Al Wilson

Help Me / Help Me (instrumental)

Wand : WND 1135 DJ

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  • Artist: Al Wilson
  • A Side: Help Me
  • B Side: Help Me (instrumental)
  • Label: Wand
  • Format: 45s



  • Vinyl Condition: M-
  • Label Condition: M-
  • Sleeve Condition: M-

Key: View



This New York born 45, a Northern Soul anthem has NOT been a lifelong tourist to Britain's Soul resorts of Blackpool, Wigan, Wolverampton or Cleethorpes; this copy is a recent acquisitions from an archive source consequently plays just beautifully.

Although this tune has been heralded as a Northern Soul classic for well over 4 decades, enjoying a place in the first UK record company rush to cash in on the Northern Soul phenomenon; when in 1973 after strong plays at The Blackpool Mecca, The Torch & The Catacombs etc. Pye released an LP and a "Disco Demand" series to meet the rising demand from the growing Northern Soul congregation. this 45 being the 6th in a series of 17 "Disco Demands" Before Pye left the wealth of USA catalog behind and tainted the Pye Disco Demand project with inferior UK recordings..

Here today stands, one of the greatest releases within that Pye Disco Demand run and by far the rarest of it's original 1966 pressing. I was not in the least surprised when our data-bank revealed this is our first copy on the auction for quite some time. Two reasons for that is, the 45's itself is genuinely elusive, due to the woefully under-promoted Wand release. Secondly it is not a record any serious Northern Soul collector would ever want to part with.

When Al Wilson performed at Cleethorpes Weekender, the story goes an admiring Northern Soul fan seeking out Al Wilson for his autograph was asked by Al "which was his favourite record by him" without hesitation he replied "Help Me"..... "the instrumental version" - oops! he thought afterwards, that was not the best response...

Luckily for him, he was talking to Al Wilson of "The Snake" "Show And Tell" fame, who was NOT the same Al Wilson who recorded this monster, so no harm was done.. Mr. Wilson must have chuckled at such an odd reply.

To this day we have no exact idea who "this" Al Wilson really was, but "J. R. Bailey" seems to be the knowledgeable consensus as being the singer Also it's baffling why this spectacular Robert Banks, Johnny Northern & (J.R.) Ralph Bailey collaboration received so little "Help" from the Wand promotional machine.

But what it did leave us with, was a rarity, considered and received by all, as one of the All-Time Northern Soul Greats!

If you'd like to learn more about New York's major music force Scepter / Wand Records there is an informative book out by Wand expert Steve Guarnori.. it's a "must read" ... just like Al Wilson Wand 1135 DJ is a must own for anyone serious about collecting Northern Soul anthems!

Condition Report

Two clean promo labels, full gloss gorgeous mint minus vinyl, absolutely no hint of ever being a Northern Soul DJ's companion. The foinest copy we have seen or heard in memory. Listen to the crisp, clear double soundfile lifted directly off this seldom played near perfect mint minus disc. still housed in birth-sleeve.

A Side

  • Title: Help Me

    B Side

  • Title: Help Me (instrumental)
  • Year: September 1966
  • City: New York, N.Y.