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 their albums from Groove Collector.

Download link


Share This Post


  1. mellowgangsta says:

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

  2. Raphy says:

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

    Big Up!@!

  3. rich says:

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

  4. tswift says:

    Totally new to me! Thanks for this joint!!

  5. Heinz says:

    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.

  6. xensma says:

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

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, can’t wait to check this out.

  8. Adriano says:

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

  9. phatrapper says:

    Sounds amazing! Many thanks!

  10. brotherpete says:

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

  11. Jerry says:

    thank you for this one !

  12. E-mile says:

    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!

  13. Samuel says:

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

  14. FG says:

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

  15. Jack says:

    it’s funkyyyyyy

  16. JackRamon says:


    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

  17. Noa says:

    Thanks for the ratity brother!

  18. catacaldos says:

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

  19. catacaldos says:

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

  20. Paul says:

    A real surprise. Thank u.

  21. alfonso says:

    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.

  22. hooch says:

    Many thanks nikos!

  23. Manny says:

    Love it.Great work.

  24. Trakbuv says:

    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 !!

  25. Tony says:

    Dope! Keep it up brother.

  26. Ben says:

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

  27. Anonymous says:

    thank you for this one !!!

  28. Kirk says:

    Great find.

  29. dj85 says:

    I couldnt pass this up. Thanks.

  30. Hi,
    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

  31. Synaptix says:

    A Chapel of Dreams is mind boggling.

  32. talpass says:

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

  33. chile says:

    This one was particularly good. Thanks.

  34. jean paris says:

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

  35. Rob says:

    Fantastic record!

  36. catacaldos says:

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

  37. elevate says:

    thanks homie

  38. Michele says:

    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!!!

  39. M.E. says:

    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!

  40. Anthony Poppiti says:

    How can I get Airedales – Chapel of dreams

Leave a Reply

6 − = zero