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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Legend: Bob Marley


We remember the brilliant and evocative music Bob Marley gave the world; music that stretches back over nearly two decades and still remains timeless and universal. Marley has been called "the first Third World superstar," "Rasta Prophet," "visionary," and" "revolutionary artist." These accolades were not mere hyperbole. Marley was one of the most charismatic and challenging performers of our time.

Bob Marley's career stretched back over twenty years. During that time Marley's growing style encompassed every aspect in the rise of Jamaican music, from ska to contemporary reggae. That growth was well reflected in the maturity of the Wailers' music.

Bob's first recording attempts came at the beginning of the Sixties. His first two tunes, cut as a solo artist, meant nothing in commercial terms and it wasn't until 1964, as a founding member of a group called the Wailing Wailers, that Bob first hit the Jamaican charts.

The record was "Simmer Down," and over the next few years the Wailing Wailers -- Bob, Peter Mclntosh and Bunny Livingston, the nucleus of the group -- put out some 30 sides that properly established them as one of the hottest groups in Jamaica. Mclntosh later shortened his surname to Tosh while Livingston is now called Bunny Wailer.

Despite their popularity, the economics of keeping the group together proved too much and the two other members, Junior Braithwaite and Beverley Kelso, left the group. At the same time Bob joined his mother in the United States. This marked the end of the Wailing Wailers, Chapter One.

Marley's stay in America was short-lived, however, and he returned to Jamaica to join up again with Peter and Bunny. By the end of the Sixties, with the legendary reggae producer Lee "Scratch" Perry at the mixing desk, The Wailers were again back at the top in Jamaica. The combination of the Wailers and Perry resulted in some of the finest music the band ever made. Tracks like "Soul Rebel," "Duppy Conquerer," "400 Years," and "Small Axe" were not only classics, but they defined the future direction of reggae.

It's difficult to properly understand Bob Marley's music without considering Rastafari. His spiritual beliefs are too well known to necessitate further explanation. It must be stated, however, that Rastafari is at the very core of the Wailers' music.

In 1970 Aston Familyman Barrett and his brother Carlton (bass and drums, respectively) joined the Wailers. They came to the band unchallenged as Jamaica's HARDEST rhythm section; a reputation that was to remain undiminished during the following decade. Meanwhile, the band's own reputation was, at the start of the Seventies, an extraordinary one throughout the Caribbean. However, the band was still unknown internationally.

That was to change in 1972 when the Wailers signed to Island Records. It was a revolutionary move for an international record company and a reggae band. For the first time a reggae band had access to the best recording facilities and were treated in the same way as a rock group. Before the Wailers signed to Island, it was considered that reggae sold only on singles and cheap compilation albums. The Wailer's first album, Catch A Fire broke all the rules: it was beautifully packaged and heavily promoted. And it was the start of a long climb to international fame and recognition.

The Catch A Fire album was followed a year later by Burnin', an LP that included some of the band's older songs, such as "Duppy Conquerer," "Small Axe," and "Put In On," together with tracks like "Get Up Stand Up" and "I Shot The Sheriff" (which was also recorded by Eric Clapton, who had a #1 hit with it in America).

In 1975 Bob Marley & The Wailers released the extraordinary Natty Dread album, and toured Europe that summer. The shows were recorded and the subsequent live album, together with the single, "No Woman No Cry," both made the UK charts. By that time Bunny and Peter had officially left the band to pursue their own solo careers.

Rastaman Vibration, the follow-up album in 1976, cracked the American charts. It was, for many, the clearest exposition yet of Marley's music and beliefs, including such tracks as "Crazy Baldhead," "Johnny Was," "Who The Cap Fit" and, perhaps most significantly of all, "War," the Iyrics of which were taken from a speech by Emperor Haile Selassie.

In 1977 Exodus was released, which established Marley's international superstar status. It remained on the British charts for 56 straight weeks, and netted three UK hit singles, "Exodus," "Waiting In Vain," and "Jamming."

In 1978 the band released Kaya, which hit number four on the UK chart the week of its release. That album saw Marley in a different mood -- Kaya was an album of love songs, and, of course, homages to the power of ganja.

