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Showing posts with label Southern Soul. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Southern Soul. Show all posts

Friday, March 23, 2012

Soul Children

  • Shelbra Bennett (later Shelbra Deane) (born Memphis, Tennessee)
  • John Colbert aka J. Blackfoot (born November 20, 1946, Greenville, Mississippi, US; died November 30, 2011)
  • Anita Louis (born November 24, 1949, Memphis, Tennessee)
  • Norman Richard West, Jr. (born October 30, 1939, Monroe, Louisiana)

The Soul Children was an American vocal group who recorded soul music for Stax Records in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They had three top ten hits on the Billboard R&B chart – "The Sweeter He Is" (1969), "Hearsay" (1972), and "I'll Be The Other Woman" (1973) – all of which crossed over to the Hot 100.

The group was formed in 1968 by Isaac Hayes and David Porter of Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, after one of the label's top acts, Sam & Dave, left Stax to join the Atlantic label. As leading songwriters and producers for the label, Hayes and Porter put together a vocal group with two male and two female singers, all of whom sang lead on some of the group's recordings. The original members were Norman West, John Colbert (aka J. Blackfoot), Anita Louis, and Shelbra Bennett. Colbert – who had been known from childhood as Blackfoot for his habit of walking barefoot on the tarred sidewalks of Memphis during the hot summers – had recorded solo singles before joining The Bar-Kays as lead singer, after four original band members were killed with Otis Redding in a plane crash. Anita Louis was a backing singer on some of the records produced by Hayes and Porter. Shelbra Bennett had recently joined the label as a singer. Norman West, Jr., the last to join the group, grew up in Louisiana, and sang in church with his brothers Joe, James, and Robert. He replaced William Bell as a member of The Del-Rios in 1962, later recorded several unsuccessful solo singles in Memphis, and sang with a rock band, Colors Incorporated, which had been formed by members of Jerry Lee Lewis' band.

The group's first record, "Give 'Em Love", produced by Hayes and Porter and released in late 1968, was a Bilboard R&B chart hit, as were two follow-ups. Their fourth single, "The Sweeter He Is", became one of their biggest hits, reaching no. 7 on the R&B chart in late 1969 and no. 52 on the Hot 100. The group also released their first album, Soul Children, in 1969. Musicians used on the recordings included Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn and Al Jackson, Jr., of Booker T. & the M.G.'s, as well as Hayes. However, after the group had a minor hit with a slowed-down version of "Hold On, I'm Coming" in early 1970, Hayes left the project to develop his solo career. The group recorded a second album, Best of Two Worlds, at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, but their next few singles failed to make the charts. In 1972, they recorded another album, Genesis, arranged by Dale Warren and produced by Jim Stewart and Al Jackson, which produced another hit single, "Hearsay". Written by West and Colbert, it reached no. 5 on the R&B chart and no. 44 on the US pop chart. They appeared at the Wattstax concert in August 1972, and followed up with several smaller hit singles. In 1973, they recorded the ballad "I'll Be the Other Woman", written and produced by Homer Banks and Carl Hampton, and with lead vocals by Shelbra Bennett, which became their biggest hit, reaching no. 3 on the R&B chart and no. 36 on the pop chart. They also recorded a final album for Stax with Banks and Hampton, Friction.

The Soul Children left Stax in 1975, and Bennett left for a solo career. The trio of West, Colbert and Louis signed to Epic Records in 1976, releasing an album, Finders Keepers and several moderately successful singles. Their second album for Epic, Where Is Your Woman Tonight (1977), reunited the group with producer David Porter. Porter then signed the group to a reactivated Stax label established by Fantasy Records, and co-produced another album for the group, Open Door Policy (1978). However, it was less successful than their earlier recordings, and the group decided to split up in 1979.

After the group split up, Anita Louis left the music business and later worked for Federal Express, Time-Warner, and as a professional business trainer. Norman West continued working in night clubs and as a gospel singer and musician. J. Blackfoot became a successful solo singer; his biggest hit was "Taxi" in early 1984, which reached no. 4 on the R&B chart. Shelbra Bennett recorded several singles as Shelbra Deane in the late 1970s and early 1980s; her biggest solo success was "Don't Touch Me" (no. 50 R&B, 1977).

