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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bobby Wilson -- Let Me Put Love Back In Your Life

Today's pick is from Bobby Wilson's 1975 album I'll Be Your Rainbow (Buddah.) I love the album.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Smith Connection -- (I've Been A Winner, I've Been A Loser) I've Been In Love

(I've Been A Winner, I've Been A Loser) I've Been In Love: I think there's not a single person in the world who couldn't speak the same words.  Most of us have been there.
The Track is from Kent 219, In Perfect Harmony -- a nice compilation of sweet Soul gems.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Soultaker's Treasure Chest: A Woman's Soul

Posted by Soultaker

Like any other man, I love to hear a woman's voice in my ear whispering sweet things that we like to hear. The other day I had my headphones on and was listening to some Linda Jones and I thought why don't I do a set of just female soul singers. So today I will do just that

Starting off with my favorite female soul singer on Motown, Brenda Holloway, with a live version of the song Summertime. I love listening to her version as she also does a violin solo during the song. She has a voice that I just love to listen and relax to. Next is One Step At A Time by Maxine Brown on Wand records. This is a song that I first heard years ago on a old internet show called Eclectic Soul, that was on the old Soul site which was hosted by Eddie Pillar of Acid Jazz Records. It's just one of those songs that I had to go out and hunt down. This next track is from my other favorite female singer on Motown and that is Tammi Terrell. I was watching the episode of TV One's Unsung that showcase Tammi and was the inspiration of me putting What A Good Man He Is on today's set. Speaking of Tammi, is getting ready to put out a 2 CD set of all of Tammi's solo material. Like Tammi, this set is looking real pretty and she deserves to have her solo recordings be made available. The next track up is from Marva Whitney called Ball of Fire. It's the non album b-side to the It's My Thing 45 and should have been a hit in it's own right. Crumbs Off The Table by Laura Lee is up next and like any True School 80's hip hop head like myself will recognize the drum break of this track. We have next is Love Unlimited's Say it Again in which you will hear the only male voice on this set as Barry White makes a cameo appearance on the track. This is followed by I believe one of the last tracks from Ike and Tina Turner that they did together before they eventually went their separate ways called Sexy Ida. A nice funk track that has me wondering what the two of them together would have sounded like if they didn't have the issues that they did and gotten a divorce. Next is 90% Of Me Is You is another track people will recognize and is also one of my favorite tracks by Gwen McCrae with the other being Funky Sensation. A all female soul set is not complete without the Queen herself, Aretha Franklin,with I Get High from the Sparkle soundtrack. Last up is a track called Without You In My Life from a 1982 Marlena Shaw album, Let Me In Your Life on South Bay Records.

Of course there are plenty more talented female soul vocalists out there that one day I will showcase with another set.

1. Summertime(Live) - Brenda Holloway - Motown
2. One Step At A Time - Maxine Brown - Wand
3. What A Good Man He Is - Tammi Terrell - Motown
4. Ball Of Fire - Marva Whitney - King
5. Crumbs Off The Table - Laura Lee - Hot Wax
6. Say It Again - Love Unlimited - 20th Century Records
7. Sexy Ida - Ike and Tina Turner - United Artist Records
8. 90% Of Me Is You - Gwen McCrae - Cat
9. I Get High - Aretha Franklin - Atlantic
10. Without You In My Life - Marlena Shaw - South Bay


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Futures -- That's The Way Of A Woman In Love

I already posted my all-time favorite Futures songs a while ago, but that doesn't keep me from posting another one by them. The Futures were one of the very best vocal harmonizing groups ever. Just listen to the background vocals ... simply perfect.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Alton Jackson and Larry Bailey -- Believe In Me

This here is one of the tracks that get me hooked right away: all emotion. Just good for the soul, I guess. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010


It seems I can't get my audioblogs finished in time to be posted every Friday  ... So, I am late again. But this one is right on time for a Reggae Sunday!

