The Mirettes – 1969 – Whirlpool
Intro reviews by SoulStrut
Main Reviews by AvidOldiesCollector
Rip, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos
The Mirettes got their start as the back-up singers for the Ike & Tina Turner Show, better known as the Ikettes. In the late 1960s they left and renamed themselves the Mirettes. Under their new name they recorded two records, In The Midnight Hour, their first, and this, their second entitled Whirlpool. They have a fine mix of funky Soul numbers like “Sister Watch Yourself“, “Whirlpool“, the midtempo “Heart Full Of Gladness“, and more traditional Soul cuts such as “Something’s Wrong“, “At Last (I Found A Love)” with a nice repeating breakdown, and a stripped down cover of “Stand By Your Man”. The ladies also break out with the Gospel influenced “If Everybody’d Help Somebody“. No matter what the style, the three singers deliver some fine group vocals always backed by a strong horn section.
A1 Sister Warch Yourself 2:40
A2 Somethin’s Wrong 2:22
A3 Whirlpool 2:59
A4 So Lonely 2:35
A5 At Last (I Found A Love) 2:37
B1 Heart Full Of Gladness 3:05
B2 Ain’t You Tryin’ To Cross Over 2:53
B3 If Everybody’d Help Somebody 2:40
B4 Stand By Your Man 2:53
B5 I Miss You Baby (How I Miss You)2:35
This female vocal trio of Vanetta Fields, Robbie Montgomery and Jessie Smith first began as The Ikettes, backing the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, and also scored two nationally-charted hit singles as The Ikettes at Modern Records in 1965 – Peaches ‘N’ Cream, a # 28 R&B/# 36 Billboard Pop Hot 100 in April b/w The Biggest Prayers on Modern 1005, and I’m So Thankful, a # 12 R&B/# 74 Hot 100 in October on Modern 1011 b/w Don’t Feel Sorry For Me (The Ikettes also had an early 1962 # 3 R&B/# 19 Hot 100 with I’m Blue (The Gong-Gong Song) at Atco but then they were comprised of lead Delores Johnson, Jo Armstead and Eloise Hester).
A disagreement in late 1965 resulted in Fields, Montgomery and Smith leaving the Revue but, due to legal problems, they were forced to change their name. Since they had contracted to record for Randy Wood’s new Mirwood label they became The Mirettes and in 1966 they released He’s Alright With Me/Your Kind Ain’t No Good on Mirwood 5514. It went nowhere, nor did the 1967 single re-issuing He’s Alright With Me b/w Now That I’ve Found You Baby on Mirwood 5531, likely because what promotional funds were at Wood’s disposal went towards things like The Olympics‘ Mine Exclusively, and Bob & Earl‘s Baby It’s Over, both of which became minor hits.
When they next re-located to the MCA subsidiary Revue in Hollywood in 1968, you might think they may have been better served coming up with a new name, but they stuck with Mirettes when recording a cover of the 1965 Wilson Pickett hit In The Midnight Hour, and their sexy delivery got them back on the charts in February/March at # 18 R&B and just missed the Hot 100 Top 40 at # 45 on Revue 11004 b/w To Love Somebody. That was good enough to earn them their first LP (Revue RS-7205 “In The Midnight Hour“). From that album Revue also issued these two 1968 singles, but while they did alright regionally, neither could get them back on the national charts: Take Me For A Little While/The Real Thing (Revue 11017) and I’m A Whole New Thing/First Love (Revue 11029). A short stop at the Liberty subsidiary Minit in 1968 where, still calling themselves The Mirettes, they released Help Wanted/Play Fair on Minit 32045 also proved to be unsuccessful.
In 1969 they moved on to UNI Records (Universal City Records), yet another MCA-owned operation, where they recorded the album covered here “Whirlpool” (UNI 73062).These three singles culled from the album all failed to chart in 1969: Stand By Your Man/If Everybody’d Help Somebody (UNI 55110); Heart Full Of Gladness/Ain’t You Trying To Cross Over? (UNI 55126); and Whirlpool/Ain’t You Trying To Cross Over? (UNI 55147).
A fourth single – Rap Run It On Down/ (Nate Turner & The Mirettes) b/w Sweet Soul Sister (Vanetta Fields & The Mirettes) on UNI 55161 also bombed.
After Fields departed, replaced by Pat Powdrill who had also spent some time as an Ikette, the trio disbanded in 1971, with their only other recordings seemingly being He’s All Right With Me which came out in 1970 as Soul Fox 1000 (flip was the same song but an instrumental by The Keymen Brass) and an eyebrow-raising Ain’t My Stuff Good Enough which proved to be too risque for the small Zea Records who decided to shelve the song.
While you can get a decent CD version of “In The Midnight Hour” in Volume 11 of the Mavis series Hey! Look what I Found, and an equally-good copy of their Mirwood release “He’s Alright With Me” in the 4-track Kent Records of the U.K. CD The Stars Of Mirwood, what we really need is for someone to pull together their two LPs with added bonus tracks to take in those other singles not included in either. And maybe even that raunchy Ain’t My Stuff Good Enough because, truth be told, their stuff was indeed good enough and, with more powerful promotion behind them should have, and could have, done much better.