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Showing posts with label Disco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disco. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Heatwave


Heatwave was an international funk/disco musical band featuring Americans Johnnie Wilder, Jr. and Keith Wilder (vocals) of Dayton, Ohio, Englishman Rod Temperton (keyboards), Swiss Mario Mantese (bass), Czech or slovak ??? Ernest "Bilbo" Berger (drums), Jamaican Eric Johns (guitar) and Briton Roy Carter (guitar).
They were known for their successful songs "Boogie Nights" and "Always and Forever" (from their 1976 debut album, Too Hot to Handle), and "The Groove Line" (from their 1978 follow-up album, Central Heating).
Founder member Johnnie Wilder was an American serviceman based in West Germany when he first began performing, upon his discharge from the U.S. Army, he stayed in Germany. He sang in nightclubs and taverns with an assortment of bands while still enlisted. By mid-year, he decided to relocate to the United Kingdom and through an ad placed in a local paper he linked up with songwriter/keyboardist Rod Temperton.
Touring the London nightclub circuit billed as Chicago's Heatwave during the mid-1970s allowed them to refine their sound, adding a funk groove to disco beats. In search of a fuller sound vocally, Johnnie Wilder called upon his brother Keith Wilder (who was performing in a local band in Dayton, Ohio) to join the band on vocals. The group signed to GTO Records in 1976 (Epic Records would handle GTO's releases in the states). They were paired in the studio with GTO house producer/session guitarist Barry Blue and rhythm guitarist Jesse Whitten. Rhythm guitarist Roy Carter replaced Whitten after Whitten was killed in a stabbing incident. They began creating their first album Too Hot to Handle in the fall of 1976.
Their third single, "Boogie Nights" from their debut album, in 1977 reached on the British popular music charts in January and in America in November. The group's debut album, Too Hot to Handle, was released in the spring of 1977, giving Heatwave a on the Hot 200 and on the R&B charts, while the next single, the soul ballad "Always and Forever", reached on the Hot 100 in April 1978 and #2 on the R&B charts.
Continuing to use Barry Blue's production skills, Heatwave released their second album Central Heating in April 1978. Lead single "The Groove Line," reached on the Hot 100 in July 1978.
During the late 1970s the band changed. At first Eric Johns quit the band and Billy Jones was his replacement as guitarist. Then Rod Temperton quit the band. Although Temperton would continue writing new songs for Heatwave, he soon became better-known for his songwriting for other artists, penning award-winning songs for some of funk's biggest names, including Rufus and The Brothers Johnson. He also wrote for Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones, but his most famous partnership remains the one forged with Michael Jackson, writing three songs for his 1979 Epic debut Off The Wall - "Rock With You," "Off The Wall" and "Burn This Disco Out", and three songs for the 1982 Thriller LP, including the title track.
Despite these changes Heatwave were about to return to the studio, when Mantese attended a party at Elton John's house in London. He was with his girlfriend, who decided to go home early from the party, reason unknown. When Mantese arrived home, she was furious with him, perhaps from an incident that happened at the party and stabbed him. The knife hit him in the heart and for several minutes, he was clinically dead. When, after several months, he awoke from coma, he was blind, mute and paralysed in his entire body. To date, he has no memory of this tragic event. He decided not to press charges against his girlfriend, and moved in with her after leaving the hospital. Mantese was replaced by bassist Derek Bramble. Adding keyboardist Calvin Duke to the group, and now working with new producer Phil Ramone, Heatwave cut Hot Property, released in May 1979.
During the spring of 1979, Johnnie Wilder, Jr., suffered injuries in an auto accident while visiting family and friends in Dayton, Ohio. Although he survived, the accident left him paralyzed from the neck down and unable to continue performing with the group. After the accident, Johnnie remained a co-producer of the group, along with Blue.
Determined to continue working with the band he had nurtured since the very beginning, Wilder participated with studio work and, during 1980, Heatwave recorded the Candles LP, with Temperton again providing the songs, except stand out track "All I Am", written by Blue's former writing partner Lynsey de Paul. The group recruited James Dean "J.D." Nicholas, who later became a member of the Commodores, to handle vocals in concert.
Heatwave's popularity was on the wane, though, as the November single "Gangsters of the Groove" proved to be their last popular music success, scoring number twenty-one in the U.S., and number twenty in the United Kingdom early in the New Year. But the album peaked at a mere number seventy-one in the United States in December 1980.
Heatwave's 1982 LP, Current, marked yet another new era for the band, as they returned to producer Blue. The album managed only number 156 on the U.S. Billboard 200, although it scored the band a number twenty-one success on the R&B charts, where Heatwave continued to be a strong presence. A Rod Temperton penned single, "Lettin' It Loose," proved a minor success during August.
Derek Bramble quit the band at the end of 1982, like Roy Carter, for a career in production (he would go on to work with David Bowie on 1984s Tonight LP, and later masterminded Jaki Graham's breakthrough). J.D. Nicholas left to replace Lionel Richie as the lead singer of the Commodores. After this long series of departures, the remaining members of Heatwave effectively disbanded.
Silent since early 1983, Heatwave reconvened in a new line-up to record and release the album The Fire in 1988. However, Keith Wilder was the only original member of the band present in this incarnation (although Billy Jones, who had joined the band in the late 1970s returned as well). Meanwhile, that same year, Johnnie Wilder released a solo spiritual album My Goals on Light. The Wilder brothers once again teamed up the following year for the gospel album, Sound of Soul. None of these late 1980s albums sold well, but Heatwave's recognition was revitalized in 1991, when a remix version of their "Mind Blowing Decisions" charted in the UK. By the middle of the 1990s, Keith Wilder had again reformed the band. Joined by bassist Dave Williamson, keyboardists Kevin Sutherland and Byron Byrd, guitarist Bill Jones[disambiguation needed ], and original drummer Ernest Berger, the reborn Heatwave launched an American tour with a live album recorded at the Greek Theater in Hollywood, arriving in 1997.
Heatwave released an extended club remix of "Boogie Nights" in 2002. Keith Wilder is the lead singer of the current line-up (and the only remaining original member). The current touring line-up includes a host of lesser known musicians, including New Orleans keyboardist Jeremy Crump.
Johnnie Wilder died in his sleep at his home in Dayton, Ohio in May 2006.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Discography:

1976-Too Hot to Handle
1977-Central Heating
1979-Hot Property
1980-Candles
1982-Current
1988-The Fire 

Compilations & Mix:
1990-Gangsters Of The Groove (Hits In The 90's Mix)
1996-Always Forever (The Best Of)




Monday, January 23, 2012

Brick




Brick is a former American band that created a successful merger of funk and jazz in the 1970s. Their most popular single was "Dazz", (#3 U.S. Pop, #1 U.S. R&B, #36 UK Singles Chart) which was released in 1976.

