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“Patti Labelle – Isn’t it a shame”

“Patti Labelle – Isn’t it a shame”

Chameleon is the sixth album by American singing trio Labelle. Though Patti LaBelle’s autobiography Don’t Block The Blessings revealed that LaBelle planned a follow-up to Chameleon entitled Shaman, the album never materialized. The trio would not release another new recording until 2008’s Back to Now. The final album was moderately successful peaking at #94 at the Pop charts and #21 on the R&B charts. Only two singles made the charts which were “Get You Somebody New” which peaked at #50 on the Pop charts and their memorable song “Isn’t It A Shame” which debuted at #18 on the R&B charts. “Isn’t It A Shame” was later sampled by Nelly on his 2004 hit, “My Place”, which featured Jaheim.

Patricia Louise Holt-Edwards (born May 24, 1944),[1] better known under the stage name Patricia Louise Holt-Edwards (born May 24, 1944),[1] better known under the stage name Patti LaBelle, is an American singer, author, actress, and entrepreneur. LaBelle began her career in the early 1960s as lead singer and front woman of the vocal group, Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. Following the group’s name change to Labelle in the early 1970s, she released the iconic disco song “Lady Marmalade” and the group later became the first African-American vocal group to land the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.[1] After the group split in 1976, LaBelle began a successful solo career, starting with her critically acclaimed debut album, which included the career-defining song, “You Are My Friend”. LaBelle became a mainstream solo star in 1984 following the success of the singles, “If Only You Knew”, “New Attitude” and “Stir It Up”, with the latter two crossing over to pop audiences becoming radio staples.[1]

Early life and career

Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles

Patti joined a local church choir at the Beulah Baptist Church at ten and performed her first solo two years later, while she also grew up listening to secular music styles such as R&B and jazz music. When she was fifteen, she won a talent competition at her high school. This success led to Patti forming her first singing group, the Ordettes, in 1960, with schoolmates Jean Brown, Yvonne Hogen and Johnnie Dawson.[7] The group, with Patti as front woman, became a local attraction until two of its members left to marry.[8] In 1962, the Ordettes included three new members, Cindy Birdsong, Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx, the latter two girls having sung for another defunct vocal group.[8] That year, they auditioned for local record label owner Harold Robinson. Robinson agreed to work with the group after Patti began singing the song “I Sold My Heart to the Junkman”. Initially Robinson was dismissive of Patti due to him feeling Patti was “too dark and too plain”.[8] Shortly after signing them, he had them record as the Blue Belles and they were selected to promote the recording of “I Sold My Heart to the Junkman”, which had been recorded by The Starlets, but was assigned as a Blue Belles single due to label conflict.[8] The Starlets’ manager sued Harold Robinson after the Blue Belles were seen performing a lip-synching version of the song on American Bandstand.[8] After settling out of court, Robinson altered the group’s name to “Patti LaBelle and The Blue Belles”.[8] Initially, a Billboard ad cited the group as “Patti Bell and the Blue Bells”.[9] In 1963, the group scored their first hit single with the ballad “Down the Aisle (The Wedding Song)” which became a crossover top 40 hit on the Billboard pop and R&B charts after King Records issued it. Later in the year, they recorded their rendition of the standard “You’ll Never Walk Alone”; the single was later re-released on Cameo-Parkway Records where the group scored a second hit on the pop charts with the song in 1964. Another charted single, “Danny Boy”, was released that same year. In 1965, after Cameo-Parkway folded, the group moved to New York and signed with Atlantic Records where they recorded twelve singles for the label, including the mildly charted singles “All or Nothing” and “Take Me for a Little While”. The group’s Atlantic tenure included their rendition of “Over the Rainbow” and a version of the song “Groovy Kind of Love”. In 1967, Birdsong left the group to join The Supremes and by 1970 the group had been dropped from Atlantic Records as well as by their longtime manager Bernard Montague. That year, Vicki Wickham, producer of the UK music show, Ready, Steady, Go, agreed to manage the group after Dusty Springfield mentioned signing them. Wickham’s first direction for the group was for them to change their name to simply Labelle and advised the group to renew their act, going for a more homegrown look and sound that reflected psychedelic soul. In 1971, the group opened for The Who in several stops on the group’s U.S. tour.

