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Monday, July 14, 2008

Jerry Butler Discography


Jerry Butler (born Jerry Butler Jr., December 8, 1939, Sunflower, Mississippi) is an American soul singer and songwriter also known as "The Ice Man" because of his cool demeanour while singing often intensely emotional lyrics. He is also noted as being the original lead singer of the legendary R&B vocal group, The Impressions, as well as a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.

The mid-1950s had a profound impact on Butler’s life. He grew up poor, having lived in Chicago’s rough Cabrini Green housing complex. Music and the church provided solace from a city that was as segregated as those in the Deep South. He performed in a church choir with Curtis Mayfield. As a teenager, Butler sang in a gospel quartet called Northern Jubilee Gospel Singers, along with Mayfield. Mayfield, a guitar player, became the lone instrumentalist for the six-member Roosters group, which later became The Impressions. Inspired by music icons Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers, the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, and the Pilgrim Travelers, getting into the music industry seemed inevitable.

Butler's younger brother, Billy Butler, also had a career in the music industry.

At age 18, Butler wrote the song "For Your Precious Love" and wanted to record a disc. Looking for recording studios, The Impressions auditioned for Chess Records and VeeJay Records. The group eventually signed with Vee-Jay, where they released "For Your Precious Love" in 1958, which became The Impressions' first hit and gold record. Due to conflicts between the group and Vee-Jay, which wanted to bill the group as "Jerry Butler and The Impressions," which neither Butler nor the other group members wanted, he left the group shortly thereafter.

Butler was dubbed the "Iceman" by WDAS Philadelphia disc jockey, Georgie Woods, while performing in a Philadelphia theater. When the sound system went out, Butler continued singing.

He co-wrote, with Otis Redding, the song "I've Been Loving You Too Long" in 1965. Butler’s solo career had a string of hits, including the Top 10 successes "He Will Break Your Heart", "Find Another Girl", "I'm A-Telling You" (all written by fellow Impression Curtis Mayfield and featuring Mayfield as harmony vocal), "Only the Strong Survive," "Moon River," "Need To Belong" (recorded with the Impressions after he went solo), "Make It Easy On Yourself," "Let It Be Me" (with Betty Everett), "Brand New Me," "Ain’t Understanding Mellow" (with Brenda Lee Eager), "Hey, Western Union Man," and "Never Gonna Give You Up." Butler released two successful albums, The Ice Man Cometh (1968) and Ice On Ice (1970). The Iceman Cometh garnered Butler three Grammy nominations. He collaborated on many of his successful recordings with the Philadelphia-based songwriting team, Gamble and Huff.

Tony Orlando and Dawn revived "He Will Break Your Heart" in 1975, with a new title, "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)," and it was even more successful than Butler's original, going to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.

Butler continues to perform while serving as a Cook County Board Commissioner since the 1980s. In recent years, he has served as host of PBS TV music specials, such as Doo Wop 50 and 51, Rock Rhythm and Doo Wop, and Soul Spectacular: 40 years of R&B, among others. He has also served as Chairman of the Board of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. In 1991, Butler was inducted, along with the other original members of the Impressions, Curtis Mayfield, Sam Gooden, Fred Cash, and Arthur and Richard Brooks, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

He currently resides in Chicago with his wife Annette. He has two sons, Randy and Tony, and a grandson.










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ALBUMS



Compilations
  • "The Sweetest Soul" - The Vee Jay Hits 1960-1966 And More...

Miscellaneous

- includes Jerry singing two Coca-Cola commercials


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Impressions Discography

Formed in Chicago in 1957 and originally known as the Roosters, this group comprised:

Jerry Butler (b. 8th December 1939, Sunflower, Mississippi, U.S.A.)

Curtis Mayfield (b. 3rd June 1942, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.)

Sam Gooden (b. 2nd September 1939, Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.A.),

and brothers Richard Brooks and Arthur Brooks (both born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.A.).

