Mates’ Crates, a series headed up by our friend Andrei Sandu, dives into the tales behind records and digs deeper into our connections to music. Some solid gold funk to brighten up the ongoing lockdown this time, in the form of Latimore’s “Out To Get’cha”.
Label: Glades | Year: 1978 | Discogs: Latimore – Dig A Little Deeper
This is not the first time I’ve been drawn to the sound of Benny Latimore’s voice. I first discovered his 1975 single “Somethin’ ‘Bout ‘Cha“, then his 1977 cover of George McRae (husband of Gwen)’s “I Get Lifted“. I’ve been a fan for much longer than a month.
But it was only last month that I found “Out To Get’cha”. Nothing compares. There’s no intro, Benny just grabs hold and doesn’t let go for the next five minutes. If your feet aren’t tapping, get help. I love all the music I write about for this column and play on the show, and I’m definitely one to use superlatives to describe how fantastic and spectacular I think that music is. But this one is truly incredible.
I was doubly pleased to find that the next track on the album is Latimore’s cover cover of Millie Jackson’s “We Got To Hit It Off“, which recently resurfaced when sampled by Tom Trago. I later discovered that Millie Jackson covered Latimore’s “Somethin’ ‘Bout ‘Cha” two years earlier. Wonderful stuff.
Born in Tennessee, it is perhaps unsurprising that country, blues and gospel were key influences on Latimore’s music. Starting out as a pianist for Florida-based musicians, he soon began releasing solo records on various labels run by Miami music mogul Henry Stone (president of the iconic TK Records). As an aside, I also discovered that it was his time temping at Stone’s warehouses that helped KC of KC and the Sunshine Band find a way into the music industry.
I’m yet to fully explore Latimore’s extensive discography, which spans almost thirty albums across over forty years, but I can say for sure that his biggest commercial success, “Let’s Straighten It Out“, which topped the R&B singles chart in 1975, just doesn’t stand out to me. So if that’s all you’ve heard from him, look again, you’re missing out.
With the funk of Little Beaver and (some of – let’s be real) the smoothness as Barry White, Latimore has spent almost half a century in the industry for good reason. As well as putting out an album every few years, he has continued to work as a session pianist, including for Joss Stone, Timmy Thomas, and Betty Wright.
Unfortunately, that’s about as much as I could find on Latimore himself, and the story of TK Records and its (literally) dozens of offshoots is one for another time. But as bedroom boogies continue to fill in for the ‘real’ dancefloor as best they can, I hope Benny brings you as much joy as he brought me.