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Sammi Lynn - Down On Your Knees - Sue

  Jack Nitzsche at Spectropop presents

      Prod. by Ron Barrett

      Arr. & Cond. Jack Nitzsche

                                      (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) Part 4 (Part 5)

Sammi Lynn 78 rpm discovered
Jack Nitzsche never saw this! By Angelo Alexander

Once about 5 years ago when I was again gazing at one of The Beatles 78 rpm images, a musical revelation hit me with full force, a theory: if The Beatles had 78s during this period in the Philippines and India, would there not be other "late 78s" by important, chart-making rock and roll/soul artists during The Fab Four's hit making era?
One of the reasons the 78 rpm format took longer to be discontinued in the Philippines, India, Brazil and Africa, had to do with economics: record players with the new 45 rpm capability had not yet cracked these markets in the early 60's. In the case of India, for example, there was an additional problem in that many regions did not have electricity. This population had to rely upon old wind-up record players, which only played at 78 rpm.
Unbeknown to the American record buying public, but known by music loving Filipinos and members of the American Armed Forces stationed in Asia at the time, the Philippines did not stop pressing 78s until the mid-60's, while the U.S. had already stopped the 78 format from 1958-60. The Asian market was hungry for American music, with record labels like Dyna Products eager to make distribution deals with American record labels.
Asian distributors like Dyna Products even took painstaking measures to replicate the actual American record label logo the original song was taken from, if the logo copy was available. This one detail alone makes the Asian "late 78" highly collectible, along with the fact that there was never a U.S. 78 rpm pressing of the same record.
One of these deals was with Liberty Records in Hollywood, under this agreement, Dyna Products would distribute many of the Liberty and Liberty-distributed singles (including Double-L, Dolton, Imperial labels) on the Liberty label, simultaneously on 2 formats, 45rpm and 78rpm. Motown, Reprise, M-G-M, Colpix, Cameo-Parkway, and other American major/indie labels subsequently had 78 rpm issues in the Philippines during this period.
Although not yet acquired by Liberty Records and its later parent, United Artists Records (now EMI), Sue Records also made an early 60's distribution deal for their American releases with Dyna Products. (Note: This is not to be confused with a simultaneous distribution deal Sue had made in the U.K; under that agreement, many non-Sue, non-U.S. recordings were released in England under the Sue label, including those by then R & B superstar James Brown, himself exclusively on the U.S. King Records labels, including Federal and Bethlehem).
There are only 4 known Sue 78 rpm-Dyna Products pressings; the latest one just discovered in the Philippines is by the lovely Miss Sammi Lynn, her coupling of "You Should Know I'm Still Your Baby/Blue Butterfly" with label matrix Number Sue-104 (752). (The 752 number is the actual U.S. release number) (See 78 rpm image attached)

Sammi Lynn - Sue Records 78rpm

This Sammi Lynn coupling was originally released in the U.S. on the 45 rpm format only on Staccato Records #101 and later re-released on Sue Records #752, again on the 45 rpm format. Though much loving wear is found in the grooves of this 78, Sammi Lynn's pop performance is found sparkling, refreshing and natural, a far cry from Sammi's then rough and tough, R & B labelmates, including Ike & Tina Turner, Bobby Hendricks, Jimmy McGriff, The Duals, and others. "Blue Butterfly," for example, begs stellar comparison to "Tammy" by Debbie Reynolds, in that Sammi's "Butterfly" was more like a movie-themed song. Had "Butterfly" been presented in this fashion, who knows, the country could have discovered a new pop vocal sensation, with her acting abilities explored and exploited a la TV/motion picture stars and singers Reynolds, Julie London, Shelley Fabares, etc.
The exquisite musical arrangement for this 78 is from none other than music legend, the late Jack Nitzsche, who himself never saw this pressing on Sammi Lynn aka Gracia, who happened to be married to Nitzsche. While it is reported that Nitzsche tried to make her more soulful in her sound, even the great Nitzsche should have known and accepted Sammi Lynn for what she was---a potential pop superstar.

Angelo Alexander
© 2006 Angelo Alexander

"Angelo Alexander Sings Bessie Smith" (Trip Jazz/Andromeda International Records" (TRI-100)
Andromeda International Records and Films

Mark Matlock forwarded this article and label scans from Andromeda International Records, Angelo Alexander. An interesting piece on 78rpm releases and relevant due to those fab label scans. This was not the only Jack Nitzsche arrangement released on 78rpm. Terry Day's "I Waited Too Long"/"That's All I Want" also came out in the Philippines on Columbia. Two poor quality label scans can be found on the Terry Melcher pages.
The full story of Gracia/Sammi and Jack Nitzsche's Sue/Staccato release can be found Part One and Part Two of Prod. by Ron Barrett. arr by Jack Nitzsche. Do checkout Marty Cooper's comments about Gracia and her singing in full.

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