Bettye Crutcher – 1974 – Long As You Love Me

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BETTYE CRUTCHER Long As You Love Me front. jpg

As one third of the great ‘We Three’ songwriting trio with Homer Banks and Raymond Jackson, Bettye Jean Crutcher penned some of the biggest chart hits and best records of the second golden era of Stax (1969-75) including the company’s biggest single hit of the era, Johnnie Taylor’s Who’s Making Love.

After years of singing on We Three demos, Stax finally gave Bettye her own album in 1974. Long As You Love Me came out in the dying days of the label and did not get the exposure it fully deserved back then.

This will be welcomed by all collectors of Southern and, in particular, Memphis soul from the early 70s.

A1 Long As You Love Me 2.52
A2 When We’re Together 3.38
A3 Passion 4.20
A4 A Little Bit More Won’t Hurt 4.08
A5 Sunday Morning’s Gonna Find Us In Love 4.55
B1 Sugar Daddy 3.48
B2 Call Me When All Else Fails 5.01
B3 Up For A Let Down 3.24
B4 So Lonely Without You 2.59
B5 Sleepy People 4.27

So Glad To Have You
Don’t You Think It’s About Time?
 Make A Joyful Noise
 We’ve Got Love On Our Side
Walk On To Your New Love
I Forgive You

BETTYE CRUTCHER Long As You Love Me back

Review by RDTEN1

Sadly her name doesn’t attract the attention it deserves given the late Bettye Crutcher was an immensely talented singer, songwriter and producer.  Unfortunately good luck finding any real information on the woman, let along her wonderful solo LP.

The mid-1960s found Crutcher living in Memphis.  A single parent raising three boys on her own, she paid her bills working as a full time nurse, but had a driving desire to make it in the music business.  As a result she worked her medical job all day; fed and put her kids to bed, and then would write and record material into the early hours of the morning.  A prolific songwriter she initially tried to score a contract with Hi Records but was turned down by the label.  A 1966  audition with Stax didn’t go much better with David Porter supposedly telling Crutcher that her material wasn’t bluesy enough.  A week later Crutcher returned with a slew of bluesy material and was signed on as a staff writer.  

Teamed with Homer Banks and Raymond Jackson (known collectively as We Three), the trio almost immediately scored a massive hit in the form of Johnny Taylor‘s cover of ‘Who’s Making Love‘ and over the next three years became one of the biggest sources of hit material for Stax.  following the breakup of the We Three writing team Crutcher continued to enjoy successes on her own.  Those successes eventually saw Crutcher given an opportunity to record on her own.

Co-produced by Crutcher and longtime writing partner Mack Rice, 1974’s “Long As You Love Me” was a pleasant surprise to me ears.  Many folks make their names as songwriters due to the fact they simply couldn’t cut it as performers, but it turns out Crutcher was an exception to the rule.  Blessed with an attractive, if slightly underpowered voice Crutcher proved herself a more than capable performer on this set.  While it wasn’t a perfect comparison, on songs like ‘Up for a Little Down‘ Crutcher came off sounding like a tougher Dionne Warwick – imagine Warwick with Memphis soul roots rather than her MOR orientation and you’d be in the ballpark …  Showcasing ten original songs (most co-written with Rice), the set was equally divided between ballads and more up tempo numbers.  While ballads like ‘Long As You Love Me‘ and ‘Passion‘ were quite enjoyable, Crutcher was actually at her best on up tempo and slinkier numbers like the funky groover ‘When We’re Together‘, ‘A Little Bit More Won’t Hurt‘ and the top 40-ready ‘Sugar Dady‘.


