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Thursday, April 26, 2007

John Legend Honored by Songwriters Hall of Fame

John Legend will be honored with the Hal David Starlight Award by the Songwriters Hall of Fame this coming June.

Award recipients are gifted songwriters in the early years of their careers who are making a significant impact with their original songs.

John Legend joins Rob Thomas, Alicia Keys and John Mayer (past recipients of the Hal David Starlight Award).

In 2004, Legend premiered as a singer-songwriter-pianist-performer with his album Get Lifted.

Get Lifted produced the hit “Ordinary People,” and was a critical and commercial success, earning Legend eight Grammy nominations.

He won Best New Artist, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance ("Ordinary People") and Best R&B album.

In 2007, Legend won his 4th and 5th Grammy awards for Best R&B Vocal Performance for his album Once Again.

John also captured the 2007 Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group Grammy for his collaboration with Van Hunt and Joss Stone on the Sly Stone tribute CD, Family Affair.

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Posted by King on 04/26 at 01:02 AM
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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Concert Payday for B'Day & Beyonce'

It’s the repackaging of Beyonce‘ tunes, just in time for busy B’s world tour experience, sponsored by Samsung and L’Oreal Paris.

Her B’Day CD is being reissued with some new songs, including Spanish versions.

B’Day is also getting a companion DVD with 8 music videos.

Dig deep into your wallet, and line up for tickets now!

Official Dates for Beyonce’s 2007 North American Tour:

  • Friday, July 6 - New Orleans, LA Superdome
  • Saturday, July 7 - Memphis, TN FedEx Forum
  • Sunday, July 8 - St. Louis, MO Savvis Center
  • Wednesday, July 11 - Monterrey, Mexico Monterrey Arena
  • Friday, July 13 - Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
  • Saturday, July 14 - Houston, TX Toyota Center
  • Sunday, July 15 - San Antonio, TX AT&T Center
  • Wednesday, July 18 - Nashville, TN Gaylord Entertainment Center
  • Friday, July 20 - Atlanta, GA Philips Arena
  • Saturday, July 21 - Tampa, FL St. Pete Times Forum
  • Sunday, July 22 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL Bank Atlantic Center
  • Monday, July 24 - Orlando, FL AMWAY Arena
  • Friday, July 27 - Charlotte, NC Bobcat Arena
  • Saturday, July 28 - Raleigh, NC RBC Center
  • Sunday, July 29 - Hampton, VA Hampton Coliseum
  • Tuesday, July 31 - Albany, NY Pepsi Arena
  • Wednesday, August 1 - Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun
  • Thurday, August 2 - To be announced
  • Friday, August 3 - Meadowlands, NJ Continental Airline Arena
  • Saturday, August 4 - NYC Madison Square Garden
  • Wednesday, August 8 - Baltimore, MD 1st Mariner Arena
  • Thurday, August 9 - Washington DC Verizon Center
  • Friday, August 10 - Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Center
  • Saturday, August 11 - Atlantic City, NJ (Trump Taj Mahal Arena)
  • Sunday, August 12 - Boston, MA Fleet Center
  • Tuesday, August 14 - Montreal, Quebec Canada Bell Centre
  • Wednesday, August 15 - Toronto, Ontario Air Canada
  • Friday, August 17 - Detroit, MI Palace
  • Saturday, August 18 - Chicago, IL United Center
  • Sunday, August 19 - Cleveland, OH Quicken Arena
  • Wednesday, August 22 - Denver, CO Pepsi Arena
  • Friday, August 24 - Phoenix, AZ US Airways Center
  • Saturday, August 25 - Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand
  • Sunday, August 26 - San Diego, CA (venue TBD)
  • Thurday, August 30 - Lake Tahoe, CA Harrah’s Outdoor Theatre
  • Friday, August 31 - Oakland, CA Oakland Arena
  • Saturday, September 1 - Anaheim, CA Honda Center
  • Sunday, September 2 - Los Angeles, CA Staples Center
  • Wednesday, September 5 - TBD
  • Thurday, September 6 - Calgary, Canada Pengrowth Saddledome
  • Friday, September 7 - Vancouver, Canada GM Place

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Posted by King on 04/24 at 07:30 PM
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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ashford & Simpson bring classic soul back to the Apollo

Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson are appearing this Saturday, April 21st, at the world famous Apollo Theatre in New York City.

Melba Moore joins the dynamic duo for an evening of classic soul hits.

Special thanks to Ron Richardson who tipped us off about this show back on March 1, 2007.

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Posted by King on 04/19 at 01:02 AM
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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

TSOP Philly Flashback

We’ve been featuring interesting magazine covers from my personal magazine archive on recent consecutive Wednesdays.

Today is the 5th of a 5 part series with an October/November 1980 cover of Blues & Soul saluting Philadelphia International Records.

It’s a TSOP Philly Flashback.

I have removed the names of some of the artists from the lower left-hand panel.  Can you identify all 10 artists on the cover?

If you can, we’d like to reward you, (a true “Philly Sound” lover), with some Memphis soul!

