“Time” :: Edwin Starr :: Best Northern Soul Music Monday
“Oh, let me tell you,
time is the one thing everybody feels.
It just expires with no regards to years.
They say time can bring about a change,
but I ain’t see a doggone thing.”
The Best of Northern Soul Music Monday features Edwin Starr’s Stomper, “Time”. This is one of My Favorite Northern Soul Tracks, one that should definitely be turned up way past loud and danced to. Spread some talc on the floor and get ready to read up, and listen to, some “Time”.
Edwin Starr was born Charles Edwin Hatcher on January 21, 1942. He is most famous for his Norman Whitfield-produced Motown singles from the 70’s, most notably the # 1 Hit “War”.
Starr was born in Tennessee, but raised in Ohio. He later lived in Detroit, Michigan, where in 1957 he formed the doo-wop group, The Future Tones, and began his singing career. During the 60’s, in Detroit, he recorded his Music for the small label Ric-Tic.
The song which launched his career was “Agent Double-O-Soul” (1965), a reference to the James Bond films popular at the time. Other early hits included “Headline News”, “Back Street” and “S.O.S. (Stop Her on Sight)”. While at Ric-Tic, he wrote the song, “Oh, How Happy”, a # 12 Billboard Hot 100 hit in 1966 and sang lead for the Holidays on their # 12 R&B hit, “I’ll Love You Forever”.
When Motown’s Berry Gordy became frustrated with smaller labels like Ric-Tic stealing some of the success of his company, he bought out the small label. Many of Starr’s Ric-Tic songs, now owned by Motown, like “Back Street” and “Headline News” became favored Northern Soul classics.
His early Ric-Tic hit “Stop Her On Sight (S.O.S.)” was re-issued in Britain (with the b-side of “Headline News”) in 1968, and it performed better than the original release on the UK Chart, peaking at # 11 (versus the original U.S. ranking at # 35).
It was this song – “Time” – which helped to establish him securely as a prominent artist on the Northern Soul scene. “Time” is both synonymous with Northern Soul, and with Edwin Starr and Northern Soul together.
Starr moved to England, in 1973, and continued to record music, most notably “Hell Up in Harlem” for the 1974 film with the same name (a sequel to Black Caeser). He went on to record a pair of disco hits, “(Eye-to-Eye) Contact” and “H.A.P.P.Y. Radio”.
He stayed working in music, himself and with other artists, including recording a new version of “Funky Music Sho’ ‘Nuff Turns Me On” with UK band Utah Saints, in 2000.
Starr remained a hero on England’s Northern Soul circuit and continued living in England for the remainder of his life.
“Time” by Edwin Starr is April’s First Best Northern Soul Music Monday Song. I hope you enjoyed one of my Favorite Northern Soul Songs, and that you turned it up Loud. Check back every Monday for more of the Best Northern Soul Music and start your Mondays out right.