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Tag(s) You're It; Taylor's Tags and Teases during the Tour
Topic Started: Sep 4 2008, 06:30 PM (3,690 Views)
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A TAG is attaching a song to another song without actually finishing it, while a TEASE is tempting or alluring the audience with a tiny bit of a song.

Whether Taylor was playing tag or teasing us with snippits of lyrics and melodies from a myriad of songs, he had us on the front of our seats anticipating what would come next. These are the tags and teases that we were privileged to hear during the 2007 Modern Whomp Tour.


Song (Aritist) ------Number of Times Sung ------------Date of Initial Appearance ----Venue City

"Brown Eyed Handsome Man" (Chuck Berry) ----68 ----------Feb. 21,2007 --------Jacksonville, FL
"Nightshift" (The Commodores)--------------48-------------------Feb. 22,2007--------Tampa, FL
"Big Boss Man" (Jimmy Reed)--------------45--------------------Apr. 3, 2007 ---------Boston, MA
"EastBound and Down" (Jimmy Reed)----42--------------------Apr. 26, 2007 ------Kansas City, MO
"Let's Get It On" (Marvin Gaye)------------37-------------------Mar. 2, 2007--------Myrtle Beach, SC
"Willie Brown Blues" (Ry Cooder) --------- 29--------------------Apr.10, 2007---------Sayresville, NJ
"Chain Gang" (Sam Cooke)----------------27-------------------Feb. 24, 2007--------Orlando, FL
"Hey Pocky Way" (The Meters)------------27--------------------Mar. 14, 2007-------New Orleans, LA
"Another Brick In The Wall" (Pink Floyd)---25-------------------Apr. 7, 2007---------Baltimore, MD
"What'd I Say" (Ray Charles)---------------24-------------------Apr. 10, 2007-------Sayresville, NJ
"Want Ads" (Van Morrison) ----------------23-------------------Mar. 10, 2007------Birmingham, AL
"Can't Trust Your Neighbor" (Johnnie Taylor)---19------------Feb. 22, 2007--------Tampa, FL
"Ain't That Pecular" (Marvin Gaye)---------19------------------Mar. 25, 2007---------Prior Lakes, MN
"Lonely Avenue" (Ray Charles)-------------19------------------ May 5, 2007----------Las Vegas, NV
"Harlem/Cold Baloney" (Bill Withers)------17------------------Feb. 22, 2007---------Tampa, FL
"Going Up Country" (Canned Heat) -------14-------------------Mar.2, 2007--------Myrtle Beach, SC
"Rough God Riding "(Van Morrison)--------13-------------------Mar. 22, 2007-------- St. Charles, MO
"I Want To Take You Higher" (Sly & Family Stone)---13--------Mar. 11, 2007------Birmingham, AL
"Night Life" (Willie Nelson)-------------------12-------------------Feb. 22, 2007-------Tampa, FL
"Warm Love" (Van Morrison)----------------12--------------------Apr. 29, 2007------Denver, CO
"You Don't Know Like I Know" (Sam and Dave)--11-------------Apr. 17, 2007------Baltimore, MD
"You Make Me Feel So Free" (Van Morrison)--10-----------------Feb. 28, 2007--------Columbus, GA
"Dance To The Music" (Sly& Family Stone )---10-----------------Mar. 14, 2007-------New Orleans, LA.
"Tupelo Honey" (Van Morrison) ----------------9------------------Feb. 22, 2007-------Tampa, FL
"Smoke From A Distant Fire" (Sandford-Townsend Band)--9-----May 6, 2007---------Pala, CA
"Grits Ain't Groceries" (Wet Willie)-------------8------------------Feb. 22, 2007------Tampa, FL
"Baby Please Don't Go" (Muddy Waters)--------8------------------Apr. 22, 2007------Royal Oaks, MI
"Jump In The Line" (Harry Belafonte)-----------8------------------Apr. 27, 2007-----Kansas City, MO
"Banana boat Song" ( Harry Belafonte )-------7-------------------Mar. 22, 2007-----St. Charles, MO
"Thank You( Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" ( Sly & Family Stone ) -6--Mar.6, 2007-Huntsville, AL
"Fire on the Bayou" ( The Meters )-------6---------------------Mar. 14, 2007---New Orleans, LA
"Crazy Love" ( Van Morrison ) ------------------6----------------------Mar. 18, 2007--Grand Prairie, TX
"I Don't Need No Doctor" ( Ray Charles )----- 6----------------------Apr. 7, 2007---Westbury, NY
"Train, Train" ( Blackfoot )------------------------5-------------------- Mar. 4, 2007---Asheville, NC
"Mama Said" ( The Shirelles) -------------------5---------------------Mar. 14, 2007 --New Orleans, LA
"St. Dominic's Preview" ( Van Morrison )--------5---------------------Mar. 17, 2007 --San Antonio, TX
"Cleaning Windows" ( Van Morrison )------------5--------------------Mar. 18, 2007--Grand Prairie, TX
"Dust My Broom" ( Robert Johnson ) ------------5---------------------Mar. 20, 2007--Little Rock, AR
"Shake" ( Otis Redding )---------------------------5---------------------July 22, 2007--Southhaven, MS
"Give Up the Funk" ( ( The Parliament )----------5---------------------May 12, 2007--Seattle, WA
"While You See A Chance "( Steve Winwood )---4---------------------Feb. 22, 2007--Tampa, FL
"Big Chief " ( Prof. Longhair)-----------------------4--------------------Apr. 7, 2007---Westbury, NY
"Soul Searching" ( Solomon Burke ) -------------4---------------------May 2, 2007---Anaheim, CA
"Hymns To The Silence" ( Van Morrison )--------4--------------------Aug. 16, 2007-Poughkeepsie, NY
"Soldier of Fortune" ( Van Morrison ) ------------4---------------------Aug. 24, 2007--Clearwater, FL
"Do You Believe In Magic "( Loving Spoonful )--4---------------------July 21, 2007---Marksville, LA
"It's A Man's World" ( James Brown )-----------4----------------------Feb 24, 2007--Orlando, FL
"Saints Go Marching In" ( anonymous ) ---------4---------------------Apr. 6, 2007----Foxwood, CT
"FaFaFa (SadSong) " ( Otis Redding )--------------4---------------------Apr. 7, 2007----Westbury, NY
"Games People Play" (Joe South )---------------4----------------------June 20, 2007--Council Bluff, IA
"Moondance" ( Van Morrison ) ------------------3-----------------------Feb. 24, 2007--Orlando, FL
"Arc of a Diver" (Steve Winwood )---------------3---------------------- Feb. 24, 2007--Orlando, FL
"Jesus I Just Alright" (The Doobie Brothers )----3----------------------Mar. 4, 2007--Asheville, NC
"T for Texas" (Lynard Skynard )------------------3----------------------Mar. 15, 2007-Austin, TX
"9 to 5 " (Dolly Pardon )---------------------------3----------------------Mar. 18, 2007-Grand Prairie, TX
"Did Ye Get Healed" ( Van Morrison ) ---------3------------------------Mar. 25, 2007--Prior Lake, MN
"Family Affair" (Sly &The Family Stone )--------3-----------------------Mar. 27, 2007--Green Bay, WI
"Movin' On Up" ( Ja'net DuBois/Jeff Barry)--3---------------------Mar. 28, 2007-Milwaukee, WI
"I Was Born In Chicago" ( Paul Butterfield ) ----3----------------------Mar 29, 2007-- Chicago, IL
"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (Marvin Gaye ) -3--------------------Apr. 6, 2007---Foxwood, CT
"Inner City Blues " ( Marvin Gaye ) ---------------3---------------------Apr. 7, 2007---Westbury, NY
"Sugaree" ( Grateful Dead )------------------------3---------------------Apr. 12, 2007--Lancaster , PA
"Minute By Minute" ( The Doobie Brothers )-------3---------------------May 6, 2007--Pala, CA
"You know What They Are Writing About" ( Van Morrison ) --3--------Aug. 26, 2007- Orlando, FL
"I'm Alright" ( Kenny Loggins )-----------------------3-------------------Aug. 26, 2007-Orlando, FL
"Light My Fire" ( The Doors )------------------------3---------------------July 7, 2007--Innesbrook, VA
Wild World" ( Cat Stevens )--------------------------3---------------------July 21, 2007- Marksville, LA
"Ol' Man River" ( Jerome Kern/ Oscar Hammerstein II )---3----------Aug. 11, 2007-Lincoln, RI
"Mardi Gras Mambo" ( The Hawkettes )------------3---------------------June 15, 2007--Big Flats , NY
"Summertime in England" ( Van Morrison ) -------3---------------------June 27, 2007-Norfolk, VA
"Who Do You Love" ( Bo Diddley )-----------------3-------------------- June 27,2007-Norfolk, VA
"That's Where It's At" (Sam Cooke )----------------3-------------------June 2, 2007--Tupelo, MS
"Shout" ( Isley Brothers )---------------------------2---------------------Feb. 22, 2007-Tampa, FL
"My Girl" (Temptations ) --------------------------2----------------------Feb. 27, 2007-Mobile, AL
"Backfield In Motion" (Mel and Tan ) ------------2---------------------- Mar. 3, 2007--Knoxville, TN
"La Grange" ( Bill Withers )----------------------2------------------------Mar. 9, 2007--Atlanta, GA
"Big Legged Woman" ( Freddie King )----------2------------------------Mar. 27, 2007-Green Bay, WI
"Can I Get A Witness" ( Rolling Stones )------2-------------------------Apr. 5, 2007---Hampton, NH
"Maybelline" ( Chuck Berry ) ------------------2-------------------------Apr. 5, 2007--Hampton, NH
"You've Got a Friend In Me" ( Randy Neuman )-2----------------------Apr 6, 2007---Foxwood, CT
"Ya, Ya" ( Lee Dorsey ) ------------------------2-------------------------Apr. 6, 2007---Foxwood, CT
"Hem of His Garment" ( Sam Cooke ) -------2-------------------------Apr. 12, 2007--Lancaster, PA
"Grandma's Hands" ( Bill Withers )------------2------------------------ Apr.14, 2007--Atlantic City, NJ
"Caravan" ( Van Morrison )--------------------2-------------------------Apr. 17, 2007--Baltimore, MD
"Moon Shadow" ( Cat Stevens )--------------2--------------------------Apr. 21, 2007--Jim Thorpe, PA
"Gasoline Alley" ( Rod Stewart ) -------------2--------------------------Apr. 21, 2007--Jim Thorpe, PA
"Old Old Woodstock" ( Van Morrison ) ------2---------------------------Apr. 22, 2007--Royal Oak , MI
"You Send Me" ( Sam Cooke ) ---------------2--------------------------Apr. 25, 2007--Joliet, IL
"Kansas City" ( Wilbert Harrison ) -----------2--------------------------Apr. 26, 2007-Kansas City, MO
"Soul Seranade" ( King Curtis ) --------------2--------------------------Apr. 29, 2007--Denver, CO
"Tide Is High" ( The Paragons )---------------2--------------------------May 12, 2007--Seattle, WA
"Old Weakness" ( Delbert McClayton)-------2---------------------------Aug. 12, 2007-Portland, ME
"Grazing In The Grass" ( Friends of Destination ) -2-------------------Aug. 17,2007-Concord, NH
"Boy From New York City" ( The Ad Libs) ----2-------------------------Aug. 18, 2007-Staten Island, NY
"Forty Four" (Howlin' Wolf )--------------------2-------------------------Aug. 23, 2007--Dotham, AL
"Russian Roulette" ( Van Morrison ) ---------2--------------------------July 6, 2007----Hagerstown, MD
"Friday's Child" ( Van Morrison ) -------------2--------------------------July 6, 2007 ---Hagerstown, MD
"Into The Mystic" ( Van Morrison ) ----------2---------------------------Aug. 3, 2007--Biloxi, MS
"Ain't It Funny How Time Slips Away"( Willie Nelson) --2--------------May 12, 2007--Seattle, WA
"Ain't It Funky" ( James Brown ) ------------2---------------------------May 12, 2007-Seattle, WA
"Day's Like This" ( Van Morrison ) -----------2--------------------------May 12, 2007--Seattle, WA
"Desperado" ( The Eagles ) ------------------2---------------------------June 15, 2007-Big Flats, NY
"Back In the Highlife" ( Steve Winwood ) ---2--------------------------July 5, 2007--Charlottesille, VA
"Turn On Your Love Light" ( Grateful Dead )--2--------------------------May 5, 2007 -Las Vegas, NV
"Take Me Back" ( Van Morrison ) -------------1--------------------------Feb. 22, 2007-Tampa, FL
"Rocky Top" ( Nitty Gritty Dirt Band/Phish )--1--------------------------Mar. 4, 2007--Asheville, NC
"Knock On Wood" ( Otis Redding ) -----------1-------------------------- Mar. 11, 2007-Birmingham, AL
"I'm In Love "( Wilson Pickett ) ---------------1--------------------------Mar. 11, 2007-Birmingham, AL
"100 Elbows" ( Deuce Komradz ) -------------1-------------------------Mar. 14 , 2007-New Orleans, LA
"Turn On Your Radio" ( Harry Nilsson ) -----1--------------------------Mar. 17, 2007--San Antonio, TX
"Steamroller" ( James Taylor ) ---------------1-------------------------Mar. 18, 2007--Grand Prairie, TX
"Rockin' Pneumonia and the
Boogie Woogie Flu " ( Johnnie Rivers )-------1--------------------------Mar. 20, 2007--Little Rock, AR
"Mercury Blues" ( K.C, Douglas ) ------------1---------------------------Mar. 20, 2007-Little Rock, AR
"Boogaloo Down Broadway" ( Fantastic Johnny C ) -1---------------Mar. 21, 2007-St. Charles , MO
"The Road" ( Johnny Browne ) -----------------1------------------------Mar. 25, 2007--Prior Lake, MO
"Hot Child In The City" ( Nick Glider )----------1------------------------Mar. 27, 2007-Green Bay, WI
"He Stopped Loving Her Today" ( George Jones )--1-------------------Mar. 28, 2007-Milwaukee, WI
"Dirty Water" ( The Standells ) ------------------1------------------------Apr. 1, 2007--Greensburg, PA
"Shot Gun Man" ( Jerry Lee Lewis ) ------------1------------------------Apr. 3, 2007--Boston, MA
"I Ain't Got Nothing but the Blues" ( Jimmy Witherspoon ) --1---------Apr. 5, 2007--Hampton, NH
"You May Be Right" ( Billy Joel ) ----------------1------------------------Apr. 5, 2007--Hampton, NH
"Hot Legs" ( Rod Stewart ) -----------------------1-------------------------Apr. 5, 2007-Hampton, NH
"Me and Mrs. Jones" ( Billy Paul ) --------------1--------------------------Apr. 6, 2007-Foxwood, CT
"Such A Night" ( Dr. John ) --------------------1-------------------------Apr. 6, 2007--Foxwood, CT.
"Disco Inferno" ( The Trammps ) ---------------1--------------------------Apr.7, 2007-Westbury, NY
"Weekend" ( Wet Willie ) -----------------------1----------------------------Apr.7, 2007-Westbury, NY
"How Long Has This Been going On" ( Ace)....1--------------------------Apr.10, 2007-Sayresville, NJ
"What's Going On" ( Marvin Gaye )-------------1--------------------------Apr.10, 2007-Sayresville, NJ
"Use Me" ( Bill Withers ) ---------------------1-----------------------------Apr.15, 2007-Alexandria, VA
"The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" ( Bobby Russell ) --1----Apr. 16, 2007-Alexandria, VA
"Suitcase Blues" ( Triumph)-------------------1----------------------------Apr.16, 2007-Alexandria,VA
"Satisfaction" ( Rolling Stones )---------------1---------------------------Apr. 25, 2007-Joliet, IL
"Cross Rod Blues" ( Robert Johnson ) -------1---------------------------Apr. 26, 2007-Kansas City, MO
"Too Late To Turn Back Now"(Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose)-1-May 2, 2007---Anaheim, CA
"Yesterday" ( Paul McCartney ) --------------1---------------------------May 2, 2007 --Anaheim, CA
"Mama Don't Take No Mess" ( Yo Yo ) -------1---------------------------May 5, 2007--Las Vegas, NV
"Everybody's Talkin' ( Harry Nilsson ) -------1--------------------------May 5, 2007---Las Vegas, NV
"Dancing Queen" ( ABBA ) -------------------1---------------------------May 12, 2007--Seattle, WA
"Them Changes" ( Kenny Wayne Shepherd ) ---1-----------------------May 12, 2007-Seattle, WA
"Something So Right" ( Paul Simon ) ----------1------------------------May 12, 2007 -Seattle, WA
"Birmingham" ( Randy Newman ) --------------1-------------------------June 1, 2007--Bessemer, AL
"My Funny Valentine" ( Frank Sinatra ) -------1--------------------------June 2, 2007--Tupelo, MS
"I Miss You" ( Rolling Stones ) ----------------1---------------------------June 2, 2007-Tupelo, MS
"Graceland" ( Paul Simon ) ---------------------1-------------------------June 16, 2007-Cohasset, MA
"Take Me To The River" ( Al Green ) -----------1------------------------June 20, 2007-Council Bluff, IA
"That's Life" ( Frank Sinatra)--------------------1-------------------------June 21, 2007-Council Bluff, IA
"Spanish Harlem" ( Ben E. King ) --------------1-------------------------June 21, 2007-Council Bluff, IA
"Born Under A Bad Sign" ( Albert King ) ------1-------------------------June 24, 2007-Atlantic City, NJ
"Doraville" ( Atlanta Rhythm Section ) --------1----------------------June 28, 2007-Spartansburg, SC
"Hot Fun in the Summertime" ( Sly&Family Stone ) --1----------------June 28, 2007-Spartansburg, SC
"Moonlight Whiskey" ( Van Morrison ) ----------1----------------------July 5, 2007-Charlottesville, VA
"Cry To Me" ( Solomon Burke ) -----------------1------------------------July 6, 2007--Hagerstown, MD
"It's My Party" ( Leslie Gore ) ------------------1-------------------------July 6, 2007--Hagerstown, MD
"More Than I Can Say" ( Lee Sayer ) ---------1--------------------------July 6, 2007-Hagerstown, MD
"In The Still Of The Night" ( Five Satins ) ------1--------------------------July 6, 2007-Hagerstown, MD
"Bo Diddley" ( Elias McDaniels ) ----------------1--------------------------July 6, 2007 -Hagerstown, MD
"Make It Funky" ( James Brown ) ---------------1--------------------------July 7, 2007-Innsbrook, VA
"Somebody's Knocking" ( Terri Gibbs ) --------1-------------------------July 12, 2007-Waukegan, IL
"You Are My Sunshine" ( Bing Crosby ) --------1------------------------July 21, 2007 -Marksville, LA
"Midnight Hour" ( Wilson Pickett ) --------------1-------------------------July 22, 2007-Southhaven, MS
"Lonely Tear Drops" ( Jackie Wilson ) ---------1--------------------------July 22, 2007-Southhaven, MS
"It's Crying time Again" ( Ray Charles ) ------1-------------------------July 22, 2007-Southhaven, MS
“Memphis, Tennessee” (Chuck Berry)-----------1-----------------------July 22, 2007 -Southhaven, MS
"In The Garden" ( Van Morrison ) --------------1------------------------July 30, 2007-Branson, MO
"Lean On Me" ( Bill Wither ) --------------------1------------------------July 30, 2007 -Branson, MO
"Lodi" ( Creedence Clearwater Revival ) ------1------------------------Aug. 2, 2007--Vicksburg, MS
"What A Fool Believes" ( The Doobie Brothers ) 1----------------------Aug. 2, 2007 --Vicksburg, MS
"Have Mercy" ( Robert Palmer ) ----------------1------------------------Aug. 2, 2007--Vicksburg, MS
"Thin Line Between Love and Hate" ( The Pretenders ) --1-------------Aug. 4, 2007-New Orleans,LA
"For the Love of Money" ( O'Jay ) ----------------1----------------------Aug. 4, 2007--New Orleans, LA
"The Way It Is" ( Bruce Hornsby ) -------------1------------------------Aug. 10, 2007-Torrington, CT
"Mandolin Rain" ( Bruce Hornsby ) --------------1-----------------------Aug. 10, 2007 -Torrington, CT
"That's Alright" ( Elvis Presley ) -----------------1-----------------------Aug. 16, 2007-Poughkeepsie, NY
"Fool For You" ( Ray Charles )--------------------1----------------------Aug. 19, 2007-Toms River , NJ
Tight Rope ( Leon Russell ) -----------------------1----------------------Aug. 22, 2007--Myrtle Beach, SC
"Got My Mojo Working" ( Muddy Waters ) -------1---------------------Aug. 24, 2007--Clearwater, FL
"Life" ( Sly & The Family Stone ) -----------------1----------------------Aug. 24, 2007-Clearwater , FL
"Havin' A Party" ( Sam Cooke ) ------------------1----------------------Aug. 24, 2007-Clearwater, FL
"I Wanna Roo You" ( Van Morriosn ) ------------1---------------------Aug. 24, 2007--Clearwater, FL
"Mystic Church" ( Van Morrison ) -----------------1--------------------Aug. 25, 2007-Pompano Beach, FL
"Do You Believe" ( Van Morrison ) ----------------1--------------------Aug. 25, 2007--Pompano Beach, FL
"Not Fade Away" ( Buddy Holly ) ------------------1-------------------Aug. 25, 2007--Pompano Beach, FL
"Good Golly Miss Molly" ( Little Richard ) -------1---------------------Aug. 26, 2007--Orlando , FL
"Alexander's Ragtime Band" ( Irving Berlin ) ---1----------------------Aug. 31, 2007-Dallas, TX
"That Lucky Ole' Sun" ( Frankie Laine ) --------1---------------------Aug. 31, 2007--Dallas, TX
"Signed Sealed and Delivered" ( Stevie Wonder ) -1------------------Aug. 31, 2007--Dallas, TX
"Tequilla" ( The Champs ) ----------------------1----------------------Aug. 31, 2007 --Dallas, TX
"Teenage Wedding" ( Chuck Berry ) ----------1-----------------------Sept. 1, 2007-Charenton, LA
"My Home Is Alabama" ( Alabama ) -----------1-----------------------Sept. 2, 2007--Orange Beach, AL
"Revival" ( Allman Brothers ) -------------------1-----------------------Sept. 2, 2007--Orange Beach, AL
“Spirit in the Dark” (B.B. King)------------------1------------------------Sept. 2, 2007--Orange Beach, AL
"Carry Me Back To Old Virginnie" ( James Bland ) -1------------------Sept. 15, 2007-Newport News, VA
"Arthur's Theme" ( Christopher Cross ) --------1-----------------------Sept. 15, 2007-Newport News, VA
"Spoonful " (Howlin' Wolf )-----------------------1----------------------Sept. 15, 2007 -Newport News, VA
* Possible Tag "Backfield in Motion" ( Mel and Tim )


If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Van Morrison definitely has Taylor's admiration. Whether for his musicianship or his lyrical genius, Taylor has chosen to tag or tease Mr. Morrison with 25 different songs. The closest second is Sly & The Family Stone with six tags or teases, followed by Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles and Sam Cooke, with five each.