Brick was formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 1972 from members of two bands - one disco and the other jazz. They coined their own term for disco-jazz, "dazz". They released their first single "Music Matic" on Main Street Records in 1976, before signing to the independently distributed Bang Records. Their next single, "Dazz", (#3 Pop, #1 R&B) was released in 1976. The band continued to record for Bang records until 1982. Other hits followed: "That's What It's All About" (R&B #48) and "Dusic" (#18 Pop, #2 R&B) in 1977, and "Ain't Gonna Hurt Nobody" (#92 Pop, #7 R&B) in 1978. Their last Top Ten R&B hit was "Sweat (Til You Get Wet)" in 1981.

Members:

Jimmy Brown - lead vocals, saxophone, flute
Regi Hargis Hickman - guitar, bass, vocals
Eddie Irons - lead vocals, drums, keyboards
Donald Nevins - keyboards, vocals
Ray Ransom - vocals, bass, keyboards, percussion

Discography:
  • 1976 -Good High , Bang
  • 1977-Brick , Bang
  • 1979-Stoneheart , Bang
  • 1980-Waiting on You , Bang
  • 1981-Summer Heat , Bang
  • 1982-After 5 , Bang
  • 1988-Too Tuff , Magic City
  • 1995-The Best of Brick , Epic/Bang 
  • 2000-Super Hits , Sony

Friday, December 2, 2011

Legendary Jackie Moore


Biography

One of the relatively few artists who emerged in the early '70s to enjoy a run of success with a Southern soul-based sound, this Florida singer recorded her best material for Atlantic in Miami with noted session players like the Memphis Horns and the Dixie Flyers. Putting her earthy pop-soul to ballads and mid-tempo material, much of it written and crafted by producer Dave Crawford, Moore had a half-dozen R&B hits for the label; the biggest, "Precious, Precious" (1970) and "Sweet Charlie Babe" (1973), were also small pop hits. In 1972 and 1973, she cut some tunes in Philadelphia's Sigma Sound Studios with a slicker feel, with generally successful results. There was nothing especially earth-shaking about Moore's style or material, but it was solid stuff with a grittier feel than much of the soul music in vogue at the time. After leaving Atlantic, she had one more sizable R&B hit, "Make Me Feel Like a Woman" (1975).

Discography

1973 - Sweet Charlie Babe
1976 - Make Me Feel Like A Woman
1979 - I'm On My Way
1980 - With Your Love

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Legendary Esther Phillips




Esther Phillips (December 23, 1935 – August 7, 1984) was an American singer. Phillips was known for her R&B vocals,[1] but she was a versatile singer, also performing pop, country, jazz, blues and soul music.

Biography
Early life
Born Esther Mae Jones in Galveston, Texas, when she was an adolescent, her parents divorced, and she was forced to divide her time between her father in Houston and her mother in the Watts area of Los Angeles. Because she was brought up singing in church, she was hesitant to enter a talent contest at a local blues club, but her sister insisted and she complied. A mature singer at age fourteen, she won the amateur talent contest in 1949 at the Barrelhouse Club owned by Johnny Otis. Otis was so impressed that he recorded her for Modern Records and added her to his traveling revue, the California Rhythm and Blues Caravan, billed as 'Little Esther Phillips' (she reportedly took the surname from a gas station sign).

Early career
Her first hit record was "Double Crossing Blues", recorded in 1950 for Savoy Records. After several hit records with Savoy, including her duet with Mel Walker on "Mistrusting Blues", which went to number one that year, as did "Cupid Boogie". Other Phillips records that made it onto the U.S. Billboard R&B chart in 1950 include "Misery" (number 9), "Deceivin' Blues" (number 4), "Wedding Boogie" (number 6), and "Faraway Blues" (number 6). Few female artists, R&B or otherwise, had ever enjoyed such success in their debut year. Phillips left Otis and the Savoy label at the end of 1950 and signed with Federal Records.

But just as quickly as the hits had started, they stopped. Although she recorded more than thirty sides for Federal, only one, "Ring-a-Ding-Doo", charted; the song made it to number 8 in 1952. Not working with Otis was part of her problem; the other part was her drug usage. By the middle of the decade Phillips was chronically addicted to drugs.

In 1954, she returned to Houston to live with her father to recuperate. Short on money, she worked in small nightclubs around the South, punctuated by periodic hospital stays in Lexington, Kentucky, stemming from her addiction. In 1962, Kenny Rogers re-discovered her while singing at a Houston club and got her signed to his brother Lelan’s Lenox label.

Comeback
Phillips ultimately got well enough to launch a comeback in 1962. Now billed as Esther Phillips instead of Little Esther, she recorded a country tune, "Release Me," with producer Bob Gans. This went to number 1 R&B and number 8 on the pop listings. After several other minor R&B hits on Lenox, she was signed by Atlantic Records. Her cover of The Beatles' song "And I Love Him" nearly made the R&B Top Ten in 1965 and the Beatles flew her to the UK for her first overseas performances.]

