The Foxx's great single Mockingbird took its style from the call and response pattern worked up over a century by Southern gospel choirs, in which many of our finest singers began their careers. The pattern allowed for an amazing number of variations and embellishments on a simple theme, and music as different as Duke Ellington's and Harry Partch's developed it further. Charlie and Inez Foxx had a sympathy with each other's voices, it's almost as though each of them knew what the other would do vocally and could anticipate which harmony best to employ, what kind of vocal repartee would be needed. They grew up together, of course, as brother and sister, and thus learned each other's voices very early. (Many so-called music "historians" assume they were husband and wife, but that is not so.) The song itself, a variation on an old "folk" number with plantation origins, has many meanings encoded in its lyrics--the diamond ring, the mockingbird that may or may not sing, the threatened breaking of hearts--all in a sequence that seems preordained, older than time.
From the way I'm going on about this one track, you'd think it was the only one I liked by Charlie and Inez, but to tell the truth, most of them are of this caliber. For those of you who like Ike and Tina Turner, there are some bluesy rockers on this LP too, that will show you where Ike got some of his duet ideas from. Even more of an influence was Sam Cooke, whose velvety stylings can be heard all over this album. The best tracks include "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush," which was their attempt at replicating the children's tune + soul formula used on "Mockingbird" and the indelible "Hurt By Love," so doleful and lowdown it could have been on a Tom Waits record.