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McKinley Mitchell

Blessed with an extraordinary set of soaring pipes, McKinley Mitchell waxed a series of superb Chicago soul platters during the 1960s, later veering stylistically closer to contemporary blues in his last years of performing.

At age 16, Mitchell was already fronting a gospel group, the Hearts of Harmony, in Jackson. After spending time singing spirituals in Springfield, MS, and Philadelphia, Mitchell hit Chicago in 1958 and went secular. A rocking debut for the tiny Boxer label the next year preceded his signing with George Leaner's fledgling One-derful logo in 1961.

His first single for the firm, the gorgeous soul ballad "The Town I Live In," proved a national R&B hit and launched the imprint in high style. Mitchell's One-derful follow-ups, including the imaginative "A Bit of Soul," failed to equal the heights of his first single; neither did 45s for Chess (produced by Willie Dixon) and a variety of Dixon-owned labels.

Finally, in 1977, Mitchell returned to the R&B charts with "The End of the Rainbow," another beautiful R&B ballad, for Malaco's Chimneyville subsidiary. An eponymous LP for the label the next year stunningly showcased Mitchell's still-potent voice on a program that combined blues and soul material. A 1984 LP for Retta's, I Won't Be Back for More, was among the singer's last releases (by then, he was back living in Jackson). ~ Bill Dahl
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: East Side Story Volume 12

1. Eighteen With A Bullet

2. Stay In My Corner

3. For Your Precious Love

4. Foolish Little Girl

5. Try Me

6. Color Him Father

7. You'll Lose A Good Thing

8. Yes, I'm Ready

9. Catch You On The Rebound

10. All In My Mind

12. The Town I Live In

x

Track List: Move With The Groove: Hardcore Chicago Soul

Disc 1

1. Damper Down

4. The Town I Live In

5. I've Got A Claim On You

6. Come Back Home

7. Master Key

9. I'm A Big Man

10. Shake A Tail Feather

12. The Whip Pt. 1

14. Don't Turn Your Back On Me

15. You Told A Lie

16. Tell It Like It Is

17. Who Is She

18. New Girl

19. You Did Me Wrong

20. Twine Time

22. Do The 45

23. Got To Find A Way

25. Every Beat Of My Heart

Disc 2

2. Give Me Back My Ring

4. I Still Can't Get You

5. The Philly Freeze

7. I Made A Mistake

8. More Power To You

9. I Stand Alone

10. Ordinary Guy

11. One Man's Poison

13. Behave Yourself

18. A Lasting Love

19. You Got Your Finger In My Eye

21. The Funky Judge

22. I Get A Groove

24. Move With The Groove

Comments

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Mr. Mitchell was truly a great artist his music lives on.

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