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Category Archives: American music artists

“Selena – Dreaming Of You” 

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Selena Quintanilla was born on April 16, 1971, in Lake Jackson, Texas.[10] She was the youngest child of Marcella Ofelia Quintanilla (née Samora) who had Cherokee ancestry[11] and Abraham Quintanilla, Jr., a Mexican American former musician.[12] Selena was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness.[13] Quintanilla, Jr. noticed her musical abilities when she was six years old. He told People magazine, “Her timing, her pitch were perfect, I could see it from day one”.[14] In 1980 in Lake Jackson, Quintanilla, Jr. opened his first Tex-Mex restaurant, where Selena and her siblings Abraham III (on bass guitar) and Suzette Quintanilla (on drums) would often perform.[14] The following year, the restaurant was forced to close after a recession caused by the 1980s oil glut. The family declared bankruptcy and were evicted from their home.[14][15] They settled in Corpus Christi, Texas; Quintanilla, Jr. became manager of the newly formed band Selena y Los Dinos and began promoting it.[3][14][16] They needed money and played on street corners, at weddings, at quinceañeras, and at fairs.[14][17]

As her popularity as a singer grew, the demands of Selena’s performance and travel schedule began to interfere with her education. Her father took her out of school when she was in the eighth grade.[18] Her teacher Marilyn Greer disapproved of Selena’s musical career.[19] She threatened to report Quintanilla, Jr. to the Texas Board of Education, believing the conditions to which Selena was exposed were inappropriate for a girl her age. Quintanilla, Jr. told Greer to “mind her business”. Other teachers expressed their concerns when they noticed how tired Selena appeared when she arrived at school.[19] At seventeen, Selena earned a high school diploma from the American School of Correspondence in Chicago,[20] and was also accepted at Louisiana State University.[21] She enrolled at Pacific Western University, taking up business administration as her major subject.[22]

Quintanilla, Jr. refurbished an old bus; he named it “Big Bertha” and the family used it as their tour bus.[23] In the first years of touring, the family sang for food and barely had enough money to pay for gasoline.[23] In 1984, Selena recorded her first LP record, Selena y Los Dinos, for Freddie Records.[24] Despite wanting to record English-language songs, Selena recorded Tejano music compositions; a male-dominated, Spanish-language genre[25] with German influences[26] of polka, jazz, and country music, popularized by Mexicans living in the United States.[27] Quintanilla, Jr. believed Selena should record musical compositions related to her heritage.[28] During the recording sessions for the album, Selena had to learn Spanish phonetically with guidance from her father.[29] In 1985, to promote the album, Selena appeared on the Johnny Canales Show, a popular Spanish-language radio program, on which she continued to appear for several years. Selena was discovered by Rick Trevi, founder of the Tejano Music Awards, where she won the Female Vocalist of the Year award in 1987 and for nine consecutive years after.[30] The band was often turned down by Texas music venues because of the members’ ages and because Selena was their lead singer.[31] By 1988, Selena had released five more LP records; Alpha (1986), Munequito de Trapo (1987), And the Winner is… (1987), Preciosa (1988), and Dulce Amor (1988).[32]

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“Jefferson Airplane – (the Letter) Give Me A Ticket For An Aeroplane (with lyrics)” 

“Jefferson Airplane – (the Letter) Give Me A Ticket For An Aeroplane (with lyrics)” 

The Letter” is a pop rock song first recorded by the American group … “The Letter” launched Chilton’s career and inspired numerous cover versions. Also as in the Jefferson Aeroplane version. The Jefferson Aeroplane an American rock band which formed in San Francisco in 1965.

1965–1966: FormationEdit

In 1962, 20-year-old Marty Balin recorded two singles for Challenge Records, neither of which were successful. Balin then joined a folk group called the Town Criers from 1963 to 1964. After the Beatles-led British invasion of 1964, Balin was inspired by the success of the Byrds and Simon & Garfunkel in merging folk with rock to form a group in 1965 that would follow that lead.[1] With a group of investors, Balin purchased a former pizza parlor on Fillmore Street,[2] which he converted to a music club, the Matrix, and began searching for members for his group.[3]

Balin met folk musician Paul Kantner at another local club, the Drinking Gourd. Kantner, a native San Franciscan, had started out performing on the Bay Area folk circuit in the early 1960s, alongside fellow folkies Jerry Garcia, David Crosby and Janis Joplin. Kantner has cited folk groups like the Kingston Trio and the Weavers as strong early influences. He briefly moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1964 to work in a folk duo with future Airplane/Starship member David Freiberg (who subsequently joined Quicksilver Messenger Service).

Balin and Kantner then recruited other musicians to form the house band at the Matrix. After hearing female vocalist Signe Toly Anderson at the Drinking Gourd, Balin invited her to be the group’s co-lead singer. Anderson sang with the band for a year and performed on their first album before departing in October 1966 after the birth of her first child.

