Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Take a look at this picture and ask yourself: was there ever a prettier man than Luther Ingram? This snap adorns the back of Ingram's 1971 Koko LP I've Been Here All the Time, which, for those more accustomed to the singer's 'slow jam' hits of the 1980s will come as a most pleasant surprise. Though the album does include some slower numbers (which are very good, by the way), the highlight is definitely the closing number Ghetto Train, a chugging dance floor number that tells the story of a working class man's daily commute.
Within a year of cutting this album, Luther Ingram would be on his way to stardom via the number one R and B hit, If Loving You Is Wrong ( I Don't Want to be Right), and the hits kept coming--to lesser and lesser effect--into the late 1980s.
Luther died in 2007 at the age of 69. He probably didn't look as good then as he did here, but this is how I'll always think of him.
Postscript: Apparently Luther was also responsible for the Northern Soul stomper Exus Trek, a track I've loved for years. Somehow I never realized that 'The Luther Ingram Orchestra' was, well, Luther Ingram. More fool me, but it's further proof that there was more to Luther than smouldering ballads.
- ▼ 2009 (5)