In recent years Bishop Huriah (Hugh) Boynton has been making a name for himself as a gospel Preacher notably in Detroit, and while we wish him well in these endeavours the music he has been recording sadly isn’t a patch on his earlier southern soul for my taste.

Hugh was born in a little town outside Macon, GA called Jeffersonville and like many others was heavily influenced by the sounds of local hero Otis Redding. He was talent spotted by Macon stalwart Jackie Avery who recommended him to Lee Lavergne who was building up his formidable southern soul stable of artists from his Church Point, LA base. Lavergne had already cut sides on the excellent Willie Mallory before cutting a session on Boynton in the Capricorn studios in Macon in 1969.

The initial release featured an upbeat “You Went Back On What You Said” with a more measured ListenYou’re No Longer Mine which gave Boynton more room to deliver his sad message over a very fine full horn section and even tempo. Classic southern soul to savour. The second release from the session included his most evocative tune, the celebrated ListenRunning Out Of Fools, long a personal favourite and the funky “Girl I Feel It” both of which credited Avery as arranger.

Lavergne wasn’t afraid of using the best studios in the south for his recordings, and he took Boynton to Muscle Shoals Sound in 1971 or 2 for the excellent two part “I Can’t Live My Life Without You” a fine toe tapper, driven by some hard hitting Hawkins drumming. The “Funky Grasshopper” was perfectly titled as the MSS guys, with Travis Wammack’s guitar prominent, get low down. The flip was a very strong Alabama country soul ballad ListenNo More And No Less another down tempo winner with a strong vocal performance from Boynton who sounded right at home in this company.

By now Lavergne had pretty much given up on southern soul sadly and returned to his Cajun roots. Boynton moved on with a self produced couple pf sides which he placed with Jesse Boone’s Soul Po-tion label in Albany, GA. Sadly his version of the anthemic “If Loving You Is Wrong” is totally spoilt but some awful rock slanted guitarist, and the uplifting self penned “We’re Gonna Make It” which has had some dance spins in the UK doesn’t do a lot for me.

And sadly that concluded Boynton’s recordings from the golden age. Subsequently he moved entirely into the gospel field and out of the ambit of this page.










ListenYou’re no longer mine / You went back on  what you said ~ LANOR 547 (1969)
Girl I feel it / ListenRunning out of fools ~ LANOR 553 (1970)
I can’t live my life without you / Pt 2 ~ LANOR 561 (1971)
Funky grasshopper / ListenNo more and no less ~ LANOR 571 (1972)
We’re gonna make it / If loving you is wrong (I don’t want to be right) ~ SOUL PO-TION 144 (late 70s?)

Note ~ Secular releases only.


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