Various Artists

Soulful Broadway 1650 Vol. 1: Wand Deep Soul

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The primary subsidiary of Florence Greenberg's Scepter Records, the Wand imprint was founded in 1961. Though the launching pad for hits including Chuck Jackson's "Any Day Now," the Isley Brothers' "Twist and Shout" and Maxine Brown's "Oh No, Not My Baby," its biggest record wasn't an R&B effort at all, but the Kingsmen's frat rock monolith "Louie Louie"; still, despite the occasional chart hit Wand never really experienced the kind of prominence enjoyed by Scepter, and even seemed to suffer from something of an identity crisis -- in the eyes of many it was an uptown soul label, but in fact a fair chunk of its output trafficked in a more rural, deeper soul idiom. Soulful Broadway 1650 Vol. 1: Wand Deep Soul fills in the gaps by assembling some of these little-known singles, and while there's nothing here to rival the output of labels like Stax or Atlantic, this is nevertheless the real deal: rootsy, poignant soul molded from the hardscrabble earth of the American south. Highlighted by four cuts from a pre-Blowfly Clarence Reid ("Somebody Will," "Part of Your Love," "I Refuse to Give Up" and "I'm Your Yes Man"), the disc also includes entries from the Masqueraders ("Let's Face Facts"), and Marvin Preyer ("What Can I Call My Own?").