Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone by Tami Lynn

“Do you remember your first love affair?”

Tami Lynn née Gloria Brown whispers on Introduction To A Love Affair, the first cut off her debut LP Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone.

It’s heart-wrenching.

Tami Lynn grew up in the hard-scrabble Gert Town section of New Orleans 16th Ward. To this day there are parts of the neighborhood that have dirt streets and houses without indoor plumbing.

Born in 1942, Lynn was raised in the church and began singing spirituals in elementary school. It wasn’t long before she had a standing Sunday morning gig on Dr. Daddy-O’s Gospel Show on WMRY radio.

She quickly developed a reputation as a songbird, and it wasn’t long before she was coaxed into the Joy Tavern on Pine Street to join the secular world of hard-living New Orleans musicians who played all night in smokey barrooms.

Red Tyler was in a pinch. His band was a regular feature at the Joy but they couldn’t find their lead singer, Elsie Mae Jones aka Angel Face. After she no-showed two performances the owner of the club suggested Tami Lynn sit in for the missing performer.

The shy young teenager shone bright. Tyler would soon team up with Harold Battiste to form A.F.O Records and pen the 45 Baby backed with Where Can I Go for the youngster. It dropped in 1963. Tami reflects:

“When I listen to that record now I hear a young girl with an untrained, raw voice yet a voice with so much strength.”

That voice with so much raw potential can be heard on Sam Cooke’s groundbreaking 1964 track A Change Is Gonna Come, that’s her mentor Harold Battiste on piano.

While Battiste and Tyler were brilliant musicians that genius did not extend itself to the naming of their band. Soon they set out on the road as the A.F.O. Executives and yes they took Tami Lynn with them. It was during this run that she had what she called a “career highlight” opening for John Coltrane at Birdland in New York City.

I was an innocent teenage girl when all this happened. I didn’t drink or smoke. My mom and auntie were keeping an eye on me and they told the musicians, ‘You will protect Tami—no drinking, smoking, or carousing.’ And gentlemen till the end, they would lock me in my hotel room while they went out carousing.

In 1963 the Executives put out a full-length LP with Tami singing lead vocals. A.F.O (the label) folded shortly after the release, and Tami Lynn migrated to the west coast for a cup of coffee before decamping to New York City where she met Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler who inked her to a deal with Atlantic subsidiary ATCO.
Tami would go on to sing back up for Dr. John, Wilson Pickett, the Rolling Stones and Sonny & Cher before finally taking a crack at her own full-length: Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone.

It’s a lost classic of southern soul.

The entirety of side ‘a’ is one seamless track with plaintive, deep-soul cuts interspersed with monologues of loss and heartbreak.

Screw the top off a bottle of red wine, plant yourself on the Broyhill and drop the needle. Now toast the genius who came up with the idea of having Tami cover Loretta Lynn on Wings Upon Your Horn. The entire side is filled with stone classics and the slab is given a fitting sendoff with the Funkadelic-ish rendition of the Patterson Sisters’ That’s Understanding.

Side ‘b’ kicks off with I’m Gonna Run Away From You, a baffling inclusion as it’s a cover of her song that went to the top five in the UK just a year earlier.

Tami really digs her heels in on A World You Left Behind You, it’s drenched with soul and sounds like a mid-sixties jukebox nickel magnet.

Never No More is the only Lynn-penned cut on the entire record, and it’s a serviceable bit of poppish R&B. Tami immediately gets the train back on tracks with Mojo Hannah one of the best cuts on the entire record as it sounds like prime era Isley Brothers

She’s a gumbo cooker and an alligator whipper
Make a dead man jump and shout
Talking about a woman named Hannah
Down in Louisiana

This cut was written by the pride of Bessemer, Alabama Andre Williams of Greasy Chicken and Bacon Fat fame. Ms Lynn gives it full justice.

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Monologue: Introduction To A Love Affair
Written-By – L. Dinsdale

Wings Upon Your Horn
Written-By – Loretta Lynn

Monologue: Hoping
Written-By – L. Dinsdale

Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone
Written-By – Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier & Brian Holland*

Monologue: Final Attempt
Written-By – L. Dinsdale

Can’t Last Much Longer
Written-By – Allen Toussaint

Monologue: The Next Time!
Written-By – L. Dinsdale

That’s Understanding
Written-By – Dave Crawford, Willie Martin

I’m Gonna Run Away From You
Arranged By – Ray EllisEngineer [Recording Engineer] – Tom Dowd Producer – Bert Berns. Written by Bert Berns

Ain’t No Soul (Left In These Old Shoes)
Engineer [Recording Engineer] – Jerry Puckett, Tommy Couch Producer – John Abbey, Wardell Quezergue. Written by Arthur Resnick, Joseph Levine*

A World You Left Behind You
Engineer [Recording Engineer] – Jerry Puckett, Tommy CouchProducer – John Abbey, Wardell Quezergue. Written by Jane McNealy

Never No More
Engineer [Recording Engineer] – Jerry Puckett, Tommy Couch. Producer – John Abbey, Wardell Quezergue. Written by Tami Lynn

Mo Jo Hanna
Engineer [Recording Engineer] – Howie Albert, Ronnie Albert Producer – Brad Shapiro, Jerry Wexler. Written by Andre Williams (2), Barbara Paul, Clarence Paul

One Night Of Sin
Engineer [Recording Engineer] – Howie Albert*, Ronnie Albert*Producer – Brad Shapiro, Jerry Wexler. Written by Anita Steinman, Dave Bartholomew, Pearl King

Engineer [Recording Engineer] – Jerry Puckett, Tommy Couch. Producer – John Abbey, Wardell Quezergue

Unfinished Blues by Harold Battiste
Rhythm and Blues in New Orleans by John Broven
Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the … by Joel Selvin
“What’d I Say?”: The Atlantic Story : 50 Years of Music by Ahmet M. Ertegun

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