John Bowie – Help Me Pretty Baby – MD 115


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First up on the December 2021 release front will be John Bowie. Hailing from the days when John moved on from the Philadelphians and hooked up with Merben out of New Jersey. The outcome of this new recording relationship was the release of “Youre gonna miss a good thing” b/w “At the end of the day”.

Following our collaboration work with Kevin Fingier on some other tracks, we played him the unrestored takes and asked for his opinion. Needless to say he was pretty excited by the tracks and wanted to see if he could bring them back to there full glory. Between Kevin and JJ at Golden mastering they have done a brilliant job of working with the masters to get a great sound quality without any additional changes to the tracks.

We are pleased to deliver both tracks back-to-back on a 45 for your listening pleasure. The thumping “Help me pretty baby” screams out of the starting blocks with the brass working overtime to punctuate the classic bouncing bass line. Johns’ pleading vocals beautifully threaded through both, delivering his message to the echo of the backing singers.  Flip it over and you get a moody audition take of “You’re gonna miss a good thing”. This version is raw and darker than the released version, its also got that heavier Hammond style keyboard in support of the baseline, but without the high and light glockenspiel type keyboard of the released version.

In an article written for Scoop newspaper in Philly, it was said that Big John had died from a robbery attempt at a gas station where he worked. This article was dated in the 1998 and had the approximate date of death about 1985. Just another example of the pointless loss of great talent in the soul world.