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  • 0 Buddy Miles Tribute

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 02/28/2008

    Drummer Buddy Miles passed away Wednesday, February 27, at the relatively young age of 60. Caught in the middle between the musical implementation of pure soul and progressive rock, Miles in his heyday never received the credit he deserved as a creative solo artist. Radio programmers back in the day could never figure out if his music was appropriate to play for their particular audiences. Buddy Miles was all about fusing soul, blues, pop, and rock into a unique blend of driving hardcore rhythms. In 1967, Buddy, working his way up the musical ladder, joined "Wicked" Wilson Pickett's touring band as the drummer. Soon after, guitarist Mike Bloomfield recruited Miles for the seminal horn-funk-blues group, The Electric Flag. The Buddy Miles Express debuted in 1968 with the album, Expressway to Your Skull. I used the instrumental track "Funky Mule" from that album as my first and only theme song for a few years when I first started out in radio. Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Miles had quite a few collaborations together, beginning in 1968 - 1969. Hendrix wrote the liner notes on Expressway to Your Skull, and produced "Miss Lady" from the 2nd Miles album Electric Church. Hendrix also produced the unreleased version of the instrumental "69 Freedom Special," (that does appear on The Best of Buddy Miles) CD. Miles continued to experiment as he moved on to Band of Gypsys with Hendrix and bassist Billy Cox. I saw their only Madison Square Garden New York City performance live on January 28, 1970. Unfortunately, what I remember was not positive, as Miles, Hendrix, and Cox only performed a couple of songs. Hendrix "went on strike" after a couple of songs and stormed off the stage because of some disagreement. Miles and Hendrix recorded the classic jazz-rock "Rainy Day Dream Away" and "Still Raining Still Dreaming" from Hendrix's historic double LP Electric Ladyland. I genuinely enjoyed Buddy's solo albums, as they always contained several stand out tracks. The PowerhouseRadio.com music vault contains 7 of his solo vinyl albums, plus A Long Time Comin' by The Electric Flag. I suppose I should mention that Buddy Miles was the voice of the California Raisins, an animated cartoon used to promote the raisin industry in the 1970's. Miles was a very good singer - as soulful as the best of his day. In 1994, Buddy Miles reformed the Express and recorded an album for Rykodisc. I was asked if I wanted to interview Buddy in 2007. Unfortunately, we could not sync-up our schedules, so I ultimately passed. Now I'm sorry I missed the opportunity. Luckily, I did have the chance many years ago to talk with Buddy Miles live at The Bottom Line club in New York City and record the conversation when I was a student at New York University. Below is 90 seconds of the longer instrumental "Funky Mule" from the Buddy Miles Express album Expressway To Your Skull recorded in October, 1968 and released later that year. Featured on guitar, Jim McCarty (who previously played with Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels). Your browser does not support the audio element. If you are not familiar with Buddy Miles, a great place to start is the CD, The Best of Buddy Miles. It includes his only bonafide hit, "Them Changes." Take a listen to 90 seconds of the much longer "Funky Mule," and enjoy the Buddy Miles groove. Check out his relentless percussive persuasion. Here are my picks for the top 5 songs that showcase Buddy Miles:     "Runaway Child" "Power of Soul" (Band of Gypsys) "Rainy Day, Dream Away" & "Still Raining, Still Dreaming" (guest with The Jimi Hendrix Experience) "69 Freedom Special" "Take It Off Him and Put It On Me" Although the original album version is better (same version on The Best of), here's a great showcase of the powerful "brassy" horn sound of the Buddy Miles Band doing "Runaway Child" live on Finland television in 1971! The Finn fans are shy. Buddy tries to get them to party! Previous Post | Next Post

  • 2 Keith Sweat Sings Just Me 2008

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 02/25/2008

    Keith Sweat releases his first new studio album since 2002 on March 18, 2008. Just Me comes on the heels of his solid 2007 Christmas album, A Christmas of Love. Sweat has been crooning mellow hits for 20 years. On his new album, Keyshia Cole and Athena Cage are two of the featured guest artists. Keith says his new album is not trendy, but is true to the sound his fans have come to expect. "Suga Suga Suga," the initial single from the album featuring Keith and Paisley Bettis will get early attention. Sweat rose to the top with the # 1 classic soul hit "I Want Her" in 1987. He hosts The Keith Sweat Hotel, a syndicated nationwide USA radio show. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Who had the most Popular Digital Single in 2007?