She had other hits in the 1960s on the label, but no more chart toppers, and she waged a battle with heroin dependency. With her addiction worsening, Phillips checked into a rehab facility. While undergoing treatment, she cut some sides for Roulette in 1969, mostly produced by Lelan Rogers. On her release, she moved back to Los Angeles and re-signed with the Atlantic label. A late 1969 gig at Freddie Jett's Pied Piper club produced the album Burnin'. She performed with the Johnny Otis Show at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1970.

The 1970s
One of her biggest post-1950s triumphs was in 1972 with her first album for Kudu Records. The song penned by Gil Scott-Heron, "Home Is Where the Hatred Is," - an account of drug use — was lead track on From a Whisper to a Scream which went on to be nominated for a Grammy Award. When Phillips lost to Aretha Franklin, the latter presented the trophy to Phillips, saying she should have won it instead.

Taylor continued to cut albums with her until in 1975, she scored her biggest hit single since "Release Me" with a disco-style update of Dinah Washington's "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes". It reached a high of a Top 20 chart appearance in the U.S., and Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart. On November 8, 1975 she performed the song on an episode of NBC's Saturday Night hosted by Candice Bergen. The accompanying album of the same name became her biggest seller yet, with arranger Joe Beck on guitar, Michael Brecker on tenor sax, David Sanborn on alto sax, and Randy Brecker on trumpet to Steve Khan on guitar and Don Grolnick on keyboards.

She continued to record and perform throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, completing a total of seven albums on Kudu and four with Mercury Records, for whom she signed in 1977. In 1983, she charted for the final time on a tiny independent label, Winning with "Turn Me Out," which reached #85 R&B. She completed recording her final album a few months before her death, but it was not until 1986 that the label (Muse) released the record.

Death
Phillips died at UCLA Medical Center in Carson, California in 1984, at the age of 48 from liver and kidney failure due to drug use. Her funeral services were conducted by Johnny Otis

1951 Hollerin' and Screaming
1963 Release Me
1965 And I Love Him!
1966 Esther Phillips Sings
1966 The Country Side of Esther
1970 Burnin' [live]
1972 From A Whisper To A Scream
1972 Alone Again (Naturally)
1973 Black-Eyed Blues
1974 Performance
1975 What a Diff'rence a Day Makes
1976 Capricorn Princess
1976 Confessin' the Blues
1976 For All We Know
1976 Gold Blues
1977 Live At The Rising Sun Club
1977 You've Come a Long Way, Baby
1978 All About Esther
1978 Esther Phillips
1979 Here's Esther Are You Ready
1981 Good Black Is Hard to Crack
1990 Better Beware
1992 A Way to Say Goodbye

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Legend: Idris Muhammad



Idris Muhammad (born November 13, 1939 in New Orleans, Louisiana; is a jazz drummer. He was born Leo Morris on November 13, 1939 before changing his name in the 1960s upon his conversion to Islam. He is known for his funky playing style. He has released a number of albums as leader, and has played with a number of jazz legends including Lou Donaldson, Johnny Griffin, Pharoah Sanders and Grover Washington, Jr. He has been touring and recording with pianist Ahmad Jamal since 1995. At 15 years-old, one of Muhammad's earliest recorded sessions as a drummer was on Fats Domino's 1956 smash hit Blueberry Hill.

In 1966, he married Dolores "LaLa" Brooks (former member of the Crystals; she converted to Islam with him and went for a time under the name Sakinah Muhammad). They separated in 1999. Together, they have two sons and two daughters. Muhammad is an endorser of Istanbul Agop Cymbals who issued a 22" Idris Muhammad Signature Ride in at the 2008 NAMM show in Anaheim, CA.

Discography:

As leader
  • 1970: Black Rhythm Revolution (Prestige Records) Flac
  • 1971: Peace & Rhythm (Prestige) Flac
  • 1974: Power of Soul
  • 1976: House of the Rising Sun
  • 1977: Turn This Mutha Out
  • 1978: Boogie to the Top
  • 1978: You Ain't No Friend of Mine 
  • 1979: Fox Huntin'
  • 1980: Kabsha
  • 1980: Make It Count
  • 1992: My Turn
  • 1996:Legends of Acid Jazz
  • 1998: Right Now
As sideman
  • With Pharoah Sanders
  • Jewels of Thought(1969)
  • Journey to the One (1980)
  • Shukuru (1981)
  • Heart Is a Melody(1982)
  • Africa(1987)
  • With Nat Adderley
  • * Calling Out Loud (CTI, 1968)
  • With Lou Donaldson
  • * Fried Buzzard (Cadet, 1965)
  • * Blowing in the Wind (Cadet, 1966)
  • * Lou Donaldson At His Best (Cadet, 1966)
  • * Alligator Bogaloo (Blue Note, 1967)
  • * Mr. Shing-A-Ling (Blue Note, 1967)
  • * Midnight Creeper (Blue Note, 1968)
  • * Say It Loud! (Blue Note, 1968)
  • * Hot Dog (Blue Note, 1969)
  • * Everything I Play is Funky (Blue Note, 1970)
  • * Pretty Things (Blue Note, 1970)
  • * The Scorpion (Blue Note, 1970)
  • * Cosmos (Blue Note 1971)
  • * Sweet Poppa Lou (Muse, 1981)
  • With Grant Green
  • * Sookie Sookie (Blue Breakbeats 1998)
  • With Freddie Hubbard
  • * New Colors (Hip Bop Essence 2001) \ FLAC
  • With Ahmad Jamal
  • * The Essence of Ahmad Jamal, Pt 1 (1994) pass = yuforum\ FLAC
  • * Big Byrd: The Essence, Pt. 2 (Dreyfus, 1997) pass = yuforum
  • * Nature: The Essence, Part III (Dreyfus, 1998)pass = yuforum
  • * Picture Perfect (2000)
  • * Ahmad Jamal 70th Birthday (2000)
  • * In Search of Momentum (Dreyfus, 2002)
  • * After Fajr (Dreyfus, 2005) \ Flac
  • * It's Magic (Dreyfus, 2008)
  • With Rodney Jones
  • * Soul Manifesto (1991)
  • With Ernest Ranglin
  • * Below the Bassline (Island Records, 1998)
  • With John Scofield
  • * Groove Elation (1995)
  • With Leon Spencer
  • * Sneak Preview (Prestige Records, 1970)
  • * Louisiana Slim (Prestige, 1971)
  • With Stanley Turrentine
  • Common Touch(1968)
  • Sugar Man(1975)
  • With Andrew Hill
  • Grass Roots!(1968)
  • With Charles Earland
  • Black Talk!(1969)
  • With Reuben Wilson
  • Love Bug (1969)
  • With Lonnie Smith
  • Turning Point(1969)
  • With Sonny Stitt
  • Goin' Down Slow (1971)
  • With Gene Ammons
  • My Way (1970)
  • With Bob James
  • 1965: Explosions
  • 2003 - The Legendary Albums
  • With Roberta Flack
  • Feel Like Makin' Love (1975)
  • Blue Lights in the Basement(1977)
  • With Merry Clayton
  • Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow (1975)
  • With Gabor Szabo
  • Macho(1975)
  • With Allspice
  • Allspice(1977)
  • With Richard "Groove" Holmes
  • Groove's Groove(1977)
  • Good Vibrations (1977)
  • With David "Fathead" Newman
  • Back to Basics (1977)
  • Concrete Jungle(1977)
  • Keep the Dream Alive(1977)
  • With Dexter Wansel
  • What the World Is Coming To(1977)
  • With Wilbert Longmire
  • Champagne(1979)
  • With Johnny Lytle
  • Fast Hands(1980)
  • Good Vibes(1981)
  • With Ximo Tebar
  • The Champs(2004)
  • With Horace Silver
  • That Healin' Feelin(1970)
  • With Bobbi Humphrey
  • Flute In (1971)
  • With Rusty Bryant
  • Soul Liberation(1970)
  • Fire Eater (1971)
  • With Melvin Sparks
  • Akilah(1973)
  • With Willis "Gator" Jackson,
  • Bar Wars(1977) \ APE
  • Single Action(1978)
  • With Etta Jones
  • My Mother's Eyes(1977)
  • With Randy Weston
  • Portraits of Thelonious Monk(1990,Verve)






