Betty Semper & Donnie Elbert Band – A Love I Believe In b/w Donnie Elbert Band – Instrumental 7″ DJ

Betty Semper & Donnie Elbert Band – A Love I Believe In b/w Donnie Elbert Band – Instrumental 7″ DJ


finally here! our long awaited 50th release, a killer Northern Soul dancefloor filler which is already packing dancefloors all over europe, an unreleased instrumental from the vaults of London’s Polydor Studios recorded in 1968 which we finalized now here in Vienna some 48 years later by adding the Supersoulful vocals of Vienna’s Queen Of Soul, this is AUSTRO SOUL GALORE!


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This extraordinary story has its beginnings in a book – Circles: The Strange Story of The Fleur De Lys, Britain’s Forgotten Soul Band.

Back in 2009, when the authors were still researching material, they were led to the door of Graham Dee, a larger than life character from London’s East End.

Dee had begun his career in the 60s as a session and pick-up musician with a variety of Mod bands, including The Fleur De Lys.

He was soon spotted as a songwriter and producer by the legendary Frank Fenter, who had just been commissioned by Jerry Wexler to set up a British arm of Atlantic Records.

Fenter quickly established his own production arm and signed it to Atlantic UK for distribution.

Like most of Fenter’s team, Dee had been drawn to the burgeoning British Soul scene.

He trawled American airbases in East Anglia, searching for potential singers and pick-up groups who were either entertaining the troops or waiting for their connection to Vietnam.

The key to ‘A Love I Believe In’ came about when Fenter recruited American Soul legend Donnie Elbert.

7" Liner Notes


Elbert was impressed with Dee and the musicians that formed the bulk of the Atlantic UK team, which occasionally included Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones (both later of Led Zeppelin).

It was originally thought they played on ‘A Love I Believe In’, however, the musicians for the project turned out to be the standard Fleur De Lys line up at time.

The band had already made their mark with a whole host of superb Mod 45s and spent any spare time hanging out in the studio.

Dee and Elbert had been working on several ideas, including the track that was to become ‘A Love I Believe In’.

However, they had only got the chance to put down the demo backing track when Elbert had to leave the country in a hurry.

The track got shelved, although Dee did complete an instrumental vibe-heavy mix. He also recorded a vocal version with his own lyrics, featuring one of Fenter’s secretaries Maxine Silverberg.

Both versions languished in Dee’s vaults until the instrumental ‘A Love I Believe In’ was issued by Acid Jazz in 2011 (on an album compiled by Anderson and Jones).

The label then released the Silverberg vocal version on Dee’s own Rare Mod compilation, The Graham Dee Connection.

Incredibly, the team at Record Shack had never heard the vocal version, so they wrote new lyrics, using the title as their inspiration.

Consequently, we have an extraordinary rarity.

Two recent songs from the same backing track, with neither producer knowing of the other track’s existence, but both originally produced by Donnie Elbert and Graham Dee in the late 1960s, using Donnie’s British band…better known as The Fleur De Lys…

Confused? Don’t worry, just dance!

Eddie Piller


What a way to celebrate the Record Shack’s 50th release! You are holding an extraordinary piece of music in your hand – a collaboration spanning decades and countries.

The backing track was recorded in the late 1960s in England.

The vocals, however, were recorded only recently, in Austria.

When the label’s head honcho Jörg ‘Recordshack’ Lauermann heard the original backing track of ‘A Love I Believe In’, he immediately spotted the potential for another dance-floor smash.

It was bound to appeal to Northern and Mod crowds alike.

He came up with an idea to record new vocals with new lyrics, which he would then combine with the original track.

He needed to licence the recording for Record Shack, so he hit up Acid Jazz label owner, and renowned DJ, Eddie Piller, who found the tune in the vaults of 60’s producer Graham Dee during the research for a book on UK Soul band Fleur De Lys.

The next step was to find the right voice for the project.

Who better to turn to than the most soulful singer in Austria – Betty Semper.

Jörg had worked with her extensively since 2003, when she performed as backing singer for Northern Soul legend Sidney Barnes.

Her credentials as a singer are undeniable, first cutting her teeth in London’s thriving music scene during the 80s, then performing regularly on TV and radio.

The list of artists with whom she has collaborated is a testament of her talent - from Osibisa, Gloria Gaynor and Supermax, through to record producer Pete Waterman.

More recently, she has become a vocal coach at the Vienna Music Institute and a member of the Dancing Stars Orchestra of Austria’s National TV ORF.

With Betty on board, Jörg then secured the services of DJ BTO Spider, the highly regarded stalwart of quality black music in Vienna.

He got down to work at the great studio of Roland Schwarz, getting the prefect mix of vocals to match the original backing track, thereby creating the desired Sixties Soul vibe.

This new recording of ‘A Love I Believe In’ is already making a big impact, thanks to a limited test pressing, which was distributed to some of the most respected Northern Soul and Rare Funk deejays, including Guy Hennigan, Mick H, Richard Searling, Snowboy, Matt Weingarden and Marc Forrest.

It has had air time on UK radio station Solar Radio, and at my own radio show on 89.7FM Eastside Radio in Sydney, Australia.

Given the great response, I am not surprised to hear it is hugely popular on dance floors at the local Soul nights in Vienna.

Jörg believes this record is the potential spark for a new movement in his home country, which he fondly refers to as ‘Austro Soul’.

But whatever you want to call it, one thing is clear, it’s a great piece of Soul music.

DJ Burn Hard


I became aware of this during an internet chat with Jorg at RS.

Who told me they had taken an instrumental track by Donnie Elbert’s band and added a vocal by a lady by the name of Betty Semper who records and resides in Austria.

The instrumental backing track is interesting enough, but when the Betty’s powerful vocal is added this becomes something rather special.

It kind of reminds me of the time I first heard Nicole Willis big northern smash, but this is on another level again. Once you’ve heard this a few times it’s firmly in your brain, a real ear worm of a northern dance record.

I know that several of the top northern jocks have received an advance test press of this so hopefully you’ll get the chance to get to know and hopefully love it before it finally gets it official release.

It gets a glowing recommendation from me and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this doesn’t go on to be the release of the year (probably 2017)! GREAT!!

Soul Up North Review





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