Before I get started, I wanted to shout out one of the newest FMF family members: Coop. I’ve been a fan of this cat for quite sometime. Welcome aboard, enjoy the ride! For those of you unfamiliar, this man has been doing some great art, whether it be rock posters or gallery work. Perhaps I can get the man to do a 45 Sessions poster for us here in Asbury Park?
A lot of times in the digging game it’s fast or famine. When the latter happens I find myself buying the same records I have, just in case I have to make a trade or need a spare. However, this is not the case as of late. I have around 40 Lp’s, plus a good 25 to 30 45’s up on deck for review. That’s not counting the last few batches I’ve been trying to whittle away at. At any rate, the next record just couldn’t wait. It’s time to give a sister from New Jersey the respect she deserves. It’s the flip side of her biggest hit “Hypnotized”. The record I’m speaking about is Linda Jones and “I Can’t Stop Lovin’ My Baby.
Now you know I wouldn’t pass up a chance to throw out some Soul from the Garden State, and here’s a perfect example it. Linda Jones grew up in Newark, NJ. Her humble upbringings included time singing at the church in a group called the Jones Singers. She had diabetes, and was determined to become a professional singer, despite the fact she had the disease. She signed a record contract with Cub in her late teens and went on to make records for Atco, Blue Cat, Turbo and Loma. Loma Records was one of Warner Brothers sunsidiary labels. They had such artists as Lonnie Youngblood, the Olympics, J.J. Jackson, Ike and Tina Turner, even the Fabulous Flames. Of course like many small record labels, they just couldn’t survive, or the WB didn’t want them to, and they folded in 1968. After Loma folded, she went on to do sides for Cotique and Neptune. Her most heartfelt tunes were on the Turbo label, where she proved she indeed was the “New Jersey Queen of Soul”. “I Can’t Stop Lovin’ My Baby” is no slouch either, believe me. This woman was put on this earth to sing, and sing she does. Without a doubt she is one of the most under rated Soul Divas in history. Loma IMO was trying to keep up with Stax and Motown, and “Can’t Stop Lovin’ My Baby” is proof. A driving drum beat, prevolent horns, and of course, New Jersey’s own Linda Jones preaching from the bottom of her heart. This line sums it all up: “Have you ever heard sweet music/ That makes you forgive life’s misery?” That’s exactly what she did, forget the pain and suffering of her life and make sweet Soul music. Sadly, Linda Jones died in 1972 from complications due to her diabetes after a 2 week long engagement at the Apollo Theater. She was 27 years old. It’s not all sad, her music lives on, and FMF salutes New Jersey’s Queen of Soul. Keep Diggin’!
There have been several reissues of her music, you can pick them up here: