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Billy Prince | Live at the Mojo Workin'

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United States - California

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Urban/R&B: Deep Soul Urban/R&B: Soul Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Live at the Mojo Workin'

by Billy Prince

R&B/Soul Vinyl LP
Genre: Urban/R&B: Deep Soul
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Intro / Why Girl (Live)
2:49 $0.99
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2. Sugar Ain't Sweet (Live)
3:09 $0.99
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3. A Place (Live)
3:19 $0.99
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4. What I Want (Live)
4:22 $0.99
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5. You're the Best (That Ever Did It) [Live]
3:23 $0.99
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6. Soon Be Gone (Live)
2:49 $0.99
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7. Don't Double with Yesterday*aka Don't Double with Trouble (Live)
2:23 $0.99
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8. Never Let Her Go (Live)
3:09 $0.99
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9. Such Misery (Live)
4:14 $0.99
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10. If This Is Love (I'd Rather Be Lonely) [Live]
6:03 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
William Thurston Prince aka Billy Prince was born in Detroit on January 11, 1948. Growing up Billy watched his father, Isaac Prince play the piano/organ every Sunday in church which inspired him to sing in the Choir at Faith Temple. As his father owned ‘Prince and Adams Record Mart’ on 12th Street (Detroit), Billy would go there on a regular basis to listen to records featuring all the great singers of the 1950’s and early 60’s. He attended Chadsey High School on the west side on the city and here he met Dennis Gilmore and Spyder Turner (who were singing at that time in a group called the Nonchalants). When Paul Merrit quit the Precisions, Dennis suggested that Billy (who by then was attending college at Port Huron, Michigan) should be his replacement. With Billy in place, the new line-up rehearsed and then recommenced live performances. After one of these, they were signed by Sidra Records.

“Such Misery” was cut (with Billy singing lead) and released in 1967 on the Drew label. The 45 didn’t break out of Detroit, however the follow up, “Why Girl / What I Want”, did (this again featured Billy on lead vocals with the Funk Brothers providing the musical accompaniment). “Why Girl” made the local top 10 before breaking into the national soul charts in May, where it stayed for 7 weeks rising to reach # 28. The original promotional copy of this 45 had featured “What I Want” coupled with “Sugar Ain’t Sweet”, however copies of this 45 were withdrawn and destroyed due to a pressing fault. Luckily a few copies escaped being pulped as “Sugar Ain’t Sweet” went on to become one of their most popular cuts in the UK. The group’s next outing, “If This Is Love (I’d Rather Be Lonely)”, was to become their biggest hit. The writers Micky Valvano, Martin Coleman & Charles Bassoline cut the backing track for the song at Magic City studio before any artist was selected to add their vocals. The trio offered the track to the Precisions and the group quickly accepted, Billy taking lead.

When the single was released (in September 1967), it shot straight up the local charts before making the national soul chart at the end of the month. Here it rose to reach # 26 before crossing over into the top 100 pop chart. The success of "If This Is Love…" resulted in it also being released in the UK (on the Track label) and in Canada (on the Stone label), the group even undertaking a gig in Toronto, Canada. The group’s 5th member, Ron, was soon dropped from their live shows as he couldn’t learn their stage routines and he quit soon after. With Ron gone, Raymond Davis of the Parliaments (& Del-Larks) took his place on one recording session. Robert Lowe was their musical director / guitarist and following this hit, they had their own 6 piece backing band for a time. They toured extensively on the back of “If This Is Love.”, playing the Apollo in New York twice and touring on a bill topped by Jerry Butler.

Their high profile brought them to the attention of Phil Walden, Otis Redding’s manager. He signed them to a deal with his booking agency / RedWal Production Company and arranged for them to meet Otis Redding. This meeting took place in Cleveland on December 10th, 1967.and its purpose was to sort out the details of a tour on which the Precisions would support Otis. But straight from the meeting, Otis boarded the plane on the fateful journey which ended in his death when it crashed into Lake Monona, Madison, Wisconsin. This tragic event put paid to plans for the Precisions to tour with Otis, however they did get to play gigs with a number of Stax / Volt & Atco artists. Further 45’s followed on Drew, the self written “Instant Heartbreak” being released early in 1968 and next up came “A Place” cut with the Brothers of Soul (Bridges / Knight / Eaton). This became their last national chart entry in June 68, reaching # 50. Later In 1968 (after a couple of major labels showed interest in signing them) they took a deal offered by Atco Records. Their initial outing on the label, “Into My Life / Don’t Double With Trouble” being issued in January 1969.

For their next recording session, Jerry Williams (Swamp Dogg) was in charge and he opted to cut the group at Hit Factory studios in New York. The teaming quickly gelled and recorded "You're The Best (That Ever Did It)” which had been written specially for them. "New York City" was selected to form the A side of their next single, which when issued in April 1969, proved to be their last release. The group still toured but split later that year after a disagreement. They returned to Detroit but shortly afterwards, Michael, Dennis & Billy all quit the music business (by coincidence they all relocated to California). As the guys lived quite close to each other, it enabled Billy & Dennis to link up again when approached to get back together to perform (along with Richie Pitts) at Prestatyn. More recently, Billy Prince returned to singing live on a regular basis after he joined Soul Diego, for whom he is the featured lead vocalist.
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