All About Love
Song: Light My Fire
Artist: Jackie Wilson
Album: Do Your Thing (1968)
Ok.. Jackie Wilson is another perfect example of what I call a musically complicated singer. Care must be taken for artists like Jackie (in regards to music choices), because he doesn’t have a common singing voice. I liken his voice similar to singers such as Boz Scaggs, or actually, his voice probably sounds closest to Chubby Checker. In fact, when I was little, I used to confuse their voices quite a lot because they were so similar.
This Song Did Not Fit His Voice
Don’t get me wrong, Jackie had a phenomenal voice that allowed him to produce quite a few successful hits! However, at the same time, he had one of those voices that sounded like he was sort of singing from the back of his neck. The problem with that was, if the right song wasn’t picked for him, he can easily windup sounding like Warner Bros.’s Marvin The Martian. ? It may sound a little petty, but, I’m very particular about the quality of music I listen to.
Now, “Light My Fire, (if you don’t know)” was originally recorded by a legendary rock group called “The Doors” sometime in 1966. It seemed as though every artist on the planet covered this song. In 1967, The Doors not only took this song to #1, it stayed number one for a whopping weeks! So, I never really liked Jackie’s voice on this song, I just never thought it was a good fit for him. However, I decided to share this song with you guys anyway, because in terms of the musical background arrangements, I think it’s hot!! They literally converted this rock song in to a heavy soul beat. I would have played the sh*t out of this if it were only instrumental.
Song: Till You Come Back 2 Me
Artist: Jeffery Osborne
Album: From The Soul (2005)
Genre: Contemporary Jazz
I don’t know how the hell I missed this. On my old blog, I talked about how so underrated Jeffery Osborne is. I know he’s had a lot of hits, but still it just doesn’t seem people appreciate his music like they would someone like Peabo Bryson. But… I guess that’s just me. But, anyway… I came across an Aretha Franklin cover he did, and I don’t recall ever hearing it before! It’s her old cult classic “Till U Come Back 2 Me.” Now, I don’t remember if I shared with you guys how finicky I can be when it comes to male artist covering a song that’s been originally recorded by women. But when I heard Osborne’s cover I was so impressed! I must have listened to it at least about 6x consecutively before I moved on to the next song. He sang it at just the right tempo, with just the right octave level. When it comes to songs like these, I feel that a man choosing the right octave level is important, because you can easily run the risk of sounding like you’re straining your voice just to keep up with the original vocal arrangement. Please guys… Listen to it, I think you’ll enjoy it.
Artist: Burt Bacharach
Genre: Easy Listening
I know for most of my readers, they’ve never heard of this man, and I think his music is worth remembering and celebrating. Burt Bacharach is genius musical composer (and occasionally, singer), who produced some of the most popular hits of his time. He started on his path to success writing hits in the fifties all the way through the 80s. He has done everything from pop music to huge movie scores & movie themes.
Long Time Professional Relationship With Dionne Warwick
I’m going to make an assumption that, those that do remember Bacharach, probably remember him because of his association with Dionne Warwick. Burt has written some of Dionne’s biggest hits, including “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again,” “What The World Needs Now,” “Do You Know The Way To San Jose,” and “Walk On By.” As I delved more in to Bacharach’s work, I discovered something I didn’t know. Burt produced the famous cult classic “Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head,” which was performed by B.J. Thomas.
Now, I have to be honest, although Bacharach has produced a ton of hits; I think the musical styles of many of his hits are just way too broad; meaning, many of them have not reached mainstream despite being cult classics. Having said that, I don’t think there’s enough of his music that reached mainstream to warrant creating a playlist. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s how I feel at the moment. So rather than putting together a playlist, I’ll just focus on his most popular music in hopes you’ll likely remember them. In addition to the songs I’ve shared in the last paragraph, also check out the following: “The Look Of Love,” “Always Something There To Remind Me,” “I Say A Little Prayer,” “Arthur’s Theme (The Best That You Can Do),” “They Long To Be) Close To You,” “Alfie,” “Any Day Now,” and “One Less Bell To Answer.”Fall Sale! Get 20% off sitewide with code LNKSAWC9. Limited Time Only.
