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Category Archives: 1970s

“Bob Seger – We’ve Got Tonight (The Wonder years)”

“We’ve Got Tonite” (sic) is a song written by American Bob Seger, from his 1978 album Stranger in Town. It was a hit single for Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, reaching No. 13 on the U.S. pop charts. In the UK, it reached No. 41 in 1979, later making it to No. 22 during a 1995 re-release to promote a Greatest Hits album, while in 1982 a live version from the in-concert album Nine Tonight reached No. 60.

It also played in the background of Melissa Sue Anderson’s 1979 TV film Survival of Dana, in a scene where Anderson’s character was visiting one of her new friends’ homes and was in a room with co-star Robert Carradine’s character Donny Davis, whom she was falling for.[1]

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“THE DRAMATICS – HEY YOU, GET OFF MY MOUNTAIN”

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The Dramatics (formerly The Dynamics) are an American soul music vocal group, formed in Detroit, Michigan, in 1964. They are best known for their 1970s hit songs “In the Rain” and “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get”, both of which were Top 10 Pop hits,[1] as well as their later 1993 collaboration Doggy Dogg World with Snoop Dogg, a top 20 hit on the Billboard Rhythmic Top 40.

Career

The Dramatics originally formed in 1964, recording as the Dynamics in 1965. Their first release in 1965 entitled “Bingo” was recorded for the late Ed Wingate’s Wingate record label, a division of Golden World Records in Detroit, Michigan. Due to a misprint, Wingate changed the name of the group from The Dynamics to The Dramatics in 1966 for the group’s second release, Inky Dinky Wang Dang Doo. By 1967, Motown had absorbed the entire Golden World Records operation. The Dramatics then moved to another local Detroit label, Sport Records, where they garnered their first minor hit single, “All Because of You.”

The Dramatics originally signed for Stax Records of Memphis, Tennessee in 1968, but moved on after one unsuccessful release. However, producer Don Davis re-signed them to Stax subsidiary, Volt in 1971 after the group had teamed up with Detroit writer-producer, Tony Hester. They broke through with the first release recorded with Hester, “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get”, which Hester offered them after seeing the group perform in a Detroit nightclub. The song went into the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #9 and climbing to #3 in the R&B chart. [1] “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” was awarded gold disc status by the R.I.A.A. in December 1971.[1]

Their members at this time were Ron Banks (who died of a heart attack on March 4, 2010, at the age of 58),[2] William “Wee Gee” Howard (who died of a heart attack on February 22, 2000, at the age of 49), Elbert Wilkins (who died of a heart attack on December 13, 1992, at the age of 45), Willie Ford, Larry Demps and keyboardist James Mack Brown (who died on November 28, 2008, at the age of 58).

Shortly after the success of their first album, Howard and Wilkins left the group and formed their own version of The Dramatics, recording the single “No Rebate On Love” on Mainstream Records. They were replaced by Larry James “L.J.” Reynolds and Leonard “Lenny” Mayes (who died of lung cancer on November 8, 2004, at the age of 53). At the urging of Don Davis and Stax Records, the original group changed its billing to ‘Ron Banks and the Dramatics’. These two groups toured the concert circuit for four years before Banks’ group won a court battle, giving them full access to the name.” [3] Howard and Wilkins were forced to change the name of their group to “A Dramatic Experience”.

Through the 1970s, the group continued to have successful songs, including the Top 10 Pop, #1 R&B hit, “In the Rain” in 1972, “Hey You! Get Off My Mountain” (#5 R&B), “Me and Mrs Jones” (#4 R&B), originally recorded by Billy Paul three years earlier, “Be My Girl” (#3 R&B), and “Shake It Well” (#4 R&B). “In the Rain” also reached #5 on the Hot 100 pop chart and was their second million-seller. [1]

The group recorded for Don Davis’ Groovesville and later Great Lakes music production companies during the 1970s, although the recordings appeared on several labels. The group moved from Volt in 1974 after three albums, releasing one album on Chess Records’ subsidiary, Cadet sharing tracks with The Dells, who were also being produced by Davis at the time. The group then signed for ABC in 1975 and transferred five years later to MCA, after ABC closed following its buy-out by MCA. Many of the Dramatics’ songs initially were written and produced by Tony Hester, including all the tracks on the first two Volt albums. Davis, then Banks and Reynolds took over production later in the 1970s and the early 1980s.

