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Category Archives: r&b

“Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby (Original) HQ

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“Santa Baby” is a 1953 Christmas song written by Joan Javits (the niece of Senator Jacob K. Javits) and Philip Springer.

The song is a tongue-in-cheek look at a Christmas list addressed to Santa Claus by a woman who wants extravagant gifts such as sables, yachts, and decorations from Tiffany’s.

Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa Baby

 

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“SHORTY LONG – CHANTILLY LACE”

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Frederick Earl “Shorty” Long (May 20, 1940 – June 29, 1969) was an American soul singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer for Motown’s Soul Records imprint. He was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1980.

Career
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Long came to Motown in 1963 from the Tri-Phi/Harvey label, owned by Berry Gordy’s sister, Gwen, and her husband, Harvey Fuqua. His first release, “Devil with the Blue Dress On” (1964), written with William “Mickey” Stevenson, was the first recording issued on Motown’s Soul label, a subsidiary designed for more blues-based artists such as Long. While this song never charted nationally, the song was covered and made a hit in 1966 by Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels. Long’s 1966 single “Function at the Junction” was his first popular hit, reaching #42 on the national R&B charts. Other single releases included “It’s a Crying Shame” (1964), “Chantilly Lace” (1967), and “Night Fo’ Last” (1968).

Long’s biggest hit was “Here Comes the Judge” which in July 1968 reached number four on the R&B charts and number-eight on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was inspired by a comic act on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In about a judge by Pigmeat Markham, whose own “Here Comes the Judge” – a similar song with different lyrics – charted three weeks after Long’s, also in July 1968, and reached number 19 on Billboard. Long’s 1969 singles included “I Had a Dream” and “A Whiter Shade of Pale”. He released one album during his lifetime, Here Comes the Judge (1968).

Long played many instruments, including piano, organ, drums, harmonica, and trumpet. He acted as an MC for many of the Motortown Revue shows and tours, and co-wrote several of his tunes (“Devil with the Blue Dress On”, “Function at the Junction”, and “Here Comes the Judge”). Long was the only Motown artist besides Smokey Robinson who was allowed to produce his own recordings in the 1960s. Marvin Gaye, in David Ritz’s biography Divided Soul: The Life & Times of Marvin Gaye, described Shorty Long as “this beautiful cat who had two hits, and then got ignored by Motown.”[1] Gaye claimed he “fought for guys like Shorty” while at Motown, since no one ever pushed for these artists. When Holland-Dozier-Holland came to Gaye with a tune, he stated, “Why are you going to produce me? Why don’t you produce Shorty Long?”[1]

Death
On June 29, 1969, Long and a friend drowned when their boat capsized on the Detroit River in Michigan.[2] Stevie Wonder played the harmonica at his burial, and placed it on his casket afterwards. Writer Roger Green’s epitaph stated: “So there endeth the career of a man who sang what he wanted to sing – everything from the blues to romantic ballads, from wild and crazy numbers to a utopian vision of Heaven on Earth. Short in stature but big in talent, he entertained and amazed us, and finally he inspired us.” [3]

Motown issued Long’s final album, The Prime of Shorty Long, shortly after his death.

en.m.wikipedia.org

 

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“Bob Seger-Rare Against The Wind Live”

“Bob Seger-Rare Against The Wind Live”

“Against the Wind” is a song by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band from the 1980 album Against the Wind. “Against the Wind” is the highest ranking single from the album, peaking at #5. Glenn Frey of the Eagles sang background vocals on this song.

According to Timothy White, a writer for Rolling Stone, “‘Against the Wind’ is about trying to move ahead, keeping your sanity and integrity at the same time.”[citation needed]

en.m.wikipedia.org

 

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“Brook Benton – Rainy Night in Georgia” 

“Brook Benton – Rainy Night in Georgia” 

“Rainy Night in Georgia” is a song written by Tony Joe White in 1962 and popularized by R&B vocalist Brook Benton  in 1970.

In a January 17, 2014 interview with music journalist Ray Shasho, Tony Joe White explained the thought process behind the making of ”

Rainy Night in Georgia ” and “Polk Salad Annie”.

When I got out of high school I went to Marietta, Georgia, I had a sister living there. I went down there to get a job and I was playing guitar too at the house and stuff. I drove a dump truck for the highway department and when it would rain you didn’t have to go to work. You could stay home and play your guitar and hangout all night. So those thoughts came back to me when I moved on to Texas about three months later. I heard “Ode to Billie Joe” on the radio and I thought, man, how real, because I am Billie Joe, I know that life. I’ve been in the cotton fields. So I thought if I ever tried to write, I’m going to write about something I know about. At that time I was doing a lot of Elvis and John Lee Hooker onstage with my drummer. No original songs and I hadn’t really thought about it. But after I heard Bobbie Gentry I sat down and thought … well I know about Polk because I had ate a bunch of it and I knew about rainy nights because I spent a lot of rainy nights in Marietta, Georgia. So I was real lucky with my first tries to write something that was not only real and hit pretty close to the bone, but lasted that long. So it was kind of a guide for me then on through life to always try to write what I know about.

