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  • Johnson Rozetta - A Woman’s Way: The Complete Rozetta Johnson 1961-1975 (CD)


    Birmingham AL, singer Rozetta Johnson recorded some marvellous examples of southern soul in the 60s and 70s, particularly when collaborating with songwriter Sam Dees, who was also from that city.

    This CD features all her known recordings from those decades; only some much later gospel recordings are absent. Her extremely scarce 1961 single for NRC was a live club recording, but a virtuoso performance of the standard Willow Weep For Me and a John Hayden original Understand My Man demonstrate Rozetta’s considerable talents. Though there was a four-year gap to her next release, she was still with Hayden who took her to Jessica Records with two more of his compositions. It’s Nice To Know was an exceptional ballad that Atlantic then picked up for national release. A further five year hiatus, which included much live work around Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama with Dees, Bill Brandon and Lorraine Johnson (no relation), saw Rozetta signed with the Moonsong/Clintone Birmingham set-up. Her first and second releases, A Woman’s Way and Who You Gonna Love (Your Woman Or Your Wife), were R&B hits, provided and produced by Sam Dees. Her next four discs did not chart but laid down a body of work any soul singer could be proud of. Indeed, a leading British soul journalist included Who You Gonna Love (Your Woman Or Your Wife) on his prestigious Deep Soul Treasures series and waxed lyrically about her vocals.

    Kent discovered the epic I’ve Come Too Far With You (To Turn Back Now) when researching the Clintone recordings in the 90s. Mama Was a Bad Seed, You Better Keep What You Got and For That Man of Mine turned up on a Soulscape CD in 2007. Subsequently they have discovered an alternate vocal and longer version of I’ve Come Too Far With You (To Turn Back Now), alternate vocal and backing vocals to I Can Feel My Love Comin’ Down and an alternate vocal and a different male rap vocal on How Can You Lose Something You Never Had. Mama Was a Bad Seed has added instrumentation and You Better Keep What You Got is longer and in improved audio. Rozetta’s songs are as popular as ever among the cognoscenti and modern soul crowds will be thrilled to hear the new take on the in-demand How Can You Lose Something You Never Had. Finally her complete secular recordings are available on one disc.

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