My friend Andrew always checks out his music before he buys it, which is totally understandable with the economy being what it is and all. I on the other hand like to play a little musical roulette from time to time. Sometimes I’ll buy an album just because I like the cover (which has actually served me pretty well,) other times I’ll grab it just because of a compelling review or because I want more music from a particular genre and it happened to come up first. Of course I don’t do this as often as I used to because $$$ is tight right now.
Thank God for the internets, huh?
It was during a game of musical roulette that I discovered Darrell Banks in the soul section and I was pretty much blown away. Born and rasied in Buffalo New York, Darrell spent his formative years singing gospel in his neighborhood churches. After splitting off to pursue a career as a soul singer in the early sixties, he moved to Detroit and was picked up by Revilot Records who released his first hit single ‘Open the Door to Your Heart’ in 1966. After releasing a string of other non chart-topping singles, he moved to the Atco label in 1967 and soon released his first full length album “Darrell Banks is Here!”
A while later he moved to Stax Records and released his second and final album, ironically titled ’Darrell is Here to Stay” in 1969. In March of the following year he was shot and killed by an off duty policeman who was having an affair with his estranged girlfriend. And so ended the short and sad tale of Darrell Banks…except for the timeless music he left behind.
This is the kind of soul that fans of soul music point to when asked what real soul sounds like. A raw vocal sound with tight production that sums up all that was good and right with the genre. Take a listen below to the sweet strains of ‘Here Come the Tears’ and see for yourself. The whole album is that good and seems to fall under the “Why wasn’t he famous” category. His voice may have been drowned out by the flood of artists at the time, but it’s never too late to catch up.