Mike Williams

Williams only had just the three 45s out in the mid 60s but at least two of them are amongst the best that Atlantic released in this period.

ListenLove Have Mercy is a classic piece of New York deep soul. A sweet horn section leads the way with a triplet piano for Mike to sing out his tale of woe. His tone is gentle with the occasional gritty phrase but the effect is so powerful you’ll be singing the hookline all day. A lovely arrangement from veteran Jesse Herring. Simply superb.

ListenLonely Soldier cut from a year later is almost as good. Backed by an easy beat and some sensitive Latin percussion, Williams pours out another sad tale. This is yet another excellent song from the soul of Vietnam genre – somebody really must catalogue these. Those of an adventurous disposition should certainly look out for the Cool Ruler Gregory Isaacs’ brilliant reggae version of “Lonely Soldier” from the early 70s.

By the time he cut a 45 for King the following year Williams must have had something to do with the Godfather of Soul judging by the production credits, but he still remains an obscure figure. Sadly neither of the Kind sides recorded with JB’s road band of the time aren’t in the same league. “Something That You Didn’t Done” is a lively uptempo soul tune, and the flip “You Don’t Want Me Around” is a similarly paced dancer.

We could have done with a lot more 45s from Mr Williams.


ListenLove have mercy / Draw with me ~ ATLANTIC 2307 (1965)
ListenLonely soldier / If this isn’t love ~ ATLANTIC 2339 (1966)
Something you didn’t done / You Don’t want me around ~ KING 6067 (1966)


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