BETTYE CRUTCHER Long As You Love Me label 1

That said the set certainly had some limitations.  Crutcher lacked the chops to handle a truly gritty song – check out her ragged performance on ‘Sunday Morning’s Gonna Find Us In Love’ and the heavy orchestration occasionally threatened to drown her out (blame arranger  Johnny Allen).  Maybe not one of the best Stax albums, but well worth checking out.  Elsewhere Enterprise tapped the album for a single in the form of: 

– 1974’s ‘Sugar Daddy’ b/w ‘As Long As You Love Me’ (Enterprise catalog number 2031)

Unfortunately with little promotional support from Stax the album didn’t do much commercially. 

Readily admitting that she undertook it to make some money, Crutcher also contributed to the soundtrack for the blaxploitation flick “The Klansman”.

The CD reissue except the original 10-track album is now supplemented by 6 bonus tracks, one of which is that excellent “Make a Joyful Noise“. The CD also comes with a thin booklet that includes an essay about Bettye, written by noted Soul historian Tony Rounce.

For fans of southern soul, especially the early to mid ’70s stylings, this album is a very pleasant discovery.

An interview with Bettye Crutcher


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Conversation for album: Bettye Crutcher – 1974 – Long As You Love Me

  • Ryan
    Posted at 13:06h, 04 June 2014 Reply

    Oh my god. this is fantastic. Than you so much.

  • Eliot
    Posted at 19:10h, 04 June 2014 Reply

    This is such a beautiful record. Thanks for the bonus cuts!

  • Lars
    Posted at 21:20h, 04 June 2014 Reply

    oh yes im super excited to hear this one, thanks for posting.

  • Ferm
    Posted at 22:38h, 04 June 2014 Reply

    i love this site. My education in black music has been going on.

  • Jamal
    Posted at 13:34h, 05 June 2014 Reply

    Wow. Excellent album. Thanx.

  • Serena
    Posted at 08:32h, 06 June 2014 Reply


  • Mark
    Posted at 08:41h, 06 June 2014 Reply

    this album kicks ass! a soulin’, groovin’, record. thanks nikos.

  • Adam
    Posted at 13:18h, 06 June 2014 Reply

    Thanks. I’m looking forward to checking this out!

  • Romeo
    Posted at 19:28h, 06 June 2014 Reply

    This was a great album. Thanks for posting it.

  • Dave
    Posted at 19:32h, 06 June 2014 Reply

    Thanks a lot for these cream of the crop of Soul music.

  • Evandro
    Posted at 08:08h, 07 June 2014 Reply

    this is pure gold…. more more more.

  • Marlena
    Posted at 08:50h, 07 June 2014 Reply

    awesome find

  • Dennis
    Posted at 18:43h, 07 June 2014 Reply

    Love this …Thanks for introducing me to this Artist….Great upload…. Thumbs up !

  • Mirca
    Posted at 19:50h, 07 June 2014 Reply


  • Javi
    Posted at 09:50h, 08 June 2014 Reply

    this LP is so amazing.

  • Alfred
    Posted at 11:44h, 08 June 2014 Reply

    Good Good Music and sangin!

  • Radek
    Posted at 16:48h, 08 June 2014 Reply

    A nice one, thanks a lot.

  • Nilay
    Posted at 10:22h, 09 June 2014 Reply

    so beautiful. majestic tunes.

  • Ben
    Posted at 22:51h, 09 June 2014 Reply

    Great. You never let us down. Ever.

  • Omar
    Posted at 09:17h, 10 June 2014 Reply

    Killer. TU

  • Sunny
    Posted at 12:09h, 10 June 2014 Reply

    Excellent voice. Love it.

  • Real
    Posted at 12:27h, 10 June 2014 Reply

    seriously my dad and uncle always bumped music like this and now i be bumpin’ music like this

  • Kimki
    Posted at 08:32h, 11 June 2014 Reply

    Never heard her before. I am excited. Thanks.

  • Eddie
    Posted at 12:28h, 11 June 2014 Reply

    Great, good music! Thanks!

  • Hawk
    Posted at 19:16h, 11 June 2014 Reply

    Thank you for posting this!!! This is such a gem! I fell in love with it years ago when I first heard it.

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