The Setlist, Covers and Tags are complete. For an Encore, we can anticipate the release of "Whomp at the Warfield," a new CD and the start of Taylor's 2008 Solo Tour. We must wait patiently, but to quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Patience and fortitude conquer all things." We fans have the patience, and Taylor has the fortitude.

Let’s give a standing ovation to Taylor and his Band. Bravo, Bravo, Bravo to Taylor for giving so much of himself during his inaugural Solo Tour. 2007 was a very good year!

*Thanks to all those "big, attentive ears" that listened and commented on Taylor's Tags during the season. The entire Soul Patrol has been helpful with the lists found in The Set List, Taylor Takes Cover and Tag(s) You're It.
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CHUCK BERRY (Brown Eyed Handsome Man, Maybelline, Teenage Wedding )

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Certainly the single most important black artist in rock and roll, Chuck Berry is arguably the most important figure, regardless of race, in rock history. The archetypal rock and roller, Chuck Berry melded blues, country, and a witty, defiant teen outlook into songs that influenced vitally every rock musician in his wake. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 18, 1926, Berry achieved many firsts in the music biz world. He was the first guitarist singer to reach charts and the first rock and roller to write words that were relevant and entertaining to his young white audience without alienating his core black audience. He achieved all of this with a driving rock and roll rhythm that was, if not brand new, certainly unique enough to be instantly recognizable. For those reasons he, more than any other artist, is responsible for the direction of popular music.

When performing his material, Berry made sure to enunciate clearly, singing outside the standard blues realm, and he improvised lyrics that caused the audience to pay closer attention

"While no individual can be said to have invented rock and roll, Chuck Berry comes the closest of any single figure to being the one who put all the essential pieces together. It was his particular genius to graft country & western guitar licks onto a rhythm & blues chassis in his very first single, “Maybellene.” Combined with quick-witted, rapid-fire lyrics full of sly insinuations about cars and girls, Berry laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance. The song included a brief but scorching guitar solo built around his trademark double-string licks.

On January 23, 1986, Chuck Berry was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the first induction dinner, held in New York City. He was inducted by Rolling Stone Keith Richards, who said, “It’s hard for me to induct Chuck Berry, because I lifted every lick he ever played!”

Accompanied by long-time piano player Johnnie Johnson and members of the Chess Records house band, including Willie Dixon, Berry wrote and performed rock and roll for the ages. To this day, the cream of Berry’s repertoire—which includes “Johnny B. Goode,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “Rock and Roll Music” and “Roll Over Beethoven”—is required listening for any serious rock fan and required learning for any serious rock musician.

In 2001, a multi-count lawsuit against Chuck Berry was filed on behalf of pianist Johnny Johnson seeking a share of royalties for Johnson, who allegedly co-composed numerous hit songs with Berry that have heretofore been credited to Berry alone. Always a controversial figure, Berry is 81 years old.

Chuck Berry

History of Rock

More Things_Chuck Berry


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The original members of the Commodores met as freshmen at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and began the group that grew from a hit regional act to a worldwide phenomenon.

They signed with Motown Records in 1971 and toured, opening for the Jackson Five. Their first big hit was an instrumental called "Machine Gun," and they followed with a string of 22 gold records, six platinum, two double platinum and three triple platinum albums, selling close to 40 million records. Their first recordings for the label were produced in Muscle Shoals by Terry Woodford and Clayton Ivey.

The group scored with hits such as "I Feel Sanctified," "Slippery When Wet," "Fancy Dancer," "Just To Be Close To You," "Sweet Love," "Easy," "Three Times A Lady,." "Sail On" and "Still." The hit recordings included four Top Five albums, "Commodores," "Commodores Live," "Natural High," and "Midnight Magic."

In 1982 Richie left to pursue a solo career, and since then McClary and LaPread have also left the group. J.D. Nicholas was added to the band and following the hit album "Nightshift," the group left Motown Records and moved to Polygram Records where they released the album "Rock Solid."

Original Members:
Thomas McClary, Guitar
Lionel Richie, Saxophone not a member when "Nightshift" was recorded
Milan Williams, Keyboards
Walter Orange, Drums
William King, Trumpet
Ronald LaPread, Bass

Other Members:
J.D. Nicholas

The Commodores

JIMMY REED (Big Boss Man and East Bound and Down)

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There's simply no sound in the blues as easily digestible, accessible, instantly recognizable and as easy to play and sing as the music of Jimmy Reed.

Reed was born on September 6, 1925, on a plantation in or around the small burg of Dunleith, MS. He stayed around the area until he was 15, learning the basic rudiments of harmonica and guitar from his buddy Eddie Taylor, who was then making a name for himself as a semi-pro musician, working country suppers and juke joints. Reed moved up to Chicago in 1943, but was quickly drafted into the Navy, where he served for two years. After a quick trip back to Mississippi and marriage to his beloved wife Mary (known to blues fans as "Mama Reed"), he relocated to Gary, IN, and found work at an Armour Foods meat packing plant while simultaneously breaking into the burgeoning blues scene around Gary and neighboring Chicago.

But if selling more records than Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Elmore James or Little Walter brought the rewards of fame to his doorstep, no one was more ill-equipped to handle it than Jimmy Reed. With signing his name for fans being the total sum of his literacy, combined with a back-breaking road schedule once he became a name attraction and his self-description as a "liquor glutter," Reed started to fall apart like a cheap suit almost immediately. ….Little wonder then that when he was stricken with epilepsy in 1957, it went undiagnosed for an extended period of time, simply because he had experienced so many attacks of delirium tremens, better known as the "DTs."

Revisionist blues historians like to make a big deal about either the lack of variety of his work or how later recordings turned him into a mere parody of himself, the public just couldn't get enough of it. Jimmy Reed placed 11 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 pop charts and a total of 14 on the charts, a figure that even a much more sophisticated artist like B.B. King couldn't top. To paraphrase the old saying, nobody liked Jimmy Reed but the people.

Reed's slow descent into the ravages of alcoholism and epilepsy roughly paralleled the decline of Vee-Jay Records, which went out of business at approximately the same time that his final 45 was released, "Don't Think I'm Through." His manager, Al Smith, quickly arranged a contract with the newly formed ABC-Bluesway label and a handful of albums were released into the '70s, all of them lacking the old charm, sounding as if they were cut on a musical assembly line. Jimmy did one last album, a horrible attempt to update his sound with funk beats and wah-wah pedals, before becoming a virtual recluse in his final years. He finally received proper medical attention for his epilepsy and quit drinking, but it was too late and he died trying to make a comeback on the blues festival circuit on August 29, 1976.

All of this is sad beyond belief, simply because there's so much joy in Jimmy Reed's music. And it's that joy that becomes self evident every time you give one of his classic sides a spin.

Cub Koda
All Music Guide to the Blues -
Blues Harp

MARVIN GAYE ( Let's Get It On, Ain't That Pecular, Ain't No Mountain High Enough, Inner City Blues, What's going On )

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Legendary Marvin Gaye, both famous and infamous, began life in a segregated section of Washington D.C.N. on April 2, 1939. Gaye's preacher father, a harsh man, was an overly strict disciplinarian. Gaye even changed his name from Gay to Gaye to disassociate himself from his father and in admiration of Sam Cooke. In 1957 he formed his own group the Marquees. Backed by Bo Diddley, they recorded "Wyatt Earp" for the Okeh label. In 1958, Harvey Fuqua hired the Marquees to be the latest version of the Moonglows, his backing group. However the group soon broke up and Fuqua moved to Detroit to form Tri-Phi Records with his girlfriend Gwen Gordy, bringing Marvin with them.
It was Gwen that introduced Gaye to her brother Berry at Motown's 1960 Christmas party. Soon Gaye was signed to his new Motown Tamla label in 1961. Gaye started as a session drummer at Motown , playing on all the early hits by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

Singing in “doo wop” groups in the Fifties, Gaye was known for his sophisticated, gentlemanly manner, which was so apparent in his performances. His personal life included two failed marriages and a fiery relationship with his father, which ended when he was murdered by this father.

Marvin’s legacy lives on. He was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

RY COODER (Willie Brown Blues)

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Ry Cooder, born in Los Angeles in 1947, is a guitarist, composer and producer, though he gained his world wide reputation primarily as a Slide-Guitarist. He played in Captain Beefheart's Magic Band, and has also accompanied such artists as Gordon Lightfoot, the rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Randy Newman, John Lee Hooker and many others. Although influenced early on by blues he became a pioneer in resurrecting the traditions of " World Music", a concept that was entirely new at the time. He devoted himself to Country and Folk music, Calypso, Hawaiian music, Gospel, Salsa, Jazz , Ragtime and Vaudeville. Ry Cooder has composed soundtracks for more than twenty films, among them Wim Wender' "Paris, Texas," and " The End of Violence."

Cooder first attracted attention in the 1960s, playing with Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, after previously having worked with Taj Mahal in The Rising Sons.

He was a guest session guitarist on various recording sessions with the Rolling Stones in 1968 and 1969, and Cooder's contributions appear on the Stones' Let It Bleed (mandolin on "Love in Vain"), and Sticky Fingers, on which he contributed the slide guitar to "Sister Morphine". During this period, Cooder joined with Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, and longtime Rolling Stones sideman Nicky Hopkins to record "Jamming with Edward". Shortly after the sessions, a rift developed between Cooder and Keith Richards.

Throughout the 1970s, Cooder released a series of Warner Bros. Records albums that showcased his guitar work, to some degree. Cooder has been compared to a musicologist, exploring bygone musical genres with personalized and sensitive, updated reworkings of revered originals.

Cooder received a Grammy Award in 1993 for" Meeting by the River" ; in 1995 for
"Talking Timbuktu with Ali Farka Toure " and in 1998 for Buena Vista Social Club "
Rolling Stone magazine named Ry Cooder the 8th Greatest Guitarist of All Time in their "100 Greatest Guitarists"
In 2007. Entitled My Name Is Buddy, it tells the story of a cat who travels and sees the world. My Name Is Buddy was accompanied by a booklet featuring a story and illustration (by Vincent Valdez) for each track, providing additional context to Buddy's adventures.

Wim Wenders

SAM COOKE (Chain Gang, That' Where It's At, Hem of His Garment, You Send Me, Havin' A Party )

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Songwriter and performer Sam Cooke was one of the most popular and influential black singers to emerge in the late '50s, successfully to synthesize a blend of gospel music and secular themes and provided the early foundation of soul music. Cooke's pure, clear vocals were widely imitated, and his suave, sophisticated image set the style of soul crooners for the next decade.

Sam Cooke was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi. on January 22, 1931, but grew up in Chicago, where his father Charles became a minister in the Church of Christ Holiness Church.

The family moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1933. He had four brothers and three sisters - Willie, Charles Jr., L.C., David, Mary, Hattie and Agnes.

Sam graduated from Wendell Phillips High School in 1948, where he distinguished himself as an "A" student as well as being voted "most likely to succeed." During his formative years, Sam, together with his brothers Charles Jr., L.C. and sisters, Mary and Hattie, performed as a gospel group "The Singing Children."

As a member of the nationally famous Highway Q.C's, he sang with all the leading gospel groups of the day when they passed through Chicago. In 1951 Sam, at the age of nineteen, became lead vocalist of the Soul Stirrers, with whom he toured and recorded for six years. A huge act on the gospel circuit, the group recorded for Aladdin and Specialty Records. For six electrifying years he established a new standard for gospel expression.

"It isn't what you sing that is so important," said Sam's father, "but rather the fact that God gave you a good voice to use. He must want you to make people happy by singing, so go ahead and do so."

With these words of encouragement, he did just that. At the height of his fame in the gospel world and with the screams of believers raising him up and being raised up by him, Sam left it all behind.

In 1957 he released "You Send Me" which became a number #1 hit and sold 1.7 million copies. "You Send Me" established Cooke as a commercial artist and as an original pop stylist. In February, 1958 Specialty filed a lawsuit claiming that Cooke had actually written and recorded "You Send Me" while still under contract to Specialty, and then recorded it for Keen. That being so, the rights would have belonged to Specialty. Cooke claimed the song had been written by his brother, who was under no such restraints.

The musical pattern in "You Send Me" was the basis for most of Cooke's first year with Keen. They were love songs, with pretty arrangements and sung with a rolling, medium tempo.

In1960 he signed with RCA and began writing blues, gospel inflected songs. After he joined RCA Victor, Keen issued his second biggest hit up to that time, the million selling "Wonderful World."

Cooke's first release on RCA barely made the middle of the pop charts. It did a little better in R&B, but not much. To add insult to injury, a Cooke written song, "Nobody Loves Me Like You," became a hit for the Flamingos later in the spring.

Even without hits, Cooke continued to be a big hit on the one nighter and R&B circuit. In March, he toured the Caribbean to sold-out houses.

With a live LP in the Top 30, Cooke was in L.A. partying when he met 22 year old Elisa Boyer at a club on December 11, 1964. They drove to South Central where they registered at the Hacienda Motel as Mr. and Mrs. Sam Cooke. Later Boyer left the room with most of Cooke's clothing. Cooke wearing one shoe and a jacket broke into the motel's office where he thought she was hiding. There he found Bertha Franklin the motel's manager who shot him three times with a .22. She claimed Cooke had tried to rape a twenty one year old woman Elisa Boyer and then turned on her. The coroner's office ruled the death as justifiable homicide. Over thirty five years later there remain questions about the circumstances of Cooke's death, and there has been talk about reopening the investigation.

Cooke was a ground breaking black music capitalist. He owned his own record label (SAR/Derby), music publishing company (Kags Music), and management firm with offices in the Warner Brothers Building in Hollywood. His influences can be heard in the work of artists as varied as Michael Jackson and the Heptones, but is most profoundly felt in the singing of Otis Redding, Rod Stewart, and Al Green. The 1994 compilation Sam Cooke's SAR Records Story 1959-1964 suggests that his impact as a producer, though less widely recognized, was no less important.
Sam Cooke was a true superstar in his lifetime. After his death, his legend became even larger. His influence can be heard in the precise phrasing of Smokey Robinson, in the conscientious songwriting of Marvin Gaye, in the raw emotion of Lou Rawls and in Aretha Franklin's controlled passion.

Sam Cooke was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986

History of Rock_Sam Cooke] Sam Cooke [/URL]

THE METERS (Hey Pocky Way, Fire on the Bayou )
Art Neville helped to write Hey Pocky Way. Released in 1974

Considered by many to be the founding fathers of funk, The Meters created a unique sound that lasted through the sixties and seventies and was reborn in the late eighties. Their trademark sound blends funk, blues, and dance grooves with a New Orleans vibe.

The history of this native New Orleans band dates back to 1967, when keyboardist Art Neville recruited George Porter, Jr., Joseph (Zigaboo) Modeliste and Leo Nocentelli to form The Meters. When Neville formed the band, he had already been a prominent member of the New Orleans music community for 15 years. He was still in high school when, leading The Hawkettes, he cut the 1954 hit single "Mardi Gras Mambo," which is still pressed every year at Carnival time.

After twelve years and ten studio albums, The Meters disbanded in 1979 due to business problems. The Meters have maintained an avid following of fans and other artists, and their music has been sampled by musicians around the world, including rap artists Heavy D, LL Cool J and Queen Latifah. The Red Hot Chili Peppers pay homage to them in one of their hit songs, and bands such as the Grateful Dead, KVHW, Steve Kimock Band, Widespread Panic, Rebirth Brass Band, Galactic and String Cheese Incident often played their music.

Musically, the next decade took the band members in different directions. Art Neville and Cyril Neville pioneered the internationally successful Neville Brothers, while Zigaboo Modeliste drummed for Keith Richards and Ron Wood on the New Barbarians Tour. George Porter, Jr. founded his first band, Joy Ride and in 1990 recorded his first solo CD, Runnin' Pardners, for Rounder Records. George worked in the studio and toured with David Byrne, recorded with Robbie Robertson, and played on Harry Connick Jr.'s first funk/soul CD "She." In addition, George performed on three back-to-back Platinum CD's with Tori Amos. He has also released four CD's with his own with Runnin' Pardners.

Now, after more that 25 years of separation, Art Neville, Zigaboo Modeliste, George Porter Jr., and Leo Nocentelli are returning to festival, concert and club stages as the supergroup that put New Orleans funk on the map and that continues to exert an unparalleled influence on American roots and popular music. The Meters' unique place as a touchstone for countless jam bands and as one of the most sampled groups in all of hip hop and pop music has kept it relevant to contemporary audiences in a way that few, if any other 70's groups can claim.

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Art Neville, organ; Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste, drums; George Porter Jr., bass; and Leo Nocentelli, guitar.

What is the difference between The Meters and The Funky Metes : According to an aritcle in Living/Lagniappe The Times-Picayune by Keith Spera, music writer ,
The Meters saga is a never-ending soap opera.

After writing the book on Big Easy Funk, the original Meters -- keyboardist Art Neville, bassist George Porter Jr., guitarist Leo Nocentelli and drummer Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste -- disbanded in 1979 amid business and personal turmoil. Variations appeared sporadically.

In 1989, Neville, Porter and Nocentelli hired drummer Russell Batiste Jr. and resurrected the Meters name. After Nocentelli's departure in 1994, they continued as the Funky Meters with former Neville Brothers guitarist Brian Stoltz.