Labelle signed with the Warner Music imprint, Track Records, and released their self-titled debut album in 1971. The record’s psychedelic soul sound and its blending of rock and soul rhythms was a departure from the group’s early sound. That same year, they sang background vocals on Laura Nyro’s album, Gonna Take a Miracle. A year later, in 1972, the group released Moon Shadow, which repeated the homegrown gritty sound of the previous album. In 1973, influenced by glam rockers David Bowie and Elton John, Wickham had the group dressed in silver space suits and luminescent makeup.[10] After their third successive album, Pressure Cookin’, failed to generate a hit, Labelle signed with Epic Records in 1974, releasing their most successful album to date, with Nightbirds, which blended soul, funk and rock music, thanks to the work of the album’s producer, Allen Toussaint. The single, “Lady Marmalade”, would become their biggest-selling single, going number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and selling over a million copies, as did Nightbirds, which later earned a RIAA gold award, for sales of a million units. In October 1974, Labelle made pop history by becoming the first rock and roll vocal group to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House.[11] Riding high on the success of “Lady Marmalade” and the Nightbirds album, Labelle made the cover of Rolling Stone in 1975. Labelle released two more albums, Chameleon and Phoenix in 1975 and 1976 respectively. While both albums continued the group’s critical success, none of the singles issued on those albums ever crossed over to the pop charts.

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Posted by on ThuAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-02-14T10:59:07-08:00America/Los_Angeles02bAmerica/Los_AngelesThu, 14 Feb 2019 10:59:07 -0800 31, in black music artists, jazz, music, pop music, r&b

 

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“Hey There Lonely Girl!”

Image: imgcade.com

In 1962, Holman made his first record, “What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You” on Leopard Records.[1] It was in the Philadelphia soul scene that he began to develop his trademark style. While still in college, he recorded his first hit record, “This Can’t Be True” (1965), which reached #17 on the Billboard charts.[1] Other hits began to follow: “Am I A Loser From The Start” (1966), “I Love You” (1969), “Don’t Stop Now” (1970), and “Cathy Called” (1970). After singing with the Philadelphia groups The Delfonics and The Stylistics, Holman finally struck personal gold in 1970 with his ballad, “Hey There Lonely Girl” (originally “Hey There Lonely Boy” recorded in 1963 by Ruby and the Romantics), which peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The track peaked at number 4 in the UK Singles Chart in November 1974.[2] It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc from the R.I.A.A. in March 1970.[3]

British journalist Tony Cummings once wrote, “Eddie Holman’s voice, an astonishing precision instrument which can leap octaves with the speed of mercury and bend notes into shapes unimagined by lesser singers, has assured its possessor a place in soul history.”[citation needed]

In 1977, Eddie had a brief resurgence in popularity with his last two hit singles, “This Will Be A Night To Remember” and “You Make My Life Complete”.

Holman owns his own record label, Agape Records, and music publishing company, Schoochiebug Music Publishing. He also continues to tour with the Eddie Holman Band. During the summer of 2007, Holman performed weekly for the passengers aboard the Sun Princess cruise ship while it was en route to the inside passage of Alaska.

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Posted by on ThuAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-02-14T10:53:00-08:00America/Los_Angeles02bAmerica/Los_AngelesThu, 14 Feb 2019 10:53:00 -0800 31, in 1950s, ballad, black music artists, male vocalist

 

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“The Young Hearts ~ I’ve Got Love For My Baby”

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Biography

An R&B vocal group from Los Angeles, California, USA. Original members were Ronald Preyer, Charles Ingersoll, Earl Carter, and James Moore. The Young Hearts were typical of the falsetto-lead stand-up vocal groups that populated the R&B scene of the late 60s and early 70s. Their impact was purely on the R&B charts, getting moderate hits with ‘I’ve Got Love For My Baby’ (number 19 R&B) in 1968 for the Minit subsidiary of Imperial Records, and ‘Wake Up And Start Standing’ (number 48 R&B) in 1974 for 20th Century. A stay at ABC Records in 1977 produced an album and several singles that did nothing, and the group faded after that.

