B Hill & J Young
These two vocalists recorded a couple of 45s for the Spartanburg, SC label Najma, with one disc split between them, and the other featuring a couple of duets. As was often the case in the mid 60s, one side of each of these very rare and expensive pieces of vinyl was a dancer, and the other side a ballad. Naturally I’m going to concentrate on the latter.
The first 45‘s top side was the ballad, with vocal duties taken by B Hill. Wait For Me features his rich baritone backed by a horn rich band called the Fabulous Dobbs, one of whose saxes is sadly out of tune. But that “lo fi” little label problem shouldn’t detract from what is a very fine ballad indeed. The “name that dance” flip “The Mess” was led out by J Young and is OK if you like that sort of thing.
Both sides were written by Willie Hill, premier North Carolina multi-talented musician, writer, producer and label owner. This legendary figure can be heard playing drums, guitar, sax and bass on any number of discs from the region from the 60s to the present day, possibly including these two featured on this page. He has released several albums in a “smooth jazz” style over the last few years. Is the vocalist here "B Hill" A relation? But please note that Willie is not related to the excellent southern soul vocalist from Georgia of the same name, who is probably best known as one of half of the Willie & Anthony duo.
The duos second release had a very attractive deep-with-a-touch-of-sweet ballad called One Girl on it. And this allowed the guys to do some fine harmony singing, with Mr Young’s higher tenor contrasting with Mr Hill’s baritone very nicely indeed. The band is credited but it certainly sounds like the Fabulous Dobbs again, this time with all the horn players thankfully in tune. The frantically uptempo flip “It’s Got Soul” has its admirers among the dancers, but has never really become a dance floor killer, possibly due the disc’s sheer rarity.
More info on these guys would be very welcome.