Margo and the Marvettes: When Love Slips Away (1967)

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Margo and the Marvettes: When Love Slips Away (1967)

This great soulful song was cowritten by Jerry Ross (with Scott English and Victor Milrose) and had been a modest chart success in the US for Dee Dee Warwick, Dionne's younger sister.

It was such a potential hit that other American artists also did it (to lesser success) but this version has an interesting back and forward story.

When John Schroeder, an A&R man/producer at Pye in Britain, heard it he recognised its possibilties and presented it to Margo Burns and her five-piece group the Marvettes out of Northern Ireland.

vanMargo -- who approaches Dusty Springfield on it -- had a powerful range and the arrangement here is classic soulful r'n'b. The band name however seemed five years too late in the era and it wasn't as successful as it deserved to be.

They'd preciously worked around Northern Ireland then in the early Sixties relocated to London (Margo had married the band's guitarist Trevor Burns by this time) and then began a series of unsuccessful Margo recordings under various names and for a roster of labels: as Sherry Cantrell,  as Sherri Weine for Shel Talmy, then Liza Dulittle, Maggie Brown . . .

When the band broke up in '72 she and Trevor became Take Two.

By one account she continued to have a busy live career (two albums under her own name) and if chart fame eluded her she is still out there performing, annually on Mallorca since '87 and -- against the odds -- she and the Marvettes performed as recently as late last year according to this website.

A voice as good as Margo's deserved better than being a footnote so we salute her.

This song is lifted from the album Some Kinda Magic; The Songs of Jerry Ross from which we previously took tracks by Chubby Checker (not in Twist mode) and April Young.

When we posted the Young song we mentioned Ross was something of a one-man Spector-like character whose Ross Associates, launched in '60, was a songwriting factory, training ground and booking agency.

71vnklyBxPL._SL1208_He wrote and/or produced for some big names at the time, among them Bobby Hebb, Jerry Butler, Reparata and the Delrons, Dusty Springfield and Les McCann among them.

Songs by these artists and others are collected on Some Kinda Magic (Ace, through Border in New Zealand), but unfortunately it seems none of them enjoyed hits with Jerry.

Hebb's career was in decline after his huge hit Sunny when Ross got him, so too Chubby (who he pushed towards soul) . . . and so it went.

Interestingly Ross – who worked a lot with Kenny Gamble of Gamble-Huff fame – co-wrote Daylight Savin' Time with Mort Shuman, the song which became a hit in New Zealand for Sandy Edmonds . . . and it is also included on the 24-song collection.

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

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