MD120 – James Lately – What you’re doing


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Here you have the first release of the previously unissued version of the Johnnie Mae Mathews flip to ‘Two Sided Thing’ sung by James Lately. This was uncovered in the Pioneer vaults being digitised as part of the MD Pioneer project.

Interestingly we have also uncovered the original recording of the ‘Two Sided Thing’ which was also recorded at Pioneer Studios.

Not much is know about James Lately, he died at a tragically young age reportedly at the hands of his girlfriend at the time,  so in starting to hunt down any information we could there was an obvious choice of where to start.  Richard ‘Gilly’ Gilbert had managed to locate information on the family when tracking back over the Temple release – which he had back in the day.  Gilly was kind enough to provide information and point Jordan in the direction of the family via facebook and also provide a copy of the picture that the family had sent Gilly of James.

This was a great starting point to add to the digging Jordan had done via the usual sources when we start tracking artists and it paid off when we managed to start a discussion with James surviving family. It is taking time as they were not fully aware of his work, which is more common than you might think.

But we are persevering and have already uncovered many manuscripts of James composition work and will continue to seek out more of the story behind this enigmatic artist.