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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

President Obama sings Sweet Home Chicago

President Obama sings “Sweet Home Chicago."

Posted by King on 03/21 at 02:41 PM
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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Tribute to Soul Train - Don Cornelius

Here are 6 vintage classic Soul Train video performances presented as a tribute to the late host Don Cornelius.

Posted by King on 02/08 at 02:31 PM
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ohio Players Album Covers

Pain, Pleasure, and Ecstasy.  Album titles with cover art guaranteed to attract even more attention than the funky music inside of the exotic grooves.

Take a Powerhouse Radio slide show trip with the “Fire” and “Skin Tight” Ohio Players from Dayton, Ohio.

Both the album covers, and the players, have a special message for you.  Watch and listen.

Posted by King on 09/28 at 09:00 AM
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Michael Jackson's Solo Timeline

Here’s a video flashback looking at the major albums released by Michael Jackson.

June 25, 2011, is the 2nd anniversary of his death.

The index of his picture book, Michael Jackson: The Man In The Mirror, 1958 - 2009, lists over 60 MJ solo singles released Between 1968 - 2003.

His very first single was “Let Me Carry Your School Books” in 1968, followed by “Got To Be There” in 1971.

Watch and listen to this 2 minute video tribute we enjoyed producing.

Posted by King on 06/24 at 07:30 PM
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Monday, June 13, 2011

20 Years of Mary J. Blige

Why watch the calendar until 2012!  It’s been almost 20 years we’ve enjoyed Mary J. Blige.

Watch and listen to our special tribute.

Posted by King on 06/13 at 09:28 PM
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Masters of Funk Tour 2011 Rolls on

Pictured, The Bar-Kays.  The Masters of Funk 2011 World Tour rolls on.  Here’s the transcript of my interview with James JJ Underwood of JEA Right Now Records talking about the tour.

You can also listen to my Masters of Funk Tour 2011 interview that features the Bar-Kays latest release “Return of the Mack."

King: This is King from powerhouseradio.com and I am on the line with James JJ Underwood and JJ is the Office Manager for JEA Right Now Records. How you doing JJ?

James JJ Underwood:  I am doing fine, how about you there?

King: I am hangin’, I am hangin’ in, feeling pretty good today.  We want to talk to you a little bit about the Masters of Funk World Tour, which is featuring some of the great classic soul bands like the Bar-Kays, Con Funk Shun, Sugarfoot’s, Ohio Players.  I see you have a lot of different groups that are actually part of this tour but my understanding is not every group appears at every show. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

James JJ Underwood: Yes, we mix it up a little for every different venue that we go to.  The tours’ actually been going on for two to three years now. but we mix it up and give each city a little different taste of each group; because there are like 20 Bands involved in the tour, out of those 20 Bands like 4, or 5 bands perform at each venue. So we kind of spice it up a little and give the people a little bit of everything as far as the funk and the soul goes.

King: Now I see you guys are going to be in Detroit on April 2nd, 2011, so are you in the middle of the tour for the season. How many more dates do you have coming up in 2011?

James JJ Underwood:  We go to Detroit April 2nd, Chicago April 23rd, we do Memphis in May then we go to St. Louis in June. There is pretty much two dates a month, until the year is out for the Masters of Funk.  People really want to see this, they missed all the soul and funk groups. then, the live music people, are still really interested in the live music so the tour is going really well.

King: Is there any particular group among those that we have mentioned the Bar-Kays, Dazz Band, Sugarfoot’s, Ohio Players, Brick, Klymaxx, Mary Jane Girls, any one of these group at every show, do you have like a foundation group, or is it subject to change every show?

James JJ Underwood: It is subject to change every show it is usually, what the fans usually request.  For Phoenix we had Cherelle, the Dazz Band, Con Funk Shun and it was sell out and that’s what people wanted to see in Phoenix.

King: Where could people go to get the complete schedule of the Masters of Funk Tour?

James JJ Underwood: You can go to www.bar-kays.net.  There is a complete list of all the tour dates.  www.bar-kays.net, a complete list of everything.

King: I am King from powerhouseradio.com, we’re talking with JJ Underwood, he’s with JEA Right Now Records.  JJ you have mentioned that the tour is going through the end of the year, is that right into November and December?

James JJ Underwood:  Yeah, right until November and December.

