Little Anthony & The Modern Detergents

Anthony Mitchell began his journey with his uncle Alfious Fields’ traveling musical ministry, cutting his teeth on church organs in upstate New York. Settling in Buffalo, Mitchell formed the Teen Kings with Lonnie Smith (the future Hammond B-3 jazz giant), but the group changed its name to the doubly unfortunate Little Anthony & the Supremes. A performance on a popular R&B radio show led to a deal with the Utica label, where two originals, “Nobody” and “Baby I Need Your Loving,” were issued in 1963. Eclipsed by the much more famous Little Anthony, and the immeasurably more famous Supremes, Mitchell set out on his own, fashioning the Emanons (“no name” spelled backwards) as a live show band. On tour in Akron, the Emanons crossed paths with James Sibley, who offered to buy the band a Hammond B-3 if they settled in Cleveland and hired him as manager. The group obliged, changing its name to Little Anthony & the Modern Detergents, a reference to the unverified claim that the band “cleaned up the town." After several years on the road, the group was ecstatic to record, even if the opportunity only brought them to Boddie’s converted dairy barn. Mitchell’s bluesy “Don’t Make Me Blue” was chosen for an A-side, while the Modern Detergents sparkled on the flip’s perplexingly titled “Monkey Hips And Yice.” Released a half decade removed from the “Yakety Sax” craze, the single is an anomaly in the otherwise contemporary-sounding Luau catalog.

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