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Category Archives: r&b

“Working in the Coal Mine – Lee Dorsey”

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COAL MINING IS DEADLY!

Working in the Coal Mine” is a song with music and lyrics by the American musician and record producer Allen Toussaint. It was an international hit for Lee Dorsey in 1966, and has been recorded by other musicians including Devo in 1981.

Lee Dorsey

After Toussaint returned to New Orleans from the US Army, in which he served from 1963 to 1965, he formed a production company, Sansu (also known as “Tou-Sea Productions”), with partner Marshall Sehorn. He produced a number of singles performed by Lee Dorsey in 1965 and 1966, including “Ride Your Pony” and “Working in the Coal Mine”.[1]

Written and arranged by Toussaint, the song concerns the suffering of a man who rises before 5 o’clock each morning in order to work in a coal mine, five days a week, where the conditions are very harsh and dangerous, but which offers the only prospect of paid employment. The singer repeatedly asks the Lord, “How long can this go on?” and complains that when the weekend arrives, he’s too exhausted to have any fun. In the instrumental section, as in the song’s fade, he says: “Lord, I’m so tired / How long can this go on?” The song features the sound of a pickaxe clinking, as if the musicians were working in a mine. The musicians were the Sansu studio band, including guitarist Roy Montrell, drummer Albert “June” Gardner, and bassist Chuck Badie.[2][3]

It was a hit for Lee Dorsey, released on Amy Records (catalogue number 958), and entered the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on July 23, 1966, eventually peaking at #8, while reaching #5 on the Billboard R&B chart.[4] It also reached #8 on the UK Singles Chart.[5]

Toussaint said that neither he nor Dorsey had ever been down a coal mine: “We didn’t know anything about a coal mine”. He said of Dorsey: “He was very good to work with. Very inspiring because he had such a happiness about him. He loved what he was doing when he was singing. He was a body and fender man when he wasn’t singing and even at his peak, when he would come off the road at the end of a successful tour, he would go and get into his grease clothes, his dirty work gear and go and work on cars. Straightening out fenders and painting bodywork. But really it was his finest hour when he was singing. He was a very good person for me to work with and he totally trusted me every step of the way.”[6]

en.m.Wikipedia.org

 

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“Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On)”

Lee Dorsey

Dorsey’s songs have been covered by artists as diverse as Petula Clark and Johnny Hallyday (“Ya Ya Twist”, a 1962 French version of “Ya Ya”) and Devo(“Working in the Coal Mine”). “Ya Ya” was covered on John Lennon’s Rock ‘n’ Roll album. “Get Out of My Life, Woman” (1966) was performed often by the Byrds (who based their instrumental “Captain Soul” on it), the Jerry Garcia Band, also predated the boom bap beat of the 90s Hip Hop; and Robert Palmerhad a hit with “Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley”. His version of the Allen Toussaint song “Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On)” is referenced in the Beastie Boys’ song “Sure Shot”, with the lyric “Everything I do is funky like Lee Dorsey.” “Ya Ya” was spoken by Cheech Marin in Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie, as he was waiting for his girlfriend.

https://youtu.be/IdhjlhQ0xYc

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2019 in 1960s, r&b, reflections, soul oldies

 

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“I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE – MARVIN GAYE”

“I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE – MARVIN GAYE”

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I Heard It Through the Grapevine” is a song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966. The first recording of the song to be released was produced by Whitfield for Gladys Knight & the Pips and released as a single in September 1967; it went to number two in the Billboard chart

The Miracles recorded the song first and included their version on their 1968 album, Special Occasion. The Marvin Gaye version was placed on his 1968 album In the Groove, where it gained the attention of radio disc jockeys, and Motown founder Berry Gordy finally agreed to its release as a single in October 1968, when it went to the top of the Billboard Pop Singles chart for seven weeks from December 1968 to January 1969 and became for a time the biggest hit single on the Motown label (Tamla).

The Gaye recording has since become an acclaimed soul classic, and in 2004, it was placed 81 on the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. On the commemorative fortieth anniversary of the Billboard Hot 100 issue of Billboard magazine in June 2008, Marvin Gaye’s “Grapevine” was ranked sixty-fifth. It was also inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame for “historical, artistic and significant” value.

In addition to being released several times by Motown artists, the song has been recorded by a range of musicians including Creedence Clearwater Revival, who made an eleven-minute interpretation for their 1970 album, Cosmo’s Factory; and has been used twice in television commercials – each time using session musicians recreating the style of the Marvin Gaye version: the 1985 Levi’s commercial, “Launderette”, featuring male model Nick Kamen, and the 1986 California raisins promotion with Buddy Miles as the singer for the clay animation group The California Raisins.

wikipedia.org

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2019 in 1960s, pop music/motown, r&b

 

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Lenny Kravitz – It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over

Lenny Kravitz – It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over

Leonard Albert Kravitz is a Bahamian-American singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer. His “retro” style incorporates elements of rock, blues, soul, R&B, funk, jazz, reggae, hard rock,

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2019 in r&b

 

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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.

Wikipedia.org

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2019 in black music artists, music, r&b

 

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“Twine Time” – Alvin Cash and the Crawlers

“Twine Time” – Alvin Cash and the Crawlers

Born Alvin Welch in St. Louis, Missouri, and a graduate of St. Louis’s Sumner High School (also attended by Luther Ingram, Billy Davis, Jr., and Tina Turner).[citation needed] Around 1962, he and three of his brothers moved toChicago, where they performed as a dance act. Cash also searched for arecording contract. Andre Williams, who was the house producer at One-der-ful Records saw them perform as The Crawlers and had them record a tune, “Twine Time,” to exploit a popular teen dance that was the rage on the south side of Chicago in late 1963. Released on One-der-ful’s Mar-V-Lus imprint in 1964, the tune became a pop hit in January 1965, and whereas ‘The Crawlers’ proper (Cash’s brothers) did not sing on the track, a band called The Nightliters from Louisville, KY provided the instrumental backing. The “ooh-aah” opening was edited out on some radio stations who thought it too suggestive for their audience.

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Posted by on March 11, 2019 in band, male vocal group, r&b

 

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“Eric Clapton Layla Original”

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Eric Clapton Layla Original:

Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE (born 30 March 1945), is an English musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time.[1] Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”[2] and fourth in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”.[3] He was also named number five in Time magazine’s list of “The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players” in 2009 [4]

In the mid-1960s, Clapton left the Yardbirds to play blues with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Immediately after leaving Mayall, Clapton joined Cream, a power trio with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce in which Clapton played sustained blues improvisations and “arty, blues-based psychedelic pop”.[5] For most of the 1970s, Clapton’s output bore the influence of the mellow style of JJ Cale and the reggae of Bob Marley. His version of Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” helped reggae reach a mass market.[6] Two of his most popular recordings were “Layla”, recorded while he was a member of band Derek and the Dominos; and Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads”, recorded by band Cream. Following the death of his son Conor in 1991, Clapton’s grief was expressed in the song “Tears in Heaven”, which featured in his Unplugged album.

Clapton has been the recipient of 18 Grammy Awards, and the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2004, he was awarded a CBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music.[7][8][9] In 1998, Clapton, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, founded the Crossroads Centre on Antigua, a medical facility for recovering substance abusers.[10]

en.m.wikipedia,org

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2019 in 1970s, classic music, male vocalist, r&b

 

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