Speciality (Ember)

Never Get Enough Of Your Love: Eddie Floyd, Ember demo 45 1967

Ember Speciality (note –-lity) is not the same as the US Specialty (note –lty) label.

Ember had noted that Decca had London-American, EMI had Stateside and Pye had Pye-International. They decided to introduce Speciality as a kind of “Ember American” label, but they didn’t persist with it. The inclusion of Glen Campbell and Sanford Clarke in the first releases indicated a ‘general American’ feel. It changed to blues and soul after that. Charles Yeats was the A&R manager for the label.

The first releases were  Night Train by King Curtis (#1000) and  Never Get Enough of Your Love / Bye Bye Baby by Eddie Floyd (#1001), which they had licensed from Lupine records in Detroit. Glen Campbell and Sanford Clark broadened the range. The sandord Clark single, Shades was by Lee Hazlewood.

King Curtis & The Noble KnightsWiggle Wobble / Night Train1967
Eddie FloydNever Get Enough Of Your Love1967
Glen CampbellSatisfied Mind1967
The Pac-KaysStone Fox / Dig In1967
Sanford ClarkOnce Upon A Time / Shades1968 
Lou LawtonI’m Just A Fool1968
Speciality 45 releases

Speciality released more LPs than singles, which was the reverse of normal Ember policies. They were strong on compilations. The singles are all 1967-68, but the albums ran on through 1969.

Ember did a few things on the fringes of Stax and Tamla Motown.

The Original Sound of Detroit album was a case in point, using LuPine, Detroit releases by The Falcons and ex-Falcons like Mack Rice. Betty LaVette is on there too. They are all in electronically reprocessed stereo (“stereo enhanced mono”), never a classic soul fan’s choice. It’s the “original sound of Detroit” in that it’s older material in part.

Everyday I Have The Blues: Various Artists 1967
The Original Sound of Detroit: Various Artists 1967
Soul Serenade: King Curtis 1967
Formidable: The Johnny Otis Show 1969
Rockin’ Brew: Ella Mae Morse / Freddie Slack 1969
Esquerita: Wildcat Shakeout 1969