Janit & The Jays

Janit (or Janet on Hermitage) Wallace and her Jays (Essie Brown and Marilyn James) came from Holy Springs, MS originally but started their recording career with DJ Hoss Allen in Nashville. While “Lost My Best Lover” is more pop than southern soul, the flip When You Lose is something else. A fine ballad with some tasteful doo wop touches given a classic deep soul arrangement, it all comes together really well with Janit leading the other girls through a tale of woe.

The group moved on to Memphis for a couple of further 45s on Hi. The first coupled a bouncy “Hurting Over You” with a deep dark Don Bryant ballad Without A Reason, on which Janit sounds suitably desolate. Great meandering tenor sax behind her provides a suitably sombre mood. Sadly neither of the group’s final release measured up to this standard. “Love What You’re Doing To Me” is a rather ordinary beat ballad, and the uptempo “Pleading For Your Love” lacks any real spark.

After this Janit & The Jays reportedly went back to the gospel field where back they came from.

Without a reason - HI 2109 When you lose - HERMITAGE 825


When you lose / Lost my best lover ~ HERMITAGE 825 (1965)
Without a reason / Hurting over you boy ~ HI 2109 (1966)
Love what you’re doing to me / Pleading for your love ~ HI 2129 (1967)

Note ~ All four of Janit & The Jays Hi tracks are available on Demon UK CDs - the way to get all of them on the one CD is to purchase "Troubles Heartaches And Sadness".

Thanks to my friend Matt Futerman for the suggestion.

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