Kantner next recruited an old friend, blues guitarist Jorma Kaukonen. Originally from Washington, D.C., Kaukonen had moved to California in the early 1960s and met Kantner while at Santa Clara University in 1962. Kaukonen was invited to jam with the new band and although initially reluctant to join he was won over after playing his guitar through a tape delay device that was part of the sound system used by Ken Kesey for his Acid Test parties. Kaukonen came up with the band’s name, based on the name of a friend’s dog.[4] A 2007 press release quoted Kaukonen as saying:

I had this friend [Steve Talbot] in Berkeley who came up with funny names for people,” explains Kaukonen. “His name for me was Blind Thomas Jefferson Airplane (for blues pioneer Blind Lemon Jefferson). When the guys were looking for band names and nobody could come up with something, I remember saying, ‘You want a silly band name? I got a silly band name for you!’

The “classic” lineup of Jefferson Airplane, from October 1966 to February 1970, was Marty Balin (vocals), Paul Kantner (guitar, vocals), Grace Slick (vocals), Jorma Kaukonen (lead guitar, vocals), Jack Casady (bass), and Spencer Dryden (drums). Marty Balin left the band in 1970, and then it officially broke up in 1972 when Kaukonen and Casady moved on to their own band, Hot Tuna. Slick and Kantner regrouped with Balin and recruited new members to form Jefferson Starship. Jefferson Airplane was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and was presented with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.Wikipedia.org

 

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“Crystal Blue Persuasion – Tommy James & The Shondells” 

“Crystal Blue Persuasion – Tommy James & The Shondells” 

Crystal Blue Persuasion” is a 1968 song originally recorded by Tommy James and the Shondells and composed by Eddie Gray, Tommy Jamesand Mike Vale.

A gentle-tempoed groove, “Crystal Blue Persuasion” was built around a prominent organ part with an understated arrangement, more akin to The Rascals‘ sound at the time than to James’s contemporary efforts with psychedelic rock. It included melodic passages for an acoustic guitar, as well as a bass pattern, played between the bridge, and the third verse of the song.

In a 1985 interview in Hitch magazine, James said the title of the song came to him while he was reading the BiblicalBook of Revelation:

I took the title from the Book of Revelations [sic] in the Bible, reading about the New Jerusalem. The words jumped out at me, and they’re not together; they’re spread out over three or four verses. But it seemed to go together, it’s my favorite of all my songs and one of our most requested.[1]

With an appropriate lighting scheme, the 2000s edition of Tommy James and the Shondells perform “Crystal Blue Persuasion”

According to James’s manager, James was actually inspired by his readings of the Book of Ezekiel, which (he remembered as) speaking of a blue Shekhinah light that represented the presence of the Almighty God, and of the Book of Isaiah and Book of Revelation, which tell of a future age of brotherhood of mankind, living in peace and harmony.[2]

When released as a single in June 1969, “Crystal Blue Persuasion” became one of the biggest hits for the group, peaking at number two on the Billboard Pop Singleschart for three weeks behind Zager and Evans‘s single “In the Year 2525“.[4] The single version differs from the album version of the song with horn overdubs added to the mix and a longer bongosoverdub before the third verse.

A primitive non-representational music video was made, that showed various scenes of late 1960s political and cultural unrest and imagery of love and peace.

Tito Puente, Joe Bataan, The Heptones, Morcheeba, Concrete Blonde and John Wesley Harding are among those who have covered the song.

 

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“AMY WINEHOUSE – SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME” (Ella Fitzgerald cover)

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Amy Jade Winehouse (14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011) was an English singer and songwriter known for her deep expressive contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres, including soul[1][2][3] (sometimes labelled as blue-eyed soul and neo soul),[4][5] rhythm and blues,[6][7][8] and jazz.[9][10] Winehouse’s debut album, Frank (2003), was a critical success in the UK and was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Her follow-up album, Back to Black (2006), led to five 2008 Grammy Awards, tying the then record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night, and made her the first British female to win five Grammys,[11][12] including three of the general field “Big Four” awards: Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Winehouse won three Ivor Novello Awards: in 2004, Best Contemporary Song for “Stronger Than Me”; in 2007, Best Contemporary Song again, this time for “Rehab”; and in 2008, Best Song Musically and Lyrically for “Love Is a Losing Game.” She also won the 2007 Brit Award for Best British Female Artist, having been nominated for Best British Album, with Back to Black.

Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on 23 July 2011, aged 27. Her album Back to Black posthumously became, for a time, the UK’s best-selling album of the 21st century.[13] In 2012, Winehouse was ranked 26th on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women In Music.[14] The BBC has called her “the pre-eminent vocal talent of her generation.”[15]

Early life
Amy Winehouse was born in Chase Farm Hospital in north London, to Jewish parents.[16] Her father, Mitchell “Mitch” Winehouse, was a window panel installer[17] then a taxi driver; her mother, Janis Winehouse (née Seaton),[18] a pharmacist.[19] The Winehouse ancestors were Russian and Polish immigrants to London. Amy had an older brother, Alex (born 1979),[20] and the family lived in London’s Southgate area,[16] where she attended Osidge Primary School.[21]

Many of Winehouse’s maternal uncles were professional jazz musicians.[22] Amy’s paternal grandmother, Cynthia, was a singer and dated the English jazz saxophonist Ronnie Scott.[23] She and Amy’s parents influenced Amy’s interest in jazz.[23] Her father Mitch often sang Frank Sinatra songs to her, and whenever she got chastised at school she would sing “Fly Me to the Moon” before going up to the headmistress to be told off.[24] Winehouse’s parents separated when she was nine,[25] and she lived with her mother and stayed with her father and his girlfriend in Hatfield Heath, Essex on weekends.[26]

In 1992 her grandmother Cynthia suggested she attend the Susi Earnshaw Theatre School, where she went on Saturdays to further her vocal education and to learn to tap dance.[27][28] She attended the school for four years and founded a short-lived rap group called Sweet ‘n’ Sour with Juliette Ashby, her childhood friend[29] before seeking full-time training at Sylvia Young Theatre School. Winehouse was allegedly expelled at 14 for “not applying herself” and also for piercing her nose.[20][30] Sylvia Young has denied this—”She changed schools at 15—I’ve heard it said she was expelled; she wasn’t. I’d never have expelled Amy”[31]—as has Mitch Winehouse.[17] She also appeared in an episode of The Fast Show, 1997, with other children from the Sylvia Young School[32] and later attended the Mount School, Mill Hill; the BRIT School in Selhurst, Croydon; Osidge JMI School and then Ashmole School.[33][34][35]

Musical career/Early career
After toying around with her brother Alex’s guitar, Winehouse bought her own when she was 14 and began writing music a year later. Soon after, she began working for a living, including, at one time, as an entertainment journalist for the World Entertainment News Network, in addition to singing with local group the Bolsha Band.[20][36] In July 2000, she became the featured female vocalist with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra; her influences were to include Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington,[37] the latter whom she was already listening to at home.[23] Amy’s best friend, soul singer Tyler James, sent her demo tape to an A&R person.[23] Winehouse signed to Simon Fuller’s 19 Management in 2002 and was paid £250 a week against future earnings.[38] While being developed by the management company, she was kept as a recording industry secret[39] although she was a regular jazz standards singer at the Cobden Club.[38] Her future A&R representative at Island (Universal), Darcus Beese, heard of her by accident when the manager of The Lewinson Brothers showed him some productions of his clients, which featured Winehouse as key vocalist. When he asked who the singer was, the manager told him he was not allowed to say. Having decided that he wanted to sign her, it took several months of asking around for Beese to eventually discover who the singer was. However, Winehouse had already recorded a number of songs and signed a publishing deal with EMI by this time. Incidentally, she formed a working relationship with producer Salaam Remi through these record publishers.[39]

Beese introduced Winehouse to his boss, Nick Gatfield, and the Island head shared his enthusiasm in signing the young artist. Winehouse was signed to Island, as rival interest in Winehouse had started to build to include representatives of EMI and Virgin starting to make moves. Beese told HitQuarters that he felt the reason behind the excitement, over an artist who was an atypical pop star for the time, was due to a backlash against reality TV music shows, which included audiences starved for fresh, genuine young talent.[39]

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Website AmyWinehouse.com


 

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“Teena Marie – Miracles Need Wings To Fly”

“Teena Marie – Miracles Need Wings To Fly”

Gordy era (1979–1982)

In 1976, Brockert (as the lead singer member of a band she assembled which included long-time friend Mickey Boyce) gained an introduction to Motown Records staff producer Hal Davis (best known for his work with Brenda Holloway and the Jackson 5). It led to an audition for a film about orphans being developed by Motown. The project was shelved, but label boss Berry Gordy decided to sign her as a solo act, impressed with her singing but having no need for a musical group. She recorded unreleased material with a number of different producers over the next few years, before being spotted by labelmate Rick James who was immediately impressed with her sound. Some of the earlier, unreleased material has since been made available on the compilation album First Class Love: Rare Tee. At the time, James, already established as a successful recording artist, was on tap to produce for Diana Ross but changed his mind and decided to work with Brockert. The result was debut album release, Wild and Peaceful. The album was, at one point, due to be credited to “Teena Tryson”, but ultimately was put out under “Teena Marie”, the name by which she would be known throughout her career. It scored Teena Marie her first top-ten R&B hit, “I’m a Sucker for Your Love” (#8 Black Singles Chart),[10] a duet with James. Neither the album nor its packaging had her picture on it, and many radio programmers assumed she was African-American during the earliest months of her career.[10] This myth was disproved when she performed her debut hit with James on Soul Train in 1979, becoming the show’s first white female guest (she would appear on the show eight more times, more than any other white act).