King: So tell me about this new Bar-Kays song, Return of the Mack, I was just listening to it its pretty good. How did they get involved in putting this one out there?

James JJ Underwood: Mr. Larry Dodson, he likes to stay current with his music, and he is always coming up with something and he came up with this. I think it’s really a hit, it’s real current it still has the funk to it and it really displays the creativeness the Bar-Kays, still have.

King: And tell everybody who Larry Dodson is?

James JJ Underwood: Larry Dodson is the lead singer of the Bar-Kays.

King:  Alright, say JJ I want to thank you very much for talking to us about the Masters of Funk Tour 2011, and you said the tour has been going for a couple of years.  I hope in 2012 that you’re back at it one more time.

James JJ Underwood: Thanks for having me I appreciate it.

The Masters of Funk World Tour - 2011

  • Saturday, April 2, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan featuring: The Dazz Band, The Bar-Kays, Zapp, Sugarfoot’s Ohio Players
  • Saturday, May 7 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin featuring: The Bar-Kays, Con Funk Shun, Sugarfoot’s Ohio Players, Zapp, The Dazz Band
  • Friday, June 3 in St. Louis, Missouri featuring: The Bar-Kays, Sugarfoot’s Ohio Players, The Dazz Band
  • Saturday, June 11 in Louisville, Kentucky, featuring: The Bar-Kays, Slave, The Dazz Band
  • Saturday, July 16 in Nashville, Tennessee featuring:  Slave, The Bar-Kays, The Dazz Band
  • Saturday, August 20 in Kansas City, Missouri Featuring: The Bar-Kays, Slave, The Dazz Band

Posted by King on 03/29 at 08:00 AM
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Raphael Saadiq is Stone Rollin' Soul

Former Tony! Toni! Tone! talent Raphael Saadiq continues to take retro soul forward with Stone Rollin’, a new album scheduled for release Tuesday, May 10, 2011.

Saadiq is a contemporary evangelist for 70’s soul style.  He champions the cause with a track record of solid releases that stay true to his classic soul sensibility.

Raphael, AKA Raphael Wiggins, hails from Oakland, California.  He toured with Prince and Sheila E. briefly in the 1980’s, before forming Tony! Toni! Tone! at the end of the decade.

Stone Rollin’ is Saadiq’s 5th solo album.

Put aside 38 minutes, and watch Raphael Saadiq live in concert, performing at the 2011 SXSW (South by Southwest) festival.

Posted by King on 03/23 at 08:15 PM
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Janet Jackson and Friend

Right now is always a good time to have some fun with Janet Jackson.  Enjoy Janet and Friend.  Do you know who the friend is?

Posted by King on 03/16 at 07:30 PM
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dionne Warwick Opens Her Soul in My Life as I See It

Dionne Warwick says in her new autobiography, My Life As I See It, released in November, 2010, that a typo misprint on her first single “Don’t Make Me Over” changed her surname from Warrick to Warwick.

When her astrologer created a numerological chart in the 1970’s, the astrologer suggested adding an “e” to Warwick to create “stronger vibrations."

As Dionne says, “that meant every contract, advertisement, and record cover had to reflect the change."

She explains that record sales dipped, so “I went about getting it taken off all contracts, marquees, and future album covers."

My Life As I See It is a very enjoyable read, as Dionne covers every aspect of her life.

Her grandfather was a minister.  She reflects on how people describe her vocal style as “classical or pop, but gospel has been and always will be first and foremost in my world of music."

Dionne Warwick finally released her first gospel album in 2008, Why We Sing.  She credits gospel with making her a better pop singer.

Here is an artist who spans the decades from the early 1960’s to now.  She began as a demo track and background singer in New York City, commuting from her home state of New Jersey.

When her solo career took off (propelled by songs created by the Hal David - Burt Bacharach writing team), she hit the road to tour.  Dionne’s stories about experiencing 1963 “Jim Crow” racism travelling through the South echo what my other artists in the early 1960’s endured.

Apart from her own talent, Ms. Warwick has glorious singing family connections, including her late sister Dee Dee, aunt Cissy Houston, Cousin Whitney Houston, and cousin Leontyne Price.

Excellence takes hard work, and Dionne was no slouch.  She took piano lessons every week from age six until her early twenties.

