Maurice Williams honors a 50th anniversary well

Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs
50 Years
Bradley House CD5050
Grade: ★★★★

By Todd Baptista

South Carolina native Maurice Williams wrote not one, but two of the most recognizable hits from rock’n’roll’s first generation, “Little Darlin’”, and “Stay”. At age 70, he remains an active recording and performing artist, with a legion of fans worldwide, particularly in the Carolina Beach Music scene. Honoring the 50th anniversary of his #1 hit with The Zodiacs, he and his self-contained troupe have produced a 15-track CD of new recordings, a mixture of R&B, vocal group harmony, and soul that oozes summer fun.

Traditionalists may balk initially, but the “Little Darlin” opening, complete with Williams’ rap about the formation and early success of the Gladiolas works, and works marvelously, immediately grabbing listeners’ attention. Strong versions of “Do I” and “Dearest Baby” are smooth and soulful. New renditions of “Stay” and “May I” are equally entertaining, and feature the soaring high tenor of co-producer Fred Mangum, whose untimely death at age 46 following the album’s completion clearly affected Williams deeply as noted in his dedication.

Overall, Maurice Williams has created a solid, entertaining piece of work in “50 years…” which will hold up well to numerous plays by the pool, the beach, or relaxing in the sun.

For related items that you may enjoy in our Goldmine store:
• A great resource for record collecting is Goldmine’s “Standard Catalog of American Records, 1950-1975, 6th Edition,” in large paperback and DVD
• Check out an informative read in “The Everything® Rock & Blues Piano Book with CD, Master riffs, licks, and blues styles from New Orleans to New York City”

About Patrick Prince

Patrick Prince is the Editor of Goldmine

One thought on “Maurice Williams honors a 50th anniversary well

  1. I was down at Captain Kutchie’s to get out of the heat. No, I lied,
    I went down there to Kutchie’s Kutcharitaville to check-out the babe’s, don’t tell the wife. Really I usually go by there when I am
    in the south. So, I go in there to Shoot the shit with Kutch and tell him just how great and fantastic a person he is. Yea Right, he
    would give you a discount if you told him you were having a bad day.
    What a schmuck!

    Hell, I was trying to talk him into doing another picture with me. That went over like a lead balloon! He says 3 flicks about wasting away again in kutcharitaville was enough for him. What a schmuck! The hell with him. He did give me a good deal on that box of key lime pies. Those get me hot of hot water with the wife.

    What I was going to say here was? I almost forgot why I even started typing here in the first place. Oh, I was reading this article about Maurice and something came to mind about another time I was down to Captain Kutchie’s. Yea, Yea, I was there because Frankie Valli was giving a solo act with Maurice. They were doing “Stay”, together for the first time in history. I must say it was very very good. I know Maurice wrote it and it was a big hit for him but the little guy from my home town was the one that knocked it out of the park!!! Frankie could do that in any season!

    Wife’s calling, come to bed-it’s getting late. yea,yea,yea.

    Night folks, God bless you, Don

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