Category Archives: R&B

COME SPY WITH US-THE SECRET AGENT SONGBOOK.

COME SPY WITH US-THE SECRET AGENT SONGBOOK. For many people, the fifties and sixties were the golden age of both the spy novel and film. That’s no surprise. This was the post war era. The Iron Curtain separated Eastern and Western Europe. Suspicion and paranoia were common place. Especially after the defection of Philby, Burgess …

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SWAMP POP BY THE BAYOU.

SWAMP POP BY THE BAYOU. When the first compilation of Swamp Pop was released back in the early seventies, it was a genre without a name. So, the compilation was simply called, The Other Sound Of The South. Then Bill Millar coined the term Swamp Pop. That day, a new musical genre was born. Swamp …

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OTIS SPANN-SWEET GIANT OF THE BLUES.

OTIS SPANN-SWEET GIANT OF THE BLUES. For many people, Otis Spann will always be remembered as Muddy Waters’ pianist. Granted Otis spent fifteen years as a member of Muddy Waters’ band. However, there’s much more to Otis Spann’s career that that. Much more. No wonder. Otis Spann was without doubt, one of the greatest postwar …

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MONICA AZULL-I LIKE IT.

MONICA AZULL-I LIKE IT. I Like It. That’s not just the title of Monica Axull’s new single, but what anyone whose heard the single so far, thinks of it. Monica Azull many people believe, is a star in the waiting.  She looks like she’s on the cusp of a successful career. She’s come a long …

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MOVEMENTS 6.

MOVEMENTS 6. One of the longest running compilation series is Movements, compiled by Tobias Kirkmayer. The first instalment in the series, Movements was released back in 2005 on Perfect Toy Records. In an ever crowded compilation market, Movements was well received. A year later, in 2006, came Movements. Then nothing. Four long years passed without …

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ERA RECORDS AND WEST COAST NORTHERN SOUL.

ERA RECORDS AND WEST COAST NORTHERN SOUL. The Era Records story began back in 1955. That’s when two cousins, Lew Bedell and Herb Newman decided to decided to form a record label in their hometown, Los Angeles. They called their new label Era Records. For Lew and Herb, this was indeed the start of a …

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THE BONNIWELL MUSIC MACHINE.

THE BONNIWELL MUSIC MACHINE-THE BONNIWELL MUSIC MACHINE. In 1955, Sean Bonniwell’s life changed when he heard The Platters’ Only You. That’s when he decided to become a musician. Eventually, his dream became a reality, and he became one of the most influential and innovative musicians of the mid-sixties. With his band The Bonniwell Music Machine, …

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MERRY CLAYTON-GIMME SHELTER.

MERRY CLAYTON-GIMME SHELTER. When the Rolling Stones released Gimme Shelter in 1969, many people were left wondering who duetted with Mick Jagger on the single? That was Merry Clayton. Her vocal powerhouse helped make the song a classic. However, Merry Clayton wasn’t meant to even sing on Gimme Shelter. No. She replaced Bonnie Bramlett, who …

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LOU ADLER-A MUSICAL HISTORY.

LOU ADLER-A MUSICAL HISTORY. Songwriter, producers, manager, director and impresario. That describes Lou Adler. During a long and illustrious career, that started back in 1958, Lou Adler has written over 150 songs and has 300 production credits to his name. Lou Adler has worked with some of the biggest names in music. Among them are …

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DR JOHN THE NIGHT TRIPPER-GRIS GRIS.

DR JOHN THE NIGHT TRIPPER-GRIS GRIS. The scenario that I’m going to describe, really happened, and demonstrates that even the most experienced people in the music industry get things wrong. It was in January 1968, and Dr. John completed his debut album Gris Gris. A copy of Gris Gris was sent to Ahmet Erteghun at Atlantic …

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YOU TALK TOO MUCH-THE RIC AND RON STORY VOLUME 1.

