Boy Meets Girl
Classic Soul Duets
By James Calemine
Stax/Concord Records just released these 18 classic soul duets. Most of the artists compiled on this CD ranks as soul legends such as William Bell, Eddie Floyd, Mavis Staples, Carla Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Dusty Springfield and Spencer Davis. Isaac Hayes and Booker T. Jones served as producers on some of these cuts. Of course, STAX Records served as the mother lode of Memphis music with 175 hits on the Billboard charts.
In the Boy Meets Girl liner notes Rob Bowman indicated a change on the way: “All this was to change when Atlantic Records was sold in January 1968 and Stax owners Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton elected to exercise a clause in their contract which allowed them to sever the distribution agreement if Atlantic was ever sold. Unfortunately for Jim, Estelle, and everyone else at Stax, there was another clause in the distribution contract between the two companies, which gave Atlantic the rights to all Stax product that they had distributed in perpetuity. In other words, the agreement was a master purchase, rather than a license deal. Consequently, in late spring 1968, Stax was, in effect, gutted owning absolutely nothing of its back catalogue.”
Stax Vice President Al Bell elaborated on this classic soul duets compilation and that it was: “an attempt to take the entire roster and come up with a unique catalogue album by combining boy with the girl. I felt that if I could come up with the right album with a couple of hits in there, then I could expose every track on the album and, as a merchandising piece as well as what I believed could ultimately be a great catalogue album…”
Every tracks contains glimpses of greatness, but the highlights for this writer include William Bell and Mavis Staples’ “I Thank You”, Johnnie Taylor and Carla Thomas singing “Just Keep On Loving Me”, the all-star gang on “Soul-a-lujah”, Eddie Floyd and Carla Thomas on “It’s Our Time” and Dusty Springfield and Spencer Davis covering “Private Number”. Any Stax release is worth its weight in gold…Boy Meets Girl is no different.