Jay D. Martin

By Yourself / Hold On To Your Heart

Tower: 403 DJ

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  • Artist: Jay D. Martin
  • A Side: By Yourself
  • B Side: Hold On To Your Heart
  • Label: Tower
  • Format: 45s



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

Key: View



If like me you absorb yourself in label credits; producers, writers, arrangers the fascinating credits of Thomas, McRee & Thomas you will have noticed countless times adorning more than a few rare Northern Soul originals. The trios output during the 60's was quite staggering. Clifton Thomas, Bob McRee & Eddie Thomas were responsible for countless Northern Soul classics, as their style of song was exactly what we needed from a 60's dance recording.

Upbeat, thumping, persuasive uplifting production decorated with honkin' horns, rattling percussion, well timed instrumentalist breaks. Their connections with producers waiting for their latest creation was countrywide, but they seemed to enjoy a "special" relationship with the esteemed Huey P. Meaux perhaps not the most good-humored man but certainly one hell of a record producer. A master of the Texas sound, also a master of the ways of the record business.

This is a tune that transports me straight back to 1974/75, it was a huge all-nighter classic in those days. But today I ask you to listen more closely to the production of this song. Especially Huey's direction the horns section. Back in the day we were so immersed in the all-nighter atmosphere and the driving need to dance. I feel I missed what is, on reflection a most intricate of horn arrangements to support this unknown singers rich vocal. The horns start is a soft considerate background support, then at the halfway mark get louder, stronger, the piano pumps out the dance rhythms those controlled horns now stabbing the arrangement at every opportunity. The Hammond whirls, the piano is punch-drunk from being slapped so hard; the drummer has tennis-elbow, the trumpeter has a swollen top lip. Only the lucky guy whacking the triangle could have gone for more then the allotted 2:19.

We all swoon over the intricacies of a Motown production, but this Houston, Texas orgy of instruments captures a moment in time when everybody in the studio seamlessly jelled into musical-force of Northern Soul. It's amazing what a great song, expert direction and accomplished musicians can achieve when they are enjoying themselves.

Back in 1975 under the influence, I only heard a muscular vocal and a stomping beat... this classic is so much more than that, take time for a more focused listen.

Another phenomenal session from Huey P. using Bob, Eddie's & Clifton's writing skills.. Top Northern Soul in tip-top condition, giving up so much more than i noticed in my misspent youth...

Condition Report

Find Northern Soul classics in near perfect condition in 2018 is more than challenging.. this copy as near perfection as you're ever likely to see..

A Side

  • Title: By Yourself

    B Side

  • Title: Hold On To Your Heart
  • Year: 1968
  • City: Houston, Texas