In 2007, West and Blackfoot decided to reform the Soul Children, adding two new singers, Ann Hines and Cassandra Graham. They recorded an album, Still Standing for JEA Right Now Records. West released a single in 2008 called "Long Ride Home."

  • 1968 - Soul Children
  • 1971 - Best of Two Worlds
  • 1972 - Genesis
  • 1974 - Friction
  • 1976 - Finders Keepers
  • 1977 - Where Is Your Woman Tonight?
  • 1978 - Open Door Policy
  • 2008 - Still Standing

  • 1979 - Chronicle (Greatest Hits)
  • 1997 - Hold On, I'm Coming

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Legend: Otis Redding

Otis Ray Redding, Jr. (September 9, 1941 – December 10, 1967) was an American soul singer. Often called the "King of Soul", he is renowned for an ability to convey strong emotion through his voice. According to the website of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (where he was inducted in 1989), Redding's name is "synonymous with the term soul, music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm and blues into a form of funky, secular testifying." In addition, rock critic Jon Landau said in 1967, "Otis Redding is rock & roll".Redding died in a plane crash at the age of 26, one month before his biggest hit, "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay", was released. Redding was born in the small town of Dawson, Georgia. When he was five, his family moved to Macon, Georgia, where Redding sang in a church choir and as a teenager won the talent show at the Douglass Theatre for fifteen weeks in a row.His earliest influence was Little Richard (Richard Penniman), also a Macon resident.Redding said, "If it hadn't been for Little Richard, I would not be here. I entered the music business because of Richard – he is my inspiration. I used to sing like Little Richard, his Rock 'n' Roll stuff, you know. Richard has soul, too. My present music has a lot of him in it." The sleeve notes accompanying the 1966 Atlantic album Otis Blue – Otis Redding Sings Soul, written by Bob Rolontz, describe Redding's early career: "Like all success stories, it was a long path for Otis Redding before he first hit on records. He entered and won a number of local amateur contests in his home town of Macon. Redding became the vocalist with Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers, a group that had started to establish itself in Southern colleges and universities. An early record that Otis Redding made with the group, 'Love Twist' (which was released on Atlantic) created some regional action. A long time after that while Redding was still a member of the group, he recorded his own song 'These Arms Of Mine,' at the end of a Pinetoppers session. It became a solid hit, and Redding was on his way." In 1960, Redding began touring the South with Johnny Jenkins and The Pinetoppers. In addition to singing, Redding also served as Jenkins' driver (the bandleader did not possess a driver's license). That same year he made his first recordings, "Fat Gal" and "Shout Bamalama," with this group under the name "Otis Redding and The Pinetoppers," issued on the Orbit and Confederate record labels before being picked up by King. In 1962, Redding made his first real mark in the music business during a Johnny Jenkins session when, during studio time left over, he recorded "These Arms of Mine", a ballad that he had written. The song became a minor hit on Volt Records, a subsidiary of the renowned Southern soul label Stax, based in Memphis, Tennessee. His manager was a fellow Maconite, Phil Walden (who later co-founded Capricorn Records). Redding was also managed for a brief period by Walden's younger brother Alan Walden while Phil was overseas due to a military draft.Otis Redding continued to release for Stax/Volt, and built his fan base by extensively touring a live show with support from fellow Stax artists Sam & Dave. Further hits between 1964 and 1966 included "Mr. Pitiful", "I Can't Turn You Loose" (a sped-up instrumental version was to become The Blues Brothers entrance theme music), "Try a Little Tenderness" (a remake of the 1930s standard by Harry Woods, Jimmy Campbell, and Reg Connelly, later featured in John Hughes' film Pretty in Pink), "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" (written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones), and "Respect" (later a smash hit for Aretha Franklin). Redding wrote many of his own songs, which was unusual for the time, often with Steve Cropper (of the Stax house band Booker T. & the M.G.'s, who usually served as Otis's backing band in the studio). Soul singer Jerry Butler co-wrote another hit, "I've Been Loving You Too Long". One of Redding's few songs with a significant mainstream following was "Tramp", (1967) a duet with Carla Thomas. In 1967, Redding performed at the large and influential Monterey Pop Festival. His extraordinary musical gifts were then exposed to a wider audience and may have contributed to his subsequent success as a popular music recording artist. On December 9, 1967, Redding and his backup band, The Bar-Kays, made an appearance in Cleveland, Ohio on the local "Upbeat" television show. That night they performed at Leo's Casino, a small venue club in Cleveland. The next afternoon, Redding, his manager, the pilot, and four members of The Bar-Kays were killed when his Beechcraft 18 airplane crashed into Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin, on December 10, 1967. The two remaining Bar-Kays were Ben Cauley and James Alexander. Cauley was the only person aboard Redding's plane to survive the crash. Alexander was on another plane, since there were eight members in Redding's party and the plane could only hold seven, and it was Alexander's turn in the rotation to take a commercial flight. Ben Cauley reported that he had been asleep until seconds before impact, and recalled that upon waking he saw bandmate Phalon Jones look out a window and say, "Oh, no!" Cauley said the last thing he remembered before the crash was unbuckling his seatbelt. He then found himself in the frigid waters of the lake, grasping a seat cushion to keep afloat. Redding's body was recovered the next day when the lake bed was searched.He was entombed on his private ranch in Round Oak, Georgia, 23 miles (37 km) north of Macon. The cause of the crash was never precisely determined. Redding was survived by his wife Zelma, mother and father, his daughter Karla and his sons Dexter and Otis III.