In 1969, after several years without a major hit, Benton had signed to a new record label, Cotillion Records (a subsidiary of Atlantic Records). Brought to the attention of producer Jerry Wexler, Benton recorded the song in November 1969 with producer Arif Mardin session personnel present on the hit record included Billy Carter on Organ, Dave Crawford on piano, Cornell Dupree and Jimmy O’Rourke on guitar, Harold Cowart on bass, Tubby Ziegler on drums, and Toots Thielmans on harmonica.

Taken from his “come-back” album

Brook Benton

Today, the melancholy song became an instant hit. In the spring of 1970, the song had topped the Billboard Best Selling Soul Singles chart. It also reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100,[1] and number two on the Adult Contemporary chart. In Canada, the song made #2 on the RPM Magazine Hot Singles chart.

The RIAA certified the single gold for sales of one million copies. In 2004, it was ranked #498 on the List of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

en.m.Wikipedia.org

 

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“Patti Labelle – Isn’t it a shame”

“Patti Labelle – Isn’t it a shame”

Chameleon is the sixth album by American singing trio Labelle. Though Patti LaBelle’s autobiography Don’t Block The Blessings revealed that LaBelle planned a follow-up to Chameleon entitled Shaman, the album never materialized. The trio would not release another new recording until 2008’s Back to Now. The final album was moderately successful peaking at #94 at the Pop charts and #21 on the R&B charts. Only two singles made the charts which were “Get You Somebody New” which peaked at #50 on the Pop charts and their memorable song “Isn’t It A Shame” which debuted at #18 on the R&B charts. “Isn’t It A Shame” was later sampled by Nelly on his 2004 hit, “My Place”, which featured Jaheim.

Patricia Louise Holt-Edwards (born May 24, 1944),[1] better known under the stage name Patricia Louise Holt-Edwards (born May 24, 1944),[1] better known under the stage name Patti LaBelle, is an American singer, author, actress, and entrepreneur. LaBelle began her career in the early 1960s as lead singer and front woman of the vocal group, Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. Following the group’s name change to Labelle in the early 1970s, she released the iconic disco song “Lady Marmalade” and the group later became the first African-American vocal group to land the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.[1] After the group split in 1976, LaBelle began a successful solo career, starting with her critically acclaimed debut album, which included the career-defining song, “You Are My Friend”. LaBelle became a mainstream solo star in 1984 following the success of the singles, “If Only You Knew”, “New Attitude” and “Stir It Up”, with the latter two crossing over to pop audiences becoming radio staples.[1]

Early life and career

Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles

Patti joined a local church choir at the Beulah Baptist Church at ten and performed her first solo two years later, while she also grew up listening to secular music styles such as R&B and jazz music. When she was fifteen, she won a talent competition at her high school. This success led to Patti forming her first singing group, the Ordettes, in 1960, with schoolmates Jean Brown, Yvonne Hogen and Johnnie Dawson.[7] The group, with Patti as front woman, became a local attraction until two of its members left to marry.[8] In 1962, the Ordettes included three new members, Cindy Birdsong, Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx, the latter two girls having sung for another defunct vocal group.[8] That year, they auditioned for local record label owner Harold Robinson. Robinson agreed to work with the group after Patti began singing the song “I Sold My Heart to the Junkman”. Initially Robinson was dismissive of Patti due to him feeling Patti was “too dark and too plain”.[8] Shortly after signing them, he had them record as the Blue Belles and they were selected to promote the recording of “I Sold My Heart to the Junkman”, which had been recorded by The Starlets, but was assigned as a Blue Belles single due to label conflict.[8] The Starlets’ manager sued Harold Robinson after the Blue Belles were seen performing a lip-synching version of the song on American Bandstand.[8] After settling out of court, Robinson altered the group’s name to “Patti LaBelle and The Blue Belles”.[8] Initially, a Billboard ad cited the group as “Patti Bell and the Blue Bells”.[9] In 1963, the group scored their first hit single with the ballad “Down the Aisle (The Wedding Song)” which became a crossover top 40 hit on the Billboard pop and R&B charts after King Records issued it. Later in the year, they recorded their rendition of the standard “You’ll Never Walk Alone”; the single was later re-released on Cameo-Parkway Records where the group scored a second hit on the pop charts with the song in 1964. Another charted single, “Danny Boy”, was released that same year. In 1965, after Cameo-Parkway folded, the group moved to New York and signed with Atlantic Records where they recorded twelve singles for the label, including the mildly charted singles “All or Nothing” and “Take Me for a Little While”. The group’s Atlantic tenure included their rendition of “Over the Rainbow” and a version of the song “Groovy Kind of Love”. In 1967, Birdsong left the group to join The Supremes and by 1970 the group had been dropped from Atlantic Records as well as by their longtime manager Bernard Montague. That year, Vicki Wickham, producer of the UK music show, Ready, Steady, Go, agreed to manage the group after Dusty Springfield mentioned signing them. Wickham’s first direction for the group was for them to change their name to simply Labelle and advised the group to renew their act, going for a more homegrown look and sound that reflected psychedelic soul. In 1971, the group opened for The Who in several stops on the group’s U.S. tour.

