Johnny Bristol – 1974 – Hang On It There Baby

I am truly touch by this music. This man has a voice that combines the sexy Barry White with soulful Bill Withers and blows my mind.

One of my favourite soul albums ever, included in the bestΒ 100 soul albums of all time by Mojo Magazine.

A1 Woman, Woman 5:08
A2 Hang on in There Baby 3:55
A3 Reachin’ Out for Your Love 4:01
A4 You & I 3:41
A5 Take Care of You for Me 3:10
B1 I Got Cha Number 3:19
B2 It Don’t Hurt No More 3:35
B3 Memories Don’t Leave Like People Do 4:08
B4 Love Me for a Reason 3:41
B5 Woman, Woman (Reprise) 0:42


Bristol first came to local fame in the Detroit area as a member of the soul duo “Johnny & Jackey” with Jackey Beavers, an associate Bristol met while in the US Air Force. The pair recorded a number of singles for Harvey Fuqua‘s Tri-Phi record label, none of which were successes beyond the Midwestern United States.
In the mid-1960s, Tri-Phi was absorbed by Motown Records, and Bristol began working with Fuqua as a songwriter and producer. Among Fuqua and Bristol’s successes as producers were hit singles such as Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell‘s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (1967), “Your Precious Love” (1967), and “If I Could Build My Whole World Around You” (1968); Edwin Starr‘s “Twenty-Five Miles” (1969); and David Ruffin‘s “My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)” (1969). On his own, Bristol co-wrote and produced Gladys Knight & the Pips‘ “I Don’t Want to Do Wrong” (1971) and “Daddy Could Swear, I Declare” (1972), and several singles by Jr. Walker & the All-Stars such as “What Does It Take (to Win Your Love)” (1969).
Notably, Bristol was the producer and co-writer of the final singles for both Diana Ross & the Supremes and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, before each group lost its namesake lead singerr. While the Miracles’ “We’ve Come Too Far to End It Now” (1972) was an original, the Supremes’ “Someday We’ll Be Together” (1969) was a cover version of a Johnny & Jackey single from 1961. Bristol is the male voice on the Supremes’ version of “Someday We’ll Be Together,” singing response to Diana Ross‘ lead vocal (Diana Ross actually recorded the song with session singers replacing the other two Supremes).
In 1973, Bristol left Motown to resume his singing career, joining first with CBS Records and almost immediately moving to MGM Records. For MGM, Bristol recorded several successful albums and singles, and had hits in the mid-1970s with “Hang On In There Baby” (1974, number-eight U.S. pop), “You And I” (1974, number 20 U.S. R&B), and “Leave My World” (1975, number 20 U.S. R&B). He also recorded the original version of “Love Me for a Reason”, later a hit for The Osmonds. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Bristol would record for Atlantic Records, Polydor Records, and several other labels. His biggest hit during this period was a medley of the Motown songs “My Guy/My Girl”, recorded as a duet with Amii Stewart in 1980.
Johnny Bristol died in his Brighton Township, Michigan home on 2004, of natural causes, at the age of sixty-five.

The Reviews


The prolific Johnny Bristol made his name at Motown as a writer & producer of tracks like Diana Ross & the Supremes’ ‘Someday We’ll Be Together’, a song he co-wrote years before. In 1974, he did a successful production assignment for Boz Scaggs & made his solo debut for MGM. In short order, Bristol created an intriguing persona with a patented wry vocal delivery. The title track is a sensual masterpiece that all but summed up his lyrical meter. The infinitely playable & smooth ‘You & I’ is just as good. ‘I Got Cha Number’, also on Scaggs’ Slow Dancer, has Scaggs coming on to do some fun harmony vocals, but tracks like ‘Memories Don’t Leave Like People Do’ & ‘Love Me for Reason’ are so-so efforts. This is prime ’70s L.A. R&B/pop with Bristol’s sure production hand & arrangements by H.B. Barnum. Players include David T. Walker & his singular guitar fills.

Under-discovered 70s soul genius from Johnny Bristol — an artist who’s best known for his early work in the Motown studios, but who steps out here as an incredible soul singer in his own right! Johnny’s work here has an undeniably funky quality — a full, rich groove that blends together soaring strings and tighter rhythms — almost taking a cue from the blacksploitation soundtracks of the time, but focusing that groove into some really tight soul tracks — sung with a voice that should have made him huge! There’s a great blend here of the rough and the smooth — and the style’s almost like mixing together Barry White and Sam Dees with the full funky arrangements of the former, and all the great songwriting and vocal delivery of the latter

Buy the AlbumJohnny Bristol – 1974 – Hang On It There Baby


Conversation for album: Johnny Bristol – 1974 – Hang On It There Baby

  • raggedy
    Posted at 00:02h, 18 September 2008 Reply

    Wow!!!! I can’t believe this! This is a gem. I simply love Johnny Bristol. He has a unique voice that simply is unforgettable.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • tom
    Posted at 14:19h, 11 October 2008 Reply

    Cheers m8, Love Me for a Reason seems to be missing, any chance of upping it, great sounds, thanks again

  • nikos1109
    Posted at 18:37h, 11 October 2008 Reply

    tom, just download it. it’s there. please check again.

  • Chris
    Posted at 08:06h, 12 November 2008 Reply

    I’ve got this on vinyl and you guys saved me the time of burning it to MP3!!! Thanks.

  • cleffdeadly
    Posted at 14:01h, 21 July 2009 Reply

    fantastic! gets you in the mood for some good lovin’…

  • Piet
    Posted at 15:32h, 29 September 2009 Reply

    Thanks !!!

  • Dave
    Posted at 17:39h, 30 July 2011 Reply

    Thanks a lot Nikos. This record is an eye-opener. I had heard the title-track many times, but I didn’t know how good the whole album is. Reading your notes, his body of work is quite remarkable. Thanks again.

  • dragographie
    Posted at 17:09h, 05 November 2012 Reply

    If few albums should last at the end of the world, sure it should be one of them. Thank you so much i can’t stop listening to it for a week. When gods of soul Barry White and Marvin Gaye have met on a guitar rif from Isaac Hayes they created a son called Johnny Bristol and gave him the face of Ben Harper LOOOOOL πŸ˜‰

  • Senteza
    Posted at 18:42h, 19 December 2012 Reply

    Been searching for this album since 1976 when I last heard in Kampala, Uganda. The scene was really funky back then. Thanks a lot for sharing this gem.

  • Jack
    Posted at 06:38h, 15 June 2013 Reply

    Aw.. The mortifying embarrassment when you were riding in the car with your Mother, and Hang On in There Baby came on the radio!

    • Marcos
      Posted at 14:48h, 01 March 2016 Reply

      Your comment sure made me laugh, Jack!

      Thanks once again to the artists and for all your work on this blog.

  • B
    Posted at 23:20h, 27 September 2015 Reply

    Thanks much! This album is fantastic!!!!

Post A Comment

Anti Spam: Please complete the following before clicking on *add comment* *