The Jimmy lee Watson tapes

by Jimmy Lee Watson

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Effingham records
60s Soul label known as "The anti Motown" that went against the grain and sought to record experimental soul music.
It's founder Denice Cardell Williams was a former jazz guitarist and drummer who inherited a small fortune from his father who was South Carolina's biggest black sharecropper.
He invested most of his inheritance into what he called the avantgarde soul movement
And began releasing innovative music through his label, the first being a 45 by the short lived singing group the "Nu wops", a doo wop group that experimented with jazz chord progressions. The modestly successful though critically acclaimed 'Nu wops' were enough to kick off Effingham Records, but were far from the breakthrough the new record company needed. All seemed lost until in a chance visit to a small juke joint Denice Williams would hear for the first time the person who would become his most coveted artist, Jimmy Lee Watson, an experimental rhythmic poet who further developed the 'rap' that would typically be found on a song's bridge into complete songs he called 'rap songs'.
Effingham would begin investing all of it's money into the recording of what would later be known as 'The lost tapes of Jimmy Lee Watson' as a bad partnership which was to further the reach of the label, ended up tying the company to unknown illegal dealings which lead to legal proceedings that would ultimately clear the name of 'Effingham and Denice Williams but would bankrupt the label before the release of what would have been the first rap album while simultaneously introducing the world to the genre 'Rap Soul' and the genius of it's creator Mr. Jimmy Lee Watson. Since the liquidation of 'Effingham' the catalog of Mr. Watson has remained in the basement of the South Carolina building were it was recorded later owned by an older widow known as Eta Cobvim. After her death in 2007 Soul Model records LLC would acquire the property with hopes of preserving it's rich musical legacy by turning it into a museum when during the renovations some Ampex reel to reel tapes were discovered behind several boxes of vinyl and a very old and poorly maintained upright piano. This catalog would turn out to be 'The Jimmy Lee Watson' sessions as well as a other recordings from would be Effingham records artists. These recordings, previously believed to be destroyed by the former home owner were for the most part mostly salvageable and have been carefully converted from analog to digital sessions and remastered by Soul Model records LLC under the direction of rap soul artist O'hene Savant with the blessing of the family of Effingham records founder the late Denice Williams who died before the discovery of these groundbreaking recordings. Our efforts to find Mr. Watson were to no avail, we were told that he never recovered from the disappointment of his project not seeing the light of day and fled to obscurity, but hopefully he sees this effort and his influence on artist like O'hene Savant and others and know that his work wasn't in vain. Either way, if you're out there Mr. Watson, you'll always have and home at Soul Model records.


released December 18, 1965

Piano and guitar by Jimmy Lee Watson, Bass guitar by Norman Williams, drums by Philip Jordan of the 'Nu Wops', String arrangements by and performed by the St. Thomas Aquinas symphony, background vocals by The rap soulettes, additional vocals by the Gregories. Music production on intro by Stamper G.



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