Tease Me -- Chaka Demus
This Is Thunder -- The Dingle Bros. and Baba Brooks Band
Little Did You Know --The Techniques
Don De Lion -- Don Drummond
Don't Fool Young Girls -- The Gladiators
Peggy -- Toots and The Maytals
Express Yourself -- Hopeton Lewis 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Randy Brown -- It Scares Me So

I know, I 've just dedicated an entire AudioBlog to Randy not too long ago -- but he has sung his way into my most-played list. He's made his way into Raggedy's VIP lounge, so to speak. And when  It Scares Me So from his Intimate album was playing while I had breakfast this morning, I took it as a hint ...
His range and versatility never cease to amaze me ... silk, velvet, sandpaper, chiffon -- it's all in one voice.
I think he deserves an encore on SOTS.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Danny Woods -- Everybody's Got A Song To Sing

Sorry, I'm falling behind with my posts again. Life's intruding into my microcosmic universe.  But when this morning this nice little song came up in i-tunes, I had to pause and listen. Then I was heading for the PC as quick as I could. And now I would love for you all to listen -- and after that: sing a little song to someone, bring a little joy into someone's life. I'm sure there's someone you are thinking of right now ...

Go on ...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bobby "Blue" Bland

I generally don't like a blue Monday. At times, though,  I even ask for one: "Make it Blue, please ... Bobby Blue!"


Sad Feeling
Kiss Me To The Music
It Ain't The Real Thing

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tommy Tate -- I Ain't Gonna Worry

Tommy Tate's cover of the William Bell classic I Forgot To Be Your Lover

"The greatest singer you've never heard," as the ever growing community of Deep Soul Fans claims. Before he became lead singer for Ollie Hoskin's Nightingales, he was singing for Tim Whitsett's The Imperial Show Band. They released a handful of records, which nowadays are highly sought after and sell for big bucks.
After the Imperial Show had disbanded, he and Tim joined Stax as songwriters, and Tommy later took Ollie Hoskins' spot with The Nightingales.  His School of Life reached the top 30 in 1972. Things looked good for Tommy. But then a new star stole the show: Luther Ingram's If Loving You is Wrong, one of today's classic R&B songs, became a #1 hit on Billboard's R&B charts. 
Tommy's contract with Koko Records/Stax had tied him to the label for years, and Johnny Baylor, the label's CEO would not let him leave.
Tommy's second chance came in the 80's when he joined Malaco Records. Johnny Taylor, Bobby Blue Bland, and Little Milton were singing his songs. 
He kept recording throughout the 90's, but eventually retired after suffering a stroke. 

Today's pick is less gospel-influenced than most of his material, showing a bit of his funky side. You'll find I Ain't Gonna Worry on I'm So Satisfied (The Complete Koko Recordings.) 

Friday, September 10, 2010

AudioBlog#11_Jimmy: The Other Great Ruffin

Our Favorite Memory
I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)
The Things We Have To Do
Don’t Feel Sorry For Me
That’s You Girl
On The Avenue
Jimmy Ruffin is best known for his 1966 hit What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted, a song that was originally written for the Spinners -- and maybe for the fact that in 1964, after he had left the Army, he declined Motown’s invitation to replace Elbridge Bryant in the Temptation. Jimmy let his younger brother David have that spot ... The rest is history. (Of course, there is another version of the story, but that one is less credible, in my opinion.)
He followed this initial success with two more songs who made the charts I’ve Passed This Way Before and Gonna Give Her All The Love I Got (1966/1967). The Temptations later covered the songs with David Ruffin as lead singer. 
After his initial success, Jimmy found himself struggling to score any more hits. He began eying the British scene, and in 1970 he finally landed three top ten hits in the UK. His British fans even voted him the world’s top singer. 
I Am My Brother’s Keeper, the album he recorded for Motown together with his brother David, just recently has been re-released, and nowadays is being touted as a gem. In 1970,  at the time of the original release, it was hardly noticed. That’s life, people!
Jimmy left the US in the 80’s to live permanently in the UK where he is still performing. (I heard he’s got a concert coming up there.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Today Big O Would Turn 69