The first person to name all 10 artists on this cover will win a copy of the new 2 CD set, Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Leave your guess in a comment.  All 10 artists must be named in the same comment.

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Posted by King on 04/18 at 01:02 AM
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Manhattans Mark Mellow Memories

Winfred “Blue” Lovett, Richard Taylor, Kenny Kelley, George “Smitty” Smith and Sonny Bivins were the original Manhattans.

I always enjoyed seeing them perform live in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania region.

The Manhattans moved to Columbia Records in 1973, where they collaborated with producer Bobby Martin on a string of hits...

  • “There’s No Me Without You”
  • “Hurt”
  • “Kiss And Say Goodbye” (a 1976 platinum selling #1 pop and R&B hit)

Occasionally on Powerhouse Radio, (but not very often), I’ll play the “X” rated version of “Kiss and Say Goodbye,” a special 45 RPM vinyl DJ only version featuring a hilarious intro by “Blue” Lovett who laments in racy language the end of the affair (that the song is all about).

In 1985, The Manhattans added a female vocalist to the act: Regina Belle, who would later sign with Columbia as a solo artist in 1986.

On February 25, 1999 The Manhattans were inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame.

In 2004, they celebrated their 40th anniversary.

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Posted by King on 04/17 at 08:02 AM
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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Does Sly Stone know the way to San Jose?

First it was the recent surprise March 31st appearance in Las Vegas.  Now Sly Stone is heading for San Jose, California, scheduled to appear in a July 7, 2007 event billed as “Back in the Day, Summerfest 2007."

"Scheduled to appear” is always the operative phrase with Sly.  With the reissue of the Sly & the Family Stone catalog, I’m not surprised that Mr. Stone is once again venturing to boldly go where Sly hasn’t dared to go for almost two decades – live concert performances.

His Las Vegas appearance was a big hit.  Just in case “the new Sly” does some “old Sly” no-show backsliding, here is the rest of the line-up for “Back in the Day, Summerfest 2007,” at Arena Green Park in San Jose, California:

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Posted by King on 04/12 at 01:02 AM
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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

On Tape Flashback Plugs 8 Track and Cassette Catalogue

We’ve been featuring interesting magazine covers from my personal magazine archive on recent consecutive Wednesdays.

Today is the 4th of a 5 part series with a Spring 1972 cover in the spotlight.

This is volume one, number one, of On Tape, a magazine billing itself as the “complete tape guide.”

On Tape is unusual in that the first eight pages of the magazine contain editorial content, the next 75 pages list only 8 track and cassette music/spoken word items in a directory, and the last eight pages contain additional editorial content.

A typical On Tape listing looks like this:

  • Staple Singers
  • Soul Folk in Action STX ST8-2004 (8 track) STC-2004 (cassette)
  • $5.98

This premier issue glorified “Four-channel Stereo” in an article by Robert Angus.  Also known as quadraphonic sound, the passing fad of four-channel stereo tried to reproduce the concert hall experience by recording four separate channels.

Drummer/vocalist Buddy Miles talks candidly in the featured cover article. Of all the people he’s played with, Buddy says Otis Redding had the biggest influence on him.

Buddy Miles has played with them all, discover more about him, and listen to my interview with Buddy Miles recorded at the famous Bottom Line club in New York City.

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Posted by King on 04/11 at 08:30 PM
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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Whitney Houston - VIP

In the past few days, Whitney Houston has moved her official website to a new address, WhitneyVip.com.

Whitney’s career is in “comeback mode.” Her website move is hopefully in anticipation of some big things to come.

In an April 3rd message from Dionne Warwick on Dionne’s official website, Ms. Warwick, (related to Whitney), says...

"For all that have been asking about Whitney, she is doing fabulously well and is in the recording studio getting ready to send you all her wonderful gift again, and I have passed all of your thoughts and prayers for her on to her."

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Posted by King on 04/10 at 08:09 AM
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Thursday, April 05, 2007

9 Classics from Dionne Warwick

9 classic Dionne Warwick albums will be reissued on CD this May by Collector’s Choice Music.

Her first six albums will be reissued.  In all, nine of her first 10 classic pop and soul releases will hit the street this May 15th.

These are Dionne’s great tracks from her Scepter and Warner Brothers years, remastered from the original tapes, featuring most of her amazing work with the Burt Bacharach - Hal David songwriting team.

1) Presenting Dionne Warwick: From 1963 including Dionne’s first single, “Don’t Make Me Over,” and “Wishin’ and Hopin’,” (later a huge hit for Dusty Springfield).

2) Anyone Who Had a Heart: Released in 1964, features Dionne’s first Top Ten hit “Anyone Who Had a Heart."

3) Make Way for Dionne Warwick: Released in 1964, featuring the Bacharach and David classics “Walk On By,” and “Close To You,” (a hit for the Carpenters in the 1970’s).

4) The Sensitive Sound of Dionne Warwick: From 1965, featuring “Who Can I Turn To?” from the Broadway play The Roar of the Greasepaint—The Smell of the Crowd.

5) Here I Am: Released in late 1965, containing nine Bacharach-David compositions out of 12 songs on the album.