The original Meters put aside their differences to reunite for the 2005 Jazzfest, but they have no shows scheduled in 2007. When one Meter couldn't make himself available for the high-profile Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee in June, Neville took that as a sign that the reunion had run its course.

"I was happy that we did it again for a little while," Art said. "It was good. I could see where there would be a future, but evidently some of the cats didn't."

With the original Meters on ice again, Neville reactivated the Funky Meters. But Stoltz resigned as the band's guitarist.

"I thought it was time to move on," Stoltz said. "This was always a part-time band since I joined in '94. Last year we did one gig."

Filling the hole in the Funky Meters are Ian Neville and a revolving cast of special guests. Two March shows at the Fox Theater in Boulder, Colo., featured avant-jazz saxophonist Skerik. Saturday at the House of Blues, the guest star is slide guitar wizard Derek Trucks.

Meanwhile, the Neville Brothers will miss their second consecutive Jazzfest, but "that doesn't mean we're not working," Art said. The band is gearing up for a busy 30th anniversary summer. They'll tour with Ziggy Marley and Blues Traveler. They're planning another studio album. Their manager is combing the vaults for archival footage and recordings for a comprehensive box set, one the musicians may release and market themselves.

Additionally, Art planned to sit in with DumpstaPhunk Friday at 2:05 p.m. at Jazzfest's Gentilly Stage, likely the only Jazzfest appearance by one of the four Neville brothers.

Percussionist and vocalist Cyril Neville, who now lives in Austin, Texas, was advertised as a special guest with the New Orleans Social Club last Sunday; he sang on the group's 2006 debut album. But he spent the evening at the Music Shed studio in the Lower Garden District, recording with Houma guitarist Tab Benoit's Voice of the Wetlands Allstars. He said he never confirmed his Jazzfest appearance with the Social Club's manager.

In 2006, Aaron Neville's fear of aggravating his asthma in post-Katrina New Orleans factored into the band's decision to skip the fest for the first time in more than 15 years.

But had Jazzfest "made an offer that we couldn't refuse," Art said, the Neville Brothers would have performed this year. "I would love to be able to play in New Orleans with them, but it's got to be right."

So with today's guest spot, Art will represent the Brothers at Jazzfest, just as he did with the original Meters last year. But standing in for his brothers isn't his primary purpose.

"I want to support my son," he said. "That's the reason I'm doing it."


The Meters Online

PINK FLOYD (Another Brick in the Wall)

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Pink Floyd are an English rock band that initially earned recognition for their psychedelic rock music, and, as they evolved, for their progressive rock music. They are known for philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative cover art, and elaborate live shows. One of rock music's most successful acts, the group has sold an estimated 74.5 million albums in the United States alone.

"Another Brick in the Wall" is the title of three songs set to variations of the same basic theme, on Pink Floyd's 1979 concept album, The Wall, subtitled "Part I", "Part II", and "Part III", respectively, all of which were written by Pink Floyd's bassist and then lead songwriter, Roger Waters. It's one of the band's most well known songs and also their biggest hit, peaking at #1 on the American singles charts and also the UK charts. In addition, the second part was #375 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

"Part II", best known for the line "We don't need no education," was released as a single, and provided the band's only number-one hit in the UK, the US, West Germany and many other countries. In the UK, it was their first single since 1968's "Point Me at the Sky." It is a protest song against rigid schooling in general and boarding schools in particular, which has led to the song being banned in several countries.

During the Roger Waters–led era: 1976–1985 Waters asserted more and more control over Pink Floyd's output. Wright's influence became largely inconsequential, and he was fired from the band during the recording of The Wall. Much of the music from this period is considered secondary to the lyrics, which explore Waters' feelings about his father's death in World War II and his increasingly cynical attitude towards political figures such as Margaret Thatcher and Mary Whitehouse. Although still finely nuanced, the music grew more guitar-based at the expense of keyboards and saxophone, both of which became (at best) part of the music's background texture along with the obligatory sound effects. A full orchestra (even larger than the brass ensemble from Atom Heart Mother) plays a significant role on The Wall and especially The Final Cut.

Pink Floyd of 1979 consisted of Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason

Bruce Johnston, Toni Tennille, Joe Chemay, John Joyce, Stan Farber, Jim Haas and pupils from Islington Green School Choir.

The Wall was recorded between April and November 1979 in SuperBear Studios, France

In late 1978, Pink Floyd met together to discuss new projects, after David and Rick made solo albums. Roger presented 2 projects in demo form. The first project was rejected, that project turned out to be, Roger Waters' solo album, The Pros and Cons of Hitch-hiking. But the second project was taken, that project was The Wall. Roger had enough songs for 3 discs, but he had to get rid of a bunch of songs. November 30, 1979, The Wall is released in the UK, and the fans love it. December 5, 1979, The Wall is released in the US, and again, the fans love itt. For the tour they recruit Andy Brown on 2nd Bass Guitar, Snowy White on Rhythm Guitar in 1980, Andy Roberts on Rhythm Guitar in 1981, Peter Woods on Keyboards, Richard Wright on Keyboards, and Jon Joyce, Stan Farber, Jim Haas, & Joe Chemay on Backing Vocals.

February 26th, 1980, Pink Floyd premiers The Wall Tour in Nassau Coliseum, on Long Island New York. October 1980, Pink Floyd premiers The Wall Tour in Earl's Court in London. January 1981, Pink Floyd plays The Wall in Los Angeles. April 1981, Pink Floyd Plays The Wall Show 4 times in Westfallenhalle in Dortmund, Germany. August 1981, Pink Floyd plays The Wall at Earl's Court London again, and their tour is over by September.

In 1982, Rick Wright left the band for good. Pink Floyd recruited new Keyboard players for a new project called, Spare Bricks, A Collection Of Unreleased Songs intended for The Wall but were scratched. The new Keyboard Players were Michael Kamen on piano, and Harmonium, and Andy Bown on organ, and synthesizer.

Roger had plans to tour for the new album in November, 1983, but because of tensions between each member, Roger cancelled those plans, and changed the name of the album to The Final Cut, which it probably would be if David and Nick left, but they didn't.

Pink Floyd

RAY CHARLES (What'd I Say, Lonely Avenue , I Don't Need No Doctor, It's Crying Time Again, Fool For You )

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Ray Charles Robinson considered the Father of Soul Music, was born June 10, 1930, in Albancy, Georgia, to Bailey and Aretha Robinson. The family moved to Greenville, Florida, when Ray was only an infant.

As early as age 3, Ray was already trying to invovle himself in music. As a youngster, Ray would jump in a chair next to a wonderful musician named Wylie Pitman and start banging on the piano keys while Pitman was practicing.........

On Thursday June 10, 2004, Ray made his final journey home. He was a true pioneer who impacted the music industry with his own strye of music that appealed to all music enthusiasts. He led us on a great expedition through the pages of American music history. He crossed boundaries of the musical kind and told tales of his adventures under the guise of his lyrical genius.. He was blessed with one of the 20th century's most advanced musical minds, thus becoming an American cultural icon .

The Soul Connection , issues June 2007 through October 2007, has printed a wonderful series of articles by Jacque Jones , chronicling the life of Ray Charles . The link below will get you to a site where these issues can be downloaded.

Ray Charles had a nice little career going for himself during the mid-to-late 1950s as a recording artist for the Atlantic label. His albums were commercially successful and his singles consistently charted on the Rhythm & Blues charts. Every once in a while he would cross over onto the mainstream pop singles charts, with his biggest hit being "What'd I Say." As the decade came to a close he began to add strings and orchestration to his sound, which moved him in a pop direction that was acceptable to a mainstream music audience.

His increasing popularity was bad timing for the Atlantic label as his contract was coming up for renewal. Enter the ABC-Paramount label, which not only offered him a lot of cash but ownership of his material after five years, authority in the studio, and final say of what would be released in his name. It was goodbye Atlantic and hello ABC.

During the next 13 years, 1960-1973,he would become not only a superstar and American icon, but an agent of change in American music by blending his rhythm & blues sound with rock, pop, and country. His albums would sell tens of millions of copies and influence several generations of artists that would follow. Over 50 of his singles for the label would enter Billboard's Pop Singles Chart, led by such number one hits as "Georgia On My Mind," "Hit The Road Jack," and "I Can't Stop Loving You."

VAN MORRISON ( Want Ads, Rough God Riding, Warm Love, Tupelo Honey, Crazy Love, St. Dominic's Preview, Cleaning Windows, Hymns To The Silence, Soldier of Fortune, Moondance, You Know What They Are Writing About, Summertime in England, Did Ye Get Healed, Caravan,Ole Old Woodstock, Russian Roulette, Friday's Child, Into The Mystic, Day's Like This, Take Me Back, Moonlight Whiskey, In The Garden, I Wanna Roo You, Mystic Church, Do You Believe )

Posted ImageA Young Van

Posted Image Van still at work in the 21st century.

Van Morrison grew up in 1950s Belfast at a time of an explosion in youth culture and the emergence of a beat scene second only to Liverpool; a vibrant period before the descent into sectarian conflict. For Morrison, whose personality seemed to typify the "No Surrender" Unionist mentality, this was a time of inner discovery and musical experiment. He was an unlikely star and a publicist's nightmare; short, with plain looks, wavy red hair and a pot-belly, he gave fractious interviews, fell out regularly with friends and management, and behaved in a generally self-destructive fashion.

He was born in Belfast in 1945, the son of a shipyard worker who collected American blues and jazz records. Van grew up listening to the music of Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson, Lightnin' Hopkins and John Lee Hooker. As a teenager he played guitar, sax and harmonica with a series of local Irish showbands, skiffle and rock'n'roll groups before forming an r&b band called Them in 1964.

In 1967 he began his solo career in New York where he recorded an LP titled Blowin Your Mind with the producer Bert Berns, who had previously produced Them. Following Berns' death in 1968, Morrison recruited a group of jazz musicians to record Astral Weeks, a timeless classic which brought together elements of Celtic music, improvised jazz and r&b.

Based initially in Boston and then California, Morrison produced a string of albums including Moondance, Tupelo Honey and St Dominic's Preview while touring extensively with his band the Caledonia Soul Orchestra. His 1974 live set It's Too Late To Stop Now marked the end of this prolific early phase as Van returned to Ireland to explore further his Celtic roots. The ensuing album Veedon Fleece (1974) featured a quieter, more pastoral sound and was to be his last release for three years.

He returned to the public eye in 1977 with the aptly titled A Period of Transition, an album co-produced by Mac 'Dr John' Rebennack. Following his re-location to London he released Wavelength (1978) and Into The Music (1979) by which time Morrison's interest in spiritual matters was finding regular expression in his recordings.

The theme of spiritual quest came to prominence in the albums he made in the 1980's: Common One, Beautiful Vision ,Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart ,A Sense Of Wonder, No Guru No Method ,No Teacher and Poetic Champions , established Morrison's status as an artist of unrivalled integrity and vision.

In 1988 he revisited his Irish roots with The Chieftains on Irish Heartbeat. The following album, 1989s Avalon Sunset, was his most commercially successful for many years and concluded what had been a remarkably productive decade for Van Morrison.

As prolific as ever, Van varied his musical approach in the 1990s. Enlightenment (1990) and Hymns to the Silence (1991) continued down the road of spiritual self-discovery, while 1993’s Too Long In Exile leaned towards the blues, returning Van to the singles chart again with a re-working of Gloria, performed with his blues buddy John Lee Hooker.

After the acclaimed Days Like This (1995) came How Long Has This Been Going On (1995), an album of mostly jazz standards featuring his old sparring partner Georgie Fame.

Following the release of 1997’s Healing Game came The Philosopher's Stone (1998), an album containing 30 previously unreleased tracks recorded between 1971 and 1988, a mixture of new songs and interpretations of Morrison classics like Wonderful Remark and Bright Side Of The Road. In the same year (1998) Van won a Grammy for his collaboration with John Lee Hooker on Don't Look Back, which he also produced.

Back On Top was released in March 1999 and was widely heralded as one of Morrison's most accomplished and successful albums in years, spawning his first solo Top 40 hit with the single Precious Time.

After a career spanning some four decades, it seemed appropriate that the year 2000 saw Van returning to his roots, a musical full-circle, with The Skiffle Sessions - Live In Belfast. Re-uniting with the musical heroes of his youth, Van joined Skiffle maestro Lonnie Donegan and Chris Barber on stage at Belfast's Whitla Hall for a magical performance, and the energy and enthusiasm of both the performers and the crowd was captured in full on this album, which met with huge critical acclaim.

In 2002, Van Morrison returned to Polydor Records and released his new album Down The Road. The album featured 13 brand new songs alongside a unique version of Georgia On My Mind and Evening Shadows, an Acker Bilk instrumental to which Van added his own lyrical magic.

In recognition of his unique position as one of the most important songwriters of the past century, Van Morrison was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame at an awards ceremony in New York City in June 2003.

Later in the same year (2003) he signed a worldwide deal with the legendary Blue Note Records, a natural home for one of music's most creative figures. Morrison's debut release at the prestigious jazz label was What's Wrong With This Picture? This album draws upon the jazz and blues influences that he has explored consistently throughout his career.

What's Wrong with this Picture? received a Grammy Awards nomination for Van Morrison in the 'Best Contemporary Blues Album' category.

Magic Time, released on Van's own Exile Music Recordings label in 2005, showcased some of his most powerful songs to date like Stranded, Magic Time, Celtic New Year and Gypsy In My Soul. It was followed by Pay The Devil, a seamless combination of three originals (including the title track) and 12 covers of classic country songs written by such masters as Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, Merle Kilgore, Rodney Crowell, Curly Williams and Leon Payne.

Over five decades, Van Morrison's music has embraced rock, folk, blues, country and jazz. Today, he remains a hugely influential artist as well as a conundrum of a man.

From the Official website of Van Morrison
(Rogan has also written an earlier (1984) biography of Van Morrison)

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b]JOHNNIE TAYLOR [/b] ( Can't Trust Your Neighbor ),_Bill/Biography/

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courtesy of Chris Walter

It's one of life's great ironies that Johnnie Taylor was known mainly for his 1976 hit song, "Disco Lady."

Taylor, who died on May 31, 2000, at age 62, scored his only No. 1 pop single with "Disco Lady." As a result, Taylor was labeled as a disco artist, even though "Disco Lady" wasn't really a disco song, as it lacked the driving beat characteristic of that genre.

A more fitting name for Taylor was the title given him by his former record label, Stax Records: "The Philosopher of Soul." During his years with Stax, Taylor established himself as one of soul music's biggest stars. From 1967 to 1975, he was a regular on the R&B charts for the Memphis label. His biggest pop hit during this era was "Who's Making Love," which reached No. 5 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1968. It also was his first No. 1 R&B hit.

Taylor was born in Crawfordsville, Ark., on May 5. 1938. He grew up in West Memphis, Ark., which is located just outside of Memphis, Tenn.

His early music featured both blues and gospel and in the early 1950s, he joined a doo-wop group called the Five Echoes. The group released one record on the Chance label in Chicago.

Taylor eventually turned to gospel music, first joining the group, the Highway QC's on their recording of "Somewhere to Lay My Head. In 1957, Taylor replaced soul legend Sam Cooke in another gospel group, the Soul Stirrers.

When Cooke formed his own label, Sar Records, he signed Taylor to his stable of artists. Taylor recorded the hit, "Rome Wasn't Built in a Day," for Sar, but the label folded after Cooke's untimely death in 1964.

In 1967, Taylor signed with Stax Records, starting a prolific run with the Memphis label. In addition to "Who's Making Love," Taylor scored hits with songs including "I Had a Dream," "I've Got to Love Somebody's Baby," "Take Care of Your Homework," "Jody's Got Your Girl" and "Cheaper to Keep Her."

When Stax Records folded in the mid-1970s, Taylor was signed by Columbia Records, where he recorded the album, "Eargasm," which contained his biggest hit, "Disco Lady." The song was the first record to be certified as a platinum single for two million in sales.

Although the song was a hit in the midst of the disco era, it wasn't a dance song. "A lot of people got 'Disco Lady' mixed up," Taylor once said. "They thought it was disco. It was not a disco tune. We were just talking about disco."

Ironically, the big hit may have been more detrimental to Taylor's career in the long run. He never was able to recreate the song's success at Columbia, eventually leaving the label for Beverly Glen Records in 1982.

Taylor's final stop was Malaco Records in 1984. Similar to Stax, Malaco was a good fit for Taylor, who recorded hit R&B albums for the label such as "This is Your Night," "Wall to Wall," "Crazy ŒBout You," "Good Love" and his most recent record, "Gotta Get the Groove Back."

During his career, Taylor scored 11 top 40 hits on the Billboard pop chart.

Taylor, who had been living in suburban Duncanville, Texas, died from an apparent heart attack in a Dallas-area hospital.

Despite Johnnie Taylor's awesome run of hit records, he remains somewhat of an enigma, perhaps the most underrated recording artist of all time. Never-the-less, over the past twenty-five years, this 48-year old singing sensation has been one of the most versatile and durable recording artists of the era. With a career than embraced Gospel, Pop, Blues, Doo Wopp, Memphis Soul, and even Disco, Taylor has proven he can handle any piece of music.

Johnnie Harrison Taylor was born in Crawfordsville, Arkansas on May 5, 1938, and reared in nearby West Memphis. Inspired equally by gospel and blues (the legendary bluesman Junior Parker as his neighbor), Taylor first recorded in the early fifties as part of the Five Echoes, a Doo-wopp group that had one release on the Chance label in Chicago. However, he didn't receive any real recognition of "SOMEWHERE TO LAY MY HEAD". Taylor's lead singing was strikingly close to Sam Cooke, so it wasn't surprising that he took Cooke's place in the Soul Stirrers in 1957. During the next two years, Taylor would make a number of fine recordings with that group, but he eventually left to pursue a short career as a preacher.

In the interim, Sam Cooke had formed the Sar label as a sideline to his own successful recording career. Ironically, Cooke recruited Taylor for the label with the intention of making him a Pop / R&B attraction. Taylor would score with "ROME WASN'T BUILT IN A DAY" in 1962, but his recording career bogged down temporarily when Sar's operations were suspended after the tragic death of Sam Cooke.

All that was remedied in 1966 when Taylor signed on with Stax Records in Memphis, scoring with the bluesy "I HAD A DREAM" and "I'VE GOT TO LOVE SOMEBODY'S BABY". Two years later, Taylor's style easily adapted to the demands of modern Soul with his recording of "WHO'S MAKING LOVE", which shot to the top of the R&B charts. The record sold more than two million singles, and established Taylor as one of the nation's premier Soul attractions.

For the next seven years, Taylor's name rarely left the bestseller list. His first million seller was followed by such classics as "TAKE CARE OF YOUR HOMEWORK", "JODY'S GOT YOUR GIRL", "STEAL AWAY" and "CHEAPER TO KEEP HER" to name a few. It's true that much ink has been spilled documenting the contributions Otis Redding, Booker T & The M.G.'s, Issac Hayes and Sam & Dave made to Stax Records, but in fact, Johnnie Taylor was their all time best selling recording artist.

With the demise of Stax, Taylor moved over to Columbia, waxing the mega-hit, "DISCO LADY", which was at the top of everybody's charts in 1975. Unfortunately, Columbia didn't fully recognize Taylor's talent, and they were content to mistakenly cast him as merely a Disco artist. Not surprisingly, his record sales slipped.

After leaving Columbia, he made a brief stop at Beverly Glen Records in 1982, recording a reasonable album and climbing back into the charts with the "WHAT ABOUT MY LOVE" single. But, as Taylor admits, at the time he was looking for a record company that would work closely with him just as Stax once had.

Taylor found that company, or rather they found him in 1984, when he joined Malaco Records. His initial Malaco album, "THIS IS YOUR NIGHT", was not only a well crafted piece of music, but sales wise, it was Taylor's biggest record in nearly a decade. The follow up "WALL TO WALL" proved to be just as satisfying, featuring some for the best material. Blues, Soul Ballads, down home doesn't matter to Taylor. He can do it all, and this album proved it.

