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Guilty of Loving You

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Album Review

Recorded in 2000, Guilty of Loving You pretty much picks up where Oscar Toney, Jr. left off in his 1960s and '70s recordings. It's upbeat Southern soul, with a few slower, pained ballads (notably the title track, with the churchy keyboards so common to those sort of Southern soul pieces) varying the pace. Toney, Jr.'s voice — at times slightly reminiscent of Otis Redding's, though with a less gritty flavor — has only slightly coarsened with time. For a soul album that tries to capture a style that peaked several decades before it was produced, it's considerably above the average: it has a live, unforced, natural sound, and the modern instrumental and production touches that often dampen the spirits of such veteran outings are virtually absent. The material's only adequate, however, and sometimes a little worse than that. It was reissued in the U.K. in 2006 as Guilty: A Southern Soul Renaissance, adding historical liner notes with an overview of Toney Jr.'s career.


Born: 26 May 1939 in Selma, AL

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Oscar Toney, Jr. recorded some soulful sides for Bell Records in the late '60s that will forever etch him into soul music lovers' memories. The emotive singer born May 26, 1939, in Selma, AL, was raised in Columbus, GA. He sung gospel in church and high school with a group he called the Sensational Melodies of Joy. After high school he ventured into secular music with the Searchers waxing "Wow Wow Baby" b/w "Ooo-Wee" on Class Records in 1958. They kept searching doing local and regional gigs and...
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Guilty of Loving You, Oscar Toney, Jr.
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