There were two more events in 1978, both of which were of extraordinary significance to Marley. In April that year he returned to Jamaica (he had left in 1976 after the shooting that had almost cost him his life), to play the One Love Peace Concert in front of the Prime Minister Michael Manley, and the then Leader of the Opposition Edward Seaga. And at the end of the year he visited Africa for the first time, going initially to Kenya and then on to Ethiopia, spiritual home of Rastafari.

Marley returned to Africa in 1980 at the official initation of the Government of Zimbabwe to play at that country's Independence Ceremony. It was the greatest honor afforded the band, and one which underlined the Wailers' importance in the Third World.

In 1979 the Survival LP was released. A European tour came the following year: the band broke festival records throughout the continent, including a 100,000 capacity show in Milan. Bob Marley & the Wailers were now the most important band on the road that year and the new Uprising album hit every chart in Europe. It was a period of maximum optimism and plans were being made for an American tour, an opening slot with Stevie Wonder for the following winter.

At the end of the European tour, Bob Marley & The Wailers went to America. Bob played two shows at Madison Square Garden but, immediately afterwards he was seriously ill. Cancer was diagnosed.

Marley fought the disease for eight months. The battle, however, proved to be too much. He died in a Miami Hospital on May 11,1981.

A month before the end Bob was awarded Jamaica's Order of Merit, the nations' third highest honor, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the country's culture.

On Thursday, May 23,1981, the Honorable Robert Nesta Marley was given an official funeral by the people of Jamaica. Following the funeral -- attended by both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition -- Bob's body was taken to his birthplace where it now rests in a mausoleum. Bob Marley was 36 years old. His legend lives on.



Discography

Albums
  • 1965 - The Wailing Wailers
  • 1966 - The Best of the Wailers (May be different versions of this album. Please notify if discovery of different version)
  • 1969 - Keep On Skanking
  • 1970 - Soul Rebels (There seems to be several versions of this album. Tracklist may vary. Please notify in comments if anyone has another version besides this one)
  • 1971 - Soul Revolution (This album was followed up with a "dub" companion set, Soul Revolution Part II, which was the original Soul Revolution album with the vocals stripped off.)
  • 1971 - Soul Revolution Part II
  • 1971 - Upsetter Revolution Rhythm (May be a compilation)
  • 1973 - Catch a Fire
  • 1973 - Burnin'
  • 1974 - Natty Dread
  • 1975 - Bob Marley and the Wailers Live!
  • 1976 - Rastaman Vibration
  • 1977 - Exodus
  • 1978 - Kaya
  • 1978 - Babylon by Bus
  • 1979 - Surviva
  • 1980 - Uprising
  • 1983 - Confrontation
  • 1991 - Talkin' Blues

Compilations
  • Another Dance Rarities From Studio One (Recordings between '64 - '67)
  • 1973 - African Hersman 
  • 1976 - The Yvette Acoustic Tape
  • 1977 - Early Music
  • 1977 - The Birth of a Legend
  • 1980 - Uprising Demos (Contains demo songs from the original release)
  • 1984 - Legend: The Best of Bob Marley & The Wailers
  • 1991 - One Love at Studio One
  • 1997 - Soul Rebel
  • 1997 - Dreams of Freedom: Ambient Translations of Bob Marley in Dub
  • 1998 - Jungle Dub
  • 1999 - Destiny: Rare Ska Sides From Studio one
  • 1999 - Songs of Freedom 
  • 2008 - Collectorama: The Kingston Years
  • 2009 - Classic: The Best of Bob Marley & The Wailers
  • Africa Unite - The Singles Collection

Studio Bootlegs


  • 1974 - Natty Dread Acetate
  • 1974 - We Can Carry On (Natty Dread outtakes)
  • 1977 - Acoustic session with Sons of Jah
  • 1977-05-31 - Basing St Rehearsals, London
  • Natural Mystic (studio, APE)