When those singers she respected played within a 100 miles radius of one of her performances, she would go to their shows (Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll, Sammy Davis Jr.), etc., with a legal pad, ask to be seated in the rear of the room with a direct line of sight to the stage, and take notes about every relevant detail of the performance.

She has real bachelor and master’s degrees in music.

Dionne speaks frankly about whether her style is black enough.

She says receiving the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Award in 2003 was satisfying “to be honored by a sector of the industry that never thought of me as an R&B singer."

"My crossover appeal was one of the factors in my success.  My music was played on African American stations as well as white radio stations."

"Ironically, my crossover success in pop prompted something that came as a big surprise: the decline of airplay for my records on African American radio."

When the top New York City R&B station WWRL held off adding “Alfie” to their playlist, Warwick recalls that when the song reached number one (and was finally added by the station), she telephoned into dj Rocky G. while he was playing the song and asked “Why are you playing that white girl’s record?"

G. answered, “That is no white girl, and who is this?” Dionne’s reply: “This is the one you told was too white to play on your show, This is Dionne.” The two laughed about that incident for many years to come.

This anecdote reveals the professional aggressiveness that pushes Dionne Warwick forward through a ground breaking career of many firsts.

  • 1968 - First African American since Ella Fitzgerald to win Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Grammy.
  • 1979 - First female solo artist to win Grammy awards in pop & R&B in the same year.
  • In the 1980’s she was one of the first artists to develop a fragrance, “Dionne.”
  • 1980 - 1988.  She is one of the first African American females to host a music variety television program (season one and season five) of Solid Gold.
  • Say a Little Prayer, her first children’s book, was published in 2008.

You get the sense that Dionne Warwick has clear values with focus, a factor that has contributed to her success.

She talks about embracing collaborations with Barry Manilow leading to the massive hits “Deja Vu” and “I’ll Never Love This Way Again,” but being highly fearful about the “Heartbreaker” song project with the Bee Gees.

Dionne explains about several Bee Gees member Barry Gibb songs presented to her: “one I thought was just not me was “Heartbreaker.” “I did not like it."

Finally giving in to producer Gibb, Ms. Warwick adds “needless to say, I was wrong, and he was right.  “Heartbreaker became one of my biggest international hits to date."

I’ll close with this Warwick - Mary J. Blige encounter, which gives you further incite into ‘the soul of Dionne.’

In the 1990’s, Warwick participated in organizing talent for a show Celebrate the Soul of American Music.

This program gave her the opportunity “to meet Mary J. Blige.  “She was “rough” around the edges at the beginning of her career.  But she was an important part of the new sounds that were defining rap and hip-hop."

"Why she had been asked to do this show, I don’t know, because the Stellar Awards honors the gospel community. But there she was, showing up to rehearse in her fatigues and combat boots."

"When the dress rehearsal for cameras was about to begin, most artists brought out what they would be wearing to show the colors.  Ms. Blige was still in fatigues and combat boots."

"I asked if she would bring out what she intended to wear on the show.  In not such a ladylike way, she let me know that she had on what she was going to wear."

"I had to say that what she had on was not appropriate for the show."

"I told her I could send one of the stylists out to get her something.  But, without missing a beat, she again let me know in no uncertain terms that she was wearing what she had on."

"I then said she would have to wear that somewhere else, because she was no longer on the show."

"I ran into her again a few years later at the inaugural ground-breaking ceremony of the Magic Johnson Theatres in Harlem and I almost didn’t recognize her."

"She was beautifully dressed to the nines."

"She approached me and asked if I remembered her, and I said I did.  She thanked me for opening her eyes to the reality of who she should be and now was."

"Watching her become someone to respect within her community of young entertainers has been great."

"She is now the epitome of positive imagery and high self-esteem."

"She has fought the battle with negativity and won the war.  Thank you, Mary J. Blige, for being."

And thank you Dionne Warwick, for an eye-opening book, an amazing career, and your trailblazing pioneer efforts since the early 1960’s.

Watch and listen to Dionne Warwick’s live performance of “Alfie,” from 1993 in Brazil.

Posted by King on 02/10 at 07:30 PM
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halloween Dance and Party Music to Die For

Two new wacky party albums packed with danceable delights along with frightening sound effects have just dropped in time for Halloween tricks and treats 2010.

