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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ashford & Simpson Send It

Ashford & Simpson’s 1977 classic soul album Send It is extremely rare.

This photo is from the back of the vinyl album cover.

”Don’t Cost You Nothin’,” and the underground hit “Bourgie Bourgie” lit up the dance floor back in the day.

Nick and Val are truly a unique act.  As solid as a rock, they managed to served up 35 R&B single releases through 1997.

As songwriters, it doesn’t get any better than Ashford & Simpson, who have written these time tested hits:

  • “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” – Diana Ross
  • “Let’s Go Get Stoned” – Ray Charles
  • “California Soul” – 5th Dimension

Catch Ashford & Simpson as the special guests of headliner Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Sunday, July 29, 2007, at the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia, PA.

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Posted by King on 05/31 at 01:02 AM
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bobby Womack the Poet

Bobby Womack’s 1981 classic soul album, The Poet, was #1 on the R&B album chart for 5 weeks.

The legendary track, “If You Think You’re Lonely Now,” is one of the album’s highlights.

If you have a copy of this rare album, hold on to it.

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Posted by King on 05/29 at 06:30 PM
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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Janet Jackson Wraps up Love Doctor Role

Janet Jackson recently mentioned on her official website that she’s wrapped up filming her role in the new Tyler Perry movie, Why Did I Get Married?"

Jackson plays “Diane,” an author and psychologist who “writes about love, marriage, and relationships."

Jill Scott is also featured in the movie, which is based on Tyler Perry’s stage play of the same name.

Why Did I Get Married is scheduled for a November 2007 theatrical release.

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Posted by King on 05/24 at 09:10 AM
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

7 May Days for #1 Classic Soul R&B Hits

Here’s a quick time capsule look at 7 #1 chart topping R&B hits from the golden age of classic soul.

Each song was #1 on the indicated day in May this week.

4 are from the 1970’s, 2 are from the 1960’s, and one goes all the way back to 1954, thanks to Hank Ballard & the Midnighters.

  • May 20, 1972 - “I’ll Take You There” - Staple Singers
  • May 21, 1977 - “Sir Duke” - Stevie Wonder
  • May 22, 1954 - “Work with me Annie” - Hank Ballard
  • May 23, 1964 - “My Guy” - Mary Wells
  • May 24, 1975 - “Shining Star - “Earth Wind & Fire
  • May 25, 1963 - “If You Wanna Be Happy” - Jimmy Soul
  • May 26, 1973 - “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby” - Barry White

How many do you remember?

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Posted by King on 05/22 at 07:43 PM
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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Beat-Master Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley’s publicist says the singer is hospitalized and in “guarded” condition after suffering a stroke.

He’s in intensive care and his condition is listed as guarded.

Diddley is a 78 year old pop music icon of enormous influence, who continues to perform and thrill fans.  His last performance was this past Sunday, May 13, in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

His songs have been covered and recorded by the Rolling Stones, the Animals, Manfred Mann, the Kinks, the Yardbirds, Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Doors, Tom Rush, and Bob Seger, (among many others).

Diddley’s custom-made rectangular guitar, and his playing style, complete with distorted amplification, became a trademark by the mid 1950’s.

He was born in McComb, Mississippi, on December 30, 1928.  Ellas McDaniel, also known as Bo, received his nickname from his early years as a boxer.  He played the blues clubs of Chicago, Illinois, in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Diddley’s early legendary recordings were made for the Chess label.  His collection of hits include “Who Do You Love,” “Hey! Bo Diddley,” “Pretty Thing,” and “Hush Your Mouth.”

Bo played on several Chuck Berry classics including “Memphis, Tennessee,” and “Sweet Little Rock N’ Roller.” Diddley’s 1959 “Say Man” was a rap styled dialogue 20 years ahead of its time.

In 1962, he performed for President John F. Kennedy at a private set at the White House.  He toured Great Britain in the 1960’s and 1970’s, performing on shows with the Everly Brothers, the Rolling Stones, and the Clash.

Diddley continued his presence through the 1980’s, with a film appearance in Eddie Murphy’s Trading Places (1983).

Bo’s music was featured in films including La Bamba (1987), and Dirty Dancing, (1987).  Diddley was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

He performed for President George Bush at the Inaugural Gala in 1989.  Diddley rocked at 1992’s Democratic National Convention celebration for Bill Clinton.

In February of 1996, Bo Diddley received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation, an acknowledgment, for among other accomplishments, pioneering the famous “Bo Diddley beat.”