Live Bootlegs
  • 1973-05-26 - Live at the Roxy
  • 1973-11-27 - Live at leeds
  • 1975-06-21 - Manhattan Center, NYC
  • 1975-06-10 - Quiet Knight Club, Chicago
  • 1976-04-30 - Beacon Theatre, NYC, early set
  • 1979-11-19 - Last Show in Portland
  • 1980-06-27 - Stadio San Siro, Live in Milan, Italy
  • 1980-07-03 - Live In Paris
  • 1980-07-12 - Deeside Leisure Centre, Wales
  • 1980-09-20 - Madison Square Garden, New York, USA
  • 1985-09-23 - The Final Concert: Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh
  • 2001 - First Trip (An import from Japan; discontinued; may still available) [This is a live show with Peter Tosh and Joe Higgs replacing Bunny Wailer from Paris in 1973. Excellent live show. Nice versions of "Stop That Train", "400 Years" and "Concrete Jungle".]

Tribute Albums
  • 2009 - A Tribute 2 Bob Marley and The Wailers

Miscellaneous
  • 2005 - Slogans
  • 2007 - Roots, Rock, Remixed

Selected Biographies and Readings (Discography Listings Vary Greatly)
  1. Bob Marley at Rateyourmusic
  2. Bob Marley Discography at BobMarley Blog
  3. Bob Marley Discography at Wikipedia
  4. Bob Marley Discography at Bob Marley Fans Blog
  5. The Meaning of Bob Marley Songs at Geoffery Philp's Blog Spot
  6. Bob Marley Tribute
  7. Bob Marley Biography at Niceup.com
  8. Bob Marley Biography at Sing365.com
  9. Bob Marley Biography at Rollingstone.com
  10. Bob Marley Biography at Buzzle.com


Thanks to Jinkzmusings, Juninhorootsbahia, BackIn77, Headphones & BBQ, Sleepwalking Dreamweaver, GBeta, Full Albums Archive, Chillaxation, QualityBootz

Legendary Group: Mandrill


Formed 1968 in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. Mandrill comprised of:

Carlos D. Wilson (trombone / flute / guitar / percussion)
Charles Padro (drums)
Fudgy Key (bass)
Bundy Cenac (bass)
Louis Wilson (trumpet / congas / percussion / vocals)
Neftali Santiago (drums / percussion / vocals)
Wilfredo 'Wolf' Wilson (bass / congas / percussion / vocals)
Ric Wilson (sax / percussion / vocals)
Juaquin Jessup (lead guitar / percussion / vocals)
and Claude 'Coffee' Cave II (keyboards / percussion / vocals).

Mandrill were formed initially in the early '70's by the Wilson brothers who found other members by advertising in local New York music papers. The seven members played over 20 instruments. Shortly after settling on a line-up they signed with Polydor and cut 'Mandrill Is'. Building a following for their earthy funk sound they recorded a further Polydor album 'Composite Truth' (1973) before moving to Los Angeles and switching labels to United Artists. Here they released 'Solid' (1975). In the U.K. their popularity began to take off in 1977 upon signing with Arista. Their first album for the label, 'We Are One', featured 'Funky Monkey' and 'Can You Dig It', produced by Jeff Lane. The following year they self-produced a second Arista album 'New Worlds' from which 'It's So Easy Lovin' You' and 'Mean Streets' became in-demand 'rare grooves' in the late 1980's. Mandrill may have been the most musically ambitious of all the funk bands, something that hurt them commercially through their careers.






Discography


Albums:

Mandrill (Polydor 1970)
Mandrill Is (Polydor 1972)
Composite Truth (Polydor 1973)
Just Outside of Town (Polydor 1973)
Mandrilland (Polydor 1974)
Solid (United Artists 1975)
Beast from the East (United Artists 1976)
We Are One (Arista 1977)
New Worlds (Arista 1978)
Getting in the Mood (Arista 1980)

Energize (1982)
D.W.B.B. (2000)
Live at Montreux (2002)
Rebirth (1992)
Peace & Love (2001) - EP for the 911 victims

Remixes

"Havin a Love Attack"
(Pied Piper Extended Remix)

Singles

"Mango Meat" (1973)
"Dance Of Love" (1980)
"Put Your Money Where The Funk Is" (1982)
"Bust Loose" (1982)
"Pre-nuclear War Blues" (2004)
"Sunshine" (single from the movie 'Civil Brand', 2004)
"We Gotta Get it Right This Time" (2007)

Compilations

The Best Of Mandrill (1975)
Fencewalk : The Anthology (1997) - ONE TWO from Mr. Moo
Ultimate Collection (2000)

Selected Biographies and Readings
Mandrill at Soulwalking
Mandrill at Rateyourmusic
Official Website
Mandrill at Soul-Patrol


Thanks to San Pasquale Ent., Dance Music Factory. Coldbrainiac

Friday, May 8, 2009

Legend: Hamilton Bohannon


b. Hamilton Frederick Bohannon, 7th March 1942, Newnan, Georgia, U.S.A.

