Wess & The Airedales – 1973 – The Sound Of Soul

Doug Fowlkes formed Wess & The Airedales in 1961 as the Airedales. In the mid-60s the band ended up in Italy due to a military tour of duty where they added singer and bassist Wess Johnson who took over the band.
This one was sent by a visitor of FMS a long time ago and I am sure you’ll all enjoy it. It is extremely rare, never released on CD.

A1. Chapel Of Dreams 3.03
A2. My sun Is Shining 2.03
A3. Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag 2.47
A4. Stop Foolin’ Yourself 2.43
A5. High Heel Sneakers 3.14
A6. Until You Came Along 3.25
B1. Your Precious Love 3.20
B2. Where Did Our Love Go 2.30
B3. I’ll Never Turn My Back On You 2.59
B4. I’ve Got My Eyes On You 2.08
B5. You Brought It All On Yourself 2.28
B6. She Found Out 2.14

For generations the music and influence of black America has penetrated the ears of music lovers all over the world. During the ‘60s and ‘70s, as radio & TV communications and record distribution improved, more people than ever before were able to groove to the jazz of Blue Note, the soul of Motown, and the funk of James Brown…

It wasn’t just the head-nodders and dancers that would get down to these exciting new American exports. Singers and musicians on all six continents, having only been exposed to traditional or classical music, would listen with a keen ear to draw much-needed inspiration. The many styles of funk, soul, jazz and rock pouring out from the US during the incredibly fertile ‘60s period meant that there was a LOT of music to be inspired by, but as you can imagine the biggest and the best were the ones who made their point most known – in the case of Italian Soul band Wess & the Airedales, the tremendous power of James Brown’s trademarked production, arrangement and instrumentation was a major influence.

The many incarnations of  Wess & the Airedales started in the US, in the year of 1961 when founder Doug Fowlkes fronted his Airedales band, recording a solitary 45 on the Viva label. More recordings followed with singer Rocky Roberts at the helm, and things continued despite his relocation to Italy due to military service. The band inevitably took on some Italian members, and in 1967 Italian vocalist and bassist Wess Johnson took over the role of Roberts. The American influence is obvious with the band performing and recording many more LPs, Eps and 45s of American-style Soul music – sung in Italian!

Any self-respecting US funk band at the time of recording – 1970 – would have been envious of the tight rhythms, sharp horns and super-clean production. Even Mr Brown himself! They are a band that is truly together. The music they’ve created clearly displays the level of talent & ingenuity that’s managed to bridge the gap between Italian and American interpretation of a cutting edge sound, regardless of geographical location.

A perfect example of foreign talent that has managed to capture the very essence of deep, hard & raw American funk.

Full Discography

Buy the Album

Download the Album

  • mellowgangsta
    Posted at 17:53h, 30 November Reply

    I get down on my knees!!! Big funky shout out to Nikos. This is brilliant!!! Move your hips to the funky Wess………………

  • Raphy
    Posted at 21:32h, 30 November Reply

    This is BIG STUFF….I don’t know the singer..I think, but I sure know the songs…..Really top shelf stuff…

    Big Up!@!

  • rich
    Posted at 22:03h, 30 November Reply

    this is new to me cant wait to hear thank u nikos. how was thanksgiving weekend for u my friend

  • tswift
    Posted at 23:31h, 30 November Reply

    Totally new to me! Thanks for this joint!!

  • Heinz
    Posted at 23:35h, 30 November Reply

    Wess took over the place in the Airdales that was of Rocky Roberts. Check out this on youtube – it is sung in italian but it is 100% groovy.

  • xensma
    Posted at 00:51h, 01 December Reply

    thos one looks really funky, and very rare, i never heard about frank wess before.thank you for sharing!

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 04:42h, 01 December Reply

    Thanks, can’t wait to check this out.

  • Adriano
    Posted at 10:43h, 01 December Reply

    Grande indimenticabile Wess, quante emozioni dalla tua voce eccezionale e dalle tue belle canzoni. Grazie.

  • phatrapper
    Posted at 11:12h, 01 December Reply

    Sounds amazing! Many thanks!

  • brotherpete
    Posted at 15:08h, 01 December Reply

    thanks ever so much! Can’t wait to get to hear this one too!

  • Jerry
    Posted at 20:46h, 01 December Reply

    thank you for this one !

