This is Ruby Andrews' first single on the Zodiac label. It's also the first record issued on that label and the first one on which she used the name Andrews. I didn't know all this when I bought it, I just dug the groove [what I could hear of it] and decided to cough up a handful of quarters for the 45. One of those times where my ears prove their worth. Initially, I thought the plain label design meant it was a 70's pressing. It's not, this record was released in 1966, Andrews was 19 yrs. old.
Doc Oliver gets both writing and producing credit on this one, and deserves a great deal more than that for the result. It's his jam, all the way. A jam so good it shows up on two other 45's, Doc Oliver's own "Soul Popcorn" on Janus and "Soul Groove" by Mato & the Mystics on Dubb Int'l.
While I suppose it's possible that all three 45's were recorded at the same time, I'd be willing to bet Andrews' "take" is the original. She nails this groove so hard, so effortlessly, that the other two end up sounding like novelties by comparison.
Not to bore you with my continuing adventures in the world of extreme record cleaning, but this 45 is the new Queen of Filth. I have spent hours and hours on the silly thing. In the process it has gone from sounding like a sheet of sandpaper on the turntable, to to showing some clean sweet sparkle amidst the obvious groove wear. Four major hand cleanings, two spins on a VPI machine, and the needle is still pulling up junk from the grooves. It get's better every time I play it.
And believe me, I do play this record a lot. Almost every day for the past 4 months. I like it so much I def would've bought myself another copy rather go through all this tedious cleaning business. But ya see, it turns out the 45 isn't all that easy to find. In fact, I'm lucky to have a copy.
Both Andrews and Oliver are still with us, thus I suggest you check out the comp "Just Loving You", an excellent collection of Andrews recordings....and maybe take a look at Doc Oliver's myspace page here. He's got a few new songs you can listen to. I liked "Air Hammer" enough that I bought a copy. The man is really something, according to his page, he recently went back to college at age 73.