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  • RE: "Give me Joy" by Cathy Wood - The House Tune that was an Underground Monster

    Cathy Wood (Katherine Ellis) - Give me Joy - 1995

    One of the tracks that I hadn’t heard in absolutely ages. And I mean ages was this one.

    The track in question was called “Give me joy” by Cathy Wood (Katherine Ellis), which was made in 1995.

    I recently heard it again after going onto You Tube, after searching for other Soulful House music gems from that period of time; for which for the life of me I can’t remember at the moment.

    I remember purchasing this track as clear as day. The year was 1995. I believe the month was April. I remember I was very excited in making my way down to London, where I knew there I would be able pick up new or obscure vinyl that I hadn’t the hope of getting within my home town of Ipswich.

    I went to my usual record shopping haunts at the time within London, which wereUptown records and Black market records.

    I was always excited going to capital. As you knew that you were always going to find something good. I mean Real good, but you never knew what. That was the additional and exciting part about it.

    The downside of it all was that you never had enough money. You could take down £1,000 pounds (English pounds) if you wanted. It wouldn’t mean a thing. Due to the sheer number of great tunes that were available.

    Not too far away from these two great stores anyway was  HMW RECORD STORE in Oxford Street, London. Which was at the time the biggest record store in England; and possibly Europe.

    The store had an reportedly number of over 1 million records stored within the store at any given time.

    However, for this particular time; the HMW RECORD STORE in Oxford Streetwas not on my mind. Yes the HMW RECORD STORE in Oxford Street had the numbers. However I was used to the service and the stores more obscure vinyl of Black Market and Uptown record stores.

    It was there that I wanted to listen to Deep House tracks that day. The more obscure the better. So visited the Black Market store first.

    Here below is a record buyers views of Black Market Records - before it close down in March, 2015

    I listened to about 30 tracks within the Black Market Record store from labels such as Prescription records, Cajual Records, Relief (Usa); to Irma Records (Italy), and then onto Glasgow Underground records (England).etc, etc… Most of them looked interesting and maybe could yield a really great vinyl sounds for me.

    But the next step was to listen to them. I was lucky. There was a spare listening record bay near the front of the store – which wasn’t that far away from a store assistant. I was too interested in the tracks that I heard though.

    So I handied back the tunes and headed over to UPTOWN RECORDS STORE, SOHO, LONDON – that  was practically over the other side of the street. I knew the drill very well and went straight downstairs with the store which housed the House, Disco House, Garage tracks during 1995

    I managed to gather another pile of interesting enough records for me for my time there. 

    Down in the Basement area of Uptown Records, Soho, London, England

    Strictly Rhythm records and Bottom line records  were showing the most promise that day from the pile that I had collected to listen to.

    However, In between I kept hearing a record that was being played on the decks in front of me that I had to find out what it was…

    The shop assistant went behind to a rail not behind him, and handed me over track. Which surprised me a little as it was on an English label.

    CATHY WOOD - (Katherine Ellis) - Give Me Joy

    Released 1995, Phuture Trax PHTRAX4

    A1 - Give Me Joy (Booker T Nu Soul Klub Mix)

    A2 - Give Me Joy (Underground Mass Dub)

    B1 - Give Me Joy (Bookstone Joy Lick)

    B2 - Give Me Joy (Nu Soul Mass Dub)

    I added this track to the pile which I was gradually getting through.

    Eventually, I now had to play the track that was called “Give me Love”  by an artist that I had not heard of before called Cathy Wood (Katherine Ellis),

    It was after playing the single for the 1st 30 seconds that I knew I had to get it. There was about 4 mixes of the song on the vinyl, however, it was the Bookstone Joy mix that captured my imagination. It was/is wonderful tune.

    A simple, jazzy piano chord progression together with a lovely vocal; and simple House drum pattern. I could see that this was going to be smash.

    And so I bought it. I also bought 4 other x tunes from Uptown records. But the tune of the day was “Give me love”

    The store assistant as he was bagging up the records for me agreed. And stated that the tune was “flying out from the store”.

    I then left store with the biggest smile on my face knowing that I had purchased a really good selection of tunes.

    Within the next couple of months I heard that the tune was huge in London, from a couple friends of mine that lived there. It was on all the Pirates – east, north, south and west within the capital.

