Love Has Come / Throw Away Me
An unmissable pairing of Texan-born soul queens! Ruby Wilson was Memphis based for most of her life whilst Emily spent her formative years in Houston before relocating to Stockton, CA, to raise her family. Both were signed to Malaco Records in Jackson, MS, where these two timeless example of Southern Soul were recorded nearly 30 years apart and now appear on 7” vinyl for the first time.
Ruby Wilson first came to our attention in the mid-70s with two singles on T.K. subsidiary Glades, with Number One In Your Heart and the funkier Sky High both still sounding good today. She signed to Malaco during their most fruitful period, and her self-titled album in 1981, from which this classy below-midpaced selection comes, despite being a typically polished affair never reached the highs with the label that Jewel Bass, Fern Kinney, and of course Dorothy Moore had set over the previous few years. It remained her only outing with them, but she went on to make a further three albums in the late 80s with the Hot Cotton Jazz Band, one with the Climax Jazz Band, and finally back on her own A Song For You (2000 Cadre Ent.) and Show You A Good Time (2005 Unkut Music). She became an accomplished actress and was also known as the Queen Of Beale Street for her many club performances in Memphis. Sadly, Ruby died in 2016, but hopefully this release on Jai Alai will help us remember what a talent she really was.
Not only is Emily David an extraordinary talent, she is a remarkable woman too. Her only album Queen Emily was a direct result of her finishing as a semi-finalist of America’s Got Talent in 2008 at the tender age of 40. She was no stranger to talent shows having won a Sammy Davis Jr award in 1999, but back then, as a single-mother decided to put her singing career on hold to bring up her two daughters. One day her troubled sister arrived to stay but left without taking her two boys with her, so Emily felt she had to bring up her nephews as well. Her dreams of a musical career had evaporated but years later her daughters encouraged her to try once again.
It was almost a year after America’s Got Talent that Malaco boss Tommy Couch Jr. called out of the blue and offered her a contract without meeting her. As Queen Emily, a digital 4-track EP was released in the US, but her eponymous CD album, bizarrely released by Malaco in the UK before the US, is one of the best examples of 21st century Southern Soul, steeped with the label’s trademark live instrumentation by the Muscle Shoals Horns Rhythm Section and contains a number of polished standards such as Use Me, Angel In Your Arms, I Betcha Didn’t Know That and Going Crazy. However, it is the George Jackson-penned ballad Throw Away Me that really stands out and deservedly received critical acclaim in the UK at the time. It now gets a very welcome vinyl debut on Jai Alai and makes for a fabulous pairing.