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Category Archives: American music artists

“Bob Seger – We’ve Got Tonight (The Wonder years)”

“We’ve Got Tonite” (sic) is a song written by American Bob Seger, from his 1978 album Stranger in Town. It was a hit single for Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, reaching No. 13 on the U.S. pop charts. In the UK, it reached No. 41 in 1979, later making it to No. 22 during a 1995 re-release to promote a Greatest Hits album, while in 1982 a live version from the in-concert album Nine Tonight reached No. 60.

It also played in the background of Melissa Sue Anderson’s 1979 TV film Survival of Dana, in a scene where Anderson’s character was visiting one of her new friends’ homes and was in a room with co-star Robert Carradine’s character Donny Davis, whom she was falling for.[1]

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“KID CREOLE AND THE COCONUTS – My Male Curiosity”

“KID CREOLE AND THE COCONUTS – My Male Curiosity”

Kid Creole and the Coconuts is an American musical group created and led by August Darnell. Its music incorporates a variety of styles and influences, in particular a mix of Disco[1] and Latin American, South American, Caribbean, Trinidadian, Calloway styles and conceptually inspired by the big band era. The Coconuts are a glamorous trio of female backing vocalists whose lineup has changed throughout the years.

Career

Thomas August Darnell Browder was born in The Bronx, New York City, USA on August 12, 1950, his mother was from South Carolina and his father from Savannah, Georgia. As an adult, Thom Browder began going by his two middle names as August Darnell.

Growing up in the melting pot of the Bronx, Darnell was exposed early on to all kinds of music”. Darnell began his musical career in a band named The In-Laws with his brother, Stony Browder Jr, in 1965, which disbanded so Darnell could pursue a career as an English teacher. Darnell obtained a master’s degree in English, but in 1974 again formed a band with his brother Stony Browder Jr under the name Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band.[3] Their self-titled debut release was a Top 40-charting album which was certified gold and was nominated for a Grammy.

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“THE DRAMATICS – HEY YOU, GET OFF MY MOUNTAIN”

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The Dramatics (formerly The Dynamics) are an American soul music vocal group, formed in Detroit, Michigan, in 1964. They are best known for their 1970s hit songs “In the Rain” and “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get”, both of which were Top 10 Pop hits,[1] as well as their later 1993 collaboration Doggy Dogg World with Snoop Dogg, a top 20 hit on the Billboard Rhythmic Top 40.

Career

The Dramatics originally formed in 1964, recording as the Dynamics in 1965. Their first release in 1965 entitled “Bingo” was recorded for the late Ed Wingate’s Wingate record label, a division of Golden World Records in Detroit, Michigan. Due to a misprint, Wingate changed the name of the group from The Dynamics to The Dramatics in 1966 for the group’s second release, Inky Dinky Wang Dang Doo. By 1967, Motown had absorbed the entire Golden World Records operation. The Dramatics then moved to another local Detroit label, Sport Records, where they garnered their first minor hit single, “All Because of You.”

The Dramatics originally signed for Stax Records of Memphis, Tennessee in 1968, but moved on after one unsuccessful release. However, producer Don Davis re-signed them to Stax subsidiary, Volt in 1971 after the group had teamed up with Detroit writer-producer, Tony Hester. They broke through with the first release recorded with Hester, “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get”, which Hester offered them after seeing the group perform in a Detroit nightclub. The song went into the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #9 and climbing to #3 in the R&B chart. [1] “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” was awarded gold disc status by the R.I.A.A. in December 1971.[1]

Their members at this time were Ron Banks (who died of a heart attack on March 4, 2010, at the age of 58),[2] William “Wee Gee” Howard (who died of a heart attack on February 22, 2000, at the age of 49), Elbert Wilkins (who died of a heart attack on December 13, 1992, at the age of 45), Willie Ford, Larry Demps and keyboardist James Mack Brown (who died on November 28, 2008, at the age of 58).

Shortly after the success of their first album, Howard and Wilkins left the group and formed their own version of The Dramatics, recording the single “No Rebate On Love” on Mainstream Records. They were replaced by Larry James “L.J.” Reynolds and Leonard “Lenny” Mayes (who died of lung cancer on November 8, 2004, at the age of 53). At the urging of Don Davis and Stax Records, the original group changed its billing to ‘Ron Banks and the Dramatics’. These two groups toured the concert circuit for four years before Banks’ group won a court battle, giving them full access to the name.” [3] Howard and Wilkins were forced to change the name of their group to “A Dramatic Experience”.

