There have been multiple times in my life that songs strike me like a punch out of nowhere. More often than not though for me, It was a song that debuted 45 or 50 years ago. It’s been a lifelong phenomenon that continues to delight me well into adulthood.
Today I relate how I came to love Jackie Ross’s “Selfish One” (Chess 1903. R&B#4 Pop#11, 1964). Once upon a time there was *another* Miss Ross out to seek the “Queen of Pop-Soul* title by seizing the place in the record market occupied recently by Mary Wells. Her delightfully fluffy fantasy debut at Chess records will always hold a dear place in my heart.
About halfway through my 6th grade year I had switched from listening to KBLX to KFRC, the local oldies radio. Most likely I was getting in touch with the child that purchased Diana Ross & The Supremes Greatest Hits Volume II… with his first allowance. Otherwise I kinda came out to your parents at 5.
Not long after I found KDIA on the AM dial. The Big 1310! Which, actually in the 1960s was *the* Top 40 R&B station in the bay area. I used to tape songs out of my financial reach as a broke teen off of the radio. I’m pretty sure I have a memorex tape that still has Darrell Banks “Open the Door To Your Heart” somewhere at my dad’s house 20 years later.
It was one of those July evenings over summer after my freshman year of high school and my dad and me were driving back from Redwood City on El Camino. I remember it was a full moon, and this was the last summer I’d have to suffer in the same a/c-less, vinyl interior’d Cutlass I’d had grown up in…
That Cutlass also had a Delco radio that had AM Stereo. So it was a weird combination of Left and Right Channels and AM Radio warmth pop and hiss… when that vaguely lifted from “Hello, Young Lovers” intro hit.
My hand instantly went for the volume dial and turned it all the way up.. full strings, late 1950s stroll Piano, handclaps, … geographically a record that sounds like, if it was born in South Bend, Indiana… enough Motown, Chicago Soul and Country Pop elements to denote it as “Midwestern Soul” if there was such a thing.
I can still listen to this song some 2 decades later and go “Ooh that’s my (one on 1,105) Jams!!!!”
It’s also a warning to me at 32 years old not to be as uptight about love and affection… no one can win your heart when it’s “tucked up on a shelf”
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do….