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  • 2 Black History Month Classic Soul Disc Jockeys

    • Audio
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 02/09/2010

    It's time to have some fun and go back to those thrilling days in our past when spectacular entertainers thrilled radio listeners. There will be a quiz, so please join in. In 1999, William Barlow wrote a great book, Voice Over: The Making of Black Radio. Mr. Barlow presents an outstanding timeline based story about how enterprising African American voices made their way into communities through radio to entertain, inform, and educate. I highly recommend this book for those of you interested in the real story about how 'black radio' was created and evolved. Our purpose here however is the music, so in honor of Black History Month, we present 5 disc jockeys who had a significant impact on their industry, cities, and fans. You get to guess who is who. Listen to the 2 minute feature below. Can you figure out the names of all 5 disc jockeys. Maybe you know only one. Your browser does not support the audio element. But wait. There's another angle to this game. Each disc jockey is featured from an actual vinyl record they released to the public back in the day. Leave a comment and take a guess about who these folks are. Some hints: think Windy City, The Big Apple, and The City of Brotherly Love. At the end of Black History Month, I will reveal who each person is, along with the names of the songs, and the labels they were released on. These tracks all come from my personal collection. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Black History Month Classic Soul Anthems

    • Audio
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 02/04/2010

    The White House is getting ready to host a civil rights music review on February 10, 2010. President and Mrs. Obama have invited Natalie Cole, Bob Dylan, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, John Mellencamp, Smokey Robinson, Seal, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and the Howard University Choir to perform music from the movement. A PBS television broadcast on February 11th, as well as a one hour NPR radio special on selected stations during Black History Month will feature the concert. One of the best classic soul compilations of civil rights era music is Black Power: Music of A Revolution. This 2 CD set was released on the Shout label in 2004. It has one of the best collections I've seen of both message music and liberation prose from the golden age of R&B. Here are the tracks on Disc 1 & 2: "The Black Panther Party" - Huey Newton "You're The Man pts. 1 & 2" - Marvin Gaye "Let's Clean Up The Ghetto" - Philadelphia Int'l All Stars "Change It" - Kathleen Cleaver "Song To The System" - Segments of Time "Right On" - Sons of Slum "Tell It Like It Is" - S.O.U.L. "Mighty Mighty" - Earth Wind & Fire "Compared To What" - Les McCann & Eddie Harris "I Don't Know What This World Is Coming To" - Soul Children "Power to the People" - Huey Newton "Give More Power To The People" - Chi-Lites "Give The People What They Want" - O'Jays "We Want Black Power" - Stokely Carmichael "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud" - James Brown "Blackenized" - Hank Ballard "So Much Strength" - Stokely Carmichael "Fight The Power (pt. 1)" - Isley Brothers "Stop Singing and Start Swinging" - Malcolm X "Standing & Fighting" - Malcolm X "Message From a Black Man" - Temptations "Part - E, S' - Watts Prophets "Violence is as American as Cherry Pie" - H. Rap Brown "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" - Gil Scott-Heron "When The Revolution Comes" - The Last Poets "Am I Black Enough For You?" - Billy Paul "Black Unity" - Stokely Carmichael "My People...Hold On" - Eddie Kendricks "Be Thankful For What You Got" - William DeVaughn "Chocolate City" - Parliament "We're a Winner (live)" - Curtis Mayfield "We Got More Soul" - Dyke & The Blazers "I Am Somebody (part 2)" - Johnnie Taylor "Express Yourself" - Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band "Respect Yourself" - Staple Singers "To Be Young, Gifted and Black" - Nina Simone "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" - Kim Weston "Ain't' No Stoppin' Us Now" - McFadden & Whitehead The number of female artists represented is light, but still, this is a powerful music and spoken word reflection of the civil rights social movement. Your browser does not support the audio element. Listen to 15 seconds of activist H. Rap Brown's "Violence is as American as Cherry Pie." Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Beyonce Dominates the Grammy Awards