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Posted by King on 05/17 at 09:30 AM
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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Felton Pilate's Con Funk Shun Energy

Con Funk Shun - (left to right), Ron Moton, Eric “EQ” Young, Michael Cooper, Karl Fuller, Felton Pilate, Brian Collier, Kurt “KC” Clayton.

High school friends Michael Cooper, Louis “Tony” McCall, Karl Fuller, Paul “Maceo” Harrell, Dennis Johnson, Cedric Martin, and Danny “Sweet Man” Thomas formed the original Con Funk Shun in Vallejo, California.

Felton Pilate would join the group soon after.

Con Funk Shun worked with the Stax label in the early 1970’s as the backup band for the Soul Children.

Mercury Records signed Con Funk Shun in 1976.  “Ffun,” their first hit, was written by Michael Cooper.  Cooper and Pilate would eventually share the lead vocal work on most of the Con Funk Shun hits.

I’ve always admired the style, sound, and precision of this group.  They definitely are a crowd pleaser.

Con Funk Shun Entree:

  • “Ffun”
  • “Got to be Enough”
  • “Love’s Train”
  • “Indian Summer Love” (instrumental)

Felton Pilate’s official website has an array of classic soul treats for Con Funk Shun fans everywhere.

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Posted by King on 05/15 at 08:00 PM
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Saturday, May 12, 2007

10 Classic Soul Picks for Mother's Day

  1. A Real Mother For Ya - Johnny Guitar Watson
  2. I’ll Always Love My Mama - Intruders
  3. (Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean - Ruth Brown
  4. Mama Told Me Not To Come - Wilson Pickett
  5. Mama Used To Say - Jr.
  6. Mama’s Pearl - Jackson 5
  7. Mom - Earth Wind & Fire
  8. Mother Dear - Supremes
  9. Sadie - Spinners
  10. Tell Mama - Etta James

Put these on your Mom’s iPod, or burn them to a CD.  When it comes to classic soul, Mom never sounded better!

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Posted by King on 05/12 at 04:15 PM
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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Are The Whispers Unappreciated?

Belinda R.-T. submitted this comment:

"Let’s see, we have the Grammy Awards, The American Music Awards, The Essence Awards, The NAACP Image Awards and more importantly...The Soul Train Awards."

"So why hasn’t someone given the “Whispers” their due? Why hasn’t an award show honored the Whispers? They are criminally under appreciated.  If there is any way to get this to Don Cornelius, he needs to do this ASAP!"

"And for that matter, the whole of the Solar Records roster (Lakeside, Shalamar, O’Bryan, The Sylvers and so on) should be at least recognized."

OK Belinda.  It goes without saying that you are a big Whispers fan, and so am I.  Check out my September 2006 post about the Whispers.

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Posted by King on 05/10 at 01:02 AM
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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Stax 50th Anniversary Show to Benefit the Stax Museum

Several Stax Record label legends are reuniting onstage Friday, June 22, 2007 at the Orpheum Theater in the shadow of Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee.

2007 marks the 50th anniversary of Stax, the legendary hot house of southern soul.

Isaac Hayes, Booker T & the MGs (featuring Steve Cropper & Duck Dunn), Eddie Floyd, William Bell, Mavis Staples, the Soul Children, and the Reddings (honoring the legacy of their father Otis Redding) will perform along with special guest Angie Stone (new to the Stax label in 2007).

More Stax stars and special guests are still to be announced.

Proceeds from the Orpheum extravaganza will benefit the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the world’s only soul music museum, located at the site of the old Stax headquarters on Memphis’ historic McLemore Avenue.

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Posted by King on 05/08 at 01:02 AM
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Thursday, May 03, 2007

James Brown Inspires New Classic Soul

James Brown was born on May 3, 1933.  Today, he would have been 74.

4 days after he passed away in 2006, I wrote an article for tbd.com called 7 Sensational James Brown Jams.

His influence continues in the work reflected by new artists.

British soul guy James Hunter, who I’ve recently seen perform live, borrows liberally from James Brown’s vocal trademarks.

On a new CD, Kaboom!, just released by The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker, the 10 tracks sound like a time warp featuring the best of James Brown inspired rhythm hooks and classic soul grunts.

The legacy of the Godfather of Soul lives on.

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Posted by King on 05/03 at 07:53 AM
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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Vocal Groups Sing Classic Soul Magic

Before the popularity of the Motown sound, an assortment of talented vocal groups ruled the radio airwaves.

Many of these legendary groups are still active today.  I’ve chosen 3 at random who eagerly stay in touch with their fans through their compelling websites.

If you don’t remember their hits, take a walk down memory lane for some real classic soul nostalgia.

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Posted by King on 05/01 at 07:50 PM
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