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  • 0 Carla Thomas Leads Stax Revival

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 03/14/2007

    Carla Thomas, the daughter of Memphis Legend Rufus Thomas, remains a "southern soul sweetheart" of iconic stature. Next week, Carla Thomas' The Queen Alone will be reissued (on Stax) in what's being called a deluxe expanded edition. Carla had a nice run on Stax, with "Gee Whiz," "B-a-b-y," "Let Me Be Good To You," and "Tramp" (a duet with Otis Redding). The 11 songs on the original 1969 album will be complemented by five bonus tracks that were omitted from the original vinyl release: "Me and My Clock" "Same Thing" "Your Love Indeed (Alternate Take)" "I Want To Know (Take 2)" "I Wonder About Love" The Queen Alone will be reissued on the reactivated Stax Records through Concord Music Group as part of the label's yearlong series of 50th Anniversary events. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 O'Jay vs. O'Jays Royalty Rumble

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 03/06/2007

    Former O'Jay Sammy Strain is claiming in a $15 million dollar civil lawsuit that he never received any royalties from his 16 years with the O'Jays. Here's another strange story from the world of classic soul. Sixteen years is a long time to overlook (by both parties) a possible contractual obligation for payment of royalties. Strain's lawyer, Charles A. Whittier, says "my client has been stabbed in the back for the love of money." The lawsuit, filed recently in Philadelphia, alleges that O'Jays founders Eddie Levert and Walter Williams conspired to deny Strain of his share of royalties. Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, producers, and owners of the Philadelphia International label are also named as defendants. Strain replaced original member William Powell in 1976, and remained with the group until 1992, according to the lawsuit. Sammy recorded 11 albums with the O'Jays. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Dreamgirls Oscar Songs Gored by An Inconvenient Truth

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 02/26/2007

    With three different selections from Dreamgirls nominated for an Academy Award, Melissa Etheridge surprised Oscar world by winning for the best song, "I Need to Wake Up," from Al Gore's global warming movie An Inconvenient Truth. It's the revenge of Jennifer Holliday, the star of the Broadway production, who was very outspoken in her desire to have a connection with the Hollywood version of Dreamgirls. Congratulations to Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls scene stealer, who is now an Academy Award winner, and gets the best supporting actress Oscar for her role in the film. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 New Tyler Perry Soundtrack Serenades Daddy’s Little Girls

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 02/15/2007

    With the arrival of Tyler Perry's new movie, "Daddy's Little Girls," Friday, February 16, get ready for another classy soundtrack from Mr. 'Madea.' All of Perry's soundtracks have been very successful, including Madea's Family Reunion. One song from that flick, "Everyday (Family Reunion)" featuring Chaka Khan, Gerald Levert, Yolanda Adams & Carl Thomas was nominated for a 2007 Grammy Award. "Everyday (Family Reunion)" should have won, (but it didn't). For Perry's new love story, some great tracks have been selected. Charles Moore does a wonderful job reviving the Sam Cooke classic, "A Change is Gonna Come." You'll also find Beyonce's "Daddy," a strong bonus track on her Dangerously in Love CD that was never acknowledged in the liner notes. Here are the songs from Daddy's Little Girls: "Struggle No More (The Main Event)" - Anthony Hamilton, Jaheim & Musiq Soulchild "Don't Let Go" - R. Kelly "Greatest Gift" - Tameka Scott "Brown Eyed Blues" - Adrian Hood "Family First" - Whitney Houston, Cissy Houston, Dionne Warwick And Family "Step Aside" - Yolanda Adams "I Believe" - Brian McKnight "Daddy" - Beyonce' "Struggle No More" - Anthony Hamilton "Blood Sweat & Tears" - Governor "A Change Is Gonna Come" - Charles Moore This is a nice collection of R&B songs with positive messages supporting the theme of family in Daddy's Little Girls. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Grammy Award Winners a Mixed Bag