    The big story at the 2010 52nd annual Grammy Awards was Beyonce's dominance with 6 new trophies, but there were some other interesting musical moments. For instant gratification, the opening performers usually hit some high notes, and that's what Lady Gaga & Elton John did. The Grammy show is not for you if you have a short attention span, as you have to sit through the dull moments to experience the true gems of the evening during the three and 1/2 hour marathon. After Celine Dion, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson, and Carrie Underwood performed Michael Jackson's "Earth Song," 2 of Michael's children accepted a lifetime achievement award with short, moving comments. Jamie Foxx and T-Pain, who won for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (with Kanye West who did not perform), brought some energy and excitement to the evening (that often dragged along). Hats off to The Dave Matthews Band for an impressive well played set. Best act introduction: Quentin Tarantino bringing on the most bleeped performance of the night: Eminem, Lil Wayne, and Drake. Come on guys! You are on rated G TV. Beyonce' has come a long way. Anyone who can win in such broad musical categories can take comfort in knowing that they've arrived - big time. Beyonce's Grammy Awards: Song of the Year - "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" Best R&B Song - "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" Best Female R&B Vocal Performance - "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance - "At Last" from Cadillac Records Best Female Pop Vocal Performance - "Halo" Best Contemporary R&B Album - I Am...Sasha Fierce Previous Post | Next Post  

  • 0 A Classic Soul Memory from the Lost Generation

    • Audio
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 01/28/2010

    Chicago's The Lost Generation recorded 2 albums for Brunswick Records before leaving the label in 1973. Jesse Dean, Larry Brownlee, and brothers Lowrell and Fred Simon were The Lost Generation. Their one major hit, "The Sly, Slick & The Wicked," was Record World Magazine's Song of the Year (a co-honor shared with "ABC" by the Jackson 5 in 1970). "Beware young girls of the sly, the slick, and the wicked." That's the love song message these guys put over in this significant hit. The music track is similar to the sound of their fellow label mates, The Chi-Lites. Writer Kevin L. Goins says that The Lost Generation recorded this song at the tail end of a Jackie Wilson recording studio session. Listen to 30 seconds of this noteworthy classic soul blast from the past, "The Sly, Slick & The Wicked" by The Lost Generation. You can find the track on the deluxe 2 CD collection Brunswick Top 40 R&B Singles 1966 - 1975. Your browser does not support the audio element. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Gil Scott-Heron Hears the Music Again

    • Video
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 01/26/2010

    Who is Gil Scott-Heron? 2022 update: A specific comment about his website removed... his official website featured the Scott-Heron story until his passing in 2011. For Gil, it's always been about the message in the music. Here's what his condensed biography says: "Gil Scott-Heron is an American poet, musician, and author known primarily for his late 1960s and early 1970s work as a spoken word soul performer and his collaborative work with musician Brian Jackson." "His collaborative efforts with Jackson featured a musical fusion of jazz, blues and soul music, as well as lyrical content concerning social and political issues of the time, delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles by Scott-Heron." "The music of these albums, most notably Pieces of a Man and Winter in America in the early 1970s, influenced and helped engender later African American music genres such as hip hop and neo soul." "Scott-Heron's recording work is often associated with black militant activism and has received much critical acclaim for one of his most well-known compositions "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." "On his influence, Allmusic wrote "Scott-Heron's unique proto-rap style influenced a generation of hip-hop artists." Yes, this is all true. "The Bottle" is probably Gil's biggest hit, an uptempo prophetic warning about boozing, drinking, and the evils of alcohol. Gil has a brand new album, I'm New Here, to be released February 8th in the U.K., and Tuesday, February 9, 2010 in the USA. Watch his new video, "Me and the Devil." About the video...once you get past the skate boarders, look for Gil to do his thing! Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Jay-Z, Bono, The Edge, and Rihanna offer Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour) Version 1.0

    • Audio
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 01/23/2010

    As telethons go, Hope for Haiti made the right emotional connections urging us all to donate money for the people in need on the devastated island. Actors and artists provided 2 hours of music, messages, and optimism beamed across multiple TV networks. I'm sure you have your favorite moments. Jennifer Hudson's version of "Let It Be" was touching. John Legend's choice of Richie Havens "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" was ironically chilling. According to iTunes, 100% of proceeds from the sale of the album Hope for Haiti Now and any of its individual live performance tracks will go to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, Oxfam America, Partners in Health, Red Cross, UNICEF, United Nations World Food Program, and Yele Haiti Foundation. Here are the tracks: "Send Me An Angel" - Alicia Keys "A Message 2010" - Coldplay "We Shall Overcome" - Bruce Springsteen "A Time To Love/Bridge Over Troubled Water" - Stevie Wonder "I'll Stand By You" - Shakira featuring The Roots "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" - John Legend "Hard Times Come Again No More" - Mary J. Blige featuring The Roots "Breathless" - Taylor Swift "Lift Me Up" - Christina Aguilera "Driven To Tears" - Sting "Halo" - Beyonce' "Like A Prayer" - Madonna "Hallelujah" - Justin Timberlake featuring Charlie Sexton "Let It Be" - Jennifer Hudson featuring The Roots "Many Rivers To Cross" - Emeline Michel "Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour) live version" - Jay-Z, Bono, The Edge & Rihanna "Alone and Forsaken" - Dave Matthews & Neil Young "Rivers of Babylon/Yele" - Wyclef Jean "Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour) version 1.0" - Jay-Z, Bono, The Edge & Rihanna "Lean On Me" - Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock & Keith Urban A special shout out to Mary J. Blige for taking us to church! Your browser does not support the audio element. Listen to 60 seconds of "Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)" Version 1.0, featuring Jay-Z, Bono, The Edge, and Rihanna. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Hope For Haiti Telethon to Feature Music and Hollywood Heavyweights

