Pop Archives

The Dream - Who Could Be Lovin’ You (Other Than Me) (1968)

(Willie Hutchinson*)
Australia Australia
#19 Melbourne

* This single adds a writer credit for Marc Gordon, but the song is copyrighted by Hutchinson alone. The label of Al Wilson’s original version, wr. Hutchinson, co-produced by Marc Gordon.

Single on Festival by Melbourne band. It was also on 1968 EP shared with Cam-Pact (2 tracks each).

Who Could Be Lovin’ You (Other Than Me) later appeared on an EP by The Dream’s later incarnation The New Dream, Catching Up On Fun (1969).

See also Groupie (1969) and Candy Love (1971) by The New Dream.

The copyrighted title of the song is Who Could Be Lovin’ You Other Than Me, without brackets, but it has been recorded as Who Could Be Lovin’ You (Other Than Me), and as Who Could Be Lovin’ You or Who Could Be Loving You.

Suggestion from Terry Stacey.

Al Wilson - Who Could Be Lovin’ You (1967)

(Willie Hutchinson)
Original version

Single on Soul City, produced by Johnny Rivers & Marc Gordon, arranged by Jim Webb.

Singer-songwriter-guitarist and producer Willie Hutch (born Hutchinson 1946-2005) started releasing his own solo records from the mid-60s, but he also became a notable songwriter and producer for other artists at Soul City and Motown.

He wrote California My Way, the Fifth Dimension song that appeared on their first album Up Up And Away which he co-produced, . Later, at Motown, he worked with The Jackson 5 (their 1970 #1 I’ll Be There was a co-write), Michael Jackson and Smokey Robinson, while continuing to release his own recordings.

Marc Gordon was Al Wilson’s manager. He had been a successful producer at Motown before forming his own management company and signing up The Versatiles, better known later as The Fifth Dimension. They became the stars of Soul City, the new label that Gordon managed for owner Johnny Rivers.

Who Could Be Lovin’ You was Al Wilson’s first release on Soul City. See also Do What You Gotta Do.

Further reading: 1. Al Wilson Story from thatsmusic.org (archived PDF).  2. Willie Hutch at Discogs.com. 3. Willie Hutch bio by Greg Prato at All Music.

Jackie Ross - Who Could Be Loving You (1969)

(Willie Hutchinson)
Later version

Single on Chicago label Fountain, B-side of Don’t Change Your Mind, by St Louis-born Chicago soul-r&b singer (b.1946) with a gospel upbringing.

Jackie Ross’s first record (as Jacki Ross) was on Sam Cooke’s SAR label in 1962. She was signed to Chess Records in 1964 and charted with Selfish One (1964, #11 USA). Her version of Take Me For A Little While came out in July 1965, the same month as the original by Evie Sands. Pop success eluded her through some label changes, and she mainly returned to gospel music. She was later taken up by the Northern Soul movement in the UK, and recorded with Wigan Casino DJ and producer Ian Levine.

This was produced by the multi-skilled and versatile Calvin Carter, producer, songwriter and A&R man (1925-1986). He was essential to the success of Vee-Jay Records, founded in 1953 by Vivian Carter and James Bracken, who were Calvin’s sister and her husband. Calvin wrote I Ain’t Got You, first on Vee-Jay in 1956 but covered by many including The Yardbirds, and he produced Betty Everett’s #6 hit Shoop Shoop Song (on Vee-Jay, 1964).

The arranger, Riley Hampton (1918-2006), was a saxophonist who had played for Fletcher Henderson and Red Saunders. He arranged hundreds of songs over his years at Vee-Jay and at Chess where he was house bandleader from 1959. He arranged for numerous major artists including Etta James, Barbara Lewis, Major Lance, The Impressions, and Curtis Mayfield.

Editorial: Jackie Ross’s emotional interpretation of the song is unique. Note the dramatic weight she gives the phrase other than me, something you don’t hear in other versions.

