Edwin Starr and Blinky
Band members Related acts
- Edwin Starr (aka Charles Hatcher) (RIP 2003) -- vocals
- Sondra "Blinky" Williams -- vocals
- Blinky (solo efforts)
- The COGICS (Sondra Williams)
- The Logics (Sondra Williams)
- The Metrotones (Edwin Starr)
- Edwin Starr (solo efforts)
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: Just We Two
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: still in shrink wrap; original Gordy inner sleeve; lower right corner cut off (quarter inch)
Catalog ID: 4145
For a label that prided itself on being able to identify and pair talented artists, Motown occasionally made some monumental miscalculations. That's certainly the case with this obscure 1969 album featuring the late Edwin Starr and Sondra "Blinky" Williams.
Williams' professional career started back in the early 1960s as a member of The COGIC's (Church Of God In Christ Singers). Along with twin brother Andrew Crouch, Gloria Jones, Frankie Karl, Billy Preston and Edna Wright the group toured widely, recording an obscure 1964 single for the small Simpson label: 'It's A Blessing' b/w 'Since I Found Him' (Simpson catalog number 273). The group also recorded a gospel LP "It's a Blessing".
Vee Jay International catalog number #VJS 18011
Williams subsequently went on to a solo career, starting with a 1964 single for Vee-Jay ('He's Got The Whole World In His Hands' b/w 'Heartaches' (Vee-Jay catalog number VJ-941).
Signed by Atlantic she recorded a gospel-oriented album (1967's 'Hark! the Voice' Atlantic catalog number SD-R003) and a pair of singles:
1967's 'He's Got The Whole World In His Hands' b/w 'Hark! The
Voice' (Atlantic catalog number 45-7552)
Her luck seemed to change when she was picked up by Motown in 1968. Credited to Blinky, Williams made her label debut with the single 'I Wouldn't Change The Man He Is' b/w 'I'll Always Love You'. While the track did little commercially, Motown elected to give her another chance, transferring her to the Gordy subsidiary, where she was teamed with Starr. Released as a single, 'Oh How Happy' b/w 'Ooo Baby Baby' (Gordy catalog number 7090) provided the pair with a minor pop hit. While it peaked at # 92 pop, sales were enough for Gordy to finance a supporting album.
Produced by Frank Wilson, 1969's "Just We Two" was clearly an effort to score the same kind of success Motown had enjoyed with Marvin Gaye and his string of duets with various female singers. At least on paper the idea wasn't half bad since in their own rights both Starr and Williams were talented singers. Unfortunately, in the studio the two apparently had little chemistry. Taken individually there's nothing particularly wrong with material such as 'You Make Me So Very Happy', 'Let It Be Me' and 'I'll Understand'. The downside was that there wasn't anything particularly right with their performances. Starr and Williams both sounded rather uninterested and on occasion didn't even sound like they were in the same studio. On tracks such as 'I'm So Thankful' the two sounded as if they were singing past one another - literally trying to out-wail one another. It got even more painful on those rare occasions where they actually tried to harmonize. If you doubt it, simply check out the painful 'Ooh Baby Baby'. All told, perhaps because Starr wrote it, the upbeat earlier single 'Oh How Happy' was probably the best performance.
"Just We Two" track listing:
1.) You Make Me So Very Happy (Berry Gordy Jr. - Frank Wilson - Brenda Holloway - P. Holloway) - 2:59
2.) I'm So Thankful (Frank Wilson - M. Gordon) - 3:00
3.) Oh How Happy (Charles Hatcher) - 2:39
4.) Let It Be Me (M. Curtis - G. Becaud - P. Delanoe) - 2:58
5.) I'm Glad You Belong To Me (R. Morris - R. Penzabene - C. Grant) - 2:56
6.) I'll Understand (Isaac Hayes - David Porter) - 2:12
1.) We'll Find a Way (Ivy Joe Hunter - B. Verdi) - 2:40
2.) Sweet Joy of Life (D. Dean - Deke Richards) - 2:16
3.) Can't We be Strangers Again (H. Lewis - K. Lewis) - 2:27
4.) I See a Rainbow (H. Lewis - K. Lewis) - 2:23
5.) Ooh Baby Baby (William Robinson - W. Moore) - 2:35
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