In the Vintage Fidelity vaults we recently found a record on the Federal label from 1953… Billy Ward and His Dominoes singing Don’t Leave Me This Way and These Foolish Things Remind Me of You. Both songs are slow ballads and took a little while to get used to the slower tempo. After listening to this 78 a few times.. (The turn table spins as I work on the computer), I started to really notice the space and emotion in each song. The listener has more of a chance to connect with the song, as compared to today’s music where every production trick and piece of outboard effects are plugged into a single track. The background harmonies provide an added layer of music… but the lead voice is crisp and clear. There is just sparse guitar, piano, and bass throughout Don’t Leave Me This Way. The instruments are in the back of the mix, while he vocal harmonies a bit louder, with the lead vocal the most up front. Some dude with a bass style voice really cuts through on the track These Foolish Things Remind Me of You.
Billy Ward had an interesting career that spans many years and throughout many geogarphic areas. This artist is really worth checking out and learning more about. Its great to hear 3 instruments a mic and a few voices make music that lasts forever!
Artist: Billy Ward and his Dominoes
Release Date: 1953
Label: Federal Records – 12129
Tracks: Don’t Leave Me This Way — Listen
These Foolish Things Remind Me of You