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Powerhouse Radio Newsletter
Stevie Wonder Power
November 17, 2005

This issue includes...

1) Stevie Wonder Power
2) The Bird Groups in R&B Music History
3) Classic Interviews at PowerhouseRadio.com
4) Online Dictionary Sings Songs of Yesterday and Today
5) Music News: Michael Jackson, OutKast, and New Jack City
6) Concert Dates: Who's on Tour?
7) A Touch of Classic Soul 2: The Late 1970's
8) Your Feedback via email to King at Powerhouse Radio

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1) Stevie Wonder Power

Stevie Wonder's CD, A Time To Love, was finally released in October, 2005. It's his first studio CD in 10 years.

Prince, India.Arie, En Vogue, Hubert Laws, and Paul McCartney all jump on board contributing their collective talent to the effort.

The CD has it's moments, primarily helped by the collaborations just mentioned. The slower songs on this release are less memorable than classics like "Ribbon In The Sky" and "Golden Lady," from Stevie's past.

Here's what the press is saying about "A Time To Love..."

Rolling Stone: "Almost half of the fifteen songs recall Wonder at his prime."

The New York Times: "There are moments on the album with too many bland and anonymous pop chord progressions...yet here and there the idiosyncratic, headstrong musician emerges."

Billboard: "A welcome return."

Entertainment Weekly: "These toothless, '80s-embalmed tracks... are the aural equivalent of sleepytime tea."

All Music Guide: "A Time To Love finds the two halves of Wonder's adult career finally coming home to roost in peaceful harmony with one another, and it's one of the finest records he has done in decades."

Los Angeles Times: "As always, his heart's in the right place, but his pop brilliance has dimmed to the level of mere mortals."

Clearly the music press likes it, while the newspaper people try to impress us with their snobby, wannabe, Pulitzer Prize prose.

We ran a recent poll at PowerhouseRadio.com asking you to rate which was the better new release based upon the CD tracks, either Stevie, or Earth Wind & Fire's Illumination. At last count, EW&F was slightly favored.

Stevie's title track "A Time To Love," featuring India.Arie and Paul McCartney, is a solid fusion of social commentary with some whimsical humor proving that Wonder can make fun of himself without taking what he is doing too seriously.

My favorite track is the song with flutist Hubert Laws, "My Love Is On Fire."


Review written by King for the Powerhouse Radio Newsletter


2) The Bird Groups in R&B Music History

In September, 2005, we brought you the thoughts of Terry Johnson, a member of one of the famous R&B "bird groups" from the golden age of R&B (pre-Motown). They are called "bird groups," because they are named after our feathered friends.

We've put together a special puzzle for you to enjoy, and it's easy. Hints are included.


3) Classic Interviews at PowerhouseRadio.com

Listener Monde from South Africa writes...

"I want to know more about the music artists."

Rather than get in the way of the flow of the Powerhouse Radio music, with this kind of information, we've decided to dive into our audio archive and post at PowerhouseRadio.com live interviews we've done with the legends of R&B.

Check out Jerry Butler, and all of our other exclusive interviews that you can listen to on demand.

We also have a great collection of original artist biographies provided directly from the record companies, so you can trust the authenticity of the information. We'll post many of these soon too. Curtis Mayfield is currently posted.

Visit http://www.powerhouseradio.com/archive

The Powerhouse Radio Archive

4) Online Dictionary Sings Songs of Yesterday and Today

Subscriber Andrew, from Cleveland, Ohio writes...

"This is brilliant - karaoke versions of popular tunes of all stripes "sung" by voices from an online dictionary..."

Thanks Andrew. You are right, a singing dictionary - with rhythm - incredible.

You can download all of the songs too from this site:


Try grabbing Cameo's "Word Up," or James Brown's "I Feel Good." Wild.

5) Music News: Michael Jackson, OutKast, and New Jack City

Michael Jackson
The on-again off-again charity song for Hurricane Katrina relief coordinated by Michael Jackson is expected to be released this month (November, 2005).

