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The Four Mints

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Columbus, Ohio natives' Ben "Pete" Caldwell, James Brown, Donald Russell, and Jimmy Harmon were the Four Mints, a band who recorded for Bill Moss' Capsoul Records. The label's roster also included Johnson, Hawkins, Tatum & Durr ("You Can't Blame Me"), Kool Blues (a duo featuring John Primm and Bill Gilbert), Marion Black ("Go on Fool"), Elijah & the Ebonites "Sock It to 'Em Soul Brother," and Ronnie Taylor ("Without Love"). The group's first single, "You're My Desire," got limited play in some minor markets. Caldwell, the lead singer, wrote both sides of the midtempo wailer (later included on a handful of compilation albums, including Dynamite Soul Harmony, and a Northern Soul favorite). Their second release was their finest moment, "Row My Boat," led by Caldwell and written by Dean Francis. It was a favorite of young groups and bedroom-mirror singers, and always brought ovations when performed by locals at talent shows. "Row My Boat" hit the R&B charts, and was their biggest record. The success of the song prompted their only LP, Gently Down Your Stream, in 1973. (Bill Moss reissued the LP on CD in 1995, as The Original Four Mints), and took the Four Mints gigging to the Washington, D.C. area, Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan. A third and final release, "Can't Get Strung Out" (released in 1973), never got started; disenchanted, the fellows disbanded. ~ Andrew Hamilton

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