Run Out Groove has announced its latest, fan-voted release, and it’s a treasure trove for soul fans and collectors! LeRoy Hutson’s The Curtom Years anthologizes the period in which the multi-talented singer/songwriter/producer/musician and onetime lead singer of The Impressions recorded for the group’s co-founder Curtis Mayfield’s label. The limited and individually numbered 2-LP release boasts 20 newly-remastered songs recorded between 1973 and 1979, including eight previously unreleased tracks (four from 1977 and four from 1979).
The New Jersey native’s music career began long before he met Mayfield. As a teenager, he was a member of a local quartet, The Nu-Tones, and in 1968 he was signed by Kapp Records as one-half of Sugar and Spice with singer Deborah Rollins. But Hutson still pursued a “day job,” and it was while studying dentistry at Howard University that he shared a room with Donny Hathaway. When the prodigiously gifted Hathaway left school to become Curtis Mayfield’s musical director, Hutson was inspired to switch his major to music theory and composition. LeRoy was still studying at Howard when he was enlisted into The Mayfield Singers; he also shared a composer credit with Donny for the latter’s debut single, “The Ghetto” (a top 25 R&B hit that also grazed the Billboard Hot 100). He had only graduated months earlier from Howard when Mayfield asked him to graduate again: this time from The Mayfield Singer to lead singer of Curtis’ group, The Impressions. Mayfield was leaving The Impressions to concentrate on his solo career. LeRoy stayed in their ranks for two years before departing to pursue his own solo work.
Between 1973 and 1992, Hutson recorded eight albums on Curtom and charted in the U.S. with thirteen singles. Four of them – “Love Oh Love,” “When You Smile,” “Ella Weez,” and “I Do, I Do (Want to Make Love to You)” – are featured on this collection along with deep cuts and fan favorites from his albums. Eight unreleased masters premiere on the second LP. Today, Hutson’s Curtom repertoire is licensed outside of the U.S. by British label Acid Jazz Records. Dean Rudland of Acid Jazz assisted Run Out Groove in compiling this LP, the first time Hutson’s work has been on vinyl in the U.S. in over three decades. Sooth You, Groove You, Hutson’s last album to date, arrived in 2009.
The Curtom Years is available for pre-order now through April 5 exclusively at Run Out Groove’s website. It will then be pressed and numbered based on demand. In the meantime, voting is now open for the label’s next release. Descriptions below have been provided by ROG:
Machine Head, Burn My Eyes: Vote for Bay Area Metal band Machine Head, and get their ’90s debut album reissued for the first time in over five years and expanded with bonus tracks. The band is on tour now.
The Dresden Dolls, Yes, Virginia: Vote for the punk-cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls, and ROG will issue their 2006 Roadrunner debut album on vinyl for the first time and press it on funky colored vinyl.
Owsley, Owsley: Vote for singer-songwriter William Owsley III and ROG will issue his critically-acclaimed Giant Records solo album on vinyl for the first time.
To check out which previous ROG titles are now available in independent record stores, check out the past titles section on the label’s website.
To locate older titles in the ROG catalogue that are sold out, please check ROG’s retail store locator.
LeRoy Hutson, The Curtom Years (Run Out Groove ROGV-070, 2020)
Side A: Curtom Studio Tracks 1972-1973 (all tracks from Love Oh Love, Curtom CRS 8017, 1973)
- So In Love With You 2:58 (1972)
- As Long As There’s Love Around 3:12 (1972)
- When You Smile 4:18 (1973)
- Love Oh Love 3:48 (1973)
- Time Brings On A Change 4:39 (1973)
- I’m In Love With You Girl 2:40 (1973)
Side B: Curtom Studio Tracks 1974-1976
- Ella Weez 3:00 (1974) (from The Man!, Curtom CRS 8020, 1974)
- Could This Be Love 3:03 (1974) (from The Man!, Curtom CRS 8020, 1974)
- Lucky Fellow 5:03 (1975) (from Hutson, Curtom CU 5002, 1975)
- I Think I’m Falling In Love 3:37 (Single Version) (1976) (Curtom single CMS 0124, 1977)
- Love The Feeling 2:53 (1976) (from Hutson II, Curtom CU 5011, 1976)
- I Do, I Do (Want To Make Love To You) (1976) 3:26 (from Hutson II, Curtom CU 5011, 1976)
Side C: 1977 unreleased masters
- Wisdom of My Life 5:50 (4/27/77)
- Trust My Heart 3:53 (4/20/77)
- You Can Be A Winner 5:14 (9/6/77)
- Thank You 6:25 (4/27/77)
Side D: 1979 unreleased masters
- Can’t Help Feeling This Way 5:22 (7/23/79)
- All I Need 4:06 (2/26/79)
- Desert Sand 4:25 (2/28/79)
- Don’t Leave 5:21 (2/28/79)