Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Throwback and Belated Birthday Wishes (Letter H)

Had he lived, Jimi Hendrix would have turned 75 on Monday.  They say genius never dies and his skills are incomparable today...no matter what new music trend or artist tries to take a bite.  One has to wonder what would've become of him had he survived that fateful night.  Touring with the Stones?  A collabo with Prince (no doubt they're somewhere jamming).  Anyway, the only way to celebrate this unique life is to share his gifts with those who may have missed out.  Here's one of my favorites.

Last month, we lost Keith Wilder of Heatwave, who is best known for singing lead on their popular wedding song "Always and Forever".  Him and brother Johnny (who died back in 2006), not only shared lead but wrote many hits with bandmate Rod Temperton.  While some may associate them with the disco era, other songs had an R&B flavor to them.  Check it out.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wayback Wednesday Letter G

If you can ever get your hands on this album here, consider yourself one lucky sonofagun.

The reason why I say this is because this the album, alone, that would make her the Queen of Soul.  I never bought that "Empress" title and realize that another notable may not be in the best of health as I type.  That understood, I will never change my mind on how awesome this album is...the vocals, arrangements, everything.  So while there are many tracks to fall in love with (and I'm not a fan, btw), I'm going with the title track though I don't know where this performance took place.


My other choice is also not 100% personal.  Though I love Sly and the Family Stone, my knowledge of Larry Graham was limited until he opened for Prince back in 1997.  Let's just say I couldn't wait for the main attraction.  People ask me to this day if he sang his 1980 hit 'One in a Million' and I say no, it was like a Sly Stone concert with no Sly and a loud guitar.

However, there was this one song I couldn't get out of my head growing up.  Never knew who sang it and it was one of the few my mom hated (because she pretty much had a record store...we lived down the street from a VIP Records, btw).  So anyway, decades pass and one of the few times Soul Train was in reruns, I discovered some new ish (because hip-hop was dying, rock-rap wasn't far behind and neo-soul was starting to sound alike).  Anyway, I have a new respect for this man and hope they do an Unsung episode for his musical contributions.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Final Throwback Thurs. E-F (as in Funk)

Ever since file sharing, indie stations, and other mediums for new and undiscovered jams have become the norm, I realized there have got to be damn near 100 covers of "Light My Fire".  From the Doors to Stevie Wonder. My favorite is by the late Erma Franklin, sister to Aretha and a soul singer in her own right.  This gem was released in 1969 and you Gen-X's may remember this as a sample in the early 90s hit "Untouchables" by Above the Law.
I don't know about you but I'm ready for funk to come back. I know some of the newer artists can be funky or may take elements of funk and mix it with rap, rock, or smooth R&B. The closest I've heard to a nasty bassline is Thundercat but then again, his music is more of a gumbo thing that mixes in some of everything with a spacey vibe. Well, it was a hard choice but fortunately Mr. George Clinton had the forethought to create two groups (and collect two paychecks) so we can hear from Parliament later.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

WayBack Wednesday Holiday Jam Letter E

I think EWF owns this one but I probably roll this into tomorrow.  Anyway, during one of my insomnia attacks, I discovered these Christmas songs in my music feed.  Not the worst and it sounds like one of the original lineups.  Can you believe people talk about Christmas just minutes after (and sometimes before) Halloween has ended?
 This other jam was not one of their bigger hits but whoever made this vid deserves major props. They dug up a serious montage of old and recent photos. I forgot there were a couple of women in the lineup
 at one time.
 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Final Throwback - Letter D




There's too much good stuff from which to choose right here, so I decided to go with a compilation.  If you haven't seen their Unsung episode, I recommend it highly.  A portion of their humble beginnings was also featured in the highly-praised 2017 movie Detroit.  Here is an interview that aired before the passing of founder Ron Banks.

Secondly, this track by the incomparable David Ruffin is pretty damn funky.  Most people (Gen-X and younger) remember Mr. Ruffin from the Temptations biopic but I remember seeing him perform this song on a Soul Train rerun a few years ago.  It's pretty memorable.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wayback Weds - Letter C



 Yeah, sorry so slow. Decided to go for a second degree and now I'm paying the price.  Still haven't decided the future but I thought I'd throw in some ol school jams while thinking this through.  As for the second video above, I wanted to get a live performance since few people remember what the Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose looked like.  Though only the lead singer slightly resembles someone from the lineup, I can tell this performance is from the 1980s.  So if you know anything about this group, give me a shout out!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Final Thursday Throw - Letter B

Yeah, decided to do it right and combine the two so it should cover up to the letter Z by 12/31.  Math isn't my thing but I'll work it out.  Anyway, here's a couple of names we ain't heard from in a minute.  This jam takes me back to grade school.