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Category Archives: black music artists

“The Boy from New York City” – The Ad Libs

“The Boy from New York City” – The Ad Libs

The Ad Libs were an American vocal group from Bayonne, New Jersey, United States, primarily active during the early 1960s. Featuring their characteristic female lead vocals with male “doo-wop” backing, their 1965 single “The Boy from New York City”,p written by George Davis and John T. Taylor, was their only Billboard Hot 100 hit. source

 
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Posted by on FriAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-12-14T09:51:24+00:00America/Los_Angeles12bAmerica/Los_AngelesFri, 14 Dec 2018 09:51:24 +0000 31, in black music artists, classic music

 

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DONNA SUMMER – MACARTHUR PARK

Labels:
Oasis Casablanca Geffen Atlantic Mercury WEA Epic Burgundy United Artists

Associated acts

Giorgio Moroder Brooklyn Dreams Paul Jabara Bruce Sudano Barbra Streisand Quincy Jones Bruce Springsteen David Foster Michael Omartian Matthew Ward Harold Faltermeyer Mickey Thomas Stock Aitken Waterman Liza Minnelli Bruce Roberts Darwin Hobbs Ziggy Marley

LaDonna Adrian Gaines (December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012), known by her stage name Donna Summer, was an American singer, songwriter, painter, and actress. She gained prominence during the disco era of the late-1970s. A five-time Grammy Award winner, she was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach No. 1 on the United States Billboard 200 chart and charted four number-one singles in the U.S. within a 12-month period. Summer has reportedly sold over 140 million records[citation needed], making her one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. She also charted two number-one singles on the R&B charts in the U.S. and one number-one in the U.K.
Summer earned a total of 32 hit singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in her lifetime, with 14 of those reaching the top ten. She claimed a top 40 hit every year between 1975 and 1984, and from her first top ten hit in 1976, to the end of 1982, she had 12 top ten hits;(10 were top five hits) more than any other act. She returned to the Hot 100’s top five in 1983, and claimed her final top ten hit in 1989 with “This Time I Know It’s for Real”. Her most recent Hot 100 hit came in 1999 with “I Will Go With You (Con Te Partiro)”. While her fortunes on the Hot 100 waned through those decades, Summer remained a force on the U.S. Dance/Club Play Songs chart over her entire career.
While influenced by the counterculture of the 1960s, she became the front singer of a psychedelic rock band named Crow and moved to New York City. Joining a touring version of the musical Hair, she left New York and spent several years living, acting, and singing in Europe, where she met music producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte.

Summer returned to the U.S., in 1975 after the commercial success of the song “Love to Love You Baby”, which was followed by a string of other hits, such as “I Feel Love”, “Last Dance”, “MacArthur Park”, “Heaven Knows”, “Hot Stuff”, “Bad Girls”, “Dim All the Lights”, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” (duet with Barbra Streisand), and “On the Radio”. She became known as the “Queen of Disco”, while her music gained a global following.
Summer died on May 17, 2012, at her home in Naples, Florida.

In her obituary in The Times, she was described as the “undisputed queen of the Seventies disco boom” who reached the status of “one of the world’s leading female singers.”Giorgio Moroder described Summer’s work with him on the song “I Feel Love” as “really the start of electronic dance” music. In 2013, Summer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

wikipedia.org

 
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Posted by on FriAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-12-14T09:44:19+00:00America/Los_Angeles12bAmerica/Los_AngelesFri, 14 Dec 2018 09:44:19 +0000 31, in 1970s, black music artists, female vocalist, music

 

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“I Say a Little Prayer” performed by Aretha Franklin. (1960s)

“I Say a Little Prayer” performed by Aretha Franklin. (1960s)

ABOUT THE SONG

“I Say a Little Prayer” is a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for Dionne Warwick, originally peaking at number four on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart in December 1967.

Background and
Other recordings

Warwick’s “I Say a Little Prayer” did not appear on the Billboard Easy Listening chart although two instrumental versions of the song were Easy Listening chart items in 1968: the first by Sérgio Mendes at No. 21 in the spring of 1968 while that fall Julius Wechter and the Baja Marimba Band took “I Say a Little Prayer” to No. 10 Easy Listening.

“I Say a Little Prayer” also returned to the Pop & R&B Top Ten in the fall of 1968 via a recording by Aretha Franklin taken from her 1968 Aretha Now album. Franklin and background vocalists the Sweet Inspirations were singing the song for fun while rehearsing the songs intended for the album when the viability of Franklin actually recording “I Say a Little Prayer” became apparent, significantly re-invented from the format of the Dionne Warwick original via the prominence of Clayton Ivey’s piano work and the choral vocals of the Sweet Inspirations. Similar to the history of Warwick’s double-sided hit, the Aretha Franklin version was intended as the B-side of the July 1968 single release “The House that Jack Built” but began to accrue its own airplay that August. Even with “The House That Jack Built” ranking as high as No. 6 (#2 R&B) in September 1968, “I Say a Little Prayer” reached No. 10 (#3 R&B) that October, the same month the single was certified Gold by the RIAA. “Prayer” became Franklin’s ninth and last consecutive Hot 100 top 10 hit on the Atlantic label (not counting every flip side), with each of the nine curiously peaking at a different position. Franklin’s “Prayer” has a special significance in her UK career, as with its September 1968 No. 4 peak it became Franklin’s biggest UK hit; subsequently Franklin has surpassed that track’s UK peak only with her No. 1 collaboration with George Michael, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)”. In February 1987, UK music weekly New Musical Express published its critics’ top 150 singles of all time, with Franklin’s “I Say a Little Prayer” ranked at No. 1, followed by Al Green’s “Tired of Being Alone” and Warwick’s “Walk On By”. (Franklin’s “I Say a Little Prayer” did not appear in the magazine’s in-house critics’ top 100 singles poll conducted in November 2002.)