I just read that today marks Otis Redding's 69th birthday. He left us way too soon but not without a legacy that brings joy and beauty into our lives even four decades after his passing. Otis was one of the very first Soul artists I've been listening to as a young girl, and his songs were playing during many moments in my life both the exhilarated and the sorrowful.
I was talking with a German acquaintance the other day who is planning a US trip, including San Francisco. My advice to him was to visit Sauselito; I remember that town for its stunning beauty and the fact that Otis wrote his famous Dock of the Bay there -- on one of the houseboats.
Stax guitarist Steve Cropper wrote this [Dock of the Bay] with Redding. Cropper produced the album when Redding died, including this with various songs Redding had recorded the last few years. In a 1990 interview on NPR's Fresh Air, Cropper explained: "Otis was one of those kind of guys who had 100 ideas. Anytime he came in to record he always had 10 or 15 different intros or titles, or whatever. He had been at San Francisco playing The Fillmore, and he was staying at a boathouse (in Sausalito, across the bay from San Francisco), which is where he got the idea of the ship coming in. That's about all he had: 'I watch the ships come in and I watch them roll away again.' I took that and finished the lyrics. If you listen to the songs I wrote with Otis, most of the lyrics are about him. He didn't usually write about himself, but I did. 'Mr. Pitiful,' 'Sad Song Fa-Fa,' they were about Otis' life. 'Dock Of The Bay' was exactly that: 'I left my home in Georgia, headed for the Frisco Bay' was all about him going out to San Francisco to perform."                            


Albert Williams -- Rhumba Chillen

I found this song on the Ultimate Blues Collection by Sun Records and I liked it. It ended up on my Blues Thursday list, although I couldn't find too much info on Albert Williams. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Melba Moore -- We're Living To Give

Falling is from Melba's 1982 album, On The Other Side Of The Rainbow. Her voice still has the youthful sound, although the few years between these two song have smoothed out the girlish pitch that is noticeable in the 1970 song We're Living To Give (from I Got Love, Mercury)

The next video clip is Melba Moore'live in 2009 The woman sounds better in such an amateur recording than many of today's hyped up stars in the studio. And just in case you can't see -- she needs no light show to sell her singing. I would treat all the Beyonce-, Rihanna-, Madonna- shows for one Melba show.  

Isaac Hayes

A word of thanks to Raggedy for inviting me to be a guest blogger on her site. Thank You!!
Now for my first intro ….This is a song by one of my most favorite artist “Isaac Hayes”. This is a cover of Billy Joel’s “ Just the way you are” This was ripped from the 1978 album “For The Sake Of Love” on the Polydor label. I just uploaded this song this morning.
I have been listening to this for the past few days and it struck me….where are the baritone singers of today?? Well basically they are non-existent. Today’s music is filled with the same-sounding nasal whiny tenors that have no substance in their voices, but I digress………..That is another blog, another time.
Isaac Hayes knew how to take any song and make it his own. Listen to his very serious, moving “rap” about love and then he starts with his heavy, lush baritone telling his love “don’t change”.
Too me, this is classic Isaac Hayes, remember his first big hit was over 17 minutes long “Walk on By” made famous by” Dionne Warwick” the riffs are quintessential Isaac …just great singing.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Soul and Germany

German filmmaker Fatih Akin is one of the stars of European cinema. His gritty dramas about Turkish immigrants in Germany have earned him accolades at the Cannes Film Festival, as well as an Oscar nomination.
But from the very first beats of his latest film Soul Kitchen, you know you're not in for an evening of European art-house fare. ...      (NPR)

I was just listening to NPR while fixing dinner -- and what can I say? The story felt so real to me. I was thinking all the time how true the the descriptions and explanations rang to me. Here I am 30-some years after finding my own home (both musically and psychologically) in Soul music, someone from a totally different generation describes the same thoughts and feelings I had when I was young. As an extra the narrator found his cultural home in Soul music, which is the most powerful statement about music, I ever heard.
Of course, the story might be a bit more important to me as a native of Germany than to anyone else here, but it is definitely describing how music builds bridges and shelters and even homes.

