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Kitty And The Haywoods – 1981 – Excuse Me I’ve Got a Life to Catch

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Kitty And the the Haywoods Excuse Me I've Got a Life to Catch

By George O’Leary

The Chicago-based all-female trio – and then quartet – Kitty & The Haywoods (sisters Kitty, Vivian and Mary Ann at first – joined in 1976 by Vivian’s daughter Cynthia) – began their career singing commercial jingles in the area before hooking up with Mercury Records. There they released their first single, produced by Charles Stepney, then a keyboardist with the large psychedelic rock group The New Rotary Connection for which Kitty had briefly been a vocalist, but in 1975 neither side of the trio’s Loving You Is Mellow Part 1 b/w Part 2 as Mercury 73669 made any impact on either the national R&B or Billboard Pop Hot 100.

Two years later, with the addition of Cynthia, they were selected to sing background for Curtis Mayfield’s 1977 LP “Never Say You Can’t Survive” (Curtom 5013), and from that point on they fell under the tutelage of the Dayton, Ohio large and successful Funk band, The Ohio Players, who produced and collectively wrote their material, starting with the album “Love Shock” (Mercury LP SRM-1-1171)

Kitty And the the Haywoods Excuse Me I've Got a Life to Catch back

Out of the album came the abridged Love Shock which, in Aug-Sept 1977 reached the lower levels of the R &B charts at # 84 b/w a  version of  Makin’ Love as Mercury 73931. That would their only production at Mercury, resurfacing at Capitol Records where they released their only single there, Disco Fairyland b/w Rock Me Baby as Capitol 4665 in late 1978, followed in 1981 by the Ohio Players-produced album “Excuse Me, I’ve Got A Life To Catch” (Capitol ST-12149)

On this they were backed by: alto saxophonist Satch Satchell, tenor saxophonist Alan Porth, trumpeters Merv Pierce, Pee Wee Middlebrooks and Jack Kramer, bassists Clarence Willis, Tyrone Crum and Sugarfoor Bonner (also lead & rhythm guitar), lead/rhythm guitarists Chet Willis and Ralph Aikens, electric pianists Jim Diamond, Keith Harrison and Billy Beck (also grand piano), drummers Roger Parker and Jim Diamond (also percussionist), and percussionist Robert Jones.

When the LP failed to attract much commercial attention, they soon disbanded. In 2006, Vivid Sound of Japan reformatted the Capitol LP (Vivid Sound VSCD-315) in a limited-edition release, but as far as I can determine, that is their only music to appear in CD format.