Over the years collecting records, I have found that I have a sweet spot for some of the female vocal Soul groups. I’ve dug up records by Our Ladies of Soul, The Witches and the Warlock, and other similar women vocal bands. I’m still looking for that elusive Jewels record, so if anyone has a line on “Opportunity” on the Dimension label, please let me know. This next group fits the bill exactly. Put out on the Mayfield label and distributed by Calla, the Fascinations were a true all girl Soul group. They were produced by Curtis Mayfield, and while they cracked the music charts over here in America a little bit, they would go on to have a larger fan base in the UK, where this next side was so popular it was reissued there. Let’s get into “Girls Are Out To Get You”.
The start of the Fascinations began from a group called the Sabre-ettes. Two members of said band, Martha Reeves and Shirley Walker were on the hunt for new members. They would audition Joanne and Bernadine Boswell (both Gospel singers), and Fern Bledsoe. It was here the Fascinations would be born. Unfortunately for the Fascinations (but fortunately for the music world), Martha Reeves would leave the band in 1960 to go on to greatness in her own way. Down a member, this now quartet of Soul dynamite would befriend (lucky for them) a few members of the Impressions. They would in turn introduce the band to Curtis Mayfield, who would take them and make them blossom under his wing. They signed to ABC-Paramount and released a few sides that did not raise any eyebrows. They released the side “Mama Didn’t Lie”, in 1962, unfortunately credited to Jan Bradley. They were pushed to the wayside and dropped by ABC Paramount, but would continue on through the perseverence of Mayfield. On the strength of the Windy C label success, the Fascinations were put out on the self titled label, Mayfield. Their first record, “Say It Isn’t So”, would fare pretty well, but it was this record in 1967 that would really give them success, (Number 13 on the charts) not so much here in America, but in the UK. Released on EMI Stateside, it would really propel the girls to stardom across the pond. They immediately released “I’m In Love”, which did pretty well once again, but it would be their last bit the 15 minutes Mayfield had created. A last try in 1968 would not raise any eyebrows, and would lead to the retirement of the group all together. This single, however, would become a staple at Soul clubs in the UK, and would be reissued several more times.
The song itself, is some Sweet Soul here people. A Curtis Mayfield connection is quite obvious, and this all girl quartet handles what one of the greatest Soul singers of all time throws at them well. It may be a playful type of message, but come on fellas, at least they are warning you ahead of time of what you’re in store for. I don’t know about you, but an all woman sweet Soul side gets me every time. Curtis took this band personal, and pushed through all the tape and made it work, although it took a little longer than usual. Good things come to those who wait it’s been said, or even hard work pays off. I believe this is a case of both. It’s believing in the music, and eventually it will be a success, even if it isn’t in your own country. I’ll be back again (hopefully not getting rained out) this weekend with a report from the crates. Keep Diggin’!!