Song Of The Day 1/21/2015: The Detroit Emeralds - "Do Me Right"

Northern Soul Week: One of the perils of using other people's information on archival recordings (not mine, I'm pretty infallible with the metadata) is mistaken identity. When I came upon this track, probably the catchiest song of this entire week, the artist name was Della Reese. In addition to being one of the central figures in the pre-Firefly mysticism drama Touched By an Angel, Reese was a fine jazz and gospel singer in the mid-20th century. Seeing as how we had Leslie Uggams earlier this week, I wasn't exactly surprised at the notion that she had crossed over into R&B. But listening to this for the first time I thought, "Gee, her voice sounds really low, and given the social climate in entertainment in the '60s and '70s I'd find it unlikely that she'd be addressing her intended in this song as "girl." Given this suspicion and my flawless instinct for details I did some digging around and found, indeed, that this wasn't Della Reese, but the under-appreciated Detroit Emeralds, a male vocal group. Now I suppose you're going to tell me the lead singer on "Play That Funky Music" wasn't Don Adams from Get Smart, aren't you?

The Detroit Emeralds hit the R&B Top 10 with "Do Me Right" in 1971. They had a respectable number of success on that chart, though they only crossed over to the pop Top 40 twice. It wasn't for a dearth of good material or versatility. Their biggest score was "Feel the Need in Me," which managed to combine the best parts of Motown, Hi Records and Philadelphia into about three and a half minutes. It was a big UK hit as well. Maybe people got them mixed up with the Detroit Spinners. They did a very cool version of the Beatles' "And I Love Her." I also greatly enjoy their song "I'm Qualified." (Lyric: "I'll graduate from Affectionate High!" I bet their varsity football team wasn't very competitive.) 
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