Artist: Elvis Presley
You know, It’s a shame.. In this day and age, if anyone were to play any of Elvis’s music, someone would probably scream “turn that shit off!” ? But, seriously. Elvis wasn’t some ordinary street dude who got hooked on drugs. Elvis was a brilliant performer that racked up 7 number one songs, and 25 top 10 hits! Do you really know how incredibly hard that is to do? Not only that, he acquired these things within 20 years from the start of his music career. In my generation, that was literally damn near Michael Jackson status (if not equivalent). It’s so heartbreaking to know that sad stories like Elvis’s life were so common, and still is.
Now, Elvis Is Just A Novelty!
It’s really mind-boggling to me, how someone who was a mega superstar, someone who reached greater heights than most performers of his time. Yet, after his death, our memories of him had shifted from being the greatest hit maker of the 50s, to a straight up novelty act, and that includes his likeness. I don’t think there is/was anyone else on this planet, that has been not only impersonated the most, but where people have made a livable career out of it, other than Elvis.
I also think it’s kind of sad that even those performers who imitate him (a large portion of them), whore costumes that projected (what I interpret to be) the worst points of Elvis life (towards the end of his career/life). Make no mistake, Elvis was a hot tamale when he was young. Maybe I’m viewing this the wrong way. But, when I was younger, I felt there was a fine line between entertaining the public, and making fun of Elvis after the fact. The playlist I made for you has many of his #1 hits, some redoes, and songs you may not have heard before. It has 26 of what I considered his best recordings. I think ultimate favorite is a song called “Suspicious Minds,” released in 1969.
Song: Hello, It’s Me
Artist: Todd Rundgren
Album: Something/Anything? (1972)
Do you remember this guy? Todd Rundgren’s music really isn’t obscure (I don’t think), but relative to today’s masses, he’s unheard of. Although he performed many different genres, so far the ones I found worth listening has been his pop songs. He started his career in the mid seventies, and has been known for his outrageous/unconventional wardrobe. Now, I don’t know, I always thought that his music required a certain taste. But, much to my surprise, it appears that a LOT of people love his music! For me, I only loved one song he has written. And that song was “Hello It’s Me,” from his 1972 album “Something/Anything?.” The song hit #5 on the Top 1000 Charts. I played this song so much back in the day, it wasn’t even funny. I was barely 5 years old when this song came out. What the hell was it about the song I loved so much? I thought perhaps it was the arrangements of the synthesizers; or perhaps his voice. Till this day, I still can’ figure out why only this song, and not none of his other works? I should have put him in the “one hit wonder” category, but this may or may not be exactly true. Check out this remix of “Hello, It’s Me,” I found by Philip Steir. Two years later, in 1974, the legendary Isley Brothers performed a cover of “Hello, It’s Me.” It’s a shame that the Isley’s cover didn’t appear anywhere on the Billboard’s 100/200 charts. I loved their version too.
Song: Dancin’ The Night Away
I wasn’t planning on blogging today, but I just had to share with you guys this obscure disco gem! This song right here!!!! ? Is one of my top ultimate favorite disco songs ever!! I think this is one of those rare disco songs that is both beautiful and elegant at the some time. I don’t recall feeling that way about any other disco song I’ve heard around that era. Each time I hear this song, it literally thrusts me back in to the 80s. Actually, this song could also be thought of as a bridge to the next decade, because this song is just as much mid 70s as it is it was 80s! Not only did “Dancin’ The Night Away” hit #1 on the Top 100 Charts, it stayed number one for 3 consecutive weeks! I know a good song when I hear one. ?
I Was Elated When I Heard This Song Recently!
Almost nothing is written about this singing duo. Voggue consisted of two Canadian women named Chantal Condor, and Angela Songui. Unfortunately they only made about two albums in their career together before they broke up. Not sure what was the reason for that (unless they weren’t actually a group, but more of a temporary project). I’ve written before, how a lot of labels did this in the seventies. I’m going to assume that for many labels, disco may have been very experimental, and simply wanted to see how well the label would do in said genre.
Another amazing song from this album was “Roller Boogie.” This song is a little more fast paced, if it were not for the bridge, it would have been practically all instrumental. Every time I hear this songs, it reminds me of being inside one of those HUGE roller skating rings we used to have in NYC. Both guys and girls wearing white shorts w/ red stripes that were so high up in their crotch. How do I know this? ? I remember being taken by family members, between the ages of 10-12. I’m not sure if many of these skating rings exist anymore. These two songs unfortunately were the only things on this album worth listening too.