Labelle signed with the Warner Music imprint, Track Records, and released their self-titled debut album in 1971. The record’s psychedelic soul sound and its blending of rock and soul rhythms was a departure from the group’s early sound. That same year, they sang background vocals on Laura Nyro’s album, Gonna Take a Miracle. A year later, in 1972, the group released Moon Shadow, which repeated the homegrown gritty sound of the previous album. In 1973, influenced by glam rockers David Bowie and Elton John, Wickham had the group dressed in silver space suits and luminescent makeup.[10] After their third successive album, Pressure Cookin’, failed to generate a hit, Labelle signed with Epic Records in 1974, releasing their most successful album to date, with Nightbirds, which blended soul, funk and rock music, thanks to the work of the album’s producer, Allen Toussaint. The single, “Lady Marmalade”, would become their biggest-selling single, going number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and selling over a million copies, as did Nightbirds, which later earned a RIAA gold award, for sales of a million units. In October 1974, Labelle made pop history by becoming the first rock and roll vocal group to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House.[11] Riding high on the success of “Lady Marmalade” and the Nightbirds album, Labelle made the cover of Rolling Stone in 1975. Labelle released two more albums, Chameleon and Phoenix in 1975 and 1976 respectively. While both albums continued the group’s critical success, none of the singles issued on those albums ever crossed over to the pop charts.

Wikipedia.org

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2017 in black music artists, jazz, music, pop music, r&b

 

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Whitney Houston – All The Man That I Need

Whitney Houston – All The Man That I Need

This song was written by Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore for the Disco singer Linda Clifford. 

 She sang the song “Red Light,” which Pitchford and Gore wrote, for the 1980 movie Fame, and the pair wrote this for her 1982 album I’ll Keep On Loving You, which is where it first appeared. Clifford’s version didn’t take off, and the song was recorded later that year by Sister Sledge as a duet with David Simmons. The song became a massive hit when Whitney Houston’s mentor Clive Davis heard the song and had Houston record it.

When we spoke with Dean Pitchford in 2012, we asked him if there was a personal inspiration for this song. He replied: “Michael Gore and I knew we were writing for Linda Clifford, and we wrote the album in the way that you would write any kind of an album, where we had our up-tempos and we had our ballads, and we needed a ballad to balance everything out. So that definitely fulfilled that particular need. It was a luxury to be able to write an array of songs and try to cover all the bases. You didn’t want to write an album’s worth of ballads or an album’s worth of up-tempo. Linda Clifford had been known as a disco diva – she had a big hit with a disco version of ‘If They Could See Me Now,’ and then she had a hit with our song, ‘Red Light,’ and then even off of that album that Michael and I worked on with her, she had a hit called ‘Don’t Come Crying to Me.’ Her biggest fan base was the dance clubs. But we knew we needed a ballad for her, so ‘All The Man That I Need’ specifically addressed that need.”
When this song became a huge hit, its lyricist Dean Pitchford had been dating a swimmer for about 6 months, who would later become his husband. Said Pitchford: “A lot of his teammates, knowing that he had just met me, joked, ‘Oh, you’ve only known Dean a short time and already he’s written a song about you,’ because it was all over the radio for months and months.”

Pitchford, who is best known for writing the screenplay and the songs for Footloose, decided that he should write a song for his husband, which turned out to be “If I Never Met You,” recorded by Barbra Streisand.
Luther Vandross switched the gender on this song and recorded it as “All the Woman I Need” in 1994. Vandross had a history with the song’s writers Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore, as he sang backup and did arrangements for the songs in the movie Fame and on Linda Clifford’s original version of this song. It was Vandross who came up with the “remember, remember…” backing vocals on the song “Fame,” which Pitchford and Gore wrote.
http://www.songfacts.com/

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2017 in music, r&b

 

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“America- Tin Man (w/ lyrics)”

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Tin Man” is a 1974 song by the pop rock band America. It was written by band member Dewey Bunnell and produced by George Martin, who also plays the piano part on the recorded version. The song was included on the band’s album Holiday, also from 1974.

Background

The song’s title and some of its lyrics refer to the Tin Woodman from The Wizard of Oz.[3] Songwriter Bunnell was quoted describing the parallel: “My favorite movie, I guess. I always loved it as a kid. Very obscure lyrics. Great grammar – ‘Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man.’ It’s sort of a poetic license.”[3]

Dan Peek – who describes “Tin Man” as “quintessential Dewey, easy stream of consciousness with a major seventh acoustic bed” – states that Bunnell “actually begged us not to record the song. Knowing Dewey it was probably reverse psychology; if it was, Gerry and I fell for it, insisting it was perfect for the album.”[4]

Released as the first single from Holiday, “Tin Man” became the band’s fourth top-ten hit in the US, spending three weeks at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1974.[5] The song reached number one on the Billboard easy listening chart in October of that year.[3] In the UK, the song was relegated to the B-side of another album track, “Mad Dog”, released in July, but both sides failed to chart.

en.m.Wikipedia.org

 

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