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The Impressions are an American music group from Chicago that formed in 1958. Their repertoire includes doo-wop, gospel, soul, and R&B.

The group was founded as The Roosters by Chattanooga, Tennessee natives Sam Gooden, Richard Brooks, and Arthur Brooks, who moved to Chicago and added Jerry Butler and Curtis Mayfield to their line-up to become Jerry Butler & the Impressions. By 1962, Butler and the Brookses had departed, and after switching to ABC-Paramount Records, Mayfield, Gooden, and new Impression Fred Cash collectively became a top-selling soul act. Mayfield left the group for a solo career in 1970; Leroy Hutson, Ralph Johnson, Reggie Torian, and Nate Evans were among the replacements who joined Gooden and Cash. Inductees into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, The Impressions are best known for their 1960s string of hits, many of which were heavily influenced by gospel music and served as inspirational anthems for the Civil Rights Movement.

Jerry Butler and Curtis Mayfield met while singing in the same Chicago church choir. After singing in a number of local gospel groups, the two of them joined a doo-wop group called "The Roosters" in 1957, whose members included Chattanooga, Tennessee natives Sam Gooden, Richard Brooks, and his brother Arthur. By 1958, The Roosters had a new manager in Eddie Thomas, a record deal with Vee-Jay Records, and a new name: "Jerry Butler & the Impressions".

The group's first hit single was 1958's "For Your Precious Love", which hit #11 on the US pop charts and #3 on the R&B charts. However, soon after the release of the R&B Top 30 hit "Come Back My Love", Butler left the group to go on to a successful solo career. After briefly touring with the now-solo Butler as his guitarist, Curtis Mayfield became the group's new lead singer and songwriter, and Fred Cash, a returning original Roosters member, was appointed as the new fifth member.

Mayfield wrote a number of Butler's early solo hits, and used the money to get The Impressions to move to Chicago, Illinois. There, they got a new deal with ABC-Paramount Records in 1961, and released their first post-Butler single. That single, "Gypsy Woman", was their biggest single to date, hitting #2 on the R&B charts and #20 on the pop chart. Successive singles failed to match "Gypsy Woman"'s success, and Richard and Arthur Brooks ended up leaving the group in 1962.

The Impressions returned to Chicago as a trio, and soon aligned themselves with producer Johnny Pate, who helped to update their sound and create a more lush soul sound for the group. The result was "It's All Right", a 1963 gold single that topped the R&B charts and made it to #4 on the pop charts, and became one of the group's signature songs. "It's All Right" and "Gypsy Woman" were the anchors of The Impressions' first LP, 1963's The Impressions.

1964 brought the first of Mayfield's Black pride anthem compositions, "Keep on Pushing", which became a Top 10 smash on both the Billboard Pop and R&B charts.It was the title cut from the album of the same name ,Keep On Pushing, which also reached the Top 10 on both charts. Future Mayfield compositions would feature more and more of a social and political awareness, including the following year's major hit and the group's best-known song, the gospel-influenced "People Get Ready", which hit #3 on the R&B charts and #14 on the pop charts.

n the mid-1960s, The Impressions, were compared with Motown acts such as The Temptations,The Miracles, and The Four Tops. After 1965's "Woman's Got Soul", and the #7 pop hit "Amen", The Impressions reach the R&B Top Ten for three more years, finally scoring in 1968 with the #9 "I Loved and Lost". "We're a Winner", which hit #1 on the R&B charts that same year, represented a new level of social awareness in Mayfield's music. Mayfield created his own label, Curtom, and moved The Impressions to the label. Over the next two years, more Impressions message tracks, including the #1 R&B hit "Choice of Colors" (1969) and the #3 "Check Out Your Mind" (1970), became big hits for the group.