Hamilton Bohannon was born in Georgia in 1942. He had a huge portfolio of work issued throughout the Seventies, and achieving a great deal of chart success in the process. Hamilton graduated from Clark Atlanta University, with a B.A. in musical education. He then went into teaching before accepting an invitation to join a band that also included Jimi Hendrix, as drummer. He came to the attention of Stevie Wonder, who appointed him drummer in his touring band in 1965.

Hamilton relocated to Detroit and worked for Stevie from 1965 to 1967. His style impressed the hierarchy at Motown Records to such an extent that they made him top bandleader, responsible for live arrangements for all Motown's top acts under the name of Bohannon and the Motown Sound. When Motown Records relocated to Los Angeles, Bohannon stayed in Detroit, forming his own band featuring members of the Detroit band, The Fabulous Counts.



He signed with Dakar / Brunswick in 1972, and by early 1973 he released his debut album 'Stop And Go'. Five more albums for the imprint followed, which were, 'Keep On Dancin' (in 1974), 'Mighty Bohannon' (in 1975), 'South African Man' (in 1975), 'Inside Out' (in 1975), and 'Dance Your Ass Off' (in 1976). 'South African Man', was a single release, followed in 1975 by 'Disco Stomp' which made the Top Ten in the U.K., and 'Foot Stompin' Music' (which also made the Top 40).



In 1976, Hamilton signed to Mercury Records, and in 1977, he released 'Phase II', which contained the popular track 'Andrea' (his wife's name). 1978 saw his biggest success with 'Let’s Start The Dance', taken from his 'Summertime Groove' album. The track made the R & B Top Ten, and featured the singer Carolyn Crawford, whose own albums Hamilton went on to produce. He followed this album with four more releases for Mercury, in 1979 and 1980, which were 'On My Way', 'Cut Loose', 'Too Hot To Hold' and 'Music In The Air'. The latter album showcased a more jazz orientated style to the release, realised on the Liz Lands fronted, 'Thoughts and Wishes'.



Hamilton continued to release records through the 1980's (having one further hit in 1982 with 'Let's Start To Dance Again'), utilizing new vocalists, Liz

Lands and Altrinna Grayson. He set up Phase II Records in 1980, and began recording under the shortened name of Bohannon. 1981'a album 'Alive!' featured a re-working of the dancer 'Let's Start The Dance Part II', 'Take The Country To New York City' and the jazz tinged, ''You're The One'.



Further album releases included 'One Step Ahead', 'Make Your Body Move' and 'Bohannon Drive', all of which contained R & B chart hits. His final solo album came in the form of 'It's Time To Jam' in 1990 for the South Bound imprint.

In the new millennium, Hamilton composed songs for Mary J. Blige, (an EP entitled 'My Collection of Love Songs Live'), a singer called Governor, (on Atlantic

Records), and his son Bohannon II. In 2007 he wrote a song for the musical soundtrack for the movie, 'Daddy's Little Girls', by Tyler Perry. The same year he signed a deal with EMI Music Publishing Company. In 2009, he released further compilations of his music and an audio book entitled 'Bohannon Speaks from the Beginning', recollecting his days he worked with the Motown artists back in the day.





Discography

Albums:





Compilations



Resources & Selected Biographies
Bohannon at Rateyourmusic
Bohannon at OHM
Discography at Discogs.com


Thanks to these blogs: Funk My Soul, Bently Funk 3, Music Blog of Saltyka and his Friends, Musicmeiho, SoulFunkJazz' Blog, Mr. Moo

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Legendary Group: The New Birth


Formed 1963, U.S.A.