Song: Our Day Will Come
Artist: Fontella Bass
Album: The New Look (1966)
This is another perfect example of why we need more older classic music fans of color blogging. Or at least some sort of national record database, independent of Billboard. Although I eventually found out my answer, but it was only because of some faint memories I had, and some smarts. Let me explain what I mean. You see, growing up as a child, the song “Our Day Will Come,” sung by Fontella Bass was one of my favorite songs. Problem? The version of Fontella’s song is completely different from how I remembered it.
Even Recording Studios Make Mistakes.
I may not always remember lyrics, or names of artists, but I am usually very good with remembering tunes and melodies. I had an old cassette tape with various artists on it, and one of them on it was Fantella, singing “Our Day Will Come,” the version I remembered. I can no longer find that tape, however, I now have Spotify. Looked her up, and the song is completely different from how I remembered it! Well, long story short, the cassette that stated the version of “Our Day Will Come” is from Fontella Bass, was actually from Ruby & The Romantics, recorded in 1963. I’m not sure if they were on the same label, and this was printed by mistake? Or there was an even bigger error. Now, both versions are actually nice, but I think I like Ruby & The Romantics’ original version slightly better. I could just imagine how easy arguments and disagreements made because of that mistake among fans who purchased that same cassette I did. You might also remember Fontella by her second biggest popular hit called “Rescue Me (1966),” from the same album. By the way, I absolutely LOVE Amy Winehouse version of the song. I still haven’t gotten over the fact she’s gone now. I’m so pissed. What a talent, and a power badass she was!
Song: It Hurts To Be Alone
Artist: Bob Marley & The Wailers
Genre: Reggae Love Songs
Unless you come from the Islands, most of those that profess their fanhood for Bob Marley, know nothing of this song right here! Now, I know that “It Hurts To Be Alone,” is a sad song, but it’s a very true song, and that’s what’s so beautiful about it. You know, I think I’ve mentioned this before; in my opinion, Bob Marley was what Lionel Richie was to the Commodores; meaning in terms of overall fandom, it’s always been just Bob Marley. It’s a shame that America could not comprehend his brilliance, until after he passed. Just my opinion. Almost immediately after Bob’s Death, I remember people breaking their necks trying to buy as many Marley albums as possible, as we all knew there would be a price hike like never before!
I was reminiscing on some old music, and thought of Bob Marley, and then remembered “It Hurts To Be Alone.” This was one of many sweet classic reggae songs my late grandpa used to play. You know it’s interesting, because when I heard people talk about the late Bob Marley growing up, the conversation was almost always about his political lyrics, and how he was educating everyone about apartheid, poverty, things that were happening that America was totally oblivious to. But, Bob performed a lot of sweet reggae love songs too. He was quite diverse. Check out their song called “I Need You,” released in 1965. Also, check out “And I Love Her,” released in 1966. And oh yeah, shame on myself, for almost forgetting his most successful love song “Waiting In Vain (1983).”Elton John tickets starting at $18!
Artist: Frank Sanatra
Genre: Vocal Jazz
I wouldn’t say that I’m a diehard fan of Frank Sanatra, but considering how much I love Barbra Streisand, a lot of his music is up my alley ?. Frank Sanatra started recording music since the early 1940s. He made a LOT of albums. I was never attracted to what I called “Bing Crosby type of music,” but out of all his many many albums, this playlist I put together contains all of my Frank favorites.
The Reality Of Demographics.
Sometimes I become sad at the reality that within my demographics, most people would never listen to someone like Frank Sanatra, and would never be open to it either. It’s one of the many explanations for our lost musical culture. But… I digress. I remember reading about so much controversy over said friendship of Frank and Sammy Davis Jr. The newspapers and television literally had two entirely different views of what their relationships was actually like.
One narrative painted Sanatra as a racist who never liked Sammy, and only used him for his talents. Then we were fed another narrative of the supportive Frank, that stuck up for Sammy through a then much more racist era; especially when Los Vegas became pupular. Just for a moment, if we can just remove whatever bias, and enjoy Sanatra for his music alone, here are some of my favorites I’ve added to the playlist. A popular tune I’m sure everybody recognizes is “Love & Marriage,” which happens to be the theme for the hit cult classic TV show “Married With Children.” Another popular song was called “Come Fly With Me.” I think it was in an official Pan Am commercial. I’m not exactly sure, but I know it was in some commercial. “Young At Heart,” was my late grandpa and I favorite. It’s funny I was so young, yet I was able to connect to the nostalgia of that song. There are 18 popular hand picked Sanatra songs for you to enjoy!