Seems that MJ decided to stay in Bahrain, rather than fly back to the USA to join his recording buddies in the studio. Looks like this will be a cut and paste job, with different artists recording different parts at different times.

Michael has been using a global satellite link and telephone connection from his base in the Middle East to supervise 12 other artists who are involved in the project. Snoop Dogg and R. Kelly are in on the song.

What a combination of three musketeers! Stay tuned.

Andre Benjamin and Antwan Patton, (Outkast), will lead an all-star cast in HBO Film's original musical "My Life in Idlewild," (working title). Other participants are Patti Labelle, Macy Gray, Oscar nominee and Emmy Award winner Cicely Tyson, and Tony Award winner Ben Vereen.

My Life in Idlewild will be a story about relationships. Release date by HBO, sometime in 2006.

New Jack City
1991's urban gangster epic, New Jack City, is coming out on DVD January 26, 2006. The cast is a who's who of acting and musical talent, including Wesley Snipes, Chris Rock, Ice-T, Judd Nelson, Vanessa Williams, Mario Van Peebles, Nick Ashford, Flavor Flav, and Gerald Levert.

The DVD will include music videos from songs in the movie featuring Ice-T, Color Me Badd, and Christopher Williams. Other music in the soundtrack: Queen Latifah, Stevie Wonder, Doug E. Fresh, N.W.A., Johnny Gill, Keith Sweat, Guy, and 2 Live Crew.

Sony Music CD's
Sony Music BMG is recalling music CDs containing copy-protection software that acts like virus software and hides deep inside a computer.

New releases from R&B artist Amerie, jazz reissues from Horace Silver and Dexter Gordon, and some pop icon releases including Celine Dion and Neil Diamond all contain the "big brother is watching you" copy protection.

The "XCP" copy-protection program was included on at least 20 new CDs.

When the discs are put into a PC the CD automatically installs a program that restricts how many times the discs' tracks can be copied, making it extremely inconvenient to transfer songs into the iPod format.

The antipiracy software - which works only on Windows PCs - comes with a cloaking feature that allows it to hide files on users' computers.

Security researchers classify the program as "spyware," saying it secretly transmits details about what music the PC is playing. Manual attempts to remove the software can disable your PC's CD drive.

6) Concert Dates: Who's on Tour?

The Meters
Saturday, November 19, 2005
The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA

James Brown
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Paramount Theatre, Oakland, CA

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
Friday & Saturday, November 25 - 26, 2005
D.A.R. Constitution Hall, Washington, DC
50 Cent
Saturday, December 3, 2005
Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, BC Canada

Lionel Richie
Friday, December 9, 2005
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel, Hollywood, FL

Earth Wind & Fire
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Potawatomi Bingo Casino
Milwaukee, WI

Earth Wind & Fire
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Nokia Theatre Times Square
New York, NY

Natalie Cole
Saturday, December 31, 2005
Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel
Honolulu, HI

Chaka Khan
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Bergen Performing Arts Center
Englewood, NJ

Bobby Caldwell
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
One World Theatre, Austin, TX

7) Touch of Classic Soul 2: The Late 1970's

Kathy Sledge, of Sister Sledge, speaks candidly about why it's tough to make it in the music business in Marc Taylor's excellent book, "A Touch of Classic Soul 2: The Late 1970's."

We reviewed Marc Taylor's first book in this series, "A Touch of Classic Soul," in 2002.


"A Touch of Classic Soul 2" features 341 well written pages documenting the inside stories of 31 popular R&B acts of the late 1970's, (direct from the lips of the artists).

Kathy Sledge pulls no punches discussing the follow-up album ("Love Somebody Today"), to Sister Sledge's mega successful "We Are Family..."

"Sister Sledge at the time brought Atlantic Records out of the red but "Love Somebody Today" was promoted only to the R&B market. The company didn't market it as pop."

"They didn't have the wisdom to know that there are a lot of strong black artists who have a wide appeal."


King's sidebar comment:

To me, Kathy nails the essence of the definition of the word "pop" in music. It's simply "wide appeal," nothing more, nothing less. Unfortunately, the music and radio industry both have failed as model "color blind" citizens. They readily apply race to music genre definitions.