Studio albums

  • Pain in My Heart (Atco Records_January 1, 1964)
  • The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads (Volt Records_March,1965)
  • Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul (Volt Records_September 15, 1965)
  • The Soul Album (Volt Records_April 1,1966)
  • Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul (Volt _1966)
  • King & Queen (with Carla Thomas) (Stax Records_March 16,1967)

Posthumous studio albums

  • The Dock of the Bay (Volt Records_February 23, 1968)
  • The Immortal Otis Redding (Atco Records_1968)
  • Love Man (Atco Records_1969)
  • Tell the Truth (Atco Records_1970)

Live albums
  • Otis Redding - Live in London and Paris 1967 [2008 Stax] 
  • Live in Europe(Atco,1967)
  • In Person at the Whisky a Go Go(Atco,1968)
  • Live On The Sunset Strip(Stax,2010(1966))

Friday, April 2, 2010

Legendary Mavis Staples


Born in 1940 in Chicago, most of Mavis Staples' career has been as lead singer for the Staple Singers. She first recorded solo for Stax subsidiary Volt in 1969. Subsequent efforts included a Curtis Mayfield-produced soundtrack on Curtom, a disappointing nod to disco for Warner in 1979, a misguided stab at electro-pop with Holland-Dozier-Holland in 1984, and an uneven album for Paisley Park. Staples has a rich contralto voice that has neither the range of Aretha Franklin nor the power of Patti LaBelle. Her otherworldly power comes instead from a masterful command of phrasing and a deep-seated sensuality expressed through timbre manipulation. Both the Staple Singers and Mavis found fresh audiences stemming from their participation on the CD Rhythm Country and Blues, and in 1996 she issued Spirituals & Gospel: Dedicated to Mahalia Jackson. Her next recording project didn't land for another eight years, although Have a Little Faith on Alligator became her highest-profile release in years. We'll Never Turn Back appeared three years later in 2007.


A lot of thanks to Rare 1 for the the album Oh What A Felling - 1979

Monday, August 10, 2009

Legend: Sam Cooke

b. Sam Cook, 22nd January 1931, Clarksdale, Mississippi, U.S.A.

d. 11th December 1964, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Sam Cooke died way before his time. He was one of eight children by a Baptist minister and his wife. Sam first performed publicly with his brother and two sisters in their Baptist quartet, the Soul Children. As a teenager he joined the Highway QCs, before replacing Rebert 'R.H' Harris in the Soul Stirrers. Between 1951 and 1956, Sam sang lead with this gospel group. During that decade the Cook family moved to Chicago's South Side, where the Reverend Charles Cook quickly established himself as a major figure in the religious community. He recorded 'Touch The Hem Of His Garment' and 'Nearer To Thee'. The Soul Stirrers recorded for the Specialty label, where producer, 'Bumps' Blackwell, was to provide Sam with pop material. 'Loveable' / 'Forever' was issued as a single, under the pseudonym 'Dale Cook' in order to avoid offending the gospel audience.

