WADE FLEMONS - JEANETTE (RAMSEL)
Published at : 31 Dec 2021
WADE FLEMONS "Jeanette" Ramsel Records Chicago, Illinois.
Wade Herbert Flemons (September 25th 1940 – October 13th 1993) born in Coffeyville, Kanas. After the Flemons family moved to Battle Creek, MI, in 1940, he formed a group called the Cavaliers consisting of Butch Bruch, Raymon Nievs, Marlin McNichols and James Kelly. Furthermore, another group The Newcomers and recorded “My Baby Likes To Rock”/”Here I Stand” in 1958 for Vee Jay records, Chicago. Flemons then began a solo recording career in 1958 and managed twelve single releases for VJ until 1965 and an album release in 1960 simply self-titled. One notable recording being the Clint Ballard Jr. penned “That Other Place” (Vee Jay 614) which also inspired a British female version by Susan Maughan (Philips BF 1363 11th September 1964). When Vee Jay Records went bankrupt in 1966 I guess it was time for Flemons to move on. However it wasn’t until 1967 that Flemons recorded for Ramsel Records and penned the first release “Jeanette”. Possibly linked to other US 1960’s recording singing about female names including Four Tops “Bernadette” (Motown 1967), “Linda” Leroy Taylor (Brunswick 1967) “Jamie” Eddie Holland (Motown 1962) or even the far rarer “Carlena” Just Brothers (Garrison 1966) and “Bernadine” Fred and Turbins (Cenco 1966?).
Jeanette is a tough Motown sound alike with an easily recognisable piano and drum intro, driving beat and accompanying male backing vocals. Flemons contributes his soulful “Hey-Yea's!" and "Alright's!” to the lyrics of watching and trying to get the attention of the unique character at a crowded dance.
“In my opinion, this was his finest work; a self composed song of tremendous power and infectious drive. Seems as though this record could have easily been a smash hit had it received wider distribution.”
Derek’s Daily 45’s.
“Before Wade Flemons added his flame to the band Earth Wind & Fire he ignited the northern soul scene with this 1968 scorcher, "Jeanette". I never cared for the name Jeanette until the needle dropped on this 45. It's that good. One might even call it a name changer.”
Flemons went on to co-write the Dells' 1968 hit "Stay in My Corner," around that same time joining Vee-Jay session vocalist Maurice White in the Salty Peppers for their debut single, "La, La, La"; in 1969 the group signed to Capitol for "La La Time," and after one subsequent effort, "Your Love Is Life," evolved into Earth, Wind & Fire. Flemons contributed vocals, vibes, and electric piano to the group until 1973, when he and several bandmates were dismissed by White.
Flemons died from cancer in Battle Creek, Michigan, aged 53. A United States Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War, he was buried at the Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan.
“Jeanette” was a regular find in legendary Selectadisc and Soul Bowl soul packs in the 1970’s. Following a big re-activation around 1998 the track saw further demand for the original Ramsel single. Now an established dancer at many “Oldies” all nighters.
Flemon's other Ramsel 45 (1002) "Two of a Kind" is actually much rarer than "Jeanette" and an equally soulful recording.