Oscar Irvin – or Irving as he was occasionally billed – cut several sides for Macon, GA based entrepreneur Bobby Smith around 1968. Smith released the fine ballad My Pillow Stays Wet, originally recorded by the writer James Duncan, on his own Boblo label before placing it with SSS International for better distribution. Irvin's vocal is quite excellent especially on towards the end of the number when his tough throaty rasps really hit the spot. The faster flip "If It Ain't One Thing It's Another" is fine southern soul as well.
Irvin's version of Bobby Bland’s old warhorse Cry Cry Cry seems to have been leased straight to King, with whom Bobby had strong links, who issued it on their Hollywood subsidiary. And although not many people have the nerve or talent to cover a Bland tune properly, Irvin is simply unstoppable here. His voice cracking with emotion he turns in an awesome performance.
Irvin's final 45 was excellent Let One Hurt Do on Abbott in the early 70s. This fine Billy Frazier composition is best known for the cut by L J Reynolds and Chocolate Syrup but Irvin does his usual first class job - great impassioned vocals full of fire. We could have done with more tracks by this fine singer.
My pillow stays wet / If it ain't one thing it's another ~ BOBLO 211 / SSS INTERNATIONAL 717 (1968)
Cry cry cry / One of these days ~ HOLLYWOOD 1135 (1968)
Let one hurt do / Transplant ~ ABBOTT 2015 (1973?)
Note ~ "Cry Cry Cry" can be found on the Ace UK CD "Counting Teardrops". "My Pillow Stays Wet" can be found on the Ace UK CD "Crying In The Streets".