Sources, further reading: 1. Jackie Ross biography by Jason Ankeny at All Music. 2. Jackie Ross page at AllButForgotten Oldies.net. 3. SAR Records (owned by Sam Cooke) at Wikipedia. 4. Zayde’s Turntable blog has a good section on Riley Hampton in The original Vee-Jay (sorry, MTV): a doo-wop classic. 5. Wikipedia’s Vee-Jay and Calvin Carter articles.

Jimmy James & The Vagabonds - Who Could Be Loving You (1968)

(Willie Hutchinson)

Single on Pye by ska-soul band formed in the mid-60s when established Jamaican band The Vagabonds joined with Jimmy James, US-born Jamaican resident and solo singer who had had some chart hits in Jamaica since the late 50s. As Jimmy James and the Vagabonds they moved to the UK where they became a popular late-60s live act in the clubs and on tour. 

Signed to Pye, they charted in the UK in 1968 with Red Red Wine (#36). In the 70s the Vagabonds disbanded and were re-formed by Jimmy James to chart again in 1976 with I’ll Go Where Your Music Takes Me (#23) and Now Is The Time (#5).

References, further reading: 1. Jimmy James (singer) at Wikipedia. 2. Jimmy James biography by Andrew Hamilton at All Music.

The Heart And Soul - Who Could Be Loving You (1968)

(Willie Hutchinson*)
Australia Australia

* As on the Australian single by The Dream, a writer credit for Marc Gordon is added on the label.

Single on Festival. The Heart And Soul was formed in Sydney in 1967 but later became prominent as the more progressive jazz-rock band Heart’n’Soul, known for Lazy Life (1969).

Who Could Be Loving You was included on Heart’n’Soul’s 1969 EP Lazy Life. They later recorded for Festival’s progressive label Infinity (1971).

Further reading: Band history at Milesago.

Listen: Who Could Be Loving You is Track 1 on the Heart’n’Soul playlist posted by the band’s French horn player and trumpeter Philip Prideaux. He also has a page of band history and images.

The Fantastics - Who Could Be Loving You (1968)

(Willie Hutchinson)

Single on MGM, B-side of Baby Make Your Own Sweet Music, recorded in England.

The Fantastics were New York street-corner vocal group The Velours, formed in Brooklyn in 1956 when the members were in their late teens. After a dozen singles 1956-1961 and some line-up changes, they released one single on MGM in 1967 before trying their luck in the UK. They toured England, initially billed as The Fabulous Temptations and even just The Temptations (Motown was not impressed). Settling on the Fantastics name, they released a number of singles on various labels from 1968 till the mid-70s.

Their first single on Bell, Something Old, Something New (1971, #9 UK) gave them their first real chart success. It was written by top British songwriters Tony Macaulay, Roger Greenaway and Roger Cook, and produced by Macaulay and Greenway.

References: 1. Jay Warner, American Singing Groups (2006). 2. The Velours and The Fantastics at Discogs.com.

Essential reading: The Fantastics – British Tours 1967-1970 at Garage Hangover is full of interesting history and images.

Bunny Walters - Who Could Be Loving You (1972)

(Willie Hutchinson*)
New Zealand New Zealand
Later version

* As on the Australian singles by The Dream, and by The Heart And Soul, a writer credit for Marc Gordon is added on the label.

Single on Impact, B-side of I Won’t Be Sorry To See Suzanne Again, by highly-regarded and popular Maori singer-guitarist (1953-2016), originally from the small North Island town of Katikati. Bunny Walters was a star in New Zealand, with five charting records 1970-74 and frequent appearances on TV music shows.

See his biggest hits Take The Money And Run (1972, #2 NZ #27 Melbourne) and Brandy (1974, #4 NZ) for more details. Browse all Bunny Walters records listed at this website.

References, further reading: 1. Bunny Walters obituary, “The Kid from Katikati” at NZ news site Stuff.co.nz. 2. Bunny Walters page at NZ music site Audio Culture.