Northern Soul charity single to help stricken DJ

Jon Bates

Jon Bates

A Northern Soul singer has teamed up with some of the most famous names on the scene to record a charity single in aid of a Wigan DJ.

Paul Davies produced an all-star recording of cult hit Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) to help Ashton’s Jon Bates reach the £35,000 he needs to travel abroad for treatment to combat multiple sclerosis (MS).

Sidney Barnes, Paul Stuart Davies, Tommy Hunt and Dean Parrish singing at a Northern Soul event

Sidney Barnes, Paul Stuart Davies, Tommy Hunt and Dean Parrish singing at a Northern Soul event

The single, recorded at a Northern Soul weekend at Butlins in Skegness organised by Wigan Casino DJ Russ Winstanley, features famous names such as Dean Parrish, 83-year-old veteran Tommy Hunt and Chris Clark who recorded one of the original versions of the track.

Russ wanted to do a single to help Jon and chose the song, with Paul, who had already performed at a fund-raiser at The Rose Club in Hindley for him, and was keen to get on board and play his part.

Paul, 34, said: “Obviously we’re not going to raise the £35,000 Jon needs on our own but hopefully it will sell steadily over the next couple of years.

“We’re hoping to take copies to the big events and maybe we can do signing sessions with the original artists on it.

I’m just massively thankful for the support. It’s overwhelming

Jon Bates

“I was originally asked to sing at an event Russ did for Jon, so when I did this recording at Butlins and asked what we were raising money for Russ said that he would be a great cause. I was very happy with that with it being so close to Russ’s heart.”

The single has already proved a hit with Northern Soul fans with pre-orders, largely on vinyl, swelling Jon’s treatment fund by around £1,200.

The song was recorded in Paul’s accommodation at the holiday camp, with each singer visiting for around half an hour to add their vocal parts to an instrumental track laid down beforehand by the band The Signatures.

The final cut features five US legends, including Pat Wilson who has sung backing vocals for Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Jackie Wilson, alongside Paul and fellow British soul singer Johnny Boy.

Russ says the song, which was mastered at the famous Abbey Road studios, is a unique opportunity for fans to hear so many great Northern Soul voices performing together.

He said: “This is something very special. It was recorded at one of Sidney Barnes’s last appearances before he decided to retire and Dean Parrish recorded I’m On My Way, the last song played at every Wigan Casino event.

“The acts were coming across for the Butlins weekend and they all agreed they would give their services free and Paul said he would record them.

“We’re just now hoping everybody gets behind it.

“Hopefully this will be the bit of the fund-raising that really brings in lots of money for Jon.”

Jon is currently battling the illness which has left him confined to a wheelchair and is currently deciding whether he wants to pursue treatment in India or Mexico.

The former racing car driver spoke of his gratitude to the music community for rallying round in his time of

need.

The 44-year-old said: “I’m just massively thankful for the support.

“It’s overwhelming but also typical of Wigan and the Northern Soul scene, they are just really nice people.

“I’m going to be getting some more help with my condition here from my consultant and then I will have to decide between the two options.”

Pre-orders for the charity single are now being taken and physical copies are expected to be available for purchase soon.

To find out more about the song, visit www.facebook.com/northernsoulsurvivors and click on the Shop Now icon.

To donate to Jon’s campaign go to www.crowdfunding.justgiving.com/jon-bates