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“B.B. KING – THE THRILL IS GONE”

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“The Thrill Is Gone”is a slow minor-key blues song in B minor written by West coast blues musician Roy Hawkins and Rick Darnell in 1951. Hawkins’ recording of the song reached number six in the Billboard R&B chart in 1951.[1] In 1970, “The Thrill Is Gone” became a major hit for B.B. King. Subsequently, many blues and other artists have recorded their interpretations of the song.

B.B. King version

B.B. King recorded his version of “The Thrill Is Gone” in June 1969 for his album Completely Well, released the same year. King’s version is a slow twelve-bar blues notated in the key of B minor in 4/4 time.[2] The song’s polished production and use of strings marked a departure from both the original song and King’s previous material. When released as a single in December 1969, the song became one of the biggest hits of King’s career, appearing in the R&B chart at number three and the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart at number fifteen[3] and became one of his signature songs.

B.B. King’s recording earned him a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 1970 and a Grammy Hall of Fame award in 1998. King’s version of the song was also placed at number 183 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. Memorable live versions of the song were included on King’s albums Live in Cook County Jail (1971), Bobby Bland and B.B. King Together Again…Live (1976), and Live at San Quentin (1991).[4]

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Posted by on ThuAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-06-21T12:06:49+00:00America/Los_Angeles06bAmerica/Los_AngelesThu, 21 Jun 2018 12:06:49 +0000 31, in 1970s, American music artists, black music artists, blues, classic music, entertainment, music

 

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“You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine”

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Louis Allen “Lou” Rawls (December 1, 1933 – January 6, 2006) was an American recording artist, voice actor, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known for his singing ability: Frank Sinatra once said that Rawls had “the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game”.[1] Rawls released more than 60 albums, sold more than 40 million records,[2] and had numerous charting singles, most notably his song “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine”. He worked as a television, motion picture, and voice actor. He was also a three-time Grammy-winner, all for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

Career

Rawls was born in Chicago on December 1, 1933, and raised by his grandmother in the Ida B. Wells projects on the city’s South Side. He began singing in the Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church choir at the age of seven and later sang with local groups through which he met future music stars Sam Cooke, who was nearly three years older than Rawls, and Curtis Mayfield.[3]

After graduating from Chicago’s Dunbar Vocational High School, he sang briefly with Cooke in the Teenage Kings of Harmony, a local gospel group, and then with the Holy Wonders. In 1951, Rawls replaced Cooke in the Highway QC’s after Cooke departed to join The Soul Stirrers in Los Angeles. Rawls was soon recruited by the Chosen Gospel Singers and moved to Los Angeles, where he subsequently joined the Pilgrim Travelers.[4]

In 1955, Rawls enlisted in the United States Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. He left the “All-Americans” three years later as a sergeant and rejoined the Pilgrim Travelers (then known as the Travelers). In 1958, while touring the South with the Travelers and Sam Cooke, Rawls was in a serious car crash. Rawls was pronounced dead before arriving at the hospital, where he stayed in a coma for five and a half days. It took him months to regain his memory, and a year to fully recuperate. Rawls considered the event to be life-changing.[4]

Alongside Dick Clark as master of ceremonies, Rawls was recovered enough by 1959 to be able to perform at the Hollywood Bowl. He was signed to Capitol Records in 1962, the same year he sang the soulful background vocals on the Sam Cooke recording of “Bring It On Home to Me” and “That’s Where It’s At,” both written by Cooke. Rawls himself charted with a cover of “Bring It On Home to Me” in 1970 (with the title shortened to “Bring It On Home”).

Rawls’ first Capitol solo release was Stormy Monday (a.k.a. I’d Rather Drink Muddy Water), a jazz album with Les McCann in 1962. The next two Capitol releases did well and used Onzy Matthews as the musical director along with a 17-piece big band; both these albums (Black and Blue, Tobacco Road) charted with Billboard and helped to propel him into the national spotlight as a recording artist.

