One thing everyone should know about me is that I love that classic soul music. Mama Young was born in 1949, so she was a teen and a young woman during the 1960s. She played the beejeebus out of records from that era when I was a kid. I mean, darn near every occasion had some Otis Redding, some Aretha, even, every so often, some Dusty Springfield mixed in. That said, I probably knew more about 1960s-1980s soul/R&B than I did about 1990s hip-hop as a kid (heck, even as a teen).
I say that all to introduce songwriter Jane McNealy‘s “This Can’t Be The End,” which is now available on your favorite streaming platform(s). For those who are unaware, McNealy is a 76-year-old artist who made her mark writing in the 1960s and beyond. In 2015, she started her own record label, Lo-Flo Records, to help put out some of the songs that she wrote. “This Can’t Be The End,” sung by Lydia Marcelle, is one of those songs (and is representative of New Orleans’ soul scene at the time).
When I tell you this took me back to my childhood, I mean it took me back. The song was originally written and recorded back in 1968. There’s also an instrumental version that was released by McNealy in 2020, that features Harold Battiste’s bass, piano and alto saxophone, with Melvin Lastie on the cornet and percussion. However, Marcelle’s is the original.
I’d like to think Mama Young would’ve loved this one. Everything about it is beautiful, from Marcelle’s vocals about trying to save the relationship, to Plas Johnson’s saxophone playing, to the orchestral arrangement by Harold Battiste. This song plays like a who’s who of Unsung-but-Notable artistry. It makes me smile to hear new songs from that era, even though I was born in 1988. Songs like these put me close to my mom, something that a lot of contemporary music can’t do. That’s because I don’t have memories of Mama Young set to Drake’s “Proud of You” or something along those lines.
Anyhow, I really recommend this one if you’re in the market for some soul music that’ll stick to you like some soul food, this is the one you should check out today. This song should be appearing on DSPs pretty soon, but you can check out “TCBTE” below and support dope music in all its forms.