Herb Ward

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Herb Ward | Philly.com | tc176

One of the final releases on Argo before it was renamed as Cadet, was Herb Ward’s “Strange change” which became a Northern Soul classic in the UK.

Herbert Eugene McCracken (Herbert Ward) was born in Philadelphia, and died on December 24 2012 of complications of surgery.He attended Germantown High School, and served in the Marine Corps from 1954 to 1962. He was 75. After his recording career, Herb became a tractor-trailer driver for the Philadelphia Streets Department. He retired in 1999.

Philly.com reports:

“He has some very collectible outings in the soul idiom,” said Robert Bosco, writer and music historian. ” ‘Strange Change’ is one famous outing for Argo [a division of Chicago-based Chess Records], which is worth a bundle, and I don’t have.

“He had other notable releases – for Buddy [owned by local recording executive Frank Virtue] called ‘Hands Off She’s Mine,’ ‘You Can’t Cry’ for Phil L.A. of Soul, and for RCA, ‘Honest To Goodness.’

“Truth to tell, he had only a modicum of success back in time, which is why his stuff is so revered and collectible into the Third Millennium.”

David L. Brown, of Funkadelphia Records, said that once in the ’60s when Herb was due to perform at the Uptown Theater, his band didn’t show up.

“He asked Teddy Pendergrass to fill in as the drummer,” Brown said. “It was Teddy’s first performance ever.”

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