In 1982, the group moved to Capitol Records and made their first album without Don Davis, Banks acting as producer. Only Banks, Ford and Mayes remained in the group. L.J. Reynolds left to go solo in 1981 and Larry Demps decided to go into teaching and spend more time with his family, after having joined the group’s original line-up in 1964 with Banks. When Ron Banks also decided to try a solo career, the group disbanded for a few years, but re-formed in the mid-1980s, with Howard returning to join Reynolds, Mayes, Ford and Banks to record for Fantasy Records.

The group continues to tour and presently consists of Reynolds with Winzell Kelly, Leon Franklin, Donald and Albert Ford. Willie Ford also has a Dramatics group. The Dramatics were officially inducted into the R&B Music Hall of Fame at Cleveland State University’s Waetejen Auditorium on Saturday August 17, 2013.The Dramatics were also interviewed at (but have yet to be inducted into) the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on February of 2012 . [4][5][6]

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“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Lyrics) – George Michael feat. Elton John”

“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Lyrics) – George Michael feat. Elton John”

Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” is a song written by English singer-songwriter Elton John and his lyricist Bernie Taupin. It was released as the first single from Elton John’s 1974 album Caribou; it was released that year during the latter half of May in the United Kingdom, and on 10 June in the United States. The song found further success in 1991 in a version recorded live as a duet between John and George Michael which reached number 1 in the UK and US.

1974 Elton John version

Lyrics and music
In the song, Elton sings to someone he has helped and from whom he is now experiencing rejection:

I took a chance and changed your way of life
but you misread my meaning when I met you
closed the door and left me blinded by the light
don’t let the sun go down on me
although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see.
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free
but losing everything is like the sun going down on me.

It was written with the other songs on the album during a ten-day period in January 1974.

The chorus of the song is supported with a horn arrangement by Del Newman, and features backing vocals of the Beach Boys’ Carl Wilson and Bruce Johnston, and Toni Tennille. Also on the song are percussion accents provided by Ray Cooper and a mellotron played by Dave Hentschel.

“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” charted on 1 June 1974 in Great Britain, making it to number 16 and reached the Top 10 after four weeks. On 10 August, the song’s two-week stay at number 2 ended. In the U.S., it was certified Gold on 6 September 1974 by the RIAA. In Canada, it reached number 1, becoming his fifth chart topper in that country.[1]

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Posted by on June 19, 2017 in 1970s, duet, male vocalist, r&b, songwriter

 

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“J J Jackson – But It’s Alright”

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    Career

    Jackson first gained prominence while working at WBCN in Boston in the late 1960s, then at KLOS in Los Angeles for ten years. Jackson was one of the first DJs to introduce Americans to The Who and Led Zeppelin. He was a music reporter for KABC-TV when he was tapped as one of MTV’s original “fab five.” As a VJ, Jackson hosted the long awaited and much anticipated “unmasking” of KISS. He was one of the few African Americans to DJ an “album rock” radio station.

    After five years at MTV, Jackson returned to Los Angeles radio, first at KROQ-FM in 1987, then as program director of modern rock/alternative station KEDG (“The Edge”) until May 1989. He later returned to KLOS, and hosted the afternoon shift at smooth jazz station KTWV (“The Wave”) for one year.[1]

    Death

    Jackson suffered a heart attack and died on March 17, 2004, while driving home after dining with a friend in Los Angeles. He had a daughter and three grandchildren. He was 62.[2]

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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 June 19, 2017 in 1970s, black music artists, r&b

     

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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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    “The Stampeders – Sweet City Woman” 

    “The Stampeders – Sweet City Woman” 

    Sweet City Woman” is a 1971 song by Canadian rock band The Stampeders. The song appeared on their debut album Against the Grain (retitled Sweet City Woman in the US). The song features a banjo as a primary instrument, which is also mentioned in the lyrics: “The banjo and me, we got a feel for singing.”

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    https://youtu.be/KTmaKZ8L6jU

    https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=0IRjl3SWC2U&feature=share

     

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