    When I visited London nightclubs at the time that featured just House music as their main staple diet – this song was sure to be featured within the night.

    I recently managed to get in touch with all the players that were involved with the single from that period of time.

    The vocalist of the track was Cathy Woodknown these days as Katherine Ellis.

    I managed to catch up with her who helped give a picture of how the single came about.

    I asked her a few questions about her musical background and how she came to record the song.

    Here were the questions asked:

    1. Full name - Katherine Ellis
    2. Born - 21.06.65
    3. Age – 52
    4. Has music always been your passion? Do you come from a musical background for instance:

    Yes it has, my Mother Elizabeth played the piano and accordion, she studied Drama at the Royal Academy for Dramatic Art (RADA) as did her sister Bronwen.

    My Grandparents both played the piano, my Grandmother also played violin and my Great Grandparents (Mother’s Father’s parents) were also on the stage, she sang Opera and he was a Monologist and after dinner speaker.

    My Mum always loved pop music and we always listened to the top 40 on the radio on a Sunday afternoon and we watched TOTP.

    We had a record player and there was always music playing. My mum says that I was dancing and singing from 18 months and always loved performing.

    I wanted to be an Actress but then at 14 changed my ambition to singing.

    1. Were you/or are you - A full out Singer/Songwriter or a Session singer???

    Yes I am and have been professional for over 30 years now, in that time I have done a huge amount of different things from singing in local bars and restaurants.

    When I first started out to hosting West End clubs to doing sessions for PWL, Capital Radio and Radio One, writing songs for myself and other artists.

    I have had big hits with the Ruff Driverz/ Dreaming, When You Touch Me with the Freemasons and Raven Maize/Fascinated all of which I also wrote.

    I have toured the world singing these songs and others in Nightclubs etc.

    I have done BVS live and in the studio for the likes of Robbie Williams, Chaka Khan, Boy George, Belinda Carlisle, Steps, Tina Cousins and Boy George.I have sung many tv Ads for Gaviscon, McDonalds, Saga, KFC etc and I have also sung in films such as Evita, What a Girl wants and I sang the title track to the movie called Gravity which won 7 Oscars.

    Full ITN Lunch Time Interview with Katherine Ellis talking about the Movie - "Gravity" - 17TH February 2014

    1. THE SONG CALLED "GIVE ME JOY" - How did it come about?? - Was it your idea and concept to make this tune? Or was there other helping hands - so to speak

    This song was written by BB Stone or BookStone (Bradley Carter) and Booker T.

    Bradley is married to an old friend of mine and I have known him since the 80s.

    He called me and asked me to sing the song. Not my idea at all.

    1. How long did the song take to create this tune would you say?

    I don’t know but I guess the vocal session was 2-3 hours

    1. Did you get any feedback about the tune which you had made/and was making such as impression with the Pirates and the club scene.  
    2. Yes, and I did a few PAs at the time.
    1. Did you receive and  do any live Pa work in regards to the tune becoming so many people favourites at the time. If so where???

     A few, I remember singing at the Colosseum Club night (London).

    I only had one garage tune though and never made any more so I didn’t do that much

          10.You mentioned that you only made only one of this type of track

           (Soulful/Jazzy/Funky House music)

    Yes I have made more of other dance music such as House, Breakbeat etc

           11.With regards to the music of House music - have you been able to make music with other  notable producers?

      Yes Joey Negro, The Freemasons, The Ruff Driverz, Roger Sanchez, Utah Saints, MDE, Lee Coombs, Dylan Rhymes, Cerrone..

           12.What if you can say about the scene that you were apart of the Music in the 1990's: as against today?

                Was the industry better back then; or is it better now.

    Impossible to say, in the 90s I was young and single so life was very different, it was certainly fun! 

    I suppose the major change has been the digitisation of everything which has had a huge impact on how musicians and performers make money. 

    13.What are doing with yourself these days? 

    Now I am in my 50s,I am married with 2 teenage sons, although I am still making records

    I am also branching out, I have just made a sample CD with Loopmasters

    https://www.loopmasters.com/genres/57-Vocals/products/6608-Katherine-Ellis-Diva-Acapella

    And I am also writing an Educational course on how to write TOP-LINES (the melody and lyrics)

    which will be available from Feb next year (2018) via the Go Create Academy. I am still gigging

    https://www.facebook.com/pg/SongsirenKatherineEllis/events/

    Singing my hits and also singing jazz/soul/pop/house at Jazz after Dark once a month/ I love to sing all types of music

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKeLCRyIracA Century of Songs with Katherine Ellis at Jazz After Dark, London

    I also contacted the music producer of the track on the single called “Bookstone joy mix”. I asked him a series of questions about his musical career; and the track that helped to put together.

