Reuben Bell with The Casanovas quite possibly produced one of in my opinion best 'Soul' 45s in existence, 'It's Not That Easy' b/w Hummin' A Sad Song was released on cult Soul label Murco records and I feel it is a real double-sided killer of a record.
What I love about this gem, is that it is a Jekyll and Hyde of a record each of the two sides is equally great for the same reasons yet they are totally different, quite often I find the best 45's to be the ones in which both sides work well against each other and are both equally good in their own right (I have tried doing this with my own).
The A-side of this 45 (personally one of my all-time favourite Soul and R&B songs) 'It's Not That Easy' is a slow-paced heart wrenching tear-jerker with an extremely cool organ line snaking in the background behind the vocal. Complete with totally lonesome and desperate lyricsm, the song for me instantly gets put up there high in the musical genius territory.
The song is very special to me for a number of reasons, once again (like the Five Bucks 45rpm below) it came to me at a point in my life where it seemed the emotions on the grooves were mirroring my own life and therefore acted as a comfort to me. I particularly love the warm guitar sound on this side, Reuben Bell sings his heart out and means every word he is singing and forces every emotion out of his very soul and being by singing such lines as "I know I'll always think about you, I've grown so used to you, I just can't make it without you, It's not that easy.... Forgetting You"
If the A-side was Dr Jekyll then the B-side of this wonderful 45 is definitely Mr Hyde, a fast paced floor-filler. The B-side perfectly mirrors the sadness of the A-side by in itself being totally fed-up, frustrated and somewhat pissed off... Dig these lyrics "These Memories I just can't forget, I wake up in the morning, my pillow's soaked in sweat, She up'ed and left me, she didn't say good bye" ... then to top it off there is an amazing saxophone break in the middle which is meaner than a howling dog in the dead of night, it's a really cool song and you'd be foolish not to want to dance to it.
There are a couple of cool Murco compilations out and about, the most recent being on the Kent Records label which is easily to find, the comp is a really good investments if you're into 60s soul or more importantly regional sounds Murco being particular to the South, if Cd's are not your bag, why not try and find the 45rpm vinyl.... the above record has varied in price over the years and has sold around the $100 mark but over the last year or two has be found around the $40-$50 price range on Ebay.