Thursday, August 28, 2008
Timmy Thomas and Steve Winwood Roll Together
Timmy Thomas had a terrific classic soul hit, his biggest, “Why Can’t We Live Together,” back in 1973. The optimistic song speaks of hope, harmony, and a more peaceful world.
In 2003, Steve Winwood captured the essence of the original song and added some lively organ on his CD, About Time.
Both versions offer gritty organ solos showcasing the virtuosity of Thomas and Winwood on their keyboards.
Thomas wrote the song. His full length original is 4 minutes, 40 seconds. Winwood clocks in at 6 minutes, 39 seconds.
Listen to both Thomas and Winwood in this short, 48 second Classic Soul R&B Music Jam Blog mix by yours truly.
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Monday, August 25, 2008
Jimmy Castor, Flying Saucers, & Convention 72'
If you look closely inside of the pimpmobile included in the cover art of our featured LP, you can spot some tricky characters on their way to the political conventions back in 1972.
Producer Dickie Goodman was one of the original creators of the “Flying Saucer,” a record that told a storyline using sections of current hits to answer questions from a narrator.
Just like the people who claimed to see real ones, “Flying Saucers” were popular in the 1950’s, then disappeared in the 1960’s. They made a short return in the 1970’s. “Convention 72’” below is from the vinyl album, The Original Flying Saucers, on IX Chain Records.
The Original Flying Saucers album features:
- “Superfly meets Shaft”
- “Convention 72’”
- “Flying Saucer Part 1”
- “Flying Saucer Part 2”
- “The Touchables”
- “Flying Saucer The Second”
- “Ben Crazy”
- “On Trial”
- “Santa & The Satellite Part 1”
- “Santa & The Satellite Part 2”
I’m waiting for flying saucers to make their big new millennium return!
Listen to 60 seconds from the original 5 minute “Convention 72,” featuring quite a bit of The Jimmy Castor Bunch!
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Thursday, August 21, 2008
Female Stars Sing a Song for Cancer Research
Producers Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Antonio “L.A.” Reid have come up with a 2008 concept to rival 1985’s “We Are The World,” the song that benefited African famine relief.
15 female stars have agreed to record “Just Stand Up,” scheduled to hit airwaves and computers on September 2, 2008.
Sales at retail locations and iTunes downloads will benefit cancer research.
So which hot female “femme fantastics” representing the new school have jumped on board to harmonize together on “Just Stand Up?"
Here’s the scorecard:
- Mariah Carey
- Mary J. Blige
- Melissa Etheridge
- Sheryl Crow
- Keyshia Cole
- Leona Lewis
- LeAnn Rimes
- Carrie Underwood
- Miley Cyrus
- Natasha Bedingfield
Should be a collector’s item for individual fans of each lady. Hopefully, big bucks will be raised from the sale of “Just Stand Up” to benefit a very worthy cause.
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Evelyn "Champagne" King Toasts New Open Book CD
Evelyn “Champagne” King has released her first new album in 15 years, Open Book.
In a press release describing her new collection of songs, Evelyn dedicates her effort noting “this one is for my fans."
The song Open Book is a ballad Evelyn describes as “slightly autobiographical.” Making waves and getting club action right now is “The Dance,” the first release from the CD.
Evelyn is scheduled to debut the album at The House of Blues in Los Angeles, Tuesday, August 19, 2008.
Evelyn “Champagne” King’s top 5 classic soul gems:
- “Love Come Down”
- “I’m In Love”
- “I Don’t Know If It’s Right”
- “Back To Love”
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Thursday, August 14, 2008
50 Ways To Love Michael Jackson
If 50 is the new 40, then the decade defying young at heart Michael Jackson has a lot to celebrate during many fun filled years to come.
The media certified tabloid musical giant, lovingly crowned, “The King of Pop,” turns 50 years old on August 29, 2008.
Jacko joins Madonna, who also turns 50 on August 16, 2008, as another new AARP recruit (formerly American Association of Retired Persons).
Barring any health issues, I believe that Michael Jackson will eventually make a notable comeback.
