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Category Archives: male vocalist

“BILLY STEWART-SUMMERTIME”

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Billy Stewart (March 24, 1937 – January 17, 1970) was an American musical artist, with a highly distinctive scat-singing style, who enjoyed popularity in the 1960s.

Biography

Stewart was 12 years old when he began singing with his younger brothers Johnny, James, and Frank as The 4 Stewart Brothers, and later went on to get their own radio show every Sunday for five years at WUST-AM in Washington, D.C. He was a graduate of Armstrong High School. [1]

Stewart made the transition to secular music by filling in occasionally for The Rainbows, a D.C. area vocal group led by the future soul star, Don Covay. It was also through The Rainbows that Stewart met another aspiring singer, Marvin Gaye. Rock and roller Bo Diddley has been credited with discovering Stewart playing piano in Washington, D.C. in 1956 and inviting him to be one of his backup musicians.[citation needed]

By 1955, this led to a recording contract with Diddley’s label, Chess Records and Diddley played guitar on Stewart’s 1956 recording of “Billy’s Blues”. A strong seller in Los Angeles, “Billy’s Blues” reached the sales top 25 in Variety magazine. Stewart then moved to Okeh Records and recorded “Billy’s Heartache”, backed by the Marquees, another D.C. area group which featured Marvin Gaye.

Back at Chess in the early 1960s, Stewart began working with A&R man Billy Davis. He recorded a song called “Fat Boy” and then had additional success with his recordings of “Reap What You Sow” and “Strange Feeling”, both making the Billboard Hot 100 and the Top 30 in the R&B charts. Major chart success was not far away and in 1965, Stewart recorded two self-written songs, “I Do Love You” (#6 R&B, #26 Pop), which featured his brother Johnny Stewart as one of the backing vocalists with his partner James English, and “Sitting in the Park” (#4 R&B, #24 Pop). His idiosyncratic improvisational technique of doubling-up, scatting his words and trilling his lips made his style unique in the 1960s.[citation needed]

In 1966, Stewart recorded the LP Unbelievable. The first single released from that album was Stewart’s radical interpretation of the George Gershwin song, “Summertime”, a Top 10 hit on both the pop and R&B charts. The follow-up single was Stewart’s cover version of the Doris Day hit “Secret Love”, which reached the Pop Top 30 and just missed the Top 10 on the R&B chart.

Stewart continued to record throughout the remainder of the 1960s on Chess without major success. A weight problem worsened, and he developed diabetes. Stewart suffered minor injuries in a motorcycle accident in 1969.

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Posted by on May 22, 2017 in male vocalist, r&b

 

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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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“YOUR SONG” – ELTON JOHN

Your Song” is a ballad composed and performed by English musician Elton John with lyrics by his longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin. It originally appeared on John’s self-titled second album (1970).
The song was released in the United States in October 1970 as the B-side to “Take Me to the Pilot”. Both received airplay, but “Your Song” was preferred by disc jockeys and replaced “Take Me to the Pilot” as the A-side, eventually making the top ten in several countries.

In 1998, “Your Song” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[2] In 2003 the song was placed at number 468 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

A demo version was included on John’s 1990 box set album To Be Continued.[3] The song has been covered by a number of artists, including Ellie Goulding, whose version reached number two on the UK Singles Chart in late 2010.

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Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Billboard, male vocalist

 

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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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 “Crazy – Gnarls Barkley”

 “Crazy – Gnarls Barkley”

Crazy” is the debut single by Gnarls Barkley, a musical collaboration between Danger Mouse and CeeLo Green, taken from their 2006 debut album St. Elsewhere. It peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, and topped the charts in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand and other countries.

The song was leaked in late 2005, months before its regular release, and received a lot of airplay on BBC Radio 1 in the United Kingdom, most notably by radio DJ Zane Lowe, who also used the song in television commercials for his show.[2] When it was finally released in March 2006, it became the first single to top the UK Singles Chart on download sales alone. The song remained at the top of the British charts for nine weeks (which no other song had achieved in over ten years, and was only surpassed by Rihanna‘s “Umbrella” in July 2007) before the band and their record company decided to remove the single from music stores in the country so people would “remember the song fondly and not get sick of it.”[3] In spite of this deletion, the song became best-selling single of 2006 in the UK.[4] Due to continued download sales, it reached 1 million copies in January 2011.

The song won a Grammy Award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance in 2007, and was also nominated for Record of the Year, which it lost to “Not Ready To Make Nice” by Dixie Chicks.[5] It was also nominated and further won a 2006 MTV Europe Music Award for Best Song. The song was also named the best song of 2006 by Rolling Stone[6]and by the Village Voice‘s annual Pazz & Jop critics poll.[7] The song was listed at #11 on Pitchfork Media‘s top 500 songs of the 2000s. The song is also in the #66 place in the list of the best songs ever of Acclaimed Music. In 2010, it was placed at #100 in the “updated” version of Rolling Stones list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” and ranked at the top position of Rolling Stones top 100 songs of the decade (2000–2009). “Crazy” was notably performed at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards, with Danger Mouse and CeeLo dressed as various Star Wars characters.[8][9]

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Posted by on May 16, 2017 in male vocalist, r&b

 

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“Peg” – Steeley Dan

“Peg” – Steeley Dan

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“Peg” is a song by American rock group, Steely Dan, first released on the band’s 1977 album titled Aja. The track was released as single in 1977 and reached number 11 on the US Billboard chart in 1978 and number eight on the Cash Box chart.[2] In Canada, “Peg” spent three weeks at number seven during March 1978.[3]Like many of their songs, it is a blend of rock, jazz and R&B; the song also incorporates disco into this blend. The song’s guitar solo was attempted by seven top studio session guitarists ‒ including Robben Ford and recurring guitarist Larry Carlton (who wrote Room 335 because of the solo played by Graydon)[4]‒ before Jay Graydon’s version became the “keeper”.[5] He worked on the song for about six hours before the band was satisfied.[6]

Michael McDonald can be heard providing multi-tracked backup vocals in the choruses, and keyboardist Paul Griffin can also be heard improvising background vocals in the final chorus and fadeout.[5]

“Peg” was heavily sampled on the 1989 De La Soul song, “Eye Know”. In 2007, the song was covered by Nerina Pallot.

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“Johnny Winter – SUZIE Q (Live at Rockpalast)”

“Johnny Winter – SUZIE Q (Live at Rockpalast)”

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Miss Back In The Day USA

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John Dawson Winter III (February 23, 1944 – July 16, 2014), known as Johnny Winter, was an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. Best known for his high-energy blues-rock albums and live performances in the late 1960s and 1970s, Winter also produced three Grammy Award-winning albums for blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters. After his time with Waters, Winter recorded several Grammy-nominated blues albums. In 1988, he was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and in 2003, he was ranked 63rd in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.[1]

Early Career

Johnny Winter was born in Beaumont, Texas, on February 23, 1944.[2] Winter, with younger brother Edgar (born 1946), was nurtured at an early age by their parents in musical pursuits.[2] Johnny and his brother, both of whom were born with albinism, began performing at an early age. When he was ten…

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