LET NATHANIEL MAYER TAKE YOU TO THE VILLAGE OF LOVE…..
’s relatively recent “Detroit” issue, there was a surprising piece on 60s R&B/soul loverman NATHANIEL MAYER
, he of the awesome posthumous CD “Village of Love”
and its stupendous, doo wop groover of a title track. “Village of Love”, the song, apparently reached #22 on the US charts in 1962, which surprised me since I’d never heard it on oldies radio (and I very much “dig” oldies radio
). The 21-track retrospective CD came out in 1996 on Italy’s Gold Dust
records, and is a must if you’re in need of an overview of all the high points of early 60s R&B, all performed beautifully by one dude: renaissance man Mayer. There’s 5-years-ahead-of-my-time call & response soul (“I Had a Dream”, later covered by the GIBSON BROS
); jiving dancefloor killers (“Leave Me Alone” and “I Want Love and Affection [Not The House of Correction]”); and the collection’s calling card: down and out, done-me-wrong weepers
(“Hurting Love”, among others), perfect for play while staring at the bottom of a beer bottle. Tim Warren
at Crypt Records
was hyping this in his catalog a few years ago with the graceful subtlety he’s well known for (“BUY OR DIE!!!"
), and I thankfully took the bait. And wouldn’t you know it, Nathaniel Mayer’
's on the revival circuit now
& absolutely knocking ‘em dead, or so Mojo
claims. Then again, they say that about everything
– critical distinctions and the bearing of unpleasant truths are not that particular magazine’s strong suit. Layouts, bold colors, compleat career overviews: they got that covered. Anyway, the real R&B truth lies in the “Village of Love”
CD, and it was nice to see it recognized as such.