Initially content, the label's owner, Art Rupe, then objected to the choir on a follow-up recording, 'You Send Me', and offered Sam a release from his contract in return for outstanding royalties. The song was then passed to the Keen label, where it sold in excess of two million copies. Further hits, including 'Only Sixteen' and 'Wonderful World', followed. The latter was used extensively in a television jeans commercial and in 1986 the re-issue reached number 2 in the U.K. charts.

Sam left the label for RCA Records where 'Chain Gang' (in 1960), 'Cupid' (in 1961), 'Twistin' The Night Away' (in 1962), 'Bring It On Home To Me' and 'Little Red Rooster' all followed. He also founded the Sar and Derby labels on which the Simms Twins' 'Soothe Me' and the Valentinos' 'It's All Over Now' were issued. Sam's own career continued with '(Ain't That) Good News' and 'Good Times'. The drowning death of his infant son in mid 1963 had made it impossible for Sam

to work in the studio until the end of that year.

On 11th December 1964, following an altercation with a girl he had picked up, the singer was fatally shot by the manageress of a Los Angeles motel. Sam had dinner with a famous artist on the 11th December 1964, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. He and a friend picked up a couple of models and went to a hotel. After arranging rooms, Sam became aggressive with his female friend and frightened her. When he went to the bathroom, she stole his trousers and left the hotel. Sam went into a rage, and, after being unable to find his companion, he started banging on the office door demanding to know where the woman had gone. When inside he attacked the female manager, during the struggle she was able to reach behind her and pull a gun from the desk drawer. In fear for her life, she shot him repeatedly. The female escort's name was Eliza, a euroasian model. The motel manager was not prosecuted, as it was deemed to be self defence. 'A Change Is Gonna Come', went on to become a Soul classic, and was utilised by the Sixties America's Civil Rights movement.

Sam was buried at:
Burial: Forest Lawn Memorial Park Glendale Los Angeles County California, U.S.A. Plot: Garden of Honor

There are some alleged matters which some believe bring into question Sam's final days, along with the jury trial. These comprise of:

After a brief trial, the jury deliberated for fifteen minutes and came back with a verdict of justifiable homicide. Bertha Franklin and Lisa Boyer were free. The Cooke family hired an private investigator who uncovered the following facts:

Cooke had dated Lisa Boyer three weeks prior to his murder despite the fact that numerous people warned him about her colorful past which included prostitution. If Cooke was dating her, why would he try to rape her?

Singer Etta James revealed in her book 'Rage To Survive,' that Cooke was so badly beaten that his head was nearly decapitated from his shoulders, his hands were broken and crushed, his nose was smashed and he had a two inch bump on his head. These injuries were never explained and a woman could not inflict these type of injuries.

Bertha Franklin had a .32 registered in her name, yet she killed Cooke with a .22, she would move to Michigan and die eighteen months later.

Lisa Boyer would be arrested for prostitution one month after Cookes death and in 1979 she would be found guilty of second degree murder in the shooting death of her boyfriend.

Other related matters:

Singer Otis Redding would die three years later on the exact day that Sam Cooke was killed.

Cooke's widow married Bobby Womack three months after his death. They have since divorced.

Barbara sold the Sam Cooke publishing catalogue to a businessman for a mere $103,000. This catalogue currently generates $3-5 million per year.




