Here We Go Around The Mulberry Bush - Inez And Charlie Foxx - Mockingbird
Label: United Artists Records - UAL 29025 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album, Reissue, Mono • Country: UK • Genre: Funk / Soul • Style: Soul
Inez and Charlie Foxx, whose single "Mockingbird" became a perennial Sixties favourite, were the sibling rhythm 'n' blues duo par excellence, regularly visiting Britain and earning more than a cult following amongst mods and northern soul fanatics. Born inCharlie Foxx came from a large family he had four sisters and two brothers. Tall and handsome, Charlie played football and basketball, and shared with his sister Inez an interest in music.
Bythey had both graduated and started to compose together, while performing the odd date in local clubs. Inez recorded "A Feeling" for the Brunswick label in as Inez Johnson but only joined forces with Charlie when they moved to New York the following year. Inez and Charlie Foxx were keen to join the Here We Go Around The Mulberry Bush - Inez And Charlie Foxx - Mockingbird and told Murray they had a hit song. He invited them to his office near the legendary Brill Building the New York hit factory where Carole King Visions - Kings X - Burning Down Boston - Live At The Channel 6.12.91 Neil Sedaka honed their songwriting skills.
Charlie's guitar had a broken string but their "let's-do-the-show-right-here" attitude impressed Murray. He liked their call-and-response number loosely based around a Bo Diddley shuffle and an old nursery rhyme even more. Charlie started with "Mock", answered by Inez singing "Yeah". Within a few minutes, Juggy Murray called the arranger Bert Keyes to set up a session date and offered the brother and sister team a deal with one caveat: he wanted to bill Inez as a solo artist at first.
The pair agreed and "Mockingbird", released on Symbol, a Sue subsidiary, proved an instant smash, crossing over from the rhythm 'n' blues market into the US pop charts and eventually reaching No 7 by September In Britain, Inez and Charlie Foxx made an immediate impact on the soul scene, but took a while to penetrate the mainstream consciousness. The hip disc jockey and producer Guy Stevens was appointed British label manager for Sue and turned the Foxx single into a club classic.
So successful proved the first trip that they came back a few months later to support the Rolling Stones. The broadcaster and music entrepreneur Charlie Gillett remembers the duo "as a typical act of the time. I saw them at the Club - Charlie Foxx seemed an Ike Turner-type figure, pulling every string in the book. He looked great too, sharp suit, distinctive pompadour hair, the dude style. They were fine, the classic one-off hit act.
This switch probably affected the international popularity of the Foxxes, who nevertheless came up with "My Momma Told Me", a fine single, and the album Inez and Charles Foxx.
Charlie Foxx subsequently had a hand in Gene Pitney's unusually rootsy "She's a Heartbreaker" as well as several collectable northern soul stompers. His sister Mam Sed - Pitman - It Takes A Nation Of Tossers the producer Luther Dixon and, inrecorded Inez in Memphis, before retiring to a quieter life in Los Angeles.
It was also the lead track on the second volume of Island Records' 40th anniversary celebration, Rhythm 'n' Blues Beat, issued a few months ago. Over the years, this naggingly catchy song has been covered by Aretha Franklin, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Dusty Springfield, Carly Simon who with James Taylor had a hit with it on both sides of the Atlantic in and even the Belle Stars, who took "Mockingbird" into the Top 50 in The numerous versions of "Mockingbird" kept the royalties coming in for the Foxxes.
When Inez and Charlie Foxx were honoured by the Rhythm 'n' Blues Foundation Awards at the Hollywood Palladium init was the first time they had appeared on stage together in 26 years - "Mockingbird" brought everybody to their feet. That was a wonderful moment. Charles Foxx, singer, guitarist and songwriter: born Greensboro, North Carolina 23 October ; married one son ; died Mobile, Alabama 18 September You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists?
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