New Birth comprised of several groups. The main core were:

Melvin Lee Wilson (vocals)

Leslie I. Wilson (vocals)

Londee (Lottie M.) Wiggins

Alan Edgar Frey

Delma Anthony (Tony) Churchill

Austin Edward Landers

Leroy R. Taylor Jnr

Robert L.E. Jackson

Butch McDonald

Robin Russell

James Shelby Baker (b. 22nd October 1948, Louisville Kentucky, U.S.A. d. 24th October 1993, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.)

and Charles Edward (Charlie) Herndon.

***************************************************************************************

New Birth were formed in 1963 with some assistance from music-industry veteran Harvey Fuqua. The group's tunes have been covered (or sampled) by K-Ci & Jo Jo, Notorious BIG, Something for the People, and De La Soul, to name a few. Originally the concept was the brainchild of Vernon Bullock. He would form a touring company who could perform separately and / or as part of a group. Vernon introduced the idea to his boss, former Motown songwriter / producer Harvey Fuqua. Fuqua liked the concept, so the pair traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to start a production company and audition new talent. They would sign new acts, which would be recorded separately, but collectively the acts would be known as 'New Birth.'

The name stood for a new sound and a new beginning. The initial incarnation consisted of an 8 member band called the Nite-Liters, a male quartet called The Now Sound, The Mint Juleps, a quartet of female singers, and lead singer Alan Frey. In 1970, New Birth released their debut, self-titled album on RCA Records. The first single, 'It's You or No One" was not a smash hit.



The 1971 release of their sophomore LP, 'Ain't No Big Thing, But It's Growing' netted the band a minor hit with a cover of the Perry Como song, 'It's Impossible.' The novelty garnered the band key TV and venue bookings and an award of merit from ASCAP. Harvey Fuqua felt that the group need to add to their vocal canon. He found a trio out of Michigan consisting of singing brothers Melvin and Leslie Wilson and Ann Bogan, who had previously sung with Fuqua before joining the Marvelettes.



Melvin and Leslie were born and raised in the small town of Muskegon, Michigan, and grew up with their roots mainly in gospel music. They sang with The Zion Wonders, the Gospel Legionnaires and The Skylarks with Reverend Calvin Fair. After relocating to Detroit, they put together an R & B act similar to the, then popular, Sam & Dave. The trio's, dubbed 'Love, Peace And Happiness,' were incorporated with a revamped New Birth.

In 1972, 'Love, Peace and Happiness' released 2 albums: 'Love Is Stronger' and 'Here Tis'. The latter album featured the hit 'I Don't Want To Do Wrong,' which charted in August of that year. The once 17 piece ensemble company evolved into a 15 piece ensemble company with the Niteliters, Londee Wiggins, Bobby Downes, Allen Frey and Love, Peace and Happiness. The Niteliters and Love, Peace and Happiness recording albums in addition to the New Birth entourage.

At this point the group became a single unit. They dropped the use of all other names and were no longer a troupe of separate entertainers, but one single supergroup. In addition to Melvin and Leslie Wilson, the group featured, Londee Wiggins, Alan Frey, Tony Churchill, Austin Landers, Leroy Taylor, Robert Jackson, Butch McDonald, Robyn Russell, James Baker and Charlie Herndon.



The band went into the studio to record their fourth album, 'Birth Day'. 'Birth Day', became the group's breakthrough release. Leslie Wilson set the tone for the album with the LP's first tune, a cover of Bobby Womack's 'I Can Understand It.' This became the band's first Top 5 R & B hit. 'It's Been A Long Time', the fifth New Birth release, was the groups biggest selling record to date. The title track, released in January 1974, climbed the R & B Charts where it remained in the Top 10 for 17 weeks. 'It's Been A Long Time' marked a change to the softer, more romantic stylings that became a New Birth mainstay.



That single was followed by the classic, soulful ballad 'Wildflower, which charted at Number 17 on the R & B chart and went Top 10 in the United Kingdom. The group recorded their fifth and final album for RCA entitled 'Comin From All Ends'. The members of New Birth were restless and anxious to gain more control, creative and otherwise. The song 'I Wash My Hands Of The Deal' reflects Allen Frey's frustration regarding his dealings with the powers that be in relation to his place in New Birth.