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The Young Hearts ~ I’ve Got Love For My Baby:

 
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Posted by on ThuAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-02-14T09:55:00-08:00America/Los_Angeles02bAmerica/Los_AngelesThu, 14 Feb 2019 09:55:00 -0800 31, in black music artists, classic music, music, soul oldies

 

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“Use Me – Bill Withers”

“Use Me – Bill Withers”

Sussex records
During early 1970, Withers’ demonstration tape was auditioned favorably by Clarence Avant, owner of Sussex Records. Avant signed Withers to a record deal and assigned former Stax Records stalwart Booker T. Jones to produce Withers’ first album. Four three-hour studio sessions were planned to record the album, but funding caused the album to be recorded in three sessions with a six-month break between the second and final sessions. Just as I Am was released in 1971 with the tracks, “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Grandma’s Hands” as singles. The album features Stephen Stills playing lead guitar.[5]

The album was a success and Withers began touring with a band assembled from members of The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band: drummer James Gadson, guitarist Benorce Blackmon, keyboardist Ray Jackson, and bassist Melvin Dunlap.

At the 14th annual Grammy Awards on Tuesday, March 14, 1972, Withers won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song for “Ain’t No Sunshine.” The track had already sold over one million copies and was awarded a platinum disc by the RIAA in September 1971.[6]

During a hiatus from touring, Withers recorded his second album, Still Bill. The single, “Lean on Me” went to number one the week of July 8, 1972. It was Withers’ second gold single with confirmed sales in excess of three million.[6] His follow-up, “Use Me” released in August 1972, became his third million seller, with the R.I.A.A. gold disc award taking place on October 12, 1972.[6] His performance at Carnegie Hall on October 6, 1972, was recorded, and released as the live album Bill Withers, Live at Carnegie Hall on November 30, 1972. In 1974, Withers recorded the album +’Justments. Due to a legal dispute with the Sussex company, Withers was unable to record for some time thereafter.

During this time, he wrote and produced two songs on the Gladys Knight & the Pips record I Feel a Song, and in October 1974 performed in concert together with James Brown, Etta James, and B. B. King four weeks prior to the historic Rumble in the Jungle fight between Foreman and Ali in Zaire.[7] Footage of his performance was included in the 1996 documentary film When We Were Kings, and he is heard on the accompanying soundtrack. Other footage of his performance is included in the 2008 documentary film Soul Power which is based on archival footage of the 1974 Zaire concert.

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“Use Me – Bill Withers (1972)”

 
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Posted by on ThuAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-02-14T09:47:05-08:00America/Los_Angeles02bAmerica/Los_AngelesThu, 14 Feb 2019 09:47:05 -0800 31, in black music artists, male vocalist, r&b

 

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Candi Staton – Young Hearts Run Free

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Canzetta Maria “Candi” Staton (/ˈsteɪtən/) (born March 13, 1940 in Hanceville, Alabama)[1] is an American soul and gospel singer, best known in the United States for her 1970 remake of Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man” and her 1976 disco chart-topper “Young Hearts Run Free”. In Europe, her biggest selling record is the anthemic “You Got the Love” from 1986 released in collaboration with the Source. Staton was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame.[2]

Biography

Early years
At the age of eleven or twelve, Staton and her sister Maggie were sent to the Jewell Christian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. Her vocal abilities quickly set her apart from the crowd; the school’s pastor teamed the two sisters with a third girl (Naomi Harrison) to form the Jewell Gospel Trio. As teenagers, they toured the traditional gospel circuit in the 1950s with the Soul Stirrers, C. L. Franklin and Mahalia Jackson.[3] They recorded several sides for Nashbro, Apollo and Savoy Records between 1953 and 1963.[citation needed]

