During the early 1990’s we were hit by a barrage of sample based bands. Me being a young buck in the record game, I had no idea at the time this record was the basis (and basically the meat of) one of the songs that was MTV heavy when MTV actually played videos. I hope the original artist was paid handsomely for the use of this song. The more I think about it, I hope Jimmy Smith was paid more than handsomely for the complete rip off of “Root Down (and Get It)” by the Beastie Boys, who really just lifted the whole song to craft their “Root Down” off of Ill Communication. That’s for another time though, (and for the record I’m a huge Beastie Boys fan and supporter, not a basher). The original song I’m speaking of is “Let Me Be Your Lover” by Jimmie “Bo” Horne in 1978 on Sunshine Sound Records.
Jimmie Horace Horne Jr. aka Jimmy “Bo” Horne was born in Miami, FL in 1949. He grew up around music, and like this author was heavily influenced by his Father’s record collection, and also by his Mother’s Gospel singing. He received his nickname “Bo”, because he was bowel legged, and kept the nickname to let people know what Jimmie he was. He took to singing early on, and won a scholarship for voice at Bethune Cookman College in Daytona, FL. He was another Florida artist that was affiliated with Henry Stone of Alston and TK records fame. Originally signing to Dig he 1967 and released “I Can’t Speak”, as well as “If You Want My Love”, and “Street Corners”. After signing with Alston in 1972 ( produced by Clarence Reid and Willie Clarke), he released the answer to Betty Wright’s “Clean Up Woman”, the aptly titled “Clean Up Man”, written by Reid, Clarke, and Little Beaver. He renegotiated his contract shortly after and then was moved to affiliate TK and Harry Wayne Casey (KC of the Sunshine band). This move would prove to be the right one for him. Horne would capitalize on the latest Disco craze ( and of course TK was the place to be for that ). His first single “Dance Across the Floor” was well received, and is his best known single to date. As a matter of fact, it was a cross over hit for Horne into the white radio markets. Not many white radio stations knew of his early records, and thought that this record was his first record out. He then put out “Gimme Some” (which was my first taste of the genius of this artist) on the brown and white Alston label, a catchy tune with a great hook. It didn’t really chart, but I definitely dig it. His later singles “Spank”, “You Got Me Hot”, and “Is It In” weren’t received too well, and at first glance they really look like 70’s porn titles starring John Holmes rather than song titles. They were they swinging 70’s though. Disco was in, but not always number one in his heart. “I was unhappy about the fact that my records made me seem like a mediocre singer”, says Jimmy. “It didn’t satisfy the passion of my heart, but I was happy that it took care of my family.” He was first and foremost a Soul singer in his mind, and that opportunities to express himself in that genre during the Disco’s hey day weren’t there. He toured throughout the 80’s and has remained pretty low key despite his reworking of his hits sometimes in the early 90’s. He does better in Europe rather than the States (isn’t it always the case…hello Daptone Record label and a myriad of other artists), and is still involved in music today.
“Let Me Be Your Lover” is best known for being sampled by the Stereo MC’s on their hit “Connected”. As a matter of fact, I still sneak that tune in during sets. I will play the original too, because really, it’s a decent record. It’s an upbeat little side with a great bass line and horns. Horne croons his heart out (probably in polyester pants), but you’ll soon be doing the Bump to this as you sit in your computer chair. The record isn’t too hard to come by, and if you see it in the field, I’d recommend picking it up. DJ Prime was the first of my digging friends to get a copy of it, and I found one not too long after him. Henry Stone knew how to churn out artists and hits, and Florida Funk, Soul, and Disco was and still is a force to be reckoned with. Keep Diggin’!
Go here to check out the video for “Let Me Be Your Lover”.
Check out the Stero MCs “Connected” video for the finished sampled product.