Thanks to Zand and Mr. Moo for contributions

Friday, July 17, 2009

Legend: Al Green

b. AIbert Greene, 13th April 1946, Forrest City, Arkansas, U.S.A.
Al Green was born in Forrest City in Arkansas. He began his singing career at the age of nine in his fathers group, the Green Brothers. Al was the sixth of ten children born to Robert and Cora Greene. The Green Brothers toured throughout the South in the mid-'50s, before the family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Al later left the group and formed a Rock / R & B band called Al Greene and the Creations, which then became re-titled Al Greene and The Soul Mates.
The latter incarnation released a single called 'Back Up Train', which was later to be featured on Al's solo album release. Al's father removed him from the group when he caught Al listening to Jackie Wilson. Al Greene's debut solo LP was released on the Hot Line imprint in 1967, and was called 'Back Up Train'. Around this time Al came to the attention of the legendary producer Willie Mitchell.
In 1969, Willie hired him as a vocalist for a Texas show with his band, and then asked him to sign with the label. In 1970, Al recorded the album 'Green Is Blues' with his new partner. The follow up LP, 'Al Green Gets Next to You' (released in 1970), was a success and included four gold singles. 'Let's Stay Together' (released in 1972) was an even bigger success, as was 'I'm Still In Love With You' (released in 1972). 'Call Me' continued the success, a set followed by 'Al Green Explores Your Mind' (released in 1974) containing the song 'Take Me to the River', later covered by Talking Heads, amongst others. The following year Al released '(I'm So) Tired Of Being Alone', whose success set the scene for the following 5 years, where Al recorded 9 albums, had seven top ten hits and sold 30 million records!
Disaster struck on the 18th of October 1974, when Al was left with severe burns on his back, stomach and arm after an argument with a friend and partner, Mary Woodson (whom Al had met whilst performing in the New York State Correctional Facility. Mary was visiting a friend at the establishment). She had told Al she was not attached, although she was married with children at the time. Mary burst in whillst Al was taking a bath and poured boiling grits over his back and then shot herself dead, which left the singer with second degree burns. Although she was already married, Woodson reportedly became upset when Green refused to marry her. This tragic accident led to Al re-assessing his life and he decided to turn to Gospel as a healer.
He joined the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis, where he still preaches and sings to the congregation today. Al recorded two soul / gospel albums entitled 'The Belle Album ' in 1977 and 'Truth N'Time' in 1978, and, during live performances, he still sang his older, successful, secular material.
Disaster struck yet again in 1979, when Al fell onto a steel instrument case in Cincinnatti, which led to a 15 day stay in hospital. After this incident, Al stuck strictly to his Gospel singing for a while, feeling that the Lord was punishing him in some way. His first completely Gospel record arrived in 1980, entitled 'The Lord Will Make A Way' for the Myrrh imprint. This album won Al a Grammy for the Best Soul Gospel Performer.
By 1985, Al had joined A & M Records, where he worked with Willie Mitchell again on the album 'Going Away'. The following year saw the release of 'Soul Survivor', which moved Al back into a more soulful / gospel vein again. He hit the charts the same year with the Arthur Baker produced single 'The Message Is Love'. Al was also featured in the 1988 movie 'Scrooged' recording the song 'Put A Little Love In Your Heart', a duet with Annie Lennox. By 1993, Al was recording with Arthur Baker again, and released the album 'Don't Look Back'.
Al's first secular album in many years was 'Your Heart's In Good Hands' (released in 1995). The same year hewas inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2003 Al released a secular album entitled 'I Can't Stop', his first collaboration with Willie Mitchell since 1985's 'He is the Light'. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Al at number 65 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
2005 saw the release of 'Everything's O.K.', which was also a collaboration with Willie Mitchell on this release. Willie returned to the studio in 2008, which saw the release of 'Lay It Down'. 'Lay It Down', includes tracks featuring John Legend, Corinne Bailey Rae and Anthony Hamilton. Al was, also, honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 BET Awards on the 24th of June 2008. Soul fans look to his single 'Keep On Pushing Love' as one of his finest recent releases.
  • Back Up Train (1967)
  • Green Is Blues (Hi 1970)
  • Al Green Gets Next To You (Hi 1971)
  • Let's Stay Together (Hi 1972)
  • Al Green (Bell 1972)
  • I'm Still In Love With You (Hi 1972)
  • Call Me (Hi 1973)
  • Livin' For You (Hi 1973)
  • Al Green Explores Your Mind (Hi 1974)
  • Radio Special: Self Portrait (1974)
  • Al Green Is Love (Hi 1975)
  • Full Of Fire (Hi 1976)
  • Have A Good Time (Hi 1976)
  • The Belle Album (Hi 1977)
  • Truth 'N' Time (Hi 1978)
  • Love Ritual (1978)
  • The Lord Will Make A Way (Myrrh 1980)
  • Higher Plane (Myrrh 1981)
  • Tokyo Live (Hi 1981)
  • Precious Lord (Myrhh 1982)
  • I'll Rise Again (Myrrh 1983)
  • The Christmas Album (1983)
  • Trust In God (Myrrh 1984)
  • He Is The Light (A&M 1985)
  • Going Away (A&M 1986)
  • White Christmas (Hi 1986)
  • Soul Survivor (A&M 1987)
  • I Get Joy (A&M 1989)
  • Love Is Reality (1992)
  • Gospel Soul (1993)
  • Don't Look Back (RCA 1994)
  • In Good Hands (MCA 1995)
  • On Fire In Tokyo (Xenon 1998)
  • Feels Like Christmas (2001)
  • I Can't Stop (Blue Note 2003)
  • Everything's O.K. (Blue Note 2005)
  • Lay It Down (Blue Note 2008)