Johnnie Taylor died of a heart attack on may 31st, 2000 and is buried at the Forrest Hill Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri. Jeff Stevens

BILL WITHERS ( Harlem/Cold Baloney, La Grange, Gramdma's Hands, Use Me , Lean On Me )

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Born July 4, 1938, in Slab Folk, WV, Withers was the youngest of six children. His father died when he was a child and he was raised by his mother and grandmother. After a nine-year stint in the Navy, Withers moved to Los Angeles to pursue a music career in 1967. He recorded demos at night while working at the Boeing aircraft company where he made toilet seats. A songwriter/singer/guitarist Bill Withers is best remembered for the classic "Lean on Me" and his other million-selling singles "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Use Me," but he has a sizable cache of great songs to his credit. Al Jarreau recorded an entire CD of Withers' songs on Tribute to Bill Withers (Culture Press 1998). His popular radio-aired LP track from Still Bill, "Who Is He? (And What Is He to You?)," was a 1974 R&B hit for Creative Source.

His recording career began after being introduced to Clarence Avant, president of Sussex Records.

Stax Records stalwart Booker T. Jones produced his debut album, Just As I Am (with some co-production by Al Jackson, Jr.), which included his first charting single, "Ain't No Sunshine" that went gold and made it to number six R&B and number three pop in summer 1971 and won a Grammy as Best R&B Song. Its follow-up, "Grandma Hands," peaked at number 18 R&B in fall 1971. The song was later covered by the Staple Singers and received airplay as a track from their 1973 Stax LP Be What You Are. "Just As I Am" featured lead guitar by Stephen Stills and hit number five R&B in summer 1971.

Withers wrote "Lean on Me" based on his experiences growing up in a West Virginia coal mining town. Times were hard and when a neighbor needed something beyond their means, the rest of the community would chip in and help. He came up with the chord progression while noodling around on his new Wurlitzer electric piano. The sound of the chords reminded Withers of the hymns that he heard at church while he was growing up. On the session for "Lean on Me," members of the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band ("Express Yourself," "Loveland") were used: drummer James Gadson, keyboardist Ray Jackson, guitarist Benorce Blackman (co-wrote with Withers "The Best You Can" from Making Music), and bassist Melvin Dunlop. His second gold single, "Lean on Me," landed at number one R&B and number one pop for three weeks on Billboard's charts in summer 1972. It was included on his Still Bill album which went gold, holding the number one R&B spot for six weeks and hitting number four pop in spring 1972. "Lean on Me" has became a standard with hit covers by U.K. rock band Mud and Club Nouveau. "Lean on Me" was also the title theme of a 1989 movie starring Morgan Freeman. Still Bill also included "Use Me" (gold, number two R&B for two weeks and number two pop for two weeks in fall 1972) .

Withers' Sussex catalog also included Bill Withers Live at Carnegie Hall, 'Justments, and The Best of Bill Withers. Withers contributed "Better Days" to the soundtrack of the Bill Cosby 1971 western Man And Boy, released on Sussex. There was a duet single with Bobby Womack on United Artists, "It's All Over Now," from summer 1975.

After a legal battle with Sussex, Withers signed with Columbia Records. Columbia later bought his Sussex masters when the label went out of business. Withers was briefly married actress Denise Nicholas (ABC-TV's Room 222 and the 1972 horror film Blacula) in the early '70s.

Withers' light, folksy / soul continued to achieve further success with 'Make Love To Your Mind' (1975), the sublime 'Lovely Day' (1977, a single revamped by a remix in 1988) and 'Just The Two Of Us' (1981), an excellent duet with saxophonist Grover Washington Jnr. that earned the two artists a Grammy award in 1982 for the Best R & B performance It went to number three R&B and held the number two pop spot for three weeks in early 1981.Love" in summer 1984.

Withers' last charting LP was Watching You, Watching Me in spring 1985. He occasionally did dates with Grover Washington, Jr. during the '90s. His songs and recordings have been used as both the source of numerous covers (Aaron Neville's "Use Me") and sampled by a multitude of hip-hop/rap groups. Ed Hogan, All Music Guide

After that release he toured in the same year with background vocalists James Varner and Lynn Roderick. At one of these concerts these background vocalists were spotted by show producer Stan Sheppard, who persuaded them to form a group, who later became the soul band By All Means. Bill also performed on a 'Quiet Storm' tour over the following two years alongside artists including the late Phyllis Hyman, Cherelle and Gerald Albright.

A professional performer, Withers remains a skilled songwriter, whose melodies have been recorded by various bands, including Creative Source, Margie Joseph, Thelma Houston, The Winans and The Blossoms.

These days Bill can be found working as a gardener in his local neighbourhood!,_Bill/Biography/

CANNED HEAT ( Going Up Country )

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Canned Heat is a blues-rock/boogie band that formed in Los Angeles in 1965. The importance of the group lies not only with their blues-based music, but with their efforts to reintroduce and revive the careers of some of the great old bluesmen, and their improvisational abilities.

Canned Heat was started as a jug band in November 1965, in Northridge, California by a group of "musicologists" who loved blues music. Soon the band evolved into an electrified blues/rock band with the uncanny ability to interpret and create a modern version of the blues. While they never reached the popular acclaim of some of the other bands of the psychedelic era, none the less, they were a talented group of musicians who created some of the most unusual music of that or any rock and roll era. Musical trends come and go. Canned Heat's "boogie music" has been at the forefront of popularizing blues music, as exemplified by such hits as "On The Road Again", "Goin' Up The Country", "Let's Work Together", "Amphetamine Annie" and "Refried Boogie."

Canned Heat enjoyed wide popularity between about 1967 and 1970 , playing the upbeat jump-blues rock known as " boogie woogie". The band earned street credibility in the hippie community early on, being set up by the Denver Police Dept. in 1967 for a marijuana possession bust. A shill for the cops visited the band at the hotel as they prepared for their show at The Family Dog ( a new hippie bar that Denver authorities had tried in vain to shut down ); he got the band stoned, then planted some pot in an armchair. Seconds after he left, the fuzz crashed the party ( Ironically, they left behind a ball of hashish, which they had nveer seen before, assuming it was chocolate ) Not long after the bust, a reporter asked lead singer Bob" The Bear" Hite,
" Why do you wear your hair and beard so extremely long and dress so colorfully?" Hite's response? " Because that makes me an outlaw and to sing the blues, uyou have to be an outlaw. Blacks are born outlaws, but we white people have to work for that distinction. " The band played the legendary Monterey Pop and Wood stock Festivals, and had numberous hit singles, most notabley" Goin' Up the Country", "Let's Work Together" and " On the Road Again".

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The group was led by Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson (guitar, harmonica, vocals) and Bob Hite ("The Bear") (vocals, harmonica). The original line up included Keith Sawyer on drums, Mike Perlowin on lead guitar and Stuart Brotman on bass. Mike Perlowin was soon replaced by Kenny Edwards who in turn was followed by Henry Vestine (a.k.a Sunflower, an ex-member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention). Larry Taylor ("The Mole") (best known up until then as the Monkees session bassist), was their studio bassist, (joining full time through 1970), along with drummer Frank Cook for their first album. Guitarist Harvey Mandel toured with the band extensively through the late 1960's. Canned Heat took their name from Tommy Johnson's 1928 "Canned Heat Blues", a song about an alcoholic who has desperately turned to drinking Sterno, which is generically called canned heat.
The primary members of Canned Heat include such legendary musicians as singer and 300-pound, former record-store manager Bob "The Bear" Hite who grew up in Denver. He died of a heart attack in 1981, at the age of 36 . Rhythm/slide guitarist and harmonica player Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson, born in 1943, grew up in Arlington, Ma. When the band formed he was a musicology student. He was an avid record collector and a firm believer in true roots music. Wilson died from a drug overdose in September 1970 at 27; a blow from which the group never fully recovered. Joel Scott Hill was brought in to sing for Wilson. Born Christmas Day, 1944, lead guitar player Henry "The Sunflower" Vestine was a former member Frank Zappa's Mother's of Invention. Vestine eventually left Canned Heat to form a new band and was replaced by Detroit's Harvey Mandel. Vestine died on Oct. 20, 1997 from heart and respiratory failure in a hotel outside Paris. His ashes, now buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, will eventually be transported to a crater on the dark side of the Moon named after his father, a noted astrophysicist.

Today, only bassist Larry " the Mole" Taylor and drummer Adolpho""Fito" de la Parra survive. De la Parra has just writen a book about his experiences with Canned Heat; "Livin'the Blues" is the title.

Canned Heat continues today with long time members Fito de la Parra and Larry "the Mole" Taylor leading the way. Vocal duties have been handled over the years by Walter Trout, James Thornberry and Robert Lucas. Recently, Fito de la Parra has written a book, "Living the Blues," which chronicles the history of Canned Heat. In July 2007, a biography of Alan Wilson, "Blind Owl Blues", was published by music historian Rebecca Davis Winters.

"Going up the Country" was used in a second season episode of The Wonder Years and in 2006 in the Enjoi Skateboards video Bag Of Suck, in Clark Hasslers part. The song was a perfect choice to complement his unique skating.

By Michael Carmody , editor and publisher of SEEN magazine

SLY & THE FAMILY STONE ( I Want To Take You Higher, Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin), Family Affair, Hot Fun in the Summertime, Life )

Sly & the Family Stone was an American funk, soul and rock band from San Francisco, California. Active from 1966 to 1983, the band was pivotal in the development of soul, funk, and psychedelic music. Headed by singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist Sly Stone, and containing several of his family members and friends, Sly and The Family Stone are credited as one of the first racially integrated bands in music history, belting their message of peace, love and social consciousness through a string of hit anthems that fused R&B, soul, funk and rock n roll.

Sly & the Family Stone in 1969, clockwise from top: Larry Graham, Freddie Stone, Gregg Errico, Sly Stone, Rose Stone, Cynthia Robinson, and Jerry Martini. A similar photograph was used as the cover of Rolling Stone #54 (March 19 1970).

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Sylvester Stewart was born on March 15th, 1944 in Denton, Texas, The Stewart family was a deeply-religious middle-class household. K.C. and Alpha Stewart held the family together under the doctrines of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) and encouraged musical expression in the household. After the Stewarts moved to Vallejo, California, the youngest four children (Sylvester, Freddie, Rose, and Vaetta) formed "The Stewart Four," who released a local 78 RPM single, "On the Battlefield of the Lord," "Walking in Jesus' Name," in 1952. The eldest sister, Loretta, was the only Stewart child not to pursue a musical career.

With Sylvester singing lead, the family took the record on the road and promoted it as far as Texas. It was during this time period, around the fifth grade, that Syl was given his nickname. In a school spelling bee, one of his classmates accidentally inverted the "y" and the "l". Syl became Sly. The kids teased, and the name stuck.

While attending high school, Sylvester and Freddie joined student bands. One of Sylvester's high school musical groups was a doo-wop act called The Viscaynes, in which he and a Filipino teenager were the only non-white members. The Viscaynes released a few local singles, and Sylvester recorded several solo singles under the name "Danny Stewart".

Sly's knowledge of music and his charming personality led to disc jockey positions at R&B stations KDIA and KSOL, where his shows were popular enough land him a job as a producer for Autumn Records. So by 1963, Sylvester had become Sly Stone, a disc jockey for San Francisco R&B radio station KSOL, where he included white performers such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones into his playlists. During the same period, he worked as a record producer for Autumn Records, producing for San Francisco-area bands such as The Beau Brummels and The Mojo Men. One of the Sylvester Stewart-produced Autumn singles, Bobby Freeman's "C'mon and Swim," was a national hit record. Stewart recorded unsuccessful solo singles while at Autumn.

Already a multi-instrumentalist, Sly quickly added experience as a producer to his resume after hooking up with another dj and future alternative rock radio pioneer, Tom "Big Daddy" Donahue. Sly's credits at Donahue's Autumn Records included several early San Francisco Sound tracks: the Beau Brummels' "Laugh, Laugh" and "Just A Little" and "Somebody to Love" as performed by the Great Society. Sly's offer to sit in on the latter was turned down, and the song did not become a hit until it was reworked a couple of years later by the Jefferson Airplane with Grace Slick on vocals.

After the rejection by "The Great Society", he decided to change his stage name to "Stone" and make his own music. After a couple of false starts, Sly recruited trumpeter Cynthia Robinson, sax-player Jerry Martini, his sister, pianist Rosie Stewart, along with his brother, guitarist Freddie Stewart, drummer Greg Errico and most importantly, bassist Larry Graham.

Not only did they sound different, they looked it too, as the only band of the era to include blacks and whites, males and females. The Family Stone's diverse racial makeup unwrapped the hidden fact that soul music was often a synthesis created by both black and white musicians. Perhaps even more radical was the crucial role women played as instrumentalists, rather than just vocal wallpaper to round out the band's sound.

The lyrics for the band’s songs were usually pleas for peace, love, and understanding among people. These rallies against vices such as racism, discrimination, and self-hate were underscored by the lineup for and onstage appearance of the band. European Americans Gregg Errico and Jerry Martini were members of the band at a time when integrated performance bnads wer virtually unheard of; integration had only recently become enforced by law. Females Cynthia Robinson and Rosie Stone played instruments onstage, rather than just providing vocals or serving as visual accompaniment for the ale members. The band’s gospel-styled singing endeared them to black audiences; their rock music elements and wild costuming—including Sly’s large Afro and tight leather outfits, Rose’s blond wig, and the other members’ loud psychedelic clothing—caught the attention of mainstream audiences.

Although “Dance to the Music” was the band’s only hit single until late 1968, the influences of that single and the Dance to the Music and Life albums were heard across the music industry.

After paying its dues in the suburbs, the band released their first album in 1967. As the title of it says, Sly and the Family Stone were indeed "A Whole New Thing." Their fusion of the head-trip effects of psychedelic rock with the pulse of dance music had an audacity that seems commonplace now. Their first great moment was the 1968 single "Dance to the Music," which made its way into the top ten on the nation's music charts.

All the while the group's outlandish live performances featured choreographed onstage movements and fantastic hairdos and costumes which appealed to a rock audience, despite the grab bag of musical sources. The message of their next single made it #1 for a month. The catchphrase from "Everyday People" - 'different strokes for different folks,' was a popular saying throughout the late sixties.

In 1969, the band released their breakthrough album "Stand," and spent the majority of the year touring, turning in a historic performance at Woodstock and galvanizing audiences across the country with their innovative mix of soul, funk, R&B, rock, psychedelia, and pop.

Sly's image appeal helped to bring black youth over to rock, and may have encouraged black militants to try and make him an agent of their cause. Under their pressure and internal group friction, Sly began to exhibit signs of a bleeding ulcer and sought relief through drugs. After developing a reputation for missed and delayed concerts, a comeback with another number one hit, "Thank You (Falettin Me Be Mice Elf Agin)" in 1970 seemed to indicate a return to form.

During the early 1970s, the band switched to a grittier funk sound, which was as influential on the music industry as their earlier work. The band began to fall apart during this period because of drug abuse and ego clashes; consequently, the fortunes and reliability of the band deteriorated, leading to its dissolution in 1975. Sly Stone continued to record albums and tour with a new rotating lineup under the "Sly & the Family Stone" name from 1975 to 1983. In 1987, Sly Stone was arrested and sentenced for cocaine use, after which he went into effective retirement.

In the fall of 1971, Sly & the Family Stone returned with a new single, "Family Affair", which became a number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100. "Family Affair" was the lead single from the band's long-awaited fifth album, There's a Riot Goin' On, which debuted at number-one on the Billboard album charts upon its November 1971 release. Instead of the bright, cheery rock-laced soul that had represented the optimistic 1960s, There's a Riot Goin' On was filled with dark instrumentation, filtered drum machine tracks, and plaintive vocals representing the hopelessness many people were feeling in the early 1970s.

With the exception of his appearance on Funkadelic’s “The Electric Spanking of War Babies” (1981), the rest of Sly’s career has been a series of drug nightmares, half-hearted releases and idiotic marketing schemes like 1979’s “Ten Years Too Soon,” a pathetic disco remix album of his 60s hits. In 1982, he released a mostly ignored album called “Ain’t But the One Way” and wasn’t heard from again until he appeared in the 1986 soundtrack to the film Soul Man.

On January 12th, 1993, all of the original members of Sly & the Family Stone appeared together to receive an award marking their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They were inducted along with music legends like Cream, Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Doors. After being introduced by P-Funk leader George Clinton, all of the members except Sly walked onto the stage. Larry then led all members in vocal renditions of “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” and “Dance to the Music” after which the six members of the Family Stone made short, thankful speeches. Just when it seemed as though Sly was not going to appear, he stepped onto the stage accompanied by a standing ovation. He made a hasty speech, uttered the words “See you soon” and left the podium.

Rumors of isolation and eccentricity have followed Sly’s legend over the years. He lived reclusively in Los Angeles, and reports of his mental and physical health were generally not encouraging, though his musical legacy lived on through his classic and influential recordings.

On Sunday, May 25, 1997, Larry Graham reunited with original Sly & the Family Stone members Rose Stone, Jerry Martini and Cynthia Robinson to perform a Sly & the Family Stone medley, at Sinbad’s Soul Music Festival in Aruba. The performance was shown on HBO later that year.

In June, 2003, The Family Stone re-united to go back to the recording studio. Missing though was Sly, who was still inactive in the music business due to the drug-related, legal and medical problems which have haunted him over the years. Also absent from the line-up was bassist Larry Graham. The seeds of the reunion were planted 18 months before, after the Family Stone gathered in New York to accept an R & B Foundation Pioneer Award. The original band members that appear on a new 16 song album are Sly’s brother Freddie Stone, sister Rosie Stone along with drummer Greg Errico, Jerry Martini on saxophone and Cynthia Robinson on trumpet.

Sly Stone made his first major public appearance since his 1993 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on February 8, 2006. Sly & the Family Stone were the subject of a multi-artist tribute during the telecast, for which Stone joined in during the final number, “I Want to Take You Higher.” Boasting a huge platinum Mohawk, dark sunglasses and a floor-length metallic coat, the 61 year old Stone took his place at a synthesizer in the middle of the stage, but only occasionally sang into the microphone and left before the song was finished, but not before flashing a brief smile.

WILLIE NELSON ( Night Life, Ain't It Funny How Time Slips Away )

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Willie Nelson was born on April 30, 1933 in Abbot, Texas to parents Ira and Myrle Nelson. As a child, Willie and his sister Bobbie Lee Nelson were raised by their paternal grandparents. The young Nelsons' first musical experiences came from mail-order courses their grandparents taught
to them. Willie Nelson was given his first guitar at age six.

Growing up, music had been a central part of Willie's life. He was fascinated by big band, country (Texas-Style), and especially by the music of Frank Sinatra. Willie's first gig was playing at a dance at age 10. During his teenage years, Willie played dances and honky-tonks with Bud Fletcher and Floyd Tillman, among others. Aside from the bands, He earned
money as a door to door salesman. Later, in high school, Nelson worked for a local radio station, and by his graduating year he had his own radio show.

After briefly serving in the Air Force, Willie, now twenty three, single-handedly recorded, financed, and sold his first song, entitled "No Place or Me." By 1959, Willie had been married and divorced and was the father of two children. Willie was working as a full time disk-jockey and wrote songs in his spare time. One of his best works, "Family Bible" was written and
sold for a little more than $100.

The next year, however, was a different story. Nelson finally made a decent amount of money from selling songs, particularly "Night Life," which he sold for an undisclosed amount to three Texas businessmen. Willie bought a Buick convertible and set off, bound for Nashville. Compared to the 'Country Dump' Willie Nelson lived in before the move, he fell in love with Nashville. Rightly so, because after only two years he had well established
himself as a writer and had already sold two number one hits to Faron Young and Patsy Cline. This began a real change of Nelson's attitude toward things.

Willie continued writing and selling music until December of 1970 when his house burnt down. Nelson packed up his things and headed back to Texas. After living in Nashville for ten years, Nelson had forgotten about the lack of musicians in Texas. With very few candidates in the market for buying Willie's music he soon became hard-pressed to sell anything. Since
he couldn't write and sell music, Nelson did the next best thing; he began performing his own work. Within the first year back in Texas, Willie had recorded two albums, "Shotgun Willie" and "Phases and Stages."

