Song:Free The Soul Man
Album:Super Funk Is Back: Rare And Classic Funk 1968-1977
When you listen to this obscure 1968 single Free The Soul Man, you're going to think that it's a lost James Brown single. There's no question this sounds like Brown. From what I can tell, this single appears to be a deliberate attempt to sound like Brown in an attempt to keep a failing record company afloat. It was the only song recorded by La May & Company. You can only get it on this various artists CD that is part of a series of obscure funk from the Ace Records subsidiary BGP Records. The man behind this single is S.P.Q.R. Records owner Frank Guida. He had success in the early 60s with Gary US Bonds and Jimmy Soul. But by the late 60s, he hadn't had a hit for a while and things weren't going so well. Lenis Guess had recorded a couple of singles for Guida but he also owned a recording studio in New York City and he scouted talent for Guida. Free The Soul Man was written by Columbus Spelling. I don't know if he is the singer. But I do know that this was Spelling's only credit and he has a ministry in Florida. The single was recorded at Guess' studio and he had already produced other artists for Guida. Of course the single was unsuccessful. Today it's interesting because it's a James Brown soundalike. Guida continued to struggle and eventually closed S.P.Q.R. He died in 2007. Lenis Guess is still around. He has released a couple of gospel CDs and he has even produced a couple of religious films and gospel plays. So I guess he makes a living but he's not someone most music fans would have heard of. Here's a video for Free The Soul Man by La May & Company.