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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Original Dreamgirl Showstopper Jennifer Holliday

Here’s a picture of the original Dreamgirls showstopper, Jennifer Holliday.

This is one of the 45 rpm picture sleeves from the original Broadway cast album.

Jennifer is our final classic soul 45 rpm picture treat for you this holiday week, as we head towards 2007.

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Posted by King on 12/27 at 01:02 AM
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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Bill Withers Gift of Giving Message

Here’s the picture sleeve and message from a classic soul Bill Withers 45 rpm release, “The Gift of Giving."

Enjoy your holiday week.

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Posted by King on 12/26 at 01:02 AM
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Monday, December 25, 2006

James Brown Peace on Earth Message

Here’s the picture sleeve and lyrics to a classic soul James Brown 45 rpm release, “Hey America, It’s Christmas Time."

Merry Christmas!


***update (at 9:01 AM Eastern) ***

I decided over a week ago to post three classic soul 45 rpm picture sleeves Christmas week and debated which one to use first.

Ironically, I chose James Brown for Christmas Day, and I was saddened this morning at about 8 AM Eastern time to learn of his passing at the age of 73.

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Posted by King on 12/25 at 01:02 AM
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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tribute to Ahmet Ertegun by Narada Michael Walden

Ahmet Ertegun: July 31, 1923 - December 14, 2006

Ahmet Ertegun, a U-S immigrant from Turkey, was a founder of Atlantic Records.  He helped popularize R&B and soul music to the masses.

See the red Atlantic label above.

In the spirit of Christmas, here’s a tribute to Ahmet Ertegun written by producer/artist Narada Michael Walden.

"Ahmet, God shines down upon your precious heart and soul, His choice Blessings for the love you have given on a regular basis of your life. Our hearts are heavy with sadness because you were so Damn Cool.

You who’ve been witness to so many miracles in your life. The Birth of Jazz with Louis Satchmo Armstrong as its Father.  The Discovery of the Genius of Soul Ray Charles. The making way of the new sound for The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

The promoting of the Hot fresh sounds of Joe Turner, Ruth Brown who joins you in Heaven, and a host of others who created early Rhythm and Blues, Rock and Soul.

You were not only there but helped make it happen. You and your Brother Neshway, who was always supportive of my career with Atlantic since 1976.

Ahmet, I love you for taking me under your wing and teaching me the ropes. You so loved Barry White and inspired Phil Collins with his message. You were a delight and knew how to charm the beautiful ladies.

I thank you most recently for introducing me to your long time friend Diana. She’s beautiful and kind and knows you well. You kept us up with my friend Danni, till 4 in the morning at Kodak Theater bar explaining to us the history of Jazz and the evolution of music.

That Louis was in fact the Father of Jazz and changed everything with his phrasings and Genius. And that we should make the Louis Armstrong Story Film.

Then you’d swing over to memory lane where you brought sandwiches to the shivering cold Stones fans in London waiting for tickets all night long, to look out for them.  How White people have always borrowed from the Black man’s music.

How delighted you were that to this day, that the Black man’s sound and influence from the streets is still profound and rules.

How to make Hits was still a big and major motivation for you even to the end as we were working co producing your Turkish artist and friend Tarkan.

So many things I can say about you my friend but in closing, I’ll never forget your embrace with Stevie Wonder last year after the Grammies and your profound tears with him and your wife.

Brother Brother Brother, it is because of you , so many of us have had a voice and were able to be heard and loved round the world.

As you are so loved and beloved round this world and in the hearts of true music lover’s everywhere.  I will love and cherish you...


Your Brother Always, Narada Michael Walden"

"PS: I recorded 7 solo albums for Atlantic Records 1976 thru the 80’s, and dozens of productions from my first of Don Cherry 1976 thru Stacey Lattisaw’s, Let Me Be Your Angel LP and thru her career - to Sister Sledge, All American Girls, in the disco period (which later became the Hit “Sex Bomb” for Tom Jones)."

"Ahmet, You have always been a friend of mine."

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Posted by King on 12/21 at 08:02 AM
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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Last Minute Classic Soul Gift Ideas

You have only four days left before Christmas to select some last minute gifts.

For the classic soul lover, why not create a custom music CD with some all time favorites?