  • 1973 - Live at WNET Studios
  • 1974-10-04 - los angeles, ca
  • 1987-06-21 - Chicago Blues Festival - low bitrate, need better!
  • 2008-06-20 - Rochester Jazz Festival, NY
  • 2009-06-12 - Bonnaroo, Manchester TN 

  • The Immortal Soul Of Al Green (4 CD set) (2001)
  • Collector's Edition (3 CD, 2007)
  • Al Green Sings the Gospel (1975)
  • A Deep Shade of Green (1996)
  • The Love Songs Collection
  • The Definitive Greatest Hits (1975)



Thanks to: Fresh Sly, Zand, Blak's Lair, Noise Junkie, Nathan's Rock Moat

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.



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

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Booker T. & The M.G.'s Discography

Formed in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A., in 1962 taken from part of the Mar-Keys, the group comprised:

Booker T. Jones (b. 12th November 1944, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A; organ)
Steve Cropper (b. 21st October 1941, Willow Spring, Missouri, U.S.A; guitar)
Lewis Steinberg (bass)
and AI Jackson Jr. (b. 27th November 1934, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A., d. 1st October 1975, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A; drums).

Read More @ Blax-Pride


  • Green Onions (Stax 1962)
  • Mo' Onions (1963)
  • Soul Dressing (Stax 1965)
  • My Sweet Potato (1965)
  • And Now! (Stax 1966)
  • In The Christmas Spirit (Stax 1966
  • Hip Hug-Her (Stax 1967)
  • with the Mar-Keys: Back To Back (Stax 1967)
  • Doin' Our Thing (Stax 1968)
  • Soul Limbo (Stax 1968)
  • Uptight (Stax 1969)
  • The Booker T Set (Stax 1969)
  • McLemore Avenue (Stax 1970)
  • Melting Pot (Stax 1971)
  • as the MG's: The MGs (Stax 1973)
  • Memphis Sound (Warners 1975)
  • Union Extended (Warners 1976)
  • Time Is Tight (Warners 1976)
  • Universal Language (Asylum 1977)
  • Play the Hip Hits (1995) - previously unissued tracks
  • With the Mar-Keys : Stax Instrumentals (2002)

Solo: Booker T. Jones
  • Try and Love Again (A&M 1978)
  • The Best Of You (A&M 1980)
  • I Want You (A&M 1981)
  • The Runaway (MCA 1989)
  • That's The Way It Should Be (Columbia 1994)
  • Potato Hole (2009)

  • Greatest Hits (1994)
  • Best of Booker T and the MGs

  • 1968 - Winterland, San Francisco - early show
  • 1968 - Winterland, San Francisco - late show
  • 1977 - Bottom Line, New York
  • 1991 - Live At Slims


  • "Heads or Tails" - also great overview article

  • Booker T : "Don't Stop Your Love" (1981) - 12" single

  • "Melting Pot" (Ritual Session) 12" - Louie Vega (2004)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Aretha Franklin Discography

b. Aretha Louise Franklin, 25th March 1942, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.

Aretha Franklin's roots are purely gospel based.