In honor of his 50th birthday, here is my endearing timeline list of 50 Ways to Love Michael Jackson:
- 1958 - Michael Jackson is born (August 29th)
- 1968 - The Jackson 5 are signed by Motown Records
- 1969 - Motown releases Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5 album
- 1970 - “I Want You Back” - Jackson 5 #1 song in January
- 1970 - “ABC” - Jackson 5 #1 in April
- 1970 - “The Love You Save” - Jackson 5 #1 in June
- 1970 - “I’ll Be There” - Jackson 5 #1 in October
- 1971 - “Never Can Say Goodbye” - Jackson 5 #1 in May
- 1972 - “Got To Be There,” MJ’s first solo album is released
- 1972 - “Ben” becomes a hit single and album. (Rat power movie theme)!
- 1972 - MJ scores with the top 2 hit “Rockin’ Robin’,” a remake of the 1958 Bobby Day smash
- 1974 - “Dancing Machine” - Jackson 5 #1 in May
- 1976 - The Jacksons release The Jacksons on Epic Records produced by Philadelphia’s Gamble & Huff
- 1977 - MJ begins preparing for his role in the movie The Wiz
- 1978 - The Jacksons release the critically acclaimed Destiny album
- 1979 - MJ releases Off The Wall produced by Quincy Jones
- 1980 - MJ scores a #1 song with “Rock With You”
- 1982 - MJ duets with Paul McCartney on Thriller with “The Girl Is Mine”
- 1982 - MJ writes and produces “Muscles,” a top 10 Diana Ross hit
- 1983 - The Jackson 5 reunite for Motown’s 25th Anniversary show in Los Angeles featuring a moonwalking MJ
- 1983 - Thriller conquers the charts
- 1983 - MJ duets with Paul McCartney for “Say Say Say,” spending 6 weeks at #1
- 1984 - MJ wins 7 American Music Awards
- 1984 - MJ wins 3 MTV Music Video Awards
- 1984 - MJ receives 2nd degree burns on the set of a Pepsi commercial
- 1984 - MJ sings “State of Shock” with Mick Jagger on the Jacksons album Victory
- 1985 - MJ buys the publishing company owning the rights to 250 Beatles songs for $47.5 million
- 1985 - MJ and Lionel Richie write “We Are The World” and record the song with 43 stars to benefit USA for Africa’s efforts for famine relief
- 1986 - MJ gets wacky with Bubbles the chimpanzee, Crusher, his 300 pound snake, and cocoons in a hyperbaric breathing chamber for shots of hyped oxygen
- 1987 - MJ’s “Bad” tops the charts (R&B and pop)
- 1987 - MJ reaches #1 (pop & R&B) in Britain with the Siedah Garrett duet, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”
- 1988 - MJ buys Sycamore Ranch in California - the future Neverland Ranch
- 1988 - “Man In The Mirror” become a #1 song
- 1990 - MJ wins the Entertainer of the Decade Award from the America Cinema Awards Foundation
- 1991 - MJ signs what is called a billion-dollar entertainment deal with Sony Music
- 1991 - The Dangerous album is released
- 1992 - MJ is interviewed by Ebony Magazine
- 1992 - The Jacksons: An American Dream debuts on national television dramatizing the story of the famous Gary, Indiana family
- 1993 - MJ performs during halftime at Super Bowl XXVII (27)
- 1994 - MJ retains attorney Johnny Cochran and settles a 1993 child molestation charge out of court for a reported $20 million dollars
- 1995 - MJ and sister Janet Jackson sound off on the song “Scream”
- 1995 - MJ and wife Lisa Marie Presley call it quits
- 1995 - HIStory: Past, Present, and Future , Book 1 MJ’s double album of past hits creates some buzz and becomes a #1 best seller
- 1996 - MJ marries Debbie Rowe
- 2001 - Invincible CD is released
- 2006 - MJ escapes to the island of Bahrain, off the coast of Saudi Arabia, to rebuild his career
- 2007 - MJ is interviewed by Ebony magazine
- 2008 - 25th anniversary version of Thriller is released
- 2008 - MJ’s plastic surgeon checks into a California psychiatric hospital
- 2008 - Rumors fly that MJ will make a comeback at a Las Vegas casino hotel
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Isaac Hayes, Bernie Mac, & Samuel L. Jackson Get Soul Men Movie Focus
Here’s the late Bernie Mac, along with Samuel L. Jackson, in a scene from Soul Men, a new music flick in the movie pipeline also featuring Isaac Hayes.