Hamilton Bohannon -- Stop And Go / Love Is Fading

Was that really 1973? This track sounds as fresh and danceable today as it sounded 37 years ago. But it is no secret that some things are meant to survive all kinds of fads, fashions, and hypes -- even if they may have been all these things themselves.

Bohannon, born in 1942, was already playing the drums while he was an elementary student. So it shouldn't have been a surprise he'd become an immensely accomplished and popular drummer and percussionist during the 70's. 
Before he got his big chance at success, though, his B. A. in musical education from Clark Atlanta University came in handy. It enabled him to earn a living as a teacher before joining a band in which Jimi Hendrix was playing.
Stevie Wonder discovered him, and Bohannon played with him from 1965 to 1967. During that time he became the top band leader for Motown, in charge of the label's main acts live arrangements.
In 1972 he left Motown for the Dakar/Brunswick label and, a year later, released his first album Stop and Go, from which the first of today's tracks is taken.   

The second track, Love Is Fading, is from his 1975 Insides Out album and shows the artist's dreamy, jazzy, soft side. 

In the late 70's Bohannon moved to Mercury, in 1978 releasing his only top 10 hit, Let's Start a Dance, a duet with Carolyn Crawford.  (Later, he also worked with  Liz Lands and Alltrinna Grayson.)
In 1980 he founded Phase II Records, but joined MCA in 1984 to record a number of records, one of which was his 1989 Here Comes Bohannon.

Monday, September 6, 2010

AudioBlog#10: Willie Hutch: Inventive, Imaginative, Ingenious

Willie Hutch was a genius -- no doubt about it. Songs like Brother’s Gonna Work It Out,
Sunshine Lady  or I Choose You prove that. 
In my opinion, however, a genius has to offer more than just a few -- or even many -- first rate compositions and/or songs. A genius has to deliver above the average work all the time or at least most of the time. Willie Hutch definitely did that. 
I took the time to listen into 13 of his 17 albums -- and there was not a single track I didn’t like. (I listened to at least two randomly chosen tracks per album.) 
This artist took pride in his work and gave his best all the time.

Willie Hutch recorded his first album, Soul Portrait in 1969 with RCA
and Sexalicious, his last one, for the Midwest label in 2002. He recorded 
17 albums altogether.
(I am looking for his first single, Love Has Put Me Down, which was released in 1964 on Soul City Records but couldn’t find it anywhere.)
During his tenure with Motown from 1970 - 1977, he was one of the lucky artists who were actually allowed to be creative. I mean: Motown has been known for its rather formulaic releases, guaranteeing success rather than variety. 
While at Motown,he co-wrote, for example,  I’ll Be There for The Jackson 5 and produced Smokey Robinson’s first solo album. 
In 1977 he left the hit factory, Motown, and joined Norman Whitfield’s label, released two albums:  In Tune in 1978 and Midnight Dancer in 1980. In 1982 he returned to Motown, left again in the late 80’s. He kept performing and recording, however, until way in the 90's.
Willie Hutch died in 2005. May his soul rest in peace. 

Kings Go Forth

Posted By Soultaker

Got up this morning and put on a group that I've been digging since I brought a copy of their album this past April. So I figure since I just recently got into blogging, I think this would be a great chance to shine the spotlight on this talented group called, Kings Go Forth.

Kings Go Forth is a group from out of Milwaukee. The Founder of the group is Andy Noble who is the bass player of the group and was also the owner of a record shop in Milwaukee called Lotus Land. The rest of the members of the group consist of:

Lead vocalist - Black Wolf
Vocals - Danny Fernandez
Vocals, Guitar - Matt Norberg
Lead Guitar - Dan Flynn
Bass - Andy Noble
Keyboards - Dave Waka
Drums - Jeremy Kuzniar
Trombone, Trumpet - Dave Cusma
Trumpet - Jed Grosar
Congas, Percussion - Cecilio "Ceeloe" Negron Jr.