Sunday, March 14, 2010

Legendary Group:Wild Cherry


Rob Parissi (lead vocals & guitar) was raised in the steel mill town of Mingo Junction, Ohio . Parissi graduated from Mingo High School in 1968. Rob formed his first band in 1970 in Steubenville, Ohio, one mile north of Mingo Junction along the Ohio River. The band's name "Wild Cherry" was taken from a box of cough drops while Rob was recouperating from a brief hospital stay. The band played the Ohio Valley region, Wheeling, West Virginia and the rest of the Northern West Virginia panhandle, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The original lineup included: Ben DiFabbio - Drums, Lead and background vocals - from Mingo Junction, Ohio, Louie Osso - Guitar, Lead and background vocals- from Steubenville, Ohio, Larry Brown - Bass, Lead and background vocals - from Weirton, West Virginia, Larry Mader - Keyboards, Lead and background vocals - from East Springfield, Ohio, and of course Rob Parissi - Lead vocals and Guitar.After the original members broke up, there were other members who also played before the big hit, such as Rob's cousin, Coogie Stoddart - guitar, Lead and background vocals and Joe Buchmelter on Bass.

Several other records were released under their own label, including You Can Be High (But Lay Low), date unknown, and Something Special On Your Mind, 1971. The music at this stage was pure rock music, not funk. Wild Cherry eventually gained a record contract with Brown Bag Records. Several demos and singles were produced including Get Down, 1973 (re-release of earlier self labeled demo); and Show Me Your Badge, 1973.

The band broke up when a disillusioned Parissi left the music scene to become the manager of a local steakhouse. Rob quickly realized that the steakhouse gig was not going to cut it. As his enthusiasm for the music eventually returned, Rob decided to give the business one last shot.

Parissi re-formed the band with new musicians. The new lineup consisted of Bryan Bassett (guitar/vocals) and Ronald Beitle (drums/percussion/vocals), both from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Allen Wentz (bass guitar/synthesizer/vocals), who hailed from Detroit, Michigan. As the hard rockin' quartet began to perform non-stop and build a huge, devoted following in the Pittsburgh area, they were repeatedly asked by listeners to play more dance music. Disco was beginning its rule on the radio and the dance floor. At the 2001 Club in Pittsburgh, a table full of black fans kept coming to the stage and teasing: "Are you white boys gonna play some funky music?" One night during a break between sets, drummer Ron Beitle, in a group meeting in the dressing room, uttered the magic phrase that eventually was to be heard around the world: "Play That Funky Music, White Boy". On the way back to the stage to play the next set, Rob Parissi was immediately inspired to write the song that will live on forever, on a drink order pad with a pen borrowed from the bartender. The song took a total of 5 minutes to write. When the band went into the studio to record the song, studio engineer Ken Hamann was blown away by the potential hit and brought the band to the attention of Sweet City Records, which then immediately signed the group. Parissi had intended to record the song as the B-side to a cover version of the Commodores' "I Feel Sanctified", but the label suggested recording it as an A-side. Epic Records then picked it up for major world-wide distribution. During the recording of the first album, Mark Avsec was hired as a session keyboardist on two of the album's tracks, "Nowhere To Run" and "The Lady Wants Your Money", and was asked to join the band after the album was released and the group was about to embark on its first tour.

"Play That Funky Music" became a huge hit when released in 1976, peaking at number one on both the Billboard R&B and pop charts. Both the single and Wild Cherry's self-titled debut album went platinum. Play That Funky Music was #1 on the Billboard charts for 3 weeks. The band was named Best Pop Group of the Year by Billboard, and received an American Music Award for Top R&B Single of the Year, as well as a pair of Grammy nominations for Best New Vocal Group and Best R&B Performance by a Group or Duo that year, adding to their success.