en.m.Wikipedia.org

 
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Posted by on MonAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-12-10T11:10:26+00:00America/Los_Angeles12bAmerica/Los_AngelesMon, 10 Dec 2018 11:10:26 +0000 31, in American music artists, black music artists, classic music, entertainment, music, r&b, soul oldies

 

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“It’s All In The Game – Tommy Edwards”

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Tommy Edwards (February 17, 1922 – October 22, 1969) was a singer and songwriter. His biggest-selling record was with the multi-million-selling song “It’s All in the Game.”

Career

Born Thomas Edwards in Richmond, Virginia, Edwards was an R&B singer most remembered for his 1958 hit “It’s All in the Game”, which appeared in the list of Billboard number-one singles of 1958. He sang his hit song on The Ed Sullivan Show, on September 14, 1958. The song was composed by then-future U.S. Vice-President Charles G. Dawes in 1912 as “Melody in A Major” with lyrics written in 1951 by Carl Sigman. Edwards originally recorded and charted the song in 1951, but it only climbed to #18 on the chart. The better-known 1958 version was on the same record label (MGM) and was backed by the same orchestra leader (Leroy Holmes), but with a different arrangement more suited to the rock and roll-influenced style of the time. As well as topping the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, the song also got to number one on the R&B chart and the UK Singles Chart. The single sold over 3.5 million copies globally, earning gold disc status. The gold disc was presented in November 1958. He had a more modest hit with the follow-up, “Love Is All We Need,” which climbed to #15 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

“That Chick’s Too Young to Fry”, written by Edwards, was a sizable hit for Louis Jordan. Edwards began recording for the Top label in 1949. When MGM heard his demo of it, they gave him a recording contract.

Although Edwards recorded a number of other songs, none came close to achieving the same level of success, though several of his songs later became hits for other artists (such as “A Fool Such As I” by Elvis Presley, “It’s All in the Game” by Cliff Richard and The Four Tops (Eddie Holman’s version of it was the B-side of his hit “Hey There Lonely Girl”), “Please Love Me Forever” by Cathy Jean and the Roommates (1961) and by Bobby Vinton (1967), and “Morning Side of the Mountain” recorded by Donny and Marie Osmond).

He died after suffering a brain aneurysm in Henrico County, Virginia, at the age of 47. The liner notes of his 1994 Eric Records release The Complete Hits of Tommy Edwards claim his death was caused by alcoholism. While the two may be related, there is no confirmation of this.

en.m.Wikipedia.org

 
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Posted by on SatAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-12-08T09:57:04+00:00America/Los_Angeles12bAmerica/Los_AngelesSat, 08 Dec 2018 09:57:04 +0000 31, in 1970s, black music artists, music

 

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“This Christmas – Macy Gray.”

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Macy Gray was born in Canton, Ohio, to Laura McIntyre, a math teacher, and Otis Jones. While studying scriptwriting at the University of Southern California, she agreed to write songs for a friend, and a demo session was scheduled for the songs to be recorded by another singer. When the vocalist failed to turn up, Gray recorded them herself. She then met writer/producer Joe Solo while working as a cashier in Beverly Hills. Together, they wrote a large collection of songs and recorded them in Solo’s studio. The demo tape landed Gray the opportunity to sing at jazz cafés in Los Angeles. Despite Gray’s dislike of her own voice, Atlantic Records signed her. She began recording her debut record but was dropped from the label upon the departure of her A&R man Tom Carolan, who signed her to the label. Macy returned to Ohio but in 1997 Los Angeles based Zomba Publishing Sr. VP A&R man Jeff Blue, convinced her to return to music and signed her to a development deal, recording new songs based on her life experiences, with a new sound, and began shopping her to record labels. In 1998, she landed a record deal with Epic Records. She was on one of the songs from the Black Eyed Peas’ debut album, “Love Won’t Wait”.

en.m.wikipedia.org

 
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Posted by on FriAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-12-07T10:08:18+00:00America/Los_Angeles12bAmerica/Los_AngelesFri, 07 Dec 2018 10:08:18 +0000 31, in American music artists, black music artists, entertainment, female vocal group, music, smooth jazz

 

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“Night Train – James Brown

“Night Train – James Brown

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“Night Train” is a twelve-bar blues instrumental standard first recorded by Jimmy Forrest in 1951.