Solo career

Candi Staton onstage at Guilfest 2012.
In 1968, Staton was introduced to Rick Hall by Clarence Carter and launched her solo career as a Southern soul stylist,[3] garnering 16 R&B hits for Rick Hall’s Fame Studios and gaining the title of “First Lady of Southern Soul” for her Grammy-nominated R&B renditions of the songs “Stand by Your Man” and “In the Ghetto”.[4] Staton appeared on the September 23, 1972 edition (Season 2, Episode 1) of Soul Train. In 1976, Staton began collaborating with producer David Crawford on disco songs such as “Young Hearts Run Free”, which reached #1 on the US R&B charts, #2 in the UK Singles Chart and went Top 20 on the Pop Hot 100 [5] during the summer of 1976. It was remixed and re-released in 1986 reaching the UK Top 50.[5] Follow up song “Destiny” hit the Top 50 in the UK.[5] Candi’s version of “Nights on Broadway” hit the UK Top 10 in 1977;[5] it had been a US Billboard hit for the Bee Gees over a year before. In 1978, she scored another Top 50 hit in the UK with “Honest I Do I Love You”.[5] In 1979, from her album “Chance” Staton released album single “When You Wake Up Tomorrow” (co-written by Patrick Adams and Wayne K. Garfield) and the title song “Chance”, a TOP 20 R&B charted record. Other Dance club chart hits included “When You Wake Up Tomorrow” and “Victim”. In 1982, Candi again hit the UK chart with a version of Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds”.[5][6] In 1997, singer Kym Mazelle recorded “Young Hearts Run Free” for the film adaption of Romeo and Juliet.[7]

In 1982, Staton returned to gospel music. She married her fourth husband, John Sussewell (drummer for Ashford & Simpson and also Dory Previn’s sixth album). Together they founded Beracah Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia with help from Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s PTL Ministries.[4] She has since recorded eight gospel albums, two of which received Grammy Award nominations.

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Posted by on ThuAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-02-14T09:11:44-08:00America/Los_Angeles02bAmerica/Los_AngelesThu, 14 Feb 2019 09:11:44 -0800 31, in coffee, music, entertainment, black music artists, American music artists, r&b, female vocalist, 1970s

 

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“HEY HEY MR. DREAM MERCHANT – NEW BIRTH”

“HEY HEY MR. DREAM MERCHANT – NEW BIRTH”

New Birth also known as The New Birth is an American funk and R&B group. It was originally conceived in Detroit, Michigan by former Motown songwriter/producer, Vernon Bullock and co-founded in Louisville, Kentucky by him with former singer and Motown songwriter/producer Harvey Fuqua and musicians, Tony Churchill, James Baker, Austin Lander, Robert “Lurch” Jackson, Leroy Taylor, Charlie Hearndon and Nathaniel “Nebs” Neblett.

History

The history of the group began with the instrumental outfit, The Nite-Liters, which was originally formed in 1963 in Louisville, Kentucky by Tony Churchill and Harvey Fuqua. In its heyday, besides Churchill on tenor sax and vibes, the band featured Charlie Hearndon on guitar, James Baker on keyboards, Robin Russell on drums, Robert “Lurch” Jackson on trumpet, Austin Lander on baritone sax, Leroy Taylor on bass, and, later, Carl McDaniel on guitar. Earlier members included Johnny Graham, later of Earth, Wind & Fire and Jerry Bell also a member at one time.

Under this name, the group had a few hits before the formation of New Birth proper, including “K-Jee” (#17 R&B, #39 pop,1971). In 1969, Vernon Bullock had thought of creating an ensemble of groups for a touring company and Harvey Fuqua and Tony Churchill soon took an interest. After discovering a male vocal group, The Now Sound, which featured Bobby Downs, Ron Coleman, Gary Young and an individual known as “Slim,” and also a female vocal group, known as Mint Julep, which featured Londee Loren, Tanita Gaines, Janice Carter and Pam Swent, they brought them together with The Nite-Liters plus additional vocalist, Alan Frye, calling the newly formed ensemble, New Birth. The band came together in 1970 with their self-titled debut on RCA. Their second album, Ain’t No Big Thing, But It’s Growing, yielded a minor hit with their cover of Perry Como’s “It’s Impossible”, in 1971.

Later that year, Bullock discovered a group from Detroit, Michigan called Love, Peace & Happiness, which featured former Marvelettes singer Ann Bogan and brothers Leslie and Melvin Wilson. Finding that they had the spark that was missing from the New Birth ensemble, he paired them with the Nite-Liters and original members of New Birth, Londee Loren, Bobby Downs and Alan Frye.

