Roscoe Shelton's blues tinged vocals were
responsible for some of the greatest deep Southern soul output during the
sixties, for a variety of labels. Since the mid nineties he was a regular
visitor to Europe, as part of the Excello Legends package, which leaves us with
some splendid shows to remember him by. Born 22nd August 1931 in
Lynchburg, Tennessee. His start in the music business, as with so many, was
through Gospel music, as a teenager serving a long apprenticeship with the
Fairfield Four Gospel group. Military service interrupts his singing career. On
discharge he joins another gospel group, as featured tenor, The Skylarks,
recording with them for Nashboro Records, a subsidiary of Excello Records.
Roscoe jumps at the chance when label boss Ernie Young offers him a chance to go
Signing for Excello in 1957, he began
a long string of regional hits 'Think It Over' 'I Miss You So’' 'I Was Wrong'
'It's My Fault' all produced by Ted Jarrett. His first album released in 1962
ROSCOE SHELTON SINGS, Excello 8002 contains mainly his singles, and is a superb
showcase. In fact it was Ted Jarrett's small Valdot label in 1962 where he had
his next releases 'Yesterday's Mistakes' and 'Worry' which were leased to Battle
Records, 'Worry' being a minor regional hit. In 1964 he signs with Simms Records
were he had his biggest hit in 1965, a deep soul killer, 'Strain On My Heart'.
When Simms Records folded he moved to John
Richbourg's Sound Stage 7 label. His second release for the label finds him a
hit with a glorious gem, 'Easy Going Fellow', 32 R&B. Although the quality
of his output continues over the next six releases for Sound Stage 7, he fails
to chart again. His second album was released by Sound Stage 7 in 1967 MUSIC IN
HIS SOUL-SOUL IN HIS MUSIC, repackaged Battle and Simms material etc. By the
late sixties he became disillusioned with the music business, and semi retired.
He made a few records for Ted Jarret's Ref-O-Ree label, before retiring
An assortment of re-issues appeared on Sound
Plus, and Brigade. In 1994 out of the blue he receives a call from record
producer Fred James, who talks him back into the studio. In 1995 he released the
CD SHE'S THE ONE on Appaloosa Records, then followed THE EXCELLO LEGENDS CD
(with Earl Gaines and Clifford Curry) on Magnum Records. In 1998 he had the CD
LET IT SHINE on Black Top. He died in July 27th.