With both Mac and Hayes now deceased, I wonder if Dimension Films will stick to the scheduled USA release date this Fall of November 14, 2008?
Soul Men has a familiar story.
Take the sometimes strained relationship between 2 fictional legendary R&B male icons (think Sam & Dave), borrow a reunion theme from both Blues Brothers movies, and you have the core plot.
Our soul men, Mac and Jackson, decide to reunite at the Apollo Theater after going their separate ways for almost 20 years.
John Legend also has a prominent role in Soul Men. With the deaths of both Isaac Hayes and Bernie Mac within days of each other, I’m sure there will be additional interest when Soul Men finally gets released.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Isaac Hayes Remembered
Living up to his bigger than life image, here’s “Black Moses,” Isaac Hayes, with Millie Jackson on the cover of their 1979 album, Royal Rappin’s.
Check out an even steamier Hayes - Jackson photo from the flip side of the album.
Isaac Hayes passed away Sunday, August 10, 2008, at age 65.
He was really the biggest post Otis Redding Stax Records star who changed the face of soul music with extended free-flowing mixes of some of pop’s biggest hits.
"By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” and “Walk on By” are just 2 examples of Hayes’ progressive “deal changing” approach to the status quo of R&B songs that generally stuck to the formula of three minutes or less in the early 1970’s (to make a hit).
"The Theme From Shaft” made him a mega star, but Isaac Hayes was instrumental in writing and arranging songs for other artists long before the world of movies and John Shaft.
6 Isaac Hayes Hits that you don’t want to miss:
- “Theme From Shaft”
- “Do Your Thing”
- “Walk On By”
- “Never Can Say Goodbye”
- “By The Time I Get To Phoenix”
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Thursday, August 07, 2008
Patti LaBelle Saluted by UNCF
The Spotlight will shine on Patti LaBelle during a taping of the 30th annual An Evening of Stars event, formerly The Lou Rawls Parade of Stars, Saturday, September 13th, 2008 at Hollywood’s Kodiak Theater in Los Angeles.
You’ll be able to see this star studded event broadcast nationwide during January, 2009.
Patti will receive UNCF’s (United Negro College Fund’s) prestigious Award of Excellence. Previous honorees include Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Steve Wonder, Quincy Jones, and Lou Rawls.
You can win a free poster autographed by Patti LaBelle visualizing the event by going to UNCF’s 30th anniversary event page for all the details.
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Tuesday, August 05, 2008
LL Cool J Takes Exit 13 Home
Hip hop stars come and go, but LL Cool J has defied the odds as he gets ready to release his 13th album, Exit 13, on Def Jam Records Tuesday, September 9, 2008.
I remember seeing LL Cool J live in concert over 20 years ago in Philadelphia, PA with several other hip hop acts who have long since disappeared.
The cover of Exit 13 has a mile marker that says “8760 miles and still counting.” Yes, the clock keeps ticking for LL Cool J, who just turned 40 in January, 2008.
In a young man’s game, LL Cool J has all the street cred that he needs to continue to be an important presence in a genre of music he help to create.
Take a walk down memory lane with the 12 previous albums from LL Cool J:
- 1985 - Radio
- 1987 - Bigger and Deffer
- 1989 - Walking with a Panther
- 1990 - Mama Said Knock You Out
- 1993 - 14 Shots to the Dome
- 1995 - Mr. Smith
- 1997 - Phenomenon
- 2000 - G.O.A.T. Featuring James T. Smith
- 2002 - 10
- 2004 - the DEFinition
- 2006 - Todd Smith
- 2007 - Todd Smith, Pt. 2: Back to Cool
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