Frankie & Johnny

I'll Hold You / (I'm Never Gonna Leave You)

Decca: F.22376 test press


This auction has ended.

Listen Now


  • Artist: Frankie & Johnny
  • A Side: I'll Hold You
  • B Side: (I'm Never Gonna Leave You)
  • Label: Decca
  • Format: 45s



  • Vinyl Condition: E+
  • Label Condition: wol
  • Sleeve Condition: M-

Key: View



The beyond rare April 1966 in-house British Decca test press!

Can we credit Johnny Curtis & Maggie Bell with being the only Glaswegians to record a Northern Soul classic, I think we can because this is more than a classic, it is part of the very fabric of the scene, being hugely popular with the dancefloor and highly sought after collector's and DJ quest; whether it be the USA Hickory release or the April 1966 British Grail?

Glasgow is certainly a far common source of classic Northern Soul but this recording for British Decca, certainly underlines two rasping Celtic vocals of note, cradled by yet another standout Johnny Harris orchestral backdrop. With Johnny Harris later working with Johnny Curtis on an impressive Parlophone release, Harris considered Curtis the perfect sounding-board for Maggie Bell's gravel-coated vocal to rebound off. This is not the first time Johnny Harris has been highlighted on these pages either, just like John Schroeder he was an underestimated talent who produced, arranged and crafted so many great "Brit-Soul" recordings.

Discovered first on it's ultra rare UK Decca release, it stayed a rather exclusive spin for a just a few privileged DJs. Then to surprised British NS pioneers some Hickory 45's started to trickle onto the scene, then Frankie & Johnny went viral and F & J became a monster play, countrywide. With the "impossible" UK Decca press elevated to "Grail" status.

Before you today is not a USA Hickory copy, for which the supply flow from America has long ran dry, but the April 1966 Decca test press, the ultimate format for those of you seeking out the rarest possible attire for the NS anthems.

Look, listen and dream of owning a sight you will maybe never see again.

Condition Report

Two Decca test press label, have small in-house typed stickers, with title, artist and publishers adorning a "Demonstration" label backdrop. (see images). Full gloss vinyl, reveals on the few wispy sleeve storage hairlines when angled in the light. still housed in birth-sleeve.

A Side

  • Title: I'll Hold You

    B Side

  • Title: (I'm Never Gonna Leave You)
  • Year: April 1966
  • City: United Kingdom