I first heard this group from a podcast called Midnight Soulstice, where they preview the then upcoming album "The Outsiders Are Back". This show had me on the look out for this group and when they released in the last week of April 2010 I was right there to pick it up. On April 24, 2010, Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ had the group come in for a in store performance and signing of the album. Below are some pictures I took of the group as they performed.

You can check some more pictures and a video of the performance over at the Vintage Vinyl page for them at the website.

After the performance they sat down to autograph their album for us. I got to talk to some of the members of the band and they are really down to earth guys that love to do music.

Be sure to go out and get a copy of their album, The Outsiders Are Back
, that's currently out now. One of the best albums to come out this year so far.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Soul Reflections - Trust Me

Posted by Soultaker

I think I'm going to try out something new here that I will post every once in awhile call Soul Reflections. I came up with this interesting idea the other day while just spinning some 45's. Just something simple as One Song, Two Great Versions of it. Whether it's the original version by a artist and a remake or just two remakes of the original. I've always been interested in various takes on a particular song as long as the version can hold it's weight to other.

The first song I had in mind is a song called Trust Me written by Bobby Womack.

The original is actually recorded by Wilson Pickett for his Midnight Mover album from 1968. If you listen to the Wilson Pickett's, you can hear Bobby on part of the chorus as well as on lead guitar.

Wilson Pickett - Trust Me

Bobby would record this song later on in 1975 for his Saftey Zone album. Bobby's version has female vocals in place of his guitar playing on Wilson's original.

Bobby Womack - Trust In Me

I feel that both versions are great, but I'm leaning little more to Wilson Pickett's verison of the song. I love Bobby's guitar playing on it and plus it's the type of soul music I enjoy listening to.

I will let you be the judge on which version stands out to you. I hope you enjoyed this first edition of Soul Reflections.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Viola Wills -- Your Love

Here comes a lady with a good voice. Unfortunately, she seemed to have been doomed to singing disco songs, which in my opinion, was not the right material for such a talented singer. I'm a little bit busy at the time, but I will look for more info on her. If you can, try to ignore the obvious entertainment element -- and focus on her voice. 

I remember this song very well .. 

Now listen to her cover of  If You Could Read My Mind

And here is the song that caused my interest in her voice in the first place. I love the song.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tony Owens -- This Heart Can Take No More/I Got Soul

Time for another Deepie or two.

Before Tony Owens was discovered at a high school talent show, he had sung with a group called The Emeralds in junior high. At that time he had already won some local voice competitions. Isaac Bolden who was about to start his own label, Soulin', heard Tony sing, and it was on his label that in 1968 Tony's first single, I Got Soul, was produced. Although the title was quite successful locally -- as were Tony's follow-up records too  -- he never achieved any national recognition. Same old story: big talent, no luck. 

If you would like to read more about Tony, please go here and here

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Etta James -- The Pick Up

Tell me it's not Thursday again. However, if it turns out to be as great a day as the song I came across while I was looking for something to post,  I will def. enjoy it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Temprees -- You Make The Sun Shine

The Temprees started out as a trio named The Lovemen in Memphis, Tennessee when they were in junior high school. Jasper Phillips ("Jabbo"), Harold Scott ("Scotty"),  Deljuan Calvin ("Del") and Larry Dodson who later became lead singer of The Bar-Kays were signed to Stax in 1970 -- and recorded some of the most beautiful music of that era. Their rendition of Dedicated To The One I Love  (Original by The "5"Royales) is probably their best known song. 
Some article I've read about the group claims The Temprees were famous for their "tear jerkers." I do not agree with that statement at all. They made sweet, sweet soul music -- typical 70's, soft and full of feeling. But that does not translate into tear jerking music in my book. And Jabbo's falsetto is without a doubt wonderful. Nothing mushy or kitschy in that song ...

Today's post, You Make The Sun Shine, is from their 1973 album Love Maze

During the 70's they released 3 albums and 12 singles on the We-Produce-Stax subsidiary label which included music by the Bar-Kays, the Isaac Hayes Movement and the South Memphis Horns. 
The group also cut some singles for CBS' Epic sunsidiary in the late 70's in Philadelphia, and reunited in the mid 90's in Memphis.