1964
GO NOW * BESSIE BANKS * RED BIRD 106 * UK

The flurry of promotional activity and interest for the newly launched (British) Red Bird label probably helped to get this record known by the DJs. Although she had recorded a single the previous year that was eventually released on the Wand label in America, Bessie Banks was unknown to the majority of soul fans in and around London when this rich Soul sound started to get played in the clubs and dance halls. The record was destined for the last spot on the nights turntable and it became especially useful in that particular capacity for public houses that employed DJs because it gave a direct message to the drinkers, 95% of who were young, to drink up and go. On this record Bessie sings of the contradictory emotions she feels; telling her loved one to go, when that's precisely what she doesn't want to happen. Young people hearing this song played loud in a social situation such as a club, pub, or dance hall, would have empathized with the bitter sweet sentiments expressed in the song, sentiments which would became intensified for the audience because, while being still immersed in the nights brief moments of relative freedom, they were simultaneously being jerked back into a mundane and controlled reality, and, ultimately having to accept that the night was prematurely and abruptly at an end. Those same young people having been locked away daily for the past ten years (in the 1960s children went to school at age five and left, as soon as possible, at age fifteen) they now find that what they thought would be their long awaited and hard won freedom and independence was still controlled and restricted by the same authorities who had had them incarcerated since the age of five.


RETURN TO GIRLS WITH SOUL PAGE