Based in Chicago, McKinley Mitchell was one of the Chicago School of R&B belters I’m so fond of (these include Garland Green, Otis Clay, Johnny Sayles, and Tyrone Davis). Unfortunately, for all his vocal prowess, he was sort of slept on in his day.
He recorded some seriously beautiful sides for George Leaner’s One-Derful Records in the mid-60’s, Chess (also in the mid 60s), and Sandy Wilborn’s Sandman Records in the early 1970s. He had a regional hit in the mid 60’s with “The Town I Live In”.
Below, “This Can’t Be the End”. His patent-leather smooth growl is really evident on this. Written by Willie Dixon, this is (to me) a really a great record, the sort that hints at what a great stage performer he must have been. Jive on!