Although Carnival label boss Joe Evans imported some southern productions for release on Carnival such as the excellent Little Royal and Jimmy Jules 45s, the vast majority of his tougher output came from his own efforts, including stand out tracks by Kenneth Ruffin and the Turner Brothers.
And despite what you might think from a casual hearing, this cut is yet another superb example of hard New York soul. Both before and after her brief stay with Carnival, Bailey, who arrived in New York in the late 50s from her native Georgia, seemed more at home singing supper club and torch songs - no doubt reflecting her usual material in the clubs of the Big Apple - but for once she really cuts loose showing real gospel fire on I’m Just Gonna Be Missing You. The tasteful backing featuring some lovely chorded guitar (Eric Gale?) is just right too. A great deep disc. The toe tapping flip It’s Too Late features some fine bluesy chord changes and another rousing performance from Ms Bailey. Her other Carnival 45 from the following year 1969, a high octane bluesy version of Joe Haywood’s Warm And Tender Love, is well worth seeking out too.
Bailey’s other releases are much more in the jazz vein than R & B sadly, despite an interesting version of the Manhattans' "Kiss And Say Goodbye", and may reflect her personal musical preferences. She had a long residency at the Kerhonksen, NY Country Club owned and operated by that fascinating character Peg Leg Bates and both her other 45s on his label may even have been cut out there with his band.
These days Rene is still singing I’m very pleased to say, fronting a band called the Saints Of Swing, gigging around the North East from their New York base, performing “the best of swing, ballroom music, Dixieland Jazz and down-home blues”. You can read a little more about Rene Bailey and her new band here.
I’m just gonna be missing you / It’s too late ~ CARNIVAL 539 (1968)
Warm and tender love / Sweet potato gravy ~ CARNIVAL 541 (1968) (Note – flip by MAURICE SIMON & THE PIE MEN)
Danny boy / Bill Bailey ~ BBD 1500 (early 70s?)
I won’t be back no more / Kiss and say goodbye ~ PEG LEG BATES 103 (late 70s)
Note ~ “It’s too late” is on the Ace UK CD “Funk Soul Sisters” and on Vol 3 of the same company’s Carnival label compilations. “Warm and tender love” is on Vol 2 and “I’m just gonna be missing you” on Vol 1.
Thanks to Marten Tonnis for the suggestion and extra info.