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 02/12/2007

    Grammy night was a mixed bag with the Dixie Chicks walking away with five awards, Red Hot Chili Peppers taking four, and Mary J. Blige cashing in three. Best acceptance speech: Ludacris (for best rap album), who thanked everyone but his pizza delivery person. Most surprised winner: Stevie Wonder with Tony Bennett for their duet "For Once in My Life." Stevie seemed completely surprised. Most unusual performance: a tie between Gnarls Barkley who sang "Crazy," and Christina Aguilera, who tried on James Brown's "It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World" for size. This show tries to be something for everybody. As a result, the prime time television broadcast blacks out many contemporary categories lots of people are interested in. Considerable time is taken up acknowledging lifetime achievement honorees, at the expense of spotlighting more current talent (in the Grammy Award winners circle). You get some brilliant moments of live performance from many of the artists as the main payoff for watching this show. Overall, it's hit or miss for consistent show-stopping. If you like the artist, you'll probably like their performance. Last week, I made a few predictions in the R&B category?   1) My pick: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance: "Be Without You" Mary J. Blige, The Breakthrough. The winner: Mary J. Blige   2) My pick: Best Male R&B Vocal Performance: "I Call it Love" Lionel Richie, Coming Home. The winner: "Heaven" John Legend   3) My pick: Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals: "Everyday (Family Reunion)" Chaka Khan, Gerald Levert, Yolanda Adams & Carl Thomas, Madea's Family Reunion. The Winner: "Family Affair" Sly & the Family Stone, John Legend, Joss Stone with Van Hunt   4) My pick: Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance: "I Found My Everything" Mary J. Blige featuring Raphael Saadiq, The Breakthrough. Winner: "God Bless the Child" George Benson & Al Jarreau featuring Jill Scott (my alternate pick, really more jazz than traditional R&B)   5) My pick: Best R&B Song: "Be Without You" Mary J. Blige, The Breakthrough. Winner: Mary J. Blige   6) My pick: Best R&B Album: The Breakthrough Mary J. Blige. Winner: Mary J. Blige   7) My pick: Best Contemporary R&B Album: B'Day Beyonce' Winner: Beyonce'   Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Spinners Lose Vocalist Billy Henderson

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 02/06/2007

    Spinners vocalist Billy Henderson, an original group member, passed away last Friday of complications from diabetes in Daytona Beach, Florida. He was 67. Henderson left the Spinners in 2004 after suing the group's corporation and business manager to obtain financial records. Four of the original Spinners performed together until recently. Spinners Live is a very good double album, featuring the rare duet with writer Linda Creed behind the mic on the classic soul hit, "Then Came You." Dionne Warwick sang the original duet with the group. The Spinners cut their teeth at Motown. "It's a Shame" was their one big Motor City hit for the label. Take another look at the official Spinners biography at their website for colorful career highlights. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Kool & the Gang Launch World Tour

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 02/01/2007

    Fans in Italy, St. Vincent, Norway, and the USA will be able to catch the energy of Kool & the Gang during their extended 2007 world tour. Always exciting, I've never been disappointed at one of their shows. Here's the complete Kool & the Gang tour schedule featuring public and private dates. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Prince Salutes James Brown at Super Bowl 41

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 01/30/2007

    Look for Prince to step lightly but brightly during the halftime show at Super Bowl 41 this Sunday, February 4. During his set, Mr. "Purple Rain" is scheduled to include a tribute to James Brown. One of the funkiest Prince hits is "Sexy M.F.," a vamp that borrows heavily from the style of soul brother number one. Don't expect Prince to perform it, as the censors would have a field day hitting the bleep button. (The halftime show will be on a slight broadcast time-delay). We play a unique version of "Sexy M.F." on Powerhouse Radio that even your grandmother could enjoy. Like the Rolling Stones who performed last year, Prince is a non-conformist, who can offer up some spontaneous, unpredictable moves. Given the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" incident in 2004, you can bet Prince will take the high road during the middle of the big game and keep things rated G. Check out the Super Bowl halftime show. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Aretha and Beyonce go for the Golden Globes

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 01/11/2007

    The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, has never won a movie Golden Globe Award. On Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 15th, we'll find out if she wins the honor on the televised NBC event. Aretha is nominated for the best original song "Never Gonna Break My Faith," sung with Mary J. Blige, from the movie Bobby, a film documenting the assassination of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, on June 6th, 1968. Beyonce' is one of four song writers credited with creating the lyrics to "Listen" from Dreamgirls, also nominated for the best original song Golden Globe Award. In Beyonce's case, the February 25, 2007 song writer Academy Award will be limited to tracks with a maximum of three writers. As such, it looks like she'll be locked out of the 'best song writer' Oscar. Because the Golden Globe Awards are presented every year before the Academy Awards, Golden Globe winners can sometimes effectively indicate who will win the Oscars. The Golden Globe Awards have enabled the non-profit Hollywood Foreign Press Association, (the sponsoring organization), to donate more than $6.5 million during the past twelve years to entertainment-related charities. HFPA has also funded scholarships and other programs for future film and television professionals. Here are all of the Golden Globe Award nominations and winners. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Stax is back with Memphis Soul

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 01/04/2007

    The Stax record label, shown above on the extreme right in yellow, is returning after more than 30 years. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Stax featured the classic soul sounds of the Bar-Kays, Otis Redding, Johnnie Taylor, the Mad-Lads, the Soul Children, Frederick Knight, and many others. Just re-signed to the label is arguably their biggest former star, Isaac Hayes. He joins Angie Stone to form a nice foundation for a new roster of talent. Stax folded in 1975. Their studios were sold in 1981, and demolished in 1989. The new Stax Museum of American Soul Music was constructed on the old site, opening in 2003, along with the Stax Music Academy. Concord Records, who will be resurrecting the label, bought the Stax name in 2004. Concord plans to release deluxe versions of classic Stax albums. Previous Post | Next Post

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