Though his 1966 album Live! went gold, Rawls would not have a star-making hit until he made a proper soul album, appropriately named Soulin’, later that same year. The album contained his first R&B #1 single, “Love Is a Hurtin’ Thing”. In 1967 Rawls won his first Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, for the single “Dead End Street.” In 1967, Rawls also performed at the first evening of the Monterey International Pop Music Festival.[6]

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Posted by on ThuAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-06-21T09:24:30+00:00America/Los_Angeles06bAmerica/Los_AngelesThu, 21 Jun 2018 09:24:30 +0000 31, in ballad, black music artists, blues, coffee, entertainment, male vocalist, music, r&b, smooth jazz, soul oldies

 

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“Rose Royce – I’m Going Down”

The Los Angeles-based group originally comprised Henry Garner (drums), Terral “Terry” Santiel (congas), Lequeint “Duke” Jobe (bass), Michael Moore (saxophone), Kenny Copeland (trumpet, lead vocals), Kenji Brown (guitar, lead vocals), Freddie Dunn (trumpet), and Victor Nix (keyboards). The group began in the early 1970s, when members of several backup bands from the Watts and Inglewood areas of Los Angeles united under the name Total Concept Unlimited. In 1973, this collective toured

England and Japan behind Motown soul star Edwin Starr. Starr introduced them to Norman Whitfield, Motown’s ‘psychedelic shaman’ who was responsible for bringing a progressive funk-rock slant to the company, via such productions as Starr’s “War”, The Undisputed Truth’s “Smiling Faces Sometimes” and The Temptations’ “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”.

Whitfield, after a decade at Motown, wanted to start a company of his own. He took the T.C.U. octet under his wing and signed them to his label. The group, now called Magic Wand, began working with Yvonne Fair and became the studio and concert band for The Undisputed Truth. During a tour stop in Miami, Undisputed Truth leader Joe Harris stumbled upon a singer named Gwen Dickey, then a member of a local group called The Jewels. Harris informed Whitfield of his discovery and Dickey was flown to Los Angeles to audition. In Dickey, Whitfield found the ingredient he felt was missing in Magic Wand: a charismatic female singer. He gave her the stage name Rose Norwalt. The original band lineup, now complete, prepared their debut album.

During this time Whitfield was contacted by film director Michael Schultz, fresh from the success of his first feature, Cooley High. Schultz offered Whitfield the opportunity to score his next picture, Car Wash. Whitfield would utilize the film to launch his new group, and began composing music based on script outlines. He and the band visited the film set, soaking up the atmosphere. This was one of the rare instances in Hollywood in which the music was composed concurrently with the picture instead of after the fact. In the spirit of the soundtrack, the band’s name was changed one final time to ‘Rose Royce’. The name not only referenced the movie’s automotive theme, but it also placed Gwen “Rose” Dickey front and center. Further, it hinted at a touch of class the band strove to bring to 1970s soul-funk.

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Posted by on WedAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-06-20T10:42:59+00:00America/Los_Angeles06bAmerica/Los_AngelesWed, 20 Jun 2018 10:42:59 +0000 31, in black music artists, soul oldies

 

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“Wake Up Everybody – Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes”

“Wake Up Everybody – Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes”
Harold Melvin & the Blue Noteswere an American singing group, one of the most popular Philadelphia soul groups of the 1970s. The group’s repertoire included soul, R&B, doo-wop, and disco.

Founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the early 1950s as The Charlemagnes, the group is most noted for several hits on Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International label between 1972 and 1976, although they performed and recorded until Melvin’s death in 1997. However, the remaining members, the Blue Notes, were reunited in 2013 for the Soul Train Cruise, and will reunite again in 2015, during the fourth sailing.

Despite group founder and original lead singer Harold Melvin’s top billing, the Blue Notes’ most famous member was Teddy Pendergrass, their lead singer during the successful years at Philadelphia International.