Read More @ Blax-Pride


  • The Gospel Soul of Aretha Franklin (1956)
  • Aretha (Columbia 1961)
  • The Electrifying Aretha Franklin (Columbia 1962)
  • The Tender The Moving, The Swinging (Columbia 1962)
  • Laughing On The Outside (Columbia 1963)
  • Unforgettable (Columbia 1964)
  • Songs Of Faith (Checker 1964)
  • Running Out Of Fools (Columbia 1964) 
  • Yeah!!! (Columbia 1965)
  • Queen Of Soul (1965)
  • Once In A Lifetime (1965)
  • Soul Sister (Columbia 1966)
  • Take It Like You Give It (Columbia 1967)
  • I Never Loved A Man The Way That I Love You (Atlantic 1967)
  • Aretha Arrives (Atlantic 1967)
  • Take A Look - early recordings (Columbia 1967)
  • Aretha: Lady Soul (Atlantic 1968)
  • Aretha Now (Atlantic 1968)
  • Aretha In Paris (Atlantic 1968)
  • Aretha Franklin: Soul '69 (Atlantic 1969)
  • Today I Sing The Blues (Columbia 1969)
  • Soft And Beautiful (Columbia 1969
  • I Say A Little Prayer (1969)
  • Aretha Franklin Live (1969)
  • This Girl's In Love With You (Atlantic 1970)
  • Spirit In The Dark (Atlantic 1970)
  • Two Sides Of Love (1970)
  • Aretha Live At Fillmore West (Atlantic 1971)
  • "Don't Fight the Feeling : The Complete Aretha Franklin & King Curtis Live at the Fillmore West" (1971)
  • Young, Gifted And Black (Atlantic 1972)
  • Amazing Grace (Atlantic 1972) / alternate
  • Hey Now Hey (The Other Side Of The Sky) (Atlantic 1973)
  • Let Me Into Your Life (Atlantic 1974)
  • With Everything I Feel In Me (Atlantic 1974)
  • You (Atlantic 1975)
  • Sparkle (Atlantic 1976)
  • Sweet Passion (Atlantic 1977)
  • Satisfaction (1977)
  • Almighty Fire (Atlantic 1978)
  • La Diva (Atlantic 1979)
  • Aretha (Arista 1980)
  • Love All The Hurt Away (Arista 1981)
  • Jump To It (Arista 1982)
  • Get It Right (Arista 1983)
  • Who's Zoomin' Who? (Arista 1985)
  • Aretha (Arista 1986)
  • One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism (Arista 1987)
  • Through The Storm (Arista 1989)
  • What You See Is What You Sweat (Arista 1991)
  • Aretha Gospel (live) (1991)
  • A Rose is Still a Rose (1998)
  • So Damn Happy (Arista 2003)
  • Joy to the World (christmas) (2006)
  • This Christmas (Borders, 2008

  • Sweet Bitter Love (1960-66 material)
  • Aretha Sings the Blues (early)
  • Respect and other Hits (1997)
  • The Delta Meets Detroit - Aretha's Blues (1998)
  • Love Songs (1997)
  • Jazz to Soul (1992)
  • Beautiful Ballads and Love Songs (2008)
  • Jewels in the Crown (duets) (2007)
  • Rare & Unreleased (Rhino, 2007, 2 CDs)
  • Triology (3 CDs) - (2006)
  • Sunday Morning Classics (2009, 3 Cds)
  • Aretha Franklin (Gospel tracks)

Remixes / 7" / 12" singles
  • 'A Rose Is Still a Rose' - Hex Hector club mix
  • 'Jump to It' remixes - Andy Apple & Disco Deviance
  • 12" : "I Knew You Were Waiting" (with George Michael)
  • 12" : The Only Thing Missin' (2003)
  • 12" : Jumping Jack Flash (1986)
  • 12" : Jimmy Lee
  • 12" : A Deeper Love
  • 12" : A Deeper Love pt 1
  • 12" A Deeper Love Pts 2 & 3
  • 12" : Who's Zoomin Who ?
  • 12" : Freeway Of Love
  • 12 " : Aretha Franklin & Whitney Houston - It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be
  • 12" : Classics (many songs)
  • 12" : Jump To It
  • 7" : Soulville / Evil Gal Blues

  • Live At Park West (1985)


  • Live at Jamaica World Music Festival (1982)
  • Stockholm (1968) - FLAC

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bobby Womack Discography

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


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.


