Friday, 28 February 2014


Black is black, I want my baby back
It's gray, it's gray, since he went away
What can I do, 'cause I'm feelin' blue

If I had my way, he'd be back today
But he don't intend to see me again
What can I do, 'cause I'm feelin' blue

I can't choose, it's too much to lose
My love's too strong
Maybe if he would come back to me
Then it can't go wrong

Bad is bad, that I feel so sad
It's time, it's time, that I found peace of mind
What can I do, 'cause I'm feelin' blue

I can't choose, it's too much to lose
My love's too strong
Maybe if he would come back to me
Then it can't go wrong

Black is black, I want my baby back
It's gray, it's gray, since he went away
What can I do, 'cause I'm feelin' blue
'Cause I-I-I-I-I'm feelin' blue

[from the lyrics of "Black Is Black"]

Barbara Tamiko Ferguson was born in 1945, one of ten children, in Kyle, West Virginia, USA.

So exotic in her features, ethnically she might be described as multi-racial: her father was an African-American and her maternal grandmother, Mrs. Arma Dalton - who used to live in Charleston - was partly of Japanese descent. Mrs. Dalton's parents, now deceased, were nisei. Because of her Japanese background, Mrs. Dalton at one time lived in a federal internment camp on the West Coast during World War II.

«My mother married a white man of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and on my maternal grandfather's side there is Cherokee Indian blood. So, racially at least I'm really mixed up. Like the rest of my family I consider myself a Negro [1]

The extreme versatility of Tamiko's singing is readily appreciated in considering her own musical background. She was raised in Detroit and, while working as a secretary, she auditioned for a talent agency and made her professional debut in 1961 at the Flame Show Bar in Detroit, a room that earlier showcased such talents as Johnnie Ray and Della Reese:

«I got that job strictly on nerve, I decided one day I wanted to be a singer. Though my repertoire consisted of only one song, "Goody, Goody", I got an audition through an agent with Maurice King, who led the orchestra at the Flame Show Bar. I was hired on the spot for a one-week engagement, but stayed six months.» [1]

I'll Be Anything For You" inner gatefold

During that first six-month engagement, she expanded her repertoire considerably under Maurice King's guidance and improved her showmanship. She developed a style of her own, though she never learned to read music. She describes such style as "jazz-bop", which is a unique styling compounded of pop songs on a jazz base:

«I depend on my ear, I think God gave me a gift for music which I express through my voice. When I first started out, I used to get so scared my knees would knock. The more I sing the more confident I feel, but I still get a little nervous on an opening night.» [1]

Tamiko Jones as pictured on the cover of the French 7" split EP shared with Angela Martin, circa 1963-64

She began her recording career on the Checker label in 1963; her first release, credited simply as Timiko, was the happy-go-lucky song "Is It a Sin?" written by Richard "Popcorn" Wylie backed with "The Boy For Me" written by Robert Bateman on the flip side.

By 1964, Timiko became Tamiko and she relocated to the Atco Records imprint releasing the single "Don't Laugh If I Cry at Your Party" backed with "Rhapsody". Both tracks were also released in France as side A of a 7" split EP coupled with two songs by Angela Martin on side B.

Tamiko Jones, publicity shot for the "A Man and a Woman" single, 1966

In July 1966 she briefly moved to the Golden World label and released her third single offering "I'm Spellbound" on side A and "Am I Glad Now" on side B. The single was produced by Gene Redd who wrote the tunes along with Rose Marie McCoy, Jimmy Crosby and a certain Mike Jones.

During the same year Tamiko also appeared as an extra in a few movies, namely "Penelope", "You're a Big Boy Now" and "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying":

«Acting is a very exciting and stimulating outlet for my artistic energies. I love to act and want to become an expert at it. My greatest ambition is to appear in a Broadway musical. But singing is my main love. I'll never give that up, because it gives me a chance to express myself fully and freely.» [1]

Anyway, let's take a step back: after the six months at the Flame Show Bar, Tamiko began touring the East Coast and Midwest, including stints on the Playboy circuit, the Catskill Mountains and the Carribean area, before getting her first national exposure on the Tonight Show in 1965. Later she performed on the Johnny Carson Show several times as well as on the Merv Griffin and Joey Bishop programs...

