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Category Archives: black music artists

Then Came You – The Spinners (with Dionne Warwick)

Then Came You – The Spinners (with Dionne Warwick)

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“Then Came You” is a 1974 Grammy-nominated hit for American soul singer Dionne Warwick and American R&B group The Spinners, and credited to Dionne Warwicke and Spinners (from 1971–1975, Warwick added a final ‘e’ to her last name). The track was written by Sherman Marshall and Phillip T. Pugh, and produced by Thom Bell.

Released during a time that Warwick’s chart fortunes were at an ebb after moving to Warner Bros. Records in 1972, the Philadelphia soul single was a rare mid-1970s success for the singer. Sung as a duet with Spinners main lead singer Bobby Smith and the Spinners, who were one of the most popular groups of the decade, the song became Warwick’s first ever single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and also became her highest-charting R&B record reaching number two on that chart. It was also the first number-one pop hit for the Spinners. Spinners member Phillippe Wynne took over lead duties at the very end of the song, as he did on another one of the group’s big hits, “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love”.

While Warwick was signed to Warner Bros. at the time, this release actually came out on Atlantic Records, which was the Spinners’ label, but also a sister label to Warner Bros.

Warwick eventually left Warner Bros. for Arista Records in 1978 where she regrouped and found consistent success again as an artist.

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LITTLE HELEN – The Richest Girl In The World”

LITTLE HELEN – The Richest Girl In The World”

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Baylor was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and raised in Los Angeles, where she first performed as a nightclub act. She opened for Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and B.B. King while still in her teens, and performed in the musical Hair.[1]

In 1967/68 she worked with producer Bobby Sanders releasing two singles The Richest Girl and What About Me Boy as Little Helen for the Soultown label.[2]

In the 1970s she joined hit Broadway musical Hair and followed this period of her career as a session musician for artists that included Captain & Tennille, Les McCann and Chaka Khan. As a member of Side Effect her vocals featured on their third album What You Need, from which “Always There”, a song co-written by Ronnie Laws was a R&B chart success. Later in the 1980s her career would falter as a consequence of drug abuse.[1]

Baylor became sober late in the decade, strengthening her Christian faith and deciding to concentrate her career in gospel music. She released her first gospel recording on Word Records in 1990 and her first five albums all hit the Top Ten of the U.S. Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart, with the most successful being 1995’s The Live Experience, which reached #1 on that chart.[3] The track “Oasis” was very successful in the UK, via Expansion Records and stayed on the Music Week Dance Chart for 14 weeks.[4] Also, the song “Sold Out” (from the album Start All Over) won a Dove Award for Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the Year at the 24th GMA Dove Awards in 1993

In July 2011, Baylor announced that she is co-producing a feature film about her life story. The film, A Praying Grandmother:The Helen Baylor Story, will feature accounts that she first shared in the song, “Helen’s Testimony” (Word, 1995) and in her autobiography, No Greater Love: The Helen Baylor Story. Baylor approached award-winning filmmaker Cassandra Hollis to co-produce and direct the film.

Baylor was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2000.

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NO I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU LOVE ME – Tammi Terrell

NO I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU LOVE ME – Tammi Terrell

The Essential Collection is a compilation album for Motown soul singer Tammi Terrell, released by Universal Music Group’s Spectrum Music in the United Kingdom in 2001. The compilation includes Terrell’s only solo album, Irresistible in its entirety, several B-sides and unreleased tracks, and Terrell’s most famous duet recording with singing partner Marvin Gaye, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.​https://youtu.be/bX_4xUkgPf0

 

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 “Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – Loveland (1969)”

 “Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – Loveland (1969)”

Charles Wright was born on April 6, 1940 in Clarksdale, Mississippi.[1] He moved to Los Angeles in the early 1950s, playing guitar and singing in several doo-wop groups including the Turks, the Twilighters, the Shields and the Gallahads. He also briefly worked as an A&R for Del-Fi Records and was responsible for the “Hit” record “Those Oldies But Goodies” (Remind me of you) by Little Caesar and the Romans in 1961. In 1962, he formed his own band Charles Wright & the Wright Sounds which included future Watts Band member, John Raynford, along with Daryl Dragon, aka “Captain” of Captain & Tennille. Over the course of the next six years, Wright would add more players to his group and these were the players who would eventually become known as the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, at least by 1968. Several of those members, namely drummer James Gadson, bassist Melvin Dunlap, trombonist/arranger Ray Jackson, and both guitarists Al McKay and Benorce Blackmon, would play on several Dyke & the Blazers charting singles, including “We Got More Soul” (1969) and “Let a Woman Be a Woman, Let a Man Be a Man” (1969).

The Wright Sounds played in several venues across Los Angeles but their best known stint was three years (ending in 1968) at Hollywood’s Haunted House nightclub. Originally located at Hollywood and Vine, the Haunted House was a popular club in the 1960s and appears in several popular culture artifacts, most notably the 1969 go-go dancing B-movie, Girl in Gold Boots.