Through the 1970s, the group continued to have successful songs, including the Top 10 Pop, #1 R&B hit, “In the Rain” in 1972, “Hey You! Get Off My Mountain” (#5 R&B), “Me and Mrs Jones” (#4 R&B), originally recorded by Billy Paul three years earlier, “Be My Girl” (#3 R&B), and “Shake It Well” (#4 R&B). “In the Rain” also reached #5 on the Hot 100 pop chart and was their second million-seller. [1]

The group recorded for Don Davis’ Groovesville and later Great Lakes music production companies during the 1970s, although the recordings appeared on several labels. The group moved from Volt in 1974 after three albums, releasing one album on Chess Records’ subsidiary, Cadet sharing tracks with The Dells, who were also being produced by Davis at the time. The group then signed for ABC in 1975 and transferred five years later to MCA, after ABC closed following its buy-out by MCA. Many of the Dramatics’ songs initially were written and produced by Tony Hester, including all the tracks on the first two Volt albums. Davis, then Banks and Reynolds took over production later in the 1970s and the early 1980s.

In 1982, the group moved to Capitol Records and made their first album without Don Davis, Banks acting as producer. Only Banks, Ford and Mayes remained in the group. L.J. Reynolds left to go solo in 1981 and Larry Demps decided to go into teaching and spend more time with his family, after having joined the group’s original line-up in 1964 with Banks. When Ron Banks also decided to try a solo career, the group disbanded for a few years, but re-formed in the mid-1980s, with Howard returning to join Reynolds, Mayes, Ford and Banks to record for Fantasy Records.

The group continues to tour and presently consists of Reynolds with Winzell Kelly, Leon Franklin, Donald and Albert Ford. Willie Ford also has a Dramatics group. The Dramatics were officially inducted into the R&B Music Hall of Fame at Cleveland State University’s Waetejen Auditorium on Saturday August 17, 2013.The Dramatics were also interviewed at (but have yet to be inducted into) the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on February of 2012 . [4][5][6]

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“Carl Carlton- Everlasting Love”

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Carlton began his career in the mid-1960’s as “Little Carl” Carlton. This was a marketing ploy to capitalize on some vocal similarities to Stevie Wonder, who recorded under the name “Little Stevie Wonder” in the early 1960’s. His first recordings were for Lando Records, for which he recorded some minor local hits, including “So What” and “Don’t You Need A Boy Like Me.” In 1968, Carlton was signed by Don D. Robey to his new label, Back Beat Records. Shortly after signing with the label, Carlton relocated to Houston, Texas to be closer to his new label. His first single with the label, “Competition Ain’t Nothing” became a huge hit on the UK northern soul scene after its release on the UK Action label. Carlton finally saw major success in the United States with a cover version of Robert Knight’s “Everlasting Love.” This song went to #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, and #11 on the Billboard R&B Charts in 1974.

Robey sold his labels to ABC Records in 1972. Beginning in 1976, Carlton became embroiled in a royalty dispute with ABC Records that caused him to stop recording for some time. He then signed with Mercury Records in 1977, but only released one single on that label. Carlton was unable to land a new recording contract for several years until Leon Haywood helped him get a singles deal with 20th Century Records.

A Haywood-penned single, “She’s A Bad Mama Jama (She’s Built, She’s Stacked)”, became a major hit, peaking at #2 on the soul chart and earning Carlton a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male. in 1982. The track peaked at #34 in the UK Singles Chart. Carlton’s subsequent album, Carl Carlton, went gold in 1981. “She’s a Bad Mama Jama” has since become a staple of compilation albums and soundtracks and is often sampled in rap music.

Carlton released several more albums in the 1980s but had only a few minor R&B hits. After 1985’s Private Property, he did not release another album until 1994’s Main Event, which also failed to chart.

In late 2002, Carlton appeared with many R&B stars on the “Rhythm, Love, and Soul” edition of the PBS series American Soundtrack. His performance of “Everlasting Love” was included on the accompanying live album that was released in 2004.

On August 1, 2010, Carlton released his first gospel single entitled: “God is Good”. He is currently in the studio completing his yet to be titled new album. On April 16, 2011, Carlton was nominated for a Detroit Music Award in the “Outstanding Gospel/Christian Vocalist” category.