Skip the malls, the crowds, the headaches, and the costly expense of overnight shipping by going with a digital gift you can download instantly.

The trick will be to transfer it to CD.

Don’t have a large collection in your own music library?  No problem.  It’s iTunes to the rescue.

Not only does iTunes allow you to instantly download a bunch of songs to your PC in the popular MP3 format, but you can then burn the songs to CD, and create a personalized custom jewel case with your own gift message.

Skip the jewel case and place the CD in a regular gift box if you don’t have any jewel cases.

In less than 10 minutes, you can create an instant gift the music lover on your list will enjoy.

Don’t want to bother with iTunes?  Try the free contemporary Christmas song we are offering as a download now through December 31, 2006.

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Posted by King on 12/20 at 08:02 AM
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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Puzzling Christmas Songs are no Mystery

About this time, you should be vibrating with the rhythms of Christmas song melodies, dancing in your head.

Can you recite the lyrics in your sleep?  You can?  Ok.

Then you’ll have no problem acing this Christmas song puzzle.  If you can solve it in less than 90 seconds, you are a Christmas song sing-a-long expert.

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Posted by King on 12/19 at 08:02 AM
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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Alicia Keys, Usher, & Mary J. Blige Wallpaper Windows

Looking for some delightful pictures to spruce up your computer desktop as the stress starts to pile up before the holidays?

While your friends or office mates get off on their animated dancing Santas, pump some soul into your PC with some fresh visuals that say, “I am a fan."

Alicia Keys, Usher, and Mary J. Blige are all offering some nice wallpaper, icons, or banners you can download in a jiffy.

Once on the linked pages above...

  1. Right click on the image and select “save picture as...” to your “My Pictures” folder.
  2. Click the start button, and select “My Pictures.”
  3. Highlight the picture you want.
  4. Finally, choose “set as desktop background” under the left menu “picture tasks.”

Want to change the image?  Right click on your desktop, select properties, then select the “desktop tab."

Mary J. is hot as she heads to the Grammy Awards.  Congratulations to Alicia Keys for a major upgrade to her website.

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Posted by King on 12/14 at 01:02 AM
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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hair Raising Melba Moore is still Here

Melba Moore’s memorable R&B and pop hits include “This Is It,” “You Stepped Into My Life,” “Falling,” “I am His Lady,” and the Grammy nominated “Lean On Me."

Her 1990 recording of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was instrumental in getting the song entered into the U-S Congressional Record as the official African American National Anthem.

Melba Moore began her career in the ground breaking Broadway musical “Hair,” where she originated the role of Dionne. During her 18 months in the show, she eventually replaced Dianne Keaton.

Right after “Hair” came the role of Lutiebelle Gussiemae Jenkins in the long running musical, “Purlie,” which won Melba the Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress in a musical.

In 1996 Melba took over the role of “Fantine” in the Broadway musical “Les Miserables."

She was in the 2003 movie, “The Fighting Temptations,” along with Beyonce’, and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Melba, who’s survived her share of pain, has come back from the depths of despair, and overcome the hard times.

Recently, she’s recorded some soul stirring gospel, including 2004’s “Nobody but Jesus” album, and her latest, “I’m Still Here."

You can pick up on more of the Melba Moore experience which is waiting for you right now.

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Posted by King on 12/13 at 01:02 AM
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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Prince Heads to Super Bowl 41

Can Prince out “jumpin’ jack” flash both Janet Jackson and the Rolling Stones at Super Bowl XLI?

He gets his chance Sunday, February 4, 2007, as the Halftime Show headliner during the football classic.

The Super Bowl is always the USA’s highest rated television show each year, with a worldwide audience of over 1 billion.

Prince should score a touchdown with this gig.

In recent years, both Jackson and the Rolling Stones have had their brushes with Super Bowl controversy.  Ms. Jackson, for her infamous wardrobe malfunction, and the Stones for some racy lyrics that had to be bleeped out of their performance earlier this year.

Given the independent spirit of Prince and the authenticity of his music, he too may bring some mischievous controversy to the party.

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Posted by King on 12/12 at 01:02 AM
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Friday, December 08, 2006

Mary J. Blige Leads the 49th Annual Grammy Award Nominee Pack

The 49th Annual Grammy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 11, 2007, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Mary J. Blige leads the pack with 8 Grammy Award nominations.