History

The group formerly known as The Charlemagnes took on the name “The Blue Notes” in 1954, with a lineup consisting of lead singer Harold Melvin (June 25, 1939—March 24, 1997), Bernard Williams, Roosevelt Brodie, Jesse Gillis, Jr., and Franklin Peaker.

The group recorded for a number of labels without success from its inception into the 1960s. The 1960 single “My Hero” was a minor hit for Val-ue Records, and 1965’s “Get Out (and Let Me Cry)” was an R&B hit for Landa Records. During this period, the group’s lineup changed frequently, with Bernard Wilson leaving the act to start a group called “The Original Blue Notes”, and Harold Melvin bringing in new lead singer John Atkins.

In 1970, the group recruited Teddy Pendergrass as the drummer for their backing band. Pendergrass had been a former member of Philadelphia R&B group The Cadillacs (not the New York group that had hits in the late 1950s) and was promoted to lead singer when John Atkins quit the same year.

Philadelphia International successEdit
This line-up of the group, featuring Melvin, Pendergrass, Bernard Wilson, Lawrence Brown, and Lloyd Parks, was signed to Gamble & Huff’s Philadelphia International label in 1972, scoring several major R&B and pop hits including million-selling singles and albums over the next four years.

Among the Blue Notes’ most important and successful recordings are love songs such as 1972’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (#1 Billboard R&B, #3 pop), their breakout single, “I Miss You” (#7 R&B, #58 pop), “The Love I Lost” (#1 R&B, #7 pop, 1973) and socially conscious songs such as “Wake Up Everybody” (#1 R&B, #12 pop) and “Bad Luck” (#4 R&B, #15 pop), both in 1975. “Bad Luck” holds the record for the longest-running number-one hit on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart: 11 weeks. A fourth #1 R&B hit for the group was 1975’s “Hope That We Can Be Together Soon” which featured female vocalist Sharon Paige.

A 1976 cover of “Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Motown artist Thelma Houston was a number-one hit on the US pop chart; her version is one of the defining recordings of the disco era. The Blue Notes’ version on the album,

“Wake Up Everybody”

was not released as a single in the USA at the time, but proved to be the group’s biggest hit in the UK (#5) when released there as a single in 1977. The track was finally issued as a single in the US on 12-inch in 1979, coupled with “Bad Luck”. The group recorded four albums with Gamble & Huff, all of them going gold (over 500,000 copies), according to RIAA, including “To Be True (#26, Billboard Top 40 albums) and “Wake Up Everybody” (#9), both in 1975.

“Wake Up Everybody”

and a greatest hits compilation released in 1976 called “Collector’s Item” have now sold over a million copies.

Despite success, the Blue Notes’ lineup continued to change regularly. In 1974, Melvin brought in Jerry Cummings to replace Lloyd Parks and Sharon Paige was added to the lineup at that time, providing solo performances on several recordings. While at the top of their success in 1976, Pendergrass quit after an argument over the money he earned. A year earlier, he had gained billing recognition by having the act renamed to “Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes featuring Theodore Pendergrass”, starting from the “Wake Up Everybody” album.

Pendergrass went on to a successful solo career, with four consecutive million-selling albums with Philadelphia International between 1977 and 1980. His career was almost tragically cut short by a paralyzing 1982 car accident. He made a triumphant comeback in 1984, signing with Asylum/Elektra Records, and recording the hit LP Love Language and then the platinum selling Joy LP, released in 1988, which featured the Grammy nominated title song, an R&B number 1; his comeback was cemented by an appearance at the Live Aid concert in 1985.

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Posted by on TueAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-06-19T09:46:00+00:00America/Los_Angeles06bAmerica/Los_AngelesTue, 19 Jun 2018 09:46:00 +0000 31, in black music artists, music, soul oldies

 

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“SOUL TRAIN Theme Song – By the Sound Of Philadelphia and the Three Degree Vocals” On YouTube

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“TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)” is a 1973 hit recording by MFSB (Mother, Father, Sister, Brother) featuring vocals by

The Three Degrees

. A classic example of the Philadelphia soul genre, it was written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff as the theme for the American musical television program

Soul Train,

which specialized in African American musical performers. The single was released on the Philadelphia International label. It was the first television theme song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100,[1] and it is arguably the first disco song to reach that position.

