Archie Love (& The Bar-Kays)

Daddy B. Nice's #96 ranked Southern Soul Artist

Portrait of Archie Love (& The Bar-Kays) by Daddy B. Nice

"You're My Joy"

Archie Love (& The Bar-Kays)

Composed by Larry "D" Dodson, Bobby G. Summers, and Henderson Thigpen

January 2013: Archie Love, The Bar-Kays

Sample or Buy the new Bar-Kays EP GROWN FOLKS on iTunes.

Listen to The Bar-Kays singing "Grown Folks" on YouTube.

Listen to Archie Love singing "My Joy" on YouTube.

Listen to Archie Love singing "My Only Girl" on YouTube.

Listen to Archie Love singing "Shoulda Been There For You" on YouTube.

Listen to Archie Love singing "I Need A Tune Up" Live Onstage on YouTube.

Listen to Archie Love singing "Love Is A Wonderful Thing" Live Onstage on YouTube.

Listen to The Bar-Kay's Archie Love & Con Funk Shun's Michael Cooper Interviewed on YouTube.

Listen to Archie Love singing "Do You Love Me" on YouTube.

Listen to Barack Obama Tribute "One Day" produced and performed by members of the Bar-Kays, including Archie Love.

Sample or Buy Archie Love's Little-Noticed 2011 collection of love songs ALL ABOUT LOVE at CD Baby.

Sample or Buy Archie Love's LOVE CHRONICLES CD at iTunes.

Read Daddy B. Nice's Original Artist Guide To Archie Love (Top 100 Southern Soul Artists, 90's-00's).

Sample or Buy Archie Love's SINCERELY YOURS CD at CD Baby.

Read interview and analysis of Archie Love's SINCERELY YOURS CD at Soul Express.

Listen to Mr. Sam featuring Archie Love singing "Keep Love Strong" on Xrays.

Read Archie Love interview and discography at Soul Treasures.

Sample or Buy Mr. Sam's Lookin' 4 Love CD, arranged and produced by Archie Love.


Bargain-Priced Love Chronicles CD, MP3's

February 1, 2010: Author's Prologue

I have changed the title of this page from "Archie Love & The BarKays" to "Archie Love." Although the "You're My Joy" collaboration with his Memphis and BarKay-related cohorts (Larry Dodson, Sam Fallie and others) put Archie Love on the contemporary Southern Soul radar, he has more than justified his status as a solo Southern Soul singer of the first order over the course of his two albums--SINCERELY YOURS and LOVE CHRONICLES--since then. And he has made good on the sobriquet your Daddy B. Nice gave him as the "Southern Soul maestro of grown-up love." (See story below.)

With his penchant for amorous ballads, one might amend that to maestro of "romantic" adult love, but then the reader might confuse him with the more unilaterally "smooth work" of Wendell B. or Luther Vandross.

Archie Love infuses his songs with a romantic vision, but it's always tempered by serious domestic considerations that other writer/performers might gloss over. An example is "Before The Judge," from the LOVE CHRONICLES album, in which Archie delivers a full and soulful musical work-out that encompasses both the romantic vision and the flawed reality. The result is a powerful blend of classic soul and contemporary topicality that few singers are capable of bringing off without sounding shrill or silly.

Watch for "Before The Judge," to appear on Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "Breaking" Singles for February 2009.

--Daddy B. Nice

And did you know. . . . Archie Love contributed background vocals to J. Blackfoot's latest CD, WOOF WOOF MEOW, and Bigg Robb's latest, JERRI CURL MUZIC.

Bargain-Priced Love Chronicles CD.


Daddy B. Nice's Original Critique

Bar-Kays. The very name conjures pencil-legged pants and Ban-Lon shirts. Archie Love and his cohorts--a veritable "We-Are-The-World" cast of Southern Soul and funk artists--bear no resemblance to the original Bar-Kays, most of whom died in a plane crash with Otis Redding in 1967. Nor are they directly related to any of the permutations the Bar-Kays went through during the disco and funk eras.

"You're My Joy," from the group's 2003 Real Thing CD (JEA/Right Now), is a man's grateful thank-you to a woman who "helped me up whenever I started to fall," a woman who's "stayed right through all (my) wasted years."

"Everybody adores me now,
But you all knew me when
Things weren't so good--
Way back then."