This turned out to be the consensus of the group. It was at this time that the group split with RCA, Harvey Fuqua and their management signed with Buddah Records. Melvin then created the groups new look for the stage. He commissioned designer Bill Witten to make stage costumes for the group, which had come to him in his dreams. Only mainstream acts such as Kiss and Alice Cooper were wearing outlandishly styled uniforms. The group also incorporated the use of rear screen projection and had films commissioned to run as part of their performance, which was also a first for R & B artists.

In 1975, New Birth released 'Blind Baby' on Buddah Records bringing a variation on the original sound. The group had complete creative control over the process with Melvin Wilson and James Baker producing the project along with input from the entire group. One of the groups songs, 'Mr. Dream Merchant,' was a cover of Jerry Butler's 1967 melody, and was a favorite of Melvin's.

'Love Potion' followed in 1976.The award-winning cover art, which was designed by Melvin Wilson and renowned photographer Norman Seeff, featured all 12 members posing together naked! The members all lived together in a mansion in the famed Hollywood Hills that they dubbed 'the band house.' The group went on to record 'The Mighty Army' album for Warner Brothers. There followed in-fighting over monetary and creative differences. These corrosive emotions coupled with bad management decisions caused the members to go their separate ways in 1977. Melvin and Leslie formed a revamped New Birth, which saw the return of Bobby Downs, and the addition of singer Dawn Pree.

The band released the album 'Platinum City' in 1979. In 1982, Londee Wiggins returned and replaced Dawn Pree on the groups second post Wilson Brothers offering entitled 'I'm Back'. However, the album did not prove to be successful and the remainder of the original New Birth disbanded. Sadly, James Baker passed away in 1993. Fortunately, most of the members of New Birth were still in touch and had spent some time with him before his sudden and untimely death.

2002 brought a new incarnation of New Birth, with Melvin and Leslie Wilson back at the helm. This group is touring the U.S., performing club and arena dates and are, currently putting the finishing touches on a new 16-track CD.



Albums

Monday, May 4, 2009

Legend: Millie Jackson


Millie Jackson is much more than an entertainment legend. The shapely, charismatic and multi-talented entertainer is without a doubt, a music industry icon whose oft criticized career paved the way for many of today's forward female recording artists and entertainers. Not only has her lengthy career attracted fans from all walks of life along the way; it's rumored that Bette Midler and Roseanne took pages from Millie's high voltage explicit approach to sex, to enrich their respective careers.

In spite of being stamped bawdy, brash and bad, Millie is the epitome of performance perfection on stage. She has no peer in this department!!! Several years ago, she added a new dimension to her established legendary career by creating, financing, directing and starring in a 'hit' musical stage play that was based on one of her previous recordings, "Young Man, Older Woman". During the play's touring years, audiences (old and new) discovered that Millie Jackson was equally at home as an actress, as she was singing songs in a musical mesmerizing manner.

"Young Man, Older Woman" broke numerous box office records and attracted countless SRO audiences in cities and venues it played during its close to four-year run. It's overwhelming success prompted David Patrick Stearns of USA Today to write a feature article, citing Millie as an astute businesswoman and lauding her, for her ability to turn her brand of risqué music into stage play success. In Los Angeles, actor/comedian Martin Lawrence created a special role for her to play on his popular TV sitcom after seeing her perform in "Young Man, Older Woman" at the Wiltern Theatre.



It's definitely no stage joke that her career was launched in a New York nite club on a bet. It happened in a Harlem nite club shortly after she finished high school. Winning the bet by performing resulted in Millie's metamorphic rise from a fledgling performer to a world-renown electrifying entertainer.

Her first record release, "A Child of God," on Spring Records, more or less set the tone for what was to come with sexual and social hypocrisy from the transplanted Georgia native. Her debut album resulted in Millie being named 'Most Promising Female Vocalist' by a NATRA a now defunct radio and record industry organization. The following year, her single, "It Hurts So Good," was featured in the Warner Brothers film, "Cleopatra Jones". The soundtrack album resulted in Millie winning 'Best Female R&B Vocalist' honors from Cash Box Magazine.



