The American Four

Biography by

The American Four made one obscure single in 1964 for Selma, a subsidiary of Del-Fi, "Luci Baines"/"Soul Food." The group is mostly notable for featuring Love leader Arthur Lee as singer and songwriter,…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

The American Four made one obscure single in 1964 for Selma, a subsidiary of Del-Fi, "Luci Baines"/"Soul Food." The group is mostly notable for featuring Love leader Arthur Lee as singer and songwriter, as well as Love guitarist Johnny Echols, before Love had been formed. According to an article in Goldmine, another American Four member was John Fleckenstein, who briefly played bass in Love, although he was out of the band by the time they released their first album. The single is derivative but not without its enjoyable qualities. The A-side, inspired by then-president Lyndon Johnson's daughter, is an energetic rip-off of "Twist and Shout" with an Arthur Lee vocal; the flip, written by Lee and Echols, is a soul-rock instrumental in the style of Booker T. & the MG's.

Both sides of this extremely rare single are on the CD bootleg of Love and Love-associated rarities Black Beauty & Rarities. That bootleg also has a third track, "It's the Marlin, Baby," which is credited to the American Four. This is a slight, forgettable pop-R&B dance tune with thin, even poor production, indicating it might have even been recorded live. It was issued on the Texas LSD label and credited to Love, listing Lee and Echols on vocals, although Lee told Goldmine that he has no memory of participating in this recording. The flip of that single, "House of the Rising Sun," was mistakenly credited to Love but is (again, according to that same Goldmine article) actually another group, the Hurrikanes.