Willie Nelson continued writing and performing in Texas over the next few years. In 1973 as his popularity grew, he started an Independence Day picnic that has grown and is still around today. Then came 1975. One of his almost nameless albums, "Red Headed Stranger," was introduced to the charts. It was a smash success, placing the name Willie Nelson in the spotlight. This prompted a collection of older Nelson music, released on one album, "Wanted: The Outlaws." This Nelson album, with over 1,000,000 copies, became the top selling country music album in history.

Around 1978, Willie launched his acting career. Nelson played roles in several films, including "Red Headed Stranger," "Thief," "Honeysuckle Rose," "Barbarosa," "Pair of Aces," "Songwriter," "Electric Horseman," "Stagecoach," and many more. Willie Nelson has also done television acting and cameo appearances. Nelson's most recent acting work included a reoccurring role on "Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman," a guest appearance on "Nash Bridges," and a role in 1997's "Wag The Dog."

…Willie has continued along the road of stardom, continually producing new hits. In the early eighties, Nelson began preforming duets with such diverse talents as Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Neil Young, and many others. His success and popularity has withheld strongly into the 1990s. In 1993, Nelson's 1983 song "On The Road Again" was used in the critically acclaimed soundtrack to the movie "Forrest Gump." The 90s have also seen the introduction of many great Nelson albums, such as "Across The Borderline," "Moonlight Becomes You," and "Just One Love."

Willie Nelson has proved to be a representative of American persistance under adversity and of what we call Americana. Throughout his life, Willie Nelson has not only entertained, but has provided a part of himself as our country's heritage. As an overall answer to the question
"Who is Willie Nelson?" I think Leon Russell put it best:

With hair as long as the generosity and talent as big as the heart, there is also a compassion that appears to be endless. Willie is a giant among men who lives inside a quiet down to earth understanding.

Leon Russell

SAM AND DAVE ( You Don't Know Like I Know )

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One of the most exciting live soul acts of the '60s and soul music's most popular duos, Sam and Dave scored a series of hits from 1966 to 1968, highlighted by "Hold On! I'm Comin'" and "I'm a Soul Man."

Sam Moore and Dave Prater, veterans of the gospel groups The Melionaires and The Sensational Hummingbirds, respectively met at the King of Hearts club in Miami in 1961. They teamed up and recorded for Roulette Records in the early 60s with little success. Jerry Wexler signed them to Atlantic Records in 1965, when their singles and albums were issued on the Stax label. They recorded at the Stax studio in Memphis, Tennessee, under songwriter-producers Isaac Hayes and Dave Porter, who wrote virtually all their hits. Usually recording with Hayes on the piano and backed by Booker T. and The MGs and The Memphis Horns, Sam and Dave had Top 10 R&B hit with "You Don't Know Like I Know” in early 1966, "Hold On! I'm Comin'" a R&B hit and a Top 10 Pop hit, followed by R&B "I Said I Wasn't Gonna Tell Nobody," "You Got Me Hummin'," and "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby." They later had Top 10 Pop and R&B hits with "Soul Man" and "I Thank You."

Prater was born in Georgia and Moore in Florida; the duo met in the latter’s hometown of Miami in 1961. Moore, a church-reared singer who sang with such gospel quartets as the Gales and the Mellionaires, once turned down an offer to replace the departing Sam Cooke in the Soul Stirrers. Prater had himself moved to Miami to sing in his brother’s gospel group, the Sensational Hummingbirds. But it was R&B that brought the two singers together onstage at Miami’s King of Hearts nightclub one fateful amateur night. Sam and Dave recorded for the Alston and Roulette labels before being discovered by Atlantic Records’ Jerry Wexler, who caught their act at the King of Hearts in 1964 and then sent them to Memphis-based Stax to record the next year.

Theirs was the perfect balance of pop melody and church feeling; moreover, the duo intuitively played off each other to great effect. Sam and Dave split up in 1970, only to reunite and part ways several more times over the years, with the Blues Brothers’ revival of “Soul Man” in 1979 instigating one of their more successful reunions. Never as close offstage as they were in performance, Sam and Dave finally called it quits after a performance in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve, 1981. Prater was killed in a 1988 auto accident. Moore, who continued singing, turned up on several tracks of Bruce Springsteen’s Human Touch album.

Sam & Dave created a body of sweaty, gritty soul that ranks among the finest and most popular produced in the late '60s. The duo's 1966 debut, "You Don't' Know Like I Know," kicked off a series of Top Ten R&B hits that included "Hold On! I'm Comin'" (1966), "You Got Me Hummin'" (1966), "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby" (1967), "Soul Man" (1967), and "I Thank You" (1968). However, the duo's career began to unravel in 1968, when Stax's distribution deal with Atlantic ended. Since Sam & Dave were signed with Atlantic, not Stax, they no longer had access to the production team of Hayes and Porter or the house band of Booker T. & the MG's, and their recorded work took a slight dip in quality. Though the switch of labels was unfortunate, what really caused the duo's demise was their volatile relationship. While the duo had enormous creative energy, they frequently fought off-stage. Nicknamed "Double Dynamite," Sam & Dave became famous for their energetic, infectious live performances during the late '60s, which complemented the overall high quality of their studio work. They may have communicated on-stage, but behind the scenes, it was reported that the duo could hardly stand each other's presence. The tension caused Sam & Dave to part ways in 1970, just a few years after their heyday.

During the '70s, Sam & Dave reunited several times to little attention. At the end of the decade, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd's Blues Brothers routine -- which borrowed heavily from Sam & Dave -- sparked a resurgence of interest in the duo, and the pair performed a number of concerts during 1980. However, their personal animosity had not faded, and they separated after a performance on New Year's Eve 1981. For the next few years, Prater toured as Sam & Dave with vocalist Sam Daniels. During the mid-'80s, Moore revealed the sources of the duo's tensions in a series of interviews. He disclosed that he had been addicted to drugs during the '70s. Prater was arrested in 1987 for selling crack to an undercover policeman. A year later, he died in a car accident. Moore continued to perform sporadically, most notably on Bruce Springsteen's 1992 album Human Touch album. Sam & Dave were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame that same year.

Colin Escott & Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Edited by mouser, Oct 22 2008, 07:00 PM.
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SANFORD-TOWNSEND BAND ( Smoke From A Distant Fire )

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The Sanford-Townsend Band were a rock and roll one-hit wonder in the United States, who scored a hit single in 1977 with "Smoke from a Distant Fire."

They were a "blue-eyed soul" band featuring Ed Sanford and John Townsend, who previously worked together in a band called the Heart in Montgomery, Alabama. After reuniting in Los Angeles, Sanford and Townsend began writing songs, most notably "Peacemaker" for Loggins and Messina.

Their 1976 self-titled album did not sell well, until "Smoke from a Distant Fire" reached the Billboard Hot 100. The album was re-released using the song title as its own. The band supported the song by opening for Fleetwood Mac on their Rumours tour, as well as gigs with the Marshall Tucker Band.

Sanford-Townsend Band was what is known as a "one hit wonder." The origin of their hit is chronicled in this write-up.


Johnny Townsend of Sanford & Townsend was kind enough to tell us about this song:

"In the spring of 1974 Ed Sanford and I had just signed a publishing deal with Chappel Music. They gave us a nice advance and a weekly stipend and for a couple of unknown writers, this was a rare deal. Ed and our friend Steven Stewart (co-writer on Smoke...) were sharing one half of an old duplex in Hollywood at the time. I used to drop by and hang out, write or whatever, almost on a daily basis. Now Steven was an aspiring classical guitarist at the time. He used to stay up 'til the wee hours, sometimes daybreak, bent over his music stand practicing his scales, or some classical piece.

He was driven to become a great player. I was over one morning as Ed was just waking up and Steven hadn't been to bed yet. Ed was complaining about not getting any sleep and barked at Steven, 'When are you gonna stop wasting your time on that classical crap and write something that will make you some money.' Steven picked up his guitar immediately and started playing what I thought was a really cool R&B type rhythm and replied with 'Anybody can write that crap.' I said, 'Apparently you just did' and went straight to the piano and embellished on his idea. While going through some old song ideas in my notebook I always carried, I found one that actually was the title of a poem that Ed had written while in college. I extracted the title because it seemed to be a perfect fit for the chorus idea I had and that all sort of amalgamated into Smoke From A Distant Fire.

Basically, the song started as a joke and that joke is still making us money to this very day.

I love songwriting I guess because I've always enjoyed puzzles, crosswords, anagrams and the like. It's different every time and I still couldn't tell you exactly where they come from. I think many of the great melodies are universal melodies that exist out in the cosmos somewhere and certain people have the knack of reaching out with their minds, hearts or spirits to bring them back to us."
The band's follow-up albums, entitled Duo-Glide and Nail Me to the Wall were largely unsuccessful. Sanford and Townsend returned to their careers as session musicians and songwriters.


WET WILLIE (Grits Ain't Groceries, Weekend )

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Rick Hirsch, Jimmy Hall, Jack Hall, John Anthony, Lewis Ross were the nucleus of Wet Willie from 1969 through 1976. The band changed or added members depending somewhat on what extra instruments were needed to follow up the latest album release.
They began as a thrown together blues-rock band during the magical summer of 1969 down in Mobile, Alabama. The original nucleus of the group that eventually became known as Wet Willie was called Fox.
Fox had behind it the powerful vocals and distinctive sax of Jimmy Hall, with Jimmy's brother Jack on bass and banjo, Ricky Hirsch on lead and slide guitars and mandolin (as well as writing a lot of the songs), Lewis Ross on the skins, and John Anthony (later succeeded by Mike Duke) playing the keyboards. They counted the Rolling Stones and the Animals among their influences, but their sound was closer in spirit to early Otis Redding or Little Richard — which made the move to Macon, GA, in early 1970 a natural one, the town being Richard Penniman's onetime home, as well as the headquarters of Capricorn Records, the company run by Redding's onetime manager, Phil Walden. Wet Willie auditioned for Capricorn that summer and were at work on their debut album by the fall of that same year.
The first "gig" was a booking in Panama City, Florida at a club called the Odyssey, a geodesic dome right on the beach.

Wet Willie were, after the Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd, the hardest-rocking of the Southern bands to come to national attention in the early '70s. For seven years, from 1971 until 1978, they produced an enviable array of albums awash in good-time music, rollicking high-energy blues-rock, and white Southern soul, and for their trouble they racked up just one Top Ten hit ("Keep On Smilin'") and a lot of admirers. In contrast to the Allman Brothers Band, whose jumping-off point was really Cream and who based their music on long jams, Wet Willie were closer in spirit to Booker T. & the MG's and perhaps the Mar-Keys, of Stax/Volt fame, much more steeped in sweaty, good-time R&B than the blues-rock of the Allmans or the country-rock of the Marshall Tucker Band. Think of what Lynyrd Skynyrd might have sounded like with but one lead guitar on a white chitlin’ circuit, if such a thing had existed. Despite sharing the same label as the Allmans and the Marshall Tucker Band, Wet Willie wasn't like either of those groups. They jammed, but usually not for stretches of more than ten or 12 minutes, and they weren't laid-back Southerners. Rather, Wet Willie played an intense, very vocal-oriented brand of white Southern soul. Indeed, they were probably the only white group that one could imagine doing a song such as, say, "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," and not embarrassing themselves in the process.

Hall documents the band's steady climb from a honky-tonk bar band to opening for Grand Funk Railroad. "At first the company wanted us to go with a Rolling Stones sound and teamed us up with an English producer (Eddie Offord)," remembers Hall. "We were deeply inspired by the Allman Brothers - we grew real close - they were like big brothers. It was like going to rock n' roll school and having a ball. They took us under their wings as we grew as a band. By the time we released our third album, "Drippin' Wet" (Live) we were feelin' pretty comfortable. That was a statement as to what we were about - the energy and the instrumental prowess that we had worked on up to that point--toning, refining and getting better. You can hear all our influences from Gospel to Blues. We covered everything from originals to Freddie King, Leon Russel and Taj Mahal."
Their first two albums were released with barely a ripple, and their third, a live concert document called Drippin' Wet, was the first to scrape the lower reaches of the Top 200 albums. The group's third studio release, Keep On Smilin', finally gave them a hit with the title track, and yielded a handful of other popular tracks. The addition of the female backing group the Williettes only opened the group's sound out further with a gospel and soul sensibility. Dixie Rock and Wetter the Better followed in short order, but neither of those albums matched Keep On Smilin' in the songwriting department, and the band suffered a gradual decline in its album sales, despite getting a hit single out of "Dixie Rock." The band issued one final album on Capricorn in 1977, which was followed, perhaps too closely, by Wet Willie's Greatest Hits (Capricorn by that time had run into severe financial problems and was releasing anything that looked like it might sell).Around this time, the group went through a series of internal shifts and it next emerged in 1978 with new lineup and a new contract with Epic Records. Jimmy and Jack Hall were still there, only now they were joined by three additional singers — in addition to keyboardist Mike Duke, guitarist Marshall Smith and drummer Theophilus K. Lively contributed seriously to the vocalizing, and, to top it off, the band now had another guitar player in Larry Berwald. The result was the gorgeous Manorisms album, which showed off harmony singing like nobody's business and a pop side to the soul stylings that occasionally had the group crossing successfully close to Motown territory, only a lot hotter and sweatier than, say, the Grass Roots (who also had a kind of white Motown sound) ever got. Sad to say, while their concert audiences were healthy and they were at no loss for gigs, Manorisms never sold, lacking the hit single to get it a foothold on AM radio. The band released one more album, Which One's Willie? in 1979, which performed just as poorly or worse. The group finally broke up in 1980 after nearly a decade of great records and even better shows. In the 1990s, Wet Willie re-formed around a core of keyboardist John Anthony, guitarist Ricky Hirsch, and Jimmy Hall, with other musicians — including Smith, Duke, and Lively — filling out their ranks. Wet Willie's recording efforts have been intermittent at best, but they've been very busy performing on-stage.
In 1996, they were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and, in March of 2001, were inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. They remain an active performing band in two distinct incarnations — with Jimmy Hall in their lineup, they're billed as Wet Willie, while for shows and on records for which Hall is unable to participate, they work as the Wet Willie Band, with guitarist Ric Seymour as lead singer.
For those who must have a concept, or reason and meaning behind every occurring work in any medium of art, the only one I can think of was "fun". Raw, They continue to perform today around the Southeast. by Bruce Eder

MUDDY WATERS ( Baby Please Don't Go, Got My Mojo Working )

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Anyone who's followed the course of modern popular music is aware of the vast influence exerted on its development by the large numbers of blues artists who collectively shaped and defined the approach to amplified music in the late 1940s and early '50s. Chicago was the pivotal point for the development and dissemination of the modern blues and virtually everything else has flowed, in one way or another, from this rich source.

He was born McKinley Morganfield--Muddy Waters is a nickname given him in childhood in the tiny hamlet of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, on April 4, 1915, but from the age of three, when his mother died, was raised by his maternal grandmother in Clarksdale, a small town one hundred miles to the north.

It is scarcely surprising then that the Delta region has nurtured a tradition of blues singing and playing that reflects the harsh, brutal life there, a music shot through with all the agonized tension, bitterness, stark power and raw passion of life lived at or near the brink of despair. Poised between life and death, the Delta bluesman gave vent to his terror, frustration, rage and passionate humanity in a music that was taut with dark, brooding force and spellbinding intensity that was jagged, harsh, raw as an open wound and profoundly, inexorably, moving. The great Delta blues musicians--Charley Patton, Son House, Tommy Johnson and, especially in Waters' case, the brilliant, tortured Robert Johnson--sang with a naked force, majesty and total conviction that make their music timeless and universal in its power to touch and move us deeply.

Growing to manhood there, in the very heart of the region that had spawned this magnificent music, Waters was drawn early to its stark, telling, expressive power. He had been working as a farm laborer for several years when at thirteen he took up the harmonica, the instrument on which many blues performers first master the music's rudiments. Four years later he made the switch to guitar. "You see, I was digging Son House and Robert Johnson." The two were the undisputed masters of the region's characteristic "bottleneck" style of guitar accompaniment. With this technique the Delta bluesman could utilize the guitar as a perfect extension of his voice, the sliding bottleneck matching the dips, slurs, sliding notes and all the tonal ambiguity of the voice as it is used in singing the blues.

Within a year, Waters recalled, he had mastered the bottleneck style and the jagged, pulsating rhythms of Delta guitar. He had learned to sing powerfully and expressively in the tightly constricted, pain-filled manner that characterized the best Delta singers. By the time a team of Library of Congress field collectors headed by Alan Lomax visited and recorded Waters for the Library's folksong archives in 1941 (they were looking for Robert Johnson at the time, unaware of his death three years earlier), returning to record him further the following year, he had had several years' local performing experience behind him.

Providing the musical impetus for dancers at rough-and-tumble back country dances, in juke joints, and at picnics, houseparties and other rural entertainments had sharpened the young bluesman's vocal and instrumental abilities to a keen edge. The recordings show the strikingly distinctive power of the young Waters, both as singer and master of Delta bottleneck guitar.

The following year Muddy put the Delta behind him forever. He moved to Chicago in 1943, and never looked back.

The revolution began inauspiciously enough in 1948 with the release of a 78-rpm single by a singer-guitarist called Muddy Waters. Coupled on Aristocrat 1305 were a pair of traditional Mississippi Delta-styled pieces "I Cant Be Satisfied" and "I Feel Like Going Home," and on them Waters' dark, majestic singing. Waters' use of amplification gave his guitar playing a new, powerful, striking edge and sonority that introduced to traditional music a sound its listeners found very exciting, comfortably familiar yet strangely compelling and, above all, immensely powerful, urgent

But it was not as easy in the Windy City as the young bluesman had imagined. It was the middle of the war and, though times were flush and there was a great deal of money to be earned in the defense industries, the winds of change were blowing uncertainly through the music world.

Spearheading the new blues was Waters. He had persevered with his music. After several years of playing to slowly increasing audiences, first at house parties and later in small taverns dotted throughout Chicago's huge, sprawling South and West Side black-belt slums, he had begun to record. Ironically enough, it was for Columbia Records that he had made his first recordings as a Chicago bluesman. Unfortunately, the recordings were not issued. Working as a truck driver, Waters had managed to persuade the operators of Aristocrat-later Chess-Records, a small, independent Chicago firm, to record him.

After several exploratory recordings made in the company of pianist Sunnyland Slim and bassist Ernest "Big" Crawford which made absolutely no impression on the record-buying public, Waters suddenly scored with the single "I Can't Be Satisfied/I Feel Like Going Home." And it is with this record that the history of the modern Chicago blues properly begins. Over the next few years, Waters gathered around him a group of like-minded, country-reared musicians with whom he proceeded to make blues history.

Over the surging rhythmic momentum his group developed so effortlessly, Waters' dark-hued voice chanted the Mississippi blues of his boyhood. In his singing could be heard echoes of the great Delta singers he so admired. Robert Johnson's music, especially, is at the root of so many of Waters' early commercial recordings. But even if the source of the music is not specifically Johnson, it is ultimately based in the traditional blues of his native Mississippi Delta, always the linchpin of Waters' approach to music, as attested by "Rollin' Stone" and "Still A Fool" (both remarkable reworkings of the Delta standard "Catfish Blues"), "Standing Around Crying," "Rollin' And Tumblin'," "Honey Bee," among many others.

Following his earliest recordings, made primarily of traditional Mississippi blues staples and his adaptations of them, Muddy slowly broadened the traditional base of his music to incorporate new instrumental sounds and textures. Memorable among these early efforts were the remarkable trio recordings with Little Walter on harmonica and Crawford on bass in support of his incisive amplified bottleneck guitar: "Louisiana Blues," and "Long Distance Call," dating from 1950 or early '51 are justly praised masterpieces of the postwar blues. Waters' regular second guitarist during this period was the empathetic, almost telepathic Jimmy Rogers whose deft, rhythmically unerring playing was unparalleled in the modern blues. A member of Waters' working band from the late 1940s, he was not to make his appearance on a Waters record until the end of 1951, the same time pianist Otis Spann was added to the group's lineup for live performances. With him on board, the modern blues band format and sound was fully settled, documented on such Waters band performances as "I Just Want To Make Love To You," "Hoochie Coochie Man" and "I'm Ready" (1954), "Just To Be With You" (1956) and a host of others.