Tamiko Jones, press / publicity photo, circa 1966-67

Tamiko's career saw some elevation when she signed with Atlantic in late 1966. She teamed up with label mate Herbie Mann and released a single offering "A Man and a Woman", the theme song from the film of the same name composed by Francis Lai and Pierre Barouh, backed with "Sidewinder", a composition by Lee Morgan which has become a jazz standard nowadays.

Many different versions of "A Man and a Woman" were recorded around this time by different artists, but only the Jones / Mann rendition made the best-selling charts.

«The first Herbie Mann / Tamiko Jones collaboration was a brilliant rendition of the attractive title tune from the French movie "A Man and a Woman". That recording, released in the fall of 1966, helped make "A Man and a Woman" one of the most popular movie themes of the year. The union of Herbie Mann and Tamiko Jones started almost fortuitously at the Atlantic Recording Studios in New York. Herbie heard Tamiko singing in the studio one afternoon and was so taken by her warm, sensuous jazz-pop styling that he stayed throughout her entire rehearsal. When it was over he asked if she would like to record with him.» [2]

Tamiko Jones on the cover of Jet magazine, March 1967

The album was recorded in Rio de Janeiro during three sessions between September and December 1966, and was published by Atlantic in February 1967. It consists of ten songs with musical backgrounds provided by both the Cannonball Adderley Trio and Herbie Mann's Band, mostly arranged by Joe Zawinul and Jimmy Wisner.

One more single was culled from the album, with side A offering a cover of The Beatles' "Day Tripper" paired on the flip side with "A Good Thing (Is Hard To Come By)", a Tamiko's own composition.

By the way, "A Mann and a Woman" was re-released on CD in Japan sometimes in late 2013, and at the time of writing it is still available on major retailers as an import at a fair decent price, don't let it escape you!

With Ed McMhon and Joey Bishop, 1967

A few months after the successful release of "A Mann and a Woman", Tamiko was signed by Jimmy Wisner's new label December Records. As far as I know, the label didn't last long and its output consisted mostly of the Tamiko Jones releases and a few more items...

The first Tamiko's single on the label was released in September, and offered her rendition of "You Only Live Twice", the theme song to the James Bond movie of the same name, coupled with a cover of Aretha Franklin's "Don't Let Me Lose This Dream".

Another single followed towards the end of the year; Side A featured a cover of the Bacharach-David tune "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", originally performed by Dionne Warwick, while Side B offered the exclusive "Pearl", a song written by Tamiko herself and Wisner.

Two more singles were released as promotional items but were not distributed to the public; the first one included "Live For Life", an English adptation of the song originally written by Francis Lai for the soundtrack of the French movie "Vivre pour vivre", coupled with "You Only Live Twice" on the flip side, while the second featured "Someone To Light Up My Life" and "Where Do I Go From Here".

Smartly arranged with a Bossa Nova flavour, probably as an attempt to repeat the exploit of "A Mann and a Woman", the "Tamiko" album was released on December Records in February 1968 and is featured in another post here on Stereo Candies.

During the first half of 1968, Tamiko signed with A&M, and between June and September she was busy recording her second solo album at the Sam Phillips Recording Studio in Memphis and at Van Gelder Studios. "I'll Be Anything For You", the subject of this post, was released later that year on CTI which at the time was still an A&M imprint. Among others, the album featured Solomon Burke, Bernard Purdie and Richard Tee, and marked a change of direction in Tamiko's career...

"I'll Be Anything For You" original inner sleeve shows many A&M goodies...

...and more goodies on the back!