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“Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” LOOKING GLASS”

“Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” LOOKING GLASS”

 

Looking Glass is a 1972 pop song written and composed by Elliot Lurie and recorded by Lurie’s band.

The single reached number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box Top 100 charts, remaining in the top position for one week. Billboard ranked it as the 12th biggest song of 1972.[2] Horns and strings were arranged by Larry Fallon.

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“Bob Seger Roll Me Away Live”

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Bob Seger

SONG:

Roll Me Away

Peak of success: 1976–1987

In 1977 Seger finally achieved his commercial breakthrough with his October 1976 album Night Moves. The title song “Night Moves” was a highly evocative, nostalgic, time-spanning tale that was not only critically praised, but became a #4 hit single on the Billboard pop singles chart as well as a heavy album-oriented rock airplay mainstay. The album also contained “Mainstreet” (written about Ann Arbor’s Ann Street), a #24 hit ballad that emphasized Seger’s heartland rock credentials as well as guitarist Pete Carr’s haunting lead guitar. The album also featured the anthem “Rock and Roll Never Forgets”. Night Moves was Seger’s first top ten album in the Billboard album chart, and as of 2006 was certified at 6 million copies in the United States alone – making it the biggest-selling studio album of his entire career. Furthermore, it activated sales of Seger’s recent back catalog, so that Beautiful Loser would eventually sell 2 million and Live Bullet would go on to sell some 5 million copies in the United States. Indeed, Live Bullet stayed on the Billboard charts for 168 weeks and it remains one of the ten best-selling live albums of all time.

The following year, original Silver Bullet drummer Charlie Allen Martin was hit by a car from behind while walking on a service road, and was left unable to walk. David Teegarden, drummer for Seger on the Smokin’ O.P.’s album, replaced him. Despite the loss, Seger followed up strongly with 1978’s Stranger in Town. The first single, “Still the Same”, emphasized Seger’s talent for mid-tempo numbers that revealed a sense of purpose, and reached #4 on the pop singles chart. “Hollywood Nights” was an up-tempo #12 hit rocker, while “We’ve Got Tonight” was a slow ballad that reached #13 on the Hot 100. (The latter became an even bigger hit when country music superstar Kenny Rogers and pop singer Sheena Easton teamed up for a 1983 treatment of it that topped Billboard’s Country and Adult Contemporary charts.) “Old Time Rock and Roll”, a song from George Jackson and Thomas E. Jones III that Seger substantially rewrote the lyrics for, was not a big pop hit initially, but achieved substantial album track airplay. Moreover, it would later become one of Seger’s most recognizable songs following its memorable Tom Cruise-dancing-in-his-underwear use in the 1983 film Risky Business. Indeed, it has been ranked the second-most played Jukebox Single of all time, behind Patsy Cline’s “Crazy”. The iconic recording of “Old Time Rock and Roll” was named one of the Songs of the Century in 2001. (Seger has ruefully remarked that not taking one-third writing credit on his recording was “the dumbest thing I ever did” financially.)

Seger also co-wrote the Eagles’ #1 hit song “Heartache Tonight” from their 1979 album The Long Run; their collaboration resulted from Seger and Glenn Frey’s early days together in Detroit.

In 1980, Seger released Against the Wind (with ex-Grand Funk Railroad member Craig Frost replacing Robyn Robbins on keyboards) and it became his first and only #1 album on the Billboard album chart. The first single “Fire Lake” featured Eagles Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmit, and Glenn Frey on backing vocals and Muscle Shoals guitarist, Pete Carr, on 12-string acoustic. Fire Lake reached #6 on the Hot 100, while the title song “Against the Wind” reached #5 as a single and even crossed over to the Top 10 on Billboard ’​s Adult Contemporary chart. “You’ll Accomp’ny Me” became the third hit single from the record, reaching #14. Against the Wind would also win two Grammy Awards. As of 2006, both Stranger in Town and Against the Wind had sold over 5 million copies each in the United States.

The live 1981 album Nine Tonight encapsulated this three-album peak of Seger’s commercial career. Seger’s take on Eugene Williams’ “Tryin’ To Live My Life Without You” became a Top Five hit from Nine Tonight and the album would go on to sell 4 million copies.

