I’m’ calling this page after the artist credit on the excellent 4J release – even though his real name seems to have been Ekundayo Paris, as shown on the writer credit. From then on he shortened his name to a simple "Paris". I’m really keen on Excuse Me Baby for Mr Tears’ wailing vocals, so flexible in the way he glides all over the melody and with a lovely sense of timing. Love those sobs at the finish too. Great chord changes and a fine string section add to the song’s impact. The Jackie Wilson influenced “Don’t Lead Me On” flip has admirers too.
His version of Sam Cooke’s eternal A Change Is Gonna Come can’t quite rival the purity of the original, or the desperation of Otis Redding’s, but is still a force to be reckoned with not just thanks to the lovely horn chart and solo sax but mainly through Paris’ clear and melodic high tenor which rises thrillingly over the female chorus particularly towards the end of the number.
As for the rare and very expensive 45 on Doc which has a big Northern following, I'm pretty sure that it is the same singer but sadly the quality of his singing the track doesn't do a lot for me.
UPDATE ~ It now appears that the UNI LP "Paris Has Arrived" reached the Test Pressing stage. The album had 10 unnamed tracks on it and is a solid if unspectacular late 60s / early 70s set. There are a couple of really nice country soul styled ballads which may have been called "I Always Knew" and "Our Fading Love" as well as a melodic easy paced "There's Something New". I am very grateful to Dennis Bartok for the info.
FURTHER UPDATE ~ My great friend Greg Burgess writes to say that "Ekundayo Paris has a load of cuts listed at faqs including "Rock DJ", a worldwide hit for Robbie williams in 2000." And of course Greg's right - if you look at any of the websites like AllMusic.com Mr. Pari's list of songwriting credits is huge - and really impressive. So I think that despite his fine voice writing for other artists must have been his main involvement in the music biz. More power to his elbow.
Excuse me baby / Don’t lead me on ~ 4J 509 (1964)
Sleepless nights / Wishing well ~ DOC 102 (mid 60s)
A change is gonna come / Gone again ~ UNI 55423 (1970)
Note ~ The UNI 45 refers to an LP "Paris Has Arrived" (UNI 73087) but I've never seen this and presume that it was never reelased.