Sam Dees – The Show Must Go On (Pure Pleasure)
The best R&B songwriter and soul singer that most people have never heard of, Sam Dees has written songs for countless artists, including Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, George Benson, the Temptations, Teddy Pendergrass, Millie Jackson, Jackie Wilson, the Manhattans, Regina Belle, KC & the Sunshine Band, Willie Clayton, and many others. He's also a pretty fine singer, having recorded for the Chess, Atlantic, Polydor, and SSS labels, and he had a nice string of his own hits in the 1970s.
His 1975 Atlantic album The Show Must Go On has long been regarded by Southern soul aficionados as one of the best of the genre. Sounding a bit like a deeper-voiced Curtis Mayfield (in both style and theme), Dees sings with assurance, wisdom, passion, and a whole lot of soul here. Songs like "Child of the Streets", "Troubled Child," & "What's It Gonna Be," share Mayfield's commitment to social commentary, and Dees knows his way around a love song, too.