Seger released the acclaimed The Distance in the final days of 1982. During the recording of this album, Silver Bullet guitarist Drew Abbott left the band due to his frustration with Seger’s frequent use of session musicians in the studio, and was replaced by Dawayne Bailey. After the album’s release, David Teegarden also left the band due to internal conflict, and was replaced by ex-Grand Funk drummer Don Brewer. Critically praised for representing a more versatile sound than that of his recent material, The Distance spawned numerous hits beginning with Rodney Crowell’s “Shame on the Moon”. It was the biggest hit of the Silver Bullet Band’s entire career, hitting #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and holding at #2 for four consecutive weeks – behind Patti Austin and James Ingram’s “Baby, Come to Me” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” – on the Hot 100. It also crossed over to #15 on Billboard’s Country Singles chart. The follow-up single, “Even Now”, just missed the Top 10 and “Roll Me Away” peaked at #27. The driving album track “Making Thunderbirds” was a popular music video filmed in Detroit and well-received on MTV. Seger’s multi-platinum sales dropped off at this point, with The Distance peaking at #5 and selling only 1.9 million copies in the United States. (This album was belatedly released on 8 track tape; Capitol reportedly had no plans to do so, but Seger, guessing that a good many of his fans still had 8 track players in their vehicles, prevailed upon the label to release the album in that discontinued format as well.)

In 1984, Seger wrote and recorded the power rock ballad “Understanding” for the film soundtrack Teachers. The song was another Top 20 hit for Seger in late 1984. In 1986, he wrote and recorded “Living Inside My Heart” for the film soundtrack of About Last Night….

Seger was no longer as prolific and several years elapsed before his next studio album, Like a Rock emerged in the spring of 1986. The fast-paced “American Storm” was another Top 20 single aided by a popular music video featuring actress Lesley Ann Warren, and “Like a Rock” followed, reaching #12 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Later, it would become familiar to many Americans through its association with a long-running Chevrolet ad campaign (something Seger explicitly chose to do to support struggling American automobile workers in Detroit).Seger’s 1986–1987 American Storm Tour was his self-stated last major tour, playing 105 shows over 9 months and selling almost 1.5 million tickets. Like a Rock reached #3 and eventually sold over 3 million copies although it has never been certified above platinum.

The following year Seger’s “Shakedown”, a somewhat uncharacteristic song off the 1987 film Beverly Hills Cop II’s soundtrack, became his first and only #1 hit on the pop singles chart. The song had originally been intended for Seger’s fellow Detroiter Glenn Frey, but when he lost his voice just prior to the recording session, Frey called in Seger to take his place. Seger changed the verses of the song but kept the chorus the same. The song earned Seger an Academy Award nomination as co-writer in the Best Original Song category the following year.

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Bob Seger

Roll Me Away Live:

 
 

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“CARS…. SHAKE – IT – UP”

“CARS…. SHAKE – IT – UP”

The Cars are an American rock band that emerged from the new wave scene in the late 1970s. The band originated in Boston, Massachusetts in 1976, with singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter Ric Ocasek, singer and bassist Benjamin Orr, lead guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson.
The Cars were at the forefront in merging 1970s guitar-oriented rock with the new synthesizer-oriented pop that was then becoming popular and which would flourish in the early 1980s. Robert Palmer, music critic for The New York Times and Rolling Stone, described the Cars’ musical style by saying: “they have taken some important but disparate contemporary trends—punk minimalism, the labyrinthine synthesizer and guitar textures of art rock, the ’50s rockabilly revival and the melodious terseness of power pop—and mixed them into a personal and appealing blend.”

The Cars were named “Best New Artist” in the 1978 Rolling Stone Readers’ Poll and won “Video of the Year” for “You Might Think” at the first MTV Video Music Awards. Their debut album, The Cars, sold six million copies and appeared on the Billboard 200 album chart for 139 weeks. As of 2001, the Cars have sold over 23 million albums in the United States.

The band broke up in 1988, and Ocasek had always discouraged talk of a reunion since then. Orr died in 2000 from pancreatic cancer. In 2005, Easton and Hawkes joined with Todd Rundgren to form a spin-off band, the New Cars, which performed classic Cars and Rundgren songs alongside new material. The original members reunited in 2010 to record a new album, Move Like This, which was released in May 2011, followed by a short tour.

 

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