Considered the most collectible Northern Soul record in the world, only three copies of this song on the original Soul 35019 pressing are known to exist! But if you want to cash in on this, you have to find an original -- not a reissue. Good luck!
In the 1970's, Tom Dieperro, a music historian at Motown, was asked to research this record and received an original that had never been played. He met with a record producer and legendary Northern Soul dealer named Simon Soussan and gave him a pile of records to review, including this one. Simon recognized the potential of this record and began sending acetate copies to the UK clubs, changing the artist's name to Eddie Foster. This was a common practice for Simon when passing on yet-unknown Northern Soul discs. In this way, he could control any search for the original records.
It was a huge hit for the Northern Soul crowd, which raised curiosity about the artist's real name. They finally learned the truth in 1978 when Simon sold his collection to a musician from Weybridge in Surry named Les McCutcheon, who is often referred to as Les Mac. Northern Soul collectors did not place a high value on the record at first, which was standard practice for releases on the Motown label.
Les sold the record to a disc jockey named Jonathan Woodcliffe, who became one of the top collectors in the UK, and a Northern Soul record spinner as well. Jonathan then sold the record to Kev Roberts, who kept it in his collection for more than a decade. Kev, thinking the value of the record had topped out, sold it to Tim Brown, possibly the world's biggest Northern Soul dealer, for £3,000. Then Tim got an offer to buy the record for £15,000 from Kenny Burrell!
This single was scheduled for release by Motown Records just a couple of days before Christmas in 1965. Instead, the flip side, Sweeter As The Days Go By, was recorded by Marvin Gaye but never released. This song, Do I Love You (Deed I Do), was recorded by Chris Clark and issued on VIP 25034 in 1966. What would have been Frank Wilson's vocal debut was quietly stopped, and Frank even convinced Berry Gordy to destroy every copy that had already been pressed for promotional release. Frank Wilson made a nice career as a song writer and record producer. Today, some say he's working with a church somewhere in Northern California.
If you find a copy of the original record, let me know. I might give you a couple of bucks for it ;-)
Here's Do I Love You (Deed I Do) by Frank Wilson on Soul 35019 from 1965:
I've got many boxes full of Northern Soul treasures waiting to be added to the hundreds that you'll already hear on MusicMaster Oldies. Transferring music from vinyl to digital is a time-consuming process, but I consider it a labor of love (or, as they'd say in the UK, a labour of love).
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