Anthony Fontaine originally from Memphis Tennessee, during the late 60’s signed up with Pasadena Texas record producer Claude Latimore Milburn to record two Earl Rhodes songs. Firstly “Stop That Old Grapevine” which starts with a female monologue before a horn section kicks into a fine uptempo southern dancer, while the flipside “How Can I Lose (What I Never Had)” is a more melodic soulful mid tempo outing. Both songs were released on C.L. Milburn’s ‘Souled Out’ record Label, which also features two excellent 45’s from the El Paso group Bobby & The Premiers.
Anthony later joined Willie Hill in a singing duo performing under their christian names of Willie & Anthony. As ‘Willie & Anthony’ the duo recorded two 45’s on the Albany, Georgia based Molly-Jo label (Albany being Willie Hill’s home town.) Firstly “One Hand (Wash The Other)/Selfish Lover” (Molly-Jo 1001) followed by “I Can’t Leave You Alone/Selfish Lover” (Molly-Jo 1005) which was picked up in 1973 by Miami main man Henry Stone and released on his Blue Candle label. Stone released a further two 45’s on Willie & Anthony “Groovin/I’m Tired (Of A One Way Love Affair)(Blue Candle 1503) in 1974 and “Sugar, Sugar, Sugar/It’s Never Too Late (Blue Candle 1509, also UK Jayboy 94) in 1975. This was to be the duo’s last recording for almost a decade with their final release appearing on Jesse Boone’s Soul-Po-tion label “I Feel It Coming” with Willie (minus Anthony) being joined by Barry Richardson on the releases flipside “”You Can Depend” in 1984.
After Willie & Anthony parted company, Willie later went on to record for the Ichiban and Ifgam labels. As for Anthony Fontaine his career might have taken a different path through his association with his former producer C. L. Milburn Anthony almost joined the mighty Stax label’s recording artist roster. During the early to mid 1970’s C.L through his friendship with Al Bell worked for a time at the Stax studio’s and tried to secure Anthony a recording deal, sadly a vote of 5-4 against by the label’s board meant that this was not to be, although Anthony was involved with some songwriting work with Little Milton.
According to C.L, Anthony Fontaine sadly passed away during 2012, so his remaining legacy is the clutch of recordings he made with Willie Hill and his now in demand solitary solo Texas rarity, which Soul Junction has now made more readily available as a limited 45 release.- Soul Junction