San Remo Golden Strings

Ric-Tic 104, 1965
Billboard: #27

It's highly doubtful that any of these guys came from San Remo. Eddie Wingate's family of labels was steeped in Detroit soul; in fact, the success of Edwin Starr's two singles for Ric-Tic, recorded with moonlighting members of Motown's Funk Brothers house band, was enough to drive Berry Gordy Jr. to buy out Wingate's entire catalog. And the Strings, whose names don't seem to be in general release, cut four singles for Ric-Tic, two of which charted, though only this one made it to the San Remo LP, the only album ever released on the label, and its B-side, a jazzy number called "All Turned On", billed to Bob Wilson and the San Remo Quartet, was also left behind. The Golden World Story at suggests that a Funk Brother or two may in fact have played on the San Remo sessions. "Hungry for Love", whatever its origins, fits nicely into the Motown releases of the era; the strings chirp sweetly while the rhythm section lays down a solid groove. Writing credits for "Hungry for Love" have been fluid: BMI currently lists Al and Bob Hamilton, Joanne Jackson (Bratton, a Wingate executive) and Ronnie Savoy, though the 45 mentions only the Hamiltons and Jackson. Savoy, a Wingate artist himself (and another Hamilton brother in real life), perhaps wrote the lyrics, which don't show up here. Producers are Rob Reeco (Bob Hamilton in disguise) and Al Kent (Al Hamilton likewise). Apparently this same track showed up as the B-side of Barbara Mercer's "The Things We Do Together", on Wingate's Golden World label. Motown reissued a truncated version of the San Remo LP on Gordy, and an obscure compilation called Motown Instrumentals, which sneaked out on Motown's Natural Resources imprint in the late Seventies, featured both "Hungry for Love" and "Festival Time", a 1966 San Remo single that did not chart.

Where can I get this on CD?
The short-lived More Instrumental Gems of the '60s from Collectors' Choice Music (CCM 0035) has been the only source I've seen.

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Copyright © 2002 by Charles G. Hill
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