Their 1977 album, Electrified Funk and 1978 album I Love My Music did not produce any top 20 hits, While their 1979 album Only the Wild Survive didn't produce a top 100 single.

U.S. billboard chart placements for singles from their 3 other albums:

* Baby Don't You Know (1977; peaked at #43)
* Hot To Trot (1977; peaked at #95)
* Hold On (1977; peaked at #61)
* I Love My Music (1978; peaked at #69).

"Hot to Trot" was a minor followup hit in some non U.S. markets.

Although it was never a chart hit, the song "1 2 3 Kind Of Love" had the right feel for the beach music clubs along the North and South Carolina coasts; it continues to be popular there today, and the song is included in the beach music anthology series by Ripete Records.

One musician who played with the band was guitarist/vocalist Donnie Iris (ex-The Jaggerz). Donnie was credited on their fourth and final album. Mark Avsec partnered up with Donnie following the demise of Wild Cherry to form The Cruisers, and also released a solo project under the moniker Cellarful of Noise in 1985.

Coogie Stoddart returned to perform with Wild Cherry beginning with the tour to support Electrified Funk. Coogie recorded the third album, I Love my Music, with the band. On that album is recorded one of Coogie's original songs, If You Want My Love, on which Coogie shares lead vocals with Rob Parissi. (The album jacket for I Love My Music incorrectly states that all songs were written by Rob Parissi; the album's label is correct.) Coogie Stoddart toured with the group in support of I Love My Music, but left before Only the Wild Survive was recorded.

Allen Wentz moved to NYC after leaving the band, and became a session synthesist playing on many records and jingles. He has produced a number of indie projects over the years, scored a few indie films, and has had some song placements. He still composes and records under different aliases, as well as under his own name. Over the years he has worked with artists ranging from Luther Vandross and Roberta Flack, to Cyndi Lauper.

Guitarist Bryan Bassett went on to a successful producing/engineering career, working with many great blues artists. And his guitar playing easily earned him a spot in the 90's with Foghat and Molly Hatchet. He continues to tour with Foghat and work in his studio.

Parissi later became a disk jockey in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Play That Funky Music was covered by the rock group ROXANNE in 1988 and was sampled by Vanilla Ice in 1990 (for which Parissi was not credited; he later won $500,000 in a copyright infringement lawsuit), and it continues to be a hit in dance clubs to this day. Play that Funky Music is regularly included on funk and disco compilations, and has been included in numerous movies, television shows and was the theme song for Craig Kilborn's late-night TV show. Taylor Hicks sang Play That Funky Music on American Idol a week before he won. On March 31, 2009, Adam Lambert sang this song on the American Idol television show.

In 2009 Rob Parissi was involved with members of 70's group LAW in recording a song for Ohio State University called 'GO BUCKS. It was released in August that year.


Discography

Studio albums

* Wild Cherry (1976)
* Electrified Funk (1977)
* I Love My Music (1978)
* Only the Wild Survive (1979)


Compilation albums

* Play the Funk (2000)
* Super Hits (2004)

Singles

  • "Show Me Your Badge/Bring Back the Fire" (1973)
  • "Play That Funky Music" (1976) \alternate
  • "I Feel Sanctified" (1976)
  • "Baby Don't You Know" (1977)
  • "Hold On (With Strings)" (1977)
  • "Hot to Trot" (1977) - also released as part of a double A-side with "Play That Funky Music" in 1977
  • "123 Kind of Love" (1978)
  • "This Old Heart of Mine" (1978)
  • "Try a Piece of My Love" (1979)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Legendary Group: SUN



Another of the many Dayton funk bands that emerged in the '70s, Sun didn't enjoy as much success as their counterparts. The band recorded prolifically for Capitol from 1976 to 1984, but just couldn't score a major hit. The closest they came was "Sun Is Here," which made it to number 18 on the R&B charts in 1978. They made one last try with Air City in 1984, but it flopped.

Discography

  • 1976 Live On, Dream On
  • 1976 Wanna Make Love
  • 1977 Sun Power
  • 1978 Sunburn
  • 1978 Dance (Do What You Wanna Do)
  • 1979 Destination: Sun
  • 1980 Sun Over the Universe
  • 1981 Force of Nature
  • 1982 Let There Be Sun
  • 1984 Eclipse

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Marlena Shaw


Marlena Shaw is among the most versatile and charismatic jazz vocalists on the scene today. Her performances are marked by an artful blend of pop standards and straight-ahead jazz tunes. Her extroverted stage presence gives her an edge over other vocalists, and clearly, singing live before an audience is where she feels most comfortable.

After her uncle Jimmy Burgess introduced her to the recordings of Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, she caught the jazz bug and purchased records by Al Hibbler, a vocalist who had a big influence on her singing style. When she was ten she performed at Harlem's Apollo Theater, and despite the enthusiastic reception she received in front of one of the world's toughest audiences, her mother refused to let her go on the road with her uncle, a trumpet player. Shaw attended the State Teachers' College in Potsdam, NY, but later dropped out. For some time in 1963 she worked around New England with a trio led by Howard McGhee. By the mid-'60s she was performing regularly for audiences in the Catskills, Playboy clubs, and other New York area clubs. In 1966, she recorded "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" for Cadet Records, and the single sold very well for an unknown singer. The single's success, a rare vocal version of the tune, prompted executives at Cadet to encourage her to record a whole album for the label in 1967. The diversity of styles, including blues, jazz, and pop standards, is reflected in the album's title, Out of Different Bags. Through her accountant, she was brought to the attention of bandleader Count Basie, and she ended up singing with the Basie band for four years.

In 1972, after leaving the Basie Orchestra, Shaw was the first female vocalist signed to Blue Note Records, and she toured for a while with the late Sammy Davis Jr. Shaw recorded five albums and several singles for Blue Note, and critics likened her singing style to Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan. At her club shows, Shaw dazzled audiences with her intoxicating blend of straight-ahead jazz, soul, pop, and classic R&B, but her recordings will also satisfy fans of traditional jazz who have no prejudices about blues and R&B.