Origins and development
“Night Train” has a long and complicated history. The piece’s opening riff was first recorded in 1940 by a small group led by Duke Ellington sideman Johnny Hodges under the title “That’s the Blues, Old Man”. Ellington used the same riff as the opening and closing theme of a longer-form composition, “Happy-Go-Lucky Local”, that was itself one of four parts of his Deep South Suite. Forrest was part of Ellington’s band when it performed this composition, which has a long tenor saxophone break in the middle. After leaving Ellington, Forrest recorded “Night Train” on United Records and had a major rhythm & blues hit. While “Night Train” employs the same riff as the earlier recordings, it is used in a much earthier R&B setting. Forrest inserted his own solo over a stop-time rhythm not used in the Ellington composition. He put his own stamp on the tune, but its relation to the earlier composition is obvious.

Like Illinois Jacquet’s solo on “Flying Home”, Forrest’s original saxophone solo on “Night Train” became a veritable part of the composition, and is usually recreated in cover versions by other performers. Buddy Morrow’s trombone transcription of Forrest’s solo from his big-band recording of the tune is similarly incorporated into many performances.

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) credits the composition to Jimmy Forrest and Oscar Washington.

James Brown version
James Brown recorded “Night Train” with his band in 1961. His performance replaced the original lyrics of the song with a shouted list of cities on his East Coast touring itinerary (and hosts to black radio stations he hoped would play his music) along with many repetitions of the song’s name. (Brown would repeat this lyrical formula on “Mashed Potatoes U.S.A.” and several other recordings.) He also played drums on the recording. Originally appearing as a track on the album James Brown Presents His Band and Five Other Great Artists, it received a single release in 1962 and became a hit, charting #5 R&B and #35 Pop.[5]

A live version of the tune was the closing number on Brown’s 1963 album Live at the Apollo. Brown also performs “Night Train” along with his singing group The Famous Flames (Bobby Byrd, Bobby Bennett, and Lloyd Stallworth) on the 1964 motion picture/concert film The T.A.M.I. Show.

Brown’s backing band The J.B.’s would later incorporate the main saxophone line of “Night Train” in their instrumental single “All Aboard The Soul Funky Train”, released on the 1975 album Hustle with Speed.

source

 
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Posted by on SatAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-12-01T20:01:56+00:00America/Los_Angeles12bAmerica/Los_AngelesSat, 01 Dec 2018 20:01:56 +0000 31, in 1970s, American music artists, Billboard, black music artists, coffee, entertainment, male vocalist, music, r&b, soul oldies

 

“Voice Your Choice – The Radiants”

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The Radiants were known as an American doo-wop and R&B group popular in the 1960s.

The group formed in Chicago, Illinois, in 1960, where its members met singing in the youth choir of Greater Harvest Baptist Church. They performed both gospel and secular tunes, the latter of which were written by leader Maurice McAlister. While attempting to land a record deal, they found that labels weren’t interested in gospel groups anymore, and concentrated on secular tunes, eventually landing a deal with Chess Records. Billy Davis produced their early records, including the first, “Father Knows Best” b/w “One Day I’ll Show You”, which was a regional hit in Cleveland in 1962.

Several more singles for Chess followed, but didn’t sell well, and by 1964 the group had more or less broken up. McAlister and baritone Wallace Sampson continued on as a trio with new member Leonard Caston, Jr. (son of Leonard Caston). With this lineup they had their biggest hit, 1964’s “Voice Your Choice”. The follow-up, “Ain’t No Big Thing”, was also a hit.

Caston left the group in 1965, replaced by James Jameson. This lineup recorded only one single, “Baby You Got It”, before McAlister departed. At this time, Chess had another group, The Confessions, led by Mitchell Bullock, on its roster, who had recorded the single “Don’t It Make You Feel Kinda Bad” but broken up before the album’s release. Billy Davis had Bullock join The Radiants with Sampson, Jameson, and Victor Caston, the younger brother of Leonard Jr.. The recording of “Don’t It Make You Feel Kinda Bad” made by The Confessions was then issued under The Radiants’ name in 1967.

This lineup produced one more hit single, “Hold On”, and after several more failed singles the group was dropped by Chess in 1969. They continued to perform together through 1972. McAlister and tenor Green McLauren also recorded as Maurice & Mac.

en.m.wikipedia.org

1965 cover of Voice Your Choice by the Fortunes

The Fortunes are an English harmony beat group. Formed in Birmingham, the Fortunes first came to prominence and international acclaim in 1965, when “You’ve Got Your Troubles” broke into the US and UK Top 10s. Afterwards, they had a succession of hits including “Here It Comes Again” and “Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again”; continuing into the 1970s with more globally successful releases such as “Storm in a Teacup” and “Freedom Come, Freedom Go”.

In 1966, their manager, Reginald Calvert, was shot to death in a dispute over pirate radio stations.

 
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Posted by on SatAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-12-01T10:27:52+00:00America/Los_Angeles12bAmerica/Los_AngelesSat, 01 Dec 2018 10:27:52 +0000 31, in 1970s, American music artists, black music artists, entertainment, male vocal group, music

 

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