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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: A Little Bit Of Soul, Vol. 2

1. You'll Lose A Good Thing

2. Don’t Make Me Over

3. Fool That I Am

4. Operator

5. Snap Your Fingers

6. I Cried A Tear

7. The Town I Live In

10. You're Gonna Need Me

11. A Man's Gotta Be A Man

12. I'm In Love

13. Say It Again

15. Shake A Hand

16. The Wrong Girl

17. Lie To Me

18. Maybe

19. Time Is Winding Up

20. I Smiled Yesterday

22. Don’t Ever Leave Me

23. Hold Me Tight

24. Stay With Me (A Little While Longer)

25. Woman's Got Soul

26. I'll Trust In You

27. Years From Now

28. I'm A Telling You

29. I Can't Hold Out Any Longer

30. Cry To Me

x

Track List: House Rockin' 1950s Rhythm & Blues, Vol. 1

1. Mr. Hot Shot

3. Oh Oh Mojo

4. Rock Everybody Rock

5. I'm Not To Blame

9. Wine, Women, Whiskey

10. Jump Sister Bessie

12. Cockroach Run

13. Hurry Baby

14. Look At That Chick

16. Mr. Hard Luck

21. Tarzan

22. Twistin' Beat

25. Loud Mouth Lucy

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

21. Don't You Worry

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

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

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

Comments

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

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