In 1972, the reorganized group (as a 17-piece ensemble) reached the Billboard R&B top 10 (#4 R&B, #35 pop) with their cover of Bobby Womack and The Valentinos’ “I Can Understand It”, which paved the way for the band’s future success. By the time the song hit the stores, however, Ann had left to devote time to her family, leaving Londee Loren as the only female member. When Harvey reportedly could not get the performance he wanted out of Londee on their next hit, “Until It’s Time for You to Go”, it featured, instead of the group members, future Supremes member Susaye Greene as lead vocalist, with Harvey and Carolyn Willis of Honey Cone doing the spoken intro. However, Londee more than met the challenge in live performances and her voice matured on future releases.

In 1974, the group issued their album, It’s Been a Long Time, which featured hits including the title track (#9 R&B) and their cover of the Skylark song “Wildflower”. After the release of their sixth RCA album, Comin’ From All Ends, the group split from RCA, Fuqua and their management company and signed with Buddah.

New Birth’s Buddah debut, Blind Baby, featured the group’s only number-one R&B single, a cover of the Jerry Butler classic, “Dream Merchant”. By this time, the Nite-Liters had so merged with the New Birth. that the instrumental cut that opened the album was solely credited to New Birth. A move to Warner produced several minor hits and the release of the 1977 album, Behold The Mighty Army, the Wilson brothers left following disagreements in the group.

The group including Baker, Churchill and Lander returned on Ariola in 1979 with Jerry Bell as their lead vocalist on Platinum City and in 1982 with the I’m Back album. Leslie Wilson had left the group to replace Jeffrey Osborne in L.T.D. whilst Jerry Bell departed in 1981 to become lead vocalist for Motown’s Dazz Band.

The Wilsons toured with a new ensemble as New Birth in 1994, and released a few albums under the new name in the decade since. Drummer Robin Russell released a solo CD entitled Drum Beats in 2004.

Since the group’s initial split, their songs have been covered by the likes of Jamie Foxx, who sampled their cover of “Wildflower” for his 2005 hit, “Unpredictable”. R&B group Somethin’ for the People sampled their “It’s Been a Long Time” for their 1997 hit “My Love Is the Shhh!” Rap artist Lil’ Wayne sampled “You Don’t Have to Be Alone” from their self-titled album in his song “La La”, And again Jerry Bell’s remake of “Its Been A Long Time.” “You Are What I’m All About” was sampled for Junior Mafia’s “Player’s Anthem” and possibly for Britney Spears’ “Sippin’ On”.

New Birth, particularly lead vocalist Leslie Wilson was a chief influence on Soul artist Reggie Sears and Temptations lead singer Ali “Ollie” Woodson.

James Baker died in 1993, Leroy Taylor died on January 17, 2012 and producer Vernon Bullock died March 18, 2015 at the age of 70 years.[citation needed]

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Posted by on ThuAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-02-14T09:10:31-08:00America/Los_Angeles02bAmerica/Los_AngelesThu, 14 Feb 2019 09:10:31 -0800 31, in 1970s, black music artists, r&b

 

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 “The Supremes – Back In My Arms Again” 

 “The Supremes – Back In My Arms Again” 

Written and produced by Motown’s main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland, “Back in My Arms Again” was the fifth consecutive and overall number-one song for the group on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart in the United States from June 6, 1965 through June 12, 1965,[1] also topping the soul chart for a week.

It was also the last of five Supremes songs in a row to go number one (the others are “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” and “Stop! In the Name of Love“). The song’s middle eight is almost identical to later Holland-Dozier-Holland hit, The Isley Brothers This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You).”

The famous idea of using Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard’s names on the single may have been partially due to Motown’s marketing strategy of showcasing each individual Supreme, as opposed to other groups of the day, with the exception of The Beatles, which were known on a one-name collective basis. On the album in which this single appeared, More Hits by the Supremes, and on the cover of the official single, each member is pictured separately on the front, with her signature above it.

The Supremes performed the song on The Mike Douglas Show, a syndicated daytime program, on May 5, 1965 and again on November 3.[2] They performed the song nationally on the NBC variety program Hullabaloo! [3] on Tuesday, May 11, 1965, peaking on the music charts in the following weeks.

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Posted by on WedAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-02-13T17:35:00-08:00America/Los_Angeles02bAmerica/Los_AngelesWed, 13 Feb 2019 17:35:00 -0800 31, in black music artists, female vocal group, pop music/motown

 

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