Jerry Butler “Some Kinda Magic” (Mercury 72648-B, 1966)
There’s two soul legends that would get me to throw my drawls at the stage. One is Chuck Jackson, and the other is #SagittariYes providing Chicago-bred crooner Jerry Butler. Butler celebrates his 76th Birthday today alongside nearly 60 years of recording, and also, quite a few years being involved in Chicago Politics.
There’s two distinct phases to Jerry’s 1960’s output. There’s the early Vee-Jay years that saw him often benefiting from the writing/producing talents of close friend and former Bandmate Curtis Mayfield. Then there’s the late 1967 and beyond renaissance rebirth of our favorite Ice Man at Mercury records, more or less under the guidance of Gamble and Huff.
Often what gets missed is his output as he transitioned between labels between 1964 and 1966. Most can remember his duets with Betty Everett from that period, but his solo output from that era is woefully overlooked. Perhaps because it was still searching for an identity to hang Jerry’s bold baritone on, and blurred boundaries between his former Chicago-Windy City Soul beginnings and those new sounds on the radio in those moments.
Anyhoo, this fabulous B-side crafted a spell that I’ve continuously spin at DJ gigs this year. From December of 1966, here’s hoping the light keeps going for you from the end of this year and beyond, courtesy of The Ice Man.