Personnel: Travis Wammack (guitar); Stacy Goss, Mike Stough, Harrison Calloway, Charles Rose, Harvey Thompson, Ronnie Eades (horns); Clayton Ivey, Paul Hornsby (organ); Jimmy Evans, Johnny Sandlin (drums); Ella Brown, Jackie Avery (background vocals).
Recording information: Broadway Sound, Muscle Shaols, AL.
Maverick songwriter, producer, and singer Jerry "Swamp Dogg" Williams is one of the pure characters in the story of American pop and soul. Aside from writing hundreds of songs and putting out albums on his own, Williams has also produced an astounding range of artists that run the gamut from Gene Pitney to Kid Rock. He has always shown a special affinity for female R&B singers, though, and through his Swamp Dogg Presents imprint, which he founded way back in 1972, he has released several LPs by singers like Ruby Andrews and Gloria Lynne and the two artists collected here, Ruth Brown and Sandra Phillips, whose Swamp Dogg Presents material is collected here in its entirety. Brown, of course, had a long career outside of the Swamp Dogg camp, and her tracks here are all drawn from the 1976 LP she did with Williams. Originally called Sugar Babe, these ten cuts have been reissued countless times under different titles, including Brown, Black & Beautiful, Brown Sugar and What Color Is the Blues, and are hardly rarities. The Phillips material comes from her sole album, Too Many People in One Bed, which was originally released in 1970 by Canyon Records. Williams' hand is all over both albums, writing all the songs and giving both releases his patented crisp, clear production style. Highlights include Brown's sleek and beautiful "I Want to Sleep with You" and Phillips' infectious "Rescue Song" and her wry delivery on "Now That I'm Gone (When Are You Leaving)." ~ Steve Leggett