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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Con Funk Shun Steps Lightly but Brightly

Con Funk Shun’s 1977 album Secrets included the Michael Cooper inspired anthem “Ffun,” one of their top songs.

Michael, Karl Fuller, Paul Harrell, Cedric Martin, Louis A. McCall, Danny Thomas, and Felton C. Pilate II are all pictured here on what is the flip side of the lyric sheet insert included in Secrets.

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Posted by King on 04/30 at 01:00 AM
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Birth Classic Soul Buzz

Hit covers of “Dream Merchant,” “I Can Understand It,” and “Wildflower” made them household names.

Here’s an excellent blow-by-blow description of the dynamic journey forged by classic soul ensemble New Birth, compiled by 2 original members, Melvin and Leslie Wilson, at their official website.

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Posted by King on 04/28 at 07:45 PM
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lionel Richie Roams through Deutschland

Lionel Richie’s European tour rolls on with May, 2009 dates in Switzerland, Austria, and several cities in Germany.

  • “Forever”
  • “Just Go”
  • “Nothing Left To Give”
  • “Forever And A Day”
  • “I’m Not Okay”
  • “Good Morning”
  • “Through My Eyes”
  • “I’m In Love”
  • “Think Of You”
  • “Into You Deep”
  • “Pastime”
  • “Face In The Crowd”
  • “Eternity”

These are the tracks on Just Go, the new album with a revised international release date of Tuesday, May 19th.

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Posted by King on 04/23 at 07:45 PM
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Sister Sledge featuring Kathy Sledge Marches On

Lead vocalist Kathy, along with her siblings Joni, Kim, and Debbie, used the Chic “Le Freak” rhythms of Edwards & Rodgers along with “We Are Family” values to power Philadelphia’s Sister Sledge to the top of the charts.

Today, Kathy keeps the beat going with her solo group Sister Sledge featuring Kathy Sledge.

Attention Thursday night party people.  Ms. Sledge lands in Hammond, Indiana at Horseshoe, just 20 minutes from downtown Chicago on April 30th, 2009, for a 7:30 pm performance at The Venue.

The Venue opened in August, 2008, and has featured Alicia Keys, Gladys Knight, and others.

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Posted by King on 04/20 at 07:30 PM
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Funk Legends Invade Houston

The Legends of Funk tour 2 touches down in Houston, Texas, on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at the Arena Theatre.

Con Funk Shun, the Bar-Kays, Slave Funk Band, and Sugarfoot’s Ohio Players are scheduled to perform.

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Posted by King on 04/16 at 07:30 PM
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bobbi Humphrey Puffs Flute Power Passion

When you are the first female artist signed to the legendary Blue Note Records, the expectations are huge.

Bobbi Humphrey did hit the high note, cultivating a string of successful albums injecting R&B roots into a container of smooth contemporary jazz.

She never had a breakthrough hit single, but it didn’t matter.  Her excellent body of work stands the test of time.

As with most diverse musicians, Bobbi worked with the best, including Stevie Wonder for the memorable track “Home Made Jam."

After a 6 album run with Blue Note (beginning in 1971), she moved to Columbia Records (Epic), where the pressure for a more commercial vibe dominated the shifting style of her music.

Visit the official Bobbi Humphrey website, where you can listen to some selected tracks, catch up on her bio, see what she’s doing today, and discover a fairly active guestbook.

I have a lost audio interview I did with her way back when that I hope to find one day deep inside of the Powerhouse Radio archive!

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Posted by King on 04/14 at 07:30 PM
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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Narada Michael Walden Foundation brings Sunshine Concert to San Francisco

On the observance of Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, 2009, producer, musician and songwriter Narada Michael Walden will present Let the Sunshine In, a concert featuring:

  • Mary Wilson (former Supreme)
  • Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. (5th Dimension fame)
  • Sting
  • Earl Klugh
  • Tevin Campbell
  • Bob Weir (Grateful Dead)
  • Maestro Michael Morgan
  • David Grisman
  • Shanice Wilson
  • Lisa Fisher
  • Jeanie Tracy
  • Ralphe Armstrong
  • Dale “Satchmo” Powers
  • The Narada Michael Walden Band

Several other musicians will participate.  This special event will benefit Oakland, California’s Christopher Rodriguez, an innocent 11 year old victim of gun violence, who was hit by a stray bullet while at a piano lesson and who is now partially paralyzed.

The concert, to be held at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, will also support the scholarship fund of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and benefit the work of the Narada Michael Walden Foundation.

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Posted by King on 04/09 at 01:00 AM
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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Creative Source Sure Shot

On the flip side of this 45 rpm vinyl dj promotional copy, a famous New York City radio station music director inscribed the phrase “sure shot."

I’m showing you the side without the writing, so you can get a clean look at this Sussex label 1973 original version of “You Can’t Hide Love,” recorded by Creative Source, and written by Skip Scarborough.

This is the same song that became a big hit for Earth, Wind & Fire on their 1/2 live 1/2 studio double album, Gratitude, in 1975.

Although billed as a “sure shot” by our mystery music director, this fate was not to be.  “You Can’t Hide Love” did not become a hit for Creative Source.

Creative Source’s version sounds closer to what you’d expect from the 5th Dimension or Friends of Distinction - a smooth blend of male/female harmony, but not nearly as progressive in production as the adventurous reincarnation by the elements of the universe, Earth, Wind & Fire.

What makes this copy of the Creative Source song personally valuable to me is the calligraphy on the side of the disc I haven’t shown you.

New York City denizens have probably already guessed that the scribe was the famous dj Frankie Crocker, who picked this tune as a WBLS “sure shot” while I was working there.

Yes, this is the actual copy of the 45 that was transferred to an audio tape cartridge and included the opening announcement voiced by Frankie who chimed: “It’s another WBLS sure shot.” Those were the days!

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Posted by King on 04/07 at 07:45 PM
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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Stevie Wonder Does DVD at the O2 in UK

I’ve seen Motown Stevie Wonder twice, live at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.

I’m sure I don’t have to convince you of how good Stevie Wonder is live.

On March 9th and 10th, 2009, UK and USA retail outlets received Stevie Wonder Live At Last: A Wonder Summer’s Night.

This performance, on DVD and Blu-ray, was recorded at the O2 Arena in London in 2008, the same place where Prince set concert attendance records, and where Michael Jackson will attempt to make his 2009 comeback in July.

Here are the songs Stevie sings on his DVD Stevie Wonder Live At Last: A Wonder Summer’s Night:

  1. “Intro / All Blues”
  2. “As If You Read My Mind”
  3. “Master Blaster (Jamminí)”
  4. “Did I Hear You Say You Love Me”
  5. “All I Do”
  6. “Knocks Me Off My Feet”
  7. “UK Medley”
  8. “People Make The World Go ‘Round”
  9. “Higher Ground”
  10. “Spain”
  11. “Donít You Worry ‘Bout A Thing”
  12. “Visions”
  13. “Living For The City”
  14. “Part-Time Lover”
  15. “Overjoyed”
  16. “Lately”
  17. “Iím Gonna Laugh You Right Out Of My Life”
  18. “My Cherie Amour”
  19. “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours”
  20. “Sir Duke”
  21. “I Wish”
  22. “Isn’t She Lovely”
  23. “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life”
  24. “I Just Called To Say I Love You”
  25. “You Are The Only One For Me”
  26. “Superstition (So What The Fuss)”
  27. “As”

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Posted by King on 04/02 at 07:45 PM
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