Harold Cade

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The drummer and singer Harold Cade's only gig of note seems to have been backing up the pianist Eddie Carter, but that isn't so bad. That leader was busy enough in his hometown of Philadelphia, fronting…
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The drummer and singer Harold Cade's only gig of note seems to have been backing up the pianist Eddie Carter, but that isn't so bad. That leader was busy enough in his hometown of Philadelphia, fronting the Carter Rays for the impressive Grand label, Eddie Carter & the Carterays for the noisy Sound label, and the Eddie Carter Quartette -- note correct spelling, most reissue labels don't -- as part of producer Joe Davis' A&R roster for MGM. As a result, Carter is as associated with the early days of the Philadelphia rhythm & blues scene as greasy sandwiches full of sliced steak and cheese are with that city itself.

If Cade did not get rich drumming and also doing many vocal duties in these various bands, perhaps it is some consolation to imagine his wealth if he could get a percentage of what collectors seem to be willing to pay for Carter material years after it was released. Of special value are the recordings which were issued on the previously mentioned Grand label, a firm that grew out of a combined record shop and one-stop. The local talent that was documented by this label has turned out to be the roots of the entire Philly soul scene. What they'll take for a copy of the Eddie Carter Quartette's "Take Everything But You" is $5,000, or five Grand, more appropriately. That is according to one of several specialty shops that collected lists of their Top Ten "most pricey discs." Carter records also show up frequently on rhythm & blues "best-of" lists, not that that's worth five bucks, let alone five thousand. Other favorites by this group include the cute "Little Joe" and the enjoyable "Ooh-Lovin' Baby." By the time of the MGM recordings, Cade's vocals, light like the barest hint of honey on cornbread, had become one of the recognizable features of the group. Other members were guitarist Elvie Hill and bassist Percy Joell .