The Emotions were not the only sister group to come out of Chicago. It was all in the family for Kitty and the Haywoods, as well (although they actually consisted of three sisters and a niece). Before Kitty and the Haywoods’ self-titled debut album, Kitty had a long recording history as a background vocalist for such acts as Curtis Mayfield and Terry Callier. She was also a member of The New Rotary Connection (along with Shirley Wahls) after Minnie Riperton departed from Rotary Connection.
1974, Kitty and the Haywoods recorded a single as Kitty Haywood & the Haywood Singers called “Big Black Cloud”. It was produced and arranged by Charles Stepney (who was the creative force behind Rotary Connection). Kitty had also previously released a solo record on the Weis label.
In 1976, the sisters sang back up for Aretha Franklin on the “Sparkle” soundtrack, which was written and produced by Curtis Mayfield. Before that, they recorded quite a few jingles in town.
The album Kitty and the Haywoods (1977) was produced by Mercury Records label mates The Ohio Players, and it sounds like a gumbo of the Ohio Players and Labelle at their silver-lame-wearing best.
What I appreciate most about Kitty and the Haywoods is that they were quite literally part of the backbone of the Chicago Recording scene. Too many background vocalists faded away into the shadows, remaining anonymous. But these ladies were able to shine. Jive on!
Terry Callier: You Goin’ Miss Your Candyman.
We lost Terry Callier on Sunday. He was an artist who melded Soul, Folk, and Jazz seamlessly. My first experience with his music is detailed below.
This portion of the post was originally posted on Darkjive on October 17th, 2009:
I remember where I was when I first heard [“Dancing Girl” by Terry Callier]: the local round-the-way record store [back when I was in high school]. The carpet was checkered with the maytag logo in bittersweet on brown (harkening back to the store’s past life). There we stood in a communal experience that began with the shop owner saying, “You’ve got to hear this record”. We stood waiting. Waiting melted away to awe. Nine minutes later we knew life was a bit different…just wait for the progression of the track. It blossoms and eventually bursts.
“Dancing Girl” is from the album, “What Color is Love” (Cadet, 1973). A great record for a chilled autumn day.
Terry Callier was a childhood friend of Curtis Mayfield and co-wrote numerous Chicago Records for artists as diverse as the Soulful Strings, The Dells, and Garland Green. He spent much of the eighties and nineties as a single father, raising his daughter, Sundiata, and working at the University of Chicago.
He returned to recording in the late nineties to critical acclaim, and released “Hidden Conversations” (his fifth album in 10 years) this year. It features Massive Attack.
Jive on…. Jive on.
2009 was to be his last appearance on record. Since I first discovered him, I’ve fallen in love with a number of his compositions,
such as: “Ordinary Girl”, “You Don’t Care”, “You Goin Miss Your Candyman”, and others.
I’ve also realized that he co-wrote a few of my old Chicago favorites, including: “You Can’t Get Away that Easy” (as performed by Lee Charles and, later, by Garland Green), “The Love We Had Stays on My Mind” (as performed by The Dells), “I Don’t Want to Lose Your Love” (as Performed by Billy Butler & Infinity), and “I’d Rather Be With You [performed by the Dells].
Below, Terry singing You Goin’ Miss Your Candyman. Because I do.
1 Comment | tags: Billy Butler, Cadet Records, Garland Green, Hidden Conversations, Local Chicago Music, Local Chicago Soul, Massive Attack, terry callier, The Dells, University of Chicago | posted in Chicago Cultural History, Commentary, Local Chicago Music, Music