Only one track by Ray Sharpe featuring Hendrix on guitar seems to survive. Hendrix also played on a Sharpe session on the 28th of April 1966 in New York, but the results were never released and the master tapes were destroyed in a fire in 1978.The session included: King Curtis - Tenor sax, Jimi Hendrix - Guitar, Cornell Dupree - Guitar, Chuck Rainey - Bass, Ray Lucas - Drums and Bernard "Pretty" Purdie - Drums.

They recorded a remake of Sharpe's "Linda Lu", "I can't take it" and "Baby how about you".

Ray Sharpe did release "I can't take it" on the 45 "I can't take it / Mary Jane" (Atco 45-6437) in September 1966 1, but this was a different take recorded in Dallas on the 4th of August 1966 with no involvement by Hendrix.

Ray Sharpe

The only available Ray Sharpe release featuring Hendrix is the 45 "Help me (get the feeling) - part I / Help me (get the feeling) - part II" (Atco 45-6402) which doesn't seem have much of an impact.

It's producer King Curtis didn't leave the master to gather dust. It first re-surfaced with the same backing track but with Sharpe's vocals replaced by Owen Grey as "Help Me" by Owen Grey. Then Jimi`s guitar part was wiped and new overdubs were made after which the track was released as "Save Me" with a new vocal by Aretha Franklin on the Lp "I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You" in 1967. Finally the track was released as the (almost) instrumental "Instant Groove" on the King Curtis 45 "Instant Groove / Sweet Inspiration" (Atco 45-6680) in 1969, once again featuring new overdubs but retaining Jimi`s guitar part.

One more curious thing about this track is that the Atlantic tape log gives the recording date as 21 January 1966. Atco however had a matrix numbering system for it's releases where the first part of the number gave the release year. The matrix number for the "Help me (Get the feeling)" single is 65C-9867, thus indicating 1965 as the year of release.This could be a mistake, but it get's more confusing...

The Atlantic tape logs list a Ray Sharpe session for 29 November 1965, and one of the tracks recorded was "Gettin' the feeling (Help me)". No recording personnel is listed, and nothing from this session was ever released. One possibility is that the earlier take was scheduled for release, but then it was decided to do a re-recording, but the matrix number already assigned in 1965 was still used even if the year had changed. This seems unlikely though, as one assumes that the numbers were given when the mastering was done, and Atco probably wouldn't have wasted money on mastering a track and then scrapping it, especially with a small time artist like Sharpe.

Hendrix send a postcard to his dad stamped 24th of November in Lynn, Massachusetts stating that "We're in Boston Mass.We'll be here for about 10 days"..."I'm playing up here with Joey Dee and the Starliters", thus he most likely wasn't even in New York on the 29th of November...so weather the matrix number starts with "65" by mistake or the 21 January 1966 (or 28 November 1965) record date is wrong you can decide for yourself...

By an amazing co-incidence a tape has survived of Jimi acknowledging that he plays on the track. In the interview tape recorded in March 1967 in the Speakeasy in London which includes a journalist, Eric Clapton and Hendrix having a drink and a chat when the track is played in the club.

In the middle of the conversation Jimi says "...just in case anybody can hear a guitar in the background that's me playing in New York when I was starving.." a few seconds after the track starts to play in the background. This happens at around 13.13 into the recording. (David Henderson included this part in his book "The Life Of Jimi Hendrix 'Scuse Me While I Kiss The Sky", but he identified the song as "Highway Chile" and wrote that Hendrix says "...that's me playing - starving (laughter)".)

It was earlier reported here that this is the Ray Sharpe version which is incorrect, it's the one by Owen Grey which of course is the exact same backing track, thus Jimi was hearing himself play even though the vocalist wasn't the same...

Help Me (Get The Feeling)
Composers: "King" Curtis Ousley, Ray Sharpe, Cornell Dupree
Recorded at: New York City (Atlantic Studios?)
Engineer: ?
Producer: "King" Curtis Ousley
Date: 21 January 1966
Vocals: Ray Sharpe
Drums: Ray Lucas
Bass: Chuck Rainey
Lead guitar: Cornell Dupree
Guitar: Jimi Hendrix
Trumpet: Melvin Lastie
Tenor sax: "King" Curtis Ousley
Baritone sax: Willie Bridges

Only one mix of the track exists, in mono. This was split in two and released as a 45.
Available on: 7" Ray Sharpe with the King Curtis Orchestra: Help me (get the feeling) - part I / Help me (get the feeling) - part II (Atco 45-6402)
Also available on: Cd "Blues & Soul Power - Funky R&B And Rockin' Soul Crossovers 1964-72 (Warner 0927-49064-2)


1 The 45 was listed in Billboard issue 17 September 1966 in the "Spotlight Singles" -section under the subheader "Predicted to reach the HOT 100 Chart"