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 01/21/2010

    As of Thursday afternoon, January 21, from just the generous individual charitable givers in the USA, over 300 million dollars has already been raised to benefit the Haitian people stricken by the recent earthquake disaster. Friday, at 8 pm Eastern, an all star telethon begins on MTV, with simulcasts on several other domestic and international TV networks . Look for Wyclef Jean, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce', Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Dave Matthews, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Hudson, Sting, Mary J. Bilge, and other big names to persuade you to give. Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood, President Bill Clinton, Halle Berry, Chris Rock, Nicole Kidman, Jon Stewart, and several other Hollywood notables will do the same. I highly recommend watching the Wyclef Jean video in Wyclef Jean Challenges Haitian Charity Critics. He tells it like it is. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Wyclef Jean Challenges Haitian Charity Critics

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 01/19/2010

    Humanitarian relief efforts organized by Haitian native and former Fugees member Wyclef Jean are being closely examined because of questions surrounding the financial management of his charity, Yele Haiti Foundation. TheSmokingGun.com reported in "Wyclef Jean Charity's Funny Money," (just 2 days after the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake), that they believe Jean unjustifiably profited based upon their examination of income tax returns filed by The Wyclef Jean Foundation. Two days later, Jean issued a statement saying "I first learned of these baseless attacks when I left Haiti Friday, where I had been since 12 hours after the earthquake." "Let me be clear: I denounce any allegation that I have ever profited personally through my work with Yele Haiti." There are some close connections though between Jean's charity work, and his music business activities. What can't be debated are Wyclef's authentic emotions regarding the tragedy that has stricken his homeland. He'll co-host "Hope for Haiti," a telethon on Friday, January 22, 8 pm Eastern, to help raise money for the people of Haiti. MTV will be the flagship network, with simulcasts on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, BET, the CW, HBO, VH1, and CMT. Look for international TV coverage too. George Clooney in Los Angeles, and Anderson Cooper in Haiti are the other co-hosts. Expect lots of musical performances and celebrity guests during this all-star telethon. Finally, to answer some questions you may have about Yele Haiti, take a look at this video press conference featuring Wyclef Jean, recorded on Monday, January 18. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Teddy Pendergrass - the Best of Philly

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 01/14/2010

    I must have caught Teddy Pendergrass on an off day. He was coming out of the Club Harlem in Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the days when "Bad Luck" was hot. Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendegrass were in town for a weekend of performances. T.P. on this particular afternoon might have been leaving the club after a rehearsal. I approached him and announced my affiliation with the local R&B radio station, WUSS. He pretty much ignored me and kept on steppin'. Such was the sometimes self absorbed ego of Mr. Pendergrass. When be became too big for just the black clubs and crossed over to the largest venues, Teddy exploded as a solo act. In his early days by himself after the Blue Notes era, he always included a stint on the drums during his stage act, as he was a very good drummer. Voice, sexual persona, charisma, and entertainer magnetism clearly puts T.P. in the classic soul hall of fame. I attended a tribute to Teddy Pendergrass in Philadelphia on December 17, 1980. Click the link and take a look at all of the folks who participated. This feature was part of a Teddy Pendergrass spotlight we posted in 2007 as part of the Powerhouse Radio Archive. Teddy Pendergrass died on Wednesday, January 13, 2010, after battling colon cancer. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Classic Single and Album Cover Collections

    • Website
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 01/12/2010

    According to Royal Mail, "the album cover has been the medium of choice for some of the world's great graphic artists. Their work has not only reflected many musical cultures, but helped define them too. These images give a visual language to music that has influenced generations." A press release from Royal Mail caught our eye, as they have just released ten iconic classic album covers as part of their 2010 stamp program. Thousands of album covers were reviewed through various lists and polls. The result, a UK centric collection of images that include album covers from David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones. Let's not forget about all of those 45 RPM sleeves that showcased creative graphic designer excellence. For a great collection of single song picture sleeve covers, perfect for wallpaper, check out PictureSleevePop.com. Previous Post | Next Post

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