With the ensemble finally settled, the final element was added in the form of Willie Dixon the veteran bassist whose abilities as a songwriter of proven talent, versatility and audience-pleasing cleverness enabled Waters to achieve even wider success through the many songs he wrote specifically for, and in some cases helped produce for the singer-guitarist and his crack ensemble. From the middle 1950s Waters' songwriting became almost wholly urban in character, as for example "She's Nineteen Years Old," "Walkin' Thru The Park," "You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had" and the anthemic "Got My Mojo Working," among others.

All through the 1950s Waters solidified and extended his initial success with a series of recordings, many of them absolutely brilliant and none less than satisfying, that firmly established his approach as the dominant postwar blues style. Countless groups emulated its brusque, rude force and thrilling sonorities though few were able to match the peerless ensemble integration it attained so consistently and effortlessly. Members of Waters' various bands--guitarists Jimmy Rogers, Sammy Lawhorn and Luther Johnson, harmonica players Little Walter, Junior Wells and James Cotton, pianists Otis Spann and Pinetop Perkins--left to strike out with bands of their own, spreading the Waters gospel further. Later generations of bluesmen took Waters' approach as their birthright: Buddy Guy, Magic Sam, Otis Rush and scores of others-have all been in Waters' debt.

Four decades and more later, the blues of postwar Chicago remain the standard bearers, the yardstick by which all others have been and continue to be measured. Waters, his cohorts and immediate followers had limned definitively the contours of the style, and it was they who extended and reworked the idiom, bringing it to its highest levels. The stage was set for the music's next development, rock-and-roll and its offshoots and permutations.

As the 1950s gave way to the '60s, blues of the direct, yeasty sort Waters and his bandsmen performed so tellingly became ever less relevant to black listeners who increasingly involved themselves with soul music and its offshoots, the more urbane blues styles of B.B. King and his disciples, and various forms of modern black dance music.

By this time, however, Waters and other blues performers of his generation had been discovered and taken up by a new audience-young, white and middle-class that had been born of the folk music revival of the late 1950s and swelled even further a few years later by the British blues boom. The bars, taverns and dancehalls of the chitlin' circuit in which he had performed for black dancers and listeners in the previous decade soon had given way to college auditoriums, folksong, blues and jazz clubs and festival stages, both here and abroad, increasing international touring, television appearances and wide acceptance by the rock community, which accorded him the respectful adulation given a founding figure. His young white listeners gained the beauty and majesty of his music.

Through all this his mentors at Chess Records sought to keep pace with the changing tides in popular music, in response to which they placed Waters in a number of recording contexts they felt would broaden his acceptance even further. The most sensitive and, happily, one of the best received of these productions was the 2-LP set "Fathers And Sons," which paid homage to Waters and his achievements through the sponsorship and participation of several young musicians who had learned directly from him, repaying the favor by using their celebrity to focus attention on him-the brilliant young harmonica player Paul Butterfield and guitarist Michael Bloomfield. In 1977, his long association with Chess at an end, he signed with Blue Sky Records, a label operated by another of his young proteges, the guitarist and singer Johnny Winter, and over the next several years produced four spirited albums under Winter's sympathetic guidance.

Waters performed almost uninterruptedly, invariably giving of his best and often, when circumstances conspired to allow it, setting the night on fire with the strength, passion and conviction that only he could muster. He carried his message to countless listeners, first in Chicago, then all the rest of the U.S. and finally, the world. From the start it was he who dominated the music, who led the way-in style, sound, repertoire, instrumentation, in every way-first as a greatly popular club performer from the mid-1940s on and, a few years later, as the most influential recording artist in the new amplified blues idiom. In the years 1948-55 he put forth for definition the fundamental approaches and usages of modern blues in a remarkable series of ground-breaking and, as time has shown, classic records. In the years since, the style Waters delineated has been extended, fragmented, elaborated and otherwise commercialized, but the fundamental earthy, vital, powerful sound of the postwar blues as defined by Muddy and his bandsmen has yet to be excelled-or even equaled, come to that. It's no accident The Rolling Stones chose their name from one of Waters' finest early recordings. The choice was merely prophetic, for Muddy and his magnificent bedrock music continue to resonate as thrillingly and powerfully through the music of today as they did back in the late '40s and early '50s when we first heard them.

Muddy Waters transformed the soul of the rural South into the sound of the city, electrifying the blues at a pivotal point in the early postwar period. His recorded legacy, particularly the wealth of sides he cut in the Fifties, is one of the great musical treasures of this century. Aside from Robert Johnson, no single figure is more important in the history and development of the blues than Waters. The real question as regards his lasting impact on popular music isn’t “Who did he influence?” but - as Goldmine magazine asked in 2001 - “Who didn’t he influence?”

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors’ Muddy Waters’ legacy with a month-long tribute and celebration in September, 2000. When he died quietly in his sleep on April 30, 1983, in his home in suburban Westmont, Illinois, America lost one of the greatest, most influential and enduringly important musicians of the century, one who had reshaped the course of the blues, set it on a new path and, through the influence he exerted on so many other who followed in his trailblazing wake, completely altered the sound, substance and very character of all modern popular music. Waters, who remained active till the end, was 68 years old at the time of his death. In the years since, the one-room cedar shack in which he lived on the Stovall Plantation has been preserved as a memorial to Waters’ humble origins.

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-Pete Welding, excerpted from "Gone to Mainstreet," Bluesland, E.P. Dutton, 1992
Muddy Waters
Rock Hall of Fame

HARRY BELAFONTE ( Jump In The Line, Banana Boat Song )

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Born March 1, 1927 in poverty-stricken Harlem to first-generation Jamaican immigrants, Harry Belafonte emigrated from 1935 to 1939 with his mother back to Jamaica at eight years old, living with his grandmother in the village of Aboukir, and returned to New York at age thirteen.

When he returned to New York he attended George Washington High School after which he joined the Navy and served during World War II. Midway through high school, he dropped out and enlisted in the Navy. Upon discharge, the young man studied and performed at the Actors Studio (alongside such legends as Tony Curtis and Marlon Brando), Erwin Piscator's Dramatic Workshop at the New School for Social Research, and The American Negro Theater. A singing role in a theatrical piece led to a string of cabaret engagements, and before long, Belafonte's success enabled him to secure funding to open his own nightclub. His recording career officially began at the age of 22, in 1949, when he presented himself as a pop singer along the lines of Tony Bennett or Frank Sinatra, but in time he found a more unique niche by delving headfirst into the Library of Congress's archive of folk song recordings and studying West Indian music. What emerged was a highly unique (and unprecedented) blend of pop, jazz and traditional Caribbean rhythms.

Belafonte started his career in music as a club singer in New York, to pay for his acting classes. The first time he appeared in front of an audience he was backed by the Charlie Parker band, which included Charlie Parker himself, Max Roach, and Miles Davis among others. At first he was a pop singer, launching his recording career on the Jubilee label in 1949, but later he developed a keen interest in folk music, learning material through the Library of Congress' American folk songs archives. With guitarist and friend Millard Thomas, Belafonte soon made his debut at the legendary jazz club The Village Vanguard.

In 1952 he received a contract with RCA Victor. His first full-release single was Matilda, recorded April 27, 1953, which went on to remain his 'signature' song throughout his career. His breakthrough album Calypso (1956) became the first LP to sell over 1 million copies (Bing Crosby's White Christmas and Tennessee Ernie Ford's Sixteen Tons, both singles, had previously surpassed the 1 million mark). The album is number four on Billboard's "Top 100 Album" list for having spent 31 weeks at number 1, 58 weeks in the top ten, and 99 weeks on the U.S. charts. The album introduced American audiences to Calypso music and Belafonte was dubbed the "King of Calypso", a title he wore with some reservations. One of the songs included in the album is the now famous "Banana Boat Song," with its signature lyric "Day-O". While primarily known for his Calypso songs, Belafonte has recorded in many genres, including blues, folk, gospel, show tunes, and American standards.

Belafonte continued to record for RCA through the 1950s to the 1970s. Two live albums, both recorded at Carnegie Hall in 1959 and 1960, enjoyed critical and commercial success. He was one of many entertainers recruited by Frank Sinatra to perform at the Inaugural gala of President John F. Kennedy in 1961. That same year he released his second Calypso album, Jump Up Calypso, which went on to become another million seller.

During the 1960s he introduced a number of artists to American audiences, most notably African singer Miriam Makeba and Greek singer Nana Mouskouri. His album Midnight Special (1962) featured the first-ever recorded appearance by a then young harmonica player named Bob Dylan. As The Beatles and other stars from Britain began to dominate the U.S. pop charts, Belafonte's impact as a commercial force diminished; 1964's Belafonte At The Greek Theatre was his last album to appear in Billboard's Top 40.

Belafonte has received a Grammy Award for the albums Swing That Hammer (1960) and An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba (1965). The latter album dealt with the political plight of black South Africans under apartheid. He has been awarded six Gold Records.

Belafonte's album output in the 1970s slowed after leaving RCA. He released only one album of original material in the 1980s, coinciding with a stronger focus on politics and activism. A soundtrack and video of a televised concert were released in 1997 by Island Records. The Long Road to Freedom, An Anthology of Black Music, a huge multi-artist project recorded during the 1960s and 1970s while he was still with RCA, was finally released by the label in 2001.

Belafonte was the first African-American man to win an Emmy, with his first solo TV special Tonight with Belafonte (1959). During the 1960s he appeared in a number of TV specials, alongside such artists as Julie Andrews, Petula Clark, Lena Horne, and Nana Mouskouri. He was also a guest star on a memorable episode of The Muppet Show in 1978, in which he sang his signature song "Day-O" on television for the very first time. However, the episode is best known for Belafonte singing the spiritual song, " that is performed with Muppets designed like African tribal masks. It has become one of the most famous performances in the series. It was reported to be Jim Henson's favorite episode, and Belafonte did a reprise of the song at Henson's funeral in 1990.

Harry Belafonte received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1989. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1994 and he won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

Belafonte has been a major concert draw since his first world tour in 1956. He has continued to perform before audiences globally through the 1950s to the 2000s. He gave his last concert in 2003, and in a recent interview stated that he has since retired from performing.

Alongside his recording and cinematic work, Belafonte has accumulated dozens of awards and honors bestowed upon him by various social-service and political organizations. Harry Belafonte is the father of actress/singer Shari Belafonte-Harper. Married to Marguerite Byrd from 1948-1957, he wed his second wife, Julie Robinson in 1957.

Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide,_Harry/Biography/

BLACKFOOT (Train, Train)

Blackfoot is a Southern rock band from Jacksonville, Florida. They were formed in 1972 and were contemporaries of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and tried for years to make it as a Southern rock band, although they were more popular as a hard rock outfit.

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Greg Walker
Greg T. Walker, bassist, vocals and multi instrumentalist assembled childhood friends to form Blackfoot in 1969. His first "play for pay" group at age ten included two of those members. From that moment forward there was never any doubt as to what he would do when he 'grew up'.

Michael Sollars
Michael Sollars has always had BIG Rock-n-Roll and musical dreams, which he has been blessed to be able to pursue. Born in Wilmington, Ohio, in 1966, Michael benefited from a great public school music program, which motivated him to study jazz at The Hartford Conservatory in 1985, and along with Denny Blake (Helix, Movin’ Out), and Johnny April (Staind), he formed New England Rock Favorites MANIAX then MOSTLY HOLY. In the mid-90’s, Michael funked up the Boston circuit with THROAT CULTURE, and shared the stage BO DIDDLEY, LENNY KRAVITZ, LA GUNS and JOHNNY WINTER.

Charlie Hargrett
Guitarist Charlie Hargrett is a founding member of Blackfoot, and played lead guitar in the band from 1969 to 1984.
His guitar work can be heard on the Blackfoot albums "No Reservations" (1975), "Flying High" (1976), "Blackfoot Strikes" (1979), "Tomcattin' " (1980), "Marauder" (1981), "Highway Song Live" (1982), "Siogo" (1983), "King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Blackfoot live, 1983" (released 1998), and more.
If you expect great, powerful Southern Rock, Charlie Hargrett won't disappoint you. He's better than ever!

Bobby Barth
Bobby Barth is the singer, lead guitarist, writer and founding member of MCA / Atlantic recording artists Axe. His released recordings span over 5 decades, starting with "Wakefield" in 1969 up to the release of "The Crown" in April of 2002.
His long time friendship and songwriting relationship with Blackfoot made him the logical choice to fill the lead guitar slot in the 80's when Charlie Hargrett left the band. Bobby was involved with the recording and writing for SIOGO and Vertical smiles and continued on for one and a half years with one of the original members.

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In fairy tales, there is usually a happy ending. Hard, honest efforts are rewarded with success. And problems are solved by the very nature of the universe. Oh, if life were only that way!
If it were, the band Blackfoot would be one of the largest and best-known bands in the world. Indeed, they have developed a definite following, despite all the problems they have encountered over the years. Formed in the late 1960s with Rick Medlocke, Charlie Hargett, Jakson Spires, and Greg T. Walker, the band began producing their own special brand of rock 'n' roll. But success did not come easy, nor did it come fast. Rickey Medlocke sang and played with Lynyrd Skynyrd when they first formed, documented on the album Skynyrd's First And ...Last, but Blackfoot seemed unable to find the success that Skynyrd did, at least for a while.

In 1975, they made their first album, No Reservations. Filled with great music, it nonetheless was sluggish in sales. It did sell good enough, however, to allow the band to produce a second album.
Flying High followed in 1976, continuing the band's budding national reputation as a premier act. It was not good enough, however, and it would be three more years before another Blackfoot album was to be recorded.
On stage, Blackfoot was incredible, but that energy was not transmitted in its entirety to the album. Added to this was the fact that Blackfoot had not received the national press of similar bands, so for a large segment of the population, they were still unknown.

The band continued on, playing night clubs and bars, managing to stay together throughout despite their failed recording career. The night life was their home, and in it they refined their already unique sound.

Then, like the legendary phoenix rising from the grave, Blackfoot was back. Changing labels from Epic to Atco, their 1979 album, Blackfoot Strikes became an instant hit with tracks like "Train, Train" and "Highway Song",
It was soon followed by another classic, Tomcattin'. Still filled with the best of Blackfoot's sound, it established them as a major Southern Rock Band. Fans were ecstatic, as it seemed that Blackfoot was climbing rapidly to the rank of super-star band.

1981 saw the release of Marauder. But in the midst of this success, the band began experiencing internal problems. As is usually the case, the road took its toll, causing tempers to flare. Arguments became common-place.
1982 saw the release of the album Siogo.

IN 1983, with the band showing serious signs of deterioration in their organization, their musical triumph was forever captured on the album King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents: Blackfoot. This live album, however, never made it to the stores until many years later in 1998. It was finally released to recapture the spirit that was Blackfoot.
Vertical Smiles saw the beginning of the end of the original Blackfoot. For the first time, one of the original band members, Charlie Hargrett, was missing due to the internal strife that had been building. Blackfoot was trying a new, modern sound. Ken Hensley left the band after this in mid-tour, and was soon followed by Greg T. Walker and Jakson Spires. All that remained of th original band was Rickey Medlocke.

Slumping record sales, along with the erroneous belief by many in the music industry that "Southern Rock was dead," ended Blackfoot's latest recording career. The new modernization did not have the desired effect, as fans became disenchanted with the band's latest work. More than a decade would pass this time, and the original Blackfoot would never be heard from again.

But Blackfoot would once more rise, although not to the point of its earlier days. In 1994, After The Reign was released. Besides Rickey Medlocke, it featured new band members Mark Woerpel, Tim Stunson, and Benny Rappa.
A greatest hits album, Best Of Rattlesnake Rock 'N' Roll was also released in 1994. It marked the sad official end of Blackfoot as a band. Throughout the trials and tribulations that accompany every Southern Rock band, Blackfoot had lost their way, but to millions of devoted fans, their music will live on forever.

That was the end, except for the release of the live album King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents: Blackfoot, which was actually recorded in 1983 (see above). But even if Blackfoot has faded into history, the members have not. Rickey Medlocke replaced an ailing Edward King on the Lynyrd Skynyrd album, Twenty, released in 1997. As of this update, he is a permanent member of the band.
Charlie Hargrett still plays with Rickey on occasion, and has remained in contact with the original members over the years. He is now forming a new band, No Idea, which has not yet released an album. Jakson Spires and Greg T. Walker, after playing with the Southern Rock All-Stars with Jay Johnson, are also launching a new recording project, named NDN . Their contribution to Blackfoot will never be forgotten.

Black Foot Rocks


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The Shirelles, a group of 16 and 17 year olds, were all friends from Passaic High School in Passaic, New Jersey, that began singing together in 1958. Fans of the Flamingos, Chantels, and Little Anthony and the Imperials as well as the Bobbettes, The Shirelles received a large part of their musical education by listening to New York's premier R&B station at the time, WWRL. Originally they called themselves the Poquellos (meaning birds). One of the first of the late Fifties and early Sixties girl groups and among the few to write their own hits, the Shirelles were also one of the longest lasting.
The Shirelles consisted of Shirley Owens (born June 10, 1941), Addie Micki" Harris (born January 22, 1940), Beverly Lee Born August 3, 1942) and Doris Coley (born August 2, 1941) With a strong distinctive voice, Owens was the natural leader. …Their harmonizing in the school gym resulted in a teacher suggesting that they direct their talents toward the school's talent show. The Shirelles then set about to writing an original show and they wrote one about young love called "I Met Him on a Sunday." The girls sang the song a cappella in the show and were immediate sensations. Their friend Mary Jane Greenberg wanted to introduce them to her mother Florence Greenberg, who owned Tiara Records, but the girls weren't interested and turned her down. After Mary Jane's repeated request, the Poquellos finally auditioned in Florence's living room with "I Met Him on a Sunday." On February 7, 1958, they found themselves in a recording studio doing "I Met Him On A Sunday" and "I Want You To Be My Boyfriend." Deciding that they needed a more commercial name, they changed their name to the Honeytones. Eventually, Florence took Shirley's name, and combined it with the Chantels and came up with the Shirelles. Promotional copies were distributed in New York in les than a week after the audition..
The single came out in March and created enough activity for Decca to buy the masters. On April 21, "I Met Him on A Sunday” reached the Billboard charts, rising to #49. The single became a staple on radio stations until July. The Shirelles were booked to play the Apollo Theater in March and appeared on Dick Clark's ABC-TV Saturday show in April.
The Shirelles then began performing on the chitlin' circuit, but their mothers insisted that the teens be chaperoned. Two of the tour's older performers, Etta James and Ruth Brown became the designated den mothers. Decca issued two more singles "My Love Is A Charm" and "Lonely Nights" both which failed to chart. The Shirelles were dropped by Decca by the end of 1958.
In June 1959, the Shirelles began their comeback. They were booked into the Howard Theater in Washington, DC, followed by the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York Greenberg who had started Sceptor Records in the spring of 1959 and brought in producer/writer Luther Dixon to work with the girls.
The next two singles "Doin' the Ronde" and "Please Be My Boyfriend" went nowhere. Then the group recorded an Owens/Dixon composition, "Tonight's the Night," which was released in April, 1960. Featuring Owens, it charted on September 12 and reached #39 Pop and #14 R&B.
In late summer of 1960, songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin brought Dixon a song called "Tomorrow." The girls didn't like it, feeling it was too white, and had to be pressured by Dixon to record it. By the time it was released in the fall of 1960, it had become "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," an up-tempo pop song with an exciting string arrangement and lyrics that were ahead of their time in subject matter.
On November 21, 1960 "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" charted Pop and in two weeks reached the top spot, the first record by a black female group to hit the top spot. Its success put life back into "Dedicated To the One I Love" and "Tonight's the Night" and all three were certified gold in 1961. The Shirelles ended the year by appearing at the Brooklyn Paramount's Chiristmas Show were Brenda Lee, Bobby Rydell and Ray Charles headlined.

