Touch My Soul – The funk, blues & gospel classic from 1975
Touch My Soul, released on Emerald Gem and Decca Records in 1975, is quite simply a funk and soul masterpiece. It’s James Brown in the house gospel music that transcends the lyrical message. Backed by such classics as People Get Ready, Day by Day, Oh Happy Day, He’s On His Way and Amazing Grace, the 6 original tunes penned by Tommy Dougherty over a period of a couple of weeks are nothing less than classics in their own rights. The Prince of Galilee and Before It’s Time for Amen sound as if they’ve been around forever, while Touch My Soul, Thank You for My Song, Lullaby and He Cares smash the boundaries of gospel music.
The songs from Touch My Soul have graced countless gospel compilations since its original release. Numerous artists have cut songs from the album written by Tommy as well. Currently the original recordings can be found on most all music sites including iTunes, Amazon, Napster and LastFM.
The story of these recordings and the release on Emerald Gem and Decca Records is unique. It consists not only of the stellar musical chops of Tommy Dougherty as a singer and the creative burst of imaginative song writing, it’s also a tale of the various musicians involved as well as the studio and partners who helped create a masterpiece.
The recordings took place on Music Row in Nashville at the famed Audio Media Studios and Odyssey Productions.
Lou Lofredo, producer of such artists as Ben E. King, produced Touch My Soul.
Pianist virtuoso Dennis Burnside, after initially starting out with Tommy Dorsey and Woody Herman, has gone on to record and produce numerous acts in Nashville.
Drummer Eddie Bayers, who played with Tommy Dougherty in the Mercy Blues, has a resume that’s a Who’s Who list for country artists, recording with everyone from Willie Nelson to Sting and John Fogerty, winning the Country Drummer of the Year award 14 times.
Paul Worley, guitarist, has gone on to produce various artists such as the Dixie Chicks.
Jack Jackson, bassist, has gone on to work with Sony and Tree Publishing after leaving the Odyssey partnership.
Trumpet extraordinaire Don Sheffield and the 70s backing group the Cherry Sisters contributed to these recordings as well as other contributors, all working with numerous artists.
Liner Notes from Touch My Soul
Tommy Dougherty was born in Corpus Christi, Texas while being a Libra and one of five children. When Tommy was three years old his family moved from Corpus Christi spending the next twelve years moving throughout Texas and Oklahoma.
Living in Houston, Texas, Tommy bought his first guitar at the age of 15. His mother, backing his musical interests, showed him the first chords on his new instrument. Tommy kept practicing and within two years his musical career was on its way when he began entertaining in local night clubs. Not satisfied with playing only the guitar, he expanded his talents by mastering the piano and organ. For the next few years, Tommy spent his time working in clubs throughout the South. He then formed a successful band known as The New Soul, Inc. whose drummer, Hop Hoppkins, was formerly with Junior Parker.
In 1969, Tommy moved to Nashville for a while, but then moved back to Texas, this time locating in Dallas where he formed a group with Billy Tilman, who is now a member of Blood, Sweat and Tears. Tommy ‘paid’ his dues, as do most musicians and entertainers, by doing his share of road gigs.
Nashville was still on his mind, so in May of 1973, Tommy moved back to “Music City” with his wife Patsy and son Paul. In Nashville he joined the Mercy Blues Band, furthered his writing interests by writing for the House of Cash and also did session work for Odyssey Productions. Noticing Tommy’s talent, Odyssey Productions recently signed him as an artist and writer.
As his previous experience proves, Tommy can capture his audience in any type of singing – pop, folk, country, gospel, you name it – he is an all around entertainer.
Tommy is really an outdoorsman with his favorite pastime being fishing and camping.
Everyone has their favorite artist, and Tommy especially enjoys Ray Charles, Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, the late Coltrane and Otis Redding.
This is the first album for Emerald Records, and we believe that the swinging gospel sounds that emanate from this disc will please all age groups.