YOU TALK TOO MUCH-THE RIC AND RON STORY VOLUME 1. Joe Ruffino founded his Ric and Ron labels in 1958. For the next five years, they were one of New Orleans’ premier independent R&B labels. During this five year period, artists of the calibre of Professor Longhair, Irma Thomas, Johnny Adams, Eddie Bo and Eddie …

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GEORGE DUKE-DON’T LET GO.

GEORGE DUKE-DON’T LET GO. There aren’t may artists who’ve worked with such an eclectic range of artists as George Duke. Among the artists George Duke has worked with are Frank Zappa, Anita Baker Flora Purim, right through to Jean Luc-Ponty, Cannonball Adderley, Billy Cobham and George Clinton. Whether it was jazz, rock, soul, disco, R&B …

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RHYTHM ’N’ BLUESIN’ BY THE BAYOU-ROMPIN’ AND STOMPIN’

RHYTHM ’N’ BLUESIN’ BY THE BAYOU-ROMPIN’ AND STOMPIN’ Last year was a busy year for Ian Saddler. He compiled a trio of compilations of blues, R&B and zydeco for Ace Records. The first of these was Bluesin’ By The Bayou, a compilation of “low down, dirty and greasy blues from Louisiana.” With some Zydeco thrown …

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DUSTY HEARD THEM HERE FIRST.

DUSTY HEARD THEM HERE FIRST. For the latest instalment in Ace Records’ Heard Them Here First compilation series, compiler Mick Patrick has turned to the music that influenced Dusty Springfield. Dusty Heard Them Here First was recently released by Ace Records and features twenty-four tracks. Fittingly, each of these tracks are the US versions. Why …

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KENT’S CELLAR OF SOUL VOLUME 3.

KENT’S CELLAR OF SOUL VOLUME 3. Eight years after the release of Kent’s Cellar Of Soul Volume 2, Kent Soul have belatedly released the followup, Kent’s Cellar Of Soul Volume 3. It’s been well worth the wait. The Kent’s Cellar Of Soul seems to mature like a fine wine. That’s thanks to the two men …

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BOBBY CHARLES-BOBBY CHARLES.

BOBBY CHARLES-BOBBY CHARLES. Bobby Charles will always be remembered as one of the pioneers of swamp pop. He played a huge part in popularising swamp pop, not just in Louisiana, but much further afield. However, there’s more to Bobby Charles’ career than that. Much more. Bobby was also a successful songwriter. The story begins in …

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ALGEBRA BLESSETT-RECOVERY.

ALGEBRA BLESSETT-RECOVERY.  It was six years ago, that Atlanta born soul singer Algebra Blessett released her debut album Purpose. It was produced by Kedar Massenburg who previously, produced India Arie and D’Angelo. On its release in 2008, Purpose was released to critical acclaim. Comparisons were drawn with India Arie and Erykay Badu. Critics forecast great …

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BREAKAWAY-BREAKAWAY AND STRAIGHT TO THE TOP.

BREAKAWAY-BREAKAWAY AND STRAIGHT TO THE TOP. BBE Music’s latest release sees two of the rarest albums make their CD debut. For years, both of Breakaway’s two albums have been prized assets among record collectors. Copies have exchanged hands for ever increasing sums of money. Despite this, no record company decided to take the plunge and …

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THE A-Z OF THE BEST REISSUES OF 2013 PART 6.

THE A-Z OF THE BEST REISSUES OF 2013 PART 6. THE CURTIS COUNCE QUINTET-EXPLORING THE FUTURE. One of jazz’s best kept secrets is hard bop and West Coast jazz double bassist Curtis Counce. He may not have enjoyed the longevity of many of his contemporaries, but was one of the leading lights of West Coast …

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THE A-Z OF THE BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2013-PART 1.

THE A-Z OF THE BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2013-PART 1.  Considering how many compilations have been released during 2013, picking the fifty best compilations wasn’t easy. After all, I’ve listened to hundreds of compilations. They’ve come from the four corners of the globe, featuring every musical genre known to man. This includes everything from Acid House, …

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