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Cliff Nobles & Co.

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Cliff Nobles (b. 1944, Mobile, Alabama, USA) had a background as a gospel singer. In an effort to break into something more commercial, he moved to Philadelphia and won a contract with Atlantic Records. He was dropped from the label after three unsuccessful singles, ‘My Love Is Getting Stronger’, ‘Let’s Have A Good Time’ and ‘Your Love Is All I Need’, whereupon independent producer Jesse James took him on and recorded ‘The More I Do For You’ on the Phil LA Of Soul label. ‘The Horse’ (1968), Nobles’ US number 2 hit, was originally the b-side to the undistinguished ‘Love Is Alright’. Ironically, the former track did not feature the artist’s regular group - Bobby Tucker (guitar), Benny Williams (bass) and Tommy Soul (drums) - but, instead, the James Boys, a collection of emergent Philadelphia session musicians put together by producer Leon Huff. This unit then rushed out a complementary single, ‘The Mule’, which had the same version of ‘The Horse’ on the reverse. Despite minimal input, Nobles’ name still graced such follow-up singles as ‘Horse Fever’, although he later secured a minor R&B success with ‘Feeling Of Loneliness’ (1973). The James Boys - Jesse James, Bobby Martin, Norman Harris, Roland Chambers (b. 9 February 1944, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 8 May 2002, Wynnewood, Montgomery County, USA), Nat Chambers, Ronnie Baker and Karl Young - became MFSB, the Sigma Sound studio house band.