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Found 11 results

  1. Who knew that "Soul Train," with legendary debut host, Don Cornelius, had a 35-year run?! Just look at Michael Jackson's early version of the Moonwalk (technically, "The Robot") at around the 1:20-ish mark of this video - I saw The Jacksons in person once (even sitting directly behind The Jackson family!), and I can vouch that very few people in this world had body control on the dance floor like Michael Jackson did. Wow!
  2. Aretha Franklin is an incredible American institution: the Queen of Soul. Her music blended soul and gospel with a powerful emotive voice. I believe she had over 100 top hits. Her voice was dominant in the 1960's and 70's. She literally helped create an incredibly popular music genre. Her voice was beautiful and powerful. She transcended Soul. Currently she is terribly ill and in hospice care. Bless you Aretha. So many examples of her music: I'm often grabbed by scenes from film. Here are a couple of examples: From the Blues Brothers, 1980. Aretha puts the Song Think, from 1968, into a wonderful scene: Chain of Fools Came out in 1967. Below is a rendition from the mid '90's movie Michael in a dance scene I found mesmerizing: And from 2015, not soul, not a film, but Aretha magnificently performing You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman
  3. The Souljazz Orchestra is another newly discovered band (for me). Their 2012 release Solidarity is a nice mix of afrobeat fueled funk with a couple reggae inspired tracks thrown into the mix. They are already promoting a new release called Inner Fire for February 2014 backed by a Canadian and European tour. Hopefully they will make a return trip to DC (Rock & Roll Hotel in 2012, which was before I discovered them...doh). Couple official videos up on YouTube: Ya Busta Bibinay Jericho
  4. I just noticed to my horror than neither I nor anyone else ever started an Otis Redding thread. Well, now I have. Let me say up front that I don't like, and never have, "Dock of the Bay," Otis's biggest hit which was released just weeks after his death in a plane crash. The plaintive tone of the song and the fact of the singer-songwriter's recent death are what propelled the song to the top of the charts in 1967. I think it's really a ho-hum piece of material, and it has never ceased to bother me that, contrary to what I was taught at home, it uses "dock" to mean "pier" or "wharf" --an eternal no-no, like calling "foot and mouth disease" "hoof and mouth disease", or calling Welsh rabbit "Welsh Rarebit", or saying "My name is Mr. Browne". ("They call me Mr. Browne" would be perfectly acceptable, but "Mr" is part of no one's name.) If someone cares to link to "Dock of the Bay" they may go ahead and do so, but I won't. But among my favorites:
  5. Sam Cooke sang like an angel come down to earth. His cruelly curtailed career (shot dead in 1964 aged 33) spanned gospel, blues, rock-n-roll, and, towards the end, a kind of jazz-inflected pop that might be at home in Vegas nightclubs. Here are a couple of more-or-less rock-n-roll numbers. "You Send Me" and "Wonderful World" are better known, but I like these more: "Bring it on Home to Me" (1962) "You're Always on my Mind" (1961) Gospel recordings with the Soul Stirrers (1926-), before Sam Cooke was a pop sensation: "Jesus I'll Never Forget" (Recorded in 1954) "I'm Gonna Build Right on that Shore" (Recorded in 1951) Night-Clubby "Fool's Paradise" (Written in 1955, covered on the 1963 Album "Night Beat"): "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" (Written in 1940, covered on the 1961 album, "My Kind of Blues"): As I say, one for the ages.
  6. I know it's a little bit hard not to cringe at the complacent sexism of this material, but Joe Tex was one of the greatest soul singers we ever had, and this was probably his definitive recording, "Hold What You've Got", from 1964. And I love it. I never had the pleasure of seeing Joe Tex perform live.
  7. A friend, who is always mining for gems musically speaking, turned me on to Ted Hawkins several years ago. I only have one of his recordings. "The Next Hundred Years" is well worth checking out. His voice is somehow warm and sweet yet hardened and haunting. There's definitely a bluesy aspect to his music, but also a lot of folk and soul. I can't really think of anyone quite like him. He was a busker at heart; always reluctant to record his music. One of my favorite tunes is "Strange Conversation": I had a strange conversation My baby called me on the phone She said that your next lover's gonna be the blues And now I'm gonna be gone I like his take on Credence Clearwater Revival's "Long As I Can See The Light": Enjoy!
  8. I almost posted this in "Who are you drinking to", but it's probably better here. Maurice White, founder and presiding genius of the group Earth Wind & Fire, died yesterday. They were among the great musical acts of the 1970s. Here's one of their greatest recordings:
  9. I was having a private conversation with somebody on this site, and we were agreeing that more than anyone else, the founding father of rock and roll was Chuck Berry. But Chuck Berry wasn't an exceptional singer, or an exceptional guitarist, although he certainly wasn't bad as either. But I would like to put forward the claim that the founder of rock-and-roll singing was Little Richard. When you listen to his mid-fifties iconic vocal performances, you hear prefigured just about everything to come: Elvis, John and Paul, Mick Jagger, Jimi Hendrix, John Fogerty, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Jackie Wilson, even Bob Dylan. Prince. But also the R & B and soul artists like James Brown, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and even Aretha Franklin. You can hear all of them learning what to do when you listen to, and watch, Little Richard murder "Long Tall Sally" (1956): Comment on this extraordinary exhibition is probably superfluous, although I will point out that it seems remarkably like a minstrel show, except the performers are black rather than in black-face. I'm not entirely sure what to make of that. But my goodness, the joy shines through Little Richard's vocal technique and the expressions on his face and his physical moves. This was a singer who knew what he wanted to do and damn, he did it. It's also remarkable how beautiful he was to look at.
  10. One of the greatest concert albums of all time, "The Johnny Otis Show Live at Monterey!", from the 1970 Monterey Jazz Festival, was once among the crown jewels of my LP collection. From that record, here is Esther Phillips, known in her early years as "Little Esther", with "Little Esther's Blues". She left us way too soon.
  11. I posted a link to Etta James singing "The Very Thought of You" from her beautiful "Mystery Lady" album over in the Carmen McRae thread. Here's another great track from the same album, "How Deep Is The Ocean." I totally love this album and can't say enough nice things about it: Here, on the other hand, is Etta James doing the kind of thing she was better known for, tearing up Otis Redding's "I Got The Will." I hate to use the word "apotheosis" again so soon, but if this ain't apotheosis, I don't know what is:
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