Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin. This blog's purpose is to supply information on a diversity of American southern music - ranging from country, blues, old-time and folk to R&B, rock'n'roll and rockabilly. I regularly present my research results about artists, labels, shows and also give guest writers a chance to publish their texts here on occasion.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Donna Kaye on Alley


Donna Kaye - Speak Up (Alley 1041), 1968

"Speak Up" is a neat little Soul song by Donna Kaye but not of great interest - at least for me. What strikes more is the fact it was penned by Arkansas singer and bandleader Kenny Owens, who recorded for such labels as Cotton Town Jubilee, Alley, Reka, and his own Ork imprint. The flipside to "Speak Up" is "I Would Move a Mountain," slower in speed but in some way more tremendous in its sound.

Owens had a release on Joe Lee's Alley label in his own right in 1966, featuring "Traveling on Her Mind" and "Oh. How I Miss You" (Alley #1028). By 1968 - when Lee released Donna Kaye's recording on Alley - Owens was no longer associated with the label, at least obviously, although his was living in Jonesboro, Arkansas, at that time. He had founded his own ORK label by then.

There is no information on Donna Kaye. There was a singer in the 1950s of the same name, living in California and appearing at several fairs there. This Donna Kaye was probably also running "Sonny's" along with Dave Pell, "Hollywood's Next #1 Music Industry Bistro-Restaurant" (940 N. La Cienega - Los Angeles) in the 1970s. However, there is no proof that it is the same person.

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