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Swamp Dogg Presents Doris Duke & Patti Labell and the Bluebells

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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.

Customer Reviews

Get the Kent release

The album review is absolutely correct, the Kent release is is easily 5 stars. The Duke content here is also 5 stars, I only give it 4 because this LaBell inclusion is weird...and the extra tracks on the Kent release are spectacular. Every Duke song is spectacular. If you must get the MP3s instead of sending for the Kent and ripping them, you will not be dissapointed. Duke is spine-chilling good. There is NOBODY better and only a few her equal at vocal deep blues. Her songs are original and reek with the pain at the heart of the blues. It is truely a shame she didn't record more, but that does not lessen the sheer joy one gets at listening to the songwriting and vocal mastery of her work. If one was to be extra critical, the accompaniament is sometimes a bit cheesy, but always at least competant (good to very good generally). Its good enough not to distract from her voice though...which will haunt you.


Born: 1945 in Sandersville, GA

Genre: R&B/Soul

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

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...
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Swamp Dogg Presents Doris Duke & Patti Labell and the Bluebells, Doris Duke
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