First Watts 103rd Band 

The name, Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band was originally coined by Los Angeles producer and Keymen Records owner Fred Smith in 1967. However, between 1967 and 1968, the Watts 103rd name applied to three, arguably four different personnel configurations before settling into the final band who played on every Watts 103rd album from 1968 forward.[2]

Smith produced a theme song for KGFJ radio personality, DJ Magnificent Montague. The song became so popular that Smith released it as a single in 1967 and created the name, Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band for the studio group who had recorded it. Purportedly, the players on the single included Wright, James Carmichael, Leon Haywood, and Bobby Womack.[3]

There is some confusion because, after “Spreadin’ Honey” became a success, Montague re-released the single on the MoSoul label (a Keyman subsidiary) and credited to a different group altogether, the Soul Runners. It has been long assumed that the Soul Runners were simply an earlier line-up of the Watts Band however, according to Wright, the two groups had nothing to do with one another whatsoever.[4]
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“BRENDA AND THE TABULATIONS – IT WAS RIGHT IN THE TIP OF MY TONGUE (AND I FORGOT TO SAY I LOVE YOU)

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Brenda & the Tabulations were an American R&B group formed in 1966 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, originally composed of Brenda Payton, Eddie L. Jackson, Maurice Coates and Jerry Jones.

History

The group had a distinctive, almost doo wop sound, especially at the start, featuring Payton’s sweet occasionally rough-edged vocals with background male harmonies. The line-up changed around 1971 with the original three men departing. Two female backing singers (Pat Mercer and Deborah Martin) were brought in to support Payton.

The group had a series of hit singles in the late 1960s and early 1970s, mainly in the US soul charts and on small independent labels, Dionn and Top & Bottom, operated by the group’s manager, Gilda Woods. However, two were big US pop hits: their first release, “Dry Your Eyes” (Pop #20, R&B #2) on Dionn in 1967 and “Right On The Tip Of My Tongue” (Pop #23, R&B #5) in 1971.[1] The first was written by Payton with group member Maurice Coates and produced by Bob Finiz and the latter written and produced by Van McCoy.

The group signed with Epic/Columbia in 1972 but, despite continuing to work with producer Van McCoy, the four singles released were relatively unsuccessful, with only “One Girl Too Late” managing to chart.

The group released three albums, Dry Your Eyes on Dionn (1967), Brenda and the Tabulations on Top & Bottom (1970), and I Keep Coming Back For More on Chocolate City/Casablanca (1977), although by the time of the last album, Brenda was a solo act while keeping the group name.

Brenda & the Tabulations are one of many recording artists referenced in the song “Life Is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)” by the studio group Reunion.

Brenda Payton, who was born on October 24, 1945, died on June 14, 1992, aged 46. Eddie L. Jackson died on May 3, 2010, from a brain aneurysm at the age of 63.[2]

The group’s music saw a revival in awareness in 2011, when “The Wash” from the Dry Your Eyes album was licensed by Unilever for use in an Axe body wash commercial.

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“Jimmy Ruffin – What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted”

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“What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” is a hit single recorded by Jimmy Ruffin and released on Motown Records’ Soul label in the summer of 1966. It is a ballad, with lead singer Jimmy Ruffin recalling the pain that befalls the brokenhearted, who had love that’s now departed. The song essentially deals with the struggle to overcome sadness while seeking a new relationship after the passing of a loved one.

The tune was written by William Weatherspoon, Paul Riser, and James Dean, and the recording was produced by Weatherspoon and William “Mickey” Stevenson. “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” remains one of the most-revived of Motown’s hits.

Composers Weatherspoon and Riser and lyricist Dean had originally written “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” with the intention of having The Spinners, then an act on Motown’s V.I.P. label, record the tune. Jimmy Ruffin, older brother of Temptations lead singer David Ruffin, persuaded Dean to let him record the song, as its anguished lyric about a man lost in the misery of heartbreak resonated with the singer.

Ruffin’s lead vocal on the recording is augmented by the instrumentation of Motown’s in-house studio band, The Funk Brothers, and the joint backing vocals of Motown session singers The Originals and The Andantes. “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100, and at number six on the Billboard R&B Singles chart. In Britain, it originally reached No. 8, and on reissue in 1974 No. 4, thus making it his highest-placed chart single in the UK.

The song originally featured a spoken introduction by Ruffin, similar in style to many of Lou Rawls’ performances at the time. The spoken verse was removed from the final mix, hence the unusually long instrumental intro on the released version. The spoken verse is present on the alternate mix from the UK 2003 release Jimmy Ruffin – The Ultimate Motown Collection, and as a new stereo extended mix on the 2005 anthology, The Motown Box:

A world filled with love is a wonderful sight. Being in love is one’s heart’s delight. But that look of love isn’t on my face. That enchanted feeling has been replaced.

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“The Spinners – Love Don’t Love Nobody (It Takes A Fool)”

“The Spinners – Love Don’t Love Nobody (It Takes A Fool)”

The Spinners are an American rhythm and blues vocal group that formed in 1954 and are still active. They enjoyed a string of hit singles and albums during the 1960s and 1970s. Formed in Detroit, Michigan, the group still tours regularly as of 2015, although Henry Fambrough is the only remaining original member.

The group is also listed as the Detroit Spinners and the Motown Spinners (for their 1960s recordings with the Detroit label). These other names were used in the UK to avoid confusion with a British folk group also called the Spinners. In 2015, they were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Philippé Wynne was an American singer. Best known for his role as the lead singer of The Spinners. Wynne scored notable hits such as “How Could I Let You Get Away”, “The Rubberband Man”, and “One of a Kind”.Wikipedia

Died: July 14, 1984, Oakland, CA

Albums: Wynne Jammin’Happiness Is Being with the SpinnersSpinnersRhino Hi-Five: The Spinners

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