In the Taste of Honey chapter, group member Janice Marie Johnson laments that she's never received a dime of royalties for writing the new "Sukiyaki," a #1 R&B - #3 pop 1980 hit (produced by George Duke), - an update of a Japanese hit originally sung by Kyu Sakamoto.

We learn how the original writer gave Janice "permission" to rewrite the lyrics, only for her to find out a sham was in the making.

"A Touch of Classic Soul 2" is happily about more than just negative experiences of these artists.

Marc Taylor really did his research. Lots of fun and interesting stories fill the pages.

A couple of the longest chapters get inside of the fascinating Earth Wind & Fire, and Parliament - Funkadelic stories.

Taylor relates this anecdote from George Clinton of Parliament - Funkadelic, revealing a tour tidbit about being on the road after their early hit "(I Wanna) Testify" broke big:

"While on an early tour to promote "Testify," the band played a three-night gig at a college in upstate New York with Vanilla Fudge, a rock outfit that had scored a hit with a psychedelic cover of the Supremes "You Keep Me Hangin' On."

"The Parliaments had to borrow Vanilla Fudge's equipment because they did not have any of their own, and were taken aback the first night by how loud it was."

"In order to learn its proper use, Clinton reportedly purchased records on which the equipment had been properly applied - Jimi Hendrix's "Are Your Experienced," Sly & The Family Stone's "Whole New Thing," and an album by Cream."

"The second night the Parliaments used Vanilla Fudges equipment, they were up to the task."

Every R&B fan should love "A Touch of Classic Soul 2," as it doesn't get any better than hearing these stories directly from the artists themselves.

Even though every chapter is interesting, I especially liked the stories from Con Funk Shun, The Brothers Johnson, and Chic. Here is the complete list of artists who tell all to Taylor:

A Taste of Honey
B. T. Express
Black Ivory
Brass Construction
Brothers Johnson
Candi Staton
Con Funk Shun
Deniece Williams
Donna Summer
Earth Wind & Fire
Evelyn "Champagne" King
George Benson
Isley Brothers
Natalie Cole
Peaches & Herb
Rose Royce
Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
Sister Sledge
Soul Generation

Review written by King for the Powerhouse Radio Newsletter.



A Touch of Classic Soul 2: The Late 1970's

by Marc Taylor

Aloiv Publishing Company

8) Your Feedback via email to King at Powerhouse Radio

Brandon sent this message:

"I am a new listener but I'm already hooked! Thanks for the great selection of classic R&B...Disco...Quiet Storm...Funk ...keep 'em coming. Many thanks."

Amanda has this shout out:

"Years ago I spent a whole lot of time at USAF bases in England (RAF Lakenheath & Mildenhall)."

"I met a lot of great Americans (I'm a Brit) and we used to hang out at the Enlisted Clubs - this radio station has made the memories flood back as so much of this music was being played back then. I think this station is wonderful!!!!"

Chad chimes in:

"Hey King, I would like to say thank you for posting me and my music on your site. Also I am wrapping up my third cd "Soul Superior vol.2," a collection of soul ballads."


Good luck Chad.

Visit Chad Anthony's site: www.bluezion.biz

Our website now has an outlet for independent artists like Chad: http://www.powerhouseradio.com/musicpower

A word from Alan:

"New listener to your station from Whitefield Manchester UK enjoy your music very much keep up the good work!!"


Don't be left out, because we're listening. Leave your comments, feedback, or music requests here:




Holiday hard core is coming in December. Christmas music!


It's the season of Thanksgiving in the USA. Enjoy.

The Powerhouse Radio Newsletter will be back in December, for our last issue of 2005.


Published by PowerhouseRadio.com.
Editor: King
Copyright 2005 by Powerhouse Radio
All rights reserved
Powerhouse Radio


More 2005 Powerhouse Radio Newsletters:
December - Songs of Christmas
September - Musicians from New Orleans
June - Live 8 Around The World
January - How to Sell Old Records

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