After the release of the Check Out Your Mind LP in 1970, Mayfield left the group and began a successful solo career, the highlight of which was writing and producing the Super Fly soundtrack. He continued to write and produce for The Impressions, who remained on Curtom. Leroy Hutson was the first new lead singer for the group following Mayfield's departure, but success eluded The Impressions, and Hutson left the group in 1973. New members Ralph Johnson and Reggie Torian replaced Hutson, and The Impressions had three R&B Top 5 singles in 1974–1975: the #1 "Finally Got Myself Together (I'm a Changed Man)" (which also reached the Pop top 20 ) , and the #3 singles "Same Thing it Took" and "Sooner or Later". In 1976, The Impressions left Curtom and Mayfield behind for Cotillion Records, and had their final major hit with "Loving Power". The same year, Ralph Johnson was replaced with Nate Evans, who remained in the group for three years, during which time The Impressions switched to 20th Century Records. Singles and albums sales continued to slip, and Evans left in 1979, reducing the group to a trio. Their final album, Fan the Flames, was released in 1981, and Reggie Torian, Fred Cash, and Sam Gooden (who remained in the group throughout its entire existence) disbanded two years later. Ralph Johnson rejoined the group in 1983 and was with them until 2000 at that time the group consisted of Fred Cash,Sam Gooden,Vandy Hampton,and Ralph Johnson and these four guys recorded with Eric Clapton on his "Reptile" album.There is also a new album that was recently released called a tribute to the memory of Curtis Mayfield that these four guys are singing all the songs. Since the early-1980s, The Impressions periodically rebanded in various formats, usually recreating the classic line-up of Mayfield, Gooden, and Cash, and sometimes including Jerry Butler in the line-up. On August 14, 1990, Mayfield was severely injured when lighting equipment fell on him during an on-stage performance. Paralyzed from the neck down, he could no longer play and could barely sing. He eventually was able to make a brief, well-received, comeback in 1997 with his New World Order album, and he died in Roswell, Georgia, on December 26, 1999 at the age of 57.

The Impressions were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, and into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003. The members who got to take part in this honor, as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, were Sam Gooden, Jerry Butler, Richard Brooks , Curtis Mayfield. Arthur Brooks, and Fred Cash.

The group performs today, with Fred Cash, Sam Gooden, and Reggie Torian. In 2008,Universal Music & Hip O Records released "Movin' On Up"- the first- ever video compilation of The Impressions , featuring brand new interviews with original Impressions members Sam Gooden and Fred Cash,along with taped interviews with the late Curtis Mayfield,and video performances of the group's greatest hits and several of Mayfield's solo hits.






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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bobby Womack Discography

b. Bobby Dwayne Womack, 4th March 1944, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.

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Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Bobby Womack comes from a large family.

Various family members have been successful in their own right (Womack & Womack etc.)

He was one of the founding members of the Valentino's and was part of the late Sam Cooke's band as a gutiarist.

Bobby was later to cause a little scandal by marrying Sam's ex-widow, Barbara Campbell.

The Valentino's were, originally, formed in the early 1950's and also featured Bobby's brother Cecil within the line-up.

Bobby's early solo recordings included, 'Nothing You Can Do' and 'I Found A True Love'.

Following the demise of the Valentino's, Bobby reverted to session recordings.

He worked with the late Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Sam Cooke as mentioned.

Bobby was a regular visitor to Chips Moman's American Recording Studio.

He, also, worked with Wilson Pickett on 'I'm In Love' and 'I'm A Midnight Mover' which are two of the 17 Womack songs that particular artist would record.

His solo activities resumed with singles on Keymen and Atlantic Records.

Bobby then relocated to the Minit imprint, recording several R & B hits, including 'It's Gonna Rain', 'How I Miss You Baby', in 1969, and 'More Than I Can Stand', in 1970.

His early albums included 'Fly Me To The Moon', on Minit 1968, 'My Prescription' on Minit in 1969 and 'The Womack Live' for the Liberty imprint in 1970.

'There's A Riot Going On', Sly Stone's 1971 collection, Bobby played guitar.

Bobby relocated to United Artists and released 'Communication', the title track to Womack's first album for the label.