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Discography

Collaborations
Phil Upchurch - Name of the Game (1983)  - guest vocalist 



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Legendary Group: Earth, Wind, and Fire


The band, at various times, comprised of:
  • Maurice White (b. 19th December 1941, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A., drums)
  • Verdine White (b. 25th July 1951, Illinois, U.S.A., bass)
  • Philip Bailey (b. 8th May 1951, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A., vocals)
  • Ronnie Laws (b. 3rd October 1950, Houston, Texas, U.S.A., saxophone, guitar)
  • Larry Dunn (b. Lawrence Dunhill, 19th June 1953, Colorado, U.S.A., keyboards)
  • Michael Beale (guitar)
  • Wade Flernmons (vocals)
  • Jessica Cleaves (b. 1948, vocals)
  • Roland Bautista (guitar)
  • Sherry Scott (vocals)
  • Alex Thomas (trombone)
  • Chet Washington (tenor saxophone)
  • Don Whitehead (keyboards)
  • Yackov Ben Israel (percussion)

Earth Wind & Fire were formed in 1969 in Chicago, Illinois, by Maurice White. Maurice was singing gospel by the age of six and at the age of eleven he took up drums and formed a band with schoolmate Booker T. Jones. In 1960, he relocated to Chicago and studied music composition and percussion at Roosevelt University. He had the intention at the time of becoming a music teacher.


Maurice used to record, between 1963 and 1965, for the Chess Imprint, where he worked alongside Fontella Bass, Betty Everett, Jackie Wilson, Billy Stewart, the Radiants, the Dells, Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions and Etta James. In 1967, at the age of 22, he'd replaced Red Holt in the the Ramsey Lewis Trio. Ramsey introduced Maurice to the kalimba, an African thumb piano that would prove to play a large part in his future ventures.

By 1969, he had left Ramsey's ranks and began a songwriting partnership with keyboardist Don Whitehead and singer Wade Flemons. This collaboration led to the formation of the Salty Peppers, who signed to the Capitol imprint and had a hit with the song 'La La Time.'The group also released the single 'Love Is Life' and had another small hit with the song.


Maurice left the group and then relocated to Los Angeles. It was here that he decided to form the group Earth, Wind and Fire, named after three of the elements in his personal astrological chart. Maurice's brother, Verdine, was asked to join the group in 1970, alongside Don Whitehead, Wade Flemons, female singer Sherry Scott, guitarist Michael Beal, tenor saxophonist Chet Washington, trombonist Alex Thomas, and percussionist Yackov Ben Israel.


Earth, Wind and Fire signed to the Warner Brothers imprint and released their first, self titled, album in 1970. In 1971, a second album was released, entitled 'The Need Of Love'. They also performed on the Melvin Van Peebles film 'Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song'. The group's line-up changed, due to a lack of commercial success, in 1972 and a new line up formed consisting of female vocalist Jessica Cleaves, flute / sax player Ronnie Laws, guitarist Roland Bautista, keyboardist Larry Dunn, and percussionist Ralph Johnson. Philip Bailey also joined via a Denver R & B band called Friends & Love. The group opened for the singer John Sebastian in New York, which led to Clive Davis signing them to CBS.

Their first album was released for the label in 1972, entitled 'Last Days and Time'. By the end of 1972, Ronnie Laws and Roland Bautista had departed. They were replaced by Andrew Woolfolk and guitarists Al McKay and Johnny Graham. In 1973, the group released 'Head To The Sky', which was followed a year later by the album 'Open Our Eyes', which contained the popular song, 'Devotion'. This was the group's first collaboration with producer, arranger, and songwriter Charles Stepney.


Maurice's brother Fred White was enlisted as a second drummer. The single 'Mighty, Mighty' became Earth, Wind and Fire's first Top Ten hit on the R & B charts. 'Open Our Eyes' additionally, went gold. By 1975, Earth, Wind and Fire completed work on another movie soundtrack, entitled 'That's The Way Of The World'. The album stood up in it's own right, with the movie almost an after thought. 'Shining Star' went to the top of the R & B charts. The title track has become a Soul Classic in recent decades, with the album winning a Grammy for Best R & B Vocal Performance by a Group.


'That's The Way Of The World' reached the number one slot on both the pop and R & B charts and went double platinum. The song 'Reasons' showcased Philip Bailey's vocal dynamics, whilst the track 'See The Light' found favour with the Jazz Funk following (the song being covered by the fusion artist Eddie Russ). That album financed Maurice's further live developments which included stage stunts designed by the magician Doug Henning.

Earth, Wind and Fire employed a horn section, the Phoenix Horns, headed by saxophonist Don Myrick. 'Gratitude' followed later that year, an album of mainly live material, however one side of studio tracks proved immensly popular amongst Soul purists, especially the song 'Can't Hide Love', a track later to grace the dancefloors of the U.K. via a version by the jazz artist Jimmy Smith in 1977. 'Sing a Song', from that album, reached the pop Top Ten and the R & B Top Five.

During the 1976 sessions for Earth, Wind and Fire's next studio album entitled 'Spirit', Charles Stepney died suddenly of a heart attack. Maurice White took over the arrangments for the album, posthumously. The Charles Stepney produced 'Getaway' reached the top of the R & B charts, and the song was utilised by the BBC as part of the companies segue's between programmes that year. 'Spirit' was successful on the charts, reaching the number two spot.


Maurice took on further musical commitments, including work for the group the Emotions ('Flowers' and 'The Best Of My Love'), Pockets, Ramsey Lewis and kick starting Deneice Williams solo career via her successful album 'This Is Niecy' that year. The following year, the group began an incredible run of chart success via the album 'All N' All'. Maurice achieved massive success via the Earth, Wind and Fire songs 'Fantasy' and 'Serpentine Fire' alongside a number one single with, the Emotions song, 'Best Of My Love'. By 1978, he had formed his own label, ARC, and appeared in the film version of 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band', with the group delivering their take on 'Got To Get You Into My Life', a version of the Beatles tune, that made the Top Ten. That same year, 'The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1' produced another Top Ten hit (and R & B number one) with the new song, 'September'.

