71 MB 256+ VBR LAME mp3 Vinyl rip & scans from Arista AB 4153
Since my li'l brother and I got into soul early in life thanks to the K-Tel compilations of the 70s, I was hip to Garnett Mimms for almost 20 years by the I saw this. Before the intertubes there was zilch in the way of accessible press on the post-60s career of perhaps the only guy who could give Sam Cooke and Ray Charles a run for their money when it comes to the title of Mr. Soul Music Originator (thanks to his seminal single Cry Baby). That's why I stopped dead in my tracks as ol' babyface smiled at me, looking like he hadn't aged a day in ten years. Garnett Mimms in the late 70s? With Randy freakin' Muller no less?!? Cornell Dupree on guitar!?! What the hell? It was a no-brainer and once I got home I slapped it on right away and it was late-70s disco soul heaven. It was shortly thereafter I learned our loss was Baby Jeebus' gain as Mimms spurned the secular music industry and returned to the gospel life. However, it seems the singer made a savvy lifestyle choice since he's just released a new album a couple months ago called Is Anybody Out There? and appears to still be going strong at the age of 74!
Best known for his original rendition of "Cry Baby," later a major item in Janis Joplin's repertoire, Garnet Mimms' pleading, gospel-derived intensity made him one of the earliest true soul singers. His legacy remains criminally underappreciated, since for some reason he never scored another hit on the level of "Cry Baby," but his output from the early to mid-'60s -- a blend of uptown sophistication and earthy, impassioned vocals -- has earned comparisons to Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson from hardcore soul aficionados. Mimms was actually born Garrett Mimms in Ashland, WV, on November 26, 1933. He was mostly raised in Philadelphia, and began singing in church as a boy; during his teen years, he performed with several area gospel groups, including the Evening Stars, the Harmonizing Four, and the Norfolk Four, with whom he cut his first record in 1953.
Mimms subsequently served several years in the military, and upon his release, he returned to Philadelphia in 1958 and formed a doo wop quintet called the Gainors, whose ranks included Sam Bell and onetime Evening Star Howard Tate (later an acclaimed solo singer in his own right). The Gainors recorded singles for several labels over the next three years, including Red Top (later picked up by Cameo), Mercury (from 1959-1960), and Tally Ho (1961). Failing to produce a hit, Mimms left the group along with Bell and put together Garnet Mimms & the Enchanters, which were completed by Charles Boyer and Zola Pearnell. Thanks to Dick Clark's American Bandstand program, Philadelphia had become a haven for teen idols, and Mimms took his group to New York in 1963 in search of a more receptive scene. There they met songwriter/producer Bert Berns, who signed them to United Artists and teamed them with another songwriter/producer, Jerry Ragovoy.Mimms quickly struck gold with the proto-soul performance of "Cry Baby," a smash hit that reached the pop Top Five and topped the R&B charts in 1963. The follow-up, a cover of Jerry Butler & the Impressions' "For Your Precious Love," hit the pop Top 40 later that year, as did the flip side, "Baby Don't You Weep."
Mimms and the Enchanters parted ways in 1964; the group to record separately with a new lead vocalist, while Mimms cut solo sides for UA steadily over the next few years. Ragovoy's productions became increasingly polished, mirroring the shift in R&B spearheaded by Motown, yet Mimms' vocals retained all the fire of his gospel training, making for a combination that was fairly unique for the time. Minor hits like "It Was Easier to Hurt Her" and "I'll Take Good Care of You" (the latter Mimms' last Top 40 hit in 1966) didn't perform nearly as well commercially as their quality seemed to indicate.
In 1967, United Artists moved him to their Veep subsidiary, where "My Baby" was another inexplicable flop (it, too, was later covered by Janis Joplin on Pearl).Mimms subsequently followed Ragovoy to Verve, where he recorded four singles to little response; ditto for his brief stint at MGM. Mimms did make one last minor chart appearance in 1977, recording for Arista as Garnet Mimms & the Truckin' Company; the disco-funk single "What It Is" was produced by Brass Construction mastermind Randy Muller. Mimms retired from the music business permanently after becoming a born-again Christian.
with the Enchanters: Cry Baby And 11 Other Hits (United Artists 1963) As Long As I Have You (United Artists 1964) Warm And Soulful (United Artists 1965) I'll Take Good Care Of You (United Artists 1966) Garnet Mimms Live (United Artists 1967) Garnet Mimms Has It All (Arista 1978) Back To My Roots (Garnett Mimms 2005) Is Anybody Out There (Evangeline 2008) You can hear a few of the old Mimms classics at Spread The Good Word but other than that, couldn't find any links to blogs or forums with the full albums. Funk. Soul. Heart. Garnett Mimms has it all and you can too thanks to Soundological if you go HERE. (updated 2012-07-27)