go to real audio sample
Taking care of business / Yesterday's kisses - Douglas 104 * 1960
Info on Betty's first 45 supplied by John Ridley
Cry to me / I'll be a liar - Jubilee 5456 * 1963
His kiss / It's dark outside - Jubilee 5465 * 1963
Mo Jo Hannah / Now is the hour - Jubilee - 5480 * 1964
I'm evil tonight / What a sad feeling - Sansu 450 * 1965
Sometime / I don't want to hear it - Sansu 452 * 1966
Twelve red roses / Show it - Sansu 455* 1966
Bad luck / Lonely hearts - Sansu 461 * 1967
Nearer to you / I'm evil tonight - Sansu 466 * 1967
Can't last much longer / I'm gonna get you - Sansu 471 * 1967
Love lots of lovin' / Take care of our love - Sansu 474 * 1967
Duet with Lee Dorsey; Wasn't this also released on Amy?
Mean man / What'd I do wrong - Sansu 478 * 1968
Hook line n' sinker / Show it - Sansu 479 * 1968
Ride your pony / Trouble with my lover - Sansu 480 * 1968
There's a break in the road / All I want is you - SSS Int'l 766 * 1969
Many many thanks for Mike Gray from Australia for supplying Betty's 45's list.
The Guinness Who's and Who of Soul Music lists an eponymously titled LP on Jubilee, which I have never seen. Has anyone?
Soul Perfection - Action ACLP 6007 (UK) * 1969
comprises of all 16 tracks released on the Sansu 45's, excluding the duet with Lee Dorsey.
In The Saddle - Charly LP CRB 1002 (UK) * 1980
Also a 16 tracker, consists mostly of the Sansu sides, excluding Bad luck, I don't wanna hear it, Sometime, Lonely hearts , Hook line n sinker, and including instead: Take care of our love (one side of the Sansu duet with Lee Dorsey), Cry to me / I'll be a liar (Both sides of her first Jubilee hit), and There's a break in the road / All I want is you (both sides of the 1969 SSS Int'l single).
However, in the Charly compilation, "All I want is you" is actually NOT the Betty Harris track by that name - but a different track, also written by A. Toussaint, sung by Zilla Mayes - as pointed out by Pete Nickols on Vintage Soul.
And be warned - the technical quality of this Charly release is very low.
Both sides of the duet with Lee Dorsey appear in Bell's Cellar of Soul volume 2 (MBLL 107) a 1968 UK compilation, (kindly given to me by Dublin soul entrepreneur Joe Moran this last July).
Betty Harris has always been in vogue with 60's soul connoisseurs, but autumn '98 must be the time for her long overdue recognition. The introduction of this Betty Harris page coincides with the release of Soul Perfection Plus, a complete collection of Betty Harris recordings both on Jubilee and on Sansu, On Westside WESA 807, reviewed soon on this site on the reviews page. You can also read a detailed review of it and a detailed discography as compiled by Rob Hughes, including writing and production credits and recording locations and dates, on the Autumn 1998 issue of Vintage Soul (see fanzine section for its address).
The Westside CD includes every track on the above discography except for the first Douglas 45, plus two unreleased tracks from the Jubilee period: Everybody's love and Why don't you tell him.
Betty Harris is one of soul music's most talented yet underrated singers. Almost every track she recorded in her not too prolific career was a masterpiece. It may have helped that she had been produced by two of Soul Music's legendary producers: first Bert Berns, who was involved in her Jubilee sessions, and then Allen Toussaint, who procuced all of her Sansu material.
Ms. Harris was born in 1941 in Orlando, Florida, and her professional singing debut was as part of Big Maybelle's show in the early 60's. This resulted in the recording contract with Jubilee, which produced a rather big hit on her first release, Cry to me. A version of a recent hit by Solomon Burke, Bert Berns's arrangement for Betty slowed down the pace and changed the more poppish original into a deep soul gem. Cry to me was soon covered by the Rolling Stones, whose version of the song, included on their album Out of Our Heads, definitely echoes Betty Harris's version, not Solomon Burke's.
The Jubilee follow up, His kiss, managed to reach the Billboard Hot 100 too, but was rather less successful commercially though almost as brilliant artistically. Betty had to wait more than three years for her next chart hit, Nearer to you, another wonderful ballad, and sadly the only one of the Allen Toussaint produced tracks on Sansu to hit the charts. Her last showing on the Billboard R&B charts was a re-release of Cry to me on Jubilee - it speaks volumes for the originality of that track, that it could enter the charts again in 1969.
Betty Harris returned to the music business in 2004, has recorded a new album - Intuition, in 2007, and has appeared in the Porretta soul festival that year.
Cry to me stream it or download it
I'll be a liar stream it or download it
His kiss stream it or download it
I'm evil tonight stream it or download it
Nearer to you stream it or download it
Can't last much longer stream it or download it
Love lots of lovin' stream it or download it
What'd I do wrong stream it or download it
Show it stream it or download it
Twelve red roses stream it or download it