The group hit the top of the charts with the Emotions collaboration 'Boogie Wonderland'. 'After the Love Has Gone', featured on the album, has since become a Soul Classic. The following year, the success began to wane somewhat, however 'Faces', an experimental double album package, contained some very fine moments, including the title track, an epic of a Jazz Funk tune, and the song 'And Love Goes On', popular with the Soul Purists. After this release Al MacKay left the group.

'Raise' was released in 1981, an album that secured a top five hit with the song 'Let's Groove'. 'Powerlight' followed two years later which was considered a substandard offering by the critics. The Phoenix Horns then left the group and Earth, Wind and Fire released the album 'Electric Universe' later that year, following which, Maurice and the group went their seperate ways for a while. Verdine White became a producer and video director and Philip Bailey embarked on a solo career. He scored a one off number one single after joining forces with Phil Collins for the duet 'Easy Lover'. Phil Collins utilised the Phoenix Horns on some of his 80's records, both solo and then with his group Genesis. In 1985, Maurice White produced his own solo, self titled, album in between his outside productions.

The group were re-united in 1987 for the album 'Touch The World'. The latest line up included Maurice and Verdine alongside Philip Bailey, Andrew Woolfolk, Ralph Johnson, and new guitarist Sheldon Reynolds. Earth, Wind and Fire scored R & B hits with 'Thinking of You' and the number one song, 'System of Survival'. In 1990, 'Heritage' was released with guest appearances from Sly Stone and MC Hammer. The group then left the Columbia imprint.

Signing to the Reprise label, Earth, Wind and Fire released the album 'Millennium' in 1993. They achieved a Grammy nomination for the song 'Sunday Morning' and then tragedy struck that year when, one time horn leader, Don Myrick was murdered in Los Angeles. Philip Bailey and Maurice and Verdine White returned once again in 1997, on the independent Pyramid label, with the album 'In the Name of Love'. The track 'Cruisin' proved popular with soul fans. In the year 2000, it was announced that Maurice White had been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Maurice continued to output product, producing a new project for a group called 'Xpression' entitled 'Power'. 'A return to the roots of soul' he commented on the sleevenotes.

In 2003, Earth, Wind and Fire released the album 'The Promise', a set that was perceived to be a fine return to form for the group some 35 years since their conception and featured a further collaboration with the group The Emotions, along with artistic input from Angie Stone. By 2005, a further set was released, entitled 'Illumination'. Maurice resides in Santa Monica today, is making a full recovery from his illness (according to reports), whilst Earth, Wind and Fire were, recently, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.

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Albums:

Compilations

Live Bootlegs

Solo albums



Resources

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Legendary Group: The Isley Brothers





The nucleus of this enduring group are three brothers:

  • O' Kelly Isley (b. 25th December 1937, Cincinnati, U.S.A., d. 31st March 1986)
  • Rudolph Isley (b. 1st April 1939, Cincinnati, U.S.A.)
  • and Ronald Isley (b. 21st May 1941, Cincinnati, U.S.A.)


The Isley Brothers began singing gospel in their hometown of Cincinnati, U.S.A. During the early 50's, the trio were accompanied by their brother Vernon, who died in a car crash during 1957. The group relocated to New York the following year and issued a few one-off singles before being signed by the RCA Records production team, Hugo And Luigi. One of their compositions 'Shout' built the group a reputation during live performances. The song sold well in the black market, and has since become an R & B standard and covered by several rock artists including the Beatles and Lulu.


The Isleys switched labels to Wand in 1962, where they enjoyed another sizeable hit with a cover version of the Top Notes' 'Twist And Shout', another song covered by the Beatles. The following years the group recorded for the labels, Wand and United Artists. A brief spell with Atlantic Records in 1964 saw the release of , 'Who's That Lady?', that did not do well at the time, but was to see a renaissance a decade later on.

The Isleys then formed their own company, T-Neck Records, in 1964, something not encouraged by a mainly white run music business at the time. The first release on the label, 'Testify', showcased their young lead guitarist, Jimi Hendrix. That record's experimental sound went largely unnoticed, and the Isleys, T-Neck and Hendrix went their separate ways.


The Isleys then signed a contract with Motown Records. At the Motown outset the group were teamed with the songwriting partnership of Holland / Dozier / Holland. By 1966, the song 'This Old Heart Of Mine' became a huge hit in America and a hit four years later in the U.K. 'Behind A Painted Smile' and 'I Guess I'll Always Love You' were reissued in the U.K. and became hits in the U.K. towards the end of the 60's.

The Isleys reactivated T-Neck in 1969 and took on a different look to refurbish their image. The group added two younger brothers: Ernie Isley (b. 7th March 1952; guitar) and Marvin Isley (bass) as well as a cousin, Chris Jasper (keyboards).


In America, 'It's Your Thing' and 'I Turned You On' scored at the end of the Sixties, whilst the U.K. were catching up with several earlier Motown releases. These records employed a funkier sound, inspired by the likes of James Brown And The JB's. Between 1969 and 1972 a live double set featured extended versions of their recent hits, and 'In The Beginning', a collection of their 1964 recordings with Jimi Hendrix.

In the early 70's, the Isleys incorporated into their repertoire a variety of rock material by composers such as Bob Dylan, Stephen Stills, Todd Rundgren and Carole King. By 1973, the album '3 + 3', became the first album issued via a distribution agreement with CBS Records. This albm set the course for several excellent outings throughout the Seventies and early Eighties. Ernie Isley's guitarwork (influenced by Jimi Hendrix) became central in the Isleys' sound, and was featured on the album's lead single, 'That Lady', a more successful version of their underrated 1964 single on Atlantic. '3 + 3' also contained soft soul interpretations of material by Seals And Croft, James Taylor and the Doobie Brothers.


