Category Archives: Soul

MAJOR HARRIS-MY WAY.

MAJOR HARRIS-MY WAY. For a member of a successful group, it’s always a risk to leave and embark upon a solo career. Often, the success they’ve enjoyed becomes a distant memory. Conversely, the success they’ve enjoyed is often surpassed upon embarking on a solo career. Everyone will have examples when an artists decision to embark …

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WILSON PICKETT IN PHILADELPHIA.

WILSON PICKETT IN PHILADELPHIA. By 1970, when Wilson Pickett released Wilson Pickett In Philadelphia, his recording career was eight years old. He’d released his debut single If You Need Me in 1962, and since then, had enjoyed four number one US R&B singles. The first of these was his 1965 classic In The Midnight Hour, …

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LET THE MUSIC PLAY: BLACK AMERICA DOES BACHARACH AND DAVID.

LET THE MUSIC PLAY: BLACK AMERICA DOES BACHARACH AND DAVID. It was in the Brill Building in 1957, that Burt Bacharach and Hal David first met. They were both aspiring songwriters. Burt was a twenty-nine year old music graduate from Kansas. Hal was the older of the two. He was a thirty-six year old New …

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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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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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BARBARA MASON-TRANSITION.

BARBARA MASON-TRANSITION. When Barbara Mason signed to Buddah Records in 1973, she was already an experienced artist. Indeed, Philly born Barbara, released her debut single Trouble Child in 1964, on Crusader Records. Then in 1965, aged just eighteen, Barbara enjoyed the biggest single of her career, the classic, Yes, I’m Ready, which reached number five …

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ROCK IT…DON’T STOP IT-COMPILED BY SEAN P

ROCK IT…DON’T STOP IT-COMPILED BY SEAN P. 1979 was year zero for hip hop. It was in 1979, that some of the earliest, and most influential, hip hop singles were released. This includes Paulette and Tanya Winley’s Rhymin’ and Rappin.’ It’s become one of the most influential of the early hip hop singles. The same …

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SYL JOHNSON-DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH.

SYL JOHNSON-DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH. For much of the seventies, Hi Records was one of the most successful Southern Soul labels. This success was only derailed by the increase in disco’s popularity. Before that, Hi Records had gained a reputation as a label who released innovative Southern Soul. The man behind the Hi Records’ success …

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O.V. WRIGHT-WE’RE STILL TOGETHER.

O.V. WRIGHT-WE’RE STILL TOGETHER. I’ve always thought that O.V. Wright was one of the most underrated Southern Soul singers of his generation. That’s why I’ve always championed O.V. Wright’s music. In some ways, O.V. Wright was overshadowed by the commercial success and critical acclaim Al Green was enjoying. They were both n the same label, …

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BOMBAY DISCO-DISCO HITS FROM HINDI FILMS 1979-1985.

BOMBAY DISCO-DISCO HITS FROM HINDI FILMS 1979-1985. Disco. Never has a musical genre divided opinion like disco. For some people, disco was  the musical equivalent of a four letter word. In their eyes, disco sucked. That was the case back in 1979. Thirty-five years later, disco still divides opinion.  During the thirty-five year period, disco …

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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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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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SLAKAH THE BEATCHILD-SOUL MOVEMENT VOLUME 2.

SLAKAH THE BEATCHILD-SOUL MOVEMENT VOLUME 2. “It’s been a long time coming sang Sam Cooke.” The same can be said of Slakah The Beatchild’s forthcoming album Soul Movement Voiume 2. It’s the sequel to Soul Movement Volume 1, which was released to critical acclaim back in September 2008.  After a gap of six long years, …

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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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INNER CITY BEAT-DETECTIVE THEMES, SPY MUSIC AND IMAGINARY THRILLERS 1967-1975.

INNER CITY BEAT-DETECTIVE THEMES, SPY MUSIC AND IMAGINARY THRILLERS 1967-1975. KPM Music, De Wolfe Music, Amphonic Music and Conroy. These names may not mean much to many people. However, for sample-hungry hip hop producers and crate-digging DJs alike, this means musical gold. One of music’s best kept secrets is library music. This has been the …

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MARY LOVE-LAY THIS BURDEN DOWN-THE BEST OF MARY LOVE.

MARY LOVE-LAY THIS BURDEN DOWN: THE BEST OF MARY LOVE. The story of Mary Love’s life reads like a film script. From the day Mary was born, she had to overcome obstacle after obstacle. This she did. What Mary had to overcome during a traumatic childhood, would’ve broken most people. Not Mary. She was made …

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ONCE IN A MILLION-THE SONGS OF SAM DEES.

ONCE IN A MILLION-THE SONGS OF SAM DEES. Sam Dees is described as: “a prolific songwriter and occasional performer.” That’s true. While Sam has written nearly four-hundred songs, he’s only released three albums. Clearly, Sam believes in quality over quantity. Anyone whose heard Sam’s 1975 debut album The Show Must Go On will be forced …

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