[1] from a feature/interview published on "Jet" magazine, March 1967

[2] from the "A Mann and a Woman" LP liner notes written by Bob Rolontz, 1967

[3] from the "I'll Be Anything For You" LP liner notes written by Peter J. Levinson, 1968

"I'll Be Anything For You" contains the following tracks:

01. I'll Be Anything For You (2:49)
02. Goodnight, My Love (2:38)
03. Where Are They Now? (2:57)
04. Cottage For Sale (2:50)
05. Black Is Black (3:00)
06. Try It Baby (3:25)
07. This Time Tomorrow (2:51)
08. Please Return Your Love To Me (2:07)
09. Peace of Mind (2:57)
10. I've Got My Eyes On You (2:48)
11. Suddenly (2:49)
12. Ya Ya (2:29)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in February 2014 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include restored and printable PDF artwork.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download links.

A short review of the album published in December 1968

«"I'll Be Anything For You" represents Tamiko Jones' firm musical declaration that as a soul singer, sensitive interpreter of standards, and as a freewheeling handler of current pop tunes, she has arrived. No longer bridled by her previous image as a soft sounding singer of bossa nova songs with a woodwind background, in this album she shakes loose with a wide variety of tunes given several diverse musical settings.» [3]

The dozen songs in the album begin with the vibrant "I'll Be Anything For You", written by Bobby Hebb, the author of "Sunny". This and many of the Memphis sides are enhanced by arranger Teacho Wiltshire's subtle use of strings. Note the especially engaging low string figures he uses throughout "I'll Be Anything For You". In 1970 Hebb included the song in his own album entitled "Love Games".

The next tune, "Goodnight, My Love", perhaps more than any other side in the album illustrates the driving intensity of the Memphis Sound, with Tamiko's singing riding above the band with real conviction.

"Where Are They Now?", written by Brad Praich and Py Whitney, has almost a country and western feel to it, with Tamiko providing a plaintive rendition of the lyric. This song was also released as the flip side of the "Ya Ya" single (A&M 956) and as Side A of another single backed with "Please Return Your Love To Me" (A&M 1016).

"Cottage For Sale" is Tamiko's favorite side in the album and understandably so. Her treatment of this ballad is immediately reminiscent of the fine old standards recorded in the late '50s by Dinah Washington. The song has a long story, with artists from a variety of genres creating many notable recordings; in 1930 it was an hit for The Revelers vocal quartet, while Frank Sinatra recorded a popular version in 1959.

"Black Is Black" is a personal favourite of mine and one of the highlight of the album. The original version by Los Bravos, a Spanish beat group, was a hit in 1966 and sold over one million copies worldwide.

"Try it Baby" also brings to mind Dinah Washington and the memorable duets she recorded with Brook Benton. Tamiko's singing partner on this song is Solomon Burke, who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues as one of the founding fathers of soul music in the '60s: incidentally he was Tamiko's boyfriend at the the time this album was recorded... Tamiko opens by giving her side of the story, with Solomon underlining her statements and then giving his version. The intrinsic humor of the song, written by Berry Gordy, Jr., is perfectly portrayed by Tamiko and Solomon as soloists and in tandem.

Side B starts with voices backing Tamiko's lusty rendition of "This Time Tomorrow"; the song swings comfortably, led by Richard Tee's driving organ playing as a foundation.

"Please Return Your Love To Me" features once again Solomon Burke, this time as a backing vocalist; the song had been a hit for The Temptations just a few months before.

"Peace of Mind", written by Nick Woods, has both a jazz and gospel undercurrent to it as sung by Tamiko. The song was originally recorded by Nina Simone earlier the same year.

"I've Got My Eyes On You" is a popular song by Jackie Rae and Les Reed, it offers an unusual sound courtesy of Don Sebesky's combination of cellos and violas which perfectly underscores the pathos of the song. The chamber music feel is both brooding and yet at the same time lively and sparkling the way Tamiko, and the vocal chorus supporting her, interpret it.

The lively "Suddenly" was penned by Solomon Burke and originally performed by him as flip side of the "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" single in 1966.

"Ya Ya", the famous Lee Dorsey song, moves out of its teenybopper musical image through the decidedly polished and assured manner with which Tamiko approaches it. The band, conducted by Artie Butler, really walls behind her on this version and shows the apparent enjoyment felt by both musicians and singer in working together; it is characteristic of the feeling that seems to pervade throughout the album. The song was also released as a single (A&M 956) in July 1968 backed with the quiet "Goodnight, My Love".