  • 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)
  • "A Lonesome Man" - plus good Womack history Pt. 1
  • "Don't Look Back" - plus good Womack history Pt. 2

Isaac Hayes Discography

b. 20th August 1942, Covington, Tennessee, U.S.A
d. 10th August 2008, Memhis, Tennessee, U.S.A


Isaac Hayes played piano and organ in several clubs in the Memphis area.

He was born on the 20th of August 1942, in Covington, Tennessee.

Isaac's parents died during his childhood, so he was raised by his grandparents.

He began singing in church at the age of five and taught himself the piano, organ and saxophone.

Isaac then relocated to Memphis to perform on the city's club circuit

He was a member of several groups, including, Sir Isaac And The Doo-dads, the Teen Tones and Sir Calvin And His Swinging Cats.

In 1962, he began his recording career, recording sides for a variety of local labels.

In 1964, Isaac signed to the Stax Records imprint.

Isaac worked with the Mar-Keys saxophonist Floyd Newman and stood in, from time to time, for Booker T. Jones.

After playing on several sessions for Otis Redding, Isaac then teamed up with David Porter and the pair achieved success with Sam And Dave's 'Hold On I'm Comin', 'Soul Man' and 'When Something Is Wrong With My Baby'.

They penned Carla Thomas's song, 'B-A-B-Y', and Johnnie Taylor's tunes 'I Had A Dream' and 'I Gotta Love Somebody's Baby'.

Isaac and David formed the group the Soul Children as a vehicle for their songwriting.

In 1967 Isaac relaunched his recording career with the album 'Presenting Isaac Hayes', in 1967.

'Hot Buttered Soul' followed on two years later.

'The Isaac Hayes Movement' and 'To Be Continued' followed in 1970, with 'Black Moses' arriving in 1972.

The blaxploitation movie 'Shaft' was also released that year, the title track of which became a huge hit on both the Pop and R & B charts that year, reaching the number one spot.

The song was later covered by Eddy And The Soul Band in 1985, and reached number 13 in the U.K. charts.

There were other movie soundtracks that followed in the form of 'Tough Guys', in 1973, and 'Truck Turner' in 1974.

Isaac left Stax in 1975, following disputes over royalties, and set up his own Hot Buttered Soul label.

After problems with the taxman, Isaac was declared bankrupt the following year.

He then relocated to the Polydor and Spring imprints.

In 1977, the double-LP 'A Man and a Woman', recorded with Dionne Warwick, indicated a resurgence in his recording career.

In 1979 a collection of duets with Millie Jackson, titled 'Royal Rappin's', was released.

Isaac, also, produced the album 'Here's My Love' for the artist Linda Clifford the same year.

Isaac then released a couple of solo albums, 1980's 'And Once Again' and 1981's 'Lifetime Thing'.

The same year, Isaac made an appearance in the John Carpenter movie 'Escape From New York', with him playing the role of 'The Duke Of New York'.

Musically, Isaac also retired for five years before re-emerging with 'Ike's Rap', a Top 10 U.S. R & B single taken from the album 'U Turn'.

Two years later he returned again with 'Love Attack', before again dropping out of music to focus on acting.

By 1995, Isaac had converted to Scientology.

He then released two CD's in the form of 'Branded' and the instrumental 'Raw and Refined'.

Under the official name Nene Katey Ocansey I, he also served as a member of the royal family of the African nation of Ghana.

1997 saw Isaac providing the voice of Jerome 'Chef' McElroy, on the animated series South Park.

In the year 2000, 29 years after the release of the movie 'Shaft', Isaac began work on a new version of the original, for a follow up similarly entitled 'Shaft'.

This was based around the detective, with Samuel L. Jackson taking over the role originally made famous by Richard Rountree.

In 2001, he supported Alicia Keys as a musician and arranger on her acclaimed debut album 'Songs in A Minor', utilising real instrumentation.

The song 'Rock Wit U' was utilised on the 2001 movie soundtrack.

Many of his original Enterprise albums have been reissued in CD format by U.K. Ace under their reactivated Stax logo.

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