“Tell me your secret. I don’t wanna know about just any secret I wanna know about that special secret. Because tonight I want you to learn all about the secrets. In your garden. If you think I am gonna take care of you, if you think I have got what you need; sho’ you right. If you think I am gonna be good to you, if you think I like what you do; sho’ you right,” from the Barry White song “The Secret Garden.”
There were many men from all walks of life, including me that grieved seriously when the great crooner for the ages Barry White went on to join the ancestors.
His ultra-deep bass soothed and softened the hearts of many women, making the journey to the bedroom with our girlfriend—or the journey from the “penalty sofa” back to “paradise of marriage” with our wives—a bit easier for those of us who were not suave enough to do it by ourselves.
However, as is often the case, many of the sidemen who play vital roles in creating the music of many other musical icons including White are often never really acknowledged or heard from again after the demise of the headliner. But wait, all is not lost!
Los Angeles guitarist Steve Guillory, one of the indispensable sidemen to perform and record with the late R&B “soul-master” is poised to take the smooth jazz world by storm with his new and highly anticipated release “Serenity.” Guillory spent close to two decades backing up the man known to many of his fans across the globe simply as “The Sultan of Soul.” Guillory smiled as he recalled his years with the R&B icon.
“I was with him even before he landed his record contract with 20th Century Fox,” he said. “I was in musical heaven being a part of the lush orchestral arrangements that became a part of the early musical signature of Barry White.”
There is also a Texas connection between Guillory. and the late White that should not be lost because both musicians were born in the lone star state; White in Galveston and Guillory in Beaumont.
Guillory has also recorded and performed with the likes of the Johnny Otis band, Little Willie John, Etta James, Jimmy Holiday, Bobby Day, Brenton Wood, Brenda Holloway, Joe Houston, The Drifters, The Coasters, The Shirelles, Martha and The Vandellas, Guitar Slim, Ed Townsend, Smokey Wilson and Guitar Shorty. Guillory has recorded on the Ray Charles CD, “Love Country Style” and on the Barry White CD, “Staying Power.” If it is love that you are looking for, “Serenity” will certainly put you in the mood.
“Serenity” was produced by Pittsburgh native and veteran Los Angeles writer, musician and producer, Lynwood (Lenny) Douthett of SEVENsCamp. The CD is scheduled to be released nationally next month. Steve Guillory will be appearing with trombonist Carl King at James Street Tavern on Feb.8.