13 October 2007

Nellie Rutherford - a Northern Soul Hickory label mystery

All I know of this Nellie Rutherford, is that she recorded 2 45-records in 1962. Very interesting records too, for these are covers of Boudleaux/ Bryant, John Loudermilk and Roy Orbison/ Joe Melson penned songs.

After these 2 recordings, she seems to have quit recording.

I haven't got one tiny piece of information about the person Nellie Rutherford. Please help...

Nellie's recordings are catalogued as Northern Soul and Doo-Wop.

"Laughing At Me", can be described as a R&B stomper, with a touch of Harlem Shuffle.

Her cover of "Turn Me On" is an important one. She took the song that was released by Mark Dinning one year earlier. Mark's version treated the song as a crooner's ballad, which did not work. Nellie changed it into a soulful version. Nellie sounds like a black singer, but -recording for Hickory- I would not be surprised if she turns out to be white.
The version by Nellie must have been the inspiration for Nina Simone to record the song in 1966, what eventually led to the mega hit cover of Norah Jones (in 2000). So in a way, Nellie is Norah's grandma.

Listen to a sample of Turn Me On.


Hickory 45-1172 (May 1962): Turn Me On (Loudermilk) b/w Laughing At Me (Boudleaux/ Bryant)

Hickory 45-1182 (Sept. 1962): Lavender Lace (Orbison/ Melson) b/w Looking At The Ceiling