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  • 0 7 Cameo Classics

    • Songs
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 04/09/2008

    Cameo took several years to develop their style of funk and finally differentiate themselves from the Parliament-Funkadelic conglomerate; (to whom they are often compared). When their album Cardiac Arrest featuring "Rigor Mortis" came on the scene in 1977, group leader Larry Blackmon and company were building up their funk portfolio in the Big Apple, New York City. New Cameo albums hit the streets every year between 1977 through 1986, with Word Up! in 86' generating 3 big hit singles (#2, #3, & #7 on my list). In the 1980's, robotic electronic elements began to sterilize the raw funk sound of many classic soul groups. Cameo survived this industry change, using it to their advantage, by giving their catchy songs multiple hooks, gritty grooves, and levity laced lyrics. I saw Cameo perform live at the Missouri Black Expo in St. Louis in 1998. They were spectacular. When the final history of funk is written, Cameo will have a prominent chapter. Even Mariah Carey jumped on the Cameo bandwagon in 2001 (with Larry Blackmon along for the ride), sampling "Candy" on her song "Loverboy," albeit a weakly implemented cover at that. 7 Cameo Classics: "She's Strange" "Candy" "Word Up!" "Single Life" "Shake Your Pants" "I Just Want To Be" "Back and Forth" Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Marvin Gaye's Magnificent Medley

    • Songs
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 03/13/2008

    When was the last time you heard Marvin Gaye's magnificent medley in it's entirety from the song collection What's Going On? (the album considered by many as the best classic soul record of all time). The 6 tracks on side one of the original 1971 album are tightly edited together without silence between the songs, enhancing the impact of Marvin's topical social commentary and humane visionary themes. When the CD was finally released many years later, some listeners may have missed the ground breaking technique of a continuous medley: absent from most early R&B albums. With the CD, now all 9 tracks were available for the expected continuous play from start to finish. So a medley? No big deal. 2) "What's Happening Brother" 3) "Flyin' High (In The Friendly Sky)" 4) "Save The Children" 5) "God Is Love" 6) "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" By the way, track 1 is "What's Going On." Two bonus tracks were added to the remastered CD edition released in 2003 giving the record a total of 11 songs. Side one of the vinyl album is a masterpiece, and it's a treat to hear it today. I'm lucky to still have the original vinyl album in excellent condition. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 5 Classic Soul Oscars

    • Songs
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 02/21/2008

    It's Academy Award weekend. Here are 5 classic soul "Best Song" Oscars: "Say You, Say Me" - Lionel Richie - 1985 White Nights "I Just Called To Say I Love You" - Stevie Wonder - 1984 The Woman In Red "Last Dance" - Donna Summer - 1978 Thank God It's Friday "Theme From Shaft" - Isaac Hayes - 1971 Shaft "All The Way" - Billie Holiday - 1957 The Joker's Is Wild Good luck to the 2008 "Best Song" and "Best Score" nominees. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 7 Top Soulful Picks for Classic R&B 2007

    • Songs
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 12/06/2007

    If you look hard enough, and dig deep enough, you can always find good new music. Here are our 7 Top Soulful Picks for Classic R&B 2007 in order. The releases all reflect the best traditions of vintage classic soul you or someone on your gift list will enjoy. 7 Top Soulful Picks for Classic R&B 2007: Diana Ross - I Love You - Thoroughly enjoyable over repeated listening. Mostly hit parade oldies from the catalogue of others served up Diana Ross style, packed with diva charm all the way. Alicia Keys - As I Am - When Stevie Wonder recorded the albums Where I'm Coming From and Music of My Mind in 1971 and 1972, he pushed the boundaries of what people expected from R&B. He also pushed himself forward into uncharted waters as a creative artist. Alicia Keys has taken some risks with As I Am, and has crafted one of the most inventive albums of the year. Excellent stuff. Thelma Houston - A Woman's Touch - Mostly danceable chestnuts from a grab bag of good time hits and heavies we all remember. A nice effort putting Thelma Houston back in the game. Chaka Khan - Funk This - Features one of the best tracks of the year, "Disrespectful," with Mary J. Blige. Almost as adventurous as the Alicia Keys release, Chaka lets loose with new tunes and some classics you might not expect. Nominated for a best R&B album Grammy (2007). Let the funky times roll. Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration - various artists - 50 fabulous tracks from the Stax Records vault to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the southern soul giant. They did make one mistake. Isaac Hayes' "Shaft" appears in its 3 minute 10 second single form, rather than the 4 minute 30 second full version. For a song that won both a Grammy and Academy Award, I would have used the album version. Chris Jasper - Invincible - The former Isley Brother creates a spiritually uplifting collection of praise worthy songs fusing sacred themes with secular grooves reminiscent of his past hits with the guys. Patti LaBelle - Miss Patti's Christmas - LaBelle's Christmas album is the best soul/R&B holiday release of 2007. A joyous Hallelujah! Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 7 Jeffrey Osborne Melodies on the Wings of Love

