Debut album from Boston’s finest Mamie Lee, originally released in 1966 on MGM and now lovingly reissued here by Poker. Mamie Lee was a singer with a style and a sound all of her own: The way she held a note or turned a phrase marked her as ‘one of a kind’. Her early vocal style was certainly influenced by the great Dinah Washington but Mamie never used Dinah’s technique to excess; the solid, impassioned (but never sentimental) quality of Dinah almost definitely inspired the underlying approach of Mamie to a song but she was very much her own artist.
A big turning point in Mamie Lee’s career came in 1960 when she auditioned for Duke Ellington. He gave her great encouragement and a new lease on a music business career (Mamie had quit music several years previously when she had found work with variety or R&B groups unrewarding). Then early in 1965 Mamie Lee organised her own trio – The Swingmen – who accompanied her on this outstanding debut album that was recorded at Bell Sound Studios, NYC and produced by the legendary Don Costa. Here’s what the BOSTON RECORD-AMERICAN had to say about it: ‘…the kind of sounds the Queen of Sheba must have emitted to flip Solomon’s lid…’
And if that wasn’t enough, as a bonus, we have added the two sides from the non-album MGM 45. The most famous is of course ‘I Can Feel Him Slipping Away’ which became a massive club favourite with 60s soul fans. The gorgeous vocal has ethereal properties and there can hardly be a soul in the world that would not be moved by this most beautiful work of art…
I Can Feel Him Slipping Away / The Show Is Over