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  • 0 Stevie Wonder, Johnny Gill, and Angie Stone to Sing for Gerald Levert

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 11/17/2006

    A memorial service for Gerald Levert, who died of a heart attack a week ago, is scheduled for today at the Cleveland Music Hall in Ohio. Sean Levert, Gerald's younger brother, will perform. They sang together as members of the group Levert. An array of other artists are scheduled to sing in the tribute, including Stevie Wonder, Johnny Gill, and Angie Stone. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 James Bond Music Shakes and Stirs Soul

    • Songs
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 11/16/2006

    An update of the Casino Royale film, (the first James Bond novel written by Ian Fleming), hits movie theaters tomorrow, Friday, November 17th. Daniel Craig stars as the new super spy. Can you name all of the classic soul stars who have sung title or secondary songs for 007 films? Four ladies top the list. The Bond adventures with this music are: "Goldeneye" "Licence to Kill" "Thunderball" First the songs: "Goldeneye" "Licence to Kill" "If You Asked me To" "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" The number next to the song matches the number next to the artist: Tina Turner Gladys Knight Patti Labelle Dionne Warwick * * "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," recorded for Thunderball by Dionne, was included on the "30th Anniversary Best of James Bond" collection, but was not on either the original soundtrack (as a vocal), or in the screen version. The Gladys Knight and Patti Labelle songs are both featured in "Licence to Kill." An honorable mention to Louis Armstrong, for "We Have All the Time in the World," from the "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" soundtrack, (but not in the movie). Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Bootsy Collins Collars Christmas Funk

    I was thrilled to listen to Bootsy Collins' brand new 2006 Christmas CD, "Christmas Is 4 Ever." Early in his career, Bootsy played bass guitar in James Brown's band. He went on to much success with his own group "Bootsy's Rubber Band." Bootsy would eventually team up with George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic entourage to make more funky music for the masses. Mr. Collins has not lost his musical sense of humor. Along side of the laughs, funk fans get the real deal on these energized holiday classics. "Christmas Is 4 Ever" features Bootsy and recognizable friends serving up some soulful chestnuts. MC Danny Ray and Bobby Byrd hammer home the Yuletide theme on the opening track, "N-Yo-City." "Merry Christmas Baby" and "Jingle Belz" are delivered like you've never heard them before with the pulsating Bootsy beat. Snoop Dogg dazzles with Boosty on "Happy Holidaze." "Chestnutz," also known as The Christmas Song, is dedicated to Natalie Cole as Bootsy digs into the Mel Torme classic, (immortalized by Nat King Cole). The next three CD tracks keep the beat pumping. They feature appearances by Fred Wesley on "Boot-Off, and George Clinton on "Santa's Coming." "Silent Night," "Sleigh Ride," and "Dis-Christmas," (AKA "This Christmas") thump along, with clever holiday anecdotes from Bootsy introducing the songs. Two original tracks wrap things up, "Be-With-You," with Zapp Troutman on keyboards, and the title song, "Christmas Is 4 Ever," spotlighting vocals from Bootsy and Bobby Womack. "Christmas Is 4 Ever" is contemporary to the max. Bootsy has done a great job with these holiday classics creating some fresh funky arrangements. I'll pick "Santa's Coming," AKA "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," as the stand-out track, featuring Miss Candis Cheatham singing co-lead with Bootsy. George Clinton pops in the track to deliver a Christmas message. Here are the tracks again: N-Yo-City Merry Christmas Baby Jingle Belz Happy Holidaze Chestnutz Winter FunkyLand Santa's Coming Boot-Off Silent Night Sleigh Ride Dis-Christmas Be-With-You Christmas Is 4 Ever Bootsy puts this special message on the CD booklet, "Say it loud! I got funk and I got style." Not many Christmas CD's can say that! Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Aaron Neville's Christmas Prayer

    Christmas is getting closer. Let's look at a strong classic soul release that you may have overlooked from last holiday season. Aaron Neville's "Christmas Prayer" was released in October, 2005. Neville brings his unique soulful falsetto to this hearty collection of mainly traditional songs: A Christmas Prayer - Contemporary medium-tempo ballad. Go Tell it on the Mountain - A tambourine tapping gospel/soul hybrid featuring the Blind Boys of Alabama. Mary's Boy Child - Traditional ballad. White Christmas - Performed by Aaron in the Drifters classic style , with some do-wop background singing to spice things up. Joy to The World - Slow a cappella sung with the Blind Boys of Alabama. This track featuring Aaron is also included on the 2004 Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas CD "Go Tell it on the Mountain." Merry Christmas Baby - The classic sung with Neville gusto. Hark the Herald Angels Sing - Slow traditional. First Noel - Slow traditional showcasing Aaron's fine voice. Christmas Everyday - Contemporary medium-tempo reggae romp. O Come All Ye Faithful - Very slow traditional ballad sung with lots of soul. Ave Maria - A respectful performance of a classic. Piano and strings dominate this track featuring Neville's spiritual voice. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - A heaven sent ballad. Amen - A chorus of several Neville's sing joyful praise. The Neville Brothers also contribute: Cyril on percussion and background vocals, Charles on saxophone, and Arthur on organ. It's a full family affair with Ian Neville on guitar, and Jason Neville on background vocals. Aaron Neville has one of the most unique voices in contemporary music. He puts it to excellent use on "Christmas Prayer." Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Lyrical Gerald Levert Leaves Legacy at Age 40