Song: Safe And Sound
Artist: Capital Cities
Genre: Alternative Music
I love this song so much when it came out. One of the main things that attracted me to this piece, was the clear 80s energy that was definitely present in this song. Yet, it felt so familiar to me. So much so, that at times when I listen to this song I often felt like I had “Déjà Vu.” I searched all over to see if this was a remake, or if there was another song “Capital Cities” sampled from. So far, I couldn’t find any. So weird guys.. ? The song did very well all over the world, and in many different categories. In the U.S., it peaked at #8 on the Hot 100 Charts, & #1 on “Alternative Songs” Billboard.
Artist: Alice Clark
Album: Alice Clark (1972)
Holy shit! Talk about a lost talent! Brooklyn born Alice Clark was so underrated it wasn’t funny. It’s really upsetting to learn just how much power these record companies had back in the day. Alice had rhythm, she had soul, and she sang her ass off. There was absolutely no reason why these record companies could not had promoted her a little more. In my opinion, her style and caliber was similar to Gladys Knight. There was no excuse for this labels. Such a damn shame. Listen to the song “Never Did I stop Loving You.” She tore this song up! Alice only produced one album as far as I can tell. There is a second album floating around, but that was a special edition/ vinyl reissue. Which means it probably costs a pretty penny.
Song: Tell It Like It Is
Artist: Bettye Swan
Album: Bettye Swan (2004)
Before you think it, let me quickly say that the above photo is NOT Aretha Franklin! ? I forget how much Bettye Swan looked like her, by a LOT! In fact, some of her songs she kind of sounds like her. When I tell you a forgotten legend….. Ms. Swan is definitely one of them. Unfortunately, she never had a number one hit, nor did she at least make the top ten (almost); but she had the voice of angel in my opinion. “Tell It Like It Is,” was a song written by George Davis, and originally recorded by falsetto superstar Aaron Neville in 1966. It reached #2 on the Top 100 chart. The song was covered by several other artists.
Sorry, But I Loved Ms. Swan’s Version Better.
I almost fainted when I discovered that Swan’s cover of this song didn’t make it anywhere on the charts as far as I can tell. Growing up, my grandpa only played Aaron Neville’s version, so I never knew any other artists cover until I got way older. The fact that she was so vocally talented, and the sheer popularity of this song, this should have been at least on the bottom #200 chart. Boy, I was so shocked. Although I have an attachment to Neville’s original, I think Swan did a much much better job. That’s just my opinion.
I guess this also means that, unless you’ve already been a Ms. Swan fan, this song would have been lost and unknown if it were not for Spotify and other streaming services. Her biggest and most popular song of all her music, is a song called “Make Me Yours,” which peaked at #21 on the Top 100. What’s interesting is that this song really didn’t showcase the soul in her voice, yet it got more attention than many of her unknown songs. Check out “I Think I’m Falling In Love,” she definitely had that “Motown sound that all these female groups were trying to mimic back in the day. See how you groove to this forgotten song called “Ain’t That Peculiar,” this was originally recorded by Marvin Gaye. Ms. Swan’s career only lasted about 15 years. She left her music career after the death of her husband sometime in 1980. She decided to become a teacher, and is now enjoying her life at age 74 (if my math is correct).Designer Fashion Fabric
Song: A Playlist
Artist: Various Artists
Album: Romantic Nights (2019)
Genre: Romantic Love Songs
You know, with the thirties of thousands of songs (and climbing) saved on my Spotify alone, you’d think that it would just be easier for me to just create playlists. But for me, even creating a playlist is a lot of work (not if you want to create a meaningful playlist, that is). A true classic blogger, who has lived through the various music eras will not just dump any ol’ songs in a playlist and say “here!” That’s just not gonna happen (unless you’re lazy as hell, and in that case why bother going through the trouble of starting a blog in the first place?) Putting together what I consider a perfect playlist, takes just as much work (perhaps more) as it does writing about a single artist. I still believe that people in my age group would more appreciate hand picked songs from someone who lived through our generation, appose to a teenager high on marijuana trying to give you a 7,000 song playlist of a bunch of random shit. I don’t know what the fuck these people are thinking? Let me be the first to tell you it’s retarded.
