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Category Archives: male vocal group

CHICAGO – OLD DAYS (1975)

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“Old Days” is a song written by James Pankow for the group Chicago and recorded for their album Chicago VIII (1975), with lead vocals by Peter Cetera.[1] The second single released from that album, it reached #5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the Easy Listening chart.[2]

Pankow has said that the song is a nostalgic piece about his childhood:

“It touches on key phrases that, although they date me, are pretty right-on in terms of images of my childhood. ‘The Howdy Doody Show’ on television and collecting baseball cards and comic books.” [3]
Cetera apparently hated singing the song in concert,[citation needed] as the Howdy Doody show was his least favorite show during his childhood.

The song is still popular at Chicago concerts, with Jason Scheff or Keith Howland now singing the lead vocal. The Sopranos star Vincent Curatola has been known to guest vocal with the band on the song as well.[citation needed]

“Old Days” is featured on the soundtrack of the movie Starsky & Hutch (2004). The band also reworked the song in 2009 to serve as the theme for the “Monsters in the Morning” show airing on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

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What Does It Take – Junior Walker- 1969

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Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr. (June 14, 1931 – November 23, 1995),[1] known by the stage name Junior Walker, styled as Jr. Walker, was an American musician. His group, Jr. Walker & the All Stars, were signed to Motown’s Soul label in the 1960s, and became one of the company’s signature acts.

Life and career
Walker was born Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr. in Blytheville, Arkansas,[1] and grew up in South Bend, Indiana. His saxophone style was the anchor for the band’s overall sound. The other original members of the group were drummer Tony Washington, guitarist Willie Woods, and keyboardist Vic Thomas.

The 1950s
His career started when he developed his own band in the mid-1950s as the “Jumping Jacks.”[1] His longtime friend Billy Nicks (drummer) formed his own team, the “Rhythm Rockers.” Periodically, Nicks would sit in on Jumping Jack’s shows, and Walker would sit in on the Rhythm Rockers shows.

Nicks obtained a permanent gig at a local TV station in South Bend, Indiana, and asked Walker to join him and his keyboard player (Fred Patton) permanently. Shortly after, Nicks asked Willie Woods, a local singer, to perform with the group; shortly after Woods would learn how to play guitar also. When Nicks got drafted into the United States Army, Walker convinced the band to move from South Bend to Battle Creek, Michigan.[1] While performing in Benton Harbor, Walker found a drummer, Tony Washington, to replace Nicks.[1] Eventually, Fred Patton (piano player) left the group, and Victor Thomas stepped in.[1] The original name, “The Rhythm Rockers,” was changed to “The All Stars”. Walker’s squealing gutbucket style was inspired by jump blues and early R&B, particularly players like Louis Jordan, Earl Bostic, and Illinois Jacquet.[1]

The 1960s and the 1970s
The group was spotted by Johnny Bristol, and he recommended them to Harvey Fuqua, in 1961, who had his own record labels.[1] Once the group started recording on the Harvey label, their name was changed to Jr. Walker All Stars. The name was modified again when Fuqua’s labels were taken over by Motown’s Berry Gordy, and Jr. Walker & the All Stars became members of the Motown family, recording for their Soul imprint in 1964.[1]

The members of the band changed after the acquisition of the Harvey label. Tony Washington, the drummer, quit the group, and James Graves joined. Their first and signature hit was “Shotgun,” written and composed by Walker and produced by Berry Gordy, which featured the Funk Brothers’ James Jamerson on bass and Benny Benjamin on drums. “Shotgun” reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the R&B chart in 1965, and was followed by many other hits, such as “(I’m A) Road Runner,” “Shake and Fingerpop” and covers of the Motown songs “Come See About Me” and “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)”. In 1966, Graves left and was replaced by old cohort Billy “Stix” Nicks, and Walker’s hits continued apace with tunes such as “I’m a Road Runner” and “Pucker Up Buttercup”.[1]

In 1969, the group had another hit enter the top 5, “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)”.[1] A Motown quality control meeting rejected this song for single release, but radio station DJs made the track popular, resulting in Motown releasing it as a single, whereupon it reached No. 4 on the Hot 100 and No. 1 on the R&B chart. From that time on Walker sang more on the records than earlier in their career. He landed several more R&B Top Ten hits over the next few years, with the last coming in 1972.[1] In 1979, Walker went solo, disbanding the All Stars, and was signed to Norman Whitfield’s Whitfield Records label,[1] but he was not as successful on his own as he had been with the All Stars in his Motown period.

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Posted by on October 16, 2017 in male vocal group, male vocalist

 

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“THE ESQUIRES – GET ON UP”

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The Esquires were an American R&B group from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, principally active from 1957 to 1976.

History

The group first formed in 1957 around the Moorer family: Gilbert (born Gilbert Moorer, Jr., August 20, 1941, Birmingham, Alabama, died August 28, 2008),[1] his brother Alvis (born Alvis V. Moorer, January 18, 1940, Birmingham, Alabama, died August 21, 2011), and their sister Betty. They first performed as Betty Moorer and the Esquires. When their sister and lead singer left, the group shortened its name to The Esquires, and Gilbert became lead singer.[2] In 1961, Sam Pace (born Sammie L. Pace, September 22, 1944, Kansas City, Missouri, died January 7, 2013) joined as a tenor.[3] They went through many lineup changes over their first decade, which saw them aiming mostly for local recognition. In 1966 they moved to Chicago and auditioned for Curtis Mayfield, who was not interested in signing them.[4] They then attempted to sign with Constellation Records, but the record label went under at the end of 1966; they signed instead with Bunky Records, Constellation’s successor. Bunky was distributed by Scepter Records on the national level.

