Phyllis Brown

So there’s been this thing going around social media where DJs post 10 records from their collection over 10 days. Krister was recently asked to do it, but we hate social media and what’s the point if you can’t tell a story.

Day 10

Phyllis Brown – I’ve Got Something On My Mind

This is one of the favourite singles in my collection. I first heard it about 13 years from the compilation Wigan 30, and played it on the radio when I was doing my first shows. Later a friend of Phyllis’ wrote to an old blog I used to do and we traded some emails. She had very fond memories of that time and if I’m not mistaken she remembered being in the studio when Phyllis was recording this single, together with her partner Sonny Threatt who wrote the song and does the male vocal on it too. I still have a mix cd she sent me somewhere in the attic, after I had sent one including some 60s music I was into at the time.

Phyllis Brown was from LA and her father ran the vinyl pressing plant Rainbo situated downtown. At 16 Phyllis was in a girlgroup called The Babies, who recorded two singles for Dunhill in 1967. But she had already recorded her first 45 in 1965, released by her father as the first release on Rainbo (which had previously only been a manufacturer). The a-side “Why” was written by Phyllis herself.

Later Phyllis relocated to Texas and recorded with Sonny as ‘Sunny & Phyllis”. Their first single “I’ve Been Lost” came out on Uni in 1968, with another following soon after. It’s a bit of a jungle with their other releases though, because they were all on labels run my Major Bill Smith, They came in several versions, some even having the same catalog number as other releases! But I would guess this release on Le Cam is from 1968. It also came out on Soft – same version but with Sunny singing the first verse (and credited to Sunny & Phyllis). There is also a third version on Zuma, which is a different recording with brass.

In 1969 Phyllis was still working with Sunny but only used her name henceforth, with two more releases on Soft and Austin. Once again, the Soft 1037 release was issued three times with varying tracks on side A and B. I have only heard one of these, called “Dead”, which is fairly trippy. Apparently Phyllis Brown released some new music a few years ago, which you can hear on her website.


Add Yours

Hi there,

I found a copy of “Music to Bank By”, on the “First Piedmont” label (PB-3140) today while I was out thrifting and guess what? It’s autographed by both Phyllis and Sonny! I love it!

I was just doing some research on this and the other vinyl I picked up and sadly found that Sonny passed last summer.

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