The follow up was a reissue of "Dedicated To the One I Love," and it climbed the Hot 100 so fast that "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" was still at number #3 when it entered the Top 10.
The Shirelles then began touring with all the hitmakers of the day from Dion, Chubby Checker, Ray Charles, Neil Sedaka, and the Coasters, to Fats Domino, the Drifters, and Bo Diddley. They also did the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars.
Owen's distinctively innocent sound was now fully developed and the girl's harmonies were polished and smoothly commercially. As a result the Shirelles charted more times Pop (26) than R&B (20) in their career.
"Mama Said" reached #4 Pop and #2 R&B in the spring of 1961. The Shirelles were doing so well that Decca re-issued "I Met Him on A Sunday" in early 1961.
In early 1962 writers, Hal David, Burt Bacharach and Barney Williams gave Dixon a rock ballad called "I'll Cherish You' which became "Baby It's You." "Baby It's You" charted at #8 Pop and #3 R&B. Despite the Shirelles' enormous popularity TV shows like Ed Sullivan were off limits to black girls in 1962.
In 1962 Dixon and Florence Greenberg wrote a country styled tune called "Soldier Boy" which became the group's second number one record.

The Shirelles continued to appear on the charts in 1962 with "Welcome Home Baby" (#22 Pop, #20 R&B), "Stop the Music (#36 Pop), and "Everybody Loves a Lover" (#19 Pop, #15 R&B), but in 1963 Dixon left to work at Capitol and Stan Green took over production. He had a strong entry with "Foolish Little Girl" (#4 Pop, #9 R&B), but subsequent songs were weaker. Still the Shirelles stayed in demand recording several songs for the film comedy It's a Mad, Mad, Mad,World and touring England with Little Richard and Duane Eddy.
During this time Shirley got married becoming Shirley Owens-Alston, and Doris became Doris Coley-Kenner. A newcomer, Dionne Warwick, substituted at performances for these newlyweds and at the same time building her own career at Sceptor.
In 1964, the Shirelles were told there was no money in the trust fund handled by Greenberg to protect their earnings. They attempted to leave Scepter, but were blocked by an injunction as lawsuits went through the courts. Scepter continued to release previously recorded material, but without commercial success.
After the legal problems were settled, the Shirelles remained with Sceptor for another four years. Sceptor continued to issue Shirelle records through 1968, but after "Foolish Little Girl' the closest they came to the Top 20 out of twenty-three singles was "Don't Say Good Night and Mean Goodbye (#26) in the summer of 1963. One song that had a good shot was "Sha La La (early 1964), which charted.
The British Invasion was launched and the Shirelles were one of the casualties of its emergence. But not before the Beatles paid homage to the influence of the great girl group by putting two Shirelles' songs on the Beatles' first album: Boys, a Luther Dixon song that had failed, and Baby It's You. The Shirelles' last charting single was "Last Minute Miracle" (#99 Pop, #41 R&B), but there wasn't any.
In 1968 Doris left the group to raise a family and the Shirelles continued on as a trio. In 1969 they had three singles as Shirley and the Shirelles for Bell Records. In 1970 the group signed with United Artists Records and recorded a medley of "There Goes My Baby/"Be My Baby." In the fall of 1971 they signed with their last label RCA, for four singles and continued touring.
In 1975 Shirley left for a solo career and teamed up with producer and former Shirelles manager Randy Irwin for a unique concept LP called Shirley Alston With A Little Help from Her Friends. The friends were famous doo wop groups who backed Shirley while she sang lead on their biggest hits, e.g., "I Only Have Eyes for You" with the Moonglows, "When or Where" with the Belmonts, "Save the Last Dance for Me" with the Drifters, and "In the Still of the Night" with the Five Satins. In the meantime Doris returned and the group continued performing until June 10, 1982, when Mickey Harris died of a heart attack while performing with the group at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta.
Entering the '90s there were at least three different Shirelle groups, each with one original member. Micki Harris died of a heart attack during a performance in Atlanta on June 10, 1982. Doris Coley died at the age of 58 from breast cancer in Sacramento, California, on February 4 2000.
The Shirelles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

History of Rock

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ROBERT JOHNSON (Dust My Broom, Cross Rod Blues )

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King Of Spades Music was established to administer the original compositions of Robert Johnson. The works of this seminal and legendary blues composer and musician have been an important component, indeed a watershed, in the evolution of American popular music and comprise the most influential body of work ever committed to wax by a bluesman. His compositions have been recorded by such notables as The Blues Brothers, Canned Heat, Cream, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, Grateful Dead, John Hammond, Jeff Healey Band, Elmore James, B. B. King, Led Zeppelin, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Taj Mahal, Steve Miller Band, Keb' Mo', Bonnie Raitt, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Rolling Stones, Ike & Tina Turner, Cassandra Wilson, ZZ Top and many, many others.
Robert Johnson was born on May 8, 1911, to Julia Major Dodds and Noah Johnson in Hazelhurst, Mississippi. Until his late adolescence, his name was Robert Spencer after his stepfather. Johnson took the name of his natural father as a teenager, even though he had not met him.
Music was a long-time interest for Johnson, and his first instruments were the Jew's harp and the harmonica. Before he became seriously involved with the guitar, he married Virginia Travis in February, 1929, and the young couple soon became expectant parents. But tragedy struck when Virginia, only sixteen years old, died in childbirth in 1930.
Johnson was ill-suited for sharecropping and gravitated instead toward the itinerant life of the musician. Around June of 1930, blues musician Son House came to Mississippi. His music deeply affected Johnson, for it was the "rawest, most direct pure emotion Robert had ever heard, and he followed House and Willie Brown wherever they went." But Johnson did not appear to be gifted with a musician's talent for guitar, as Son House asserts, "Such another racket you never heard! It'd make people mad, you know. They'd come out and say, ‘Why don't y'all go in there and get that guitar from that boy!’"
Johnson lit out with his guitar and earned his keep as an entertainer - not only as a master of the blues but of the popular tunes and styles of the day. His travels took him throughout the Mississippi and Arkansas Deltas, where he performed at jook joints, country suppers and levee camps. He also saw the big cities, traveling with fellow bluesman Johnny Shines to perform in St. Louis, Detroit, Chicago and elsewhere.
This time in Southern Mississippi was very important for Johnson, because his musical talent came to fruition. When he returned to Robinsonville, Son House and Willie Brown were astounded by his development. Rumors began about Johnson trading his soul to the devil in exchange for the guitar expertise. His career took off.
In performance, Johnson played his own songs as well as those of other bluesmen and generally popular music by performers such as Bing Crosby. When he made up his mind to record, in 1936, he approached H. C. Speirs, a white record store owner in Jackson, MS. Speirs sent him to Ernie Oertle, an ARC scout. Oertle and Johnson went to San Antonio late in November, 1936, where, in 5 days, he recorded Kindhearted Woman Blues, I Believe I'll Dust My Broom, Sweet Home Chicago, Rambling On My Mind, When You Got a Good Friend, Come On In My Kitchen, Terraplane Blues, Phonograph Blues, 32-20 Blues, They're Red Hot, Dead Shrimp Blues, Cross Road Blues, Walking Blues, Last Fair Deal Gone Down, Preaching Blues (Up Jumped the Devil), and If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day. When he was done, he returned home to Mississippi.
Johnson returned to recording in June of 1937, this time in Dallas. He did two takes each of Hellhound On My Trail, Little Queen of Spades, Malted Milk, Drunken Hearted Man, Me and the Devil Blues, Stop Breakin' Down Blues, Traveling Riverside Blues, and Honeymoon Blues, and three takes of Milkcow's Calf Blues, and four takes of Love in Vain.
During the next year, Johnson traveled to such places as St. Louis, Memphis, and back home to the Delta. On Saturday night, August 13, 1938, at a jook joint named Three Forks, Johnson played his last gig. Of the many rumors concerning Johnson's death in 1938 (stabbing, poison, the devil catching up with him), poisoning is the most prevalent and most substantiated. His death certificate was found in 1968, verifying his death in Greenwood, Mississippi. He is buried at a small church in Morgan City, MS, which is near Greenwood. It was soon after Johnson's death, but before the news was wide-spread, that John Hammond began looking for Johnson to perform at Carnegie Hall in a "From Spirituals to Swing" concert.
Though he recorded only 29 songs in his brief career - 22 of which appeared on 78 rpm singles released on the Vocalion label, including his first and most popular, “Terraplane Blues” - Johnson nonetheless altered the course of American music. In the words of biographer Stephen C. LaVere, “Robert Johnson is the most influential bluesman of all time and the person most responsible for the shape popular music has taken in the last five decades.” Such classics as “Cross Road Blues,” “Love In Vain” and “Sweet Home Chicago” are the bedrock upon which modern blues and rock and roll was built.
"Robert Johnson stands at the crossroads of American music, as popular folk legend has it, he once stood at Mississippi crossroads and sold his soul to the devil in exchange for guitar-playing prowess. He became the first modern bluesman, linking the country blues of the Mississippi Delta with the city blues of the post-World War II era. Johnson was a songwriter of searing depth and a guitar player with a commanding ability that inspired no less an admirer than Keith Richard of the Rolling Stones to exclaim, “When I first heard [him], I was hearing two guitars, and it took me a long time to realize he was actually doing it all by himself.”
In 1990, Columbia reissued Johnson's recordings in their Roots 'n' Blues series. Johnson's songs have been recorded by artists as diverse as Lee Roy Parnell and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Johnson's poetry is currently being taught at the University level, in particular, Victor Cabas' "Mississippi in Story and Song" at the University of Virginia. In an eloquent testimonial included in the liner notes to the box set Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings (Columbia Records, 1990), disciple Eric Clapton said, “Robert Johnson to me is the most important blues musician who ever lived....I have never found anything more deeply soulful than Robert Johnson. His music remains the most powerful cry that I think you can find in the human voice.”
On January 23, 1986, Robert Johnson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. and on September 1, 1998, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honored Robert Johnson in their annual American Music Masters series.

The King of Spades Music catalog

b]OTIS REDDING [/b] (Shake, FaFaFa(Sad Song), Knock On Wood )

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Generally regarded as the single most influential male soul artist of the '60s, Otis Redding was one of the first artists to broaden his appeal to white audiences with a raw, spontaneous style that bore a stark contrast to the smooth, sophisticated music of Motown.

Otis Redding was born in Dawson, GA on September 9, 1941, one of six children. When Otis was 3 years old, the family moved to Macon where they lived in a Housing Project. Throughout much of Otis' childhood, his father was sick and the family learned to cope as best they could.

Discovering his love of music while singing in the choir at Vineville Baptist Church and as a member of the band at Ballard Hudson High School, Otis' path was set...
Redding, his manager, the pilot, and four members of his backup band, The Bar-Kays, were killed when his chartered plane crashed into Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin, on December 10, 1967. The two remaining Bar-Kays were Ben Cauley, the only person aboard Redding's plane to survive the crash, and James Alexander Cauley. Since there were eight members in Redding's party and the plane could only hold seven, Alexander was on another plane as it was his turn in the rotation to take a commercial flight.
Cauley reported that he had been asleep until just seconds before impact, and recalled that upon waking he saw bandmate Phalon Jones look out a window and say, "Oh, no!" Cauley said the last thing he remembered prior to crashing was unbuckling his seatbelt. He then found himself in the frigid waters of the lake, grasping a seat cushion to keep afloat. .
Redding's body was recovered the next day when the lake bed was dragged with a grappling hook, and footage exists of his body being pulled from the water. The cause of the crash was never precisely determined.
Redding was 26 years old at the time of his death. He was entombed on his private ranch in Round Oak, Georgia, 23 miles north of Macon.

History of Rock

For definitive information on Otis Redding, please read The Soul Connection series beginning in the Novemer, 2007, issue by Jacque Jones.

PARLIAMENT (Give Up The Funk)

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Spanning half a century, the history of Parliament Funkadelic is as varied in its musical stylings as in the rotating cast of musicians that have graced Parliament, Funkadelic and the collective P-Funk stage. From their early days as a literal barbershop quintet to the rise and fall—and rise again—of the famed Mothership, P-Funk’s five decades and counting also reflect larger changes in fashion, funk and more. Parliament wasn't just cooking up bad hairdos, in that Barbershop, but some bad ass harmony to boot!
It all began in Newark, New Jersey in the mid-1950s, when George Clinton formed a doo-wop group, with three school chums, called The Parliaments. Later, in Plainfield, New Jersey, Ray Davis, Calvin Simon, Fuzzy Haskins and Grady Thomas replaced the original members and tightened up their harmonies in the barbershop where George did hair. By the 1960s, they had recorded a few pop and R&B songs including the R&B hit, “(I Wanna) Testify,” which reached the charts in 1967. But by the late 1960s, doo-wop had all but lost its cool.

Inspired by Motown's assembly line of sound, George Clinton gradually put together a collective of over 50 musicians and recorded the ensemble during the '70s both as Parliament and Funkadelic. While Funkadelic pursued band-format psychedelic rock, Parliament engaged in a funk free-for-all, blending influences from the godfathers (James Brown and Sly Stone) with freaky costumes and themes inspired by '60s acid culture and science fiction. From its 1970 inception until Clinton's dissolving of Parliament in 1980, the band hit the R&B Top Ten several times but truly excelled in two other areas: large-selling, effective album statements and the most dazzling, extravagant live show in the business. In an era when Philly soul continued the slick sounds of establishment-approved R&B, Parliament scared off more white listeners than it courted.
Though keyboard player Bernie Worrell had played on the original Funkadelic album, his first credit with the conglomeration appeared on Funkadelic's second album, 1970's Free You’re Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow. Clinton and Worrell had known each other since the New Jersey barbershop days, and Worrell soon became the most crucial cog in the P-Funk machine, working on arrangements and production for virtually all later Parliament/Funkadelic releases. His strict upbringing and classical training (at the New England Conservatory and Juilliard), as well as the boom in synthesizer technology during the early '70s, gave him the tools to create the synth runs and horn arrangements that later trademarked the P-Funk sound. Two years after the addition of Worrell, P-Funk added its second most famed contributor, Bootsy Collins. The muscular, throbbing bass line of Collins (b. October 26, 1951, Cincinnati, OH) had already been featured in James Brown's backing band (the J.B.'s) along with his brother, guitarist Catfish Collins. Bootsy and Catfish were playing in a Detroit band when George Clinton saw and hired them.
Funkadelic shows during the early 1970s were also full of the unexpected: four-hour-long jam extravaganzas at ear-shattering volumes, with George Clinton possibly sans clothing.
Several internal squabbles during 1977 apparently didn't faze Clinton at all; the following year proved to be the most successful in Parliament's history. In January, "Flash Light" -- from the Parliament album Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome -- became the collective's first number one hit. It topped the R&B charts for three weeks, and was followed by the number 27 single, "Funkentelechy." The LP reached number 13 on the pop charts and became Parliament's second platinum album. Early in 1979, Parliament hit number one yet again with "Aqua Boogie," from its eighth album, Motor-Booty Affair. The group charted in the R&B Top Ten twice during 1980 ("Theme From 'The Black Hole'" and "Agony of Defeet"), but Clinton began to be weighed down that year by legal difficulties arising from Polygram's acquisition of Casablanca. Jettisoning both the Parliament and Funkadelic names (but not the musicians), Clinton began his solo career with 1982's Computer Games. He and many former Parliament/Funkadelic members continued to tour and record during the '80s as the P-Funk All Stars, but the decade's disdain of everything to do with the '70s resulted in the neglect of critical and commercial opinion for the world's biggest funk band, especially one which in part had spawned the sound of disco. During the early '90s, the rise of funk-inspired rap (courtesy of Digital Underground, Dr. Dre, and Warren G.) and funk rock (Primus and Red Hot Chili Peppers) re-established the status of Clinton & co., one of the most important forces in the recent history of black music. ~ John Bush, All Music Guide
Early Funkadelic albums leaned towards rock, heavy guitars and psychedelic funk, as opposed to Parliament’s predilection towards Motown-influenced jazzy, gospel-based harmonies and horns. Clinton, who looked up to Sly Stone as a fellow black musician playing traditionally white rock, describes Funkadelic as a mixture of “what we knew from Motown and what we’d seen with Sly, and everybody else… We were able to take that and make a real classy jazz funk and then be as silly as we were.”

While funk and psychedelic rock took a back seat to the pop and heavy metal acts of the 1980s and early 1990s, the rise of hip-hop once again put P-Funk in the spotlight, sampling P-Funk classics in their own songs. Hip-hop MC Shock-G quips, “P-Funk is a school, it’s a college. A lot of musicians have come through it.”
Soon P-Funk had replaced James Brown as the most sampled artist. Former P-Funk members such as Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell have also kept busy with their own thriving solo careers. In 1997, Parliament Funkadelic was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
While their original fan base of African American baby boomers is still funking, the P-Funk audience has expanded beyond cultural and generational barriers to become a true melting pot. The P-Funk All Stars’ album How Late Do You Have 2 B B 4 U R Absent? was released in fall 2005, accompanied by a national tour celebrating George Clinton’s 50 years in music.
Parliament is now recognized as one of the forefathers of funk music.
Give Up the Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)" (also known as "Tear The Roof Off The Sucker (Give Up The Funk)") is a funk song by Parliament. It also became Parliament's first certified million selling single.


STEVE WINWOOD (While You See A Chance, Arc of a Diver, Back In the Highlife)
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Stephen Lawrence "Steve" Winwood (born May 12, 1948 in Handsworth, Birmingham, England) is an English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who, in addition to his solo career, was a member of the bands the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Go and Blind Faith. As a solo artist, Steve Winwood is primarily associated with the highly polished blue-eyed soul-pop that made him a star in the '80s. Yet his turn as a slick, upscale mainstay of adult contemporary radio was simply the latest phase of a long and varied career, one that's seen the former teenage R&B shouter move through jazz, psychedelia, blues-rock, and progressive rock.

At the age of 15, he began his music career with the Spencer Davis Group in 1964. As lead vocalist, Steve received the lion's share of the publicity, so in 1967, he left to form the band Traffic. Only with the group until 1969, Winwood formed Blind Faith with Eric Clapton, drummer Giner Baker and bassist Rick Grech.... Mr. Winwood guested on many albums from Joe Cocker to Jimi Hendrix to Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Water, triggering a trend that would continue with guest spots on albums from George Harrison and Toots and the Maytals, among other, touring the three years predating his solo bow. He became a singles artist and adapted his style for the pop albums in the 80s and 90s. Finding this unsatisfactory in a creative sense, he distanced himself from the mainstream,his work became more organic, and more about the actual playing of music, instead of the presentation of music. He says, " I went through a bit of a renaissance, I think, some years ago, when I suddenly realized that there are only certain elements required to play live: One, that singing has to be in tune and slightly recognizable. Two, the grooves have to be good. And, three, the band--the people playing--have to enjoy what they are doing, and if you can have those three elements, that is all you need."

In the four decades since he co-founded the Spencer Davis Group, Winwood has witnessed myriad changes in the music business, from dramatic evolutions in recording technology to massive consolidation in the label realm. But from where he stands, one thing at the end of the day has remained virtually the same: the music. And so it is oddly perfect that for all the experimentation and fusion in his past, Winwood has returned home, musically. After 40 years, the exploration continues.

In 1977, he offered his eponymous debut, which climbed to No. 22 on the U.S. albums chart. Four years later, he returned with a force, climbing to No. 3 on that chart with the celebrated follow-up, 1981's Arc of a Diver, which spawned the top 10 hit "While You See a Chance." Playing every instrument on the album, in addition to adding the stamp of his signature vocals, Steve produced, engineered and mixed it as well. Arc of a Diver spent 43 weeks on Billboard's albums chart, ignited a slackjawing pop run that gained momentum with the release of Talking Back to the Night, just a year and a half later, featuring the massive single "Valerie," which peaked at No. 3 on the singles chart.

Mr. Winwood was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 as a member of the band 'Traffic'.,_Steve/Biography/


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From his humble beginnings in Bogalusa, Louisiana, to the humbling circumstances of his death, the life of Professor Longhair has been somewhat of a mystery.

He was born Henry Roeland Byrd in Bogalusa, Louisiana, and lived in New Orleans from the age of two onward. As a child, he learned how to play on an old piano that had been left in an alley. He seriously began to master the instrument while working at a Civilian Conservation Corps camp in 1937. After a stint in the service during World War II, he returned to New Orleans and began playing at clubs like the Caledonia, a neighborhood bar just outside the French Quarter. He was called Professor Longhair, the “professor” part being an honorary nickname bestowed on New Orleans piano wizards. He first recorded in 1949 and scored his one and only R&B chart hit with “Bald Head,” released on Mercury Records, a year later. Soon after, he was signed to Atlantic Records and began recording under the aegis of the label’s producer/executives, Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler.

