Jerry Butler

The Soul Artistry of Jerry Butler

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Mercury Records tried to make Jerry Butler Johnny Mathis with a baritone -- a lofty goal that didn't quite exalt the Chicago crooner to a high level of pop achievement but did demonstrate that Butler was more than just a chitlin'-circuit soldier. The tone of The Soul Artistry of Jerry Butler is classy and pop-ish; Mercury was looking for MOR plays. Still, Butler's uptown soul comes through, maybe a little more mellow but as real as ever. He's in fine voice throughout, especially on "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" and "I Dig You Baby," a minor hit. This marked the beginning of Butler's association with Kenny Gamble; the Philly songwriter/producer co-wrote "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" and "You Don't Know What You Got Until You Lose It."