The song sounds simultaneously new yet old. It blends gospel, Willie Mitchell-style soul, Bootsy Collins-like guitar, and even a stanza of easy-going rap into a bluesy concoction reminiscent of peak-era Staples Singers or Al Green at his Hi Records' grittiest.

Archie Love, an artistic descendent of Green, delivers a vocal worthy of the master, but he isn't content with a simple treatment. The list of singers on the LP includes Larry "D" Dodson, J. Blackfoot (for whom Love sang background vocals for years), Z-Da, Wanda Chambers, Sam Fallie, Doramus Roberts, Tahl Cole and Toddy Gentry.

Layer upon layer of soul-steeped vocals, horn whitecaps, guitar fillips and gurgling organ textures add a depth to the record unusual in Southern Soul. If this song were a cotton sheet, it would be 400-count.

The chitlin' circuit success of "You're My Joy" led to what was surely the peak of Archie Love's career to date: the release of the solo album Sincerely Yours. In "One More (Song) For The Lonely" from that CD, Love begins singing:

"I was down to my last song of the night
When I asked this question.
Does anybody want to hear something special?
Are there any requests?"

A lady in the audience requests something slow and bluesy, so she "won't have to cry" while she's driving home.

"Won't you sing one more song for the lonely,
So this hurt and pain I feel won't last too long?"

And she adds:

"Don't sing it
From your heart, Archie.
Bring it down from your soul."

Love sings the daylights out of the song. "One More For The Lonely" has the kind of big-boned melodic structure that lends itself to just the spectacular vocal work-out and full-blown arrangement Love gives it.

"Should've Been There For You" from the same solo disc has a softer tone and a more atmospheric arrangement, but it is no less memorable or pleasant to listen to. Here Love's vocal stresses regret and tenderness. But it's very much like "You're My Joy" in its focus on love and commitment.

In fact, Archie Love is rapidly becoming the Southern Soul maestro of grown-up love. His best work fuses the spiritual with the physical. He's intent on singing about deep, heartfelt emotions, and intimacy and long-term relationships are his areas of expertise. That's why it has been especially heartening watching the popularity of the Bar-Kays' "You're My Love"--buried in what amounts to a throw-back Bar-Kays' funk album-- give Love the momentum to take his Southern Soul mojo not only to a more receptive public but to new artistic heights.

--Daddy B. Nice

About Archie Love (& The Bar-Kays)

The original Bar-Kays were primarily an instrumental group and house band formed by Memphis' Stax Records to spell Booker T. Jones, Al Jackson & the MG's. The name "Bar-Kays" reputedly came from the group's favorite beverage, Bacardi Rum. Their first single, "Soul Finger," was a hit on both the pop and R&B charts.

Soon after, however, the band members died in the same plane crash that killed Otis Redding. The group was rebuilt during the disco era and became a surprisingly successful funk-based act during the eighties.

With the arrival of Archie Love and producer Larry "D" Dodson, the group took on yet another face, that of a throwback to 70's-era Memphis soul. 2003's Southern Soul CD The Real Thing and notably the radio singles "You're My Joy" and "We Can't Stay Together" dominated radio airplay throughout the Deep South well into 2004. They established the Bar-Kays as an act to be reckoned with, and highlighted Archie Love as a Southern Soul singer of the first order.

Archie Love was born in 1959 in Chicago, Il. He broke into the music business in the eighties, sharing lead-singer duties with Eric Shotwell in two short-lived groups, The Main Attraction (All The Way, 1986) and The Right Choice (The Right Choice, Motown 1989).

Love soldiered on "behind the scenes" through the 90's, working with J. Blackfoot among others. A little-known solo CD, Exposed, appeared on the Soul Street label in 2002. A higher-profile solo album, Sincerely Yours (JEA/Right Now), appeared at last in 2004, approximately a year after Love's success with the Bar-kays' Real Thing CD.

The Sincerely Yours disc featured a more expansive Love, with vocals very much the centerpiece of the arrangements. Love collaborated with songwriter/producer Sam Fallie on most of the songs, including "One More For The Lonely" and "Should've Been There For You," the latter produced by Tahl Cohl, also a Bar-kays' alumnus.

A compilation album of Southern Soul artists, WDIA: History, The Music, The Legend (WDIA Records) contains (along with much other fascinating material) two of Archie Love's best songs, "You're My Joy" and "Should've Been There For You," enabling fans to sample material from each of Love's two best CD's, the Bar-kays' Right Thing and Love's solo Sincerely Yours.

