Wendy Rene: After Laughter Comes Tears (Light in the Attic)

 |   |  1 min read

Wendy Rene: He Hasn't Failed Me Yet (previously unreleased)
Wendy Rene: After Laughter Comes Tears (Light in the Attic)

The career of raw-edged pop-soul singer Wendy Rene is remarkably brief as the subtitle of this 22 song collection attests: it is The Complete Stax and Volt Singles and Rarities 1964 -65.

By '67 she had quit music to concentrate on raising her children, doubtless prompted when she declined to fly with Otis Redding and his band on what was their final flight. It was also to be her final scheduled concert appearance as well, but theirs was the more permanent.

Redding had given the young Mary Frierson her stage name Wendy Rene and had been a keen supporter, and during her a short career on Stax (in the Drapels and as a solo act) she had the likes of Booker T, Steve Cropper and other luminaries on her sessions.

Rene was also a songwriter (under her married name Mary Cross) and she could deliver a line of heart aching soul, notably on her single After Laughter Comes Tears which Wu-Tang sampled and adapted, and Alicia Keys remade as Where Do We Go From Here.

But she could also knock out party-time soul-pop which connected to the Northern Soul scene (the boiling opener here is Bar-B-Q), and soul with a classic chorus (What Will Tomorrow Bring).

The number of fine, unreleased songs here -- four and they are all worthy -- alongside singles and b-sides shows, how prolific she was in such a short period.

Rene retired shortly after these sides and in recent years she made something of a comeback but hasn't been happy with her performances. She doesn't have those great players of the old days so . . .

But here are 22 pieces of evidence why she shouldn't be forgotten.

Like the sound of this? Then you need to hear this exceptional collection.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Bear Cat: Presents Xiong Mao (Bear Cat)

Bear Cat: Presents Xiong Mao (Bear Cat)

Blenheim-raised Jocee Tuck -- one half of this duo with Dan Trevarthen -- recently won Auckland University’s inaugural School of Music singer-songwriter award. Against tough competition -- a... > Read more

John White: The Inkadies (Monkey)

John White: The Inkadies (Monkey)

This album could slip past as easily unnoticed as White's recent New Zealand tour, it whispers rather than shouts, is mostly dreamy rather than grounded. Formerly out front of Dunedin's Mestar,... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

KURT ELLING INTERVIEWED (2004): Moved by the spirit

KURT ELLING INTERVIEWED (2004): Moved by the spirit

There's a strange notion of what passes for singing these days. Blame Whitney Houston if you will, but watch any Idol show and singing seems to have been replaced by a kind of vocal calisthenics... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; 101 Rock Hits

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; 101 Rock Hits

Okay, it's got the unforgivable Cranberries on it -- those awful shits, see here, with that ridiculous Zombie, of course -- and quite a few other songs you probably hoped you'd never hear... > Read more