    • Songs
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 10/16/2007

    Jeffrey Osborne, the golden voice of L.T.D., (Love, Togetherness, and Devotion), has had several successful solo hits. The Providence, Rhode Island native hooked up with L.T.D. in Los Angeles in the 1970's and spent a decade with the group first as a drummer, then exclusively as their lead vocalist. Jeffrey has been one of the dominant male voices in classic soul, distinctive for his bellowing baritone. He's had several hits with many duet partners including Joyce Kennedy ("The Last Time I Made Love" - 1984), and Dionne Warwick, ("Love Power" - 1987). In late 2005, Jeffrey released From The Soul, an excellent collection of classic soul favorites elegantly performed to perfection. Here are 7 Melodies from Jeffrey Osborne's solo songbook: "On The Wings of Love" "You Should Be Mine" (Woo Woo Song) "We're Going All The Way" "Don't You Get So Mad" "Stay With Me Tonight" "Room With A View" "So Emotional" Jeffrey Osborne in Concert: Tuesday October 23, 2007, Fairmont - Fort Lauderdale, Florida Thursday November 15, 2007, Apollo Theater, New York City Monday, December 31, 2007, Hyatt Regency - Huntington Beach, California 5 Jeffrey Osborne hits with L.T.D. "Love Ballad" "Back In Love Again" "Shine On "Holding On (When Love Is Gone)" "We Party Hearty" Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 7 Patti Austin Picks for Live Concert Action

    • Songs
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 09/27/2007

    Patti Austin brings her unpredictable charm and stunning voice to several international stops on her current 2007 tour. The New York City native has shared her glowing warmth with both fans and fellow musicians. Patti's duet credits include some passionate vocal power with both George Benson and Michael Jackson. Like many performers, Austin paid her early dues singing background vocals on the recordings of Roberta Flack, Angela Bofill, and others. You probably remember her number one hit, and biggest song to date, the classic: "Baby Come To Me." Here are 7 Patti Austin picks for live concert action: "Baby Come to Me" (duet with James Ingram) "How Do You Keep The Music Playing?" (James Ingram with Patti Austin) "Do You Love Me" "So Amazing" (tribute to Luther Vandross) "Stop Look and Listen" "Every Home Should Have One" "Honey For The Bees" Patti Austin on Tour: Friday, September 28, 2007 Greek Theatre - Los Angeles, California Wednesday, October 10, Myerson Symphony Center - Dallas, Texas with Duke Ellington Orchestra and Byron Stribling Saturday, October 27, "IMAC" - Huntington, Long Island, New York Sunday, October 28, Ramshead Tavern - Annapolis, Maryland Wednesday, November 7, Basel, Switzerland with Clayton-Hamilton Big Band Friday, November 9 - Sunday, November 11, DeVos Performance Hall - Grand Rapids, Michigan with the Grand Rapids Symphony Tuesday, November 13 - Wednesday, November 14, Papillon VI, The Centre - Vancouver, Canada...special guest artist of Emil Chau Saturday, November 17, Papillon VI, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium - San Francisco, California...special guest artist of Emil Chau Monday, December 31, Kennedy Center - Washington, DC Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Roberta Flack Hits the Road