'Understanding', followed and contained the songs 'That's The Way I Feel About Cha' (number 2 R & B), 'Woman's Gotta Have It' (number 1 R & B) and 'Harry Hippie' (number 8 R & B).

Successive albums, 'Facts Of Life' (1973), 'Looking For A Love Again' (1974), 'Across 110th Street', 'B W Goes C & W' (1976) and 'I Don't Know What The World Is Coming To', followed and were highly popular.

'BW Goes C & W' closed his United Artists contract.

n 1979, Bobby recorded the album 'Roads Of Life' for the Arista imprint.

That set included the hugely popular song 'How Could You Break My Heart' and saw a collaboration with the late Patrick Moten, who had recorded successful material with Anita Baker and Rosie Gaines.

In 1980, Bobby collaborated with the Crusader, Wilton Felder, on the song 'Inherit The Wind', a tune destined to become a Soul classic.

In 1981, Bobby signed with Beverly Glen, a small Los Angeles independent, where he recorded 'The Poet', which featured the songs 'So Many Sides Of You' and 'Where Do We Go From Here?'.

This excellent set furthered his career, while a single, 'If You Think You're Lonely Now', reached number 3 on the R & B chart.

The 'Poet II' in 1984 featured three duets with Patti LaBelle, one of which, 'Love Has Finally Come At Last', was another hit single.

That set also featured the songs 'Tell My Why', 'Surprise, Surprise' and 'It Takes A Lot Of Strength To Say Goodbye'.

Beverly Glen released a final LP culled from Womack's previous sessions, 'Someday We'll All Be Free', in 1985.

He then relocated to MCA Records in 1985, debuting with 'So Many Rivers'.

By 1989, Bobby recorded at the Solar imprint, releasing 'Save The Children'.

He also recorded on the Japanese release with the guitarist June Yamagishi, re-recording his song 'Trust Your Heart', the tune running for nearly 12 minutes!

1994's album 'Resurrection' saw Bobby's take on the Winston's song 'Color Him Father' and the anti war diatribe 'Cousin Henry' featuring a certain Stevie Wonder.

Bobby's more recent work proclaims him as 'the last Soul singer'.

In late 2000, he collaborated with U.K. artists Rae & Christian releasing, amongst others, 'Get It Right'. A fine outing.

An album entitled 'Left Handed, Upside Down', was released in 2001.

A fine soul singer, whose best work stands amongst those of Black music's singer / songwriters.







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Albums

Compilations
  • Bobby Womack and the Valentinos (1960s material)
  • "The Best of the Poet Trilogy" (1981-85)
  • "Soul Brother"
  • The Very Best Of Bobby Womack 1968-1975
  • The Soul Of Bobby Womack - Stop On By
  • It's All Over Now
  • The Last Soul Man (MCA 1987)
  • At Home In Muscle Shoals (1998)
  • Midnight Mover
  • Lookin' for a Love The Best of Bobby Womack (1968-1976)
B-Sides
  • "A Lonesome Man" - plus good Womack history Pt. 1
  • "Don't Look Back" - plus good Womack history Pt. 2

Willie Hutch Discography

b. Willie McKinley Hutchison, 6th December 1944, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

d. 19th September 2005, Duncanville, Texas, U.S.A.

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Willie Hutch grew up in Dallas where he sang with The Ambassadors.

He was a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas.

He first came to the attention of the music business in 1964 when his debut single 'Love Has Put Me Down' was released by the Soul City Records label.

His songs attracted the attention of The Fifth Dimension who recorded a number of them.

Willie himself recorded with Venture prior to two albums in the early 70's with RCA (including 'Let's Try It Over').

In 1970, he received a phone call from producer Hal Davis who urgently needed a song written to a backing track he had entitled 'I'll Be There'.

By 8 am the next morning, The Jackson 5 were in the studio recording it.

Willie later co-arranged vocals on 'Got To Be There' and 'Never Can Say Goodbye' for the group, impressing Berry Gordy who employed him at Motown on a more permanent basis.