In 1980, her second album, Lady T, would have her portrait on the cover upon its release. It’s also noted for having production from Richard Rudolph (the widower of R&B singer Minnie Riperton). Teena Marie had asked Berry Gordy to contact Rudolph and secure his input as Rick James was unavailable and she felt unprepared to be sole producer of her own material. Rudolph intended for the song he penned, “Now That I Have You”, to be sung by his wife, but it was later given to Teena Marie.[11] Rudolph also co-composed the single “Behind The Groove”, which reached number 21 on the black singles chart and No. 6 on the U.K. singles chart in 1980.[10] The song would also be included on the soundtrack of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on the Fever 105 soundtrack.[12] Another notable track, “Too Many Colors”, featured Rudolph’s and Riperton’s then 7-year-old daughter, Maya Rudolph, who became Teena Marie’s god-daughter.

Also in 1980, Teena Marie released her third LP, Irons in the Fire, for which she handled all writing and production herself, including the horn and rhythm arrangements of her band and all backing vocals, all considered rare at the time for a female artist.[10] The single “I Need Your Lovin'” (#37 Pop, No. 9 Black Singles) brought Teena Marie her first top 40 hit. This single also peaked at No. 28 in the UK chart. That same year, Teena Marie appeared on James’s hugely successful album, Street Songs, with the duet “Fire and Desire”. In an interview, Teena Marie said she had a fever at the time yet managed to record her vocals in one take. After the session, she was driven to a hospital. The two would perform the single at the 2004 BET Awards, which would be their last TV appearance with one another as Rick James died later that year.[13]

Teena Marie continued her success with Motown in 1981, with the release of It Must Be Magic (#2 Black Albums Chart), her first gold record, which included her then biggest hit on R&B, “Square Biz” (#3 Black Singles). Other notable tracks include “Portuguese Love” (featuring a brief, uncredited cameo by James, No. 54 Black Singles), the title track “It Must be Magic” (#30 Black Singles), and album only track “Yes Indeed”, which she cited as a personal favorite.[citation needed]

In 1982, Teena Marie got into a heated legal battle with Motown Records over her contract and disagreements about releasing her new material.[14] The lawsuit resulted in “The Brockert Initiative”, which made it illegal for a record company to keep an artist under contract without releasing new material for that artist. In such instances, artists are able to sign and release with another label instead of being held back by an unsupportive one. Teena Marie commented on the law in an LA Times article, saying, “It wasn’t something I set out to do. I just wanted to get away from Motown and have a good life. But it helped a lot of people, like Luther Vandross and the Mary Jane Girls, and a lot of different artists, to be able to get out of their contracts.”[15] She left Motown as the label’s most successful white solo act.

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“Renegades – X Ambassadors (Whitney Woerz Cover) LIVE”

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Whitney Woerz (born October 22, 2000) is an American singer, songwriter and actress. With numerous appearances on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, this 14-year-old has the soul of performer that belies her young age. Her debut EP, ‘Behind The Smile’, is set to release in November of 2015. Whitney has committed a share of her profits to help teens fight depression and mental illness through LETS Bring Change 2 Mind, a charitable organization chaired by Glenn Close. Whitney’s work in this space as a advocate for teen voices against bullying has been helping teens deal with friends facing depression and intimidation. This passion has molded Whitney into the songwriter she is today.

She is currently working with Grammy Award winning producer Glenn Rosenstein (Madonna, U2). The cover art for Behind The Smile features a picture Release of Whitney, sitting on a white roof considering all that she has faced as an artist and a teen. Her vintage Polaroid is never far behind and holds images of faces and stories of the people behind the veneer of everyday life.

Starting in August 2015, she completed a video collection of many of her favorite songs in a series called ‘LIVE From Muscle Shoals: The Fame Sessions’. The series was produced and mixed by Glenn Rosenstein and shot in Muscles Shoals, AL at the legendary FAME Recording Studios and captures the rawness of her search for the music that brought her to this career. In the first 4 weeks since launch, the videos have generated over 1.2 million views and millions of social media driven impressions – while impressive for any artist, Whitney’s message resonates with a wide and varied audience – a message of hope, spirit and inspiration.

http://bluemic.com/bluemob/whitney_woerz/

 

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“De BARGE – ALL THIS LOVE”

“All This Love” is a single by DeBarge, released on October 17, 1982. The song was released as the third and final single from their second studio album of the same title on the Gordy label. The single would help DeBarge rise to R&B stardom. The cover version of the song was recorded by Patti LaBelle on her 1994 gold album Gems. The video for her version was also filmed.

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