Both her powerful vocal prowess and her ability to gather material to fit perfectly into the philosophical tune trends of the times surfaced when her next album was released. Then, with the help of Brad Shapiro she started producing herself. Their team efforts produced 'gold' for the album "Caught Up". They also wrote history in the annals of the recording industry. Over the ensuing years, Millie's name became synonymous with a streak of hit albums. "Get It Out Cha System," "Feelin' Bitchy," "Hard Times," "A Moment's Pleasure," "Live and Uncensored," "For Men Only," "I Had To Say It," "A Little Bit Country" and "Live and Outrageous" were some of the albums that earned Millie more 'gold' on Spring Records and added to her liberated lyrical approach. A few years later she produced and performed on an album with Isaac Hayes. The collaboration was entitled "Royal Rappin's".

Her next duet recording effort was in 1985 with pop recording star Elton John. The single's release and music video, "Act of War" made the national pop charts and resulted in Millie becoming a crossover artist. The success of this duet with Elton paved the way for her first booking as a headline act at Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. Millie's Amphitheatre performance earned her a tie for a 'Best Concert Performance Award' with Sting, in an annual poll conducted by the Los Angeles Reader Newspaper.



Jive/Zomba Records, an English-based record label distributed by RCA Records was Millie's next label after Spring Records. Four albums and several singles were released during her tenure there. Two of the singles reached the national Top Ten R&B music charts. Ironically, "Young Man, Older Woman" was the last album Millie recorded for the label. It was also the title that caught her fancy when she decided to write and produce her first play.

To satisfy public demands for the play's soundtrack album, Millie struck a deal with Georgia-based Ichiban Records to record and release the "Young Man, Older Woman" cast album. Its success prompted a second album, "Rockin' Soul". This album showcased her ability to successfully bridge the musical gap between 'soul' and pop music..
Her third album with Ichiban Records was entitled "It's Over!??" This was the soundtrack album for her second musical stage play, "The Sequel (It Ain't Over)". In her humorous innate way she described her third album for Ichiban, as. "Well, we finally got the punctuation dilemma settled!"



Promotional differences and directions resulted in Millie's second musical stage play being short lived after successful runs in New York City and Detroit. It also robbed waiting audiences around the country from seeing and hearing the legendary R&B singing trio of Ray, Goodman and Brown; Douglas Knyght Smith (her "younger" co-star from the first play), Keisha Jackson, and Antonio Fargas ("Huggie Bear" from Starsky & Hutch) on stage with Millie Jackson, doing their acting and singing thing in her all new hilarious musical stage play.

Of the many songs recorded and released by Millie over the years, her "Phuck-U-Symphony" remains the most re-recorded. She appeared in the movie "Wigstock," and was dubbed the Mother of Hip Hop by Da Brat who asked Millie to appear on her last album. This record session lead to Millie being called on to do a Sprite television commercial.



For the past several years Millie has been doing her daily radio show on KKDA in Dallas, Texas, from various locations around the country. More recently she was inspired to record again. Rather than go through changes with other record labels, she decided to launch her own label and record the types of songs and materials that made her the outspoken, sexually liberated Millie Jackson that people loved and flocked to see.

The name of her new record label is Weird Wreckuds - git it!! Her new single "Butt-A-Cize" is currently available, and her new album entitled "Not For Church Folk!" will be released shortly.



Discography

Albums

Produced by Millie Jackson
  • 1977 - Facts Of Life - "Sometimes"
  • 1978 - Facts Of Life - "A Matter Of Fact"
  • Compilations
  • 1994 - 21 of the Best
  • 1999 - Between the Sheet

Resources and Selected Biographies
Millie Jackson at Soul Walking
Millie Jackson at Rateyormusic
Millie Jackson at Weird Wreckuds
Millie Jackson at Wikipedia

Peace Fans

I think its time that Blax-Jive move on from strictly blaxploitation contributing artist to just legendary artist in general. I will be posting the biographies here instead of Blax-Pride if the artist in non-blaxploitation related. I will do a test post of Millie Jackson and we will see how it transpires from there.

Visit Blaxpploitation Pride for information on your favorite blaxploitation movies and soundtracks.