  • E-mile
    Posted at 02:04h, 02 December Reply

    nikos, indeed mr, Brown (may he rest in peace) could be having some Airedales-tights up his cape… this one is new to me, thank you for sharing!

  • Samuel
    Posted at 10:27h, 02 December Reply

    Thanks for this one, never heard of, can’t wait to give it a try!!

  • FG
    Posted at 12:38h, 02 December Reply

    It sounds interesting! i’ll give it a try.

  • Jack
    Posted at 00:12h, 03 December Reply

    it’s funkyyyyyy

  • JackRamon
    Posted at 01:32h, 03 December Reply


    Just a quick word to let you know that you are featured in our blogroll on Radio.Video.Jazz

    Please check our site. If you like our work, do link back to us.

    If you feel like contributing, let us know.

    A lot of thanks.

    The Radio.Video.Jazz Team

    PS : you can also check our other website Radio.Video.Trad

  • Noa
    Posted at 10:10h, 03 December Reply

    Thanks for the ratity brother!

  • catacaldos
    Posted at 12:33h, 03 December Reply

    Much appreciated.I haven’t heard this one .Now i’ve the remedy.Thanks a lot.

  • catacaldos
    Posted at 12:34h, 03 December Reply

    Greaaaaat ,thank you very nuch for sharing this.Mil gracias.

  • Paul
    Posted at 14:47h, 03 December Reply

    A real surprise. Thank u.

  • alfonso
    Posted at 14:43h, 03 December Reply

    my brother Curro has a single of wess & the airedales, but when he got married he brought with him to Valencia with another Lp and singles. Only forgot the Marvin Gaye-Diana Ross album.
    Thanks for all your work.

  • hooch
    Posted at 19:37h, 03 December Reply

    Many thanks nikos!

  • Manny
    Posted at 11:53h, 04 December Reply

    Love it.Great work.

  • Trakbuv
    Posted at 13:37h, 04 December Reply

    Never heard of this – but a gorgeous sophistiwop (TM), that golden era between doo-wop and sweet soul. Beautiful mix of sixties funk and soul. Many thanks for the education Nikos. You remind me how much I still love going to school !! My fave is definitely “Until you came along” – I’m like a baby swaying in my mother’s arms when this comes on !!

  • Tony
    Posted at 21:41h, 04 December Reply

    Dope! Keep it up brother.

  • Ben
    Posted at 11:47h, 05 December Reply

    Thanks for making sure that this music is getting heard again.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 15:01h, 05 December Reply

    thank you for this one !!!

  • Kirk
    Posted at 10:11h, 07 December Reply

    Great find.

  • dj85
    Posted at 20:03h, 07 December Reply

    I couldnt pass this up. Thanks.

  • BenTheBalladeer
    Posted at 23:22h, 07 December Reply

    I’m having problems downloading from Rapidshare. Keep getting info that only premium users can download.
    Is there any other way you can provide downloads. MediaFire or so.
    thxs in advance

  • Synaptix
    Posted at 01:31h, 08 December Reply

    A Chapel of Dreams is mind boggling.

  • talpass
    Posted at 17:51h, 08 December Reply

    woooowwww!!!!this one is hot!!!thx

  • chile
    Posted at 00:50h, 14 December Reply

    This one was particularly good. Thanks.

  • jean paris
    Posted at 18:52h, 17 December Reply

    i discovered that with ur help….what can i say…a huge thanks 4 mr nikos aka mr gems… jean paris

  • Rob
    Posted at 01:08h, 03 January Reply

    Fantastic record!

  • catacaldos
    Posted at 20:57h, 05 January Reply

    Seems to be good stuff , i didn’t know this one.I really appreciate your efforts.Thanks a lot

  • elevate
    Posted at 21:00h, 10 May Reply

    thanks homie

  • Michele
    Posted at 22:53h, 29 October Reply

    THIS IS REAL DOPE! For many years I’m looking for this great album…now I am sure…I have another rare vinyl to dream!!!

  • M.E.
    Posted at 19:51h, 19 May Reply

    My Uncle in Italy was one of their Trumpet players!! This is amazing!! It actually on the cover of the album “Il Vento Amico!” So amazing!! Love this music!

  • Anthony Poppiti
    Posted at 20:28h, 27 June Reply

    How can I get Airedales – Chapel of dreams

  • Topaz Bon
    Posted at 02:16h, 22 August Reply

    Great, yet another unknown gem!!

Post A Comment

4 − two =