A&M Records / CTI Billboard advertisement, October 1968

The following videos offer a preview of the remastered album; for this purpose I chose my favourite tracks: "I'll Be Anything For You", "Black Is Black", "Suddenly" and "Ya Ya", enjoy!

Here's the credits and personnel list of "I'll Be Anything For You" as they appear on the inner gatefold of the album:

Session #1: June 4, 1968
- I'll Be Anything For You*^
- Goodnight, My Love*^
- Where Are They Now?*^
- Ya Ya
*Rhythm tracks arranged by Solomon Burke
^Strings arranged by Teacho Wiltshire
"Ya Ya" arranged by Artie Butler

Session #2: August 15, 1968
- Black Is Black
- Try It Baby
- Suddenly
Arranged and conducted by Teacho Wiltshire

Session #3: August 29, 1968
- Cottage For Sale
- This Time Tomorrow
- Peace of Mind
Arranged and conducted by Teacho Wiltshire

Session #4: September 17, 1968
- Please Return Your Love To Me
- I've Got My Eyes On You
Rhythm tracks arranged and conducted by Horace Ott
Strings arranged by Don Sebesky

Session #1 recorded at Sam Phillips Recording Studio

Sessions #2, 3 and 4 recorded a Van Gelder Studios
Engineer: Rudy Van Gelder

Piano and Organ: Bobby Emmons (1), Richard Tee (2, 3, 4),
      Bobby Wood (1)
Bass: Chuck Rainey (2, 3, 4)
Drums: Gene Chrisman (1), Herb Lovelle (2), Bernard Purdie (3, 4)
Percussion: Warren Smith (2, 3)
Guitar: Tom Cogbill (1), Bill Fontaine (2), Eric Gale (4), Mike Leech (1),
      Carl Lynch
(2, 3, 4), David Spinozza (3), Reggie Young (1)
Trumpet: Ray Copeland (1, 2), Harold Johnson (1, 2), Mel Lastie (1, 2),
      lrvin Markowitz (1), Marvin Stamm (1)
Trombone: Ben Powell (1, 2), Alan Raph (1)
Saxophone: Joe Grimm (1), Howard Johnson (1, 2), Romeo Penque (1),
      Seldon Powell (1, 2), Jerome Richardson (1, 2)
Violin: Ben Blumenreich (1, 3), Lewis Eley (1, 3), Paul Gershman (2, 4),
      Joseph Haber (1, 3), Louis Haber (1, 3), Charles Libove (2, 4),
      Harry Lookofsky (1, 3), Joseph Singer (1, 3), Irving Spice (1, 3),
      Louis Stone (1, 3)
Viola: Seymour Berman (1, 3), Selwart Clarke (1, 3), David Sackson (1, 3),
      Murray Sandry (1, 3), Emanuel Vardi (2, 4)
Cello: Seymour Barab (1, 3), George Ricci (2, 4), Alan Shulman (1, 3)

Cover photograph by Pete Turner
Album design by Sam Antupit

Tamiko Jones in 1968 as pictured on the front cover of "I'll Be Anything For You"

More information about "I'll Be Anything For You" and Tamiko Jones is available here:

If you have any other useful information about the Tamiko Jones and "I'll Be Anything For You" - especially corrections and improvements to this post - or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!


  1. Thanks so much for this. I actually own this record (as well as her Muscle Shoals album), and it's nice to have a clean digitized version.

  2. Holy cow! There's amazing detail in your post, and I found it fascinating. Very impressive, and now you've got a new follower. Thanks for your work.

  3. Hi, could you re-up this one? I've only checked the Flac link. That one isn't working.
    Thanks in advance for your work!




    If you download any of these files please consider leaving a comment, your feedback is important!

    Please let me know about any broken link and deleted or unavailable files: I'll do my best to quickly reupload them.

  5. Excelente TamiKo "Suddenly"


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