Here are all of the R&B nominees, courtesy of Grammy.com.

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for a solo vocal performance.  Singles or Tracks only.

“Ring The Alarm”
Track from: B’Day
Sony Urban Music/Columbia

“Be Without You”
Mary J. Blige
Track from: The Breakthrough
Geffen Records

“Don’t Forget About Us”
Mariah Carey
Track from: The Emancipation Of Mimi (Ultra Platinum Edition)
Island Records

“Day Dreaming”
Natalie Cole
Track from: Leavin’
Verve Records

“I Am Not My Hair”
Track from: Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship
Motown Records

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for a solo vocal performance.  Singles or Tracks only.

John Legend
Track from: Once Again
Columbia/Good/Sony Urban Music

“So Sick”
Track from: In My Own Words
Def Jam Recordings

“Black Sweat”
Track from: 3121
Universal Records

“I Call It Love”
Lionel Richie
Track from: Coming Home
Island Def Jam Recordings

“Got You Home”
Luther Vandross
Track from: The Ultimate Luther Vandross
J Records/Epic/Legacy Recordings

Best R&B Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocals for duo, group or collaborative performances, with vocals.  Singles or Tracks only.

George Benson & Al Jarreau
Track from: Givin’ It Up
Concord Records/Monster Music

“Love Changes”
Jamie Foxx Featuring Mary J. Blige
Track from: Unpredictable
J Records

“Everyday (Family Reunion)”
Chaka Khan, Gerald Levert, Yolanda Adams & Carl Thomas
Track from: Madea’s Family Reunion - Music From The Motion Picture
Motown Records

“Family Affair”
Sly & The Family Stone, John Legend, Joss Stone With Van Hunt
Track from: Different Strokes By Different Folks
Epic/Legacy Recordings

“Beautiful, Loved And Blessed”
Prince & Támar
Track from: 3121
Universal Records

Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, with vocals.  Singles or Tracks only.

“Christmas Time Is Here”
Anita Baker
Track from: Christmas Fantasy
Blue Note Records

“God Bless The Child”
George Benson & Al Jarreau Featuring Jill Scott
Track from: Givin’ It Up
Concord Records/Monster Music

“I Found My Everything”
Mary J. Blige Featuring Raphael Saadiq
Track from: The Breakthrough
Geffen Records

“You Are So Beautiful”
Sam Moore Featuring Billy Preston, Zucchero, Eric Clapton & Robert Randolph
Track from: Overnight Sensational
Rhino Entertainment

“How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)”
The Temptations
Track from: Reflections
New Door Records

Best R&B Song (A Songwriter(s) Award.  (Artist names appear in parenthesis.) Singles or Tracks only.)

“Be Without You”
Johnta Austin, Mary J. Blige, Bryan-Michael Cox & Jason Perry, songwriters (Mary J. Blige)
Track from: The Breakthrough
Geffen Records

“Black Sweat”
Prince, songwriter (Prince)
Track from: 3121
Universal Records

“Deja Vu”
Shawn Carter, Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, Beyoncé Knowles, Makeba, Keli Nicole Price & Delisha Thomas, songwriters (Beyoncé Featuring Jay-Z)
Track from: B’Day
Sony Urban Music/Columbia

“Don’t Forget About Us”
Johnta Austin, Mariah Carey, Bryan-Michael Cox & Jermaine Dupri, songwriters (Mariah Carey)
Track from: The Emancipation Of Mimi (Ultra Platinum Edition)
Island Records

“I Am Not My Hair”
Drew Ramsey, Shannon Sanders & India Arie Simpson, songwriters (India.Arie)
Track from: Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship
Motown Records

Best R&B Album for albums containing 51% or more playing time of vocal tracks.

The Breakthrough
Mary J. Blige
Geffen Records

Jamie Foxx
J Records

Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship
Motown Records

Universal Republic

Coming Home
Lionel Richie
Island Def Jam Recordings

Best Contemporary R&B Album for albums containing 51% or more playing time of vocal tracks.

Sony Urban Music/Columbia

Chris Brown
Chris Brown
Jive Records/Zomba Label Group

20 Y.O.
Janet Jackson
Virgin Records

Kelis Was Here
Jive Records/Zomba Label Group/Dope Entertainment

In My Own Words
Def Jam Recordings

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Posted by King on 12/08 at 01:02 AM
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Thursday, December 07, 2006

James Brown Grabs more Godfather of Soul Gigs

At 73, the ageless James Brown is still the hardest working man in show business.

