Tag Archives: Mel London

Amanda Love: You Keep Calling Me By Her Name.

 

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(above,  45 sleeve art by Johnny Spencer. for more on him, click here)

Not a lot is known about Amanda Love (which is probably an alias). What I do know is that she put out this bluesy number on Mel London’s Starville label about 1967. Mel London was a Chicago songwriter/producer/record label owner who was instrumental in launching the careers of Junior Wells and Ricky Allen.

Amanda Love’s record “You Keep Calling Me by Her Name” is the sort of record that swung in many a South Side tavern here in Chicago. It sort of sounds like the result of if Nancy Wilson had come to Chicago to record back then: polished vocals atop a rough and ready track. Jive on!

 


Ricky Allen: He can’t stand no signifying… come to think of it, me either.

signifying (verb): a good-natured needling or goading especially among urban blacks by means of indirect gibes and clever often preposterous put-downs

-Webster’s Dictionary

Ricky Allen recorded the booming groover “I Can’t Stand No Signifying” on Jack Daniels’ West Side-based Four Brothers label round about 1966. Both Jack Daniels and Johnny Moore (the co-writer on this track) created blues-soaked soul cuts for a number of artists, including Junior Wells, throughout the late 1960s.

Ricky Allen, a native Nashvillian, came to Chicago in 1958, and was very popular on the blues club circuit in the 1960s. One of his songs, Mel London’s “Cut You A-Loose” charted on the R&B Charts in 1963, and even got heavy airplay on Top 40 pop station WLS. Allen recounted in a 1993 Chicago Tribune interview with Bill Dahl:

“I got back, man, WLS – they didn’t play no blues. (But) Every time you turned on the station, it was on.”

“Signifying” has got exactly the sock it to me-slash-somebody’s ’bout to get cut vibe I love.  To me, this gritty music is the link between the blues brought North in a satchel during the Great Migration and the glossier Chicago Soul (complete with lush strings and horns) that came later. Gotta love that piano riff at the top. Jive on.