The Kind Rare Classics You’ll Remember
My new playlist consist of 30 amazing songs starting from 1960s up to 1990s. There should be at least about 6 songs you’ll enjoy regardless of the time line. If you’re looking for a real romantic playlist (and not twerk music) this is the playlist to follow. In this playlist I have music from Eric Benet (I know a lot of you forgot about his ass), BoyzIIMen, Carole King, & Monica. For my older readers, I’ve added groups like The Dupress, The Flamingos, and Jerry Butler. I don’t think even Time Life could have put together a better playlist! That’s right! I said it! ?
Song: Being With You
Artist: Smokey Robinson
Album: Being With You (1981)
Genre: Easy Listening
Even at this age, in my opinion, Smokey Robinson looked pretty damn fine if you ask me. Based on when this album was released, I estimate he was about 41-42 years of age. I love me some Smokey, but as far as I can remember, the song “Being With You” is my only top favorite, after his reign with “The Miracles.” The song peaked #2 on the Top 100 Chart. Oh, wait!! I just remembered! A second top favorite of his, after The Miracles, is called “Just To See Her (1987).” The song peaked at #8 on the Top 100. They just don’t make legendary music like this anymore. I can just cry. If I had a time machine, I would go back and just stay there. Or every time the year hits 1990, I’d jump back in to my time machine and dial it back to 1970s! ? Can’t go wrong with listening to Smokey! His smooth silky voice will put a smile on your face every time!!
Song: Movin’ On
Artist: Elliot Yamin
Album: Elliot Yamin (2007)
Genre: Pop Music
Wow, I haven’t listened to this dude in a really long time! Judging from his last name, I’m gonna make a safe assumption he is Jewish. When I tell you Elliot Yamin is talented, this man can sing his ass off! I totally love his work! His self titled album “Elliot Yamin,” was the first of his albums I listened to, and I fell in love with his music ever since. If you love popin’ pop music, please don’t judge Yamin by his album cover. He is seriously talented in my opinion. “Movin’ On,” I think is the perfect song for me to use to introduce my readers. The bulk of his music is primarily a mixture dance, pop, and hip hop.
Hip Hop, Pop, & Dance, All Rolled Up In To One
Unfortunately, Elliot has only produced about 3 albums, yet according to what I’ve been reading, he is still performing. Out of the three albums he has done, his first self titled album received the most success. But not nearly enough in my opinion; he was seriously underrated. Plus, I guess since music streaming has changed music forever, unless you were already a music legend before streaming took over, it’s bloody difficult.
So, his song “Movin’ On,” charted #61 on the Top 100 Billboard Chart (which I think is bullsh** because the song is hot). The second song from this album, “Waiting For You,” ranked #13 on Top 100. But his entire album ranked #3! How confusing is that? Well, winning 3rd place on the 5th season of American Idol may have had a lot to do with it. I really would have liked to see more promotions by him. Check out “How Do I know,” and “Virginia.”Corel Photo Editing Software
Song: The Air That I Breath
Artist: Simply Red
Album: Blue [Expanded] (1998)
Genre: Slow Pop
I absolutely love me some Simply Red. In my opinion, this is a really talented group, and lead singer Mick Hucknull is a true blue “blue eyed soulster.” I mean, based on his look, when you see Mick, you’d never think such power and feeling would come out of his mouth. I’ve always been a huge fan ever since they came out with “Holding Back The Years (1986),” and “Money$ Too Tight (To Mention) (1986).” The first time I discovered them was when I was watching MTV late one night. At that time, I was hypnotized because I just never heard any other White guy sing like that (other than Tom Jones, but his music was totally different). “The Air That I Breath” is a 1974 cover song from a group called the “Hollies.” I feel that Mick has done such a wonderful job, I didn’t even realize it was him, because it sounded just like I was listening to a remix of the Hollies and their song. Check it out.
Artist: Candi Staton
So, let me start off by saying…… Again, this is one of those moments I am grateful to be using streaming services like Spotify; because they allow me to stream entire albums that are now considered obscure; and let me tell ya, it’s a lot more work searching through YouTube for each song that came with an original album. Not only that, that’s not guaranteed that YouTube would even have it, as YouTube relies on members to upload them. If you’re only interested in “popular music,” then in my opinion, you’re missing the point of what it is to be a fan of “good classic music.”
I Had Absolutely No Idea!