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 11/10/2006

    Gerald Levert created his own impressive musical image, successfully eclipsing the shadow of his famous father. Atlantic Records has confirmed that Gerald passed away this week at his home in Cleveland, Ohio, at the age of 40. Early on, Gerald, brother Sean, and Marc Gordon as the group Levert served up many hits in the late 1980's, including one of my favorites, "Casanova." In the 1990's Gerald kicked his solo career into high gear, often recording and performing a duo show with his famous father, Eddie (of the O'Jays). On the 2002 CD "Standing in the Shadows of Motown," a tribute to the musicians who made the label famous, Gerald cranks out two energetic motor city classics, Jr. Walkers' "Shotgun," (with sax man Tom Scott), and "Reach Out I'll be There," the Four Tops classic. These two tracks bounce from the raw power of Gerald's voice. It was this strong voice that's often been compared to his dad's. Whether fair or not, Gerald learned to accept this gift while gravitating toward the softer side of classic R&B as a solo performer. Gerald Levert was well respected among the music fraternity. Peers and his fans - we all mourn his passing. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 1 Dreamgirls Story a Supreme Showcase for Beyonce'

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 11/09/2006

    Dreamgirls is the unofficial fantasy story about how Diana Ross and the Supremes made musical and cultural history. The Tony Award winning Broadway play, first introduced 25 years ago, finally comes to the silver screen this December after nearly a year of anticipation. Three female singers go from rags to riches in the Dreamgirls saga. Beyonce' plays singer Deena Jones. American Idol ingenue Jennifer Hudson is cast as Effie White of the Dreamettes. Cast members include: Jamie Foxx Eddie Murphy Danny Glover Four new original songs will be included on the Dreamgirls movie soundtrack. We've been playing one of them, "Listen," from Beyonce's new CD "B'Day," for about a month on Powerhouse Radio. It's the bonus track on the Beyonce' CD that's not even listed in the liner notes. Tuesday, November 14th, "Listen" is scheduled to be released as a Dreamgirls song. Some of the other songs on the soundtrack CD: "Love You I Do," Jennifer Hudson "One Night Only," Beyonce? "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," Jennifer Hudson "Dreamgirls," Beyonce', Jennifer Hudson and Anika Noni Rose "Steppin' to the Bad Side," Jamie Foxx "Fake Your Way to the Top," Eddie Murphy, Beyonce', Jennifer Hudson and Anika Noni Rose "Move (You're Steppin' on My Heart)," Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce' and Anika Noni Rose "Family," Jamie Foxx and Keith Robinson "I Am Changing," Jennifer Hudson "Cadillac Car," Eddie Murphy "I Meant You No Harm" Eddie Murphy "Heavy," Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce' and Anika Noni Rose "Hard To Say Goodbye My Love," Beyonce', Sharon Leal and Anika Noni Rose You'll have to wait until December 25th to see the movie. If there are any Oscar performances here, Dreamgirls will get in just under the wire for consideration. A film must be released on or before December 31st to be in the running for a 2006 Academy Award. "Dreamgirls," the CD soundtrack, is scheduled for release on Tuesday, December 5th. By the way, Diana Ross is back in the musical spotlight with her new Fall 2006 CD "I Love You." The divine diva has the magic of longevity. Now that's a dream come true. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Powerhouse Radio Classic Soul Screen Saver

    Even though the Powerhouse Radio Tool Bar leads the pack in our free software downloads by several thousand, our Classic Soul Screen Saver is a close second. Watch the movie about how easy it is to grab your free Powerhouse Radio Classic Soul Screen Saver. 2021 update: the video, the tool bar, and the screen saver app have all been sunset, however you can still grab any of our picture sleeves to use as a screen saver from our sister website Picture Sleeve Pop. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Prince Captures Rio in Las Vegas

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 11/07/2006

    Prince loves Las Vegas. He's back this weekend to musically kiss the city and perform at the 3121 Club, inside of the Rio Hotel. Don't look for controversy when Prince sexy dances into the glamorous Vegas spotlight. In 2003, he played the Aladdin, the Arabian themed hotel, to rave reviews. At the 3121 Club, Prince is scheduled to perform November 10th and 11th, and every weekend until further notice. Let's Go Crazy. Tickets are priced at $125 a piece. That's a lot of Benjamin's on Alphabet Street. Big bankrolls will pop when the party doves cry joyful tears of purple rain. Look for Wednesday night guest concerts from other artists at 3121 hosted by Prince. I'll resist the temptation to mention any more Prince songs. How many did you count? Viva Las Vegas! Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Oleta Adams Sings Christmas Time Cheer

