by Emery Columna –
On the night before the Big Verdict, I went to see Ollie Woodson at The Century Club to help take my mind off of things.
Backed by a band appropriately named The Hit Squad, Ollie knows enough to come heavily armed to a gig. The Hit Squad has the capacity to grease the crowd, readying them for the man. The best part of the grease was Hit Squad’s rendition of Janet Jackson’s That’s The Way Love Goes, substituting JJ’s vocal parts with a clean lead guitar. The sax man stepped up and blew his pipe mercilessly. Then Ollie came on.
A Bobby Caldwell and a Van Dross penned tune started things off to set the groove. Ollie’s urbane version of Still’s Love The One You’re With brought an appreciative smile to my face. Of course the transcendent moment for me came when Ollie and The Hit Squad dropped the bomb.
I saw The Temps perform Psychedelic Shack on The Ed Sullivan Show, which was quite a trip for a 6 year old to take in. To hear Ollie and the band step off into My Girl was for me an explosive moment… What can make me feel this way…Dig.
It’s a little bit after 10 a.m. and I’m sucking down coffee and eggs over easy with Tabasco at Foxy’s. The verdict’s just come down and I’m so glad I had Ollie’s music to coast through one of L.A.’s uneasier nights.
The Motown Sound was part of what got America through the gruesome Vietnam War and the atrocity of so many assassinations. It was proper to have the Motown Sound courtesy of Ollie Woodson whistling in my ears as my head hit the pillow around 3:30 a.m.
America needs this music now more than ever. Our times, these times demand it. Somebody at Click ought to sign Ollie to a Solo contract. I’ll provide the pen. Woodson qualifies for such an outstanding opportunity.
Come On With It, Ollie.
October 2, 1995
Century City, CA