Very few singers ever accomplish what this soul man was able to do: create a lasting and indelible impression on listeners with only a few notes of a song. But that’s exactly what Brenton Wood did on his smash hit “The Oogum Boogum Song” in 1967. The opening piano notes and then Wood’s unique vocal still sounds brand new a half-century later. On February 24, Concord Bicycle is releasing The Very Best of Brenton Wood, a newly remastered collection charting his run of worldwide pop hits. Included are “The Oogum Boogum Song,” “Gimme Little Sign,” “Baby You Got,” along with unforgettable Dedicated to You soul ballads “Me and You” and “I Like the Way You Love Me.”
In addition to Brenton Wood’s series of 7-inch 45s releases for the Double Shot Records label, two deep soul gems from the vaults are included: a stirring and deeply personal version of Sam Cooke’s Civil Rights anthem “A Change is Gonna Come” along with “Diamonds,” a sought after song that is among Wood’s most sought-after recordings. Both are making their physical debut on the compact disc version of The Very Best Of.
This brand new collection is Brenton Wood’s first official remastered Best Of compilation since 1988. Out of print for decades, his two classic studio albums Oogum Boogum and Baby You Got It were digitally reissued for the first time ever in 2013. Oogum Boogum will also have a wide vinyl album release this May.
Brenton Wood has had a career of both mainstream success and underground devotion. All Music Guide recently wrote: “It’s hard not to hear Brenton Wood’s biggest hit, ‘Gimme Little Sign,’ and not be convinced that it very well might be the greatest single ever cut. It relies on no one thing—the song is slinky, surprising and seductive, blessed with a perfect production (the organ break in the middle is positively, eerily beautiful) and a wonderful, understated performance by Wood, who proves with his smooth, sure-handed delivery that he is one of the finest soul singers of his generation.”
Brenton Wood arrived on the scene in 1967 with back-to-back hits “The Oogum Boogum Song” and “Gimme Little Sign” that would carry the then-Compton resident from a regional Southern California artist to international stardom. During his high-voltage period with the short-lived Double Shot Records independent label, Wood would record eleven 45s and two studio albums, creating a unique soul and pop hybrid style crossed with moving doo wop ballads.
The Hollywood-based Double Shot Records roster would also include garage rock legends Count Five, doo wop faves the Bagdads, Kent & the Candidates (who also were Wood’s touring and session band) and Bay Area singing legend Bobby Freeman. It reflects an era when popular music was breaking across boundaries and become the sound heard around the world.
1. The Oogum Boogum Song
2. Gimme Little Sign
3. I Like The Way You Love Me
4. Baby You Got It
5. A Change Is Gonna Come
6. I Think You’ve Got Your Fools Mixed Up
7. Great Big Bundle Of Love
8. Me And You
9. Take A Chance
11. I’m The One Who Knows
12. Catch You On The Rebound
13. Two Time Loser
14. Best Thing I Ever had
15. Where Were you