6) Dionne Warwick in Paris: This is a remaster.  Called “The Black Pearl” by her Parisian fans, Dionne Warwick was very popular in France before becoming a stateside favorite in the USA.
Her first live album was recorded at the Olympia Theater in Paris.  Dionne Warwick in Paris was recorded on January 18, 1966.

7) Here Where There Is Love: Released in 1966.  Ms. Warwick’s first Top 20 pop charting album, and a No. 1 hit on the R&B charts.
Bacharach and David gems “Alfie,” “What The World Needs Now,” “Trains and Boats and Planes,” and “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” are all here, along with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind."

8) The Magic of Believing: A departure from her pop success and a tribute to her gospel roots, inspired by her mother Lee, a founding member of the Drinkard Singers with Cissy Houston.

9) Love at First Sight: Her last album for Warner Brothers Records in 1977, featuring New York City Brill Building songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

Dionne Warwick fans, spread the word.

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Posted by King on 04/05 at 01:02 AM
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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Blues & Soul UK – USA Connection

We’ve been featuring interesting magazine covers from my personal magazine archive on recent consecutive Wednesdays.

Today is the 3rd of a 5 part series with a June 1970 cover in the spotlight.

Blues & Soul, still going strong, was first published in 1966.  The magazine is based in London, U.K.

This is issue number 35, dated June 5 – June 18, 1970, featuring the Jackson 5.

My copy of the magazine is an original I purchased in 1970 on a trip to London.  It’s also a rare edition you can find on eBay, if you are willing to pay the price collectors are asking.

This J5 edition featured excellent transatlantic chart coverage with...

  • The top 50 U.K. singles
  • The top 30 U.K. albums
  • The top 100 USA singles
  • The top 40 USA albums

There’s a ‘page two’ editorial, amusing by today’s standards, noting that music consumers will stop buying albums if the number of tracks keep going down, and the album prices keep going up!

A 25 minute Wilson Pickett album is used as an example.

It’s been a long way from issue 35 to the current Blues & Soul issue 992.  B&S will celebrate issue 1,000 during the Summer of 2007.

The quality of Blues & Soul continues to be top notch.

Blues & Soul includes all the latest U.K. and U.S.A. “urban music” info, including news, charts, reviews, events and clubs, as well as in-depth interviews and editorials on influential artists past and present.

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Posted by King on 04/04 at 01:02 AM
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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Gamble and Huff Songs Dive into Pride at 45

Kenny Gamble (right) and Leon Huff (left) are marking their 45th anniversary as musical producers with a fresh Hollywood showcase for their vintage hits.

Pride is a new movie about troubled 70’s teens who find redemption through their swimming team.  Terrence Howard and Bernie Mac star.  Five songs from the Philadelphia International Records catalog dominate the soundtrack.

Here’s are the songs from Pride:

  • "Back Stabbers” written by Leon Huff, Gene McFadden and John Whitehead, performed by The O’Jays

  • "Let’s Clean Up the Ghetto” written by Gilbert Cary, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, performed by The Philadelphia All-Stars

  • "Little Child Runnin’ Wild” written by Curtis Mayfield, performed by Curtis Mayfield

  • "Express Yourself” written by Charles Wright, performed by Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band

  • "I’ll Take You There” written by Alvertis Isbell, performed by The Staples Singers

  • "It’s Your Thing” written by Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley and O’Kelly Isley, performed by The Isley Brothers

  • “Expansions" written by Lonnie Liston Smith, performed by Lonnie Liston Smith

  • "Blow Me Away” written by Brenton Brown, Performed by Dreamseed

  • "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)” written by Marvin P. Gaye and James Nyx, performed by Grover Washington, Jr.

  • Slow Motion” written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, Performed by Johnny Williams

  • "I Love Music” written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, performed by The O’Jays

  • "I Can’t Wait Much Longer” written by Francis Miller and Robin Trower, performed by Robin Trower

  • "The Fool and Me” written by James Dewar and Robin Trower, performed by Robin Trower

  • "Oh Happy Day” written by Edwin Hawkins, performed by The Edwin Hawkins Singers

  • "Love Train” written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, performed by The O’Jays

  • "Strawberry Letter 23” written by Shuggie Otis, performed by The Brothers Johnson

  • "The Payback” written by James Brown, Fred Wesley and John Starks, performed by James Brown

  • "Dare To Dream” written by John Legend, Aaron Zigman, Sunu Gonera and Jerry Hey, performed by John Legend

This is an unusual mix.  “Expansions” by Lonnie Liston Smith, “Slow Motion” by Johnny Williams, and the two songs from Robin Trower (of Procol Harum “Whiter Shade of Pale” fame) are surprises.

“Expansions" is a superb fusion of R&B and jazz.  It’s nice to see the song recycled in this flick.  “Slow Motion” was a hit for Williams, but not as big as the other Philly International tracks on this soundtrack.

Pride is based on a true Philadelphia story, hence the dominance of Gamble & Huff classic soul productions.

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Posted by King on 04/03 at 01:02 AM
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