Their debut record for Bunky/Scepter was “Get on Up”, (1967) which became a major hit in the United States, peaking at #11 as a pop single but reaching #3 on the R&B charts. Following the release they played Chicago’s Regal Theater and the Apollo Theatre in New York City. Further singles were also successes, and the group released one full-length LP. After five singles on Bunky the group signed a deal with Scepter themselves late in 1968. They later returned to Bunky and then, in 1970, signed with Capitol Records for one single (“Reach Out”) and Lamarr Records in 1971 for “Girls in the City”.

Gilbert Moorer died from throat cancer on August 28, 2008, at the age of 67.[2]

Alvis Moorer died on August 21, 2011 at the age of 71.

Sam Pace died after a long illness on January 7, 2013 at the age of 68.[3]

Edwards, who lives in Chicago, is now the only surviving member of the band from its recording days.[3]

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“Procol Harum ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale”

“Procol Harum ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale”

A Whiter Shade of Pale” is the debut single by the English rock band Procol Harum, released 12 May 1967. The record reached number one in the UK Singles Chart on 8 June 1967, and stayed there for six weeks. Without much promotion, it reached No. 5 on the US charts. One of the counterculture anthems of the 1967 Summer of Love, it is one of fewer than 30 singles to have sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
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“The Righteous Brothers – Unchained Melody

“The Righteous Brothers – Unchained Melody

The Righteous Brothers were the musical duo of Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley. They recorded from 1963 through 1975 and continued to perform until Hatfield’s death in 2003. Their emotive vocal stylings were sometimes dubbed “blue-eyed soul”.

Hatfield and Medley both possessed exceptional vocal talent, with range, control and tone that helped them create a strong and distinctive duet sound and also to perform as soloists. Medley sang the low parts with his deep, soulful baritone, with Hatfield taking the higher register vocals with his soaring countertenor.

They adopted their name in 1962 while performing together in the Los Angeles area as part of a five-member group called The Paramours, which featured John Wimber (a founder of the Vineyard Movement) on keyboards and artist and sculptor Nick Turturro on saxophone. At the end of one performance, a U.S. Marine in the audience shouted, “That was righteous, brothers!”, prompting the pair to adopt the name as they embarked on their duo career.

Musical career 

John Wimber (then Johnny Wimber) brought Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley together for the band The Paramours in 1962. The Righteous Brothers started their recording career on the small Moonglow label in 1963 with two albums and two moderate hits: “Little Latin Lupe Lu” and “My Babe”.

Their first major hit single was “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'”, their first release on the Philles label in 1965. Produced by Phil Spector, the record is often cited as one of the peak expressions of Spector’s Wall of Sound production techniques. It was one of the most successful pop singles of its time, despite exceeding the then standard length for radio play. Indeed, according to BMI, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” was the most played song on American radio and television in the 20th century, estimated to have been broadcast more than eight million times. Spector used Cher (of Sonny & Cher fame) as a backing singer on this and other recordings.[citation needed]

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“Ub40 Red Red Wine”











UB40 is a British reggae/pop band formed in December 1978 in Birmingham, England. The band has had more than 50 singles in the UK Singles Chart, and has also achieved considerable international success. They have been nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album four times, and in 1984 were nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Group.[1] One of the world’s best-selling music artists, UB40 have sold over 70 million records.[2] The ethnic makeup of the band’s original line-up was diverse, with musicians of English, Scottish, Irish, Yemeni and Jamaican parentage.
Their hit singles include their debut “Food for Thought” and two US Billboard Hot 100 number ones with “Red Red Wine” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. Both of these also topped the UK Singles Chart, as did the band’s version of “I Got You Babe”.

The band’s lineup was stable for nearly 29 years, from March 1979 until January 2008, when frontman Ali Campbell left the band; followed shortly thereafter by keyboardist Mickey Virtue. Another member, Astro, remained with the band until November 2013; when he departed the original band to team up with Campbell and Virtue in a new version of UB40. In 2014, legal advice was sought by the original band (now consisting of remaining co-founding members drummer Jimmy Brown, guitarist Robin Campbell, bassist Earl Falconer, percussionist Norman Hassan, and saxophonist Brian Travers, along with new vocalist Duncan Campbell) against the group containing Campbell, Virtue, and Astro over usage of the band name, due to it being used by both parties.[3]

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Posted by on October 7, 2017 in male vocal group, music

 

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“Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (Official Video)”

“Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (Official Video)”

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“Bohemian Rhapsody” is a song by the British rock band Queen. It was written by Freddie Mercury for the band’s 1975 studio album A Night at the Opera. It is a six-minute suite,[6] consisting of several sections without a chorus: an intro, a ballad segment, an operatic passage, a hard rock part and a reflective coda.[7] The song is a more accessible take on the 1970s progressive rock genre.[1] It was the most expensive single ever made at the time of its release.[8]
When it was released as a single, “Bohemian Rhapsody” became a commercial success, staying at the top of the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks and selling more than a million copies by the end of January 1976.[9] It reached number one again in 1991 for another five weeks when the same version was re-released,[10] eventually becoming the UK’s third best-selling single of all time.[11] It topped the charts in several other markets as well, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and The Netherlands, later becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time. In the United States the song originally peaked at number nine in 1976. It returned to the chart at number two in 1992 following its appearance in the film Wayne’s World, which revived its American popularity.

Although critical reaction was initially mixed, “Bohemian Rhapsody” remains one of Queen’s most popular songs and is frequently placed on modern lists of the greatest songs of all time. The single was accompanied by a promotional video, which many scholars consider ground-breaking.[12] In 2004, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[13] In 2012, the song topped the list on an ITV nationwide poll in the UK to find “The Nation’s Favourite Number One” over 60 years of music.[14]

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