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Reputedly the most valuable record in the world.

The story of Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)

Motown artist Frank Wilson recorded the song in 1965 and the single was scheduled for release on the Motown subsidiary label 'Soul' on December 23rd 1965 as 'Soul 35019'. Frank Wilson then decided that his future lay as a producer and writer rather than a performer, and that he couldn't afford the time to promote the single, so the release was shelved and the demo pressing of 500 copies of the single trashed. And that should have been that, just one more might-have-been.

Except that not quite every copy was destroyed. In 1977 a Motown researcher and historian named Tom Dieperro was given a copy for research purposes and he gave/sold it to a record dealer and producer by the name of Simon Soussan. Soussan recognised the commercial value of a previously unknown Motown recording on the British Northern Soul scene sold the record for $500 to a British music entrepeneur by the name of Les McCutcheon 1 in 1978.

It was Les McCutcheon who then lent the record to Northern Soul DJ Russ Winstanley. Russ Winstanley played the record, picked himself off the floor, listened to it again, and decided that this was quite possibly the most wonderful record he'd ever heard. Russ Winstanley played the record at the legendary Wigan Casino club and arranged to press a number of acetates to spread the word, turning the song into one of the monster hits of Northern Soul. UK Motown impressed by the reception, dragged the master tapes out of the vault, and released the song as an official single for the United Kingdom market.

The original piece of vinyl was then sold by Les McCutcheon to a Northern Soul collecter called Jonathan Woodliffe, who sold it in 1979 to another DJ named Kev Roberts, who held on to it until 1989, when thinking that the Northern Soul was finally over, sold it to his future business partner 2 Tim Brown for a cool £5,000. Tim Brown then sold it to one Kenny Burrell for an even cooler £15,000, supposedly a world record price for an original vinyl single.

In 1990 another copy turned up in Canada in the posession of one Martin Koppel who had aquired it from fellow Motown collector Ron Murphy. So that makes two copies in existence.

Marvin Gaye also recorded a version which was released as the b-side of Sweeter As The Days Go By as did fellow Motown artist Chris Clark, but Frank Wilson's original version remains the definitive one; a deceptively simple recording that simply oozes energy and is generally recognised as the all-time number one Northern Soul recording. 3

The lyrics

These are the basic lyrics for Do I love you as sung by Frank Wilson. He actually recorded at least two versions of the song as the the version on the Northern Soul Connoisseurs compilation CD is obviously a different vocal take from the 'standard' version and has slightly different lyrics. In particular the phrase 'Do I love you?' in the chorus is followed variously by 'ooh hoo' 'one more time' 'sweet darling', 'little darling' etc.

Here I am on bended knees
I lay my heart down at your feet
Now do I love you

All you have to do is ask
I'll give until there's nothing left
do I love you

As long as there is life in me
Our happiness is guaranteed
I'll fill your heart with ecstasy, forever darling

Do I love you?
Do I love you?
Do I love you?
Indeed I do Indeed I do

The very thing that I want most
Is just to have and hold you close
Do I love you?

From early morning until late at night
You fill my heart with pure delight
Do I love you?

Now whenever I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord your soul to keep
And bring you home safe to me, for ever darling

Do I love you?
Do I love you?
Do I love you?

Indeed I do, sweet darling, indeed I do

(instrumental break)

Now whenever I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord your soul to keep
And bring you home safe to me
for ever darling

Do I love you?
Do I love you?
Do I love you?
Indeed I do, little darling, indeed I do



1 Apparently the same Les McCutcheon that was later responsible for Shakatak

2 Kev Roberts and Tim Brown later got together to form the Goldmine Soul Supply record label.

3 See the Northern Soul Top 500 by Kev Roberts and David S. Carne amongst others

Sourced from www.thisoldsoul.net/fw.html and http://www.barlow.force9.co.uk/FrankWilson/abFW1.htm

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