| The Vine City MARTA station is situated
on the East/West line, just one stop West of the CNN Center.
Not too far from there is where James "Hannibal" Shaw
was born, and where he cut his musical teeth singing with a doo wop
group called The Overalls (a group which also
featured two future members of Gladys Knight's Pips).
With Grover Mitchell, then of The Blue
Dots, cited as an early mentor, Hannibal made early steps to
becoming one of Atlanta's most notorious soul singers.
Now living in Harlem, NYC,
Hannibal is once again gaining fans through this 2001 compilation of
Hannibal tracks released by Norton Records. With an
impressive 28 songs spanning his work between the mid 1950s and early
1970s. Interviews with Hannibal conducted by label owners Billy
Miller & Miriam Linna make up the
extensive and colorful liner notes which are truly worth the price of
the CD alone.
As far as I can tell, this CD
compiles at least one side of every single Hannibal recorded through
1973 with the exception of his Venture single "I'm Your Man" b/w "I'm
Getting Ready" (written and produced by Thomas "Tee" Fletcher).
However, the CD does boast three previously unreleased tracks from 1970
and a live version of "In the Midnight Hour" with the Gatemouth
Brown Band backing him on a local Texas television show
called "The Beat".
Highlights on this CD come fast
and furious, from his Sue 45, we're treated to the Jack Nitzche penned
"The Biggest Cry", Johnny Otis' "Baby Please Change Your Mind", Johnny
Watson's "My Kind of Girl" from the King label are all favorites from
his Los Angeles period. All of his Wendell Parker recordings
are superb, as is the funky favorite from the Loma label "Get In the
Groove". The mastering of all these
tracks sounds great, even the televised recording of "In the Midnight
Hour", making this CD collection a necessity for anyone interested in
Georgia music, soul or otherwise.