When I heard the smash hit “Victim (1978),” it was the first time I’ve came to know of Candi Staton. That song was the sh*t back in the day! I wasn’t old enough to buy records, so when I heard it on the radio, I cherished every moment it was on ?. The song hit #3 on the Dance Chart, but no where to be found on Hot 100, or Billboard 200. That really pissed me off. You guys have absolutely no idea how huge this song was in the Black community & Dance clubs. This is why sometimes I think the Billboard charts sucks! I don’t even understand why I even look on there; but I guess sometimes it’s necessary to give young folk some perspective on the oldies I post.
Another huge hit that Candi was known for, was a song called “Young Hearts (1976).” Here is where I think you’ll get mad too. This magnificently popular song back in the day, reached #129 on the Billboard 200 Chart. That was downright disrespectful as far as I’m concerned. That song literally immortalized Staton! How dare the Billboard! Something wasn’t right there. This woman had such a natural talent for singing, there was no need for what I used to called “vocal acrobatics.” All she really had to do was simply open her mouth, and we heard the soulful voice of an angel.
OK. Let’s Talk About This Album Now
Her album “Evidence: The Complete Fame Records Masters (2019),” was like listening to her long lost archives! I had absolutely no idea that Candi Staton’s career extended so wide, and went that far back! I would have never had the opportunity to hear all these gems, if it where not for music streaming services. She started her career in gospel music, which may or may not have been the reason I haven’t heard so many of her music. I say that to mean, although gospel is a huge industry, it wasn’t necessarily mainstream either (relatively speaking).
I really liked her song “Evidence.” It’s not your typical “are you leaving me?” Seventies type of song. This was more of “I got proof your ass is with another woman!” ?? I was also surprised that she did a cover of Tammy Whynette’s slow country hit called “Stand By Your Man (1971).” That’s the kind of song you’d never expect one would want to turn in to a soulful melody. Also check out her song called “Slipping Away.” She sang the shit out of this song! I really did enjoy the entire 48 song album, and I really do recommend classic music lovers (particularly those who love soulful blues) take a listen.Up to 70% Off at TouchofModern. Including Cross Pens! Ends September 24th 12PM PDT
Song: Walking In Rhythm
Artist: The Blackbyrds
Album: Greatest Hits (1989)
This was a badass group right there!! I loved a lot of their music!! This was another one of those groups where it is difficult to put them in any sort of category. There are so many different sounds and cultures within one song. Sometimes it’s funk mixed with African beats, sometimes R&B with touch of psychedelic, sometimes something crazy infused with disco. Indeed they were an eccentric group back in the day, and perhaps an acquired taste. The Blackbyrds are the kind of old school group, you’ll have to sift through their songs, like being in a vinyl store before you find some masterpieces.
However, the one thing we can say about this group is, these guys can sing! I can’t recall any group right now, that harmonized so well, while doing their type of music. In fact, a couple of their songs I’ve listened to reminded me very much of the O’Jays. If it were not for the fact that The Blackbyrds’s music was so different, I could easily mistaken them.
The Blackbyrds Knew How To Harmonize
A perfect example of their vocal skills, was their hit song “Walking In Rhythm (1975).” This was one of my FAVORITE R&B, disco infused song. I used to dance my ass off as a kid. I was only 8 years old when this song came out. It hit #6 on the Top 100 Chart, and #4 on the R&B chart. I’m sorry, that song should have been number one; I can’t think of any song that was more rhythmic and danceable from that year.
There are a few songs from the Blackbyrds I recommend taking a listen to. “Rock Creek Park (1976),” is another dance groove song I think you’d enjoy. Sadly it only peaked at #93 on the Top 100; and #37 on the R&B Chart; but, screw that Billboard, that song is still hot in my opinion. Moving up to something a little more recent, they have an album called “Gotta Fly (2012).” There’s a soft house mix I really like called “No Stopping,” you should check out. With the exception of “No Stopping,” the album is mostly geared towards modern jazz. It’s a pretty good album, and very relevant in my opinion. Check out “Ride,” they almost got that “Kool & The Gang” sound goin’ on. By the way, looks like they’ve added a female to the group? Her name is Theresa Hall. I’m having trouble figuring out if she’s a new member, or just a guest on the album. Hmmm Whoever she is, she sounds good.
