For day 3 of the 7 Days of Soul challenge, I plucked out a b-side from a 7″ I scored whilst out in Paris in the summer (s/o to Superfly).
I had never heard of Lumpkin before and perhaps that’s not surprising since he was one of those ’60s artists who landed some promising opportunities – first at Motown, then at Buddah – but couldn’t crack the barrier to national stardom. One rumor I read was that he was too heavy-set for the consumer public and whether that’s true or not, his voice is so light on this side that I was surprised to know he had the reputation for being big.
None of this is particularly relevant to how lovely this song is.”It I Could Make Magic” was written by a trio of men who previously had worked on the Shangri-La recordings – Kenneth Hollon, Robert Bateman, and Ronald Moseley – with Bateman co-producing the song alongside Lou Courtney. This sweet soul number is gentler then most of Lumpkin’s ’60s output and while it’s not too far outside of a conventional, doo-wop-influenced crooner, it has all the elements in a classic lowrider oldie including a heavy, lumbering rhythm and an unexpected dash of flute that darts beneath Lumpkin’s vocals. Throw this one on during a summer night drive under moonlight; top down if possible.
Lumpkin worked with Robert Bateman – an incredibly prolific writer, arranger, producer – as well as producer Lou Courtney and co-writer