26 Songs, 1 Hour, 16 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Under the name Swamp Dogg, the Virginia-born Jerry Williams wrote and recorded some of the most politically charged soul music of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Though it rarely shows in his solo recordings, Williams took an equally radical stance on sexual politics, and the records he wrote and produced for female artists like Irma Thomas, Bette Williams, and Doris Duke advocate a brand of organic feminism that often characterizes marriage as an oppressive contract and presents adulterous relationships as oases of honesty in a hypocritical society. This album, which compiles the entirety of Doris Duke’s phenomenal LP I’m A Loser as well as a handful of sides that Williams produced for Patti Labelle early in her career, contains many of Williams’ most insightful reflections on sexual politics. Songs like “Ghost of Myself,” “I Don’t Care Anymore,” and “Feet Start Walking” offer unflinching accounts of women damaged by, or trying to free themselves from, oppressive and abusive relationships, and are some of the finest songs that Williams would pen over the course of his long and distinguished career.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Under the name Swamp Dogg, the Virginia-born Jerry Williams wrote and recorded some of the most politically charged soul music of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Though it rarely shows in his solo recordings, Williams took an equally radical stance on sexual politics, and the records he wrote and produced for female artists like Irma Thomas, Bette Williams, and Doris Duke advocate a brand of organic feminism that often characterizes marriage as an oppressive contract and presents adulterous relationships as oases of honesty in a hypocritical society. This album, which compiles the entirety of Doris Duke’s phenomenal LP I’m A Loser as well as a handful of sides that Williams produced for Patti Labelle early in her career, contains many of Williams’ most insightful reflections on sexual politics. Songs like “Ghost of Myself,” “I Don’t Care Anymore,” and “Feet Start Walking” offer unflinching accounts of women damaged by, or trying to free themselves from, oppressive and abusive relationships, and are some of the finest songs that Williams would pen over the course of his long and distinguished career.

TITLE TIME
4:35
2:09
2:27
3:07
2:48
2:46
3:09
2:04
3:31
2:28
2:38
2:57
3:40
2:37
2:57
3:26
2:22
3:57
2:48
2:21
2:31
3:22
3:58
2:51
2:36
2:53

About Doris Duke

Deep soul diva Doris Duke was born Doris Curry in Sandersville, GA, in 1945. After stints in a series of gospel units, including the Raspberry Singers, the David Sisters, and the Caravans, by 1963 she was settled in New York City, working as a session vocalist in addition to backup duties at the legendary Apollo Theater. Under her married name of Doris Willingham, she cut her debut solo single, "Running Away from Loneliness," for the tiny Hy-Monty label in 1966; "You Can't Do That" followed two years later on Jay Boy. Despite solid reviews, neither record made a commercial splash, and she returned to her session career, often commuting to Philadelphia to record with the production team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. When former Atlantic Records producer Jerry "Swamp Dogg" Williams Jr. struck out on his own, he signed the singer and renamed her Doris Duke, recording the 1969 LP I'm a Loser at Capricorn, Phil Walden's studio in Macon, GA.

Though considered the finest deep soul record of all time by no less than soul expert Dave Godin, I'm a Loser was rejected by dozens of labels before it finally surfaced on Wally Roker's Canyon label. Although the first single, "To the Other Woman," cracked Billboard's R&B Top Ten, Canyon soon spiraled into financial disaster, destroying the album's commercial momentum. Duke spent the next several years in creative limbo, finally reuniting with Swamp Dogg for 1975's Mankind label release A Legend in Her Own Time -- their partnership ended acrimoniously prior to its release, however, and the record received scant attention. Duke next resurfaced on the British label Contempo with Woman, a much-acclaimed set released stateside on the Scepter imprint. After 1981's Manhattan set Funky Fox, she retired from music, and at the time of this writing her whereabouts and activities are unknown. ~ Jason Ankeny

  • ORIGIN
    Sandersville, GA
  • GENRE
    R&B/Soul
  • BORN
    1945

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