    The well traveled Oleta Adams has had a particularly diversified singing career. A Seattle, Washington native, she was discovered performing in Kansas City by the popular 1980's English group Tears for Fears. The British band (best known for "Shout," and "Everybody Wants to Rule the World,") prominently featured Oleta's soulful voice on their 1989 album, "The Seeds of Love." Christmas Time with Oleta, her ninth release, features energetic arrangements of traditional holiday classics, dominated by her rich, powerful, earthy voice. Oleta's gospel, jazz, and R&B roots shine through on this distinguished release. You'll like it. Here are the tracks: Of The Father's Love Begotten/Hark The Herald Alleluia, Alleluia (Peace On Earth) Christmas Time Is Here I Wonder As I Wander (Appalachian Choir) Breath Of Heaven Winter Wonderland There's Still My Joy Let It Snow Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Silent Night Uncover the inside story behind this CD when you check out the Oleta Adams biography. What's a new Christmas release without a world tour? Scan through Oleta Adams tour dates when you visit her web site. If you missed it, here's an update on 2006 Christmas holiday releases from Lionel Richie, John Legend, and Hall and Oates. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Baltimore Flamingo Terry Johnson Soars to the Sky

    In 2005, Terry Johnson, formerly of the Flamingos, released, "Let's Be Lovers," a song that introduced Jeff Calloway and Tee. From The Whispers (not the Solar Records group), to The Flamingos, to The Starglows, to Motown Records, Terry has had great success. "I Only Have Eyes for You" is his best known Flamingos classic. You may have seen Terry on the PBS television specials "Rock and Roll at 50" and "Doo-Wop Lost and Found." 1950's "bird" groups, (R&B vocal groups named after birds), were really before my time, so I wanted to discover more about the groups, and about Terry Johnson. The following excerpt originally appeared in the September 2005 Powerhouse Radio Newsletter: King - "Terry, you started in the music business at 16, so you beat me by one year, as I started as a college radio announcer at 17. What was it like to record at 16?" Terry - "Yes, I was pretty blessed at the age of 16. I had a group I put together, we were called The Whispers. They were from Baltimore, Maryland. We went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Gotham Records to record four songs." "Two songs I wrote myself and sang lead on. The first one is "Full Heart." I sang that in my first tenor voice, the high voice. The second song was, "Are You Sorry," a beautiful love song, I sang that in my natural voice, my baritone voice that I'm talking in right now." "I switched between first tenor and baritone, a matter of fact that's how the confusion started with The Flamingos, because I was singing all of the duets with Paul Wilson, I was singing the low part, the baritone, and then I would go into first tenor to do the repeats...(Terry sings to demonstrate). See what I mean...(switching between the two parts). King - "You're from Baltimore. A lot of groups have come out of Baltimore. The Orioles, and some newer groups like Pockets. Who inspired you to get into music?" Terry - "Yes Baltimore, Maryland had many great superstars, I mean the groups were very plentiful. I can remember the Cardinals, I can remember Johnny Mason, and the Clovers." "Also, down the street from me...I was blessed, I mean, I had Earl Hurley of The Swallows, I had Sonny Til of The Orioles." "I was very inspired by Sonny Til. He was the main one. And up the street was Junior Bailey of The Cadillacs. I mean man, there were so many great superstars from Baltimore, but especially on my street, 1300 block of whatcoat Street." King - "You played guitar on all your records and on all The Flamingos albums. Who inspired you to play guitar?" Terry - "I was inspired for guitar when I first heard Les Paul, and Mary Ford. Little did I realize that he was using about three or four different tracks that he was playing his solos on." "I said it's impossible for someone to be playing that fast. Once I got the shape, then I turned to some of my other mentors." "Music that I love was Kenny Burrell, jazz, Johnny Smith, the way he played the melody and chord formation." "I turned to Manny Johnson. Manny Johnson was the guitarist with The Swallows, Earl Hurley also. I turned to Bunty Rogers, he was an excellent teacher. He showed me a lot of the Johnny Smith stuff. And ah, that's how I really got my soul." "Guitar is my soul. Guitar speaks what I feel inside. So when you hear me strumming those six strings man, you're touching my very soul. You're hearing it." King - "You've had your own group of Flamingos since 1961, and you were involved with Motown." Terry - "From 1964 - 1974, I was at Motown Records as an artist, writer, arranger, and producer. I produced a lot of songs with my dear friend, who brought me to Motown, Smokey Robinson. We had a great team." "We recorded on The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Miracles, Jimmy Ruffin, David Ruffin, Martha and The Vandellas, Edwin Starr...I can't even name all of them, I mean because there was such a vast amount of artists at Motown, I really enjoyed what I did there." King - "How does it feel to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?" Terry - "It's the pinnacle of what we entertainers strive for, and it's a great honor." King - "Thanks very much for your time Terry. Any closing thoughts for your fans?" Terry - "Thanks for the ride, and thanks for your support. I love you, and I hope you love my new music. Thank you." ---------- For even more, check out Terry's Johnson's biography at Previous Post | Next Post

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