Apart from the fact that this is a mighty gorgeous track, I absolutely adore the conviction of its delivery. It’s raw, its pained and the hurt cries out from Johnny West’s soulful, desperate vocals with immense tenacity…how could you not love this song!? I also can’t leave out my admiration for the dramatic backing singers either, check out the contrast of West’s howls and their impassioned harmony vocals as the song fades out and tell me this doesn’t stir the soul!
Tears Baby was written by the soul songwriter/producer Mike Hanks, alongside singer/songwriter Buddy Lamp in 1962. Although the credits go to Johnny West as the artist that recorded it, it would seem that Buddy Lamp and Johnny West (also known as Johnny Wess) are one and the same person and that Johnny West was probably Buddy Lamp using a pseudonym. The blues-tinged 45 was released on the American soul label, Soul Records with an equally heart-wrenching duet featured on the B-side entitled It Ain’t Love, both of which are corkers well worthy of a listen! Check out Tears Baby above.
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