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 01/22/2008

    Rihanna had the most popular digital single in 2007. Her hit "Umbrella," sold more than 2 million downloads for the pop - R&B artist, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. 9-time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys' third studio album, As I Am, has sold more than 2 million copies. As I Am, released in November, 2007, was certified Gold, Platinum and double Platinum in just one month. Alicia has sold more than 13 million albums since her 2001 debut Songs in A Minor. 18-year old Virginia native Chris Brown, the young hip hop - R&B sensation, has also been awarded a 2007 Gold and Platinum record for his album Exclusive. Senegalese-American hip hop artist Akon has scored digital single Gold and Platinum certification for three 2007 releases: "Smack That," "I Wanna Love You," and "Don't Matter." For the calendar year 2007, the RIAA awarded 276 albums, 106 digital single, and 165 Master Ringtone awards for gold and platinum sales. Gold means 500,000 units sold. Platinum tops one million copies. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Rhythm King Ike Turner Dies at 76

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

    Ike Turner, an R&B and rock innovator, has passed away at the age of 76. Ike & Tina Turner were shocking audiences 40 years ago with an explosive show featuring the leggy lady Ikettes, Tina's dynamic moves, and Ike's slave driver dominance of the band. His abuse of Tina Turner is well documented in the movie, What's Love Got To Do With It. Ike formed his first band, the Kings of Rhythm, while he was still in school. He played guitar on some early rock and roll hits in the 1950's, including the song "Rocket 88" in 1951 by saxophonist Jackie Brenston, (recorded at the famous Sun Studios in Memphis). By 1956, Tina Turner became a vocalist with Ike, and in 1958, the same year they were married, she became the band's lead vocalist. Between 1958 and 1966, Ike and Tina worked hard to establish their reputation as gifted electric entertainers. Producer Phil Spector gave them their first big break leading to international success in 1966, with "River Deep, Mountain High," a #3 hit in the U.K. Despite the global acceptance of "River Deep, Mountain High," the song did not connect as well with American audiences. By 1969, Ike and Tina were recording cover songs originally performed by Sly & The Family Stone, and The Beatles. Another cover, "Proud Mary" from Creedence Clearwater Revival's songbook propelled the duo to #4 on the U.S. charts in 1971. Just this year, Ike Turner won a 2007 Grammy Award in the traditional blues album category for Risin' with The Blues. Ike will probably be most remembered as a tragic figure. Despite exceptional musical talent, his demons of drug addition and wife-abusing are always going to be associated with his legend. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Corinne Bailey Rae Wins Song Honor

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 11/29/2007

    Congratulations to British song bird Corinne Bailey Rae, who has been honored by song publisher Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI). Rae's song, "Put Your Records On," has been acknowledged as one of the most performed songs on U.S. radio and television during the past 12 months. Rae is currently at Abbey Road Studios in London working with Herbie Hancock on his upcoming Joni Mitchell tribute album, River: The Joni Letters. Letters will feature well-known jazz musicians including Wayne Shorter. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Alicia Keys Serenades the World with Hot Numbers

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 11/27/2007

    Alicia Keys As I Am is a global hit. We reviewed the CD in the Powerhouse Radio Newsletter November 15, 2007 edition, emailed to our newsletter subscribers earlier in the month. I love the CD. It goes far beyond the predictable mold of most contemporary R&B - soul and hip-hop releases. AliciaKeys.com, Alicia's official web site, shares the good international news about her album: USA #1 Switzerland #1 Holland #2 Singapore #2 Italy #3 France #5 New Zealand #5 Germany #6 Portugal #7 Austria #9 Australia #15 Norway #20 Denmark #22 As I Am is #1 at iTunes in Germany, Austria, Canada, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. It is #2 in France and Belgium. My favorite among many songs from the album: "Superwoman." Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Michael Jackson's New Ebony Look

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 11/12/2007

    Will Ebony do the hard reporting and present a balanced representation about the past 25 years in the life of the controversial Michael? We'll see. I'm looking forward to reading it. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 American Gangster Grabs Classic Soul Gold

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 10/30/2007

    The explosive movie American Gangster grabs the audio gold of 1970's classic soul to help give the story emphasis and emotional guts. American Gangster opens this week. 2 different soundtracks will be available next Tuesday, November 6, 2007. Bobby Womack, Sam & Dave, and the Staple Singers keep the battle between Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe grounded in the sonic grooves of urban America during the Vietnam War era. Public Enemy is here too, as are a couple of blues legends, Lowell Fulson, and John Lee Hooker. Anthony Hamilton, Hank Schocklee, and Marc Streitenfeld also perform songs on the original motion picture soundtrack. Note that Jay-Z has a separate CD, American Gangster with his own music inspired by the film. Bobby Bland's hit "Ain't No Love In The Heart of the City," prominently used to promote the flick, is surprisingly missing in action from the original soundtrack. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Diana Ross to receive Kennedy Center Honor

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 09/13/2007

    Diana Ross will be honored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, December 2nd. CBS will broadcast the event live from the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, DC. 2007 marks the 30th anniversary of the gala. 5 artist/songwriters will be honored this year, including Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush will hold a reception at the White House for Diana Ross and the other honorees. The President and First Lady will also attend the broadcast event at the Opera House. Comedian actor Steve Martin, film director Martin Scorsese, and pianist/conductor Leon Fleisher round out the complete Kennedy Center class of 2007. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Jill Scott, Peabo Bryson, Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey Prepare New Fall Releases

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 09/06/2007

    Post Labor Day, new music releases hit the distribution pipeline like clockwork. 2007 is no exception. Here are 5 collections coming your way that place R&B out front. Jill Scott - The Real Thing - Tuesday, September 25 Peabo Bryson - Missing You - Tuesday, October 2 Alicia Keys - As I Am - Tuesday, November 6 Boyz II Men - Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA - Tuesday, November 13 Mariah Carey - TBA - Tuesday, November 20 Previous Post | Next Post

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