…Professor Longhair or “Fess,” for short - stands as the foremost exponent of New Orleans piano style. Byrd’s idiosyncratic style is a rhythmic jambalaya reflecting the freewheeling, good-time spirit of the Crescent City. Professor Longhair soaked up influences from close-at-hand sources - barrelhouse boogie-woogie, Caribbean rhythms like the rumba (many of his relatives were West Indian), and the Crescent City’s “second line” parade rhythms - but the way he pieced these elements together is what made his style such a marvel of fluidity and drive. He has been hailed as “the Picasso of keyboard funk” and “the Bach of rock.” Professor Longhair also served to influence profoundly a generation of New Orleans pianists that came up behind him, many of whom made their mark in the interlocking worlds of rhythm & blues and rock and roll. Some of his more prominent musical heirs include Mac Rebennack (a.k.a. Dr. John), Fats Domino, Huey “Piano” Smith, James Booker and Allen Toussaint.

As a vocalist, Professor Longhair was a classic blues shouter. As a pianist, he was a unique force of nature - or, more accurately, New Orleans. It was a city whose sense of festivity he celebrated with such anthems as “Tipitina” (now the name of the city’s most fabled music club), “Mardi Gras in New Orleans” and “Big Chief.” Longhair remained locally popular as a working musician from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, rarely venturing off his home turf.

Longhair debuted on wax in 1949, laying down four tracks (including the first version of his signature "Mardi Gras in New Orleans," complete with whistled intro) for the Dallas-based Star Talent label. His band was called the Shuffling Hungarians, for reasons lost to time! Union problems forced those sides off the market, but Longhair's next date for Mercury the same year was strictly on the up-and-up. It produced his first and only national R&B hit in 1950, the hilarious "Bald Head" (credited to Roy Byrd & His Blues Jumpers).

The pianist made great records for Atlantic in 1949, Federal in 1951, Wasco in 1952, and Atlantic again in 1953 (producing the immortal "Tipitina," a romping "In the Night," and the lyrically impenetrable boogie "Ball the Wall"). After recuperating from a minor stroke, Longhair came back on Lee Rupe's Ebb logo in 1957 with a storming "No Buts - No Maybes." He revived his "Go to the Mardi Gras" for Joe Ruffino's Ron imprint in 1959; this is the version that surfaces every year at Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

. Other than the ambitiously arranged "Big Chief" in 1964 for Watch Records, the '60s held little charm for Longhair. He hit the skids, abandoning his piano playing. He abandoned the music business in 1964 to work odd jobs and deal cards for a living. At one point he was reduced to sweeping the floors in a record shop that once could have moved his platters by the boxful.
After languishing in obscurity Professor Longhair was rediscovered and enlisted to play at the second New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 1971. His comeback included tours of Europe and albums for major labels as a new generation discovered his inimitable “mambo-rumba-boogie” style. All the while he remained the patron saint of Jazzfest, closing out the final show each year until his death in 1980.

That Longhair made such a marvelous comeback testifies to the resiliency of this late legend, whose Latin-tinged rhumba-rocking piano style and croaking, yodeling vocals were as singular and spicy as the second-line beats that power his hometown's musical heartbeat. Longhair brought an irresistible Caribbean feel to his playing, full of rolling flourishes that every Crescent City ivories man had to learn inside out. Longhair grew up on the streets of the Big Easy, tap dancing for tips on Bourbon Street with his running partners. Local 88s aces Sullivan Rock, Kid Stormy Weather, and Tuts Washington all left their marks on the youngster, but he brought his own conception to the stool. A booking at the fledgling 1971 Jazz & Heritage Festival put him on the comeback trail. He made a slew of albums in the last decade of his life, topped off by a terrific set for Alligator, Crawfish Fiesta.

Longhair triumphantly appeared on the PBS-TV concert series Soundstage (with Dr. John, Earl King, and the Meters), co-starred in the documentary Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together (which became a memorial tribute when Longhair died in the middle of its filming; funeral footage was included), and saw a group of his admirers buy a local watering hole in 1977 and rechristen it Tipitina's after his famous song. He played there regularly when he wasn't on the road; it remains a thriving operation.

Longhair went to bed on January 30, 1980, and never woke up. A heart attack in the night stilled one of New Orleans' seminal R&B stars, but his music is played in his hometown so often and so reverently you'd swear he was still around.

All Music by Bill Dahl
Professor Longhair

SOLOMON BURKE (Soul Searching, Cry To Me )

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Solomon Burke born March 21, 1940, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a soul and country music pioneer and member of the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was the oldest of seven children.

Burke came by his gospel roots even more deeply than most soul stars. He was preaching at his family's Philadelphia church and hosting his own gospel radio show, even before he'd reached his teens. He began recording gospel and R&B sides for Apollo in the mid- to late '50s. Like several former gospel singers (Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett), he was molded into a more secular direction when he signed with Atlantic in the 1960s. Burke had a wealth of high-charting R&B hits in the early half of the '60s, which crossed over to the pop listings in a mild fashion as well. "Just Out of Reach," "Cry to Me," "If You Need Me," "Got to Get You Off My Mind," "Tonight's the Night," and "Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)" were the most successful of these, although, unlike Franklin or Pickett, he wasn't able to expand his R&B base into a huge pop following as well. He left Atlantic in the late '60s and spent the next decade hopping between various labels, getting his biggest hit with a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary" in 1969, and recording an album in the late '70s with cult soulster Swamp Dogg as producer.

While Solomon Burke never made a major impact upon the pop audience -- he never, in fact, had a Top 20 hit -- he was an important early soul pioneer. On his '60s singles for Atlantic, he brought a country influence into R&B with emotional phrasing and intricately constructed melodic ballads and midtempo songs. At the same time, he was surrounded with sophisticated "uptown" arrangements and was provided with much of his material by his producers, particularly Bert Berns. The combination of gospel, pop, country, and production polish was basic to the recipe of early soul. While Burke wasn't the only one pursuing this path, not many others did so as successfully. And he, like Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett, was an important influence upon the Rolling Stones, who covered Burke's "Cry to Me" and "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" on their early albums.

A larger-than-life rhythm & blues singer, Solomon Burke was one of the mainstays of Atlantic Records’ “soul clan” of the Sixties. He was proclaimed the “King of Rock and Soul” in 1964 and has also been anointed “the Bishop of Soul.” No less an authority than Jerry Wexler, the legendary Atlantic Records producer, has proclaimed, “The best soul singer of all time is Solomon Burke.”

Burke’s versatile, force-of-nature voice combines gospel fervor, country gentility and R&B grit. He can swing from a satiny croon to gruff soul shout to a deep, caressing baritone. From 1961 to 1968, Burke released 32 memorable singles on Atlantic.

Many of Burke’s singles cracked both the R&B Top Forty and the Top Pop 100 charts. Yet his lasting significance as a recording artist and performer goes beyond numbers. Burke was a consummate showman who adopted the role of “King of Rock ‘n’ Soul” onstage by adorning himself in a regal robe of velvet and ermine. One of the greatest vocalists of the soul era, Burke has been credited for helping to keep Atlantic Records solvent from 1961 to 1964 with his steady run of hit records. Jerry Wexler pronounced Burke a “vocalist of rare prowess and remarkable range. His voice is an instrument of exquisite sensitivity.” He is also a colorful and even eccentric figure - one of the true characters in the world of popular music.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Burke became one of the most visible living exponents of classic soul music, continuing to tour and record albums in a rootsy, at times gospel-ish style. Although these were critically well received, their stylistic purity also ensured that their market was primarily confined to roots music enthusiasts rather than a pop audience. His live and later recorded work, however, is a favorite of those who want to experience a soul legend with his talents and stylistic purity relatively intact. Burke's 2002 release Don't Give Up on Me was hailed as a major comeback for the legendary soul man. Great songwriters like Elvis Costello, Dan Penn, Nick Lowe, and Tom Waits contributed songs and Joe Henry produced the album, which has been compared to Johnny Cash's landmark American Recordings. After the critical success of Don't Give Up on Me reaffirmed Burke's status as one of the greatest living exponents of classic soul, the singer teamed up with producer Don Was for Make Do with What You Got, anupdated variation on his classic style that was released in spring, 2005.

On March 19, 2000, Solomon Burke was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the sixteenth annual induction dinner.

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Star Pulse_Solomon Burke

Richie Unterberger, All Music Guideikipedia
Rock Hall

LOVING' SPOONFUL (Do You Believe In Magic)

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The Lovin' Spoonful was an American pop rock band of the 1960s, named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. The band's name was inspired by some lines in a song of Mississippi John Hurt called the "Coffee Blues." John Sebastian credits Fritz Richmond for suggesting the name. When asked about his band, Sebastian said it sounded like a combination of "Mississippi John Hurt and Chuck Berry." The Lovin' Spoonful became part of the American response to the British Invasion.

In early 1965 as the "British invasion" dominated the American music scene, two rockers from Long Island, Steve Boone and Joe Butler, teamed up with two folkies from Greenwich Village, John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky, to form the Lovin' Spoonful and go on to record and perform some of the songs that would dominate the charts and establish them among the greats of the mid-sixties era.

John Sebastian, who grew up in contact with music and musicians, was the son of a much-recorded and highly technically accomplished harmonica player. He had reached maturity toward the end of the American folk music revival that spanned from the 1950s to the early '60s. Zal Yanovsky was the guitarist in the Spoonful with drummer-vocalist Joseph Campbell Butler and bassist Steve Boone.

The band had its roots in a bohemian folk group called The Mugwumps, who played coffee houses and small clubs, some members of which split to form the Lovin' Spoonful and the Mamas and the Papas. Early in their recording and airwave career, Lovin' Spoonful members termed their approach "good-time music."

Like most of the folk-rockers, the Lovin' Spoonful were more pop and rock than folk, which didn't detract from their music at all. Much more than the Byrds, and even more than the Mamas & the Papas, the Spoonful exhibited a brand of unabashedly melodic, cheery, and good-time music, though their best single, "Summer in the City," was uncharacteristically riff-driven and hard-driving. More influenced by blues and jug bands than other folk-rock acts, their albums were spotty and their covers at times downright weak. As glorious as their singles were, they lacked the depth and innovation of the Byrds, their chief competitors for the crown of best folk-rock band, and their legacy hasn't been canonized with nearly as much reverence as their West Coast counterparts.

Combining the best of folk music and rock and roll, with a touch of country thrown in, they gave us such hits as "Do You Believe in Magic," "Daydream," "You Didn't Have to be So Nice," "Nashville Cats" and the anthem for a hot July evening, "Summer in the City." All these efforts were accomplished in the span of 4 years and 5 albums. In addition to that they also wrote and performed two soundtrack albums for two directors very early in their careers, Woody Allen "What’s Up Tigerlily" and Francis Ford Coppola "You're a Big Boy Now." They toured almost constantly during this period and were one of the first rock bands to perform on college campuses almost as much as for teenage concert goers.

Zal Yanovsky quit the band after the album You're a Big Boy Now was released in May, 1967, primarily due to a famous drug bust in San Francisco, in which Yanovsky was arrested for possession of marijuana and pressured by police to name his supplier. As a Canadian citizen and fearing he would be barred from re-entering the U.S., he complied. That act stirred anger among the group's fans and turmoil within the group itself, which led to his departure. He would later open a restaurant in Canada. Yanovsky died in 2002.

Yanovsky was replaced by Jerry Yester, a member of the Modern Folk Quartet and friend of the band since its earliest days. All of the band's energy was soon focused on recording their fourth album the very ambitious Everything Playing. It was the first attempt for a rock band to record an album on the new Ampex 16 track tape recorder and quite a challenge it was. It was worth the effort however, producing hits like "Darlin' Be Home Soon," "Six O-Clock" and "She's Still a Mystery to Me" on the American charts and "Boredom" and "Money" in the UK and Europe.

In June, 1968, John Sebastian left the band to go solo and Joe, Steve and Jerry went back into the studio to record what would be their last hit single of the 1960's, "Never Goin' Back" with legendary Nashville session player Red Rhodes on pedal steel guitar. The band had a few more mild hits, but couldn't survive the loss of John Sebastian, although the group straggled on briefly under the helm of Butler. As 1969 approached, the skies were darkening in Good Time Music land and sensing opportunities in individual endeavors the three remaining members went their separate ways with a promise to not let the spark go out.

A brief reunion of the original group occurred for the Paul Simon film One Trick Pony in 1980.

In 1991, Joe and Steve contacted Jerry and wanted start up the Lovin' Spoonful again. After a two month rehearsal in the Berkshire Mts., the group started touring anew, visiting over 150 cities and countries worldwide and reaching out to a whole new audience in addition to those that have enjoyed their music over the years. The first new Lovin' Spoonful album in three decades was released in 1999.

Sebastian has stated that he no longer wishes to perform with the remaining members of the group because of personal differences. Boone, Butler, and Yester (with Butler now handling lead-singing chores) are still touring under the group name, with the addition of two new members.

Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

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JAMES BROWN (It's A Man's World, Ain't It Funky, Make It Funky )

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Posted Image The whitest teeth Taylor has ever seen flashes for the cameras

James Brown was born on May 3, 1933, in Barnwell, South Carolina. His early years were rough. Abandoned by his immediate family, he was taken in by friends and relatives and grew up in an "ill-repute area" of Augusta, Georgia. As a child, he picked cotton, danced for spare change and shined shoes. At 16, he was caught and convicted of stealing, and he landed in reform school for three years. While incarcerated, he met Bobby Byrd, leader of a gospel group that performed at the prison. After his release, Brown tried his hand at semipro boxing and baseball. A career-ending leg injury inspired him to pursue music fulltime. He joined Byrd in a group that sang gospel in and around Toccoa, Georgia. But then Byrd and Brown attended a rhythm & blues revue that included Hank Ballard and Fats Domino, whose performances lured them into the realm of secular music. Renaming themselves the Flames (later, the Famous Flames), they became a tightly knit ensemble that showcased their abundant talents as singers, dancers and multi-instrumentalists.

Brown rose to the fore as leader of the James Brown Revue - an entourage complete with emcee, dancers and an untouchable stage band (the J.B.s). Reportedly sweating off up to seven pounds a night, Brown was a captivating performer who’d incorporate a furious regimen of spins, drops and shtick (such as feigning a heart attack, complete with the ritual donning and doffing of capes and a fevered return to the stage) into his skintight rhythm & blues. What Elvis Presley was to rock and roll, James Brown became to R&B: a prolific and dominant phenom. Like Presley, he is a three-figure hitmaker, with 114 total entries on Billboard’s R&B singles charts and 94 that made the Hot 100 singles chart. Over the years, he amassed 800 songs in his repertoire while maintaining a grueling touring schedule. Recording for the King and Federal labels throughout the Fifties and Sixties, Brown distilled R&B to its essence on such classic albums as Live at the Apollo (patterned after Ray Charles’ In Person) and singles like “Cold Sweat,” “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “I Got You (I Feel Good).” His group, the J.B.s, was anchored by horn players and musical mainstays Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker. Brown also recorded a series of instrumental albums, taking a break from soul shouting to pursue his prowess as an organist.

By the late Sixties, Brown had attained the status of a musical and cultural revolutionary, owing to his message of black pride and self-sufficiency. In the late Sixties and early Seventies, such message songs as “Say It Loud - I’m Black and I’m Proud” reverberated throughout the black community, within which he was regarded as a leader and role model. During this time, he began developing a hot funk sound with young musicians, such as bassist William “Bootsy” Collins, who passed through his ever-evolving band.

His influence was broad and deep. He was a soul innovator, bringing a churchy rawness to R&B with his early hits "Please, Please, Please" and "Think." He essentially created funk with mid-'60s songs such as "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and "Cold Sweat." His grooves were sampled by rappers and hip-hop artists.

Despite much-publicized personal problems that included a rap sheet and drug troubles, he also was a community leader. "We need to protect the kids by giving them something to do," Brown told CNN in 2001. "It's about making them interested, making them love mom and dad more, love the family more, love themselves more and love their school. So there won't have to be killing in school."

Brown went into eclipse in the mid-'70s. He returned to the Top 10 with "Living in America," the theme from "Rocky IV," in 1985, but it was his last hurrah on the pop chart.
Brown also was plagued by personal problems. In the late '80s he was in the news for being accused of assault and battery by his then-wife. In 1988, high on PCP, he led police on a chase through two states before officers shot out the tires of his truck. He received a six-year prison sentence, serving 15 months in prison and 10 months in a work release program before being paroled in 1991, according to the AP.

James Brown has had more honorifics attached to his name than any other performer in music history. He has variously been tagged “Soul Brother Number One,” “the Godfather of Soul,” “the Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” “Mr. Dynamite” and even “the Original Disco Man.” This much is certain: what became known as soul music in the Sixties, funk music in the Seventies and rap music in the Eighties is directly attributable to James Brown. His transformation of gospel fervor into the taut, explosive intensity of rhythm & blues, combined with precision choreography and dynamic showmanship, served to define the directions black music would take from the release of his first R&B hit ("Please, Please, Please") in 1956 until his death on December 25, 2006. As Mr. Brown has stated, "Disco is James Brown, hip-hop is James Brown, rap is James Brown; you know what I'm saying? You hear all the rappers, 90 percent of their music is me."

"I would like to pass on the want to do something. The need is there. Good lyrics are good things, but I would like to pass on that drive, that vigorous undying determination."

"What made Brown succeed where hundreds of others failed was his superhuman determination, working the chitlin’ circuit to death, sharpening his band, and keeping an eye on new trends," Richie Unterberger wrote on

Brown and PavarottiThis is a wonderful duet of It's A Man's World " by James Brown and Luciano Pavarotti

Rock Hall

JOE SOUTH (Games People Play)

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The singer/songwriter known as Joe South was born Joseph Alfred Souter in Atlanta on February 8, 1940. He grew up in a working-class household and developed an early interest in music. By the age of eleven, he had a weekly guest appearance on a local country music radio show. During his teenage years, South played in integrated bands with black musicians like Frankie Redmond, and was conversant with the rock 'n' roll and R&B styles of the period. He released several singles on Bill Lowery's N.R.C. label, and wrote songs for soul artists like Atlanta's Tams, who were recording with Lowery at the time. In 1962, he had his first number one hit as a writer as the Tams took his song Untie Me to the top of the charts.

In addition to his connections with Atlanta's soul and R&B scene, South still maintained close ties to country music. In 1957, he had joined Nashville steel guitarist Pete Drake's band, and he moved to the country music mecca in 1962, as his songwriting career was shifting into high gear. During the mid '60s he worked as a session guitarist in Nashville and Muscle Shoals, playing on records by Bob Dylan, Wilson Pickett, and Aretha Franklin, among others.

South was also a prominent sideman, recording the memorable guitar part on Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools", Tommy Roe's "Sheila" as well as appearing on Bob Dylan's album Blonde on Blonde. He also played the electric guitar part that was added to Simon & Garfunkel's first hit, "The Sound of Silence."

In 1968, he released his first solo album, Introspect, on Capitol records, and in 1969 had a hit with his song Games People Play Best, which won Grammys in the categories of Best Contemporary Song and Song of the Year. South released multiple albums for Capitol, and had several other hits, including Don't It Make You Want to Go Home and Walk a Mile in My Shoes, but his biggest successes still came in the field of songwriting. Lynn Anderson's 1971 recording of his song (I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden) spent five weeks at number one and cemented South's reputation as a hit writer. Other artists who had hits with material South wrote include Billy Joe Royal (Down in the Boondocks) and Deep Purple (Hush).

South dropped out of the music business at the height of his success after his brother Tommy (also a musician) committed suicide in 1971. After a brief reappearance in 1975, he disappeared almost completely, and has remained reclusive since that time. His success as a songwriter makes him one of Atlanta's best-known native sons, but as the testimony of Frankie Redmond shows, he was a dynamic and positive influence on the local Atlanta music scene long before he achieved international fame.

South was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1979. In 1994 South played several concerts in England. On 13 September, 2003, South was inducted into Georgia Music Hall of Fame, and played together with Buddy Buie, J.R. Cobb and Chips Moman at the induction ceremony.

Steve Huey yahoomusic
Nashville Song Writers Foundation
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