records.

In 1979, Green decided that he needed a fresh start. So he made the move from Chicago to Los Angeles. Garland Green explained “My reason for leaving was not the record business, but I just wanted to change the environment.
He struggled to find a label for six years (after RCA album) and finally, in 1983, got a contract with Ocean-Front Records. Tyrone Davis was recording for the label at the time. Green recorded under the production of Arleen Schesel (Schesel and Green made a love connection and got married). However Lamont Dozier gave him creative help (as arranger) and he brought his songs to the table, including “Trying to hold on”, a remake of Dozier’s hit from a decade earlier. The record lasted ten weeks on Billboard’s national R&B chart, going to the #67 position. Flip side was another Dozier song from Zingara entitled “Love’s calling”.

With the success of the single, Ocean-Front released an Lp on Green, simply called “Garland Green”. Unfortunately, the label poorly marketed their artist by giving it slapdash cheap-looking packaging.

Which one you think is better? Please tell me your opinion.

Note: The above posted tracks are not played in full


Ilya said...

the first one definetely better... I like the arrangement more. Especially the intro part with those powerful kicks... Thanks for your deal, I like the blog.

rcthegolfer said...

I was one of the four people who made up Wheel Records when "Love's Calling" was released. We had one legitimate record man, John Smith formerly with Stax and later in charge of the Black music division at MCA prior to my friend Louill Silas taking over. We knew what we had with Love's Calling, but we were a fledgling record company with limited resources. The money man was a mysterious guy from Germany named Michael, who knew nothing about the business, and me - a 25 year old A&R man who didn't even know what A&R stood for. We were very aware that James Ingram was a star - the group really didn't exist until after Love's Calling had been cut. I don't remember if James is even on any of the other tracks - we were only concerned with selling the single. Lamont was not served well by us because we had no money to push this forward. Bottom line: this record should have been a major hit because it is well written and well performed!