Song's Transcendent Moment

"You're my heart,
You're my soul,
You're all I need
And much more."


1. Shortly after appearing as a Bar-Kay guest on The Real Thing's other radio-friendly hit, "We Can't Stay Together," soul diva Shirley Brown forsook the "urban-smooth" material she had released in recent years for a full-fledged Southern Soul sound. She re-entered the adult R&B charts in a big way with her Southern Soul singles, "Sleep With One Eye Open" and "Poon Tang Man," rejuvenating her career in the process.

2. March 5, 2008. Ardent Archie Love fans will be interested in the correspondence below (edited for brevity), which took place earlier this year between Daddy B. Nice, Archie Love, and Archie Love's publicist.

Hello, Daddy B. Nice

. . . I would like to bring to your attention, on the 'Daddy' Award nomination for the best Arranger/Producer of the Year (2007), I notice an error, Mr. Archie Love's name was not mentioned. Archie Love arranged and produced the album Looking For Love by Mr. Sam. Sam Fallie collaborated with Archie Love on writing the words to the songs on the album. Archie Love arranged and produced the album with Sam being co-producer.

Thanks for your time,
Lillie Ingram, Loveland Records

Hello, Daddy B. Nice

Happy New Year! This has really been a great one, for the staff at Loveland Records and of course, The Duchess. Thank you for her nominations, boy do that sound GREAT! her being finalist, in not one but two categories, is indeed an honor.
Though she did not win, she is still a winner to us. Her being a new artist, 1st album, and it being out for eight months, is something for us and her to swell our chest up about.

Archie Love

Daddy B. Nice replies:

Dear Lillie and Archie,
I'm so sorry I didn't credit Archie. I have corrected that. Please double check.
Daddy B. Nice

P.S. By the way, did Archie also arrange/produce The Duchess?

Lillie Ingram replies:

Yes, Archie did produce and arrange all the songs on The Duchess. He also co-wrote on her album.

Here's an update: . . . He is currently working with the Legendary David Porter /Stax Records on an upcoming movie sound track. . . He is also currently working with the Barkays on a new project, working with Big Robb on his new project and just currently completed and directed the Video for Big Robb son R-3. He did the video on Mr. Sam and the Duchess. He is working on his own CD to be released in February, These are just some of the things Archie Love has been busy doing.

Lillie Ingram, Loveland Records

3. NEW ALBUM ALERT!: August 9, 2008

Love Chronicles, the new album from Archie Love, has just been released.

"Tune Up" is the first radio single, and it has been getting plenty of Southern Soul airplay. Stay tuned. DBN.

P.S. Bargain-Priced Love Chronicles CD.

If You Liked. . . You'll Love

If you liked the Staple Singers' "Respect Yourself," you'll most likely rave over The Bar-Kays' "You're My Joy."

Honorary "B" Side

"One More (Song) For The Lonely"

5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy You're My Joy by Archie Love (& The Bar-Kays)
You're My Joy

CD: The Right Thing
Label: JEA

4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy One More (Song) For The Lonely by Archie Love (& The Bar-Kays)
One More (Song) For The Lonely

CD: Sincerely Yours
Label: JEA/Right Now

Sample or Buy
Sincerely Yours

4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Before The Judge by Archie Love (& The Bar-Kays)
Before The Judge

CD: Love Chronicles

Sample or Buy
Love Chronicles.

4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Should've Been There For You by Archie Love (& The Bar-Kays)
Should've Been There For You

CD: WDIA: History, The Music, The Legend
Label: JEA/Right Now

Sample or Buy
WDIA: History, The Music, The Legend

3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Just 2 by Archie Love (& The Bar-Kays)
Just 2

CD: The Right Thing
Label: JEA/Right Now

3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Loving On Borrowed Time by Archie Love (& The Bar-Kays)
Loving On Borrowed Time

CD: Sincerely Yours

Sample or Buy
Sincerely Yours

3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Tune Up by Archie Love (& The Bar-Kays)
Tune Up

CD: Love Chronicles
Label: JEA

Sample or Buy
Love Chronicles

3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy We Can't Stay Together (w/ Shirley Brown) by Archie Love (& The Bar-Kays)
We Can't Stay Together (w/ Shirley Brown)

CD: The Right Thing
Label: JEA

2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy Holla If You Like That by Archie Love (& The Bar-Kays)
Holla If You Like That

CD: The Right Thing
Label: JEA

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