    • Songs
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 08/22/2007

    4 Time Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Roberta Flack has several highly anticipated concert appearances coming this Fall. You probably remember these 10 Flack favorites: "Killing Me Softly with His Song" "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" "Feel Like Makin' Love" "Reverend Lee" "Making Love" "Where Is the Love" with Donny Hathaway "You Are My Heaven" with Donny Hathaway "Back Together Again" with Donny Hathaway "Tonight I Celebrate My Love" with Peabo Bryson "At The Concert" with Michael Henderson But are you aware of The Roberta Flack School of Music? Funded entirely by private donations, the school sponsors children who demonstrate a strong interest in studying music. Students are educated and encouraged to master fundamental principles of music, and are taught to read, and write music. As a former Washington, DC teacher, Ms. Flack is helping to inspire the crown of creation in blossoming young minds. Catch an evening with Roberta Flack coming soon for an "Oasis" of musical joy: August 27, 2007 Althea Gibson Evening of African American Women's Firsts, Opening Ceremony, 2007 US Open Tennis Tournament, New York, NY September 7 & 8, 2007 Chinook Winds, Lincoln City, OR September 22, 2007 Concert for Autism, Palace Theatre, Stamford, CT September 26 - 29, 2007 National Symphony Orchestra with Marvin Hamlisch, Kennedy Center, Washington DC September 30, 2007 Ho-Chunk Casino, Hotel and Convention, Baraboo, WI October 27, 2007 Keswick Theatre, Glenside, PA Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 13 Powerhouse Radio Summertime Favorites

    • Songs
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 08/16/2007

    With two weeks left, there's still time to plug into these lucky 13 Powerhouse Radio summertime favorites, just waiting to share space on the digital music player close to your heart. "Hot Fun in the Summertime" - Sly & the Family Stone "Indian Summer Love "- Con Funk Shun "Long Hot Summer" - Jimi Hendrix Experience "My Sweet Summer" Suite - Love Unlimited Orchestra (Barry White) "Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer"- Stevie Wonder "Summer" - War "Summer Breeze" - Isley Brothers "Summer Madness" - Kool and the Gang "Summer Snow" - Blue Magic "Summertime" - Billy Stewart "Summertime" - Sam Cooke "Summertime" - Will Smith "Summertime" - Janis Joplin with Big Brother & the Holding Company Previous Post | Next Post  

  • 0 5th Dimension Catalog to be Reissued

    • Songs
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 07/18/2007

    Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis Jr., Florence LaRue, Lamonte McLemore, and Ron Townson were the original 5th Dimension. On August 7, 2007, their entire Soul City/Bell Records catalogue will be reissued by Collectors' Choice Music on 7 CD's. The 5th Dimension started making soul and pop hits 40 years ago during "the Summer of love" in 1967. Songwriters Laura Nyro and Jimmy Webb contributed to the early success of the group by authoring many of their hits. The smooth harmonies of McCoo, Davis, and the rest of the group are responsible for their classic signature sound. A walk down 5th Dimension memory lane includes: "Aquarius (Let The Sunshine In)" "Stoned Soul Picnic" "Up-Up And Away" "One Less Bell To Answer" "Sweet Blindness" "Puppet Man" "Go Where You Wanna Go" "The Worst That Could Happen / Wedding Bell Blues" "I Didn't Get To Sleep At All, (Last Night) " "Love's Lines, Angles And Rhymes" "California Soul" "Workin' On A Groovy Thing" One of the best 5th Dimension anthology CD's you'll find is Ultimate 5th Dimension, on the BMG Heritage label, released in 2004. I highly recommend it. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 10 Classic Soul Picks for Father's Day

    • Songs
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 06/15/2007

    Color Him Father - the Winstons Daddy - Beyonce' Daddy Could Swear - Gladys Knight & the Pips Daddy's Home - Jermaine Jackson Dance with my Father - Luther Vandross Father Figure - George Michael Papa was a Rolling Stone - Temptations Papa's got a Brand New Bag - James Brown Song for my Father - Horace Silver Quintet Sugar Daddy - Jackson 5 Put these on your Dad's iPod, or burn them to a CD. When it comes to classic soul, (and a little jazz flava from Horace Silver), Dad never sounded better! Previous Post | Next Post

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