Holly Springs, Mississippi cousins Melvin McArthur Hardin and Hubert Timothy McPherson took their Soul/Funk duet act of Mel & Tim to Chicago in the late 1960s, together with a healthy supply of songs they had written, to record for the small Bamboo Records label owned by Hardin's mother Yolanda, who had a distribution arrangement with the much larger Scepter Records, home of Dionne Warwick among others. Their first release, and one they had written some time earlier called I've Got Puredee went nowhere on Bamboo 106 b/w an instrumental version of the same song, but the follow-up Backfield In Motion turned out to be their best hit of six, reaching # 3 R&B and # 10 Billboard Pop Hot 100 in October/November 1969 on Bamboo 107 b/w Do Right Baby, both of which they also composed. That was produced by Gene Chandler (of Duke Of Earl fame) as was the follow-up Good Guys Only Win In The Movies, which didn't fare nearly as well, peaking at # 17 R&B/# 45 Hot 100 in in February 1970 b/w I Found That Was Wrong on Bamboo 109.
None of the next three 1970 releases could make any national charts, however (Feeling Bad/I've Got Puredee on Bamboo 112, Mail Call Time/Forget It, I've Got It on Bamboo 114, and We've Got The Groove To Move You/Never On Time on Bamboo 116), and after Bamboo folded its tent that year the duo moved on to Stax Records, first launched in Memphis in 1957 by Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton (ST + AX hence Stax). Appropriately, their first release there was Starting All Over Again (written by Phillip Mitchell) and it became their second best hit by finishing at # 4 R&B and # 19 Hot 100 in July/August 1972 b/w It Hurts To Want It So Bad on Stax 0127.
But similar to their Bamboo days, the follow-up I May Not Be What You Want (also written by Mitchell, this time with Ernie Shelby) finished at a mediocre # 33 R&B and just # 113 on the Hot 100 Bubble Under charts in March 1973 on Stax 0154 b/w Too Much Wheelin' And Dealin', while Heaven Knows b/w Don't Mess With My Money, My Honey Or My Woman on Stax 0160 failed to chart later that spring. There were no more singles released until late in 1974 when That's The Way I Want To Love My Life () ended up at a weak # 79 R&B in October on Stax 0224 and the flipside, Forever And A Day, struggled to # 88 R&B. Their final single, The Same Folks/It's The Little Things That Count (Stax 0202) went nowhere at the end of 1974.
A quick scan after searching under Mel & Tim will reveal three current CDs, none of which contain all six of their charted singles. The 14-track 1992 volume "Starting All Over Again" from Stax - and the one covered here - reprises the 10-track 1972 Stax LP STS-3007 (tracks 1 to 10) with 4 bonus sides at 11 to 14, and from that you'll get their first two Stax hits and one B-side (Too Much Whealin' And Dealin'). Unfortunately, it does not include It Hurts To Want It So Bad which backed their best Stax hit, Starting All Over Again. Nor is it to be found on CD anywhere else.
The 10-track 2010 "Mel & Tim" from The Beat Goes Public (BGP) reprises the 10-track 1973 Stax LP STS-5501 of the same title and there you get both sides of their last Stax charted entry. The 1996 Sundazed Music 14-track volume "Good Guys Only Win In The Movies" reprises their original 10-track 1969 album of the same name (Bamboo BMS-8001) - tracks 1 to 9 with bonus sides from 10 to 14. Here you get their two Bamboo hit singles and one B-side, Do Right Baby. Unfortunately at track 8 they present I Found That I Was Wrong , which backed the title hit, in a medley format with Mail Call Time.
The sound quality of each is excellent, and in the last CD mentioned above you get rather extensive liner notes written by Bill Dahl. So, if you want all their hits it seems you have to purchase all three and even then completist collectors will be frustrated by the missing B-sides.
Tim McPherson reportedly passed away in 1986