Unsung Soul Man Leroy Hutson
Not sure if you're down with windy city singer, songwriter, arranger and producer Leroy Hutson, but he is one of my favorite unsung soul men. A native of Newark, New Jersey, brother Hutson went to Howard University with Donny Hathaway (whom he collaborated with on the classic track "The Ghetto") and Roberta Flack. In 1971, he was hired by Curtis Mayfield to replace him in the Impressions. However, at the time, not everyone was pleased.
"I remember being pissed when the line-up changed," late journalist and friend Tom Terrell once told me. "I had bought tickets to see the Impressions perform at the Howard Theater and when Hutson came on stage instead of Mayfield, I like...'Who the hell is this?' Yet, like other R&B fans, Terrell was soon swayed by Hutson's passionate voice. Two years later, Hutson also went solo.
Somehow I went my entire childhood having never heard of Hutson, but a chance encounter with the greatest hits package Lucky Fellow, The Best of Leroy Hutson (Charly Records) was the turning point. Though I bought the a disc simply because it was associated with Mayfield's funk house Curtom Records, whose roster included Baby Huey & the Babysitters and Linda Clifford, it was Hutson's cool sound that blew me away. Not many cats can sound laid-back and aggressive at the same time, but Hutson's voice and music was icy hot.
Recently, while working on a story about Curtis Mayfield, I was talking to guitarist extraordinaire Craig McMullen (dude played ax with Hutson, Chairman of the Board, The Sylvers, Bill Withers and Mayfield) who informed me that he'd soon be going out on the road with the unsung singer. Hopefully, they'll be at a venue near us.
All Because of You: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Lucky Fellow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
So in Love With You: http://www.youtube.com/watch?