The song is essentially an instrumental piece, featuring a lush blend of strings and horns in the Philadelphia soul style.

There are only two vocal parts to the song: a passage close to the beginning during which The Three Degrees sing “People all over the world!”; and the chorus over the fadeout, “Let’s get it on/It’s time to get down”. The words “People all over the world!” are not heard in the original version. The version heard on

Soul Train

also had the series title sung over the first four notes of the melody, ”

Soul Train, Soul Train”.

This particular version was released on a 1975 Three Degrees album, International.

TSOP hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1974 and remained there for two weeks, the first television theme song to do so in the history of that chart.[1] It also topped the American R&B chart (for one week) and adult contemporary chart (for two weeks).[2] The Three Degrees would revisit the top of the AC chart later in 1974 with their hit single, When Will I See You Again.

Don Cornelius, the creator and host of Soul Train, refused to allow any references to the name of the television series when the single was released, leading Gamble and Huff to adopt the alternate title for the release. Cornelius would later admit that not allowing the single to be named Soul Train was a major mistake on his part.[3]

Although it was rerecorded a number of times for future versions of the show, and various different themes were used during the late 1970s and early 1980s, TSOP returned in the late 1980s and remained the theme song for Soul Train through the disco, 1980s R&B, new jack swing, hip-hop, and neo soul eras of black music.

TSOP was covered by Dexys Midnight Runners and released as a B-side on the 12″ version of the “Jackie Wilson Said” single, later issued on the remastered version of the album Too-Rye-Ay. The band also used it to open some of their live shows.

Another remake of the tune was made in 1978 by reggae band Inner Circle, who had a history of covering American soul songs in the laid-back reggae style of the late 1970s.

Two more covers were made in 1987 (by George Duke), and 1999 (by Sampson); both versions would be used as themes for Soul Train. The 1999 theme would be used until Soul Train ‘s final episode in 2006.

The song is played at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia prior to every Phillies home game. The song was also played after Vancouver Whitecaps NASL home games at Empire Stadium in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and after Vancouver 86ers CSL home games in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Pilipinas, Game KNB?, a Philippines game show hosted by actor/politician Edu Manzano, used an adaptation of TSOP (Tanya) called Papayo Yowza as its theme. The song’s opening was also sampled as program identification for all Philadelphia 76ers games broadcast on WCAU-AM in the mid-to-late 1970s.

In 1998, German act BMR featuring Dutch singer Felicia Uwaje sampled the single in their song Check It Out.

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Posted by on MonAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-06-18T09:23:56+00:00America/Los_Angeles06bAmerica/Los_AngelesMon, 18 Jun 2018 09:23:56 +0000 31, in 1970s, American music artists, Billboard, black music artists, coffee, duet/duo, entertainment, music, r&b, soul oldies

 

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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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Posted by on FriAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-06-15T11:00:39+00:00America/Los_Angeles06bAmerica/Los_AngelesFri, 15 Jun 2018 11:00:39 +0000 31, in American music artists, black music artists, female vocalist

 

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Through the Fire – Chaka Khan

Through the Fire – Chaka Khan

Through the Fire” is a song from Chaka Khan‘s sixth studio album, I Feel for You(1984). The David Foster-produced track was the third single from the album. It reached #60 on the US Billboard Hot 100chart and #15 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts,[2] and was one of the few Khan hits to cross to the Adult Contemporary chart. The music video was filmed at Los Angeles’ Union Station.

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Posted by on FriAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-06-15T09:59:30+00:00America/Los_Angeles06bAmerica/Los_AngelesFri, 15 Jun 2018 09:59:30 +0000 31, in black music artists, music, r&b

 

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