Dance and Party Music to Die For has nice remixes including the “Halloween Theme” by John Carpenter.

Going Gaga for the Lady Zombie by Halloween Music Freaks includes “The Howling” (werewolves transformed by the full moon on the prowl), “Zombie Hospital” (the undead wreaking havoc) and “Wicked Witches Waltzing Around The Cauldron” (freaky witches dancing and laughing as they make mischief).

You can find Dance and Party Music to Die For and Going Gaga for the Lady Zombie at iTunes, and Amazon.com.

Listen to the great remix of the “Halloween Theme."

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Posted by King on 10/12 at 09:00 PM
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Dells Are Harmony

Chicago’s Dells, kings of harmony, formed in 1953, and recorded for Chess and Vee-Jay Records.  By the 1970’s, The Dells moved to Mercury Records, ABC, and Chi-Sound.

The Dells had hits in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.

Listen to just over 60 seconds of The Dells singing “A Heart Is A House For Love,” featured in the soundtrack from The Five Hearbeats movie, (song produced by George Duke, 1991).

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Posted by King on 08/24 at 09:30 PM
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

El DeBarge gets a Second Chance

What has El DeBarge been doing for the past 16 years? A trifecta of occasionally making some music, experiencing some rough times, and rediscovering the magic of songwriting.

In 2008, he teamed up with George Clinton and his Gangsters of Love.

Best known as the lead voice for “Rhythm of the Night,” “Who’s Holding Donna Now,” and other group hits with DeBarge, El’s solo career has charted reasonable success.

Read the complete El DeBarge story at his official website.

He’s scheduled to release Second Chance, a new album of songs on Tuesday, September 28, 2010.

The already released title cut is charming, featuring El DeBarge’s high register vocal trademark.  Watching the video, I’m reminded of Lionel Richie, as “Second Chance” pushes El DeBarge squarely into soulful adult contemporary territory.

Watch the video and see if you like the song.

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Posted by King on 08/18 at 12:30 AM
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Janelle Monae Jams with the Big Boys

The latest 2010 darling of every music critic in the world seems to be Janelle Monae, the young Kansas City, Kansas cross-genre phenomenon.

She’s been slotted into contemporary R&B, neo-soul, dance-rock, indie rock, and pop-rock.

Read what the music critics say about Janelle Monae.

After listening to her album The Archandroid in it’s entirety on one long summer car trip, I have to say that Janelle Monae is extremely gifted.

She’s a chameleon of styles.  When singing without the protection of vocal production gimmicks, her friendly warm voice is exposed.

Roberta Flack, Tina Turner, Beyonce, or Pat Benatar?

Monae reflects them all in a wall-to-wall 18 track sonic assault.

The Archandroid is schizophrenic with ambition.

There’s not much cohesion moving from one song to the next.

As a decent 2nd album, Monae does deserve credit for producing something totally different.

“Tightrope" featuring Big Boi from Outkast offers James Brown funkiness with the album’s most accessible commercial selection.

Note, the rest of the album is nothing like “Tightrope."

Janelle Monae proves that there’s always someone new on the horizon who can cut through the clutter of the “me too” clones and offer something unpredictable and fresh.

Watch the well produced “Tightrope” video.

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Posted by King on 08/10 at 01:00 AM
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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Millie Jackson Country

Country tunes in Nashville for the talented tongue of Millie Jackson?  That’s what she did in 1981, broadening her horizons to the masses.

This 45 RPM picture sleeve single is from her country album, Just a Li’l Bit Country.

She tackles the Don Gibson song, “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” a major hit for Ray Charles in 1962.

There must have been an international market for European country lovers, as this particular copy was made and pressed in West Germany by Polydor Records.

However, what Millie Jackson does best is to rock the house with her live and uncensored no holds barred charm.

An excellent example, Millie’s classic soul jewel, “If Loving You is Wrong, I Don’t Want to Be Right."

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Posted by King on 08/03 at 08:30 PM
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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One Million Fans Try a Little Tenderness with Otis Redding

There’s a reason why well over one million fans have enjoyed this 1967 Stax Tour Otis Redding live performance.

Brightened up your day and watch the classic “Try A Little Tenderness."

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Posted by King on 06/29 at 09:00 PM
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