Song: Best Part
Artist: Marcus Johnson
Album: Ballads: In My Voice (2019)
This is a wonderful piece I’ve heard not too long ago. “Best Part” is actually an instrumental cover of a song from a Canadian brotha by the name of Daniel Caesar, and an American female artist that goes by the name of H.E.R. (Gabriella Wilson). I love both versions actually. The original song hit double platinum, and reached #1 on the R&B category. I know you’ll love Marcus’s version, it is the perfect easy listening piece to start your morning off mellow, with some hot coffee.
Song: Juicy Fruit
Album: Juicy Fruit (1983)
I don’t remember if I’ve written about them on my old blog, but.. Oh well. With so much music out here, it’s humanly impossible to keep track of everything ?. Growing up, the song “Juicy Fruit,” was one of those must have songs in every barbecue, or every other major Black “get together.” I loved this song. It was unique. It wasn’t fast enough to be a dance club song, but it wasn’t slow enough to be considered a romantic love song. It was smack right in between. The song only reached #45 on the Hot 100 Chart; but hit #1 on the R&B charts; and stayed there for 8 weeks! Awh, charts can be so misleading. By the way, this song was so popular, I read last year that James Mtune sued Sony for the music rights to “Juicy Fruit?” Read it here. The group had other hits, however, “Juicy Fruit” remains my ultimate favorite by them.
James Mtune Sues Sony For The Rights to “Juicy Fruit.”
It was kind of an interesting read that he’s suing Sony. Not that I don’t he has the right to; but from what I can tell, after the group recorded about two albums, they haven’t been active since the mid 80’s. Maybe there’s a hope of a “reboot’ of the song? You know, in many ways, a lot of their songs kind of reminds me of a group called “Parliament,” not sure if my readers are old enough to remember that group. Mtune also had a #2 hit on the R&B charts called “You, Me and He,” which a lot of people liked but….. I personally didn’t care too much for it.
Song: Lean On Me
Artist: Bill Withers
Album: Still Bill (1972)
I don’t think there are any words in the English language that exist, that could describe exactly just how phenomenal I feel Bill Withers is. He has produced some of the finest music. He is a unique musician that has produced his own brand of music like no other. The only other famous artist with that same unique genius (I can think), is Al Green, in my opinion. In fact, Bill’s talent is so unique, I had trouble figuring out a category for him. I’m sure most of the music industry has him under R&B; but to me, he’s more Black folk (if there was such a category). By the way, to all the Bill Withers fans, did you get a chance to see his documentary “Still Bill (2009)?” I highly recommend that you watch it if you have not already. It’s very interesting I promise you! One of the things I’ve learned in that documentary was that Bill was a stutterer. What a beautiful voice, I would have never suspected him of having a speech problem. I remembered how he cried sharing what he went through; but don’t worry, the documentary isn’t a tear jerker. At age 81 now, as far as I can tell, his last performance was in France last year. Go head with your bad self Bill!!
“Lean On Me” was the biggest song in his career. It reached #1 on the Hot 100, in 1972. A group called “Club Nouveau” did a cover version of “Lean On Me,” and believe it or not, it also hit #1 in 1987! From the same album, Bill had another super hit called “Use Me,” which peaked at #2. I loved that song, it has sick beat to it, and it matched the attitude of the song. In 1981, he recorded a song with Grover Washington called “Just The Two Of us,” and it reached #2. The dude was smokin’. A lot of artist sampled this song it was so popular. In my opinion, the his albums “Just As I am (1971),” and “Still Bill” are of his best works. However, if you love his music, listen to his “Essential Album.” It has practically all his most popular music, and some nice ones you may or may not have heard before.Save Up to 77% On Select Musical Instruments and Accesories
Song: In The Midnight Hour
Artist: The Silvertones
The song “In The Midnight Hour,” was another one of many reggae favorites of my late grandfather and I. It was released in 1968, I believe in the U.K. It was a cover of Wilson Pickett’s 1965 version of “Midnight Hour.” Wilson’s version hit #21 on the Top 100. Despite Wilson’s song being almost 55 years old now, Spotify alone has it registered at over 34M plays. Grandpa and I used to listen to both versions all the time. I don’t believe he ever owned a Silvertone album, however, I remember hearing him play their song on his big reel2reel player. Back in the day, poor folk saved soooooo much money on music by taping each others albums. I don’t know what the stats are for Silvertones’s “In The Midnight Hour,” but streaming appears to be less than 60k plays. It certainly was a hit in my house growing up. Lost reggae legends indeed. Check out another favorite of mine, “Young At Heart.”