    Full name: 

    Bradley Carter (Bookstone)

    Where are you born and based??

    Brixton, South London

    Were you a Dj - that decided that he wanted to a make a track, Or were you a Dj/producer from the outset that loves making tracks?

    I was a producer/songwriter that loved making soulful music.

    Did you play any instruments on the song - or did you use samples to create the song?

    I played all the keyboards on the track. The only samples were of Kathy’s voice and some of the drum sounds.

    How long did the song take to make?

    It was fast. That’s often the way with the good tunes. We laid down a basic groove one evening, then thought Kathy would be great on it.

    I called her and she came down our studio at Mile End a couple of days later. I remember writing the lyrics as Kathy was walking down the stairs.

    Kathy recorded all the vocals that afternoon. She has a wonderful voice. Every vocal idea I suggested, she nailed. That afternoon recording her was great fun.

    Were you into the music of Soulful House and Garage - when you made this track.

    Or were you into other styles of Music's such as Jungle/Drum and Bass; or Hip Hop music - then decided to try you aim at making a Uk Soulful/Funky House track for this moment.

    I was really into soulful house. Still am. Before I became a producer I used to play keys for other producers such as Frankie Fonset and Judge Jules.

    How did you get to know Katherine Ellis. Were you school friends for instance?

    I moved to Brighton when I was 16 and met Kathy down there. 

    Was she your first choice to use as your vocalist for the track?

    Yes

    Did you follow the whereabouts of how the track was doing??? For instance were you the person that liked to go to nightclubs and listen to any Pirate Radio show that were playing the track - when you visited London for instance? If not London your own area of the World?

    Yes. Paul Trouble Anderson used to have a great night UK in Camden. One night I heard him play six of our tunes in a row, including “Give me joy”. I was a happy man.

    Have you played on Radio stations, or even Pirate Radio stations in your time???

    I’ve performed live on Radio 1.

    Did you ask to make any more of these types of House and Garage Music?

    We made quite a few of soulful house tunes and remixes.

    Are you still involved in making music in anyway. In fact are you still involved in music at all.?

    Not anymore. It was a wonderful way to make a living. The next generation of soulful producers/musicians are coming out of South London now. My daughter is one of them.

    Do you miss that period the early to mid1990's in regards to the music industry that you were a part of? Or do you think today's setup with Streaming and Digital downloads are better for the music industry?

    It was a lot of fun. In one week you could be in a studio with Dj Disciple, then at a club night with David Camancho playing and Barbara Tucker singing, then doing remixes in Soul II Soul’s studio.

    On the industry side, I think the management and the labels had too much power back then. Nowadays, artists can get their music out. That has to be better for music.

    Here below is another tune/mixes that was created by BB Stone or BookStone (Bradley Carter) and Booker T:

    I then spoke to Gary Booker (known asBooker T)  

    He provided the other mix on the same single called - The(Booker T Nu Soul Klub Mix)

    He confirmed what I thought about the song when it released in 1995.

    “The song blew up big time. It was all over the Pirates, and most of the dj’s if they didn’t have the track at the time had to get it. I can’t believe it did not get into the charts” – Gary Booker (aka Booker T)

    The one and only - GARY BOOKER (aka BOOKER T) BELOW:

     The  Uk House and Garage music Producer From London, England

    I personally loved a lot of the soulful tunes in the mid 1990s. But I was at amidst as to how this single didn’t chart?

    All I can gather was the tune was a huge success on the pirate radio station network; and at all the major clubs in London and the South East of England.

    However, was it staple play for the House Dj’s within the Usa and the rest of the world??

    That’s a question that maybe the can supply me? If you were a dj of that time based in the Usa, or the rest of the world. Maybe you can let us know?

    Well thats all folks for me now anyway.

    Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. me here. If you want to discuss anything mentioned here in this article.

    Dj Mistri and the Electric Soul Show © www.electricsoulshow.com