Willie produced the first Smokey Robinson album without The Miracles, and when Sisters Love had a cameo role in 'The Mack', the group's manager suggested Willie record the soundtrack.

The result was 'The Mack', including 'Brother's Gonna Work It Out' and 'Slick', Willie's first album for Motown in 1973. (Willie also worked with Sisters Love on 'Mr Fix-it Man'.)

His other albums at the label included 'The Mark Of The Beast' (1975); 'Concert In Blues' (1976), including 'Party Down'; 'Color Her Sunshine' (1976), including 'I Like Everything About You', 'Havin' A House Party' and 'Fully Exposed' before he joined the Whitfield label for two albums, 'In Tune (1978), including 'Easy Does It', and 'Midnight Dancer'.

In 1982, he wrote 'Keep The Fire Burning' for Gwen McCrae and returned to Motown for three collaborations with Berry Gordy.

The first was a duet for The Four Tops and Aretha Franklin 'What Have We Got To Lose' (1983), the second a song / production for Sammy Davis Jnr, 'Hello Detroit' (1984), and the third a soundtrack album for Berry's film 'The Last Dragon' (1985).

This soundtrack included a Willie Hutch single 'The Glow'.

During this period at Motown he wrote/produced 'Sexy Ways' for The Four Tops and released two albums, 'In And Out' (1985) and 'Making A Game Of Love' (1985), including 'Keep On Jammin'.

Willie has also written and / or produced for The Miracles, The Main Ingredient ('California My Way'), Junior Walker, Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye, among others.

Willie released two albums in the Nineties. 'From The Heart' and 'The Mack Is Back'.

Both sets were well received.

Willie Hutch, sadly passed away on the 19th of September 2005. He was 60.






Article from Soulwalking

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Albums

Compilations
  • The Very Best Of Willie Hutch (1998)

James Brown Discography


b. 3rd May 1933, Barnwell, South Carolina, U.S.A.

d. 25th December 2006, Emory Crawford Long Hospital, Atlanta, U.S.A.

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James Brown was a pivotal figure on the Black Music scene.

James Brown claims he was born in 1933 in Macon, Georgia although this seems to be a questionable date. Whether this is the truth or not, only James will know!

Convicted of theft at the age of 16, he was imprisoned at the Alto Reform School, but secured an early release with the help of local singer Bobby Byrd.

James later joined his group, the Gospel Starlighters, who evolved into the Flames.

In 1955, they recorded a demo of 'Please Please Please' at WIBB, a Macon, Georgia radio station.

James BrownBrown And Jagger

Local airplay was such that talent scout Ralph Bass signed the group to the King / Federal company.

A re-recorded version of the song was issued in March 1956. Credited to 'James Brown And The Famous Flames', it eventually climbed to number 5 in the US R & B list.

Further releases did less well until 1958, when 'Try Me' rose to number 1 in the same chart.

Once again Brown found it difficult to maintain this level of success, but 'I'll Go Crazy' and 'Think' (both 1960) ensured some career stability.

From thereon, until 1977, almost every 'official' single charted. However, it was an album, 'Live At The Apollo' (1962), that assuredly established the singer.

This excellent collection confirmed Brown as the voice of Black America. More than 30 years on, this album stands out as one of the greatest live sets.

His singles continued to enthrall: energetic songs such as 'Night Train' and 'Shout And Shimmy' contrasted with such slower sermons as 'I Don't Mind' and 'Bewildered', but it was the orchestrated, 'Prisoner Of Love' (1963), that gave Brown his first US top 20 pop single.

Having charted, Brown was keen to move on.


Dissatisfied with his record label King, he ignored contractual niceties and signed with Smash Records.

By the time his former outlet had taken legal proceedings, 'Out Of Sight' had become another national hit.

The single marked the beginning of a leaner, tighter sound that would ultimately re-structure dance music.