Soul Brother number one’s incredible story has been recently profiled on the excellent PBS James Brown American Masters Documentary.

He is one of the few performers who has had a broad cultural influence beyond the musical stage.

As a soulful voice of black pride and an entrepreneurial example of community commerce, James Brown became an iconic symbol in the 1960’s and 70’s.

The drive to succeed and to be the best is what’s kept him going through the years, despite some highly publicized ups and downs.

Performing keeps “Mr. Dynamite” on his toes.

Here are 9 James Brown tour dates coming your way soon...

  • December 27, 2006 - The Palace Theater, Waterbury, CT, 8:45pm
  • December 28, - Bergen Performing Arts Center, Englewood, NJ, 8:45pm
  • December 30, - Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, NJ, 8:45pm
  • December 31, - B.B. King Blues Club, New York, NY, 8:00pm & 10:30pm
  • January 3, 2007 - Metropolis, Montreal, Canada, 9:15pm
  • January 4, - National Arts Centre Southam Hall, Ottawa, Canada, 8:15pm
  • January 9, - Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 8:15pm
  • January 14, - CN Centre, Prince George, BC, Canada
  • February 2, - Bimbo’s 365 Club, San Francisco, CA

J-B continues to perform over 100 live dates each year.

For more 2007 USA shows, Canadian dates, and European tour dates in France, Switzerland, and Monaco, see the official James Brown tour schedule.

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Posted by King on 12/07 at 01:02 AM
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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Instrumental Mags Help Happy Players Score all Year Long

Ever since humans invented devices for performing music with their hands, one thing has remained constant.

People who play instruments are highly respected, especially the gifted players.

However, not everyone wants to be a professional.  Sometimes just picking up an instrument for the fun of it is enough to relieve stress, and make you feel happy.

Here are five resources for amateurs or professionals loaded with terrific tips, tricks, and techniques.  These are great gifts for beginners or music maestros.

All are published monthly.  Each one specializes in a specific instrument.

  1. For acoustic guitar pickers playing jazz, folk, and rock.
  2. For Piano, synthesizer, and keyboard based digital recording systems and the players that use them.
  3. For electric and acoustic bass players.

Acoustic Guitar, Keyboard, Bass Player, Electronic Musician, and Guitar Player are all great starting points for capturing instrumental magic.

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Posted by King on 12/06 at 01:02 AM
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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Making Instant Online Connections for Melodic Holiday Gifts

With three weeks until Christmas, time is running out to select those musical stocking stuffers.

Skip the malls and the “big box” stores.  Here are three online music sites with a catalog of tunes guaranteed to please any musical scrooge.

1) Half.com - Acquired by eBay within the past few years, Half.com is a treasure for hard to find music, lots of it no longer available either from record company catalogs, or by digital download.

Many of the Half.com CD’s are used and are available for just pennies on the dollar.  A high percentage are brand new and are still in the original shrink wrap.

Select the music link on the Half.com home page, and search away.  Read the ratings of the sellers to evaluate their reputation within the community.

Allow at least two weeks for snail mail delivery.  You’ll receive most orders in three - four business days, but remember, most Half.com sellers are not retailers.

2) CD Universe A specialist for both music CD’s and DVD’s (VideoUniverse.com), CD Universe has a very deep catalog and is an excellent resource.  Anyone can post a review of a CD.  You’ll find the reviews honest and helpful in cutting through the promotional hype.

3) iTunes Last, but not least, the new leader in the digital download universe was created by Apple to drive the iPod revolution.

You don’t need an iPod to take advantage of iTunes.  Download their free software for Mac or PC, install it, then go to town.

Download tracks, or complete albums.  Burn your own CD’s from your purchases using the iTunes software to create unique collections (in the ultra popular MP3 file format).

iTunes is incredibly easy to use.  Like other Apple products, it’s very intuitive to figure out.  Call it elegantly simple.  That’s one reason why iTunes has delivered over 1 billion downloads.

These three popular websites rescue you from the “brick and mortar store marathon” by making instant online connections for melodic holiday gifts.

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Posted by King on 12/05 at 01:02 AM
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