Soul Fantasy

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Betty Richardson - Pulse Beat 1984 LP

This album was one of my top secrets. I had the opportunity to find it in 2009. In my opinion, it is one of the best modern soul albums. I had first seen the single "It's over / Special love" on Firmus Records on ebay. I think, if I remember right, it was in 2007. Since then I tried to collect anything concerning Betty Richardson. 
Betty Richardson started singing professionally at the age of 15 with her sister Jackie. She went on a solo career and she also joined the Silhouettes with the arranger, composer and pianist Doug Riley. They appeared at the Toronto nightclub, the Blue Note. She was also original cast member of the musical Hair in Toronto and Australian Hair company.
When the musical "Hair" closed, Betty worked with Wayne St.John and they recorded some songs in the mid 70s in Toronto. Wayne St.John had previously collaborated with Betty on "Hair".
She did many TV music/comedy series with Martin Short, Andy Williams, George Kirby, Ray Stevens. She was also on background vocals on many TV/Radio commercials. She got a call to do some backgrounds for John Finley of John Lee & the Checkmates at the Pears Avenue Blue Note Club for six weeks. She met Kingsley Ettienne (he was the keyboard player for John Finley) and formed a group called ‘Formula Five’ which included Kingsley, B.Richardson, Reggie Evans, Rodney Appleby and Liberty Silver. Liberty left and they eventually dissolved.
Later she met the late Milan Kymlicka who was a well know CBC composer. He was canadian arranger, composer and conductor of Czechoslovakian birth. He produced her album “Pulse Beat”. The album was released on Firmus Records in 1984. Betty Richardson collaborated with Doug Riley for one more time. The following musicians appeared on the album: Doug Riley, Lou Pomanti and Ray Parker on keyboards, Brian Russell and R.Mann on guitars, Tom Szcezniak on bass, Brian Leonard and K.McKenzie on drums, Russell Hartenberger on percussion and Vern Dorge on saxophone. Background vocals by Colina Phillips, L.Silver, Jackie Richardson, Betty Richardson and S.Williams.

The album except for "Special Love" includes some great songs such as "Heading in the right direction" and "Nighty night". Both songs are covers. 

As I told you at the beginning, I started to collect records by Betty Richardson. So I managed to buy two records 45" which was included on the album. The first single "It's over / Special love" on Firmus Records. The same single was released on A&M Records in 1983 and was pressed in Canada, which I also have it. Radio stations played the song ‘Special Love’ that was on their playlist on a daily basis for over a year.

The second single that I have bought is called "I never knew his name / It always takes two" and was released on the same label, Firmus Records.

The song "Nighty night" was released as a single entitled "Nighty night / This is a man" on Firmus records. This song was original recorded and composed by Carlyle Miller in 1977. I also tried to buy it without however any success.

For a short time the two sisters Betty & Jackie collaborated with Jackie's daughter Kim and formed the vocal group ‘The Richardson".

Note: The above posted tracks are not played in full

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