Throughout the 60's, Brown proclaimed an artistic freedom with increasingly unconventional songs, including 'Papa's Got A Brand New Bag', 'I Got You (I Feel Good)', 'It's A Man's Man's Man's World' (with full orchestra) and 'Money Won't Change You'.

In 1967, Alfred Ellis replaced Nat Jones as Brown's musical director and 'Cold Sweat' introduced further radical refinements to the group's presentation.

With Clyde Stubblefield on drums, 'Say It Loud - I'm Black And I'm Proud' (1968), 'Mother Popcorn' (1969), and 'Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine' (1970) were each stripped down to a persistent, rhythmic riff, over which the singer soared, sometimes screaming, sometimes pleading, but always with an assertive urgency.

In 1971, Brown moved to Polydor Records and unveiled a new backing band, the JB's.

Led by Fred Wesley, it featured such seasoned players as Maceo Parker and St. Clair Pinckney, as well as a new generation of musicians.

Elsewhere, former bassist Bootsy Collins defected with other ex-members to George Clinton's Funkadelic.

He continued to enjoy substantial hits.

In 1974, he had three successive number 1 R & B singles in 'The Payback', 'My Thang' and 'Papa Don't Take No Mess (Part 1)', and Brown also scored two film soundtracks, 'Black Caesar' and 'Slaughter's Big Rip Off'.

As the decade progressed, his work became less compulsive, suffering a drop in popularity with the advent of disco.

A cameo role in the movie 'The Blues Brothers' marked time, and in 1980 Brown left the Polydor label.

Subsequent releases on such smaller labels as TK, Augusta Sound and Backstreet were only marginally successful.

Brown returned with a vengeance in 1986 (the year he was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame) with 'Livin' In America', the theme song from the Rocky IV film soundtrack.

An international hit single, it was followed by two R & B Top 10 entries, 'How Do You Stop' (1987) and 'I'm Real' (1988), the latter of which inspired an album of the same name, recorded with soul outfit Full Force.

The Brown resurrection was abruptly curtailed that same year when the singer was arrested after a high-speed car chase.

Charged with numerous offences, including illegal possession of drugs and firearms, aggravated assault and failure to stop for the police, he was sentenced to six and a half years' imprisonment at the State Park Correctional Centre.

He was released in 1991, having reportedly written new material while imprisoned.

Brown's considerable influence has increased with the advent of hip-hop.

New urban-based styles are indebted to the raw funk provided by 'The Godfather of Soul', while Stubblefield's rhythmic patterns, particularly those on 1970's 'Funky Drummer', have been heavily sampled, as have Brown's notorious shouts, screams and vocal improvisations.

Artists as diverse as Public Enemy, George Michael and Sinead O'Connor have featured beats taken from Brown's impressive catalogue.

During the 90's he has continued to have further problems with the law and a continuing battle to quit drugs.

In 1995, he was forced to cope with a tragic medical accident when his ex-wife Adrienne died during surgery for liposuction.

In January 1998, there were new fears for his own health, and he was treated in hospital for addiction to painkillers.


Shortly afterwards he was arrested and charged for possession of marijuana and unlawful use of a firearm.

In December 2006, Brother James had just visited his dentist, who informed the man that something wasn't quite right healthwise, and he should seek some medical attention.


He was suffering from severe pneumonia and passed away at 1:45 a.m. (0645 GMT), on Christmas Day, at Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta after being admitted there over that weekend in 2006, his agent, Frank Copsidas disclosed.

James Brown's body made the journey back to his hometown of Augusta, Georgia, for his funeral.

His influence over dance music styles cannot be ignored. His back catalogue is second to none.







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Albums
COMPILATIONS

THE JAMES BROWN FAMILY

COVER VERSIONS
REMIX / MIXTAPES / MASH


VIDEO DOWNLOADS

BOOTLEGS

Search the comments here for details of the bootlegs that have direct links.

SINGLES

B-SIDES 0f 45s


SIDEMAN DISCOGRAPHY!




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