'Highways Of My Life' demonstrated Ronald's own developing songwriting skills. 'The Heat Is On' in 1975 showcased the two sides of the groups' songwriting stylings. Side one would become the funkier, social commentary side of the groups writings. Side two would highlight their more romantic leanings, epitomised by the soul standard 'For The Love Of You'. It was this formula that stayed with the band for the following late Seventies and early Eighties offerings.

'Harvest For The World' (1976) proved to be one of the Isleys' most popular recordings. The song became a hit, in 1988, within the pop charts for the Christians. In the late 70's, the Isley's albums became popular within the Disco genre with Black & White audiences. 'The Pride', 'Take Me To The Next Phase', 'I Wanna Be With You' and 'Don't Say Goodnight' all topped the black music charts. 'It's A Disco Night', a U.K. hit in 1980, came from the double album 'Winner Takes All', which also included the excellent 'Let Me In Your Life'.

In the mid Eighties, Ernie and Marvin Isley and Chris Jasper left the group to form the successful Isley, Jasper, Isley combination. The rest of the group still recorded under the Isley Brothers banner, however, when O'Kelly Isley died from a heart attack on 31st March 1986, the group rested for a while. Ronald and Rudolph dedicated their next release, 'Smooth Sailin', to him. That album was produced by Angela Winbush with the title track highlighting.


Angela took over the artistic control of the group, and she wrote and produced their 1989 release 'Spend The Night', which was effectively a Ronald Isley solo album.The Isley Brothers legacy, has influenced several artists during the Nineties onwards, notably R Kelly on his 'For The Love Of You' sounding, 'Your Body's Calling'. Their 1996 release 'Mission To Please' attempted to move them into the same smooth urban soul territory as Keith Sweat and Babyface.

In 2001, the group returned to recording releasing 'Eternal', which featured vocal and production input from R Kelly, Raphael Saadiq, Avant, Jill Scott and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. An album entitled 'Body Kiss' was released in 2003 for the Dreamworks imprint. Their series of US hits from the 50's to the 90's is one of the major influences on Black American music.

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Albums
  • Shout (RGA Victor 1959)
  • Twist And Shout (Wand 1962)
  • Twisting And Shouting (Wand 1964)
  • In The Beginning (Isley Brothers & Jimi Hendrix) (1964)
  • This Old Heart Of Mine (Tamla 1966) 
  • Tamla Motown Presents: The Isley Brother (1967)
  • Soul On The Rocks (Tamla 1967)
  • Behind A Painted Smile [UK] (1969)
  • It's Our Thing (T-Neck 1969) 
  • The Brothers: Isley (T-Neck 1969)
  • Get Into Something (T-Neck 1970)
  • The Isley Brothers Way (1970)
  • Givin' It Back (T-Neck 1971)
  • Brother Brother Brother (T-Neck 1972)
  • The Isleys Live (T-Neck 1973)
  • 3 + 3 (T-Neck 1973)
  • The Isley Brothers (1974)
  • Live It Up (T-Neck 1974)
  • The Heat Is On (T-Neck 1975)
  • Harvest For The World (T-Neck 1976)
  • Go For Your Guns (T-Neck 1977)
  • Showdown (T-Neck 1978)
  • Winner Takes All (T-Neck 1979)
  • Go All The Way (T-Neck 1980)
  • Grand Slam (T-Neck 1981)
  • Inside You (T-Neck 1981)
  • The Real Deal (T-Neck 1982)
  • Between The Sheets (T-Neck 1983)
  • Masterpiece (Warners 1985)
  • Smooth Sailin' (Warners 1987)
  • Spend The Night (Warners 1989)
  • Tracks Of Life (Warners 1992)
  • Live (Elektra 1993)
  • Mission To Please (Island 1996)
  • Eternal (Dreamworks Records 2001)
  • Body Kiss (Dreamworks Records 2003)
  • Taken To The Next Phase (2004)
  • Baby Makin' Music (Def Soul 2006)
  • I'll Be Home for Christmas (Def Soul Classics 2007)

Isley, Jasper, Isley
  • Isley Jasper Isley - Broadway's Closer to Sunset Boulevard (1984)
  • Isley Jasper Isley - Caravan of Love (1985)
  • Isley Jasper Isley - Different Drummer (1987)

Solo albums

  • Chris Jasper - Superbad (1987)
  • Chris Jasper - Time Bomb (1989)
  • Chris Jasper - Amazing Love (2005) PW = Mr. Moo
  • Chris Jasper - Invincible (2007)
  • Chris Jasper - The Best Of Chris Jasper (2003)
  • Ernie Isley - High Wire (1990)
  • Ronald Isley - Here I Am (sings Burt Bacharach) (2003)
  • Ronald Isley - Mr.I (2010)

Live Bootlegs
  • with Brooklyn Bridge and Edwin Hawkins: Live At Yankee Stadium (T-Neck 1969)

Compilations

  • The Ultimate Isley Brothers (2000)
  • Take Some Time Out -The Famous Isley Brothers (United Artists 1964)
  • Doin' Their Thing (Tamla 1969)
  • Beautiful Ballads (1994)
  • 'Mellow' Isleys (1995)
  • The RCA Sessions (1996)
  • Brothers In Soul [The Early Years] (1993)
  • It's Your Thing (1999) [3Cd Boxset]
  • For The Love Of You (1993)
  • Greatest Hits Live (2005)
  • Summer Breeze: Greatest Hits (2005)
  • The Definitive Collection
  • Bedroom Classics Vol 3
  • The Essential Isley Brothers (2004)

Miscellaneous
  • Privilege - Privilege (1969) - produced by the Isleys on T-Neck
  • Baby Cortez - The Isley Way (1970) - T-Neck keyboardist, solo album covering Isley tracks.


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Resources
  • The Isley Brothers at Soulwalking
  • The Isley Brothers Discography at Rateyourmusic

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