Syl Johnson- Dresses Too Short, Is It Because I’m Black, and Back For a Taste of Your Love

Posted: April 19, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Here is yet another Memphis soul and bluesman best known for his affiliation with Willie Mitchell’s Hi Records crew.

Born and bred in the blues haven of north Mississippi, Holly Springs to be exact, Syl Johnson began his musical career playing with the folks who inhabited the area. His late 50’s collaborations included sessions with such legends as Junior Wells and Howlin’ Wolf before making his solo debut in 1959.

Johnson signed to Chicago’s Twinight Records in 1967 releasing his first single for the label, Come Sock it to Me. The same year, he released the single Different Strokes, which became a commonly sampled track in the 90’s rap scene.

The 1970’s saw Syl Johnson’s music become exclusively released on Mitchell’s Hi label. These years yielded Johnson’s most renowned albums,the first of which being Back For a Taste of Your L.ove in 1973.This period also produced his most successful single, Take Me to the River, which reached number 7 on the R&B charts in 1975.  Three more LP’s on Hi followed, Diamond in the Rough (1974),  Total Explosion (1975), and Uptown Shakedown (1979).

Following his Hi tenure, Johnson released Ms Fine Brown Frame (1982) on his own Shama label. This record would be his lone 80’s musical endeavor as Johnson all but retired from the music business.

The retirement ended in 1994 when Johnson, encouraged by the profound sampling interest of Different Strokes from current day artists, recorded Back in the Game.  Following that album, Johnson remained active until 2002 which saw him record an album with his brother, blues guitarist Jimmy Johnson, entitled Two Johnsons Are Better Than One.

Dresses Too Short (1968)

Is It Because I’m Black (1970)

Back For a Taste of Your Love (1972)

Comments
  1. Jon Wilde says:

    Thanks so much for sharing these. A holy trinity of rare albums from the mighty Syl.

  2. Visuals says:

    Great shares here. I own all 3 of these and the rest of his Hi Records output…Including 74’s Diamond In The Rough, 75’s Total Explosion ( my two favorite albums) & 79’s Uptown Shakedown. Hi Records has some of the finest soul talent in it’s heyday. Those who like these offered here should definately be on the lookout for the rest of Syl’s work for the label.

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